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Reviews For: MFJ-998 IntelliTuner

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

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Review Summary For : MFJ-998 IntelliTuner
Reviews: 114MSRP: 699.95
The MFJ-998 Full Legal Limit 1500 Watt Intellituner takes you to the final level in automatic antenna tuners. With a capability of 1500 watts SSB and CW, coupled with automatic tuning, your high-power station can now operate essentially hands-free even when frequency and band changes are made.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W2NER Rating: 2023-05-15
Great tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Well, here it is 2023, and I have tried MANY auto tuners and I always come back to the 998. For the money, you can't do better!! It's fast and faster than any other auto tuner I have had.. I know it has got a bad rep in the past, I'm sure it has had its issues and some QC problems also for sure. But with that said, I still think its the best and I run legal limit all the time in all modes and bands.
I had a typo, in one comment I should have said: "With this tuner (and any other tuner that matter) you need to make sure it does not see high wattage during TX tuning"
I have both, the MFJ-998 and 998RT and both perform fantastic. Both of them worked great out of the box with no problems at all. My 998RT I just installed this week and as the desktop model it works flawlessly. With this tuner (and any other tuner that matter) you need to make sure it does not see high wattage durung TX. I think there are more positive reviews out there than negative, its just they do not post here. If you are looking for a auto tuner, don't hesitate to purchase this one. Oh and I had a few Palstar auto tuners also so this auto tune setup is not new to me.
SSBER Rating: 2023-04-18
Leap of Faith Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The first one arrived damaged, but I got to test it and take the cover off, and it's a nice autotuner for the price. I bought a replacement from HRO, the meters read 1:1 into a dummy load, unlike my MFJ-828 (1.7:1) So I got a winner. 73's
AD0AR Rating: 2023-04-16
3+ years going good! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
It's been a solid performer for me.
Initially I found it hit and miss, but I suspected an issue with some pre-fabricated ultraflex 400 cables as the culprit.
I learned how to build my own cables using compression style PL-259's and I haven't had an issue since.
The shield connections on the prefab ultraflex cables were the culprit confirmed by a continuity check.
Who would have thought?

Update: Still going strong! I've been using it for 160M to adjust the match to a shunt fed screwdriver antenna that would have about a 2:1 match at resonance. This sucker gets the match to almost exactly 50 ohms, at the most 1.15:1 and it shows. Amazing range! I've only got 9 more states to go for 160M WAS. I can use it at legal limit, it even stays cool, but I find that even running 10 watts gets me coast to coast under ideal conditions.
KO1C Rating: 2023-04-15
Thankful It Works Really Well! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this a few years ago for an emergency backup in case my current roller-inductor tuner (very well known brand-name) "went south". Amazingly, that's what happened.

The 998 went back inline and it just works as expected. Quick to tune, very good match, couldn't be happier with it. Run about a KW or less SSB, 700W digital.

NO DRAMA!! ....

... unlike when I received it from my packaging service upon delivery from the ham store I purchased it from.

When it arrived, I noted the package had a distinct rattle when moved or shook it. Impossible to not notice.

Picture this: Some ham store employee HAD to hear this very noticeable rattle and still shipped it to me. Great, now it's MY PROBLEM to deal with.

Fortunately the rattle turned out to me a stick of soldier 3-4 inches long in an area of the tuner that it couldn't short anything out.

I removed it, reinstalled the cover and fortunately it worked as intended since then.

Can't ask for more. at least, from THIS manufacture!

N8WGM Rating: 2022-03-29
Quick and nice Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned this tuner now for a few months and it never ceases to amaze me.

It tunes very quickly and allows me to operate on sections of bands my antenna is not resonant on. 1500 watt capacity is nice.

It is somewhat noisy the first time but once it gets the settings in memory, it is just one little click and it is tuned. The first time, it may click for a few seconds to maybe a minute. After that, just a quick click and are tuned.
It has 20,000 memories so it will remember pretty much everything you need to operate anywhere in the ham bands with the right antenna.

I recommend this tuner. I've owned many manual tuners and this is my first auto tuner. You don't know what you are missing by using an auto is a real nice change from a manual tuner.

Update 3/28/22
I got out of ham radio for a while and sold the MFJ 998. Recently I decided to ham it up again and so I was looking for a 998 as it is a great tuner. I found one and got it in 1 day shipped. They are rare right now due to the election infection and the supply chain nonsense.

I set it up and it is as good as I remember. I run less than 1200 watts so it covers everything nicely. It does help to have the radio hooked up to the tuner with a cat cable that allows the tuner to recognize the frequency automatically. Just a tap on the pedal on AM (amp off) and it goes right to the frequency and to the settings in memory. Glad I got another one. I would have gotten the Palstar HF auto but it is huge and it must be made of unobtanium. Palstar HF auto is on back order and so the MFJ 998 is a good option plus it saved me eight hundred dollars.
VE3EMA Rating: 2022-03-26
Doesn't Always Tune Between Bands Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I would give this a Four out Five as a "Manual" tuner but don't get this if you require a fully automatic tuner. Depending on the band last used, you may have to press the "Tune" button to tune and even then, it sometimes doesn't always work. Had to replace this wjth another manuafcture that auto tunes flawlessly between all bands.
W3ATT Rating: 2022-01-28
At first I didn't like it Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had a problem at first where the tuner would sometimes not recognize the frequency that I was on, had to change bands, tune that one, then back to the band I wanted. Or- I would have to sit there while the tuner ran the algorithm over again to find a match. I HATED that! And I've seen other reviewers with the same issue. I was so frustrated with it, that I put it on the shelf for over 2 years only to come back to it to try again.

While messing around with it, I found that if I hit the TUNE button on my radio with 5 watts (no more) and push the tune button on the 998 tuner at the EXACT same time (no delay,) the tuner instantly reads the frequency and snaps into a match. (This, after doing a few sweeps up and down the band and finding/storing memory matches) Perfect! Now I'm hopping around the bands with ease!

I'm using an older Ten Tec Orion and do not have the tuner interfaced with the rig, only coax connecting the two.

If it's off a bit, I adjust the C-up/down and L-up/down and hold the mode button to enter the menu, and over write memory so it remembers those exact C and L settings for the next time.

I bought mine used and it works very well now that I've figured it out. I really wish it had a 3rd ant out so I could hook up my dummy load for amp tuning, but I can use an external switch.

Overall, I'm now extremely happy with the 998. I can tune in a snap and apply full legal limit from a Ten Tec Titan. No problems.

Mine has good solder joints, no blemishes, and the meter works fine, although the meter back light does NOT turn off when you power down the tuner with the power button. I guess it was meant to be switched on and off with a power supply? Any way, I am planning to put a separate switch to power off the meter light or some other mod which will grab power from the board to switch a small 12v relay inserted in the backlight circuit.

Note: the meter is not a "peak-hold" meter as is described in the manual.. I contacted MFJ and they said it's a feature which has not yet been added? Weird, but maybe a firmware update in the distant future?
N2OTY Rating: 2021-06-04
Good Legal Limit Auto tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
So my HF setup that incorporates the MFJ998 is a Yaesu FTDX3000 into an ALS1306 solid state 1.2kw amplifier, being fed through the MFJ998 tuner to my 80 meter full wave loop, an end fed 148' long wire or an Antron-99 that I have up just for fun. Over 90% of my use is with the 80m full wave loop. I have been using this setup with the MFH998 tuner for a little over three years.

While I can truthfully say this tuner has never let me down, it has not been without some frustration.

Before this tuner I had an old manual Dentron Super Tuner. It was great, easy to use, bullet proof, painfully slow. the MFJ998 is lightning fast, sometimes it is so fast I don't think it worked, but it remembers the frequencies you use and tunes very fast (like instant) on frequencies you use a lot.

I do get errors on occasion. I usually get one of two errors. The first error I get is "Not Enough Power" this error usually occurs when I change bands and attempt to tune. The other error reports the SWR is over 25:1 and both needles on the meter swing around.

So the first error "Not Enough Power" the tuner requires a minimum amount of power to run a tune cycle, I think around 10or 15 watts. My radio automatically disengages the amp and sends low power to the tuner to initiate a tune cycle. So if my radio output is 60 watts, when I run a tune cycle the tuner always gets 20 watts. If I stay in one band I can move up and down the band and re-tune occasionally as I move to different frequencies and it will tune reliably with a successful match. When I change bands, occasionally I get the "Not Enough Power" error. Sometimes trying to re-tune will be successful, sometimes it will not. If I turn the tuner off and back on this almost always resolves the problem and it will tune fine once again.

The other error, the "25:1 SWR" error where the meter needles swing around usually means I have to turn the tuner off and back on again. It will almost never recover from this error with out a restart. I have only experienced this error when I am switching bands. After a restart it tunes as expected in bands the antennas are designed for.

Now, while it is inconvenient to have to restart the tuner occasionally to get it to perform the way it is supposed to, and I should not have to do so, it is still a lot faster than the old Dentron Super Tuner I used to use.

So in summary, I do like the tuner. I would say about 85% of the time it works as it is supposed to, I change bands a lot and that is where I tend to see the issues. I consider these issues minor. I would still recommend the MFJ998. It's not perfect, but it is a good legal limit auto tuner that does what it says it does. Does it need a little coaxing now and again? Yes. Should it? No.

I will continue to experiment with feed power levels and settings to see if I can find a resolution to these issues. If I do discover anything useful I will update this review.
K7HN Rating: 2021-04-15
MFJ 998 Works Like A Charm 24 + Months And Counting! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I’ve had this tuner about two years. Every time, reliably tunes wherever I need it to.

I’ve found its robust menu system to be easy to navigate and, knock on wood, it’s never let me down once.

I highly recommend this tuner Just someone looking for a QRO tuner. It just works like a dream.

73’s and all the best,

de K7HN
YouTube: Ham Radio Live!
N0SQ Rating: 2021-04-03
dummy load Time Owned: more than 12 months.
One feature that would have been nice is to have a third coax output to route the RF to an external dummy load. This is a possible mod by installing another coax port and a switch to route the RF to that coax port - something to try after the warranty period.
I used it with an amp for a short time and it worked fine.

Earlier 4-star review posted by N0SQ on 2017-04-21

I just got this thing yesterday. The only problems that I have with this tuner is that there is no avg/peak pushbutton for the cross needles like my manual tuners have and that my USB serial port cable won't plug into the MFJ serial port due to a mounting "ear" issue. Plus the JP1 strap wasn't installed even though the default is to have the strap installed (according to the manual). Another issue is that the manual says that the display is suppose to show the firmware version when pushing and holding the TUNE and then Power buttons but it turns out that I had to hold the buttons in until the "NO INTERFACE PIC" message disappeared. MFJ tech support said that "NO INTERFACE PIC" message isn't suppose to show up on this model but it isn't causing any problems, so far, so I'll live with it. A factory reset didn't clear that message. Anyway, I bought the Kenwood interface cable which made this a slicker arrangement. Too bad the tuner doesn't do 6 meters (which my TS2000 is capable of doing). Other than that it works great. I haven't tried it with an amplifier since I don't have one right now. I'll probably try some of the other features as time goes by.