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Home MFJ 849 SWR/Power Meter


Sr. Member
Nov 12, 2013

This meter has always intrigued me. It's costly - $230. And made by a company that sometimes has difficulties with Quality Control. Despite that, I bit the bullet and got one.

The good:

1. Large, 3.5" easy-to-read display.

2. SWR at-a-glance. No time spent adjusting the set point or interpreting a cross needle reading.

3. SWR accuracy appears splendid as readings vary only a few hundredths from those of my RigExpert analyzer. For example:
AA-35 MFJ849
28.300 1.06 1.04
28.400 1.02 1.02
28.500 1.07 1.05

4. Forward power accuracy appears pretty good too. I have no numbers to compare to as my analyzer doesn't measure power. Here are the power settings on the radio compared to the meter readings:
Radio MFJ 849
5 watts 4.86 watts
50 watts 48.76 watts
100 watts 99.92 watts

5. It also displays reflected power.

6. Once you unkey, the readings remain on the screen for a few seconds before reverting to 0.00.

The not-so-good:

1. The meter claims to be a peak reading meter but it clearly doesn't have peak hold. When transmitting on SSB, the numbers jump all over the place. And quickly. o_O Power readings are pretty useless really. Unless you're whistling. The SWR readings jump as well but don't vary by much and are useful. The best results, of course, are determined using a steady carrier like CW or AM.

2. Maximum of 200 watts.

Conclusion? I like it. A lot. (y)

I posted this thread in the Ham Equipment forum as the meter works on both HF (1.6 - 60 MHz) and V/UHF (125 - 525 MHz). But set to HF, it would be great for CB as well. (As long as you're under 200 watts.) :p

Thanks for Sharing your reveiw on this. I have the Nissei version and works great but no pep readings, just use as a back up meter.
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Reactions: Riverman
In my summary, I stated it claimed to be a peak reading meter. Looking back at the description on the box and product website, I don't see that mentioned at all. That explains why when modulating on AM, not much difference is noted. It's average power only. That explains why on SSB it really jumps around trying to settle on a reading, but can't.

Anyway, for measuring dead key and SWR, it works great. And looks great.

Now, where did I put my 901HP? :ROFLMAO:
Note: When connecting to power supply, pay very close attention. The Positive wire is not red. Both wires are black. The Positive wire has very faint gray marks on it that are hard to see. If it is connected to the Negative post, a small wire inside the meter will burn in half and smoke will come out. That wire will then have to be repaired. I know. Been there, done that. ;)

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