Author Topic: MFJ-1717S (SMA whip antenna for 2m / 70cm operation)  (Read 6662 times)

Offline TigerDragon

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MFJ-1717S (SMA whip antenna for 2m / 70cm operation)
« on: February 05, 2011, 02:23:23 PM »
I have a Yaesu FT-60R for my HT operations, and the rubber dummy load (I'm sorry... rubber ducky antenna) that comes stock is pretty well useless.  I knew this when I bought it originally, and pretty quickly purchased a mag mount that doubled as my "on the road" and "in the house" antenna.  The mag mount got re-purposed a while back to act as the in the house antenna for a scanner that is hooked up to a server for internet streaming, and thus I went back to the rubber ducky.  As a result, I stopped checking in to the weekly local radio club 2m net and guilt has taken its toll.

To remedy this, I finally decided I needed a proper whip antenna (I only used it as a mobile set up one time, so another mag mount wasn't needed.)  After talking with others in the club, I decided to look at the MFJ selections and found the MFJ-1717S.  It's about 16 inches long, give or take.  This means it brushes my shoulder if it's clipped to my belt, which gets a bit annoying.  However, for the gain, it is well worth it.  It's quite flexible, so it would take quite a bit of abuse to break this antenna.  But the real testament to "buy a real whip and dump the dummy load" is this:

From inside my home using the stock Yaesu rubber ducky, with the radio on max output (5 watts) I can not key up the repeater.
From inside my home using the MFJ whip, with the radio on min output (half a watt) I can key up the repeater and sound a little scratchy.  I put the radio on 2 watts (mid power) and my signal is perfectly clear.

This helps illustrate the importance of using a good antenna.

Downsides:
The length makes it a little cumbersome when clipped to the belt.
The flexibility means that if you look at it and twitch, you might get motion sick from the antenna doing the pendulum effect.
The base of the antenna leaves the connection bare (the stock antenna has a sleeve that covers this) but it's more about aesthetics than functionality.

Benefits:
You really can get your signal out with less power consumed, and this trumps all of the above.

73s

Offline buffalojustice

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Re: MFJ-1717S (SMA whip antenna for 2m / 70cm operation)
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 12:44:52 AM »
I have noticed that with all HT antennas the better the performance the more you get hit in the face. I definitely agree that the performance far outweighs the minor annoyances. The FT-60 stock dummy is one of the better stocks I have used but still leaves a lot to be desired.   I love the JetStream I bought, you love the MFJ and my elmer loves the Comet. We all have the same radio and we all attest to the benefits of  three different antennas so I think the story is told, stock HT antennas aren't enough. I would say that the best course of action is to buy an aftermarket antenna while purchasing an HT and just add it into the cost of the HT.

If my antenna shoots craps I will be trying the MFJ. I have already bent the crap out of a Comet. I don't fault them but I know I am going to get in the car and sit on it again. I just hope I don't break the SMA connector on the radio instead of the antenna.