Sunday, February 6, 2011

Can you hear me now....with the MFJ-1026 I can!!!!!

I have had the  MFJ-1026 for about two weeks now with the chance to give it a good workout. The price is 230.00 and I was impressed with the packaging. The only assembly was (if you are going to use it) installing the mini whip antenna. I tried the whip antenna but found my "rain gutter" receiving antenna did a better job. As with all new equipment I wanted to get right in there and use the noise canceler as soon as it was out of the box. Do yourself a big favor and read the user manual. If not the MFJ-1026 can be a frustrating experience, it's very important to learn the in's and out's of this unit before putting it into service. At my location I have 230kv hydro lines out the back as well as a nice noisy plasma TV in the living room. When you combine the two sources at times I have an S9 noise level. The plasma TV I can work to reduce the interference it produces but I'm stuck with the 230kv hydro lines.

230KV power lines
As stated earlier I did not use the supplied whip antenna as I found the external antenna picked up the offending interference very well many reviews I  read mentioned the same.  This antenna is referred to as the noise antenna and it helps in the noise canceling process if this antenna has a strong reception of the interference. The key to the MFJ-1026 is the the "tuning" of the unit. There are a few knobs and buttons that have to be tweaked in a CERTAIN order or it will seem the unit is not working. As stated earlier I did some research on the internet about this unit when I read MFJ's manual regarding the setup and adjustment  it seemed to me to be overly complicated. I did try MFJ's recommended adjustments and it works just fine but in my reading Julian G4ILO has a great review as well a simple and effective way to adjust the noise canceler. I wrote the adjustment sequence down on a 3x5 card and keep it beside the unit. Also the user manual has a sheet (that I photo copied) you can write down the final settings for each section of a band or for different bands. This way when going from 20 to 40 meters the noise canceler can be roughly adjusted and fine tuning only has to be done.
The band before the MFJ-1026
The band using the MFJ-1026
 It's important to make sure your transmitted signal does not end up getting into your noise antenna and making it's way back into your rig. The MFJ does have an internal relay which even MFJ does not recommend relying on as a safe guard.  There is an external T/R RCA connection offered to hook into your rig. This puts the noise canceler in bypass mode when you are transmitting, a word to the wise....use it. As an added precaution in my noise antenna I added an I.C.E 196 filter as well. Some rigs may also have an RX antenna option as with my K3. This way you can further protect your rig by installing the noise canceler in the  RX in and RX out jacks.
Left pair of BNC's are for RX antenna

So the big question is how does it my case when adjusted my interference is gone!! But don't take my word for it give a listen below and hear for yourself.

There are CW signals that pop out that were before covered over. With regards to adjusting this unit you are asked to pay attention to the S-meter and look for drips in the reading as you work through your adjustment. I found using the PowerSDR and having the full band to look at helped. Also I could see small dips in the noise level that the S-meter did not pickup. So I was able to preform a finer adjustment of the noise canceler. So over all I am very happy with the noise canceler it does the job it says it will do. I also wanted to include other reviews of this unit so you don't have to go hunting around.....
Julian G4ILO review
Eham reviews
VE7CA's review
Monitoring times


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Mike, from what I hear on the soundclip it is a lot of difference. I'm glad it works. I can imagine you'll use it with that kind of interference. 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Good evening Bas, I was very surprised how well the MFJ 1026 worked. I did not realize how bad my noise problem was either until you hear the difference.

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hello Mike, Indeed it's an annoying QRM, but the noise-canceler does work, that's for sure. 73 Paul

VE9KK said...

Good morning Paul, it does work and I am now hearing more than I have for a long time.

Todd Brady said...

Hey Mike ... Nice post and great info !!
WOW ...Hearing is believing!!
Looks like the MFJ-1026 is a keeper.

VE9KK said...

Thanks very much Todd and yes the MFJ-1026 is a keeper for sure.