Antenna is on order

The MFJ 1788 is now on order.........well back order for now and was told it could be up to 4-6 weeks before the supplier see's it. I did go online and see if any U.S radio outlets have the antenna. They do but the shipping is close to 200.00 then you add taxes and custom fees it puts the price out of reach. I chose this antenna over the MFJ 1786 as it has 40m  but not 10m. Seeing the solar cycle is on it's way down 10m is not going to be a go to band for me. Having 40m seemed the way to go and thus the MFJ 1788 was chosen. To go along with the antenna Comet has a great way to bring your coax indoors without leaving a door open to the cold. The CTC-50M is a ribbon type coax cable that is supposed to allow you to run it threw a door or having said that I have read online that some have damaged the cable by slamming a
MFJ 1718
window or sliding glass door on it. I don't plan on putting it to the test in that fashion any time soon. Also I ordered the MFJ 1918 tri pod stand for the antenna. I'm not going to play around with cheap tri pods or ones that are just meant for cameras, don't want to come home to the antenna on it's side and possibly damaged. From what I have read about the MFJ 1918 online it seems to do a great job in supporting the antenna. The last thing I have to pick up from the local hardware store is a BBQ cover for the antenna to make it look like.........yes you guessed it....a BBQ! At this point in time it looks like the ham radio bug is going to have to be satisfied with the KX3 and portable operations. It's a bit cold out these days for op's from the car (-30 with wind chill today) so for the time being I will be putting the Alexloop on the balcony and see how the fishing is.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

13 Responses to “Antenna is on order”

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Looking forward to you getting the 1788 and letting us know how it works. I had a 1788 many long years ago. Found 40 meters to be a big disappointment in both Vert and Horiz. 30-15 not bad. With all the Alexloop. If you go to this link you will find what I believe it the seed to the Alexloop. The original article showing how to make it. Cost, maybe less then $75…

    In any case I picked up a MFJ1786 used and yesterday got it up at a height of 20 feet, in the horizontal configuration. This is the 30-10 meter one. I intend on using it as my Digital antenna with with one radio and experiment with it with my KX3. Kind of funny you chose the 1788 because of 40 meters and I chose not to have it because of 40 meters. Looking forward to hearing how well it works… Glad to give you a update on mine if your are interested. You have my email address. Feel free to write anytime

    73 And Happy New Year to you and yours..
    Harry K7ZOV
    [email protected]

  • GB KC5GB:

    Congratulations on your mag loop descision, Mike…
    I know it will do a good job for you.
    Let us know how it works on 40m. I’ve got the 1786 and miss 40, so would be interested to hear.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Nice to hear from you GB and once the loop comes in and is setup I for sure will be giving a report on how it does.

  • Gery KN5GLA:

    Home Owners Associations are a nightmare! Why in the world should they even care if it’s an antenna or a BBQ ? If both are the same size – cause no problems for the neighbors and are not posing a threat of any nature the HOA should just shut up and go away ! The BBQ is far more inherently dangerous than a Radio Antenna. I’ve seen one go up – and the propane tank makes a nice little POP when they catch fire.
    It’s time some HOA’s woke up and smelled the roses !!!

  • Bill K7BRR:

    I have the MFJ-1786, I bought iy used two years ago at a hamfest.

    I think you made the right choice, I have wanted 40 meter coverage.

    I am very pleased with the 20 meter and above antenna though.


  • Joel N3GSE:


    The MFJ 1918 is of interest to me. Do the legs extend out to just one long distance or can it be used to have the legs extended to shorter distances? The reason I ask is because if the ground is not perfectly level then adjustable legs could be an asset.

    Joel – N3GSE

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Gary, I guess the condo cop’s as I call them are part of the gig when you knowingly move into a condo. In our condo’s that is a natural gas line out on the balcony for BBQ’s thus the antenna under a BBQ cover will not seem out of place.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hi Bill, your the second reader that has commented on wanting the 1788 after getting the 1786. I am please to hear the good reports on both antennas with regards to transmit and receive.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Joel. I will have to post about it when the antenna comes in as the tripod is at the ham dealer waiting for the antenna to come in. This way I can pick it up all in one trip. A very good question non the less and if anyone who reads this blog and can help Joel out with an answer that would be great.

  • Todd KD0TLS:

    I’m glad that you settled on an option. I can confirm that the Comet ribbon is, in fact, not rugged. A good idea is to tape it into the door jamb with a penny on either side to prevent the door from completely closing, because it sounds as if you are going to leave it there full-time.

    As far as the tripod, that looks similar to the one I bought from the K1CRA store. It’s stable enough, but you might want to put a sand bag (or a reasonable facsimile) on the bottom vertex. It sounds as if your balcony is mostly sheltered, though.

    Nobody will question a grill, but be aware of the risk of having a loop (with the voltages involved at the capacitive end) near a gas line. I doubt that you’re that reckless, but I’ll feel bad if something happened and I didn’t point it out.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Todd, thanks for the info on the ribbon cable and I was planning on only using it when operating. I will however use the penny idea so the door will not completely close on the ribbon cable. It is very expensive and I’m not wanting to cut it in half anytime soon. I planed on putting something on the bottom of the tripod as it does get windy. As for the gas line it is at the opposite end of the balcony which is about 8 feet away.

  • Charles N1CAI:

    I just wanted to note that the comet ribbon has preformed well for me though mine goes through a window I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The tripod is a great idea and I have put mine through it paces with SOTA activations its legs are not individually adjusted they are one unit that slide up and down when extended 73s let us know how it works out
    Charles N1CAI

  • Terry VE3TKB:

    The MFJ-1786/88 is an ok antenna in tight places. I like the BBQ cover Idea too. A friend just purchased one and has it on his main floor apartment yard. I hope he gets a BBQ cover for it because it can develop lethal voltages. There are lots of kids here and they play in the common areas. As far as the lease goes here all it really takes is one complaint to the Building Manager and one to the city. Safety first. Always. Anyways enjoy your antenna!

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