Monday, June 13, 2011

MFJ-9440 QRP 40m SSB Transceiver

Back in February I ordered a low power SSB transceiver from MFJ, the MFJ-9440. In June it arrived!

Front with mic

They have versions for 75m, 40m, 20m and 10m. For US$260, you get a simple transceiver that draws low current (100mA) on receive (attractive for long listening on battery power) and puts out about 5W on transmit. The design is by K1BQT, Fred Littlefield, and is well regarded.

Construction is solid and it looks like it could survive a bit of travel without any bits dropping off. Internally it's largely surface mount which should be very robust.


Receive sensitivity is adequate but not as good as other radios here. Given the low power output I can probably only contact people who are very strong anyway. There's plenty of receive audio volume available, but there is some hiss behind it.

Coverage comes set to about 7.15Mhz to 7.35 so I shifted mine down and re-peaked the receiver.

This afternoon, I called CQ and was quickly answered by Peter, VK2NEO located in Griffith who gave me a 5 and S9 (although there was some fading). We had a good chat during which he reported that I was slowly drifting "towards 20m" but that transmit audio was "excellent".

Manly Warringah 80m sked contact Brian, VK2JE, also popped up, based near Taree and also gave a good report.

I'm pleased with the radio, it's fun to use a simple analog VFO controlled rig for a change and to not have all the buttons and menus.

It did take a long time to arrive and the front panel is a little rough in both printing and the dial pointer is slightly damaged. The meter doesn't seem to show my transmit power very much for some reason but an external meter shows about 5W peak output.

Dial closeup

It's a fun edition to the shack and the price is reasonable. Thanks to Peter and Brian for responding so quickly to my CQ on 40m. You can read the manual here.


Anonymous said...

On transmit, the meter indicates ALC, not power out. I have one of these gems and enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Great little radio. I have the 80 and 40 meter models from a few years back without the fine tune. I wish I could find the schematic of mine and the newer ones to add the fine tune control to my units.

Madison, MS

Anonymous said...

I have the 9420 and love the thing. After 15 minutes mine is very stable and does not drift, It puts out 7 watts on peaks. Along with the 971 tuner it is a great travel package. Did have to do some tweaking on it when I first got it.73 ki0ad

Peter Marks said...

Thanks ki0ad,

what "tweaking" did you do?