MFJ’s Origins

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jack Dully, who writes:

MFJ has gone through a metamorphosis with their marketing and I thought that some radio readers might find this brief origins of MFJ interesting!

From their September 2020 Newsletter:

MFJ: Labor of Love

October, 1972.

Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon was our country’s president, The Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, The Godfather was released to cinemas, George Carlin is arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for uttering his ” Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” comedic routine, Bobby Fischer defeats Boris Spassky in a chest match in Iceland, and in the small college town of Starkville, Mississippi a young Martin Jue started MFJ Enterprises, Inc., while still teaching at Mississippi State.

Martin F. Jue built this company back in 1972 with his bare hands. There were no other employees besides himself and he had a full time teaching job at Mississippi State University. The CW-F2 was his first product. It came about through a love of ham radio and in particular Morse code.

Since it is the day after Labor Day we thought we would salute the gentleman that brought us where we are today, The World Leaders in Amateur Radio Accessories! Without Martin Jue’s undying love and hard work for his namesake business, we all wouldn’t be enjoying our years here. MFJ has never had a major layoff or shutdown for any reason. 48 years later from Martin Jue’s single man company, we own four other businesses, have a tremendous product line and some of the most wonderful folks building ham radio toys under MFJ Enterprises, Inc.

Thanks again Martin Jue for your Labor of Love, MFJ the business. We are all grateful to you to be a part of your very successful venture into the world of business and ham radio. Your labor of love is greatly appreciated!

The CW-F2

Produced in October 1972, the CW-F2 was designed for the big boat anchor rigs of the time to help in CW filtering. The CW-F2 could separate two CW signals and make for more enjoyable listening. Mr. Jue used to give extra credit to his students if they helped build some of these.

The MFJ-998RT

Look at how far we have come! SMT, modern metal punching and forming machines. Here are the insides of the modern MFJ-998RT, legal limit automatic remote antenna tuner.

We salute all laborers out there for a job well done, especially our front line doctors, nurses, police officers, our US military, and Army National Guard during these crazy times. We appreciate you and our many customers! God Bless You All!

BTW — If you want to build your own modern CW-F2 kit today, the product is still alive on our Vectronics kit line as a CW audio filter kit.

P.S. VEC-820K is very similar to the first product of MFJ. A CW Audio Filter kit that you can have fun building yourself and relive a little history of MFJ!

Click here to visit MFJ.

Thank you for sharing this, Jack! 

MFJ does something that few other US manufacturers can do. They still keep the majority of their manufacturing in Mississippi and they have a solid warranty. You can even reach a human being in customer service and they repair or replace their own gear. They do this while keeping their prices very competitive.

Their gear must be the most widely used here in the States. You’re hard-pressed to find a ham who hasn’t purchased from MFJ.

Their founder and president, Martin Jue, is a top-shelf fellow, too. I’ve met him a number of times. He’s an inspiring guy with an amazing story. His employees love him, too, because he’s fully invested in his company, his community and his hobby. His company has virtually no churn at all–most of his employees have been with MFJ their entire working career.

Last month, I was very proud to add MFJ as a sponsor of the SWLing Post.

Spread the radio love

7 thoughts on “MFJ’s Origins

  1. JT

    Like Mario I’ve been a customer of MFJ since its beginnings. I bet I’ve purchased more than 50 products from them over the years. Everything I’ve purchased from them works as it should and to this day much of my shack has MFJ “in between” meaning between the transceiver and antenna, between the battery and radio, and between connections. I own one of their antenna analyzers, a mag loop antenna, and a couple of antenna tuners among other things. I purchase from them without hesitation and have only had good experience with their customer service. You even get a human on the phone! What’s up with that? Hi hi.

    Thanks for all the good service, Martin!

  2. Mario

    Been a MFJ customer since the 70’s, bought many of their ham and shortwave accessories and was never disappointed. Thanks Martin for many years of great products and thanks Thomas for posting.

  3. Rob

    I’m a fan. Out of a couple dozen pieces of MFJ gear I’ve bought, everything has worked as advertised. The prices are generally good as well. “Mississippi’s Finest Jewels” sounds a little over-the-top, but after a decade of using their gear, the name does seem to fit.

  4. Mark

    I have 2 MFJ tuners, the 939 Auto tuner I use with the FT-891 and the MFJ-949E manual tuner which I got 2nd hand with the FT-77 when I got it last year when I got my license and they are great tuners.

    I love the 939, it’s really fast at tuning and it’s much, much faster than my friends LDG, the same Friend said he’s never tough anything MFJ even though he never had anything made by MFJ or another Ham friend of mine either, yet they swear they’d never buy MFJ and I take the P1ss out of them now and again to ensure them the tuners are still working. 🙂

    I like the look of MFJ stuff too.

    Their Loop tuners also get great reviews.

  5. Jake Brodsky, AB3A

    MFJ was also affectionately known as “Mighty Fine Junk” among the many hams I knew who purchased this gear. It was Ham Radio enshrined: Cheap, Functional, and with adequate, if not always stellar performance.

    1. Jason

      The “Mighty Fine Junk” acronym seems to be usually said affectionately, but with the caveat to open it up for a quick inspection of assembly or soldier joints. Their stuff usually seems to be simple and highly serviceable (as well as low cost), but a little customer quality control never hurts.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.