eHam Forums => Company Reviews => Topic started by: W4VR on December 06, 2012, 07:47:14 AM

Title: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: W4VR on December 06, 2012, 07:47:14 AM
I've only purchased 3 items from them over the years.

The first item was an an MFJ 259 antenna analyzer.  The meter kept sticking, so I returned it and bought an AEA antenna analyzer.

The second item was an Ameritron ATR-30 antenna tuner.  After a few months the rotary inductor would skip while turning it.  They sent me a new inductor which I installed myself.  The original inductor had the wrong type of coating on it.

The third item was an Ameritron ICP-240 in-rush current protection outlet.  The first time I used it the relay was chattering.  I had to take the relay apart and place two small strips of electrical tape on the relay arm hinge to cure the problem.  There was too much play where the relay arm attaches to the relay boday.

In summary, their QC needs to improve.  If the first and third items would have been checked out after construction they would have caught the deficiencies.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: KH6AQ on December 07, 2012, 12:37:41 PM
I've only purchased 30 items from them over the years.

One was defective while the rest were fine.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: KQ6Q on December 11, 2012, 08:32:50 PM
I've had an MFJ antenna tuner, and local and remote coax switches, power distribution strips, no problems. I tried the QRP Cub radio - not the kit - and it was very deaf. Bought some tuning wands to try and fix it - couldn't. took it back to HRO, they tried their others from stock, put them on antenna, and same results. Got a refund. Decided to go first class, got an Icom 703 for QRP. If MFJ makes what I need, I'll still try it first.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: KD2CJJ on December 15, 2012, 07:32:00 AM
I also agree, their quality control is horrible - My Mag Loops control box, one of the tune buttons did not work at all.  This is my first experience with MFJ.  Just about everyone in my club tries their very best to stay away from MFJ at all cost... Everyone has some story about an issue with a MFJ product.  I have had many discussions on this with my club members - we are all sadden since MFJ offers such great products; some are also sadden by this since MFJ bought many great companies in which the products quality has dropped (ie cushcraft)... 

MFJ - get your act together!  Focus on Quality and Customer service! 

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: K9FV on December 19, 2012, 06:41:49 AM
"quality control is horrible"
  Yep, there is some merit in that statement, BUT - MFJ does have many nice products and the price is right - compared to many products.  I've owned several MFJ products - as well as other "Starkville" made products.

All in all - I'm VERY glad the company is in business.  They've managed to  bring many products for ham radio into the price range of the average person.

So, here's an "ATTA BOY" for the company - while recognizing the problems.  At least almost all their products are MADE IN USA!!!

73 de Ken H>

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: WN2C on December 19, 2012, 04:16:37 PM
I don't ever remember having a problem with an MFJ product or any of their Sister companies.  In fact, after purchasing a used 949B tuner and using it to tune a Van Gordon all bander fed by a Drake TR-4C, I arced the tuning capacitor to the chassis (lots of volts in that TR4)  I called MFJ and the person I talked to said that model didn't have Teflon bushings on the cap shaft ends. He sent me several for nothing including postage. Just sent them out and had them in several days USPS.  A lot of people talk bad about MFJ but I also received a bad, out of the box Icom 7000.  So it can happen anywhere with any company.  What is important is what the company does about it to fix it, what ever the problem is.   

de wn2c  Rick

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: KE2TR on December 20, 2012, 05:34:49 AM
I have owned a few MFJ/Ameritron products, two of the MFJ antenna analyzer's that were OK for doing backyard antenna work, if you want them to work better try aligning them first cause there always off outa the box. The MFJ 989D antenna tuner has be fine but here again outa the box I had to re align the turns counter with the inductor for proper non skip operation, but the tuner tunes fine and works well plus the meter work fairly well. As far as amps go I have owned an AL1200(pre MFJ), AL1500 and AL80B that were from the MFJ plant, the amps work well but I do go over all the soldering work real well before I install a plug on the ac cord and that has been all that I have had to do. There amp's are good value but as a company there QC could use improvement on all the MFJ products but they have been in the radio biz a long time.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: K1CJS on December 20, 2012, 01:34:03 PM
Yeah, and if they DID tighten up quality control and manufacturing, you complainers would be b*tchin' about how much their stuff costs.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: WA2OLZ on December 20, 2012, 05:23:17 PM
Yeah, and if they DID tighten up quality control and manufacturing, you complainers would be b*tchin' about how much their stuff costs.

Some want quality; others are more interested in low price. It's a matter of preference. Don't expect Rolls Royce service if you buy a *****. Maybe you can buy multiple *****s for the price of one Rolls. Maybe you want to buy once and it lasts for a lifetime. Personally, I .... oh, never mind.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: N1CX on December 22, 2012, 04:06:12 PM
I think MFJ does a pretty good job. Sure lots bash them but Martin Jue is a smart dood and does a pretty good job imo supplying affordable stuff for hams.

I've owned a 259b for many years. It's in a stock mfj case. It's been dropped so many times I can't remember. The knobs have been broken off, the case has been dented, the battery tray has been ripped out, screws fall out, doors slammed on it in my van, in short it's been abused like no tomorrow.

After all this, I've replaced the batteries once. It's currently on the way back from the factory for repair and alignment and another battery replacement. They charged me $75 yesterday.

Who can complain about that. Not me. A fair wage for a repair for a handy little instrument that's saved me hundreds of hours of labor.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: W9KDX on January 18, 2013, 12:06:29 PM
I avoid their products when at all possible.  If there is anything else from a manufacturer with Quality Control within 130% of the MFJ price, I buy from them.  Whenever there is no other choice, I factor the cost of return shipping into the purchase price.  That way, I save a lot of anger and disappointment. 

So far, that system has worked pretty well.

Title: RE: MFJ/Ameritron
Post by: KA7NIQ on January 18, 2013, 10:01:15 PM
I've only purchased 30 items from them over the years.

One was defective while the rest were fine.

I too have owned several MFJ/Ameritron items, over 27 years of being a Ham.
I think maybe I have had one or two minor problems, that were taken care of cheerfully.
Most were tuners, and all did the job they were bought for.
Their big W8JI designed Ameritron 2kw Tuner was an awesome Tuner.
I felt it was sort of a bargain, considering what it cost, and how well it worked.
It seems "MFJ Bashing" down on 75 Meters is sort of a "male bonding" type of activity ?
Some Hams seem almost apologetic when admitting they are using MFJ gear.

Ameritron seems to have more respect on the air than MFJ, but I still hear Ameritron being dogged by some Hams.

It is true, the overall quality of MFJ/Ameritron is not up to the level of PAL Star or Alpha. But then, it does not cost what Pal Star Tuners or Alpha Amplifiers do.

I think, for the price, it is quite good stuff, and in many cases, as good as it needs to be, for many Hams.