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Author Topic: Ameritron ALS-500 / MFJ Quality Lacks  (Read 59431 times)
KK3AN
Member

Posts: 40




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« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2012, 02:00:07 PM »

I can add two comments based only on significant personal experience with no other company aside from my own.

1) Relying purely on those with no direct personal interest or connection in the business to follow a printed QC plan, even if it's to be documented, will lead to it soon being pushed under the rug and forgotten about. This adds another level of QC work that must then be done in the final step (below).

2) I will add a #6 to Mike / K6AER's post in saying that the ultimate / final Quality Control - if it's to be completely relied upon and trusted prior to shipping - also must be done by someone with a genuine personal interest in the business.

Of course there will be exceptions to this, but again this has been my experience.

Dan  KK3AN
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N5VTU
Member

Posts: 366




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« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2012, 02:00:07 PM »

Putting aside the debate on QC at Ameritron for a moment, I've noticed colored stickers in several places inside my AL-80A that have information such as "Lee 21-2", "Lee 18-3", and "Mary 21-4" written on them.  I assumed that this was to signify that some sort of factory QA test had taken place on the unit and it was being "signed off" as it had passed a test(s).  Is my assumption of what these stickers mean incorrect.

Thanks
Stephen
N5VTU
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 508




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« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2012, 02:11:10 PM »

I own LOTS of MFJ & (1) AMERITRON items & have NEVER had an issue with ANY of them when they were NEW! The ONLY issues I've had with ANY MFJ item are a BLOWN BULB in a wattmeter every now & then as I recall & then they get replaced with an LED.Had an AMERITROM ALS-600 that spent more time at AMERITRON that in my shack but I have had VERY FEW issues with my 811H amplifier & would NOT have any issues in buying another AMERITRON or MFJ item should I need one! ALWAYS get GREAT "TECH SUPPORT" from ROB HOOD at AMERITRON when needed.  Grin

Clayton
W4KVW
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NO2A
Member

Posts: 821




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« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2012, 02:27:40 PM »

I totally agree a power up is all that`s needed,even if it`s 5 minutes. This actually brings up a potential crime being committed. You are selling a brand new product as new condition and it`s not. That`s called "Misrepresentation" if I`m correct. It`s no different then buying a new car,taking it on the highway,then having the drive shaft vibrate off at 65 m.p.h. For some unexplained reason MFJ thinks this is up to the customer to check their new equipment out. What would happen if say a high voltage power point was touching the cover and upon power up Joe ham gets shocked or killed? I suppose that`s his fault right? WRONG! The ham is only responsable for proper hook up and operation,not for making sure his new amp is safe to apply hv. Am I right?
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NK5A
Member

Posts: 18




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« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2012, 02:47:49 PM »

I don't buy MFJ junk if  I can help it. Same goes for Ameritron amps sold after the "buyout".

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K6AER
Member

Posts: 3528




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« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2012, 06:18:41 PM »

All that is needed is to give everyone involved in the product line a stake in the business. If an amplifier stayes in the field for 3 months (tubes excepted) with out problems then split $30 among the team after 3 months.

Now there is an incentive to QC and make sure amplifiers are right before they leave. The $30 would be much cheaper than the shipping one way.
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W9KDX
Member

Posts: 771




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« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2012, 08:06:01 PM »


I all fairness, Ameritron is addressing a section of the market that doesn’t want to pay for the extra overhead for higher quality. These folks want Alpha 8410’s at SB-220 prices. Is it any wonder so few engineer/hams start a business in the ham market.


Just think about that for a minute... what would you have me purchase?  I asked here before I got my 811H what other options there were and found nothing and was scolded for bad mouthing Ameritron.  I looked through catalogs and called dealers... nothing.  I considered a Tokyo Hy-Power and every dealer I spoke to tried to talk me out of it.  I would gladly have paid $1500 or more and would have accepted half the power.  I would have gladly paid $200 extra to get an 811H that had been checked over thoroughly, instead of the one I got with badly adjusted slugs.  I absolutely hate having well designed but poorly built crap in the shack.

So far I am lucky, maybe mine was built by one of those rare individuals who still care about their work, but I have already budgeted the buck for a major repair and obscene shipping costs.

And I have yet to see that "great" customer service.  All the email questions I have posted have come back with unclear and sometimes just bad answers.  According to Ameritron there are no wrong settings on a 102 pulse tuner and most of the instructions for tuning my 811H are not right.  And the $3 coil adjusting too, for which I paid $5 to get shipped (keeping in mind I needed this to finish the adjustments that were never done at the factory) arrived POSTAGE DUE!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 08:13:34 PM by KD0PLD » Logged

Sam
W9KDX
ZENKI
Member

Posts: 980




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« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2012, 12:56:32 AM »

Maybe Ameritron should introduce kit amplifiers either as full kits or a series of  per-assembled amp modules. With a decent manual most of the poor workmanship could be checked for and corrected. The savings made could well mute all the criticism of the poor quality control that  can be corrected by most hams.
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AB1KC
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2012, 04:51:51 AM »

I like that idea!
I'd buy one just to learn from the process of building it. One of my favorite radio purchases was my K3, mostly because I loved building the radio! I did not keep it as it was not my "cup of tea" but thus another story....
Bruce
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VE7RF
Member

Posts: 212




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« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2012, 05:41:17 AM »

Maybe Ameritron should introduce kit amplifiers either as full kits or a series of  per-assembled amp modules. With a decent manual most of the poor workmanship could be checked for and corrected. The savings made could well mute all the criticism of the poor quality control that  can be corrected by most hams.

##  Zenki, you are a genius.  You just nailed it !   Ameritron could lay off  3/4 of their staff, and Jue's  profit's would soar.  No more complaints about QC either.  Now just find the guys who wrote the superb Heath manuals...and Ameritron is set for life.  Everybody enjoyed building heathkits back in the 60's and 70's.  I built 7 of them, I enjoyed that.  It's better than HB..since you don't have any metal fabrication or hole punching to do, nor procuring parts.  I'd buy one in an instant, just for the fun of it. Since you build it urself you also make sure it's done precisely. When it doesn't work, you also get to de bug it...and see where you made any error's. After that, if it ever conks out, since you built it, you will also know how to repair it too.  If you don't like building kits, there will always be a 1/2 doz guys itching to build it for you..for free.  

##  It's a brilliant concept.  Keep it real simple..maybe a Kit version of an AL-1500, and perhaps an AL-80B as well.  A 6M monoband tube amp would round it out.    Tube amps are just labour intensive point to point wiring anyway.   It's a great idea.  They should go for it. If they don't do it..somebody else should.

later... Jim  VE7RF
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3958




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« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2012, 09:17:33 AM »

7RF:  Apparently you've never read any of W8JI's comments about the headaches Heath Co. dealt with in helping or correcting mistakes and problems with their kits.

Selling amplifier kits would create a headache for Martin Jue that no amount of pain medication could correct!

I worked for a paper manufacturing company for over 40 years and was familiar with their QC and what happened when something got past them or what happened when they let a problem slide.  Believe me, it isn't pretty!

I personally believe that Jue's problems with his products is simply caused by hiring people with no skills, have no incentive to improve their skills because of poor wages, personal attitude or level of mentality. I understand the profit margin on ham gear is pretty low but I can't help but believe that a competent QC department would increase profits created by a good reputation and fewer expensive returns.  It would also reduce manpower or manhours in the "fix this screw up" department. 

We used to have a saying, "If we don't have the time to do it right, where are we going to find the time to do it over?"

 
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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 845




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« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2012, 11:44:17 AM »

Look at the "latest" post on eHam under AL-811 here....

http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/107540

"I had a minor problem initially with the amp (T/R relay that didn't give full receive on occasion.) On the advise of an Ameritron Tech, I cycled the relay a few hundred times and now all is well."

Ok , well then... I'll bet the relay has near zero travel as described above....So the 4% just went to 5%? Geeze...
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W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

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« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2012, 07:41:22 PM »

Look at the "latest" post on eHam under AL-811 here....

http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/107540

"I had a minor problem initially with the amp (T/R relay that didn't give full receive on occasion.) On the advise of an Ameritron Tech, I cycled the relay a few hundred times and now all is well."

Ok , well then... I'll bet the relay has near zero travel as described above....So the 4% just went to 5%? Geeze...

The relay in the AL811 is sealed, and has been a long time.

If you service so many, as you claim, why don't you know that?

The reason the relay needs cycled is contaminants on the contacts from sitting unused, and a lack of wetting current on receive. Cycling the contacts wipes them clean, although the preffered system would be to apply a little bias current during the cycle.

This receive loss has been a problem in EVERY amplifier made outside of systems using vacuum relays. It has a been a known headache for telco compnaies and others for years.

I suspect this is really just some campaign you are on, because if you do the work you claim to do, you would also know the relays are sealed relays and have been for years.

73 Tom

« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 07:44:53 PM by W8JI » Logged
W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

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« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2012, 07:49:38 PM »

7RF:  Apparently you've never read any of W8JI's comments about the headaches Heath Co. dealt with in helping or correcting mistakes and problems with their kits.

Selling amplifier kits would create a headache for Martin Jue that no amount of pain medication could correct!

I worked for a paper manufacturing company for over 40 years and was familiar with their QC and what happened when something got past them or what happened when they let a problem slide.  Believe me, it isn't pretty!

I personally believe that Jue's problems with his products is simply caused by hiring people with no skills, have no incentive to improve their skills because of poor wages, personal attitude or level of mentality. I understand the profit margin on ham gear is pretty low but I can't help but believe that a competent QC department would increase profits created by a good reputation and fewer expensive returns.  It would also reduce manpower or manhours in the "fix this screw up" department.  

We used to have a saying, "If we don't have the time to do it right, where are we going to find the time to do it over?"

 

Heath's costs  were far above Ameritron's costs per amplifier, and service was a real PITA. For a while my business did customer returns of amateur gear, and we got out of it fast. It took hours to go back through most returns.

The fastest way to go out of business is to sell a complex, expensive, kit into the Ham market. Heath failed, and so did Amp Supply.

I'm not sure how severe the problem is, because a lot of this seems to be intentionally exaggerated just to troll.
I do know there were some issues because the person in charge to be gone for a while, and someone from another area was abruptly moved in.

It's just my opinion, but I think some of this thread is motivated mostly to make problems. That makes it difficult to gather much that is helpful or factual.

73 Tom
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 08:05:34 PM by W8JI » Logged
W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

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« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2012, 07:55:13 PM »

Putting aside the debate on QC at Ameritron for a moment, I've noticed colored stickers in several places inside my AL-80A that have information such as "Lee 21-2", "Lee 18-3", and "Mary 21-4" written on them.  I assumed that this was to signify that some sort of factory QA test had taken place on the unit and it was being "signed off" as it had passed a test(s).  Is my assumption of what these stickers mean incorrect.

Thanks
Stephen
N5VTU

Those are the inspection stickers Stephen.

The serial number also allows any mistakes to be traced back to the persons responsible.

73 Tom
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