Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 [13] 14 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ameritron ALS-500 / MFJ Quality Lacks  (Read 55753 times)
K3STX
Member

Posts: 981




Ignore
« Reply #180 on: October 10, 2012, 11:35:18 AM »

There are other companies who sell products in those kind of volumes and do not have the bad reputation that MFJ has.

Name one.
Logged
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #181 on: October 10, 2012, 01:04:49 PM »

There are other companies who sell products in those kind of volumes and do not have the bad reputation that MFJ has.

Name one.

I was not restricting it to companies that only make Ham radio products. 

So you think it is OK to have poor quality since MFJ makes a lot of Ham radio products?

Gene
Logged
W5JON
Member

Posts: 167




Ignore
« Reply #182 on: October 10, 2012, 01:25:23 PM »

There are other companies who sell products in those kind of volumes and do not have the bad reputation that MFJ has.

Name one.

To name a couple,  Motorola, Kenwood and other companies that deal in Two-way Land Mobile RADIO and other COMMUNICATION products.  Granted that the price point are completely different, but we were talking lack of QC because of VOLUME SOLD.

73,

John W5JON
   
Logged
K3STX
Member

Posts: 981




Ignore
« Reply #183 on: October 10, 2012, 01:38:15 PM »

I think the price point is the main difference. I suspect MFJ hires minimum wage workers, no union, no benefits, etc... But I could be wrong. IF MFJ has a 5% "failure" rate, do you think that is any worse than Motorola or Kenwood? I have no idea?

I am not defending MFJ, but they sell TONS of stuff and I suspect the vast majority of it is fine. You primarily hear about the stuff that DOESN'T work. I suppose many of you would disagree and seem to suggest that the MAJORITY of MFJ/Ameritron products have shoddy workmanship/defective. I have never had a single problem with MFJ/Ameritron. On the other hand, I have bought two new Honda cars, and each of them had to be returned to the dealer to have issues fixed. Does that mean that Honda QC is worse than MFJ? Of course not, my experience is only n=2 for Honda and n=8 for MFJ.

Everyone agrees that splattered solder/cold joints/etc... are bad. What are we arguing about? If we concede that most products work fine, but some do not and while the "do not work" is HORRIBLE for the end user, if the "do not" percentage is within the realm of "normal" for dirt-cheap products for Hams then it is just people complaining. I think "you get what you pay for" is appropriate here.

Just my thoughts.

paul
Logged
W5JON
Member

Posts: 167




Ignore
« Reply #184 on: October 10, 2012, 02:08:26 PM »

Hi Paul,

To a certain extent I agree.  However, there are those that feel and OFTEN state, that the vast majority of the EHam reviews are submitted by the hotheads, complainers, malcontents, non-tech idiots, and those with an agenda, and are without value.  If that was the case, SEEMS TO ME  the rating of 0-3 would far out number the 4 and 5 ratings.  Take a look at the review check the number of 0-3 verses the 4-5 rating.  If the "hothead" theory is correct the 4-5 would be rare and 0-3 would be common, but it is the exact OPPOSITE.  It just SEEMS TO ME that MFJ products when reviewed, regularly get a 0-3 rating, which is against the norm. Just my unscientific SEEMS TO ME observation.

73,

John  W5JON
Logged
W6UV
Member

Posts: 538




Ignore
« Reply #185 on: October 10, 2012, 02:28:14 PM »

I think the price point is the main difference. I suspect MFJ hires minimum wage workers, no union, no benefits, etc...

For an idea of what the MFJ factory is like, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_J4ax3RzX4

The factory tour starts at 29:12.

Logged
W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #186 on: October 10, 2012, 05:12:08 PM »

Part of the problem is MFJ could do a lot better on QC, and Motorola is stellar, but we can't go outside the amateur market because of other differences. All of this is common sense.

Hams would never pay the same overhead and mark up for gear, so it is an unreasonable comparison.

That aside, MFJ sells Ham gear to Hams. This makes it an even sillier comparison. The few random repair people who work on Ham gear are Hams. Everyone who buys Ham gear usually gets to tune and install. So any problem makes it to Ham forums.

Motorola sells to commercial, they are usually installed by factory authorized vendors. It is unlikely the local Sheriff gets on eHam or patrolmen install them, and you would never see a Motorola tech spending a year dissing Motorola even if there was a problem.

I understand it is a waste of time to say this to a few people, but I think most people understand the only way to track percentage of problems in QC is to monitor repairs or tech calls on the output. It is impossible to do it any other way, because the very nature of a complaint is the thing that has a problem gets all the publicity.

This really is very easy and simple to understand.

For example, there was a personal change and re-education back in spring. There is no way to account for the effect of that in the field with random samples that are not tracked to S/N's or DOP.

I have the hard numbers for the problems as a percentage up to a date, and I posted it.

I think the AL811 alone is in the 25,000 series number range, and the AL811H is similar. Around 90% or more of the failures in those are tubes, which no amount of practical QC could change. That's the price of a 65 watt dissipation tube made in China, tuned by mostly first time amplifier owners.

Now certainly things could get better, and there is no reason for solder splashes floating around ever, but the fact remains looking at a forum really does not paint a complete picture.

For example, one of the most vocal complainers now is KE5JPP. How many Ameritron amplifiers have you owned, JPP, and what was wrong with them?

73 Tom
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 05:14:54 PM by W8JI » Logged
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #187 on: October 10, 2012, 06:18:55 PM »

For example, one of the most vocal complainers now is KE5JPP. How many Ameritron amplifiers have you owned, JPP, and what was wrong with them?
73 Tom

Ha ha... that's funny Tom.  I have rarely mentioned MFJ in past threads and the only reason I responded to this thread is due to your unfounded bashing of N4ATS in attempt to protect your business interests with MFJ/Ameritron.  Otherwise I would have not said anything.

I have owned two Ameritron amps, an AL-82 and a AL-800H - I had no trouble with either of them.  However, I did not purchase them new, I purchased them used from guys I personally know.  The first Ameritron amp had two trips back to the factory when it was purchased new before it worked.  The second amplifier was DOA from the factory and the owner repaired the problem himself caused by poor assembly practices.  After both of these amps were repaired and the problems worked out, they gave excellent service to the original owners and I knew that they would also be fine second hand amps for me. 

I would not purchase an Ameritron amp new from the factory due to MFJ/Ameritron's bad track record of quality.  I don't need to headache of effecting my own repairs on a new amp or shipping it back multiple times to have the factory fix them.

Gene
Logged
K0BT
Member

Posts: 184




Ignore
« Reply #188 on: October 11, 2012, 01:50:34 PM »

I have at times been a harsh critic of MFJ quality control.  For example, my brand new 989D had problems out of the box - all of which were due to poor assembly and soldering.  I was pretty unhappy.

On the other hand, I contacted MFJ and they immediately sent me the parts I needed and they had no problem at all with me taking the tuner apart and fixing it without voiding the warranty.  It has since been bullet proof.  It works well and was a reasonable price.

I see both sides of this discussion.  I worked as a bench tech years ago and learned way too much about "infant mortality" in electronics gear.  My brand new brand-name transceiver had a problem.  I had to send it off to have it fixed, was without the radio for three weeks, and had to pay shipping one way.

I think I was happier with the MFJ experience.  It left me in control of the repair and I didn't void the warranty by trying to fix it.  If I had messed up, MFJ would have still honored the warranty.  That last point is why I'm still happy to buy MFJ equipment, even though I've owned my fair share of DOA MFJ products over the years.  How many manufacturers will meet you halfway and still honor their warranty without knowing if you are even qualified to try to fix the unit? 

Logged
N4CR
Member

Posts: 1666




Ignore
« Reply #189 on: October 11, 2012, 03:49:46 PM »

Tom, do you think there would be a market for MFJ amplifiers that were burned in, tested under power for a week, gone over with a fine toothed comb and then sold at a higher price?

An extra fee for the burn-in service and extreme QC? This would satisfy those who were willing to pay for more QC without causing all of us to pay for systemwide highly elevated QC.

Just a thought.
Logged

73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
W8JI
Member

Posts: 9296


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #190 on: October 11, 2012, 06:14:34 PM »

Tom, do you think there would be a market for MFJ amplifiers that were burned in, tested under power for a week, gone over with a fine toothed comb and then sold at a higher price?

An extra fee for the burn-in service and extreme QC? This would satisfy those who were willing to pay for more QC without causing all of us to pay for systemwide highly elevated QC.

Just a thought.

I'm not sure what the trouble rate is at MFJ, but at Ameritron it was about 4% over the past 2 years excluding tubes, 7% if tube failures in warranty are counted. That's certainly high enough to cause this type of backlash. A dramatic QC process might get that down to 2-3%, but I'm not sure it is worth it.

The worse part of this is the reputation stigma or damage. We ran nearly 0% assembly issues at Prime, but shipping and component failures made it around 1-2%. It will never get to that level today because of tubes. Prime did have a nearly 100% failure rate for a long period of time in 8877 tubes, but eventually Eimac fixed that issue.

The worse thing about something like this is no amount of correction will fix past problems, which in the amateur market live on endlessly from multiple people often referring to the same particular unit.     
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6039




Ignore
« Reply #191 on: October 11, 2012, 07:08:21 PM »

Here is something I learned while working at Tektronix:

Go for quality and profits will follow.

Go for profits and you will have neither profits or quality.
Logged
N4CR
Member

Posts: 1666




Ignore
« Reply #192 on: October 11, 2012, 07:10:35 PM »

The worse thing about something like this is no amount of correction will fix past problems, which in the amateur market live on endlessly from multiple people often referring to the same particular unit.    

Sorry, I meant Ameritron.

It can be turned around.

There was a time that "Made in Japan" meant "cheap junk". Now it means it's the best you can find anywhere.

But it was no easy thing to do and it's not an overnight process even if perfection begins tomorrow morning.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 07:19:27 PM by N4CR » Logged

73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
N4CR
Member

Posts: 1666




Ignore
« Reply #193 on: October 11, 2012, 07:17:08 PM »

Here is something I learned while working at Tektronix:

Go for quality and profits will follow.

Go for profits and you will have neither profits or quality.

I work for Walt Disney World. That's pretty much been our goal for as long as I can remember. It's obvious that our profits and quality are among the best in the world.

I love working there. Our quest for the near impossible is pretty well known. It's fun going for the smallest of the brass rings and at the same time it's very very challenging. I'm never bored working there.
Logged

73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
W9PMZ
Member

Posts: 573


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #194 on: October 12, 2012, 03:56:35 AM »

"Tom, do you think there would be a market for MFJ amplifiers that were burned in, tested under power for a week, gone over with a fine toothed comb and then sold at a higher price?"

ugh, the burn-in costs...

An example that I have personally seen, for a $1000 product, when you factor burn-in into the cost it is in the range of 25% to 30%.

So would I buy a unit for $1000 or $700?  $700 hands down and accept the risk. 

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 [13] 14 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!