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Author Topic: MFJ transceivers  (Read 8390 times)
K0YHV
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Posts: 179




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« on: June 14, 2012, 01:28:07 PM »

Does anyone know where the MFJ single band transceivers are manufactured?  These are the CW or SSB radios that have been selling like forever, not the recent multiband unit that obviously is from China.  Are their standard transceivers made in the US or somewhere overseas?

John AF5CC
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W5CYF
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 05:15:37 PM »

John,

If you are referring to the 9400 series, those are manufactured right here in Mississippi, not to far from my QTH. 

I’ve owned the 9420 w/cw board and it was a fun radio.  Very rugged with a good receiver. While not true QRP since it puts out ~10 watts, it can be turned down to 5 watts with a few simple settings.  The radio really reaches out.   However, be aware the tuner is analog so tuning is a little sensitive.  Easy to get used to though.

Only reason I got rid of mine was to trade for an ICOM 703 that is a multi band rig, even still the little MFJ was a heck of a radio!

73/John  W5CYF
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K0YHV
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 09:29:29 PM »

John,

Thanks for the information. Yes, that was the series I was referring to.  Great to see they are still made in the USA!

John AF5CC
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K4FMH
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Posts: 255




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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 06:23:24 AM »

John AF5CC,

You may be surprised to learn that 90% of ALL of MFJ's products are made or assembled in Starkville, MS! A few items like clocks or watches are imported as are vacuum tubes (China or Russia). We no longer have any vacuum tube manufacturers in the US. MFJ also makes parts or OEM items for some other companies. If you ever get to Mississippi, you'd be welcomed to take a tour!

Frank
K4FMH
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KATEKEBO
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 12:50:44 PM »

Great to see they are still made in the USA!

John AF5CC

Not sure if made in USA is a good thing.

I purchased an MFJ-9420 directly from MFJ about a year ago, and it was defective.  MFJ replaced the unit under warranty and the second sample was DOA.  Returned it for a full refund.  Bought a third unit from AES and this one was badly misaligned but at least usable.  After spending about an hour aligning the radio I got it to perform acceptably, albeit the output power is still slightly below specs.

I own several MFJ products and I appreciate the fact that they are affordable, simple and rugged.  Sometimes, MFJ is the only option in the price range.  But the quality is lacking big time.  Most of MFJ products I have purchased require some attention to make the "right".

Never had a similar problem with imported radio equipment.  Even the so maligned Chinese quality is, on average, much better than MFJ.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 255




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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 07:49:56 PM »

KateKebo:

Sounds like you prefer imported equipment. That's great!

Frank
K4FMH
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W4FID
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Posts: 133




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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 05:49:42 AM »

I had a 9440 with the CW board as my only HF radio for a while. Had a mobile whip dipole at 18 feet -- lower than the second story of my aluminum sided townhouse and under trees about 60 feet high. Had a great time with it. Loved it. SSB QSOs at 300 miles were common and solid most days. Evening CW there was no limit to whom and how far I could work and how much fun I could have.

Had the 9420 too. It was fun and I enjoyed it too but I often got "squashed" by the big guys of which 20 has a lot. The radio was just as good and as much fun as the 40M one; but the band wasn't as good for lower power/modest antenna operation. No doubt why 30 and 17 are so popular with the QRP gang.

Both rigs were well used when I got them but worked better than advertised or expected. Simple. Fun. Rugged and totally reliable. For any single band you prefer they are a great choice as well as being about as inexpensive as you can go -- but if you're going to have 2 or 3 of them for 2 or 3 bands you are in the $$ range for an IC-703, FT-817, used older TenTec, etc and the choice is less clear.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 07:22:09 AM »

John AF5CC,

You may be surprised to learn that 90% of ALL of MFJ's products are made or assembled in Starkville, MS! A few items like clocks or watches are imported as are vacuum tubes (China or Russia). We no longer have any vacuum tube manufacturers in the US. MFJ also makes parts or OEM items for some other companies. If you ever get to Mississippi, you'd be welcomed to take a tour!

Frank
K4FMH

Western Electric still produces limited runs of tubes for Class-A audio amps in Chattanooga, but they're the only ones I've heard about. Not terribly cheap, either Smiley
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KD1XH
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 02:59:47 AM »

I thought about checking out one of these rigs but from the reviews it seems like just about everyone had to get their first one replaced due to defectiveness!
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1235




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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 01:22:41 PM »

I thought about checking out one of these rigs but from the reviews it seems like just about everyone had to get their first one replaced due to defectiveness!

On the ham discussion websites, you'll hear a lot of people complaining about MFJ products.  Beats me why.  My first piece of new ham equipment was an MFJ antenna tuner, over 20 years ago, and it's still working perfectly.  I'm mostly using a new MFJ automatic tuner, now--and that worked perfectly well out of the box, too.   I've owned MFJ tuners, paddles, keyers, power supplies, mobile antennas and accessories, and that *great* MFJ-259 antenna analyzer.  I'm glad to have good American-made ham products at good prices.  And I bet most of us satisfied MFJ owners spend more time having fun with our radios, than we do whining and complaining about MFJ on websites.  And you're welcome to quote me on that.   --ken ac4rd
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WY4J
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 03:35:48 PM »

Funny how we chant that how much we want and will buy MADE IN THE USA products but will turn around and criticize MFJ and American workers. Well, in the 36 years I have been a ham I have owned many products made by MFJ and its sister companies and have never and I mean never have had a problem. MFJ a a great company, who makes great products, employs many Americans, invests its profits in their community and has saved many great names that would have disappeared if MFJ had not bought then out. So cut this great company some slack and praise them for all they have done for our hobby. Or you can send your money to China, Russia, Japan, Italy, etc and help boost their economies.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 08:53:09 PM »

I totally agree with the last two posts and have had the same good experience with all MFJ products, even the used MFJ gear that I bought. American workers are financing the retirement benefits of many of these hams that grouse about the quality of American made products. If I were them, I would support American workers, less they disappear along with Social Security and Medicare.  Wink

I have the 9410 transceiver and it performs great! I often get "best signal of the day" reports. If I could find a 9420 at a reasonable price I would buy it.  Grin      
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:02:23 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
WA8MEA
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Posts: 264


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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 07:11:44 PM »

I have had SEVERAL of these fantastic lil' single band xcvr's, and ALL have performed beyond my expectations. (I also have purchased the CW boards for each....)

The 20 meter version would cut through pile-ups like the big boys.  The 40 meter was ample for checking into nets.  The 6 meter was great for DX....BAREFOOT.  I finally invested in a 2 meter, Mirage amp and 4 element yagi for 2 meter weak signal SSB and CW.  I was absolutely amazed at the results!  I really hated to sell the set-up, but had other bills that needed to be covered and ham radio is just a hobby.

Some days I am so tempted to get another 2 meter single bander and Mirage amp, that I'd be willing to get rid of my Ameco AC-1.  I still have that Yagi up in the air, yet it does me no good on 2 meter repeaters.  I use to use it for TV, now everything is HD.  But I keep the antenna up....just in case I do go back to 2 meter weak signal.  

BTW, I NEVER had a bad xcvr in the bunch.  All performed perfectly.  Perhaps it was because I bought from a dealer and not direct from MFJ? ? ? ?

73, Bill - WA8MEA
« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 07:13:29 PM by WA8MEA » Logged
WA8MEA
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2012, 05:21:32 PM »

Well hush my mouth and call me corn pone!  I am now an MFJ Adventure Radio victim....

I decided to go the way of another MFJ-9402 two meter SSB xcvr.  I won't state the dealer I bought it from cuz it ain't their fault.

However, it appears I either received a unit returned to MFJ and then dealt back out, a poor production model they wanted to get rid of....or a much older production model. (Copyrights on the CW module instructions and the xcvr manual were in the mid 1990's....)

I bought the CW board to go with it, just as I did before.  That didn't seem to be as straight forward as I recall a few years back.  I had to solder a choke and a red wire to a pot.  I don't think I had to do that with the previous model I owned.

However, that's not the real beef.  This rig had scratches on the top of the case, all over the front....just about everywhere!  The front panel looked poorly machined with indentations all around the perimeter.  Same for the enclosure.

I shipped it right back....without even powering it up....

73, Bill - WA8MEA  
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