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Author Topic: MFJ - What more can be said...  (Read 74422 times)
KE7TMA
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Posts: 459




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« Reply #105 on: December 06, 2013, 04:25:05 PM »

All this gum flapping and reputation management won't help out MFJ.  What would, is an increase in quality.

People don't make complaints like this about most other amateur equipment companies.  Is it because of some irrational hate of Mr. Jue?  Doubtful, it's probably just long experience with MFJ's beleaguered quality control process.

When somebody buys a piece of equipment from a business, they expect it to arrive in good condition without having to even inspect it.  MFJ isn't operating a charity, sending us free stuff in exchange for good wishes.  They are in business and their business practices are well known at this point - sell cheap stuff that has very little care put into the building process.  This might be acceptable for some products, but many MFJ products carry or produce high voltages, currents, or both, and lax QC could be deadly.  Refer to the ARRL review of the MFJ tuner a few months back - it arrived with serious problems, and when the reviewer sent it back, the initial problems were solved but the knob was shitted up during the repair process, and returned to him in that state!  Still, he gives it a favorable review.  From my perspective the ARRL reviewer simultaneously told me that MFJ sucks AND I can't trust the ARRL reviews.  Valuable information but hardly up to snuff.  At least we know that the ARRL bows to commercial interests, as well as having our suspicions about MFJ corroborated.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #106 on: December 07, 2013, 10:46:17 AM »

  Let's see, MFJ has been in business 41 years (on American soil) still putting out a 138 pg. catalogue, adding other brands, hasn't had to accept any Government bail outs and still there are folks here preaching to the choir. Apparently there are quite a few hams out there who can accept MFJ/products for what they are and are glad to do so.
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KB2HSH
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Posts: 216


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« Reply #107 on: December 24, 2013, 07:01:39 AM »

Bought my 941E tuner new from HRO in 1995.  The ONLY issue I ever had was the tiny little lightbulb inside broke...and that was due to a heavy-handed buddy at Field Day 2009.  Owned 9440 and 9420 SSB rigs.  Miss the 40m one.  Have the 2-Port antenna switch and even an ARCHAIC CWF-2...and they ALL work!

To each their own.

KB2HSH
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K9AIM
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Posts: 947




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« Reply #108 on: December 24, 2013, 07:53:46 AM »

  Let's see, MFJ has been in business 41 years (on American soil) still putting out a 138 pg. catalogue, adding other brands, hasn't had to accept any Government bail outs and still there are folks here preaching to the choir. Apparently there are quite a few hams out there who can accept MFJ/products for what they are and are glad to do so.

Well, I would not put them in the same unfavorable category as the big-bail-us-out-banks, but too often their quality leads one to think their phonetic equivalent might be Mostly Faulty Junk
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W1JKA
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« Reply #109 on: December 24, 2013, 08:54:28 AM »

Re: K9AIM

If I'm not mistaken I believe the correct phonetic equivalent of MFJ is [Mississippi's FINEST Junk] and the majority of hams are well aware of MFJ's short comings and know how to deal with it. Let's see how many more can say some more.
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #110 on: December 24, 2013, 09:13:10 AM »

  Let's see, MFJ has been in business 41 years (on American soil) still putting out a 138 pg. catalogue, adding other brands, hasn't had to accept any Government bail outs ...

JKA, I believe you get an official "Pat Onna Back" for pointing that out.  If MFJ really was as bad as some people say, they'd have never managed to stay in business this long.  Instead, MFJ keeps growing, and hams keep buying MFJ gear.  My very first new piece of ham gear was a manual tuner, in 1991.  That tuner is still working perfectly, though I mostly use my MFJ autotuner now.  I'm delighted an American company is employing local workers and producing ham gear at prices the ordinary ham can afford!
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KU4UV
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Posts: 375




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« Reply #111 on: December 24, 2013, 09:41:51 AM »

I have had some hits and misses over the years with MFJ.  I purchased a 20 meter QRP cub transceiver back in 2010.  In the process of constructing it, I noticed about 8 or 9 different SMD components on the circuit board that were "tombstoned."  One end of the component would be soldered to the board, while the other component was just standing straight up in the air.  I don't have the kind of equipment to properly solder SMD components, so I contacted Rick Littlefield, the kit designer.  Mr. Littlefield told me that I had probably just received a bad kit, and to contact MFJ and tell them what I had and they would make it right.  I spoke to someone at MFJ, not sure if it is the same guy that is being described here, and he advised me that he had a wave soldering machine that had gone haywire.  I didn't think to ask him why they didn't have someone check their circuit boards and rework the ones like I had received that were obviously bad.  He told me that they would mail a return shipping label right out to me, and to just send the bad kit back to them and they would mail me a new kit that was completely assembled.  They kept their word, and mailed a new transceiver, which I promptly sold.
     I had a MFJ-902 antenna tuner that went bad on me this past June during Field Day.  It seemed no matter what I tried, I couldn't get a match with the tuner on any band, using my ladder-line fed dipole.  I suspected that the problem was the tuner, even though it had been working o.k. on the Saturday of Field Day when my brother and I operated.  I didn't have the time or patience to open it up and fix it in the field, and luckily, my brother's Kenwood had a built-in tuner.  I opened up the 902 when I got back home and fixed the problem.  I decided to replace the SO-239 connectors with Amphenol connectors, and I also reflowed solder on all of the connections.  That fixed the problem, and the tuner now works great.  I purchased a MFJ-9020 CW transceiver brand new back in June, and so far have had no problems with it, and really like the transceiver.  I don't particularly have a problem with purchasing MFJ products, as long as they will stand behind their products and either repair, replace, or refund the customer's money should they run into a problem.  I purchased a brand new Icom HT in 2010 that never did work right.  I showed the HT to an Icom rep at Hamvention, and he told me to call Icom and have them fix it.  After sending it off to SARTS in Michigan TWICE to fix what I thought would be a simple problem, I called SARTS one day.  Mr. Varian, who I spoke with, thought the problem was a bad battery pack.  After telling him I had checked the battery pack and that wasn't the problem, I sure as hell wasn't about to have to return it to them a third time without it having been repaired, so he said,"we'll send you a new one as they can be difficult to diagnose."  I said, fine, and the problem was solved, after much headache.  
     So the bottom line for me is, whether it be MFJ or any other company, it's all about how they handle a problem with one of their products should you ever run into difficulties.  If they make it right, I will buy from them again.  If they have an attitude where they couldn't care less, I'll take my business elsewhere.
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K7MEM
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« Reply #112 on: December 24, 2013, 10:30:36 AM »

I several different MFJ products but I have never actually ordered anything from them. I usually pick them up at ham fests, 2nd or 3rd hand. Sometimes I buy them with a know problem. I found a MFJ-941D tuner at a swap meet that had a inoperable SWR/Power Meter. The tuner section worked just fine. I only paid $15 for it and it only cost me two diodes and a small trimmer to get back to original.

At another ham fest I found a MFJ-481B (older memory keyer) for $9. The previous owner had removed the speaker because he didn't like how it sounded. I'm not sure why he didn't just turn the volume to zero. But he did include the original speaker separately. The controls were a little dirty and scratchy, but after it was cleaned up, everything worked. It's nice to have a couple of short canned messages to work with.

Another ham fest purchase was a MFJ-16010 low power "Super" tuner. This was another purchase with a problem. But the problem was simply a broken wire which was easily fixed. Had the original owner opened it up, he would have seen it. He could have fixed it and doubled the asking price. After I fixed it, I used it for more than 10 years before I had any problems with it. It seems that the MFJ-16010 can't handle a lightening strike. Go figure. The lightening burned a hole in the case and welded all the capacitor plates together.

It's the same with all the other MFJ pieces I own. Sometimes they need a little work but they usually operate as advertised. So overall, I like MFJ equipment.
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Martin - K7MEM

http://www.k7mem.com
K9AIM
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Posts: 947




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« Reply #113 on: December 24, 2013, 02:19:03 PM »


If I'm not mistaken I believe the correct phonetic equivalent of MFJ is [Mississippi's FINEST Junk] and the majority of hams are well aware of MFJ's short comings and know how to deal with it.

I don't say negative things without some hesitance, and once acquired a used MFJ 901B that served me well.  But when I bought a new tuner of theirs a few years ago, it came with something rattling around inside.  I opened it up to see it had slipped through the QC check cracks and was not something that could have been a shipping problem.

I then found Quality was not an MFJ strong suit based on what others had also found.

Granted, they serve a niche and have a price point that keeps them going.  Making 8 or 9 out of 10 customers happy in that scenario works i suppose -- at least to a certain extent. I work for a company where that kind of reject ratio is considered woefully inadequate.

ymmv.  73
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N4GKS
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Posts: 84




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« Reply #114 on: December 26, 2013, 05:19:46 PM »

Hams are the biggest bunch of hard to please people on Earth. Take your pick, Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom. There are enough complaints about them all to go around, not just MFJ. Some complaints are legit and some aren't. Ever drop a piece of equipment or hook it up wrong? Do you blame the damage on your own stupidy or the manufacturer? We all know the answer to that question and if you say not, then you're a saint or a liar. Lemon's do happen, but not as much as we want to think or admit.
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2074




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« Reply #115 on: December 26, 2013, 07:09:27 PM »

Hams are the biggest bunch of hard to please people on Earth. Take your pick, Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom. There are enough complaints about them all to go around, not just MFJ. Some complaints are legit and some aren't. Ever drop a piece of equipment or hook it up wrong? Do you blame the damage on your own stupidy or the manufacturer? We all know the answer to that question and if you say not, then you're a saint or a liar. Lemon's do happen, but not as much as we want to think or admit.

As a Ham I am deeply offended and on behalf of all Hams let me answer you Angry

We want our equipment to be bullet proof and Stupid Proof!
If we drop it from the roof it should be fine.
If I wire it for 110V and plug it into 220V it should handle it.
If I drop a bucket of water on it the water should not get inside, better yet I should be able to use it underwater!!!
 Grin Grin Grin
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N4TTS
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Posts: 151




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« Reply #116 on: December 27, 2013, 07:34:08 AM »

<clip> We want our equipment to be bullet proof and Stupid Proof!

It's my contention one could never build anything idiot proof because they keep building better idiots...

Don N4TTS
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #117 on: December 27, 2013, 11:44:43 AM »

Did someone mention something about Bullet proof? Well not quite but during a 3 week long Allagash river (Me.)  canoe trip we took along an MFJ Cub and a K-1, guess which one survived.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 254




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« Reply #118 on: January 07, 2014, 07:22:12 AM »

N4GKS:

This is probably the fairest statement in all of the MFJ companies threads I've seen on eHam. Thank you on behalf of another satisfied customer of Mississippi's Finest Jewel!

Frank
K4FMH

Hams are the biggest bunch of hard to please people on Earth. Take your pick, Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom. There are enough complaints about them all to go around, not just MFJ. Some complaints are legit and some aren't. Ever drop a piece of equipment or hook it up wrong? Do you blame the damage on your own stupidy or the manufacturer? We all know the answer to that question and if you say not, then you're a saint or a liar. Lemon's do happen, but not as much as we want to think or admit.
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K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 393




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« Reply #119 on: January 07, 2014, 11:45:49 AM »

I don't think the numerous ongoing complaints about MFJunk have much to do with hooking the equipment up incorrectly.    Granted, maybe the big 3 and Ten-Tec and Elecraft have their share of boneheads wrestling with their products, but I find it very hard to believe that equipment problems are mostly user-driven in the case of MFJ.  People keep buying their junk, and the saga continues without end.

   
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