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Author Topic: MFJ - What more can be said...  (Read 83746 times)
K9MHZ
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Posts: 439




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« Reply #60 on: July 27, 2013, 03:44:20 PM »

It is impossible to inspect quality into a product. Quality has to be the thrust of an entire organization in all areas, including the non-manufacturing areas, for the final product to be of high quality. It's not easy for a company of any size.....

Very, very well put.  I guess I've never understood the attraction to MFJ products, as most things can be found in other brands that are of better quality. 
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N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #61 on: July 27, 2013, 04:01:16 PM »

I just ordered some basic items today because I'm still just getting back into the hobby. All I have now is a 2m/440 HT and an outside antenna. I ordered a Daiwa SWR meter and a dummy load. I picked the Daiwa for the SWR meter because of quality and the MFJ-260C for the dummy load, since it was a decent price. I also factored into the equation complexity of design. I figured it would be pretty hard to screw up the design of a simple dummy load.  Smiley
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W9KDX
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Posts: 771




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« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2013, 01:09:37 PM »

......I figured it would be pretty hard to screw up the design of a simple dummy load.  Smiley

You would think that would be the case, wouldn't you.  Before I decided to get an MFJ dummy load I felt the same way.  After I read multiple cases where they had, again, messed it up, I spent the additional $50 or so and got a Palstar.  No regrets at all; the last thing I needed was some loose screws and bad connections messing up my Yaesu equipment.

Whenever I did buy the one or two items I have had to buy that were MFJ, I have always asked the guys at HRO to make sure that they shake the box for me so I don't get the version with the "extra screws".  They new exactly what I was talking about.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 01:12:37 PM by W9KDX » Logged

Sam
W9KDX
N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2013, 02:50:06 PM »


You would think that would be the case, wouldn't you.  Before I decided to get an MFJ dummy load I felt the same way.  After I read multiple cases where they had, again, messed it up, I spent the additional $50 or so and got a Palstar.  No regrets at all; the last thing I needed was some loose screws and bad connections messing up my Yaesu equipment.

OK so I just got the MJF-260C. I opened it and inspected it. About what I expected. The case looks like it was bent to shape after the paint was applied - so the paint is a little cracked at the bends.  Roll Eyes

I took the case off too, just to make sure whatever was inside looked OK. The outer case has slots for the screws to go through, and they screw into holes in the inner case. The slots are for alignment slop - OK fine I've seen that before. But even with the slots for slop some of the holes still barely shown through the slots - LOL.

The resistor was big and it measured 50 ohms, so as far as I'm concerned its functional enough. But it's clearly designed down to a price point. Way down.



As an aside - what's up with not being able to post pics? I can't attach a pic and I can't even use

Code:
[img][/img]
tags to link to a pic? What the ... why are we censoring technical pictures? A picture is worth a thousand words ...
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 02:52:39 PM by N5INP » Logged
K4FMH
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Posts: 259




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« Reply #64 on: August 03, 2013, 11:14:53 AM »

You folks do not read the Forums much before you post, do you? I wonder if you also do not ask if the frequency is in use before you issue a call?

As stated several times before: MFJ companies DO HAVE a QC PROCESS! It was designed by Tom W8JI as per a conversation with Martin F. Jue himself. I've been on the factory floor, watched and spoken with the folks doing this. If you think it's a hokey process, just drop a nasty note to W8JI in Barnesville GA with your opinion. Be prepared to turn down your RF gain when you do....

On the statement that some other manufacturers sell products of better quality, there's no big argument that, say, Alpha amplifiers may have better build quality than Ameritron. But they are not in competitive price points either....much as my Porsche is a much better build quality than my Chevy Silverado was...but the difference in price is substantially different.

If someone wants to deconstruct an MFJ product and critique such things as how the metal fabrication works, do it to another vendor's model and see what you find. My favorite Kenwood transceivers, for instance, are know for either failing circuit traces or errors in workmanship. But I don't see threads saying that Kenwood's suck like there is for MFJ.

Do any of you who have hip-pocket answers like "just stick a person on the end if the line..." EVER manufactured and sold even ONE product line? How about the 2,000 that MFJ Enterprises sells?

In 2005 I had cancer. I read many websites about the particular cancer that I was diagnosed with. Nothing but disaster and doom appeared on the horizon for me. Why? Only those with bad experiences were motivated to post! Thank God I survived and, like other survivors, I don't post on those websites. If the naysayers toward MFJ were legion, I don't think that the hundreds who made the trip to Starkville for the recent 40th anniversary, and the thousands who watched via W5KUB's live Internet feed, would have done so.

Rave on but MFJ gives a "no matter what" guarantee (like Walmart), makes things that no one else does---see Ray Novak's speech at the 40th Anniversary on W5KUB's site)---and defined some product lines that others now make. If you can seriously home brew an autotuner, head to your workbench! Good luck in finding the parts (oh, MFJ sells parts too) or do you plan to find them at Lowes?

73 and just listen to yourself,

Frank
K4FMH

Check out the latest MFJ antenna tuner review in QST.  The reviewer gives it fairly high marks despite it working poorly, being returned for servicing, coming back with other problems, and the poor dude finally fixing it himself.

As the other fellow mentioned, why not a little QC MFJ? Just get a person to pull off a product from the line and act as if they were the end consumer. Set it up and operate it, and if there are any anomalies, report it as if you were the poor slob that ordered one. It ain't rocket science.
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N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #65 on: August 03, 2013, 01:16:30 PM »

If someone wants to deconstruct an MFJ product and critique such things as how the metal fabrication works, do it to another vendor's model and see what you find. My favorite Kenwood transceivers, for instance, are know for either failing circuit traces or errors in workmanship. But I don't see threads saying that Kenwood's suck like there is for MFJ.

This thread is not about Kenwood, so why would we be taking about Kenwood quality? If Kenwood has sucky QC then someone needs to open a thread about Kenwood suckyness. But this ain't it.

Quote
Do any of you who have hip-pocket answers like "just stick a person on the end if the line..." EVER manufactured and sold even ONE product line? How about the 2,000 that MFJ Enterprises sells?

I've never flown an airplane but I know I would pre-flight it before taking it up. I've never operated on a person but I know all the instruments need to be sterile, and so on. Many things in life simply require common sense and that includes manufacturing. And yes I've hand built electronics and cabinets before, so I know a few things about metal work.

For example, the paint cracks on the MFJ dummy load cabinet. That clearly comes from bending the metal after being painted. Common sense dictates to bend metal and then paint. Simple basic common sense.

Quote
73 and just listen to yourself, ...

Oh I am, and I like what I hear.
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K4FMH
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Posts: 259




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« Reply #66 on: August 03, 2013, 08:04:45 PM »

Yea, it IS about QC...Kenwood is just an example...making my point that MFJ gets jumped on moreso than most other companies. How about Yaesu

Your example of bending "painted" metal (and we do not know if that produced your personal example) is only indicative of that one item, not a standard practice. I know from direct experience at the MFJ plant that their cases are NOT painted before going through the fabrication machine. So, at best, this was a one-off screw-up. Do you have a second MFJ product like this? Or is it their only product you've purchased?

How much do you actually know about QC procedures? I taught the statistical methods involved in QC for years. No product manufacturer, even for those you tout in your reply, go through a full inspection for every item produced. See, for instance, the links below to learn what QC goes into your automobiles, washing machines, and even the oscilloscope by your hospital bed:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/auto-manufacturing/automotive-quality-control1.htm

http://www.wisegeek.net/what-is-involved-in-a-quality-control-inspection.htm

http://www.toyotageorgetown.com/qualdex.asp

Toyota has led the world in QC...led by Dr. Deming:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

Thus, MFJ uses QC procedures on par with auto makers, including the leaders. Whether paint inside an electronic cover had chipped paint is virtually irrelevant to the function or appearance of a product. It should not be held as evidence of manufacturer malfeasance or incompetence. Just pull away the carpet in your car or truck and check the paint. Try complaining about what you find to your auto dealer!

MFJ has increased efficiency and reliability of many products through wave soldering machinery. They are hamstrung in having to rely on vacuum tubes from non-US vendors, having to return as many as one-quarter of them back to their makers. But, then, Alpha has to rely on similar sources for their amplifiers. QC isn't about a single manufacturer as you argue but it's a competitive market-driven phenomenon. It's also why the price of Toyota skyrocketed whereas Ford didn't. But Ford has increased QC procedures as well as its price to pay for them.

If you want to just listen to yourself rant, suit yourself. But learn something about what you're ranting about before posting. That is, if you want folks to agree with you.

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #67 on: August 04, 2013, 05:30:59 AM »

Your example of bending "painted" metal (and we do not know if that produced your personal example) is only indicative of that one item, not a standard practice. I know from direct experience at the MFJ plant that their cases are NOT painted before going through the fabrication machine. So, at best, this was a one-off screw-up. Do you have a second MFJ product like this? Or is it their only product you've purchased?

Ahem ...

Quote
N1ZHE

I got this mainly to connect to my 2nd unused antenna port just in case I hit the wrong button ... cheap insurance indeed!

My only gripe (an I own a lot of MFJ equipment, all fine) is cosmetic. I worked for years for a company that made cabinets, etc for the computer and telecommunication industry. Made stuff for EMC, Cisco, IBM, etc.

I can tell MFJ painted the cabinet wnen it was still flat, then used press brakes or something similar to bend it. Because they painted it first then bent the cabinet it has less than desirable corners where the bends were made. The paint cracked and no longer fully covers the bend area.

C'mon MFJ, you're really not saving that much money!

http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/100888
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 259




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« Reply #68 on: August 04, 2013, 06:52:15 AM »

Ok, I'm a hypocrite on that one! I should have reviewed your narrative more carefully. That's my error.

As you said, it's likely a one-off thing. I still couldn't tell from your narrative if the cracking was on the outside where it's visible or on the inside where it's not.

Call Richard Stubbs at 1-800-647-1800 and report this issue. He's likely to just send you a replacement.

Just keep in mind: QC does not reduce product errors to zero. The final 1% of those manufacturing would reduce the profit margin to a negative number (I.e., a loss) in most cases. Assembly line manufacturing (especially of a thousand or two products) is not artisan production.

Thanks for the constructive dialog here. I do hope you will give Richard a call to resolve the issue.

73 OM,

Frank
K4FMH
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W8AAZ
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Posts: 359




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« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2013, 05:13:56 PM »

I think we should shut down all those ham companies that anyone has a rant against.  Pretty soon, everything would be much better, in my opinion, because before long we would all be back in 1920's status and have to build all our own gear, except for commercial stuff that is applicable to our needs.  Then you would find out who the REAL HAMS are! 
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N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2013, 05:48:18 PM »

I think we should shut down all those ham companies that anyone has a rant against.  Pretty soon, everything would be much better, in my opinion, because before long we would all be back in 1920's status and have to build all our own gear, except for commercial stuff that is applicable to our needs.  Then you would find out who the REAL HAMS are! 

LOL - probably right. I haven't researched it but what was the radio technology in the 1920's? It was beyond spark gaps right? Did they have tuned receivers yet?

I'm reminded of the Movie Contact where the aliens received Hitler's TV broadcast and sent it back to us with information on how to build a worm hole transporter. If they started receiving transmission technology from the 1920's all over again, they'd probably figure we weren't worth bothering with. I mean 93 years of progression and this planet has reversed it's technology curve.  Embarrassed
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 472




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« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2013, 10:25:36 PM »

I think we should shut down all those ham companies that anyone has a rant against.  Pretty soon, everything would be much better, in my opinion, because before long we would all be back in 1920's status and have to build all our own gear, except for commercial stuff that is applicable to our needs.  Then you would find out who the REAL HAMS are! 

Maybe we should evaluate companies based upon the quality of their products and their fitness for use, and give the companies that have QC issues some feedback on a public forum - perhaps they will listen!

Let's get real for a moment.  These companies are in business, and customers deserve a product that works the first time, not something that needs to be fixed before you even get to use it.  They are in business, they aren't operating a charity.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1816




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« Reply #72 on: August 13, 2013, 03:37:11 AM »

  Maybe MFJ would do well to re define themselves as a REAL HAM experimenter and parts supply company for the benefit of those who do not have a junk box and prefer to tinker and get things working on their own. Their prices are certainly within reason.
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N5INP
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Posts: 1279




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« Reply #73 on: August 13, 2013, 06:09:39 AM »

Now that we can link to pics ...

Here's what I'm talking about. One pic shows the cracks in the paint caused by bending after being painted. The other one shows how the little cover has a curve to it's top. Should be nice and square. Does that prevent it from working properly. No. But it does show a lack of attention to fit and finish. It's not very professional and could be improved. I mean if your going to bend something why not make it square? If your going to paint something why not do it after bending? Looking at it on the desk it just has that appearance of a high school shop project, not something from a major company.



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W5JON
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Posts: 174




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« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2013, 06:09:43 AM »

If this problem was known to MFJ, I am very surprised they did not announce this themselves, and not kept it under wraps. Some QC problems are much bigger then loose screws, cold solder joints, etc, as this can potentially be a lethal problem, and it really needed to be passed on BY MFJ:

WARNING TO AL-82, 1200, 1500 OWNERS!!!

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,92616.0.html
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 06:50:35 AM by W5JON » Logged
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