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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | MFJ-1214PC Multimode Controller Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ-1214PC Multimode Controller
MFJ-1214PC Multimode Controller Reviews: 3 Average rating: 1.7/5 MSRP: $149.95
Description: Computer interface to allow RTTY, WEFAX and CW operation.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KA2UUP Rating: 1/5 Sep 20, 2002 11:19 Send this review to a friend
I got rid of mine and got the 1270 instead  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The 1214PC just did not work. That is probably why it is a legacy product these days. Got a 1270 for packet in exchange for the 1214 and left the CW, RTTY, FAX and pictures to the soundcard software with either a BuxComm or Rigblaster interface.

73 de Bert @ KA2UUP
 
KB4FEM Rating: 1/5 Sep 20, 2002 09:09 Send this review to a friend
A legacy product with thin technical data.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the 1214PC on clearance from AES. It was package well and came with a DB25-DB25 cable (MFJ will exchange it for a DB25-DB9 if you return the other, you pay the shipping.) The first problem was the software disk was corrupt. MFJ does not have a download section on their website and wanted $5 and the old disk for a good one. I received a copy of the files from an online friend who is selling his 1214PC. If you are looking for web support, keep looking.

The second problem is no schematic or adjustment/calibration data in either the thick manual or the "Fast Start" manual. The only pin out of the connectors on the unit are the radio interface. Granted the RCA connectors for CW key and Audio In are self explanatory but the DB25F on the unit isn't a "real" communications port. There are seven pots, a 4046 PLL, a ADC0804, two LM324, and a 74HC157 on the pcb. I am in the process of drawing a schematic now. If you are looking for an easy tinker-toy, keep looking.

The software setup is tedious and is so old (1992 vintage) that you should dedicate any use of this to an old 386/486 and a hundred or so KB video card. I have yet to get the Com port to see the 1214. The software seems to use common "tricks" to get serial data from the 1214. This is supported by the way the schematic is looking and is a legacy method of desing from the early 90's before PIC controllers and other devices provided low cost intelligence to peripherals. If you are looking for a smart gadget, keep looking.

I will admit that these concerns have not beeen taken to MFJ in writing or by phone. I believe that in the ham marketplace, a manufacturer should expect a certain level of technical ability and provide more than basic support for a product out of the box. I install/repair medical imaging systems for a living and am accustomed to a high level of technical information. None of that is out of the box with this product.

In short, if you are looking for cutting edge software, PnP hardware, and cutting edge support, keep looking, it ain't here.
 
KA2UUP Rating: 3/5 Mar 23, 2001 08:43 Send this review to a friend
Needs some work.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the unit in October 2000 direct from MFJ. Connected the unit ti my MIC input with a microphone switch and loaded the DOS software. After trying unsuccessfully to establish QSOs on RTTY, a friendly ham lent his services through eHam to help me out. We scheduled a date and time for a test. The fellow operartor said he could see my signal. But could not reach me. We tried again with him calling me. I was able to tune him perfect, but I was tuning him about 1.5 kHx below the frequency that he was sending. After following the directions, adjusting the unit's filter as specified and verifying that everything was fine, we tried again with the same result. I sent the unit back to MFJ and they sent a new one to me. This took about 3 months. I tried again with another operator, same result. However, and I give credit to MFJ, the unit is great for looking at weather reports and the news. The computer screen tuner takes some time to get used to, but it works. FAX reception is trickier. I was able to tune to a signal and got a picture on the screen.

I short, I would use the unit for reception. I tried the CW by keyboard (I prefer the key) and it worked well. However, the unit will do a decent job of decoding (I need help some times, but the ear is a lot faster) but if you use the NARROW filter in your radio, the signal audio might be affected to the point that there will be o decoding. My point in an e-mail ti NFJ was that they should recalbrate the filters, I think that is where the problem lies.

I tried HamScope in RTTY mode with my sound card and a BuxComm interface and it woked perfectly from the start. Others might want to consider the same route. Plus you have the other modes to boot.
 


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