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Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | MFJ-1275/1275M Sound Card to Rig Interface Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-1275/1275M Sound Card to Rig Interface
MFJ-1275/1275M Sound Card to Rig Interface Reviews: 34 Average rating: 3.4/5 MSRP: $89.95
Description: Allows use of sound card and rig for all digital modes.
Product is in production.
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W6LBV Rating: 4/5 Mar 14, 2005 14:51 Send this review to a friend
QC problems lurk!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this product for about two years, and it has operated successfully during this time. However, it demonstrates clearly the central weakness of many MFJ products: the circuit design is adequate for the intended purpose, but the implementation is not.

Some months ago a problem developed in the station which seemed somehow to involve the 1275: the station microphone picked up a large amount of hum and hash when connected through the 1275 (even with the 1275 completed unpowered) to the HF radio (Kenwood 850SAT) causing the VOX to operate continuously. The station did not have a problem when the 1275 was bypassed and the mike was directly connected to the Kenwood.

Having a few hours spare last week, I went after the problem. The microphone cable ohmed clean, and then I went into the 1275. It was only a matter of minutes before I spotted the failure.
To secure the (permanently-wired) 1275-to-radio microphone/push-to-talk cable, within the 1275 MFJ had used an ordinary plastic cable tie (through the PC board and around the individual conductors as they split out from the cable) as a strain relief point. That’s hardly the best kind of strain relief mechanism, but still it should work.

However, during factory assembly of the unit the worker had failed to pull the cable tie tight, and so there was no strain relief at all! Normal use of the interface had resulted in strain on the individual conductors within the bundle, each of which is soldered to a specific hole in the PC board. The weak point turned out to be the shield in the cable bundle, which sheared from its solder pad on the board. In my station configuration the shield is used for “mike ground,” and hence the problem. The repair was rapid, and all works properly again.

If only the MFJ assembler had taken an extra five seconds to pull the tie tight, this problem probably could have been entirely avoided. For the purchase price paid, that is not too much to expect. Where is the MFJ quality control? Perhaps even better, for another $0.25 a proper strain relief bushing could have been installed on the metal chassis lip.

“It’s not the design. It’s the implementation, stupid!”

Finally, there has been much discussion about the “jumpers setting” issue with the 1275. The 1275 design is intended to accommodate mike audio and push-to-talk circuits for almost any kind of radio, and the design is good. However, during set-up it will require one to take a few minutes and “stop-think-analyze” about what he is doing. MFJ does provide sufficient information to allow one to solve an individual configuration problem, as well as some published solutions for popular radios. Well, you are an FCC-licensee and you do have obligations and responsibilities to meet that are inherent with your privileged use of the spectrum. This is just another one of them, so learn to deal with it.

The MFJ 1275 will work well enough for its intended purpose, but purchasers will need to be “heads up” about inspecting the product and correcting any QC-failure problems noted. Still, I would like to see the era arrive when this is no longer necessary for many MFJ products.
KG8DP Rating: 3/5 Feb 16, 2004 18:28 Send this review to a friend
Need Help but works good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have figured out how to get it to decode. Using hamscope. Cannot get it to fire on cw. just sticking with the basics here for now. New to this sound card interface stuff. Can Someone please e-mail me and try to get the kinks worked out of the transmit so I get on the air with this thing. Thanks. :-)
KB1IKD Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2004 10:44 Send this review to a friend
So far their flawless.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had two of these rigs which I use on PSK, MFSK, and RTTY with an Icom 735 and an Elecraft K2. Both have worked flawlessly, after setting the jumpers for my rig microphone interface. I have no experience with other sound card interfaces to make a comparison.
KB3JLZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2004 10:14 Send this review to a friend
And the problem is?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this unit back in November new from HRO. Didnt take long at all to set up and adjust the levels. This unit has worked well and flawlessly. No problems what soever on SSTV, PSK-31, AMTOR, MT63, Whatever. Would buy it again and do make reccomendations to others to use it.

73 Ren KB3JLZ
NT9M Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2004 08:50 Send this review to a friend
Mine works great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine two years ago and have never had any problems. Works as advertised. I started by connecting it to an ICOM 718. Ran it that way for about 18 months without a hitch. When I upgraded to a Kenwood TS-2000 I just lifted the lid, changed the jumpers, and once again flawless performance. If you like to change radios, this feature certainly saves the cost of another unit. I spend much of my HF operating time using soundcard modes like PSK31 and RTTY, and soon will have the necessary antennae to begin working the VHF digital modes with this unit. In that time the only difficulty I've had has been with my old Packard Bell (266Mhz) computer which I hope to replace someday. The MFJ-1275 works and I would recommend it to my friends.

K4CMC Rating: 0/5 Feb 5, 2004 03:07 Send this review to a friend
Major quality problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the unit about a year ago and it worked for a few weeks and then stopped working for no apparent reason. Thought it might be my soundcard, so I replaced it. Still did not work. Did not send it back due to extremely poor service on a tuner (had to send it in three times to MFJ factory). Finally bought a Donner interface which comes with all needed cables wired up and is half the money and plugged it in and it worked great immediately. Would recommend Donner if you have only one or two rigs as they are specific to rig, otherwise Rigblaster. Pass on this one unless you are willing to gamble.
WA2EWE Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2004 23:29 Send this review to a friend
Plug and Play! Great!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I took it out of the box, set the jumpers, plugged it into my laptop and FT-897 radio and I was up and running on PSK31 Deluxe in minutes. I didn't have to adjust levels or fuss with it at all.

I ordered this interface after reading the reviews, reading the manual, and corresponding with MFJ. Since the literature didn't describe how to set the jumpers for the FT-897, I wrote to MFJ and asked for the details. MFJ responded that the settings were the same as for the FT-817 as described in the MFJ-1275M manual. Well, it really was as easy as that. Didn't even need to use toroids to quiet any noise. Looks like MFJ did a fine job here. If I needed another one, I would purchase this one again. The price was right.

My only recommendation would be for MFJ to add a small internal speaker to permit monitoring audio without having to use an external speaker. That would make portable operation a bit simpler. I might just add one myself.
W1JCJ Rating: 4/5 Oct 24, 2003 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Easy way to get on dig modes  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After mulling around ways to boost my enthusiasm for ham radio, I decided to try PSK31, SSTV and even RTTY. The 1275 seemed an easy way to get rolling and I bought it despite the negative comments here and general impression of MFJ quality.

After a week with this little box,I have to say its a simple easy effective way to hook up your SSB HF rig to your PC and play. I had no difficulty with the connections and used the shareware to decide what software I wanted to buy or find on the net. Setup was easy; there is a simple schematic and diagram to help you set jumpers for mic/ptt lines. I needed to wire my own cable for my old Kenwood TS830 but that was easy. There are no hum, ground loop or quirky problems.

Only complaint and reason this rates a 4: the price (~$99) is a bit high for a handfull of low grade components. I'd almost think an opto-isolated design could be had for this price. But if you dont want to spend the time scrounging transformers and etching a board......its not a bad choice
WB7CYO Rating: 3/5 Apr 25, 2003 12:00 Send this review to a friend
Initial wiring problems  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought two of these new. The mic. cable was wired wrong on both. Could not get them to work right and shipped back to MFJ for repair. Work fine now,
fair price for a unit that does the basics.
But I will probably do more "homework" before I buy another MFJ product.
K1FPV Rating: 4/5 Mar 13, 2003 12:40 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad For The Price !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having bought and owned a number of MFJ products, I have to say that it is OK for the price. Mine didn't work after initially hooking it up and programming the jumpers. It wouldn't key my old and trusted IC-740. The RX did mute but the T/R relay wouldn't kick in within the IC-740.

After taking some voltage measurements in the MFJ-1275, it was apparent that the voltage drop across the surface mount inductors(L3 & L4) was too high as the IC-740's relay did draw a decent amount of current. The DC resistance of the inductors was about 6 ohms. I replaced the inductors with wired RF chokes of the same value and less than 1 ohm resistance each. BINGO, it worked great after that.

Perhaps MFJ should consider using chokes with a much lower resistance in the PTT section of the interface. It is still a fine interface for the price and I like it !
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