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Author Topic: Let me tell you MY MFJ Experience...  (Read 33396 times)
N4MU
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Posts: 132




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« on: November 09, 2015, 10:28:45 AM »

Bought an Ameritron RCS-4 recently from someone on eHam...it arrived. Seller had said it blew fuses. Didn't blow fuses on my end but WOW what crosstalk between antenna inputs. Caveat Emptor. Figured it might be that maybe the relay(s) got zapped by RF or lightning, etc. They were functioning but the input to input crosstalk was significant!
Called MFJ service and after deciding it would be only about $10 more to just replace the entire relay box PCB went ahead and bought a new stuffed board. Tech (and I'm sorry to not have gotten his name) said it would be 1 to 2 weeks before it would be shipped. He explained they have to build it...don't keep that in stock. I said, no problem...no hurry. That was that.
Guess what arrived, much to my surprise, THREE DAYS later...yup...a new stuffed PCB. Got it in today and will check it tonight...hope the X-talk is finito!
THANK YOU MFJ FOR YOUR GREAT SERVICE! (BTW, I just dropped a load on 5 MFJ items this past Saturday at an area hamfest...ALS-600 et al and am looking forward to "zero defects"...hope so anyway...Just my two cents... de N4MU Cheesy
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VA3RTX
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 11:57:06 AM »

I own and have owned many products from MFJ, including an Ameritron amp. We've all heard complaints about their products, but the reality is MFJ is the best source for hundreds of radio products. These products are available at very reasonable prices and can't be found anywhere else. Have I receive the occasional MFJ product with a minor defect or missing part ? Yes I have. When this has happened, support was always great and replacement parts came ASAP. The great thing about MFJ is that they even provide support for products that are decades old and were bought second or third hand. I have a 40 year old HyGain antenna that I recently restored and have back up in the air. MFJ didn't even make this antenna and guess what, I got free advice and very reasonably priced parts. Many people don't realize, that they don't have to do any of this. MFJ could easily move 90% of their production to China and once the 90 warranty is up, it's your problem. The way I look at it, this is a hobby and for me building and repairing stuff is a big part of it. If every MFJ product was built to commercial standards, they would cost several times as much and support would be $100 to $500 an hour. This is the reality in every other technical industry...  Cool
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KM1H
Member

Posts: 2593




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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 01:25:41 PM »

I bought one in the mid 80's and found it useless to switch TX antennas as the incompetent designed circuit, plus PC board, plus relay choices reduced port to port isolation to intolerable on 20M and up.

Ive heard they hired a competent engineer recently and the circuit is all new, Id be interested in either an interior photo or a relay name/part #.

Carl
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 428




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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2015, 11:11:24 AM »

Hear! Hear! Sanity and reason about MFJ!

Merry Christmas,

Frank
K4FMH

I own and have owned many products from MFJ, including an Ameritron amp. We've all heard complaints about their products, but the reality is MFJ is the best source for hundreds of radio products. These products are available at very reasonable prices and can't be found anywhere else. Have I receive the occasional MFJ product with a minor defect or missing part ? Yes I have. When this has happened, support was always great and replacement parts came ASAP. The great thing about MFJ is that they even provide support for products that are decades old and were bought second or third hand. I have a 40 year old HyGain antenna that I recently restored and have back up in the air. MFJ didn't even make this antenna and guess what, I got free advice and very reasonably priced parts. Many people don't realize, that they don't have to do any of this. MFJ could easily move 90% of their production to China and once the 90 warranty is up, it's your problem. The way I look at it, this is a hobby and for me building and repairing stuff is a big part of it. If every MFJ product was built to commercial standards, they would cost several times as much and support would be $100 to $500 an hour. This is the reality in every other technical industry...  Cool
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K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 3325




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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2015, 02:44:00 PM »

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete
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K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 1452




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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 06:51:32 PM »

It's a question of balance, people.  Glad you've had positive experiences, but their lack of build quality continues to be a common complaint.  Good, decent, level-headed hams have gotten burned by them over the years, so these aren't just fictional stories getting written for fun.  I mean, who wouldn't want top-shelf gear at their price points, but that just isn't going to happen.  Everyone including MFJ knows the game, and it's worked for them for many years.  From my experiences with their products in the past, I think they're just plain slimeballs.

Again, looking at them in a macro sense gives the total picture.                                                                      
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 04:13:10 PM by K9MHZ » Logged
KB4MNG
Member

Posts: 274




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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2016, 06:44:02 PM »

I had to send in a switching power supply under warranty to MFJ. They fixed it but it took the over three months to get it back to me. No complaints, just seemed a little long..... Embarrassed
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 428




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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 05:33:53 AM »

Your quote "they're just plain slime balls," begs the question: who exactly are you referring to? Martin Jue? Richard Stubbs? The entire company? Please, inquiring minds want to know about this "macro picture" of yours!


It's a question of balance, people.  Glad you've had positive experiences, but their lack of build quality continues to be a common complaint.  Good, decent, level-headed hams have gotten burned by them over the years, so these aren't just fictional stories getting written for fun.  I mean, who wouldn't want top-shelf gear at their price points, but that just isn't going to happen.  Everyone including MFJ knows the game, and it's worked for them for many years.  From my experiences with their products in the past, I think they're just plain slimeballs.

Again, looking at them in a macro sense gives the total picture.                                                                      
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W5JON
Member

Posts: 289




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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 06:51:20 AM »

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete

Hi,

Years ago I purchased an Ameritron 6 Port Remote Switch, the isolation between ports was terrible.  I did the grounding modification but it did not help at all, still terrible isolation between ports.  I eventually purchased the DXEngineering remote antenna switch, which has excellent isolation.  I do use the Ameritron control box to switch 6 of the DXE's 8 ports, as I only need to switch 4 antennas.  I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know.... Grin

73,

John     
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 428




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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2016, 12:59:56 PM »

Hi Jon,

Yea, I think you've told that story, a time or three now. Do you also think they're "slimeballs". Or are you still offering Richard Stubbs a beer at Dayton...just inquiring, you know.

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete

Hi,

Years ago I purchased an Ameritron 6 Port Remote Switch, the isolation between ports was terrible.  I did the grounding modification but it did not help at all, still terrible isolation between ports.  I eventually purchased the DXEngineering remote antenna switch, which has excellent isolation.  I do use the Ameritron control box to switch 6 of the DXE's 8 ports, as I only need to switch 4 antennas.  I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know.... Grin

73,

John     
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W5JON
Member

Posts: 289




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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2016, 02:36:52 PM »

Hi Jon,

Yea, I think you've told that story, a time or three now. Do you also think they're "slimeballs". Or are you still offering Richard Stubbs a beer at Dayton...just inquiring, you know.

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete

Hi,

Years ago I purchased an Ameritron 6 Port Remote Switch, the isolation between ports was terrible.  I did the grounding modification but it did not help at all, still terrible isolation between ports.  I eventually purchased the DXEngineering remote antenna switch, which has excellent isolation.  I do use the Ameritron control box to switch 6 of the DXE's 8 ports, as I only need to switch 4 antennas.  I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know.... Grin

73,

John     

Hi Frank,

I do not want to get into another verbal sparring match with you but:

1.  "Yea, I think you've told that story, a time or three now."
That is not correct , please show me the "time or three". In any case I was addressing a specific comment in the post by K1ZJH, addressing HIS specific comment about "isolation", and a modification.   

2. "Do you also think they're "slimeballs"."
Do not try and drag me into your egotistical, name dropping debates about MFJ.   

3. "Or are you still offering Richard Stubbs a beer at Dayton."
I just drives you crazy that Richard Stubbs, can respect a customers comments, and be civil even when he disagrees.     

4.  "I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know".
Seems that in most cases yours is the only inquiring mind that wants to know.   Grin

 

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N3QE
Member

Posts: 4918




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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2016, 04:03:37 PM »

I have never bought anything new from MFJ. To be honest, I hardly ever buy anything new.

But I have bought several MFJ things from other hams used, all the way from little accessories to big boy amps.

I am so very happy, that when something goes wrong, I can diagnose the problem myself and order the part from MFJ parts department and it arrives a few days later. Other times the part I need is so low-tech that I can get it at Grainger's or the local HVAC place.

Yeah, you can tell me, your non-MFJ equipment never breaks and never needs new parts. Or that you send your Elecraft K3 back for fixes all the time. Or that your Yaesu DX5000 needs new OLED's. Whatever.

Me, I'm happy that MFJ stuff is generally at a tech level where I can fix it and parts are readily available. To me that's an essential part of being a ham.
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 428




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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2016, 06:51:04 PM »

Jon, Jon, Jon!
I responded to the slimeball comment. You insert your continual shots at MFJ...bad-mouthing them on eHam but never in person. So I call you out on your snark, quoting my National Enquirer metaphor. Just cut the crap on MFJ-bashing and trolling! Richard IS a nice guy. Because I've known him for a couple of decades doesn't make me egotistical. It just gives me the low-down on your shenanigans!

Have a nice day!

Hi Jon,

Yea, I think you've told that story, a time or three now. Do you also think they're "slimeballs". Or are you still offering Richard Stubbs a beer at Dayton...just inquiring, you know.

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete

Hi,

Years ago I purchased an Ameritron 6 Port Remote Switch, the isolation between ports was terrible.  I did the grounding modification but it did not help at all, still terrible isolation between ports.  I eventually purchased the DXEngineering remote antenna switch, which has excellent isolation.  I do use the Ameritron control box to switch 6 of the DXE's 8 ports, as I only need to switch 4 antennas.  I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know.... Grin

73,

John     

Hi Frank,

I do not want to get into another verbal sparring match with you but:

1.  "Yea, I think you've told that story, a time or three now."
That is not correct , please show me the "time or three". In any case I was addressing a specific comment in the post by K1ZJH, addressing HIS specific comment about "isolation", and a modification.   

2. "Do you also think they're "slimeballs"."
Do not try and drag me into your egotistical, name dropping debates about MFJ.   

3. "Or are you still offering Richard Stubbs a beer at Dayton."
I just drives you crazy that Richard Stubbs, can respect a customers comments, and be civil even when he disagrees.     

4.  "I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know".
Seems that in most cases yours is the only inquiring mind that wants to know.   Grin

 


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KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5053




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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2016, 01:48:40 AM »

Recently we have started to hear of great improvements in MFJs QC and service, that's a really a  good thing if it's true and stays true but... Let's not delude ourselves!  MFJ for years has made products that are escentially semi built kits and there QC was worst than bad, it was horrendous.
There are those that overlook the problems because of the price and that's ok but let's not make them out as some great company, they are what they are and they certainly do not have a monopoly on any particular piece of equipment that I can think of. There are always companies that sell better models, it's just at a higher price point and not all found under one roof.

73s
Rob
« Last Edit: January 19, 2016, 01:51:31 AM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W5JON
Member

Posts: 289




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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2016, 07:33:06 AM »

I bought an Ameritron 6 port remote antenna switch via DX Engineering.  Upon arrival I opened it up, and found at least one relay armature dislodged to excessive handling during shipment. Easy fix.  I checked all the relays, and found one with distorted contact spacing on one pole (very short throw range.)  The factory said they'd have a replacement out as soon as it was ready (N Fittings) and they also provided a return label for the defective box.  Can't complain. 

I see they have a modification where you can short the unused antenna ports when deselected--that may improve the port to port isolation for those who need it.

Pete

Hi,

Years ago I purchased an Ameritron 6 Port Remote Switch, the isolation between ports was terrible.  I did the grounding modification but it did not help at all, still terrible isolation between ports.  I eventually purchased the DXEngineering remote antenna switch, which has excellent isolation.  I do use the Ameritron control box to switch 6 of the DXE's 8 ports, as I only need to switch 4 antennas.  I just thought that "inquiring minds" might want to know.... Grin

73,

John     


Frank,

Please note that the Title of this thread is "Let me tell you MY MFJ Experience".  It is a shame that you feel I am not permitted to give MY EXPERIENCE and address a specific comment in the post by K1ZJH, addressing HIS specific comment about "isolation", and a modification.  But as usual you ignore the total content my entire post and go off on one of your MFJ hater trolling tangents.  Anyone reading the Post by K1ZJH and my reply (except YOU), can see my reply was a DIRECT REPLY on the specific topic.   

And speaking of being direct when speaking with someone, perhaps the folks at MFJ should be a little more direct with you, as often their comments about you, in person, are not always flattering. However given your abrasive personality I can understand why.   

If you wish to continue on this subject have at it, but for me I "addressed a specific comment in the post by K1ZJH, addressing HIS specific comment about "isolation", and a modification", which BTW had NOTHING to do with you, so I am finished.  YOU SIR ARE A TROLL.

John W5JON


 
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