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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: W4RT: Buyers Beware  (Read 90196 times)
KD7SKY
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2016, 02:21:32 PM »

My experience with W4RT occurred back around 2006-2007, and while it isn't "recent", I think it is relevant.

Shortly before I passed my General class license exam, I purchased an Icom IC-718 from Gigaparts, located in Huntsville, AL.  I also purchased the dual ssb/cw filter option from W4RT, who is also located in Huntsville, AL.  Between me, the personnel at Gigaparts, and the folks at W4RT, we arranged for W4RT to pick up the IC-718 from Gigaparts, install the filter option, return it to Gigaparts, and have Gigaparts ship the radio to me.  From my purchase of the radio to the day it was finally shipped (after filter installation) was about one work week.  Communication between all parties was great, and the entire process went as smoothly as it could possibly go, in my opinion.

By the way, I didn't have any difficulty finding a telephone number for W4RT.  When doing a search of their location and the location of Gigaparts using Google Maps, their contact info popped right up--including their phone number.

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K1FBI
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Posts: 207




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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2016, 10:42:47 PM »

A lot can happen in 10 years....
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5530




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« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2016, 02:00:18 AM »

I am a neutral reader and don't have a bone in this argument but it would seem to me that W4RT is a pretty nice guy and therefore has lots of friends in the hobby. Unfortunately he also seems to be over loaded and unresponsive to customers emails. I suggest he rethink his commitment and either call it a day or hire someone to deal with support.

73
Rob
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W7JFP
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2016, 09:30:50 AM »

its sad they do have the best prices but absolutely no follow up after sales.  I purchased via PayPal.  I got the email from paypal that I paid them.  I have sent 3 emails and cleared my spam filter and still radio silent.  In this day and age with all the fraud on the internet you only have a short amount of time to file for a refund.  There are other outlets to purchase the filters from and sound advice is to find them.  Sad to say its a bad reflection on the hobby when the few ruin it for the masses.
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W5TXR
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2016, 04:58:17 AM »

Well, he got me too!
 I ordered a Collins filter for my FT-897D and no filter after a month.
No reply from the numerous e-mails I sent to Ralph Barry Johnson W4WB.
The phone number listed on the web is not working however after a little detective work I was able to find his home address and home phone.

N5DOI
RALPH A PETERSON, JR
603 HOLMES AVE
HUNTSVILLE, AL 35801
I did contact him, problem resolved!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 05:26:46 AM by W5TXR » Logged
W5TD
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Posts: 626




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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2016, 10:43:41 AM »

I just tried to access their website with no luck.  I get a message back saying the account has been suspended.  That doesn't sound like a good sign.

73 John AF5CC
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W5TD
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Posts: 626




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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2016, 04:30:29 PM »

Well now their website is back up and active, so I guess they are good to go.

John AF5CC
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KM4GCI
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2016, 07:09:21 PM »

I have been reading this thread because of the Subject line which is pretty harsh.

There seems to be a problem with the website again after the last post in September.  I briefly got the main page but then when selecting pages it timed out.  Now I can't get back into the webpages.  I would like to purchase those BHI DSP units but all these posts give me pause.

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G3TJP
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2016, 07:58:59 AM »

I've never encountered W4RT products before, but a friend asked me to install a One Board Filter in his brand new FT-817ND.  It's not economical to ship the 817 from England to his workshop and I'm capable of performing the installation.

The last page of W4RT's excellent instructions dated 12 January 2006, refer to a change in construction by Yaesu, whereby capacitive coupling to the filter is replaced with resistors and the description is very clear.  The W4RT assembly requires CAPACITIVE coupling.

What surprises me is that W4RT has not seen fit to include two 0402 0.01uF capacitors with the kit, despite having a near 11-year lead time to do so.  It strikes me as very mean of him not to include them.

I've ordered some and the cost for 10 is pennies but I've had a choice of paying expensive shipping or making up a minimum order.

Not only is that disappointing, but the standard of soldering on the add-in filter board is poor.  Just a cursory check has revealed two solder-blobbed joints that have not properly wetted the component leads and one cold joint that has a surface akin to a pile of rubble.

So my first experience of W4RT is that of a lack of consideration for the installer and a lack of care in assembly.  Instead of proceeding with the modification that's on the bench, I now have to wait for components to be delivered that, for the sake of a penny or two, could have been included with the kit.

This is recoverable on the bench, but it's most disappointing and leaves me rather wary of W4RT products.

73 all and stay well.  Dave G3TJP
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K4PDM
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Posts: 144




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« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2016, 02:39:48 AM »

I have been reading this thread because of the Subject line which is pretty harsh.

There seems to be a problem with the website again after the last post in September.  I briefly got the main page but then when selecting pages it timed out.  Now I can't get back into the webpages.  I would like to purchase those BHI DSP units but all these posts give me pause.



DX Engineering sells the BHI units.
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KD7SKY
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2016, 12:30:05 AM »

So I sent an email to W4RT shortly after I posted in this thread on August 19th.  In the email I asked about accessories for the IC-718.  On their website, the filter options for the 718 (or any other radio, apparently) are no longer "clickable", which makes me think they no longer offer these items.  As of now, I still have not received a reply, over two months later.  ***edited to add that they now have a notice on the home page stating that they no longer have any Collins filters available***

Looks like the company is going through some troubles.  Could be any number of things from financial to health or a cascade effect combining multiple things.  Either way, it's sad.  They were a reliable vendor once, and I hope they become such again.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 12:56:50 AM by KD7SKY » Logged
KD7SKY
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2016, 02:56:29 PM »

UPDATE:  I sent an email to the folks at Gigaparts asking what they might know about W4RT.  Since they're in the same city and have worked with W4RT in the past, I figured they might know something.

I got a reply this morning from someone at Gigaparts saying it was their understanding that the owner/operator of W4RT has retired--and that Gigaparts has discontinued W4RT parts from their website for this reason.  The Gigaparts rep expressed surprise that the W4RT website is still around.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 03:04:19 PM by KD7SKY » Logged
WD9GNG
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2018, 05:07:40 PM »

I bought stuff 14 years ago from W4RT and it was quick ship and good products. Hate that he has retired. He will be missed!!!!
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N8VZ
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Posts: 1


WWW

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« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2019, 05:06:08 PM »

I just wanted to add a little feedback to make this thread a little more objective, or maybe I should say balanced.  Over the years I dealt with W4RT on several occasions -- both though their website and also in person at the Dayton Hamvention. I always had a good experience in terms of the product delivered.  I will say that they were sometimes slow to return emails, but otherwise I was a satisfied customer.  One time I dropped of an FT-817 at Dayton.  They took it back to their shop and added an audio DSP module and then shipped it back to me.  I think I got in back late in the week after Dayton, which I thought was outstanding turnaround.  I'm sorry that Ralph retired.  His old call now appears to be a club call, and his new call is W4WB.  Happy retirement, Ralph! 73 de Carl N8VZ
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