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Author Topic: Ameritron warning-UPDATE  (Read 39920 times)
K4FMH
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Posts: 505




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« Reply #60 on: November 18, 2013, 07:04:42 AM »

I met with Martin Jue last Thursday in the MFJ facilities. I mentioned the Ameritron issue raised here in this Forum. Martin said that the problem occurred when Prime Instruments owned the Ameritron line. MFJ's Ameritron personnel have an issue on "customer recall" notices for various reasons much like Alpha or other manufacturers do: a lack of consistent product registration AFTER the first sale! Hamfests, eBay, QRZ, QTH, eHam and so forth all post ads for reselling used Ameritron amplifiers. The original purchaser largely doesn't know, doesn't keep records, etc., on who currently owns the amp at any subsequent date. This isn't much different from automobiles even though there is a national VIN database with millions of dollars attached to it rather than a small market niche amateur radio amplifier!

It seems to me that we should not jump to conclusions about manufacturers without the whole story. It's often found by contacting the appropriate management personnel at the manufacturer first. That's what I did.

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 1274




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« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2013, 08:36:00 AM »

Been there tried that...Typical story with MFJ.

When I spoke to them about the tons of repairs eveyone has to do on there own MFJ products on numorius occasions,they always argued, they assured me records were kept VERY well and they knew the score.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 08:40:25 AM by N4ATS » Logged
W9GB
Member

Posts: 3352




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« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2013, 11:05:06 AM »

Quote
The original purchaser largely doesn't know, doesn't keep records, etc., on who currently owns the amp at any subsequent date.
When I started in early 1970s ENGINEERING Logs were required by FCC for Commercial stations, and Amateur Radio operators also were required to keep paper logs.
In many ways, FCC ran much like the FAA after WW2.

However, by 1980, that changed and started the process (market discipline) that we have today.
This approach has its negatives, as well, and this is one of them.
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KC4MOP
Member

Posts: 960




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« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2013, 03:45:47 AM »

I met with Martin Jue last Thursday in the MFJ facilities. I mentioned the Ameritron issue raised here in this Forum. Martin said that the problem occurred when Prime Instruments owned the Ameritron line. MFJ's Ameritron personnel have an issue on "customer recall" notices for various reasons much like Alpha or other manufacturers do: a lack of consistent product registration AFTER the first sale! Hamfests, eBay, QRZ, QTH, eHam and so forth all post ads for reselling used Ameritron amplifiers. The original purchaser largely doesn't know, doesn't keep records, etc., on who currently owns the amp at any subsequent date. This isn't much different from automobiles even though there is a national VIN database with millions of dollars attached to it rather than a small market niche amateur radio amplifier!

It seems to me that we should not jump to conclusions about manufacturers without the whole story. It's often found by contacting the appropriate management personnel at the manufacturer first. That's what I did.

73,

Frank
K4FMH
This was an eye opener.
I own a 2007 Ameritron AL1500 and several other MFJ devices and the assembly and quality of the wiring seems pretty solid. A few years ago there were complaints about bad soldering and loose hardware.
MFJ must have a small staff of assemblers and techs; and it must be hard to keep up with demand, when they are offering many products at a little cheaper price.
Remember!!! MFJ "Mighty Fine Junque"
Fred
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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 1274




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« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2013, 04:43:39 AM »

Hi Fred , I don't think it is the assemblers as they only know what they are taught. The so called upper folks know if something sells a lot of, they mass produce it broken or not knowing most ham's will fix it them selves or scrap it for the little they have into it.

Take Cushcraft, now owned by MFJ. The complaints come in EVERY day. The reviews are really sliding downwards as a result a buying non working out of the box MFJ stuff. These posts are on eHam every single day in the reviews section.

Read the top 4 threads , how sad.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1901

As long as we keep buying their fine products , they will keep the screws loose
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 505




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« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2013, 07:18:56 AM »

Dude! Don't you read? MFJ did not own Ameritron when this wiring occurred! How the hell could MFJ have records of a "mistake" (see a dictionary on definition of a mistake) made by the previous owner, Prime Instruments? MFJ fixed it! And they know which serial numbers were involved! But they do not know---and cannot know---who owns Ameritron amps produced by Prime Instruments.

When you walk the shop floor at Ameritron, get back to me on what you think you "know".

Frank
K4FNH

Been there tried that...Typical story with MFJ.

When I spoke to them about the tons of repairs eveyone has to do on there own MFJ products on numorius occasions,they always argued, they assured me records were kept VERY well and they knew the score.
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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 1274




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« Reply #66 on: November 19, 2013, 08:27:50 AM »

Dude! Don't you read?

Yep , clearly.

You must have missed the comment I made above, that's OK...

"When I spoke to them about the tons of repairs everyone has to do on there own MFJ products on numerous occasions, they always argued, they assured me records were kept VERY well and they knew the score."

"This was about the amp issues of the past"

Plus the same fellow designed the Ameritron (MFJ) amplifiers as is the same guy today who is well known and pretty darn smart. Records were tracked, bank on it. What they are trying to do is push the issue back onto some unknown territory to get it off their plates...

And that's what "typical" means.

I went back in the threads where we talked about that time they were built elsewhere , and here is the exact statement made from MFJ clearly stating they track it all...

"They think a dozen things or a few dozen problems out of 10,000 or 20,000 in service implies ......"
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 08:57:21 AM by N4ATS » Logged
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 505




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« Reply #67 on: November 19, 2013, 01:44:06 PM »

This is as FOS as the earlier statement.

"What they are trying to do is push the issue back onto some unknown territory to get it off their plates..."

What you're stating here is that Martin Jue is outright lying to me and to others. I know him well enough to know that is simply not true.

Tom W8JI works for Martin, full-time. The records transferred from Prime Instruments to MFJ Enterprises when the latter acquired Ameritron (rather than let it simply go out of business) were records from "the past". That is when the wiring error occurred. Tom W8JI and Mike Enis KB5YJF corrected it under MFJ's ownership. Tom may be very smart---and I wholly agree---but he lives in Barnesville GA, not Starkville MS, and is not involved in tracking serial numbers these days. He's trying to update product designs, not customer service, unless called on by Stephen Pan or Mike Enis.

"They think a dozen things or a few dozen problems out of 10,000 or 20,000 in service implies ......"

A back of the envelope estimation of probabilities and production issues is just that, a back of the envelope thing. I taught statistics for 35 years and continue to publish and edit books on it. To say that the Prime Instruments error affects current production is bogus. Period. End of story. And to continue to propagate it is potentially actionable. Do you know what that means?

I've heard Martin himself say: if you don't want to buy his products, he doesn't want you to have them. You can make your scurrilous claims all you want but there are so many more of "us" than "you" who value this company, buy it's products, and do not have problems.

Frank
K4FMH

Dude! Don't you read?

Yep , clearly.

You must have missed the comment I made above, that's OK...

"When I spoke to them about the tons of repairs everyone has to do on there own MFJ products on numerous occasions, they always argued, they assured me records were kept VERY well and they knew the score."

"This was about the amp issues of the past"

Plus the same fellow designed the Ameritron (MFJ) amplifiers as is the same guy today who is well known and pretty darn smart. Records were tracked, bank on it. What they are trying to do is push the issue back onto some unknown territory to get it off their plates...

And that's what "typical" means.

I went back in the threads where we talked about that time they were built elsewhere , and here is the exact statement made from MFJ clearly stating they track it all...

"They think a dozen things or a few dozen problems out of 10,000 or 20,000 in service implies ......"
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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 1274




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« Reply #68 on: November 19, 2013, 04:41:56 PM »

WOW , sound mad bro..

You win , I had No idea more folks love MFJ , I guess I just trust what people continue to write on eHam reviews. I suppose they all are all just troublemakers. Sorry

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 04:48:31 PM by N4ATS » Logged
W4LI
Member

Posts: 61


WWW

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« Reply #69 on: November 19, 2013, 05:14:18 PM »

This MFJ quality "debate" is such a weird ongoing war for such a simple issue. Why is this bordering on religious debates in intensity?  No one has to buy their products, or their competitors, for that matter.

MFJ targets aggressive (low) price points.  They also have a very wide array of products and variations within each across many brands.  They most likely out ship the "competition" by a wide margin on a quantity basis for most of these products.  They've obviously had some particular quality issues at times with certain products or models.  Take all of this, and there are plenty of vignettes on bad product experiences.

However, there are many, many, hams with MFJ products, of all types, working properly in their stations, without issues or comments. The generally satisfied customers don't jump into every thread. I'm personally happy to have the competition and choice for our small ham market.

I own a variety of MFJ products and all are built and delivered reasonably well for the features and price point. I also own other brands, some very high end. They are built more robustly, have more headroom, but at substantially higher cost.

MFJ couldn't function if the bad quality statements were true writ large. The return-repair-customer service overhead would crush them. Most of the products must work as designed most of the time. It would not be in their interest, or even sustainable, to ship products that don't work out of the box for the vast majority of customers.

Just my .02.  By the way, I do appreciate calling out specific issues and especially patterns, with MFJ or any vendor.

73... Dan, W4LI
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W4LI - Dan Hoogterp
K4FMH
Member

Posts: 505




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« Reply #70 on: November 20, 2013, 08:56:19 AM »

Thank you, Dan. Your two cents are worth gold...as in a reasonable perspective for a change.

Indeed, I did get a mad-on when haters go after any company, especially one where I have personal knowledge that the assertions are not even close to the truth!

As I've said to Mike the Admin here on eHam.net: my sentiments are to help eHam Forums to become more useful to all readers. One day, even vendors might find them worth their labor costs to read them.

But I've got a dark, dark truth to reveal just to you, Dan. After over 20 years of buying MFJ Enterprises products, I bought a product that had a real manufacturing problem. I bought a $79 MFJ-1903 Tile-Base to put on a vertical in my yard. The sorry, low-down scoundrels mis-counted two washers and two nuts, sending me two that were (slightly) too small! I tried to put them on twice myself since they appeared to be the right size. I had to walk three steps to my Craftsmen tool drawer (which came with the wrong keys....but that's another issue that I'm just incensed about) and rumble around my nuts-and-bolts drawer to find replacements that fit. Dag nab-it.

How could anyone make such a mistake on an assembly line? Didn't the QC member at the end of the line (I've watched them) recount them instead of just looking at the plastic sack? How much time would that take? I mean, I'd pay $125 for a $79 product just to absolutely know for a certainty that each and every part in each and every item in their 2,000 product line was accounted for each and every time, wouldn't you, Dan?

I think that Martin tells them to do that just to torture us eHam subscribers. Yea, that's it! He does it to get at us eHamers! He's probably behind CQ Magazine being late in not shipping....and not even paying authors. Martin's like that, you know. With five companies, one located across town with all that StarkVegas traffic to negotiate, he has plenty of time to figure out ways to mess guys like me up. Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. It's Richard Stubbs, Customer Service Director. I've known him for 15 years or so. He's the one doing this...just to get back at some of the absolute nuts who blow-up his phone (this doesn't count Joe Walsh, though...he sends signed pctures). Gonna give you a piece of my mind, Richard, when you get back from your current hamfest run! Roll Eyes

Enjoy the attempted humor, Dan. You're a good OM!

73,

Frank
K4FMH

This MFJ quality "debate" is such a weird ongoing war for such a simple issue. Why is this bordering on religious debates in intensity?  No one has to buy their products, or their competitors, for that matter.

MFJ targets aggressive (low) price points.  They also have a very wide array of products and variations within each across many brands.  They most likely out ship the "competition" by a wide margin on a quantity basis for most of these products.  They've obviously had some particular quality issues at times with certain products or models.  Take all of this, and there are plenty of vignettes on bad product experiences.

However, there are many, many, hams with MFJ products, of all types, working properly in their stations, without issues or comments. The generally satisfied customers don't jump into every thread. I'm personally happy to have the competition and choice for our small ham market.

I own a variety of MFJ products and all are built and delivered reasonably well for the features and price point. I also own other brands, some very high end. They are built more robustly, have more headroom, but at substantially higher cost.

MFJ couldn't function if the bad quality statements were true writ large. The return-repair-customer service overhead would crush them. Most of the products must work as designed most of the time. It would not be in their interest, or even sustainable, to ship products that don't work out of the box for the vast majority of customers.

Just my .02.  By the way, I do appreciate calling out specific issues and especially patterns, with MFJ or any vendor.

73... Dan, W4LI

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N4ATS
Member

Posts: 1274




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« Reply #71 on: November 20, 2013, 10:52:29 AM »

"Indeed, I did get a mad-on when haters go after any company, especially one where I have personal knowledge that the assertions are not even close to the truth!"

I guess you are kinda right , it is annoying, Geeze , I just counted well over 250 zeros on the product reviews, then stopped counting, from folks posting negative comments about stuff that did not work. They post that crap every day! They need to grow up. I need to stop viewing all the negative feedback from so many people , I guess it just became interesting to hear about loose parts, no solder, radios frying from the power supplies, meters not reading right, amps blowing up out of the box, analysers with missing parts , Cushcraft problems and it goes on and on.

I mean really , this guy can't be telling the truth can he?

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/11416

« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 10:58:20 AM by N4ATS » Logged
W5JON
Member

Posts: 370




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« Reply #72 on: November 20, 2013, 11:39:20 AM »

Yup, it is all just a vast conspiracy against MFJ/Ameritron by all those "buy USA" haters.  They all just spend their waking hours making up all those false negative and "0" reviews, and trying to put down a US Company. Yup, just a vast conspiracy with no basis in fact, and all in those hundreds of hateful folks imaginations'.

73,

John    
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 12:14:50 PM by W5JON » Logged
W7HBP
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #73 on: November 20, 2013, 12:43:01 PM »

... I am not a lawyer nor play one on TV Grin

Have you ever stayed at a Holiday Inn?

I have an AL80B I just bought new spring of 2013 from DX engineering. Do you know when Ameritron made the correction?  Be interested to know if mine is improved or not.

Great info also. Nice work!  Wink
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ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member
G3RZP
Member

Posts: 1090




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« Reply #74 on: November 20, 2013, 02:16:22 PM »

Any lawyers there answer this hypothetical case?

Bill Smith Electronics build some amplifiers: a wiring fault means that a production batch are potentially lethal if someone goes inside. Bill Smith Electronics goes broke: the design rights are bought from the liquidators by John Doe Electronics who makes the amplifiers but without the design fault. John Doe Electronics  goes into liquidation and ceases trading and the design rights are sold by the liquidators to Fred Smith Radio, who build the amps without the faults.

Who is legally liable in the US if a Bill Smith amplifier kills or injures someone?

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