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MFJ-1270X W/1270DG, Technical Issues Galore...

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KB0NLY, Oct 17, 2017.

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  1. KB0NLY

    KB0NLY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does anyone have experience with the 1270 and the digi daughterboard?

    I've been fighting one for about a month now and i'm about to put it in a press and watch it crush. A local club needed a replacement for their APRS digi which died so they bought the 1270X and the 1270DG digi add on board. It was dropped off with me to configure it and wire it to the radio.

    The first unit i got from them the 1270X wouldn't do anything, the power light came on but was otherwise DOA. Installed the 1270DG and no response from it, its supposed to send a menu after boot by pressing any key to get to the settings, after a few hours i gave up. Tried multiple computers, both serial and USB, every selectable port speed by the board jumpers, and couldn't get anything.

    Contacted MFJ and they sent a replacement 1270X, a week later i went to try it again and the second one i got wouldn't even power up at first, i ended up taking it apart and finding bad solder joints which i fixed and got it to power up and pass data to the terminal program, then i installed the 1270DG and it still didn't do anything. So i contacted MFJ again and again they sent a replacement, this time a new 1270DG. So a week later i installed the replacement 1270DG and while it does respond with the menu as its supposed to its garbled and won't let me input anything to, any key press just reboots it and shows the same menu. Also the letter keys that are supposed to be used, for example A to set the callsign, are not working, but by pressing numbers 1-9 i can get random responses from it asking for input, but when i try to type an input it just reboots.

    It would appear that i have a second dead 1270DG so i sent MFJ a couple more emails and nothing so far, tried calling them but they are always closed by the time i get a chance to make a phone call so i am relying on email support. I will attach a screenshot of what i am seeing from the 1270DG and maybe someone knows how to fix this, is it a setting, is it a problem with communication between the computer and the 1270? I have tried every port speed from 1200-19200, and i have tried every setting possible for the com port, i even tried multiple programs, multiple computers, nothing seems to make a difference.

    The manual shows to use 9600 baud, 8, 1, no parity, no flow control. But that doesn't seem to work. At this point i am about to send it all back and ask for a refund and move on.

    The TNC-X looked promising until i found out that the 1270X is a clone of the TNC-X that was licensed to MFJ by the original designer. The 1270DG is the same as the TNC-X X-Digi board, so i'm leary of trying that if these don't work. Is there any other all in one digi's out there that can be had in this price range? It needs to be standalone, no computer no internet, just a box and a radio at this site. I have a few other sites that are running old MFJ-1270B/C TNC's with UIDigi and they run flawlessly, but there doesn't seem to be many of them available on the used market these days around here, haven't really seen any on eBay either.

    Attached Files:

  2. K2ZAD

    K2ZAD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wish I had read your comments before I purchased the MFJ-1270X. What a piece of junk. Never got it to work.
  3. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I were 'in your shoes'. I might be on the telephone to NY9D ( Eric) or K0LAV ( Paul ) to first locate a used TNC, if that is what you need. I might also just install an IDR96 ( I have a pair ) and/or see about ordering one from There has been some discussion on the Facebook packet groups about a TNC built by a club in Atlanta, yet I do not know what your budget is. I can not advise you about that 'club project' TNC, and expect that you really might want to contact TWINSLAN before proceeding further.
  4. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  5. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    FYI the original TNC-X and TNC-Pi were not too bad and the TNC-PI I really liked.. The Digit Daughter board from the original company gave me fits. I asked the owner back when he was in business about some problems with it. He said he did not design it so didn't know how it worked an didn't do APRS himself. That was shortly before he shut his company down and got MFJ to buy the rights to the TNC-X.

    Once I got the Digi Daughter board configured after many rituals, I was not going to change it. It's running at a site for a club I loaned it to but said I wont be changing anything on it, it will be what it is.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021

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