Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G0KSC, Mar 29, 2021.
wished I had done that in the first place, but it was under warranty.
I live roughly 125 miles from MFJ's home town and over the years spent a heck of a lot of my formative and adult years there, due to my mother's family being from there. (she has lived there for 35 years now, too) North Mississippi has had a increasing amount of manufacturing jobs for the last 3 decades or so - not the least of which are quite a few furniture manufacturers. I know that several members of my family who live in the region drive 45 minutes one way to work in the Houston, MS area - so the money must be pretty good (for N. Mississippi). I'm not sure what MFJ pays their folks, but it's probably on the money about the lack of technical people from which to choose down there, too.
Not to stray too far from the original subject, but it bears mentioning that due to our government's grand giveaway of dollars in the form of stimulus and liberalized unemployment payment practices, fields such as my wife's (elder care) are finding it near to impossible to find employees; they are set up and have always operated paying folks not that much above minimum wage. Her boss keeps telling her that half of her peers are calling in with, "No, I can't work that shift tomorrow" excuses. This is all of a sudden, since the pandemic and government intervention, you understand. And unless MFJ and other similar companies are paying far above that, more and more 'unmotivated' members of society are choosing to sit on their butt and cash their regular government payments instead of working. I can only speak for my part of the country, but restaurants here are having an almost impossible time trying to hire new employees - OR hire quite a few of their old ones back for the same reason(s). Hey, I don't necessarily blame them - if you're used to going to work all day for a couple of dollars more per hour than you're getting in unemployment and stimulus dollars and you no longer have to spend your money on gas for the commute and lunch at the company cafeteria, it's easy to justify from a dollar standpoint. Just sit at home and watch Oprah or Dr. Phil and "Laissez les bons temps rouler" as they say further south during Mardis Gras. I'm not saying it's right or sustainable - but it is what it is. I didn't mean any of that in a political vein, either. Don't look for this to get better overnight but this aspect of it will improve only when the government begins to exercise some real world fiscal sense - or they can no longer afford ink for the printing presses stamping the $100 bills out left and right. I'm also cognizant of the fact that this is peculiar of the last year or so - and MFJ can't fall back on this excuse to justify long term QC problems.
To summarize, I think it's a combination of competition for the employees (even folks who pack boxes, probably), lack of technically skilled folks in that general region *and* this new 'I can make almost as much sitting on my butt and surfing the web at home all day' crowd who used to actually work for a living. I'm guessing there's probably another factor or two in play as well. I haven't watched Martin's interview - but my experiences with MFJ's quality have varied widely over the years. But I'm also glad they are there and they fill a heck of a void in amateur radio; I'm not sure what we'd be without MJF and its associated companies right now.
- Matt, AA4MB
I guess you didn't catch that part of the video in which he talks about the antenna analyzer product line being their #1 seller - and how it was engineered at his workbench right there in Starkville, MS - and afterwards spawned an entire industry where folks copied MFJ. I'm sure the audio quality was terrible, but having worked from home for just a bit more than a year now, I think I've grown so used to crappy IP audio quality that I simply didn't even notice. That's another thing which isn't that great in most parts of North MS - broadband internet service.
Yes, look at the forums for any product type, say vehicles, and most of what you read about is problems. Satisfied customers aren’t generally motivated to spend time posting about their satisfaction to the same degree.
I've bought bunches of MFJ stuff and never had an issue.
Bought a voice keyed, then three more all at once - PERFECT
Bought a few antenna analyzers over the years - PERFECT
Bought repair parts for some very tired Ham series rotators - PERFECT
Bought a variety of the cable entry panels - PERFECT
Bought a few manual antenna tuners - PERFECT
and a bunch of small stuff that I can't even recall - PERFECT
I always wondered if I was going to get snakebit because of the horrific reviews that I would read later. Some negative reviews predated my purchases, some were coincident and others followed. Lucky me I guess!
One other comment about customer service: when I was buying CDE rotator repair parts last year, they took my order and followed up on delivery dates of specific parts by phone to make sure that that met my needs. Nothing better than that level of service!
Kudos to Martin and his team!
Let me also give a shout out to John Bee's team at Quicksilveradio,
The Lenoirs team (esp. Tammy) at Main Trading Companym and
Tim Duffy's team at DX Engineering.
We are blessed with many fine Amateur Radio vendors. It's easy to criticize, but these hard working business owners and their employees deserve better that what some folks indicate in their reviews.
Pardon the typos on my original comments!
They are fixed here.
Want to buy a bridge? Great price.
Look, I'm not naive, and don't appreciate the insinuation regarding my intelligence. You don't know me OR my background - so enough about that. You're the one who said you didn't bother to finish the video and I was attempting to point out that you may have missed something before posting a comment which contained on unsubstantiated opinion with the word 'never.' I still have my original MFJ antenna analyzer (MFJ-259?) that I bought about 6 months after they were introduced and it still works just fine. As do all of my MFJ products. I'm not an apologist for them, because I've had issues with some of their products which didn't last that long before cold solder joint issues set in. All of the issues I've had with MFJ quality control in the past have been fairly minor (solder joints, screws loose in the case when they arrived, etc.). That said, as much as I love the company and like most of their products, when you buy something brand new it should work - and work for awhile. It also should have better quality control than we've seen in some of MFJ's products over the years. I would hope that they are improving - even if only gradually - on that sort of thing, but I think issues like the detail we have seen with some MFJ equipment is absolutely endemic of where our country is headed in general. I also believe we as hams notice things such as that and the 'word' gets out in a heartbeat much more quickly than your average consumer product. Landfills are overloaded with offshore crap with plastic cases which worked until after the warranty period and they were then cast away when they failed. Should MFJ wake up and 'fix' their QC? Absolutely. Should we boycott them until they do? That's a decision for the individual. Thankfully, we have a forum such as this and we live in a free enough society which permits us to log on and make snide comments, inject humor, whine, complain or praise the same products.
- Matt, AA4MB
Ever hear of Hughes Aircraft? I suggest you not believe everything you are told in a video. There is nothing new under the sun in radio. All of it we have seen in the past 50 years is a continuation and improvements at the component level.
He didn't invent anything but took new improvements in components and miniaturization to make something that was created 70 years ago. He saw a market and took advantage of that if there is any credit due. That's what MFJ does. Takes advantage of markets, nothing more. Maybe look at Comet because If I remember correctly they were the ones ahead of the curve on handhelds.
If you like MFJ I am fine with that but don't think you have some insight by watching a promotional vid.
Consider me cowed by your unassailable facts as presented. Perhaps Raytheon Technologies is spooling up a lawsuit to recover damages right now - who knows? Maybe he’s only guilty of not saying he invented a ‘marketable and user friendly’ antenna analyzer.
Have a great spring!
- Matt, AA4MB