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RF Parts Caveat Emptor

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by AF4RK, Oct 6, 2017.

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  1. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought 2 3CX800 tubes from RF Parts so that I could remove the Eimac tubes in the Alpha 86 and keep them as spares. I was expecting Taylor tubes but got Penta. The Penta tubes put out 650 watts at 30 mA of grid current. The Eimac 3CX800 tubes were replaced put out 1500 Watts at 30 mA of grid current. I got an RMA and was assured of a refund. Now, Joe at RF Parts is saying that the tubes are used and no refund will be provided. Shame on you, RF Parts! I have opened a claim with Paypal which I used to purchase the tubes
    AD0AC likes this.
  2. W1QJ

    W1QJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wait, did you think you were getting new tubes and received used ones? Am I missing something?
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know who Joe is, but did you speak with Merit (the guy who owns RF Parts)? He's a ham, a pretty nice guy, and honors warranties.

    The Chinese 3CX800A7s can be labeled anything: Taylor, Penta, or with your callsign if you buy enough of them. They're just "private labeled" for distributors who are selling them. I doubt the "branding" really means anything; however based on your story, the "new" tubes have less gain than the Eimacs (no big surprise), which doesn't mean they're bad; however one or both might be missing the published spec, in which case RFP in my experience will gladly exchange them for a different pair.

    Edit: Before making a claim with PayPal, you should talk with Merit and get an exchange arranged. PayPal offers pretty good buyer protection, but mostly when you pay for something and never receive it. In this case, you received it, it just wasn't what you liked. You need to give the vendor an opportunity to correct the problem.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
    WA7PRC likes this.
  4. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have dealt with RF Parts since the 80s. Very few issues with products, but when it happened, they took care of it correctly. I have never heard of Joe, either. I have never had to escallate to Merit. Joe must be new & trying to get a good record.
    Merit lists his email as Email him in a professional way & I am sure that things will work out.

    NQ1B and KD2ACO like this.
  5. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    So you ordered the tubes on the assumption they were Taylors and then fired them up to try them out? If they were advertised as Taylors, it's their problem. If not, it's up to the customer to make sure what they are getting if the brand is important to them.

    If you put them in your amp and tried them out, they are now used. Had you noticed the name and immediately contacted RF parts, I'm sure they would have issued a refund. I really don't know, I have not studied the warranty information.

    I'm sure the big issue is the low output, i would be very upset about that myself but you have to understand RF parts position. Again, if the ad states Taylors and what to expect on output, you should get a full refund.

    I do know RF parts has been around a very long time. I'm sure there has been some bad deals occur throughout the years. Largely they are an upstanding company that aims to please and provides solid service and products.

    Paypal seems to give the better protection to the buyer. Curious to see what happens, please let us know the final outcome.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    In my experience, Merit will offer an exchange (RMA return, then he ships replacements) even if you did try the tubes out. Without trying them, it's impossible to know if they work.

    I bought some 6146Bs (NOS) from him a couple of years ago. They were new (factory sealed cartons -- but from 1988 or something) but didn't work well. One phone call and I had new ones on the way. Merit even advised I should have asked him first, as his 6146A NOS tubes from GE were actually better and should be fine.

    That's what he replaced them with, and indeed they were fine. He didn't even ask me to box up and return the original ones. "If they're bad, what can I do with them?":p
    KA9JLM likes this.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If your old tubes were that good why did you replace them ?
  8. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just because you don't seem to accept his reason doesn't mean he didn't give one. You fault a ham for wanting to acquire good replacement tubes so he can set the current good ones aside? How stupid of him to look ahead to the future.
    AF4RK likes this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ceramic-metal external anode tubes usually have very long shelf life, so having spares even sitting around for years is generally no issue.

    I think it's a good idea, too -- because ten years from now they may be impossible to find.
  10. AC8AC

    AC8AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    as WB2WIK said talk to Merit he will make it right . ive only had 1 issue and it was handled by him

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