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An Interview With Martin Jue of MFJ Enterprises Inc

Discussion in 'Announcements & Open Forum' started by Robb, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Robb

    Robb
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    I spoke briefly by phone with Martin Jue of MFJ Enterprises today in Starkville, Mississippi. Martin is the owner/operator of MFJ. He was eager to do this interview - even though it was a short-notice request. I kept my questions quick and to the point, as I was grateful that he took time out of his busy day for some often asked questions. He agreed and responded calmly even when asked some tough questions.



    He is also a Ham with the call K5FLU.

    The initials "MFJ" in the company name are those of the founder, Martin F. Jue. The company was founded in 1972 with just a few products. Today, the MFJ catalog is some 120 pages in length and growing. Some have claimed that MFJ focuses on low-cost gear rather than on high quality. The acronym is also commonly referred to as "Mighty Fine Junk". Martin was not afraid to answer this misgiving, and talked in a calm, gentleman's southern drawl.

    "We had some problems with the original traditional method of producing batches of a particular product at a time for example a batch of 100 or 500 units. Because of batch production, if a mistake was made it tended to be in the entire batch. We changed over to a just-in-time process where a single product goes down a line one at a time. That way a mistake is caught immediately and corrected without the entire batch having the same mistake. This gave a vast improvement in quality control.

    Soldering problems have been largely eliminated by the use of automated wave solder machine which give consistently good solder joints. Automated surface mount technology now assembled MFJ products very accurately. Also, the SMT machines electrically check most parts automated for correctness in the initial run.

    We have focused on quality control. We have what we call a "No Matter What Limited Warranty" That means we will repair or replace your MFJ product no matter what (at our option) for one full year..."


    Ameritron, Hy-Gain, Mirage, Vectronics, and Cushcraft are some of the other well-known products from MFJ. Some of these companies were acquired when these businesses were failing. Martin has given them all an about-face as well as much deserved face lift.
    Google Image Result for http://www.cushcraftamateur.com/images/R8.jpg

    The Ameritron tube amps are some of the most popular and affordable HF amps on the market today.

    They have new products coming out all of the time. Martin is interested in any new ideas and concepts that are available. He assured me that MFJ is interested in input that anyone might have to improve the amateur radio hobby. He waits for your feedback, be it to improve an existing product, or to suggest any new innovation that Ham operators may have. If you have any ideas, Martin assured me that he is eager to listen.

    Sounds to me that he is well on the way to making MFJ a 'Mighty Fine Jewel.' He certainly has the right motivation and is headed in the right direction to that end.

    So, does anyone want to take Martin's challenge seriously? I couldn't think of anything practical at that time. Maybe some of you could. He is serious - if you are.


    MFJ Enterprises Inc.
     

    Attached Files:


  2. GLR

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    ummm...is there more or is this the entire "interview"?
     
  3. kd-5-bgt

    kd-5-bgt
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    W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Heyya Robb !!

    I am hoping that MFJ is turning around the quality issues that they have been having over the past years.I can honestly say that in the 12+ years that I have been a ham I have had only one person give me a good word on any of their products (minus the companies they aquired in the past few years) and the good word that I got was just within the past couple of weeks on one of their tuners

    I have often heard ( on more than one occasion) of items that was supposed to be assembled before shipping arriving in kit form,or not working as to the specs of the item( meters,switches,mics,cw keys..just to name a few items

    If MFJ is in fact upping the quality ( and I really hope they are ) it is going to take alot of folks saying they are happy with their gear before I will start looking seriously at buying anything

    Someone let me use a tuner for a while from MFJ and in the few weeks that I had it I wasnt impressed and turned it back over to the person that let me try it.

    It was their 300 watt 160 to 10 meter tuner 300 watt.The radio I tried it on was a Siltronix 1011D( the radio would get into the 10 meter voice around 28.400 at 100 watts even after being modded to get into the top end of the CB band at 27.375) with an Antron 99 antenna tuned to 27.500 ...No matter what I tried I could not get the tuner to load that antenna...had grounds on everything and still could not get it to load up as needed...coax checked out good,jumpers checked good....Take the tuner out of line and check swr at 27.500 with a good swr meter and would show 1.5 to 1 or under at full output of radio...Needless to say I was turned off on MFJ from that point

    I now have a MFJ 2 meter /1.25 meter swr meter that I use on my 2 meter radio,but I am looking for something to replace it.It serves the purpose but that is about it...

    Would I buy one of their antennas?....maybe....but I will be watching very closly before I make that choice

    That pretty well is my rant on the soap box .....

    Thanks for taking the time to let us know that MFJ is working on their quality issues....maybe they are finally starting to put out a decent product...I guess time will tell
     
  4. Sonwatcher

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    I think the question you asked him was probably one of the most upfront questions he could be asked as far as the company image. I'm glad he took the time to pointedly address it. I have the 811h Ameritron and am very pleased with it. One thing I appreciate about his business is that he was able to take over the companies that have been around a long time but about to go under. That helped people to keep jobs and continued to allow the products to be still available.
     
  5. GLR

    GLR
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    I agree that it was a good question to ask but when promised an upcoming interview in a thread yesterday I suppose I was expecting more than one question followed by a lot of fluff at the bottom. Blame it on my raising but where I'm from this is an advertisement, not an interview.
     
  6. Captain Kilowatt

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    Don't go by what most of the cronies over on QRZ.com have to say about MFJ. Most of them either don't own anything MFJ or haven't owned anything from them in years and are just still spewing either old sour grapes or simply repeating what they hear. If MFJ was really as bad as the denizens on QRZ.com say then they could never stay in business much less grow the way they have been in the past few years.
     
  7. BOOTY MONSTER

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    hey robb , how would i go about contacting Mr. Jue . ive been interested in the MFJ-826B meter for a bit . do you think he would be interesed in a chicken banders perspective ? if its a decent peice of equipment id do a simple review and post it on some CB forums that dont have members that go to ham forums .
    MFJ Enterprises Inc.
    [​IMG]
    or if hes really generous...
    MFJ Enterprises Inc.
    [​IMG]

    P.S. im not implying robb got any free gear from him .
    robb has said he hasnt and i have no reason to suspect otherwise .
     
    #7 BOOTY MONSTER, Feb 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2010
  8. HiDef

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    Amen. That goes for pretty much anything else there too. Take it with a grain of salt.
     
  9. hookedon6

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    i feel your pain. i had a kenwood 940s for years, then one day a light bulb in it burned out....... i'll never use another kenwood again.;)
     
  10. packrat

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    "P.S. im not implying robb got any free gear from him .
    robb has said he hasnt and i have no reason to suspect otherwise .[/QUOTE]"


    What???

    Where did he say this?:confused:
     
  11. GLR

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    I can't find where he ever did.
     
    #11 GLR, Feb 11, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  12. Robb

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    The topic here is the interview.
    Enough hijacking.
    Last call...
     
  13. W5LZ

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    There have been a few sayings about MFJ produced equipment for a lot of years (30+). One of them is that, "First thing you do is pick it up and shake it!", thingy. Which in fact was a pretty good 'rule' at one time. Another one was that, "If it ain't broke, there's something wrong with it." thingy, meaning that it was an exception. All kinds of things like that have floated around for years. BUT! Sayings like that have been around for a very long time about any equipment manufacturer, all of them. ('I Can Only Monitor', 'who'd want anything with 'AES' in the middle of it?', 'If you ain't got Kenwood you got squat!' {the only true one!}, etc, Halliscratcher?, etc.) I figure MFJ is about as normal as any of them.
    And one biggy about all of that is that MFJ began producing equipment that there was a demand for. Tuners were sort of hard to come by. People either wouldn't turn loose of the ones that worked well, or they cost too much, or were very hard to find. Or some variation of all of those thingys. Another one of the things that has 'afflicted' MFJ is the ancestry of the owner. If he had been a six foot tall, white, sweaty-browerd, person of European descent, attitudes would have been different. Not politically correct, but still a fact. Think of the time period. Any Asian at that time was going to have a very hard time of it.
    I've also found that MFJ isn't quite as 'advertising correct' as most. You do have to understand that any claims are -exactly- as stated, with the usual meanings, and don't assume the 'usual meanings' are all that 'usual', which they aren't. Don't assume something that isn't specifically said, and exactly as said, cuz they ain't. That strikes me as being a hell of a lot closer to that "truth in advertising" than a LOT of them.
    MFJ produces equipment that is about as 'typical' as you can get. It doesn't have the 'Big Name' that others have, but who cares if it works, and it does work. Most of that 'Big Name' stuff is just BS anyway.
    Enough of this... It's coffee time!
    - 'Doc
     
  14. GLR

    GLR
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    yes.."interview"
     
  15. NorthStar

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    I hope Martin chimes in and joins the forum.
     

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