MFJ Ceasing Production

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alcahuete

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Points well taken, Token. I also think the economy is kicking it to potential new hams. However, I don't think a $50 fee is turning them away if they can afford a $1K+ Icom or Yaesu. Or even that Xiegu HF rig... $50 is cheaper than many SW portables that a lot of radio hobbyists buy online.

I think it's more the total cost, to get a decent transceiver and antenna set-up, and a lot of people just pass on it. I know I have.
That's just one aspect of ham radio. HF can be very expensive for sure. But you can still do ham radio with a handheld and be all in for $200 or so. I don't recommend CCRs really, but you could theoretically do ham radio with a $20 radio. Hardly expensive.
 

Marcy57

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I got a MFJ Tripod today 1919EX for my deck gonna mount my discone to it with the telescoping
adjustable mast wanted to get one long ago but figured I better do it now probably none left
soon...see how it works out...when you rent tough to put things up permanently..so this might
fit the bill hopefully...73,s Marcy
 

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Marcy57

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MFJ 1919ex tripod 18ft. extension got it yesterday ...guess a few are still left got it from
DX Engineering (boy they are fast!!) only posting this here cause it was a MFJ closing
thread but there is still alot left might get a couple more things...alot sold out but some
stuff still...73,s enjoy ..happy monitoring ..Marcy
(maybe I will get another clock..LOL!)
 

AC9KH

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I've had a couple of MFJ antenna analyzers. They ate batteries. I use a Rig Experts analyzer now. An MFJ tuner I bought rattled when you shook it due to a loose washer inside. An MFJ DC power strip I bought had solder bridges across the fuse holders.

And I've got MFJ tuners, antenna switches and Ameritron amplifiers that have been running fine with no failures for 22 years. Martin has contributed more to making ham radio affordable and educational over the years than any other single individual. He is a brilliant engineer and he will be missed. I wish him a long and happy retirement.
 

merlin

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Tripods are generic and don't have to be branded, Same with telescoping antenna masts.
 

N4DES

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I went to the MJF site to browse, dropped something into the shopping cart, entered my zip code, and then moved on. The standard shipping costs from them were outrageous! I purchased a similar item from HRO and it shipped for a lot less.
 

Marcy57

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I ordered from DX Engineering I think there was no shipping cost ?
(gotta look at my receipt ..lol!) Marcy
 

CoastalDude

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I have some thoughts on this. I've purchased 5 Ham radio's in the last 9 months, they are as follows:

Stick with me now ...

1) BAOFENG BF-F8HP - $65.00 radio
2) Quansheng UV-K6 (two of them) @ roughly $30.00 each
3) Yeasu FT-60 - $160.00
4) Wouxun KG-UV9PX - $189.00

So, they're all hand helds, I'll take the $30.00 Quansheng over the Yeasu anyday of the week, especially with the custom IJV Firmware, simply a great radio. But by far at the top is the Wouxun 10w, simply a phenomenal radio.

So, sounds cheesy right? A bunch of cheep Chinese Junk as I hear so often ... Well, these are pretty darn good radios. With my 25ft antenna and a Diamond x30a atop I'm talking from Florida, through Alabama, into Mississippi at 120+ miles. Easily reaching repeaters at 80 miles who then pick up my signal and carry me the rest of the way. I should be able to get 200+ miles (wouldn't it be great if repeater listings listed the tower height?) ... stay tuned.

I submit to you this is the HAM hobby'ist of the future, or really, the present. Now I've personally setup over 30 radio's for folks who have purchased such radio's but don't have licenses for SHTF type stuff. All different kinds through Chirp of course.

These radio's are the ones that are selling in-mass, not the ICOM-7500's, sadly, much of that knowledge is going to fade away as those with the knowledge pass on. Also, we're into Analog, not digital, if I'm going to use HAM over digital I'll say screw that and text you with Signal, why bother, it's not ham, it's not going to help you in an emergency one bit, and it's just silly if you ask me.

There are ton of folks out there that need to know how to use these radios, they are selling an absolute boatload, BaoFeng 4 packs sell like a dozen eggs, I know, I program them for people. It is true the FCC Technician license test scares a lot away, but I do think that is important as we don't want folks using them like kiddie walkie-talkie's. But there are (guessing) 50 HT's being sold for every base station.

These folks are our new base, many if mentored will go on to be the new Elmers and buy those base stations, like me, I will probably literally move out of our wonderful home to buy one that allows towers, that's how much I'm into it.

Here's my saga of late. I'm trying to write some software that makes incredibly easy and fun to learn how to use their HT's and not just to talk 5 miles down the road, but probably 100's of miles. Also, analog is very important is these crazy times, not to mention I live in a major hurricane strike zone.

So, my video's show my software but it was using RepeaterBook data, they denied my request to release the software as I would be a competitor, I was disappointed but not surprised. I kind of felt like that was community data but they are within their right to do so.

So, I'm hunting down Repeater data since I cannot use the RepeaterBook data.

Turns out AARL is useless, they pawned that task off on RTFinder who will gladly give us data for a monthly $ subscription. And where did they get their data? Because it's not out there, the Frequency Coordinator sites are absolutely horrific, many don't even list the offset, not a mention of it. They either dump the data to an HMTL table that you'd have to screen scrape to use and worse. Oh, did I mention the AARL will sell you an out of date book that you and the try to key into your radio ?

Some state coordinators have it together like Florida, this is their listing:
All Coordinated Repeaters as of Sunday 09 June 2024 20:00:01

Did you notice on that link above I can download the entire dataset in JSON or CSV? That's what I'm talking about. They're not trying to control me, to limit me, to gain power by being keepers of the data, they are serving the community.

But the rest are dreadful. Thus, I have been talking to a few Frequency Coordinators that need software, a standard, that hasn't been abandoned, so that's where I have to go first, we need a national standard for every state. This stuff is easy folks, we're talking like one table of data that can be pulled in JSON and CSV formats. This data should be available to all, for free, to do with whatever they choose, whether programming their radio or writing killer software to infuse energy into our Hobby. So that's where I'm going.

Ham radio software is sadly, kind of less than stellar, mostly because it's written by Hammer's who can hack some stuff together, not serious software engineers. You've seen the sites and software.

What we need and I think are going to find is software fanatic's who become HAM fanatic's that re-invigorate the interest in HAM radio. Digital Ham radio, in my opinion, is a fad and will fade away. Analog is and will always be the most important aspect of HAM radio and it's non reliance on the internet.

So, I've said a lot, will probably catch a lot of flack for it, but so be it. The HAM radio community is not sexy, the repeaters and information surrounding them is "owned" or stored in ancient hieroglyphs. There is an absolute unimageable amount of cool stuff we can do. But first, us newbie's are going to have to go build what ARRL and the Frequency Coordinators couldn't build because they didn't have the tech skills, it is what it is. Sadly, this should have been done decades ago, the ARRL really dropped the ball here.

Whiskey Niner

W9ALB
 
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alcahuete

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Also, we're into Analog, not digital, if I'm going to use HAM over digital I'll say screw that and text you with Signal, why bother, it's not ham, it's not going to help you in an emergency one bit, and it's just silly if you ask me.

Digital Ham radio, in my opinion, is a fad and will fade away. Analog is and will always be the most important aspect of HAM radio and it's non reliance on the internet.

I think you're very confused. Digital (i.e. DMR, P25, NXDN, etc.) is just a mode like any other. There is absolutely no requirement to use the internet to use digital modes. No reliance at all. I have a handful of digital repeaters (both ham and commercial) and not one is linked to the internet. DMR and P25 simplex? Works great too...much better than analog.
 

CoastalDude

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I think you're very confused. Digital (i.e. DMR, P25, NXDN, etc.) is just a mode like any other. There is absolutely no requirement to use the internet to use digital modes. No reliance at all. I have a handful of digital repeaters (both ham and commercial) and not one is linked to the internet. DMR and P25 simplex? Works great too...much better than analog.

Ahh, thank you for not making me feel more stupid than I actually do right now. I realize what you are talking about, I was confusing it with the modes that use a Gateway and end up doing voice over IP and stuff (VoIP) like that, to me that doesn't makes sense. One thing the Frequency Coordinators needs to list is whether or not a repeater supports FM Analog, most of them will simply just say for instance, DMR, but a lot of them, probably most of them also support 2m/70cm FM analog as well.
 

AK9R

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I have some thoughts on this.
This thread is about MFJ ceasing production. You buying inexpensive, handheld radios, trying to write software so people can use them, and your difficulties in getting repeater data so you can promote your software is off topic for this thread.

BTW, it's ARRL, not AARL.
 

GlobalNorth

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I resigned from the ARRL some time ago, but when did it become a unitary system of governance for amateur radio that sets the standards for all operators and builds out systems across the US? They may suggest on coordination between groups and beg the FCC for things like 5 more kHz at 77 GHz, but that's about it - along with selling publications, trinkets, and the adoration of ARES.

Amateur radio is a hobby, not a profession. There are no 'best industry practices' and as long as the FCC doesn't know and or doesn't mind, we have the end result of a population of hobbyists and those 'empty suits' who want to make a buck off of them, all while claiming to represent them.
 
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