[TowerTalk] HyGain Antenna Quality control issues: Let's Put MFJ in Perspective

Patrick Greenlee patrick_g at windstream.net
Mon Apr 2 15:58:22 EDT 2018

Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.

I have a Hy-Gain Hy-Tower (post ownership change to MFJ) For newbies who 
aren't familiar, it is a multi-band vertical that mounts to a foundation 
of a cubic yard of concrete and is free standing and tilt over (no guys) 
and is about 53 ft tall.  First 24 ft is triangular tower and the rest 
is telescopic aluminum tubes It came complete as a kit, no missing 
parts.  I, shortly after buying but before installing, ordered a 17 
meter stub to add a band beyond the 80, 75, 40, 20, 15, 10 meter 
capabilities.  I did design/build an alternative base/mount in lieu of a 
concrete foundation to install the antenna atop a steel bld (sans 
concrete and added a 4-way Phillystran guy system at the 24 ft level.)  
The guys were not a wind consideration but were to avoid the intensive 
reinforcing to the roof if I wanted to stay guyless.  I attach wire 
antennas at right angles with no noticed alteration to performance.

Maybe I was just lucky or maybe it is just really simple construction 
but this is one perfectly acceptable product from MFJ.

I am quite pleased with its performance and it has withstood Oklahoma 
winds and ice storms over 5 years with no detected degradation. There 
are no traps or other dodads.  I have a 160 meter kit to make an 
inverted L on 160 when-if I get around to installing it.  I did wire an 
RF choke to DC ground the base of the antenna so as to drain static 
electricity with considerable success.  I don't find fault with MFJ for 
not including an RF choke.

I also know some horror stories re MFJ but wanted to give another data 

Patrick        NJ5G

On 4/2/2018 2:19 PM, john at kk9a.com wrote:
> I work in manufacturing and Dave is spot on. Poor quality is very
> expensive, processes should continuously be improved to minimize waste. A
> quality manager should have the power to shut down a production line when
> something is out of spec. Buying materials and paying labor to make
> something over really cuts into profits and it is even more expensive if
> the bad product reaches the consumer.
> John KK9A
> AB7E wrote:
> That's actually a crock.  I spent close to 35 years in a manufacturing
> environment (semiconductors), nost of it in management, and as anyone
> who knows anything about manufacturing will tell you, proper
> manufacturing processes give you both better quality and lower cost.
> Generally speaking, tradeoffs between quality and cost occur at the
> design level, not at the manufacturing level (although Design for
> Manufacturability is an important concept).  Poor manufacturing quality
> occurs through ignorance or indifference, period.   What you don't
> understand is that how the manufacturing floor looks is key to how the
> product works. Disputing that simply shows ignorance.
> MFJ designs their products to meet a particular price point and that's
> fine.  But there is simply no valid excuse for the quality level of the
> stuff they build.  I've bought roughly a dozen items from MFJ over the
> 50+ years I've been a ham and at least ten of them had quality defects.
> Not design limitations ... quality defects. Missing parts, loose screws,
> bad solder joints, defective components, etc.  MFJ has probably the very
> worst reputation for quality among any manufacturer of amateur radio
> equipment and that isn't because we enjoy bashing them.  As you say,
> though, the solution was simply not to buy from them again and that is
> exactly what I have done.
> Dave  AB7E
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