[AMRadio] Ameritron ATR-30

Deric Affleck daffleck at auracom.com
Sat Sep 24 13:23:36 EDT 2005

HI Patrick,

Unfortunately you got taken like lots of by MFJ's slick marketing. MFJ
stands for: "More F_ _kin' Junk." Ameritron used to be decent but since MFJ
bought them out the quality has declined to MFJ quality. I have heard good
things about the PAL Star tuners - pricy but well built.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Hope you can return it back to

Good luck & 73,

Deric, VY2DA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Jankowiak" <recycler at swbell.net>
To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2005 10:52 PM
Subject: [AMRadio] Ameritron ATR-30

> Ok, so I went and bought one because I need one for some TXSG HF stuff and
> decided to go ahead and get the biggest and best one I could find locally.
> What a P.O.S the thing is!
> It came in what I assume was a factory box, but inside the box:
> The thing was rolling around loose inside the box with apparently only
> of the packing material inside.
> The AC adapter was loose; apparently it had been removed from its sealed
> box by some little elves or something, apparently more than once. Its box
> was loose, and ripped up. Also said MFJ on it.
> The front of the tuner has little scratches and marks on it, and the
> chassis looks warped, either that or the top cover does not fit correctly.
> Beat up in shipping?
> The inductor seemed OK at first, but now binds up at a spot in each turn.
> after about 15 tuning cycles. I found that the cheaply made thing has a
> shaft down the middle, on which a support at each end holds another shaft,
> upon which rides what is basically a pair of spring-loaded washers which
> grip the edge-wound inductor between them as they spiral up and down the
> inductor, and that one or both ends of this shaft were askew because the
> screws in the supports that hold them to the main shaft (and secure them
> radially, like a knob is secured to a shaft) were loose. tightening them
> was no good because they apparently have been tightened before, and it's
> all screwed up and seeks this skewed position after several traverses.
> ever happened to keys and pins? what a cheap piece! Additionally, the feel
> of the inductor is rough, not smooth, and the knob is very cheap plastic.
> Also, plastic gears for the turns counter do not impress me, especially
> when the shaft of the turns counter is not aligned properly at manufacture
> with the gear on the inductor shaft and is obviously under some stress.
> -sloppy work!
> Speaking of the workmanship, while I am at it, the front panel of the
> inductor assembly is not mounted parallel to the front panel of the unit.
> am not talking a thousandth here, I am saying it looks like some drunk
> a grudge against radiomen put this thing together! Strangely, the rear of
> the inductor is straight.
> The cermaic insulators on the rear have metal-to-ceramic contact between
> the nuts and the ceramic. I didn't notice this until I tried the balanced
> line tuning function. then of course I heard the 'grinding' sound I am
> we all know. Where's the fiber washers?!?!
> The antenna selector switch also has a rough spot in it, but only when
> turning it one way between this position and that position. I could not
> find the cause. And while I am on about the switch, I cannot believe
> would want to run 1500W 100% carrier through that little switch -that's
> amps of RF at 50 ohms, through what looks like a 3A switch with a ceramic
> wafer! It is what is claimed. (3KW PEP, 1500W FSK/carrier)
> OK, I called the merchant I bought this from (I walked into their store
> today and plunked down $500+ for this thing) and they have no idea about
> the packing or otherwise. I asked them if it was a refurb, they said no,
> was new from Ameritron.
> So, Monday, I am going to contact Ameritron, and let them explain to me
> I should not return this thing.
> Come to find out, from the merchant, it's same as MFJ! darn it, I am
> to buy something that's rugged and well made. But wait - I am stuck with
> this now for a couple weeks to use it for TXSG commo. I'm still going to
> call them on Monday and have a word with them about it. Seeing all the
> corners cut like that, I don't want this thing. It's not what I paid for.
> This is the biggest example of POS workmanship and poor mechanical design
> have ever seen and that includes most CB shops I have frequented in the
> Maybe MFJ knows how to build little 300W tuners, but they are out of the
> loop on ones this size. It has the mechanical robustness of an AM clock
> radio - which is fine for a 300W PEP tuner.
> I'll keep it only if they want to give me a lifetime warranty including
> overnight drop-ship replacement and return label in perpetuity.
> disgusted,
> PJ
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