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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Death of a Radio Company

Michael S. Higgins (K6AER) on June 12, 2007
View comments about this article!


Many years ago we watched with some ambivalence the slow decline of the Drake Company from the amateur ranks. Mr. WR Drake had died and his non ham son was at the helm wanting to take the company in a different direction. At the time the excitement was high with new radios coming out from Kenwood, Yaesu and ICOM. We are at a similar fork in the road with Kenwood. Looking at the excitement almost every manufacture experienced at Dayton, Kenwood was one of the loan exceptions.

I talked with their North American sales Manager, Phil and he said they have no high performance HF radio in the pipeline. The sales crew looked haggard and tired and when I visited their booth on Friday and Saturday at Dayton, no one was smiling. No give aways, no fluf and the booth was looking old. The booth was for the most part vacant and best served as a short cut to the MFJ booths further into the arena. They had an empty Plexiglas covered box on Thursday during set up and many hoped a new high HF radio was to appear on Friday. Come Friday morning…..just a VHF mobile.

At the Visalia DX Convention a month earlier, the Kenwood Factory representative left on Saturday at noon while the convention show lasted for 5 more hours. Just some brochures were left on the table. They had a TS-2000 but no one stopped to talk. I would have to say the morale at Kenwood must be very low. Their two-way radio division is doing very well but not having a licensed ham at the helm of the amateur radio division is taking its toll. I feel Kenwood has suffered greatly in the HF community since the TS-870 was pulled from production with out a replacement. The last high performance design was the TS-2000 which started designed in late 1999. The technology is over 7 years old and getting long in the tooth.

I have been a Kenwood man for 35 years. My first Kenwood radios were the 599 twins. I own a TS-2000 as a backup radio and it is a very fine $1500 radio but it is not cutting edge performer. I finally went to an IC-756 Pro III when I upgraded my HF radio and as a result also bought several ICOM VHF radios. The lack of a flagship radio does transcend your buying decision for other radio purchases.

I saw this downward spiral of esteem with the Drake line after the old man died and his non ham son took over. The rest was history. I hope Kenwood is not on the same path.

If 3 guys at Elecraft can bring out a high perform HF transceiver, the K3 in a year's time it makes you think there is no one left in engineering at Kenwood other than the two way radio division. The crowd at Elecraft booth were two or three deep for much of the show and with every new buyer of a K3 sprouting a proud K3 button his shirt. By the end of the show they must have taken hundreds of orders for I saw K3 buttons every time I looked at the crowd.

I hope this is not the case for Kenwood but as a wise man once said watch what a person does not what they say. Kenwood's actions are speaking very loud.

Member Comments:
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Death of a Radio Company  
by AH6RH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Michael. I also walked through the Kenwood booth, and sensed the same observations and conclusions. Icom, Yaesu and Elecraft had gang-buster radios on tap. I too recall the glory days in the 70's and 80's when Kenwood was on top of the world with their rigs. I was left wondering what would be their future in amateur radio offerings. I look forward to Kenwood regaining its place in product offerings and sales.

Ron Hashiro, AH6RH
Honolulu, HI
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K0RS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"WR" Drake, huh? Guess you were "ambivalent."
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It seems that Kenwood is shifting their emphasis to the commercial market that Motorola, GE and to a lesser extent Maxon dominated. It may be that they just don't seem to see as great a demand for amateur equipment anymore because of cel phones and the internet, not to mention the combination of ham radio and the internet. The reshuffling of the US public service radio systems and the resulting demand for commercial grade equipment may also be playing a part in their decision.

Maybe, with the world community setting aside long time amateur testing requirements and a resulting influx of amateur operators into the HF bands, that will change. However, with the threats to the HF bands from other technologies (BPL, for one) maybe Kenwood is seeing what seems to be the future writing on the wall.

Face it, hams are traditionally a cheap bunch, and with the hobby wide wanting of more for less, Kenwood may believe it is time to shift their research and development to the commercial markets and let their ham radio line languish. Maybe they feel that Icom and Yaesu have the market quite well covered in high end ham equipment and there isn't enough need or want for them to invest time and money covering it.

It could also be that they're holding back until they develop a new radio with advanced technologies to top the other two companies--with the way technology is advancing, it is a possibility.

Unfortunately, the way it looks, it seems the big three may soon be the big two--with smaller US companies filling in the slack.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KG8JF on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Someone flat told me that Kenwood was getting out of the Amateur radio business. I have never used Kenwood stuff, but I hate to see a valued name leave the field. Ham radio has to be a pretty tight market. There are just so many hams and we are not buying new gear all the time. It is interesting that when my New(to me) Orion I gets on-line, I will have an all American station. Orion, Palsta, and Ameritron. That is interesting.......
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W2RDD on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It is a shame to see a manufacturer of amateur equipment give up on the hobby. If Kenwood does, they will be putting more emphasis into their non-ham lines. I have a couple old Kenwood Hybrid rigs that I have no intention of giving up. I never criticized so-called "rice-box" rigs. A lot of folks did.

Anyway, I was more concerned when SGC gave up production of their SG-2020 transceiver. I would like to see production of that rig back on the assembly line. Maybe make it a cw/digital radio only, but still a twenty-watter.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N1CX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Face it, hams are traditionally a cheap bunch, and with the hobby wide wanting of more for less, Kenwood may believe it is time to shift their research and development to the commercial markets and let their ham radio line languish. Maybe they feel that Icom and Yaesu have the market quite well covered in high end ham equipment and there isn't enough need or want for them to invest time and money covering it."

SPOT ON with an emphasis on CHEAP. I've said this for many years. I've seen guys butcher something together with bobby pins and bailing wire to risk death instead of buying something that is right for the job to begin with.
I can't say I hardly blame Kenwood for walking away from this market, makes perfect sense to me based on what I've seen. It costs thousands of dollars to design products for hams and while 10 gazillion guys might say they like it or want it, the fact of the matter is when they are forced to put their money where their mouths are, you soon find that there are few that will spend money to buy something decent and most would go for the low buck option even if it meant spending more later on to re-do it.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W2RDD on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I should have mentioned we still have our "home-grown tomato", the Ten-Tec line of gear of which I have had many and still do.

Love my Argonaut Vs.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA4SCA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have talked a few times to a Kenwood tech rep who comes to AMSAT and TAPR/DCC meetings. Interesting guy. He talked about waiting for Kenwood to allot some time from the design teams to the Ham radio division. Indirectly, that confirms that Kenwood has put its primary emphasis elsewhere.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K6YE on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
MIke,

Nice article. I have owned three Kenwood rigs in the past: TS-430S, TS-440S, and a TW-4100. I thought they were fantastic compared to similar ICOM and YAESU radios.

I noticed the decline of Kenwood after the production of the great TS-950SDX. As a result, my main radios are an ICOM IC-775DSP, Yaesu FT-1000D, and an ICOM IC-756PRO as backup.

I do not believe all hams are cheap. I have seen DX, QRP, and plain old rag chewer types spend maximum bucks to get a 2db advantage and this applies to radios, antennas, tuners, amplifiers, etc.

I have noticed the chatter with respect to the new K3 and its touted hot receiver. That may be one of the reasons for the crowd at Dayton this year.

IMHO, it will be a sad day if Kenwood ceases amateur radio production. It certainly was when Henry Radio went this route.

Again, thanks for a great and well seasoned article.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The "changing of the guard" for who the main players in the ham radio market place is continuing to approach. It sort of reminds me of the early to mid 70's when the dedicated Hallicrafters, Drake, Swan, Heathkit, users all pooh-poohed those new import radios from Yaesu-Musen and Trio-Kenwood. By the mid 80's many of them were then buying those JA imports.

Could the same thing be happening today? Because now we have the rabid (cult like) fans of the JA big three all pooh-poohing those now small USA radio manufacturers, along with the radios out of the EU. Is history about to repeat?
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another thought has just occurred--Skycommand.

Kenwood took a big chance with this system, the big chance that the US would change its part 97 regs to accomodate it. When that didn't happen, Kenwood got burned--burned for the development costs and for the costs of tooling up for production.

Could it be that the higher ups at Kenwood are just not willing to put anything more into ham radio development after the hit they took on Skycommand? Granted, that hit was their fault--they should have researched further before going the route--but now they've been burned, the more cautious they'll be, possibly to the point of not trying again.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N3OX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Didn't the ruling that refarmed the bands in December also legalize Sky Command?

Didn't pay much attention to that because I don't have a radio that does it, but I think the FCC finally acquiesced to that request.

Dan
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3WN on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes it did -- too little too late?

But here's the thing. It takes time to design new or updated equipment and tool up to build them. Time, resources, and the willingness to spend both. Of course, this is tempered with the need for any business or business segment to make money doing so, ie, Return On Investment.

I wonder if Kenwood's Amateur division has simply taken a back seat the last few years... but with the recent rules changes, perchance they're taking another look?

And FWIW, SkyCommand isn't the first time Kenwood tried an innovation that didn't take. Remember the Digital Coded Squelch fiasco in the early 1980's? [I can still remember reading articles from people complaining about Kenwood using a "non standard" digital coding, and then looking at the codes and realizing that they were standard ASCII codes presented in Octal.] It was a great idea well ahead of it's time, but they couldn't pull it off. I don't think they took a big hit on it, it simply became a "bell & whistle" feature of the radios that wasn't used.

Oh, also FWIW, Kenwood was giving away some tchotchkeys on Friday and Saturday morning at Hamvention -- a pin, some maps and other whatnot. Maybe they ran out?

I'd hate to see Kenwood exit the market, and I say this as the current owner of a TS-140S & TH-225, and former ower of a TS-430 & 440S. But it happens, and if they make that mistake (IMHO), someone else will step up and fill the gap.

And isn't it an irony that the author compares Kenwood to R.L.Drake's exiting of the Amateur business? If memory serves, Kenwood got into the buisness in part by OEM'ing some of Drake's 2 meter gear back in the early 1970's!

73
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KX0R on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The "Death" of Kenwood is sad, but the rise of Elecraft is a neat success story. Elecraft is proving that hard work and lots of good engineering can beat slick packaging and heavy marketing.

If the K3 is everything they say it is, Yaesu and Icom will lose a lot of business as well. Ten Tec will not benefit from Elecraft either. The K3 looks like a great radio in several categories, and unless it has problems, it may be a prove to be a very successful product. Elecraft is breaking out of the QRP corner into the mainstream, and what may be happening here is a reversal of the big trend toward Japanese radios that happened decades ago.

We actually have many fine USA manufacturers competing in a difficult global ham radio market. The ones that succeed do so because they provide a combination of performance and service that works for them and their customers.

The Elecraft story is exciting because the radio is designed to be upgraded over time, which means that owners can look forward to years of improvements. It's great to see this kind of innovation and change happening in our hobby!

If Kenwood declines, that's too bad. I love my TS-520SE, but the team that designed that rig is no longer running the show at Kenwood.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4VNV on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, someone needs to outlaw Ham Radio to us low income guys so you rich guys can have the bands all to yourselves! I'll bet not one of you changes your own flat tire either. I'll tell you one thing though, you rich guys are boring as heck. All you talk about is what you just bought. Buying stuff is all you seem to do. Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Someone sure got up on the wrong side of the bed this AM.

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K6AER said..."Mr. WR Drake had died "

I guess this was a typo. As an avid Drake fan an collector, we know it was RL Drake. I too was in Dayton, and I saw the Kenwood booth full of live
and got several freebiees. Also Kenwood will have new radios out in the future, but are working on becoming
100% ROHS compliant. They are working on a ProIII to 7800 class radio and it will be in the $3K - $4K range. I am NOT a Kenwood users, but have had Kenwoods in the past and they are fine radios.

Rest assured Kenwood may be a little behind, but they will be playing catchup soon.

And RL DRAKE will live on as long as there are Fans out there like myself that keep the heritage going!

73 de W4LGH - ALan
See my Drake collection @ http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
By N3OX:
"Didn't the ruling that refarmed the bands in December also legalize Sky Command?
Didn't pay much attention to that because I don't have a radio that does it, but I think the FCC finally acquiesced to that request."

By W3WN:
"Yes it did -- too little too late?
But here's the thing. It takes time to design new or updated equipment and tool up to build them. Time, resources, and the willingness to spend both. Of course, this is tempered with the need for any business or business segment to make money doing so, ie, Return On Investment."
__________

That's just the point guys--Kenwood sunk a lot into Skycommand. They waited, and waited....... and waited--5 years I believe? Finally, the FCC said OK, we'll go along with it.

By that time, however, Kenwood had discontinued the idea and for the most part the line of equipment that would work with it because of no regulation changes in the US, (we still are the biggest market for those radios) no demand--and no return of their investment.

Kenwood is probably just not willing to do it again when there is another market for two way radio systems that is already a major part of their marketing plan. Maybe that is why we're not seeing anything new out of Kenwood for hams.

I don't profess to know the minds of the Kenwood execs and decision makers, but I believe my line of reasoning is a good guess to why the lack of an answer from Kenwood for the newer rigs from Icom and Yaesu. Maybe they will be back--maybe not. Who knows?
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4TME on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yep. I strolled through the desert area where the Kenwood booth was. Dry and barren. I did get a free pin from a really depressed looking sales representative. What a shame. Another *really* hot radio at the show was the FLEX-5000. It is on track to have a receiver better than both the K3 and the Orion II with a narrow spaced third-order dynamic range in excess of 105 dB! And since it is a software defined radio, it will never be obsolete like the ones with fixed DSP engines and limited capability firmware.

One interesting point here is that the the top performing radios; the Orion II, K3 and FLEX-5000 are are all American made and showing the world that great engineering talent doesn't just exist in the Far East. I hate to see Kenwood go, I have a few of their radios, but if it makes more room for FlexRadio, Elecraft and Ten-Tec, I will not be shedding any tears at the conclusion of their exit from ham radio. So long Kenwood. It was a nice ride while it lasted.

-Tim
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N5YAT on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
At Ham-Com in Plano, TX this past weekend, the Kenwood "booth" was a table with a few brochures, one or two radios, and a single representative.

Look at the layout: http://www.hamcom.org/cgi-bin/ccp51/cp-app.cgi?&pg=exhibitors

It shows Kenwood as having a double space - but they had virtually nothing in it! The impression one got was that there stuff never showed up, so they were just killing time...

Icom had 2 times the space as Kenwood, most others had at least the same size - but packed with equipement, and more importantly, visitors.

I don't know if they are out of the game, based on advertising in QST, but they certainly were making no attempt to generate business it Ham-Com, and no one was paying them any attention there...
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W1YW on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Segue to Monty Mython's Holy Grail:

"BRING OUT YOUR DEAD"

"I'm not DEAD yet"......

As far as I can tell, Kenwood is alive and kickin'. Can we stop these foolish rumors?

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by VE3LXL on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think hams are cheap when it comes to buying radios. Look at the orders flooding in for Elecraft's new K3. When they're offered an exciting product, hams do pony up the money to get it. If Kenwood is in fact thinking of dropping out of the amateur market, I think it probably would have more to do with them thinking their development money can be most profitably invested elsewhere. Since Elecraft services only the amateur market, it makes sense for them to spend the money to develop something like the K3, while to a company like Kenwood, maybe they think their development money is best spent elsewhere.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"

Thomas Edison, Gordon Moore, Steve Jobs, and a few hundred other names from the past and present come to mind...

Money doesn't matter for many of these guys. Creating something new does. That is what drives innovation in electronics and software, and creates components for great companies such as Elecraft.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K7CU on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've heard the rumors about Kenwood. It would be a great loss if they left the ham radio marketplace. I currently use the TS-850SAT for HF and the TS790A for VHF/UHF. I have 2 other Kenwood VHF radios. I've had the TS440 and go back the the 599 twins. I'd put the TS850 receiver up against just about anything on the market today. If I were Kenwood I would forget about the $4K+ market and bring back the TS450/690, TS850 and TS950SDX family. Bells and whistles and scopes and graphs and 45 knobs all look neat, but are unnecessary. Someone needs to provide a radio for the new no-code ops who will need good but reasonably-priced HF gear. I hope Kenwood "sees the light" and stays with us for a long long time.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N5GLR on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ref: HamCom Plano, TX (Friday, 6/8/07) ... I can tell you that Elecraft definately knows how to sell radios while Icom, Yaesu, Ten-Tec, etc. just don't get it. Elecraft was the only mfg. there that had a receiving antenna (or demo program) attached to their radio(s). I actually got to twiddle the knobs and adjust the receiver and the sales rep. gave an excellent demo. One could actually see and hear the outstanding performance of the receiver. Wow, what a rig! I can certainly understand why Elecraft is selling the K3 like hotcakes.
I was very interested in hearing how the TenTec and Yaesu stacked up against the K3 but, alas ... no soap. Were the other guys afraid to compare their product? It would appear so.

BTW ... the Kenwood booth was pitiful.

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W5PJW on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Noticed the same thing at HamCom last weekend as the others have mentioned. The Kenwood table was so lame I first thought "no way, they must be set-up somewhere else". Looked like an afterthought. Agree that Elecraft was the best (an friendly folks) but I liked Ten-Tec's booth too. Fell in love with the Argonaut. Oh, dear....
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3WN on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I had temporary custody of an Argonaut V for a few months while it's owner was in the hospital. Really hurt to give that little rig back! (And it really looked well sitting next to the Corsair II, but that too is another story)

I still think that if Ten-Tec could find a cost-effective way to give it a 100 W brick for the finals, it would be a great little mobile/portable rig. But I've discussed that at length in the past with W4PA and others at Ten-Tec, and I understand why they don't feel they can do that, even if I wish otherwise.

In any case... if there's any dis-satisfied Argonaut V owners out there, I'll gladly trade you my TS-140S for one, even-up!

73
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA1RNE on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

As a company, Kenwood isn't dying by any means, but they do seem to be shifting focus, possibly away from amateur radio.

The best way to gain insight into a companies strategic focus is to review their fiscal/annual earnings report and investor information pages:

http://www.kenwood.co.jp/en/pdf/061110_02.pdf

Over the past 2 years they have also consolidated their consumer electronics businesses, like home audio and have bailed from the non-profitable high end home theater business.

Not surprising, Amateur radio is not considered one of Kenwood's core businesses which are Consumer and OEM electronics.

** Pay particular attention to slide 23: there appears to be a shift in focus towards the digital commercial wireless communications market - including a new alliance with U.S. Trident Microsystems and ICOM.

http://www.tridentms.com/article12.htm

Then there's the acquisition of Zetron, Inc., a North Carolina manufacturer of Land Mobile Radio Systems.

>Note: the first page is blank....scroll to page 2....there are also slides at the end: http://www.kenwood.co.jp/en/pdf/20070510.pdf

I'm not a market analyst but it would seem that Kenwood is not devoting new capital towards the Amateur market and is instead shifting resources to go after market share in the digital commercial communications space.

Like Drake, they are "rolling with the changes" - exactly what amateur radio needs to do.


...WA1RNE
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WE9M on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I am not sure about this but it seems to me that sales of the Kenwood TS-2000 line is doing well. Seems as though as soon as dealers receive shipment of these rigs they sell out in no time at all. The sure don’t seem to set on the shelf long at all.

From a marketing standpoint, it seems Kenwood knows what they are doing. Kinda makes sense to sell 500,000 rig for $1.5K-$1.6K than to try to sell 500,000 for $4K-$5K. Beside The TS-2000 is a Hamshack in a box. It is a decent Ragchew rig on HF, works respectable for DX, and is a good rig for those that do casual contesting. The rig also is setup to work satellites. The frequency range of 160m-70cm is a good deal for the money. If you get the TS-2000X you have it all. There is a lot of BANG for the buck. I figure as long as they keep selling like they do these rigs will be Kenwood’s mainstay.

I for one would like to see Kenwood come out with a nice dual receive rig like Icom and Yaesu and others but TS-2000 seems to fit the needs of the AVERAGE ham. I would venture to guess there are a lot more AVERAGE Hams out there than Hardcore Dxers and Hardcore Contesters.

Just my 2 cents worth.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by AH6RH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I had a conversation with an Icom marketing rep a few years ago at Dayton. She wondered why the hams were hanging onto old equipment. I informed her that they liked equipment that performed well, and not the kind of equipment (in this case, VHF/UHF) that picked up intermod, were not selective or sensitive. Old equipment was solid, and the new stuff was cheap (or cheaper, relatively), but didn't perform.

If you look at the gang buster radios at Dayton, they shared a common trait. High performance and well behaved receivers, good operating features and layout. Roofing filters, and the like.

Side features such as DCS and Skycommand are comparatively bells and whistles. I do like the TM-D700 APRS/TNC features. But, if the receiver and transmitter engine is not solid, robust and clean, the average ham is not going to pay much attention to the rest of the radio.

Granted. There are some hams that economize, and some that go all out with the wallet. There's no one-size fits all. You target different products for the differing needs of each market segment. Icom, Yaesu and Elecraft are doing just that.

The final tally occurs at the cash register. And, that is what funds the next generation of product. I'd like to see Kenwood continue as a viable player in the amateur radio market.

Ron H
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Lets see, Kenwood just came out with a couple of new mobile 2m/70cm rigs, and announced a new HT at Dayton. Doesn't sound like they have given up on the ham market quite yet. Their 480 is still fairly new, and is supposed to be an excellent mobile rig-beating the 706MKIIG, 857, and 7000.

The Kenwood TS2000 is the ONLY HF and satellite rig on the market today. Yaesu discontinued the FT847, and has shown no plans to replace it, and the Icom 910H only does 2m/70cm/23cm. It doesn't even do 6m which was a major shortcoming and really hurts it use as a roving contest rig. It also can't be used for Mode A on Oscar 7, or any of the other HF to VHF/UHF modes that might show up on Phase 3.

I think the notice of Kenwood's death is a bit premature.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I had temporary custody of an Argonaut V for a few months while it's owner was in the hospital. I still think that if Ten-Tec could find a cost-effective way to give it a 100 W brick for the finals, it would be a great little mobile/portable rig"

Forgot 100 watts. Ten Tec should have put 6 meters on it, then it would be an awesome rig.

73s John AA5JG
Confirmed 6m addict
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB4TJH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maby this is our cue to get on the TenTec and Elecraft bandwagons and really support these great AMERICAN companies! We might even see the reemergence of a new and stronger ham radio manufacturing industry with more high tech radios that say MADE IN U.S.A. on them. Wouldn't that be a turn around! I too have been a Kenwood fan for most of the 38 years I have been licensed, but things can change. During that time I have owned a bunch of TenTec radios. Maybe we all need to turn our complete allegiance to U.S. made ham gear again.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by SSB on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A radio company that has a product line that Kenwood now has should die. It has 3 HF radios that just plain suck. I won't buy one of their radios at any price.


Alex.....
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N0AH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is just another company that MFJ is demonizing and putting zombies into their ranks. Soon, Martin the Weasel will place his evil empire ring over it that will not even discourage the ranks of HRO from selling his siezed Kenwood parted out bounty. Soon, MFJ will offer a TS-4000 which will work 72 bands, have no static crashes, and will be able to tune a tuna fish can at 50 yards without no coax. Of course, you won't hear anything on the other end, but you will have THEEEEEE new TS-4000. With 6 meters and CB w/WX as of you asked for............rig will come with a clear plastic covered Beldon coax as a special way of say thanks......Check the Winter 2008 Bathroom Book....
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4CQR on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=3875608

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aYrfvNzEv9N0&refer=asia

http://www.rttnews.com/sp/sectorind.asp?date=06/11/2007&item=5&vid=0
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K3AN on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing is forever. Change is the only constant.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WR8Y on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I am a 26 year veteran of "Commerical" or "two-way" radio. While hams are sometimes cheap, you have no idea how C H E A P the buyers of commercial equipment can be!

I used to think of hams as cheap, but in the past 5 years I have to say, you can sell a $1500 radio to a ham a hellofalot easier than to a fire department!

73,
mAKR
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood never seemed to keep up with Yaesu and especially Icom when the "chunky" "mil Spec" type rigs came into vogue. Their rigs seem fragile and cheap....a far cry from their glory days of the TS-520/820 line. Hams may be "cheap" as some have described earlier, but I'd suggest that as a group....the hams' eye for quality overrides their stinginess.

Too bad about Kenwood....hate to see this happen to any manufacturer.

Brad
N6KYS

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like how Ten Tec is supposed to be THE CW company, and their new $2600 rig has a internal keyer, but not one with memories, whatever! At least they finally did include 6 meters.

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Glad to see so many others also had Kenwood twins. Had a set myself form 1986 to 1997. Probably one of the best setups I have ever had. Incredible receiver on that one. And I agree with one of the previous posters-unless you need dual receive, the TS850SAT is probably one of the best contesting radios ever made.

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"As far as I can tell, Kenwood is alive and kickin'. Can we stop these foolish rumors?"

Here we go again...... Well, there is a little 'falseness' here, in the title of this article. But the answers and suppositions in the article are not 'foolish rumors', but rather a continuation of a line of reasoning evidenced by the displays of Kenwood ham equipment and the actions of Kenwood reps at these events and elsewhere as well as offerings from Kenwood at commercial radio shops.

Kenwood seems to be languishing as a ham radio manufacturer. At local commercial radio shops, one of the things the dealers are seeing is a push from Kenwood with introductions of new commercial equipment and products--expanding into the market now dominated by Motorola and GE. A Motorola mobile unit with accessories may go for $1200 or more, a Kenwood offering of a comparible unit and accessories goes for $700 to $800.

The Kenwood unit can be set up to be used with either Motorola, GE or Kenwood systems. It is a good solid rig, easily the equal of any Motorola or GE unit. If Kenwood offers radios such as these at lower prices, it seems that they are trying to work their way deeper into the commercial radio market.

Just plain facts, not rumors.

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W6GF on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You know what we lasted through the death of Hallicrafters, Hammerlund, Gonset, ELMAC, National and many others...including the beloved Collins. Business is business. When I ran companies many times I exited a market because we could put our dollars elswhere with a bigger return. But I love the current state of the ham radio market. A bunch of Yankee (oops sorry TenTec) er American companies TenTec, Elecraft, and Flex Radio are kicking the rest of the world in the you know where. The ORION 11 is just tops. I own the new fancy YAESU and ICOM, which are great radios, but I love my ORION 11. After writing this little note, I am going to check into a net. Maybe I'll use the fancy YAESU..if I can remember where the power switch is.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KA7RRA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Its all afordable you should be able to find some gear in your budget.
Maybe if you were to stop spending money on cigerates and boose,and women you would be able to buy some gear
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB2WIK on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Not sure who "WR" Drake was, but I met Robert L. Drake and his son Peter a couple of times while visiting the Hamvention back in the seventies, and took a side trip to the Miamisburg plant for a tour. Still have my TR-7 after 28 years and in some ways it outperforms everything else I've ever used.

Still have my Kenwood TS-850S/AT, too. Maybe it will become a collector's item if Kenwood gets out of the ham business!

Icom and Yaesu were both founded by hams, and hams are still at the helm. Good observation that probably makes a difference!

I guess we'll see what happens. The Kenwood 850-950-870 series are a hard act to follow, so they didn't bother trying!

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WW3QB on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I briefly had a set of Kenwood Twins in 1977. I said briefly because sadly the receiver had a defect (no 10m receive) and I sent them back. I then got a Drake C-Line, which I still have and still works today.

I remember when Kenwood led the Japanese invasion. They got the back cover of QST (replacing Eimac tubes) and then big full-color multi-page sections of QST (I have some old QST’s). Kenwood’s technology seemed so advanced and did help push the USA companies out.

But I think it would be just as well if Japan had a “big two” (Icom, Yeasu) and USA had a “not quite as big three” (Ten Tec, Elecraft, Flex Radio).
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WR8D on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I too was hardcore kenwood. When they came out with the 950 it did'nt come up to some of their advertising. I remember being at dayton that next year and listening in on some of the conversations between their "in the know people" and some of our amateurs that held degrees in electronics. When confronted by the hams they honestly had no answers. Then the 950sdx came out and i thought things were going to change. It had cured all the short comings in the line. I did'nt just jump out and buy one then i waited only a year or two and to my amazement they dropped production. There were warehouses full of 950sdx's and i could'nt get a straight answer from anyone on the fact that had they dropped production or were they still making them. I didn't want to put several thousand dollars into a rig that had already been discontinued before i bought it...which is exactly what they did and they didn't want us to know about it either, they were trying to keep it quite so they could move the inventory out. I had 530's still have the 830 station...bought the 940sat which during that sunspot cycle was one of the number one performers....then nothing from them in my book. I got used to having that "big" rig in the shack and just didn't want the 870. Sure that was a fine one too but the big ole 940sat had ruined me.

I wrote kenwood in Japan a very nice letter just telling them i felt they had abandoned me. Which is evident to all now. I made copies and sent one to east coast service and the west coast service and never looked back at the line again. I traded the 940 station in on a new crankup tower 9 years ago so when i look up in the sky at that big ole quad up there at 65 feet i sometimes have a fond thought of all those kenwoods and especially that 940sat that went in on the trade.

Now it's icom for me. I can't find anything better than the 775dsp as far as the receiver goes. After 9 years and just getting the want for a new rig i bought myself a new proIII a few weeks back. Guess what?? The receive in the 775dsp is still right there with the newer technology in the proIII. Really happy that for once in my life i changed "brands" and got it all right. I've had hams with the 12k rigs also tell me the 775dsp is right there receive wise with the flag ships of today. To make a long story short i guess i need to say looking at Icom they have only continued to make their line of hf rigs better and better, and in some cases like the receiver in the 775dsp one can't improve on perfection...at this time. Sooner or later another "Roswell" will happen and a flood of new technology will come about...maybe then they can improve on receiver performance. "hi hi hi".

Sorry kenwood...just telling it like it is and now it looks like it's all finally catching up with you.

Oh you do make a good car stereo though.

73 John WR8D
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W0DKM on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I would like to see a Kenwood Rig in every New Plymouth, and Olds being made!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WR8D on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Curt...someone already has done that for them...it's called "uniden". hi hi.

Just had to do that.

John WR8D
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Are the FT-9000/2000's Yaesu's TS-950????
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W0DKM on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The thing I like about Kenwood is, They Test Radios before they sell em!

Kenwood-101

ohoh
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W8ZNX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
such bull

quiting the ham marked
is a smart move for Kenwood

Kenwood is not like
Icom, Yaesu, Elecraft, Ten Tec
where all or much
of their product and sales
was ham relaited

Kenwood has always been in the
home consumer market

for kenwood ham radio has
always only been a side line

Mac
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA8MEA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Doesn't anybody see the correlation between gasoline prices and the buying/selling of ham toys?

For three years now I've watched as revenues for our company take a giant dump when gasoline prices head past the $3/gal. mark. I think maybe we sold a half dozen antennas in May.

And I watch the purchase of ham toys increase as the prices slowly work their way back down. Back in the winter when gas actually went below $2/ gal., our sales skyrocketed to record levels!

"Toy" markets; whether its ham radio, model airplanes, telescopes, computers, weather instruments, all are vulnerable to the gasoline "mini-recessions" that are created each summer. Families realize that cut-backs have to be made somewhere. And "toys" are the first to go!

Kenwood sees this and figures that COMMERCIAL gear is ALWAYS in demand regardless. Thus, they put less emphasis in the ham radio "toys."

I think Kenwood is dam smart economically.

BTW, if we are all suppose to believe this "Big Oil bull" they like to feed us about the price of gas being market driven, shouldn't there me a DRASTIC decline in prices next week as commuters to community colleges, high schools and grade schools all come to a grinding halt now that schools out for summer????

73, Bill - WA8MEA
http://HamRadioFun.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KASSY on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to correct a few things.

The TS-870 was NOT the last high performance HF rig from Kenwood. The current TS-480 is. The 480, at around $1000 to $1200, is a bargain...look at the receiver IMD figures and phase noise, and compare it to the double-priced IC-756ProIII from Icom. The '480 is the old '950 front end repackaged in a smaller radio.

Too many people see the '480 as "an Icom IC-706 with bands missing". But that is a poor way to look at it. The '480 is a genuinely high performance HF-ONLY radio, not a sloppy low-performance radio with too many bands in it. You want an all-band crappy radio? That's the TS-2000.

Also worth correcting, is that Kenwood is not doing their two-way dealers any favors. They are completely missing the market in some crucial two-way areas, their dealers are screaming for new models.

I think Kenwood is contemplating whether or not to stay in radio at all. Consumer hi-fi has got to be more lucrative.

- k
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W7MDC on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
|"Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"
|
|Thomas Edison, Gordon Moore, Steve Jobs, and a few hundred other names from the past and present come to mind...

Steve Jobs hasn't invented anything except his own legend. The fact is, there are plenty of rich folks who've invented things that you've never heard of, but please don't lump Jobs into the category of inventor.

Now, Woz, that's a different story...
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3LK on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Chip:

Stop! Sit Down! Take a DEEP breath!!!

<< As far as I can tell, Kenwood is alive and kickin'. Can we stop these foolish rumors? >>

I agree with you completely!!!!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland - soon to be Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3JJH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Let me propose another scenario based on my experience working with Japanese consumer electronics companies during the '70s, '80s, and '90s.

The first thing that you need to understand is that amateur radio gear is not commercial/industrial radio equipment--it is a type of consumer electronics manufactured for hobbyists.

The next thing you need to understand is how important hobbies are in Japan. Japan is a *very* homogeneous society. Hobbies are one of the few socially acceptable ways of expressing one's individuality. Within a hobby, there are various schools, each with its own following. Certain ways of doing things will become fashionable when adopted by a leader of the school. For example, when I worked a JBL, I found that several important Japanese reviewers had decreed that JBL loudspeakers must have a particular tonal balance. We had to have special products for Japan. The products we had worked to develop for the US and European markets would not sell.

Now, consider the sudden change in the packaging of Kenwood products that began to appear with the TS-2000 and the TM-D700A. These things just don't look like ham radio gear. They are highly styled consumer products, the products of some industrial design guru's imagination, with a radical departure from the look and feel of radios such as the TS-570 or the TS-60. The TS-480 is a nice radio, but it looks weird. And weird hasn't sold well in the US marketplace. If I were a Kenwood marketing guy in the US, I'd be lobbying for better looking products.

I suspect that the industrial designer responsible for some of the recent Kenwood radios has been replaced. Take a look at the new TM-V71A. It looks like a normal radio.

Another factor to consider is that Kenwood is a publicly-traded company that took a major hit when the Japanese bubble economy burst. It went through a major restructuring between 2002 and 2005.

Kenwood's net sales last year were around 1.5 billion dollars. About a third of that was communications equipment. The company says in its profile that it publishes for investors that its communications equipment business is focused "primarily on commercial wireless radios systems as well as amateur radios ..."

The return to mainline packaging is a good sign for Kenwood. If they we're about to bail out of amateur radio, they wouldn't waste money retooling.

Kenwood shares with Mark Twain the distinction of having rumors of their death being premature.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4VR on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood is alive and well. All you have to do is go to their website to find out what they're into these days. http://www.kenwoodusa.com/
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3JJH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
To put things in further perspective--
Kenwood's total sales for 2006 were around 1.5 billion dollars with around 480 million of that from communications equipment.

Vertex Standard (Yaesu's parent) had total sales during the same period of around 170 million dollars.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
All this talk about the death of Kenwood! You guys seem to forget that it most likely will be a MERGE or takeover, whereas Kenwood will be a sibsidery of some other giant, perhaps JVC, PanaSony or Hitachi! Many of the PC's companies disappeared (Tandy, Kaypro), but also some merged as something else (such as HP + Compaq). I am amazed that Apple has survived, but for some unexplainable reason, people buy the damn things! If people bought Kenwood, they'd be OK. It's simple, supply and demand. Many hams bought the ric-a-roni rigs, and put many domestic brands under. Some went to Asia (like Motorola, as in "when in Rome..."). Radio Shack used to sell some Kenwood products in their heyday as their high end stuff. So what will save the day for Kenwood? SALES!!! Actually I am glad to see some USA companies selling isntead! (But quite frankly, I wish it were Yaesu rather then Kenwood). The same goes for cars, IF WE'D BUY GM/CHEVY INSTEAD OF TOYOTA AND HONDA - I'd be GLAD! I am happy to see this is Kenwood instead of TenTec!!! Is Yaesu next? It depends on what YOU ham consumers buy into??? We can only blame ourselves, we decide by what we purchase! Buy American!!!

73! Don
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
All this talk about MFYaeKenAliCom vs TenCraft (Asian vs American) on here is interesting. As I just said, customer support cuts both ways, We want good service, and as customers, we can support our fave brands. We all tend to be name droppers, and word of mouth SELLS! So it's all about sales, i.e. what we hams decide to buy!

One compnay I don't hear much about is Alinco. They are cheapo, more bang-for-the-buck rigs, that were even sold by Radio Shack a while back (our sort of Hyundai class rig)! I never tried out the DX70T, so I cannot comment on performance. I've had a few HT's and the DR600 many years ago, they seemed pretty nice. Is Alinco still making rigs? Or is it a metter of merely selling off warehouses of old inventory? Is Alinco a subsidery of some other company? There seems to be some mystery about Alinco, and it would be an interesting company to also talk about beside the demise of Kenwood, pertaining to ham radio.

I also would like to know if some rigs are made in Euraisa (i.e. eastern Europe)? Has anyone dabbled in Russian made rigs (surplus)? One reason Kenwood sales has dropped, is that we hams are kind of deviant, looking for something differant. I wish Grundig made a ham transceiver to try out. It's interesting to get away from the Nippan type rigs. What else is out there?

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB2WIK on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Lots of other stuff "out there."

Besides Ten Tec, Elecraft and Flex Radio make HF transceivers in America, and good ones.

Here's a German company with a new high-end HF/VHF transceiver:

http://www.hilberling.de/

WB2WIK/6
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The same goes for cars, IF WE'D BUY GM/CHEVY INSTEAD OF TOYOTA AND HONDA - I'd be GLAD! I am happy to see this is Kenwood instead of TenTec!!! Is Yaesu next? It depends on what YOU ham consumers buy into??? We can only blame ourselves, we decide by what we purchase! Buy American!!!"

==================
What is 'Made in America'?

Many big Fords are classified as 'foreign cars' because of the foriegn parts content majority (to wiggle around CAFE standards). Most mainsteam Hondas and Toyotas sold here are build in the US or Canada. We export Hondas to Japan.

Our future depends on the flexibilty and intelligence of American workers, and the good sense of American consumers to buy the best value for their hard earned money. New enterprises and realistic workers are filling in the void left by dying unions and inept industries. Few other countries in the world could do it.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
|"Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"
|
|Thomas Edison, Gordon Moore, Steve Jobs, and a few hundred other names from the past and present come to mind...

"Steve Jobs hasn't invented anything except his own legend. The fact is, there are plenty of rich folks who've invented things that you've never heard of, but please don't lump Jobs into the category of inventor.

Now, Woz, that's a different story..."

============
Like him or not, Macintosh would not have happen without Jobs driving the key design decisions. I would lump him in with inventors.

I was working at Apple in Cupertino then.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W4ABW on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe the demise of a foreign amateur radio company is not such a bad thing.

We are hearing great things over here about Flex, Tentec and Elecraft.

Maybe its the start of a turn-a-round for US based companies to get back on top again.

Al
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W1YW on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There ain't even a corpse in sight--and you guys are nailing up the coffin!

Get real!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WW3QB on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It's not really the demise of Kenwood, with over 1 billion in sales. It may be just what their focus is. Drake is still alive and well. They are just not in the ham radio business anymore.
 
Death of a Radio Company - MFJ!!!!!!!  
by N0AH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Are we talking about MFJ??? Oh boy!!!!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB2WIK on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Really hard to compete here with labor laws as we have.

I've visited this company, who is the largest electronics contract manufacturer in the world and leads all companies (regardless of product or market) in export sales from China at $38 Billion annually, c.2006:

http://www.foxconn.com/

They do so by having people work 60 hours weekly (pretty much as a minimum), sometimes 80 hours weekly, sometimes no days off per week. The main plant employs 90,000 people.

Ya just don't see that here in the good old U.S. of A.

These people could probably build the Flex Radio SDR1000 for $175 and make a profit on it.

Shivers.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just can't get excited about the flex radio. Wonder if anyone else feels the same way. I just don't like running my radio with the computer. I had a B2000 once and tried that, and hated it after a month or so. I like knobs to turn and buttons to push.

I am currently running a Kenwood TS690SAT, and love it. Kenwood knew what they were doing when they built the 450/690/850/950 line.

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W7ETA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like a good strong cup of Irish Breakfast Tea in the morning. I use loose leaf tea. When I thought about Kenwood and looked at my tea leaves, i didn't see the demise of Kenwood Ham Radios. Come to think of it, I didn't see anything related to the Drake radios I have in the Tea Leaves either.

Maybe I need to switch from Twin Lead Tea Company to another company's tea? Or was that Twining's Tea Company?

73
Bob
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3JJH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Guys, look at my earlier post. Kenwood is telling the investment community that one of their major markets is amateur radio gear. They are not leaving. If that were their plan, they'd downplay activity in the ham radio market.

BTW, Kenwood is the world's second largest supplier of two-way radio equipment, and that represents about a third of their total revenue. About half comes from the car audio market, and the rest mostly from home audio/visual equipment.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W0DKM Said..."I would like to see a Kenwood Rig in every New Plymouth, and Olds being made!"


I thought EVERY New Olds and Plymouth had the NEW Kenwood TS-33000-SES installed as standard equipment! They don't?? I crushed!


 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K5ADF on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with your estimation of Kenwood's amateur radio division. I did not get to attend Dayton this year for the first time in over a decade. In the past several years the ICOM and Yaesu booths have been shoulder to shoulder while the Kenwood booth was lucky to have a handful of people other than the ones taking a short cut to the MFJ or ICOM booth. I just returned from Hamcom in Dallas and it was the same there. The ICOM and Yaesu booths were crowded with hams asking questions, while the Kenwood both was vacant for the most part.

Kenwood has decided not to compete in the amateur market and is placing their R&D dollars on other lines that they evidentally feel is more lucrative. Kenwood is resting on their laurels and soon will be a has been in the amateur market. It will be sad to see them go.

In 2000 I replaced my TS690 with a 756Pro. I have used a lot of Kenwood products in the past and have been pleased with them. I buy the best product being offered at the time and therefore have a mix of Kenwood, Yaesu and ICOM products in my shack and vehicles.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K5UJ on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<<They do so by having people work 60 hours weekly (pretty much as a minimum), sometimes 80 hours weekly, sometimes no days off per week. The main plant employs 90,000 people.

Ya just don't see that here in the good old U.S. of A.>>>

Yes, and thank God for labor laws. Anyone who doesn't like organized labor or has a beef with unions can immediately start working 12 hrs/day, Monday - Saturday, and forget about most of those holidays you get. That's because if you study labor history, you will learn that the 8 hr day, 5 day work week, and those nice restful holidays were all due to hard won victories we can all thank the labor movement for.

The TS480--they would have sold twice as many if they had not required the mic cable to be connected to the rig box instead of the control head. Who wants a mobile rig where you find out that if you mount the control head on the dashboard and put the rig box in the trunk, you have to run a mic cable to the trunk?
That was a deal killer right there.

I love Kenwood to death--I have Kenwood stereo components that are over 25 years old--a few years ago I had a gut feeling the TS870 was about to be discontinued and something told me nothing as good would be forthcoming so I bought one new a few months before they quit making them, got the $300 coupon that was available on it and that was one of the smartest ham decisions I have made in the past 6 or 7 years. I love the TS870 and wouldn't sell it for $2500. OTOH, I blew it when I bought the PS52 linear supply that went with it--expensive and unnecessary--an astron switching supply would have done just as well. The 870 is a great box -- it does everything I want and goes and goes.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8ADU on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
QUOTE This is just another company that MFJ is demonizing and putting zombies into their ranks. Soon, Martin the Weasel will place his evil empire ring over it that will not even discourage the ranks of HRO from selling his siezed Kenwood parted out bounty. Soon, MFJ will offer a TS-4000 which will work 72 bands, have no static crashes, and will be able to tune a tuna fish can at 50 yards without no coax. Of course, you won't hear anything on the other end, but you will have THEEEEEE new TS-4000. With 6 meters and CB w/WX as of you asked for............rig will come with a clear plastic covered Beldon coax as a special way of say thanks......Check the Winter 2008 Bathroom Book..../QUOTE
just so long as they include a good soldering iron and a pound of kester "44" /SARCASM
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"They do so by having people work 60 hours weekly (pretty much as a minimum), sometimes 80 hours weekly, sometimes no days off per week. The main plant employs 90,000 people."
======

In Silicon Valley (or Seattle or Irvine or Research Triangle), 60 hours a week is also pretty much a minimum.

=======
"Ya just don't see that here in the good old U.S. of A.>>> "

========
Depend where you look -- Silicon Valley or Detroit?
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K1HW on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi,

I also saw the same thing, but I hope you were not misled by the buttons. Elecraft had a basket of those buttons that they gave to everyone as they passed by.

Come on Kenwood, we don't want to see you go. I even have some of the old Trio Products, and they still are fun to use.

Jack, K1HW
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K8MHZ on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My personal experience with Kenwood has not been good. When their service department failed to fix a radio I had sent to them twice for the same problem I sent a letter to them saying I felt that Kenwood radios were the best advertisement for Icoms that money could buy. I got no response and was stuck with a radio built as a transceiver that has for the last few years been nothing more than a scanner in my shack.

I have owned several Kenwoods in my time and have had trouble with all of them built since the late 1980's.

If Kenwood went under tomorrow it wouldn't matter to me a bit as I will never buy another one.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9AC on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another excellent K6AER article.

My sense is that Kenwood began struggling after the League published its product review of the TS-950S/SD. In response to the review, the TS-950SDX was released shortly thereafter, leaving a bitter pill to swallow for the thousands of TS-950S/SD owners who saw their radios drop in value almost overnight.

The TS-870 really did not catch on and become a "cult classic" until several years after its introduction, even though the League's review was generally favorable.

In order to stay competitive in this market, it really takes a dedicated ham in a leadership position to keep an amateur division viable. Icom's enormous success is in no small part due to Mr. Inoue's contributions over the years as its president. I believe the same was true for Yaesu until Sako Hasegawa became SK. Also observe Ten Tec, Flex, and Elecraft. The leaders of these organizations are producing product for their life-long love of the hobby. Loose that leadership position, and all that remains is a product that must justify its own accelerated growth to investors. And, I believe Kenwood has been at that point for quite a while.

In all fairness to Kenwood, I currently own the TS-480 and it's an incredible piece of equipment. Excellent performance, back-lighted panel, and a base unit built like a Motorola Motrac. Same is true of the TS-870S and to a somewhat lesser degree, the TS-2000.

Like many of you, visiting the Kenwood booth at Dayton '07 was a high priority on my list of vendors. When my daughter and I turned the corner on Saturday morning only to see Kenwood personnel, I knew right away that any hope of seeing a new transceiver for '07 was diminished.

Kenwood has a great legacy and I hope they find the strength and courage to stay in the business.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KA2DDX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, so Kenwood was ready to give us Sky Command. How many of us wanted it? How many of us even today, know what it is? Other radio companies give us something we can connect with. This makes a big difference in a company's ability to market it's product.

a) here's what we want you to buy
or
b) here's what you can really use

I know it's not that black and white but compare different product lines and you can see what I mean. Some domestic car manufacturers have been down this road also. They make all sorts of large vehicles (profitably for them) that suck gas at $3 plus a gallon. Or, other car companies, give us a means of transportation which address the reality of high energy costs and still fulfill our need to go some where.

Kenwood makes nice radio's but are they for this marketplace in the 2000's? We decide with our wallets.

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W4KWD on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, you succeeded in your wish to stir up the Icom pukes, too bad you don't have any facts to back your assertions. Since you didn't have MR. Drake's name clear in your mind, perhaps you have Kenwood confused with Kenmore.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K6AER on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I know many have said the TS-480 is a high performance HF radio but the ARRL testing does not bear out the myth. The blow readings were taken at 14 MHz by the ARRL lab. I have listed the two important readings and what most consider the Holy Grail in receiver specifications. Mind you these specifications are in the $1500 HF transceiver price class.

The TS-480 Blocking dynamic range at 5 KHz is 98 dB
The TS-480 Third Order Intercept Point at 5 KHz is -18 dBm

The TS-2000 Blocking dynamic range at 5 KHz is 103 dB
The TS-2000 Third Order Intercept Point at 5 KHz is -15 dBm

As you can see the older (by 6 years) TS-2000 is a better performer than the new TS-480. An example of current technology is the Flex radio which is still in the improvement cycle.

The SDR-1000 Blocking dynamic range at 5 KHz is 108 dB
The SDR-1000 Third Order Intercept Point at 5 KHz is +20 dBm

Even the little Elecraft K2 has 132 dB of blocking dynamic range.

This illustrates the mind set at Kenwood. The above receiver specifications are basis of any high performance radio and Kenwood would have you believe their newest radio is the answer and replacement for the defunct TS-870 line. The TS-480 is a nice mobile HF radio but nobody is going to persuade them selves this is a contest radio. An old Hot Rod saying was, “if it doesn’t go, chrome it”. Bells and whistles may look inviting at first but the basic performance specifications will come out when you use the radio on the air and if the performance is not there the radio ends up on eBay.

Yes, I know the Kenwood Corporation is doing fine but with out the commercial two-way radio division feeding the VHF/UHF product line they have had little new product for the hams. They have done very little RD that shows. I have a feeling their bean counters view the HF product line as a liability and would like a graceful way to back out of ham radio altogether.

Bottom line is Elecraft (three engineers) designed a ground up, high performance, dual receiver HF radio in one year; this will no doubt make the Japanese manufactures take notice who want to compete in the US market. Hams will spend large amounts of money for a quality product that performs.

I hope somewhere in Kenwood a flicker of enthusiasm is still alive.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC5SAS on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I was disappointed that Kenwood did not have a replacement for the TM-D700 APRS dual bander, not even a prototype, at Dayton.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KB9CRY on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hams will spend large amounts of money for a quality product that performs. .

Wrong assumption!

Kenwood bean counter already know this. They will survive but not with Amatuer Radio.

With CCCRs, etc, most will not be able to justify the expense.

Just the way it is.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4KWD on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you don't like like Kenwood's equipment, that is fine, its your money spend it as you wish. That should have been the topic of your article however, not unfounded rumor....you have just confirmed my suspicions of your motive.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4CX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Zetron is based in Redmond,WA, not NC.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< Like him or not, Macintosh would not have happen without Jobs driving the key design decisions. I would lump him in with inventors.

I was working at Apple in Cupertino then. >>>

======================================================

What would Apple be without XEROX? Same goes for MS! If I remember right, the mouse and windows was XEROX's unwanted puppy, and MS sure has it resemblances to UNIX and Mac Windows! What would Toyolet and Hondazuki be without Ford and GM to copy from 30+ years ago?

The same goes for the Nippan rigs, they learned how to copy rigs from the USA stuff back in the 50's-70's. Their advantage was cheap slave labor. And we couldn't get enough, just like Walmart today!

So what's the buzz with Elstinko-Alinco? Any takers on this fine outstanding company?

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by ARRLBOOSTER on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood will not be back, unless they overhaul their Amateur radio division. I laugh at the clowns here that blame the impending demise on cheap hams...give me a break.
K-wood rested on their laurels-refused to innovate. This is a failure of the company and what ever is left of it's once incredible business plan.
What can you say about the willingness to compete of a radio company that "introduced" an anniversary radio that was simply a different shade of black!
I too owned the 599 twins and than a TS-850. After that I switched to the movers and shakers at Icom. RIP, Kenwood.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N5EAT on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the poster who said that kenwood has a top level rig out - the 480 series of hf rigs. These radios are great radios. Contest and DX ready. Great receiver specs and great Kenwood audio. If you have not had a chance to test drive one of these rigs - do so. If you have a chance to read the ARRL review of this rig - it is an eye opener.

I think soon enough someone at Kenwood will do another big hf rig. It's just a matter of time. Hell - they do radios for a living. It won't take much for them to design and manufacture a good rig.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KB1KIX on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Dunno about giving up - unless it's really recent.

9 or so months ago, they had a good showing at the Boxboro fest/convention in Mass. Really good display, very knowledgeable rep (got me info to mod a radio that isn't easily setup for digital modes).

As far as the comment about not having a flashy display and such - I respect them for that.

The Icom display at Dayton was a joke!

Jonathan
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KB5DPE on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Someone sure got up on the wrong side of the bed this AM."

Maybe so, but I think he's right. You don't have to be a "grouch" to speak the truth though some people don't like to hear it. I also think that ham radio is such a miniscule market to any of the larger manufacturers that a ham radio division exists only as an acomodation to a high level executive of the company who happens to be a ham. When that person retires or dies, so does the ham radio division. The market certainly isn't large enough to justify much drain on engineering resources which are in demand by far more profitable divisions. It's just a matter of economics.
Tom
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W7ETA on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My crystal ball says that jest because a company figures the marginal revenue does not exceed the marginal cost of going to Dayton, doe not indicate they are getting out of the ham radio business.

Bob
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N4RLL on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Indeed, Kenwood is a business, just like Icom and Yaesu/Vertex/Standard Horizon. They build communications equipment.

For our county alone, I have seen over 100 hand held VHF and UHF radios purchased just in the last several month, to the tune of $750-$1000 each. A substantial number of these were Kenwood, in addition to the venerable Motorola lines. If municipalities and businesses are purchasing portable (handheld) and mobile radios by the dozens, does it REALLY make sense to expect that copius resources will be devoted to the development of radios in a market the equals sa fraction of the land mobile/public safety market? C'mon, these are corporations, in business to do business.

Don't fear, Kenwood, as others, will still produce a quality amateur line, though the variety will diminish. After all, if mobile radios can be built to cover HF, 6M, 2M and 440 all in one box, why spend the money to continually develop new products?

With the coming of the 2013 narrowbanding deadline, and the adoption of the P25 standards, the big growth market will be with commercial equipment.

No gloom and doom here folks, just minor course corrections to make use to the prevailing currents. Hang in there and trim your sails - things will continue to be fine.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by NXET on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
kenwood is withdrawing from the ham radio market. I talked to a service tech who said the company had told them not to discuss it as they would be stuck with radios that would not sell.

Why are they. Easy. Ham radio is not what it was before the dummying down. The market right now is hot for the nuts who spend 10 grand just to get on a net and say they are their with golden tones. But, as he said the JA management think hams in this country are nuts to spend that much money on a HOBBY that doesn't do anything anymore.

Icom had produced some good cheap radios. The other side of the coin are the cheap hams who buy them.

It is just like what happened when the CB band was taken from the hams years ago. Radio manufactures like Johnson and Cobra produced some good CB radios that were not cheep. But, they are now due to the fact that the market won't bear the high cost for a CB radio today. Same thing is going on with the ham bands. Matter of fact I predict that the CB band will be absorbed back into the ham hobby bands eventually again from whenst it came.

Its all about the money. Rembember that. Kenwood didn't make a ham radio for you, it made one to sell to you. Bottom line, they are not selling, so the management has to make a decision. Close down the line and move into the home entertainment industry makeing digital TV's and car radios that will make the company money. Or, contenue loseing on selling ham radios that are not doing more than just saying--- hello how are you. Face it if the Red Cross doesn't want hams and the feds don't want hams to help in emergencies then its gone from being a public service to a hobby that will peak and eventually start to fail when the frustration sets in. Its all about the money and demand.

Heathkit, Collins, Drake, Hallicrafters, national, hamerland and all the others went down in flames to the cheaper better built throw away radios. Technology has peaked in the ham bands to what it is today. Whats left is digital signals for voice. When that is filled that will be that.

Ham radio is antquated and really useless in todays commucations methods. LOOK AT WHAT WE ARE WRITING ON RIGHT NOW. This is not ham radio, its higher tech stuff. And while the ARRL and the rest would have you believe that ham radio is making a comeback, give it a few years and I think you will see the same mass exidus due to boredome and frustration.

Don't believe me, look around at the clubs and the participation. Grim is in when you listen to the clubs going under. Its not technology any more. Its entertainment, thus the hobby part.

Ham radio is dead from what it once was. The respect has left the building. Its turning into one big CB band on what was once ham bands. And for those who don't think they are "Giving the licenses away" all one has to do is go take the tech practice exam. Frankly its a JOKE. It served it purpose to spur the manufactures for sales of UHF/VHF equipment.

Just like we heard the other night when some new ham came on and said QST de NNNNNN and got miffed when no one would answer him. He didn't know what it meant. Till one ham said OK what are you going to tell us. Another immedately yelled "contact". The same ham turned his attention to the contact station who said he would like to check into the repeater. Hmmmm intelligent hams. I wonder what happened to the reading part, as they have the talking part down good.

All of this leads the manufactures into thinking that their money is better spent developing products that can make them a profit. Ham radio is dieing--most just don't know it yet or are in self denial.

Kenwood is going away from ham radio folks. Best buy Icom because Yeasu junk is not far behind Kenwood either.

carry on. 10-4 good buddy were 10-8 and 10-10 (grin)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by AE6QF on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe "DEATH-of-a-radio-company" is a bit overcooked, no?? Kenwood ham radios are being sold each & every day this week.
I have enjoyed owning several Kenwood radios & my TS-850 is a pretty fair rig by any standards..
Looking down the road, all the players in the HF transceiver marketplace are gonna get a wakeup call with the performance/quality/price of the Elecraft K-3.

73, Quiet-Finger, AE6QF
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4RLL on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Exactly. Single Side-Band was once billed as the death knell of ham radio.

We're supposed to be on the cutting edge - not under the tires. Quit whining, accept that things today are not like they were 50, 25, or even 10 years ago, and enjoy what we have.

If fretting and worrying is your passion, go find a quilting circle to join.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4RLL on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
...and shouldn't we all ask "Why are we baited into these conversations?"

Amateur radio is vital, growing, and more fun than ever.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K9KJM on June 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, As several here have already stated, The amateur division of Kenwood is really a very SMALL fraction of Kenwoods product (And profit) line. I dont think we will see the "death" of Kenwood anytime soon, But we may very well see Kenwood's exodus from ham radio.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K7LA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood is clearly concentrating on the more lucrative commercial markets. My employer, the largest railroad in the US, has purchased thousands of Kenwood FM radios for mobile and handy-talkie applications for the railroad band.

It would appear Kenwood is devolving out of amateur applications. The good news is that innovative newer companies like Elecraft are stepping up and will reap the rewards of the free marketplace.

Life goes on.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"What would Apple be without XEROX? Same goes for MS! If I remember right, the mouse and windows was XEROX's unwanted puppy, and MS sure has it resemblances to UNIX and Mac Windows!"

Xerox invented the personal computer back in the early 1970s. There were three main concepts:

1) Distributed processing (a computer on every desk, not one big mainframe)

2) Networking/resource-sharing (file servers, shared printers, etc.)

3) Graphical user interface (windows-like screen display, mouse, lightpen)

Xerox's Palo Altp Research Center (PARC) had developed it because they thought no one would be using copiers in the paperless office of the future. But the Xerox management didn't think the idea of a computer on every desk would catch on, and they showed off the whole thing to the world without protecting it with patents.

" What would Toyolet and Hondazuki be without Ford and GM to copy from 30+ years ago?"

Toyota, Honda, and the other Japanese carmakers quickly went beyond copying Detroit. They focused on quality and innovation, and by 1980, American carmakers were struggling to catch up.

"The same goes for the Nippan rigs, they learned how to copy rigs from the USA stuff back in the 50's-70's."

By the 1970s, the Japanese were surpassing the American manufacturers in features, performance and price.

Look at the famous Kenwood TS-520S. In 1974 it cost $649. What US made rig of that time could compete with it?

"Their advantage was cheap slave labor. And we couldn't get enough, just like Walmart today!"

I don't think the Japanese workers considered themselves "slaves".

Compare the wages and benefits of a typical Japanese worker to the wages and benefits of the CEOs and other bigwigs of the same company. Then do the same with a similar American company. The results are not pretty.

What Japan *really* copied from the USA was the quality philosphy of a guy named Deming. While American companies were satisfied with planned obsolescence and selling the same old thing in slightly different sheet metal, the Japanese were pushing quality on all fronts.

Japan had another advantage: While the USA was busy with the arms race and the space race, the Japanese were focused on consumer and industrial products, and improving their infrastructure. The end result was that they wound up with a modern industrial country, and we didn't.

While the early Japanese cars and electronics were clearly not world-class, the Japanese quickly learned from their mistakes and surpassed the American rig-makers. Look at a first-generation FT-101, and then at the later models. Yaesu learned their lessons fast.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Japan had another advantage: While the USA was busy with the arms race and the space race, the Japanese were focused on consumer and industrial products, and improving their infrastructure. The end result was that they wound up with a modern industrial country, and we didn't. "

I don't think it is that simple. Japan after WW2 had no infrastructure, we took care of that.

As they rebuilt they modernized; while we continued to "milk the cash cow". As their infrastructure came on-line they surpassed us and some industries were not willing to make the cash investment to modernize their respective industiries. I think that this is more the scenario.

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KA2DDX on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W9PMZ touches a real nerve for anyone living in upstate New York. We lost a ton of industry here the last 40 years. Used to be when you got out of high school you could get a job in one of the steel mills and save for college. Now, you get out of high school you work for a pizzeria at garbage wages and save nothing. The heavy industry here went away, never to return, all the while blaming foreign/subsidized competition. But, the industry itself has much blame to bear, considering the ridiculous expenses they bore to operate. Fat cat executives making huge $$$$$, etc. Nowadays, it's oil companies making $$$$$ and re-investing very little. This "business accumen" employed by these people has resulted in a great many families becoming disconnected as folks had to move to another state to get some kind of job to support their families. The foreign competition was just stepping in where our home grown enterprises allowed them to, through sheer stupidity.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""Japan had another advantage: While the USA was busy with the arms race and the space race, the Japanese were focused on consumer and industrial products, and improving their infrastructure. The end result was that they wound up with a modern industrial country, and we didn't. "

I don't think it is that simple. Japan after WW2 had no infrastructure, we took care of that.

As they rebuilt they modernized; while we continued to "milk the cash cow". As their infrastructure came on-line they surpassed us and some industries were not willing to make the cash investment to modernize their respective industiries."

I agree to a point.

What you describe is all true, and a big part of the story. US industry after WW2 tended to patch up the old stuff, like open-hearth furnaces, rather than invest in the newest and most efficient technology.

Part of that was a sort of arrogance that said we won the war, nobody can teach us anything about industrial production.

But what I saw growing up was that while countries like Japan were focusing on making modern industrial and consumer products, the USA was putting its resources into military and space technology.

For example, during the 1960s, NASA had pretty much a blank check for manned space exploration. And the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs were big successes.

But research into a good quality economy car went begging. Transit systems in our major were either dismantled or falling apart, too.

So when oil got scarce and expensive in the 1970s, a few Americans could go to the moon, but millions of us had to struggle just to get to work, school, etc.

I'm old enough to remember when American car odometers only went to 99,999 miles, because very few cars would last long enough to reach 100,000. In fact, I recall when 5 years/50,000 miles was an old car to most olks.

Meanwhile the Japanese had developed both their transit infrastructure and good small cars.

"I think that this is more the scenario."

Industry tends to focus on where the big money is. Which, after about 1960 in the USA, wasn't in consumer and industrial products, but in "aerospace" and "defense" industries.

Which has the greater potential for profits - making a few high tech items on a cost-plus contract, or trying to make lots of quality items that can compete in a consumer market? Where were the highest-paying and most-prestigious jobs for US engineers and technicians back then?

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KF4HR on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not really sure what Kenwood's game is any more, or if they are really leaning towards dropping their amateur line.

Their TS-2000 squeezes a lot of functionality into one box, but IMO the 2000 doesn't compare to Kenwoods higher end radios of yesteryear; TS-850/950/870.

Kenwood's TS-50 was blown away years ago by ICOM's 706 series and now their IC-7000, followed up by Yaesu's FT-100/857 series; yet Kenwood stood by and let that market nitch slip by. (Does anyone really think the TS-480 is in the same category as these micro-small
do-it-all rigs?)

I have to admit though, Kenwood has come out with some interesting stuff over the last several years; the TMD-700A was a nice departure from the "normal dual bander", and their Sky Command is unique for sure. And don't forget Kenwood kept pressure on the FCC to approve Sky Command II. Plus there are a few new Kenwood amateur products still coming out (albeit nothing really new) - so there must still be some lights on in the ol' Kenwood shop somewhere!

As for the digital movement, it seems both Kenwood and Yaesu have continued to skirt the amateur digital market (D-Star); perhaps for good reason.

KF4HR
 
Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by AI2IA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The title and content of this article are provocative enough to bring out a long string of posts. What do these posts reveal? Nothing. Idle chatter.

Kenwood has the means to do just about anything it wishes to do with its amateur radio line. It certainly has the capability to succeed if their management chooses.

If their amateur product(s) suit your need and the price is within your budget, then buy it. Don't let all the gloom speculation scare you away. LIFE IS NOW. ENJOY IT NOW.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K3NRX on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It would be just plain stupid for Kenwood to get out of the Ham market. With the dropping of the code requirement for a license and the approach of the next sunspot cycle, you would think they would wait it out and see what happens. Them pulling out would not make any sense at all, especially now. We'll just have to wait and see. Meantime, I will continue to enjoy my TS-440s that I purchase in 1989. Taking a licking and keeps on ticking! Kenwood (and Yaesu) forever!

Vince P
KA3NRX

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Which has the greater potential for profits - making a few high tech items on a cost-plus contract, or trying to make lots of quality items that can compete in a consumer market? Where were the highest-paying and most-prestigious jobs for US engineers and technicians back then? "

It depends, aren't defense companies limited in the profit that they are able to make un a governement contract?

Back then, if I want to go to a prestigious job I would have voted for Bell Labs. Having starting work for a defense contractor in 1980 I can tell you first hand that my best friend who went to work for Western Electric at the same time made more money. I finally gave up defense contract work and now work in the telecommunications industry (test cellular amps) and I earn more money now than the people who I knew in the defense industry.

What I believe from my experience is that the equation changed due to labor rates and the US consumers thrist for cheap goods (I think 'wik pointed that out). Many of the products I work on are still designed here in the good ole USA; but manufactured off shore to maximize profit. What's wrong with that, after all we are a capitalist country?

But wait, the equation is changing again. Due to transportion cost and localized taxes companies are now starting to realize that offshore may not be the answer. I'm not sure where this is heading, but coupled with the Chineese wanting "western pay and accouderments" the manufacturing model is evolving again.

But in the final analysis, so long as the US consumer can get a $10 DVD at big box mart, they could care less the social and economic consequencses of their spending habits.......

73,

Carl - W9PMZ



 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KB0RDL on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I had heard that Kenwood was going out of the Amateur business over 10 years ago and it hasn't happened yet. I'll believe it when I see it. I only have one Kenwood radio and it's an older 2 meter all-mode TR 9000. It works fine. I'm thinking of getting their new dualband that has direct hookups to Echolink. It looks like something I could get some good use out of.

Hams seem kind of goofy about their brand preferences, but so do many automobile fanatics. My prefered brand has been Yaesu but I have two ICOMs and two ALINCOs as well. I think they all work OK unless the particular set is defective or broken. I think some of us want their radios to fix breakfast and do the dishes along with a bunch of other things. They're just radios and they necessarily have a finite service life.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Before everybody starts screaming about the 'death' of Kenwood, maybe they would be better off remembering that Kenwood MUST provide support and warrantee service for the radios they are selling now, not to mention the radios they have sold in the past few years.

There are still Kenwood ham radios in the warehouses and the supply lines--as a matter of fact, there has been NO indication that they've stopped making ham radios. They just haven't introduced anything new to compete with the Icom and Yaesu big buck radios--probably very sensible considering a ten thousand dollar price tag the other two have stuck on their rigs.

Kenwood radios have always been a little higher priced for the features, but the quality has always been the there to justify the higher price.

Maybe Kenwood is rethinking their amateur line. Maybe they will be back in the future. The only thing known for sure is that Kenwood hasn’t shown the money grabbing tendency of the other big two in recently introduced radios. It could just be that they would rather have something entirely new and innovative—not a big order with the speed of advancement of technology these days--to offer before they introduced a new rig, one with a price tag a little more realistic. That would put Kenwood right back at the top of the big three—with the other two scrambling to try to keep up.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
As I said earlier, Kenwood is working on becoming 100% ROHS compliant, world wide. The ROHS laws in Europe are more strict than they are here, and since Kenwood sells worldwide the same ham radios that they sell here, they must be compliant. I was told that they are working on a new model that will built to compete with the 7800/9000 class radios, but will be
around $4000. If they are truely doing this, and that figure is correct, they will capture the market quickly.

RL Drake left the ham business, because they could NOT compete with price. Drake was always built with quality componets, mostly hand made, and came at a price for the quality. Drake is very much alive and in business, as I was just at the Drake factory.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by RX1 on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Before everybody starts screaming about the 'death' of Kenwood, maybe they would be better off remembering that Kenwood MUST provide support and warrantee service for the radios they are selling now, not to mention the radios they have sold in the past few years."

Hey, Kenwood may or may not be on their way out. Don't kid yourself however, on one issue. A lot of folks put way too much stock or "faith" in warranties. Warranties are only as good as the companies that stand behind them. Even though you may have some legal recourse, at least in theory, that doesn't always stand for much.

Companies fold all the time, leaving people holding warranties that account for little more than the paper they're written on.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K7FD on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I thought Kenwood was dead, too...

...until I got a TS-480SAT. Wow!

73 John K7FD
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KT4NR on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This was the same exact discussion people had about Icom a few years ago....then they came out with that little heard of rig called the IC-706. I think we all need to review our Mark Twain for a moment before we spread rumors of death notices.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<"Someone sure got up on the wrong side of the bed <this AM."

<Maybe so, but I think he's right. You don't have to <be a "grouch" to speak the truth though some people <don't like to hear it. I also think that ham radio is <such a miniscule market to any of the larger <manufacturers that a ham radio division

I wasn't referring to the original post. I was referred to the post before that one where the poster got up and immediately decided to play class warfare.

73s John AA5JG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Hey, Kenwood may or may not be on their way out. Don't kid yourself however, on one issue. A lot of folks put way too much stock or "faith" in warranties. Warranties are only as good as the companies that stand behind them. Even though you may have some legal recourse, at least in theory, that doesn't always stand for much."

Probably true--but for one very important issue. The consumer laws in the US do specify warrantee terms. Now, if Kenwood were to 'shut the door' on the ham radio market and leave all their customers out in the cold, how long do you think their commercial radio business would last?

Besides the headlines and word of mouth blasting Kenwood for deserting warrantees, the government would all but blacklist them, and the sales of Kenwood commercial products (as far as government agencies) would stop. After all, they did it once--they could do it again if the commercial 2 way radio line started to falter.

Now, consider the other side--Joe Consumer. As soon as word got around that Kenwood isn't honoring warrantees, sales of other Kenwood products would also drop. Their home and car audio lines, their home theater offerings, heck--their entire product line would take a shellacking.

They would never make a decision like that--remember the bottom line. They would rather take a small hit to that bottom line from warrantee service than a massive hit to it from lost sales when word got around they abandoned one of their product lines.

Kenwood itself isn't folding, but if they pull a boneheaded stunt as this post proposes, they just as well may consider doing so.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by EX_AA5JG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This was the same exact discussion people had about Icom a few years ago...."

You are right on that one. I remember geing at the Sandwich, IL hamfest in either 1994 or 1995 and talking to the guys from the Amateur Radio Toy Store (its actual name, in Wheaton, IL). At that time Yaesu was creaming the competition with its FT900 for mobile work, and the FT1000D and FT990 for base station work. The Toy Store owners told me Yaesu had the market and Icom would soon be out. Well, the 706 was released.......and the rest is history.

73s John AA5JG
Kenwood and Yaesu owner
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KA5ROW on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Oh it's.....it's so sad Kenwood is gone just gone. That is something I do not want to here. At one time the radio of choice was Kenwood just like Coke ,everyone compared themselves to coke, as do other manufacture compared themselves to Kenwood. I have owned the TS530gp, TS180, TS430, TS830 several mobile radios all Kenwood my present setup is a Kenwood TS570sg, TS790A and a Kenwood TL922A 2KW amp. When I heard that the New Kenwood RF amplifer the TL933A was not going to be offered in the US. That flagged me something is turning sower as far as Kenwood was concerned, maybe with all a buzz at e-ham and others as well someone at Kenwood would get a clue and do something
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"RL Drake left the ham business, because they could NOT compete with price. Drake was always built with quality componets, mostly hand made, and came at a price for the quality. Drake is very much alive and in business, as I was just at the Drake factory. "

Cost of quality - what a subject! I submit to you (labor costs excluded) that if RL Drake practiced "cost of quality" they'd still be in the ham gear business today......

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by NG0K on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, the TS-570DG has been discontinued. Nobody has it in stock. I'll bet the SG model is going to be discontinued as well.

See this thread: http://www.eham.net/forums/Elmers/147279

 
Death of a Radio Company Kenwood/JVC Merger  
by W2CSH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood has bigger fish to fry. They are a consumer electronics company and saw their profits drop 78% last year in the fierce competition among producers from Japan, Korea and China. Currently they are in merger talks with JVC and are seeking capital to buy the JVC brand from Matsushita Electronics. The following article came out today in the financial media. The conditions being dictated to Kenwood by the private equity firms that are putting up the money for the JVC acquisition are to dump unprifitable operations and quickly turn the company around. This means that the industrial radio and amateur radio divisions will be dumped and the more profitable car audio and navigation divisions will be pushed to produce profits. ICOM and Yaesu being almoast pure communications companies are in a better position to maintain their development of amateur products as long as they feel it is worth the effort. We are fortunate that the american manufacturers are once again producing world class equipment. They are small, highly skilled, entrepreneurial companies that quickly respond to the marketplace and develop cutting edge products.
------------------------------------------------------
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has decided to sell its stake in Victor Co. of Japan and is negotiating with prospective buyer Kenwood Corp.+++


QUOTE
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has decided to sell its stake in Victor Co. of Japan and is negotiating with prospective buyer Kenwood Corp., sources said Saturday.

Matsushita, which has a 52.4 percent stake in JVC, plans to complete its latest round of structural reforms by removing JVC from group earnings, the sources said.

JVC President Masahiko Terada is believed to have met with Kenwood President Haruo Kawahara earlier this month.

The sources said there is another proposal on the table which calls for JVC executives to acquire the shares from Matsushita through a management buyout, the sources said.

Cerberus Group is negotiating with JVC executives to provide the necessary capital for such a deal, they added.

JVC, the pioneer of VHS-format VCRs, was once a strong player in consumer electronics. However, its earnings have tapered off due to mounting competition.

It suffered a 30.6 billion yen group net loss on 806.8 billion yen in sales for the business year that ended last March 31.

By acquiring JVC, Kenwood would seek to use the Victor brand to strengthen its own video and audio lineup, the sources said.

"Our policy to closely watch the operation of Victor, which is making its utmost effort for a business recovery, has not changed," a Matsushita spokesperson said. "Nothing is decided about the sale."

Matsushita spokesman Akira Kadota however acknowledged that JVC is the only Matsushita subsidiary which is in the red. "There are many options, and a sellout is one of them," he said.

Established in 1927, JVC joined the Matsushita group in 1954 and produced such hit items as color television sets and VCRs. It had about 28,500 employees as of Sept. 30.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company Kenwood/JVC Merger  
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W9PMZ: "Cost of quality - what a subject! I submit to you (labor costs excluded) that if RL Drake practiced "cost of quality" they'd still be in the ham gear business today......"


I really don't think basic quality ever was the key issue for the demise of the past domestic gear manufacturers. What the Kenwood's, Yaesu's, and Icom's did was do a much better job of capturing the touchy-feely, and aesthetic aspects of the mass consumer electronics market, and then apply that to ham radio gear. They can still do that without equal. But what they have failed to recognized in the last few years is that there is an increasing divergence of sentiment within the amateur radio customer base where the equipment buyers are increasingly not interested in having their radios look, feel, and act like mass consumer electronic gadgets anymore. They want radios, and they want radios that perform very well. And they want radios with top notch specs (specifically ones that really matter like close spaced IMD DR etc.), and have truly useful features that allow them to operate more effectively. And some even want high quality panadapters with very effective PC integration and user control. The gimmicky bells and whistles like 32 color choices for display backlighting aren't it. And the super-duper "do everything in one tiny box" radio isn't it either. While those may have appeal initially to the newcomers just coming into ham radio from the world of consumer electronics, they will tire of it if they do indeed get more deeply into ham radio beyond just rag chewing and emcom.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KA2DDX on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY - good points made - I'll take yours a step further. In the 50's, President Eisenhower had a summit meeting with Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. One of the items they discussed (as reported in our media) was the effect of the military / industrial complex. They both agreed their countries were being unduly influenced by it and thought it would have a lasting effect. Hindsight is 20/20 isn't it? Out of the paranoia of that era we have all these weapons but old, out dated factories, etc....... American workers were blamed and made to feel as if they were not capable of good workmanship. In fact, it was the "complex" mentioned above that should be help responsible. MHO..................
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K5UJ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<<<You are right on that one. I remember geing at the Sandwich, IL hamfest in either 1994 or 1995 and talking to the guys from the Amateur Radio Toy Store (its actual name, in Wheaton, IL). At that time Yaesu was creaming the competition with its FT900 for mobile work, and the FT1000D and FT990 for base station work. The Toy Store owners told me Yaesu had the market and Icom would soon be out. Well, the 706 was released.......and the rest is history. >>>>

Yeah, and the Toy Store is defunct now.

As for Kenwood and Skycommand, what about Icom's Dstar? How many know what that is and understand it? I don't see tens of thousands of hams trampling each other to buy Dstar gear.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"They want radios, and they want radios that perform very well. And they want radios with top notch specs (specifically ones that really matter like close spaced IMD DR etc.), "

You must have never operated a filtered R-4C or a TR-7. They still perform as good as or even better than today's gear.

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N6JSX on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kwood is not following the HAM market or they would have geared up to capture the recent no-code rules change that created a surge in HF licensees.

Kwood finally dumped the TS-50 dog but the 480 replacement does still not compare in size & features to the 706/7000 except for more power. But the antenna tuner 480 model is 100W with a narrow tuning range!

Kwood started cheaping their radios back on the 80's when they inserted "FAKE" features. TM-621/721 had "REAL" VSWR protection cicuits & TX power meter. The following upgrade TM-631/731 (and all newer radios) removed the VSWR protection circuity and made the TX power meter a function of PTT & hi-lo power setting. I do not know if current Kwood radios have reversed this cheaping/distructive/deceptive change.

Kwood has lost vision of the HAM market and how to capture market share - they need to look for market nitches. The TS-2000 is an over sized/limited challenge to the 706/7000 market with near same pricing. The 570 series is under featured and cannot compete against the IC756/7800 or FT2000/9000.

I personally think running after the super high end HF rigs is "NOT" a good market idea - sales per price per development costs per competition will not create much margin. I'd focus on making mutli-functional multi-banded radios that give the most to a lowering education/income levels of HAMdom. Make sound economical HF rig at a low price (compete against the 706/7000) but focused on SSB OPS with the BEST SSB DSP/vehicle noise reduction that is upgradeable via programming would regain the low income no-code licensee market.

Kwood has lost SAT-VHF/UHF/SHF vision (probubly due to the blunders of AO-40/AMSAT). Kwood has dropped all their VHF/UHF "SSB" radios 9000, 9130, 9500, 751, 851 - never making a 220/1.2 SSB. The TS-2000 does not fill this gap and is to expensive for just 2m/440 SSB OPs.

With the super miniturization there is a market for a mobile multi-band user configurable "modulized" all-mode VHF/UHF (like the extinct FT-726/736 & IC-900's). Support SAT-RDF & general use OPs (that no one else has on the market). Create 10m,6m,2m,220,440,902,1200,2400,5600 modules.

Talk to the USA HAMs (your REAL market) when developing your radios - I've never heard of any HAM that has been consulted for future pre-design radio feature planning. Don't waste engineering circuitry on gimick features like the stupid Kwood "DCL" adding 5 DCL front panel buttons to the TM series (or the dumber Yaesu WIRES/ARTS). No more sun-light unreadable cool-blue TM-V7 displays!

Restructure Kwood products to use a modulization concept across "all" radios platforms. Give customers options but insure they are universal across all the Kwood product platforms. Make common universal mic's, mounts, connections, power cords, CAT protocals/connections, etc. This will create lean manufacturing minimizining shelf inventory, development time, and production costs.

Focus on KISS - simplicity with intuitive features - that do not require the user to have manual in there hand to use the radio (don't do what Yaesu has done with their VX HT's). Insure displays are readable in "all" condutions and user controllable. Add a feature to mobiles to sense ambient light controling LCD brightness for day & night operations.

Evalaute programmable upgrading, again to minimize hardware retrofit costs (providing you follow through with upgrade improvements). Insure CAT access to all features/controls via radio USB port, insure external connections to display meter and 1st RF amp/mixer for 100% RDF attenuation control. Allow external PSK mic conneciton while the voice mic remains connected/used.

Consider:
Upgrade TS-480 to HF plus 1 module but focus on mobile OPs vastly improving SSB mobile noise reduction (cruise controls/windshieled wiper) with a 100% IF DSP control.
HF tuner option: insure the antenna tuner has a broad range capabile of 1:1 tuning of 75 meter (3600-4000) to a 1:1@3800 mobile HamStick.

Upgrade TS-2000 to HF plus 3 modules. With HF tuner option.

Create mobile 50W all-mode 2m plus 3 modules.

We want functionality and versatility at a economic cost with only usable intuitive features.

Do this and Kwood will regain its market presence & lead, otherwise Kwood will go the way of Heathkit, Drake, Hallicrafter, Swan, Atlas, etc. and eventually TenTec if they don't get their act together!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company Kenwood/JVC Merger  
by K1CJS on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Kenwood has bigger fish to fry.......The conditions (for getting the capital they want) being dictated to Kenwood by the private equity firms that are putting up the money for the JVC acquisition are to dump unprifitable operations and quickly turn the company around. This means that the industrial radio and amateur radio divisions will be dumped and the more profitable car audio and navigation divisions will be pushed to produce profits."

I almost believe this.....but for the part about dumping the industrial (commercial) radio division. This division is a real money maker--it won't be dumped. Since the amateur radio division is not really separate from the commercial radio division, it may fade away--but it won't be dumped either. It is possible that Kenwood may be looking to sell their 2 way radio division, but it won't just be 'dumped'.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by AD5KL on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not surprised. There are less than 1 million hams and many radio manufacturers with many different models vying for our dollars. A lot of new hams buy used gear to get started, or seasoned hams trade gear at hamfests or online. Remove that from the equation and not too many new ham radios are sold. Those that are sold new are split among Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, etc.

The radio dealer earlier in this post has a point - my gadgets budget has been sliced & diced by my rising gasoline bill. Since it's not feasible to trade cars right now I just have to live with it. People can do without toys if they have to. That can't help matters for the manufactures or dealers.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W9PMZ said..."Cost of quality - what a subject! I submit to you (labor costs excluded) that if RL Drake practiced "cost of quality" they'd still be in the ham gear business today......"

Maybe I should have worded it another way, I keep forgetting that everyone here on eHam take everything so litteral...

Drakes were built with very high quality, and that quality came at a cost! When it got to the point that Drake could not build a quality radio and compete in the retail world with competition, and still make a profit, they left the business. Every company has to make a profit. The Drake 4B line with matching speaker and mic was around $1200 in 1968, what would that be in 2007? At least 10 times, maybe a little more...so lets say $12000 today. Yaesu and Icon think they have a market for this price radio, but Kenwood doesn't think so. I think by this time next year, you WILL see a new Kenwood on the market for around the $4K price.

It would really be nice to see Drake come back out with an 8 series, to match the r8 receiver they used to sell...that would be a nice setup, but will probably never happen.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W9PMZ: "You must have never operated a filtered R-4C or a TR-7. They still perform as good as or even better than today's gear."

I personally haven't. But I have used gear that is comparable, and some that is even better per Sherwood's chart. And I do have a real good sense how a TR7 would perform. But your point is taken, a lot of the new gear today, especially at the more "budget" end of the price spectrum is inferior to the TR7, a nearly 30 year old radio.

But even as the TR7 was arguably superior in just about every performance spec there was, it was soundly beat in the market place by TS-520's/820's, FT-101's/901's etc. Just goes to support my assertion that that it was the "consumer electronics" touchy-feeliness (and price) that sold those TR7 competitors, not their performance.

Well today there is a growing number of ham gear equipment buyers who now do put those key performance specifications above all else. And arguably none of the imports today are truly competitive in that space. That competitive performance space belongs to Flex Radio, Ten Tec, Elecraft, and Hiberling.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

"What would Apple be without XEROX? Same goes for MS! If I remember right, the mouse and windows was XEROX's unwanted puppy, and MS sure has it resemblances to UNIX and Mac Windows! What would Toyolet and Hondazuki be without Ford and GM to copy from 30+ years ago?"
============
Small, continuous improvements are examples of true innovation. The cost and risk of putting an new idea on the fickle public is too high. Be it cars, ham rigs, or computers, there are few truely unique products which didn't start out as half baked ideas by other companies. There is a huge canyon between a cool idea and a sellable products. Ideas are cheap; products which can be sold and supported at a profit are rare.

Using Xerox as an example: who was 'smarter' the PhDs who developed the prototypes of the mouse and windowing system, or the company (Apple) who bet hundreds of millions of dollars on a version which actually worked and was sellable? Or, for that matter, Microsoft who took the ideas, and adapted them to a OS for general purpose, cheap computers. Windows opened the internet for the average Bubba to complain to the world about his/her lot in life.

Good for Elecraft, MFJ, and others in the US and Canada. Continual innovation on features AND price will keep them alive in the world market. Hammarlund and others couldn't keep up. We are in a global economy now, sorry.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
RE: KO6EAA

Very good, had Apple or MS NOT taken the ball, we would not have Winders and meeses today. And the Japs made the US companies throw in a lot of goodies in package deals. I kind of think about Polaroid and Kodak (or the fine German made cameras) that once were considered the cats meow, but the Japs took over the camera market and NOW are considered the best rather than cheap junk as they were after WWII. They not only copy, but improve on inventions that came out of Europe and America. Had some people not taken some ideas, copied them, and grown with them, we would still be using the horse and buggy and hot air balloons. I guess it is the first guy that has the patent or copyright, then sells his inventions or ideas through the big money companies -- that really make it. I am sure that Kenwood (and the others too) are built on US patents. So the guys with the brains are those that hold the rights. I am sure the fellas at Kenwood's R&D are looking at the new changes (no-code) and are considering this in designing new HF rigs. Dayton was simply too soon for any new products to be unveiled yet. I bet Kenwood has all kinds of NEW STUFF next year. What will the new guys want to buy? Apple and Microsoft are what they are, simply because many people bought it.

73! Don
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N0AH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I got my father in law, F0EFQ, the TS-570G. He loves it. I do too. Worked CQWW cw from France with it. It was an excellent rdio. Good selectivity and sensitity. Worked grayline to the states using a backyard Hustler on 80M cw. The radio was very easy to operate, very program friendly, and worked. What do you expect? The way I see it, they want to do volume and stay in the mid-price range level. So what.......They are still making good stuff. Must of been the chile at Dayton.......did you ask them? This is a blowhard article. Why don't we look at at the real radio companies who deserve to go in the drink-
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If we look at the trends of electronics now-days, I think we will see an all around universal transceiver that will be software specific as to application. One early example I remember was when the scanners had to be cell-blocked, and this was for the USA market. Later, cell phones too were programmed for specific areas and for personal use, although they are capable of full service, i.e. the limitation can be taken care of by the software that controls the transceiver. This way, Kenwood (and all the others) can make one type of rig that fills the needs of many markets (military, commercial, hobbyist, govy, ARS etc.) and mass markets mean cheaper rigs that are capable of doing it all. Imposed limitations come from the rules and regs of various countries. I thought this was coming when I saw all those handhelds that have full spectrum coverage, but transmit only on the ham bands by the software used for that purpose. The same HT's can be made to transmit just about anywhere they can receive. Most USA older rigs only transmitted/received on the ham bands, and excelled because they were designed for one specific use, the ARS. Then general coverage transceivers came into vogue! I think this is one main factor that made the Jap rigs so popular. Now general receive goes beyond HF all the way into to the giggyhertz. Most scanners are generic and not market specific. So make a great scanner with all the bells and whistles done by software, and you've got a generic rig that can be used in most any market out there in the whole wide world. The trick is to make it a good one! When a Sony or Uniden scanner can hear as good as a FlexCraftTec, you've got a winner! I think ARS specific rigs will become a thing of the past, and will be replaced by universal generic transceivers that are software controlled for govy R&R impositions/limitations. The advent of the IC is why I say this will happen. One chip that does it all, it's the way everything is going. Think about it when you get a father's day card that plays your fave songs.

73! Don
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W2KAE on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Plenty of the early Ham and Commercial manufacturers such as National, Hallicrafters, Gonset, Hammarlund, ad infinitum, left the market because they were unable to time, or understand the technology shift. Some leave because they absolutely do understand their own evolving business plan. Unlike ICOM and Yaesu, Kenwood enjoys a hugh and diverse consumer market. If they choose to exit the amateur radio market, you can bet they are doing it for reasons that have little to do with what anyone thinks outside the principal stakeholders who are reading the P&L.

Cheers! Deke W2KAE
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
PS: Think about it...

I remember when I had to buy a rig for HF, one for VHF, one for UHF, perhaps one for CW, and then many antennaes (and many tuners and amps for those that like that stuff). So if you wanted to work most of the ham bands, you had to buy a shitload of rigs and the crap that went with them to do it all. I did not like this at all, it was too rich for my liking.

Then in the 90's we started to see more multi-band rigs that had general coverage receive. So this meant fewer rigs and less real estate in the shack.

For those that like to tweak toggle switches and spin knobs, you'd better keep that old stuff tuned up and in good shape, it is on its way out! Otherwise, get used to the keyboard, voice command, or other input devices to program your rig to do its thing. Ham radio technology is way behind the scanners and cellery fones of today. If you really like the good ol' stuff, you'd better hang onto it, it will be in demand when everything goes to the simple little box. Connect your little HT that has full spectrum covrage, and a few buttons, to your pocket PC/PDA and you've got bells and whistles only limited by the imagination of the programmers. Programming will replace kit-building and home brew.

So what kind of Pentium will your rig use? Perhaps a PX (Pentium Ten) that has RAM, ROM, Video/sound, networking, and God knows what else all in ONE super fast-super powerful IC!!! That's HF and all the rest in your shirt pocket! A rig that does celleryfone, home fone, ham radio, television/radio broadcast, everything in your pocket, now that's a full spectrum all mode digital transceiver!!! Will Kenwood lead the way? PanaSony? Motorola? TenTec???

Then again, my crystal ball has a crack in it! HIHI!

Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W2KAE: "Plenty of the early Ham and Commercial manufacturers such as National, Hallicrafters, Gonset, Hammarlund, ad infinitum, left the market because they were unable to time, or understand the technology shift. Some leave because they absolutely do understand their own evolving business plan. Unlike ICOM and Yaesu, Kenwood enjoys a hugh and diverse consumer market. If they choose to exit the amateur radio market, you can bet they are doing it for reasons that have little to do with what anyone thinks outside the principal stakeholders who are reading the P&L."

Precisely. And when the effectiveness of your ability to leverage that consumer electronics "know how" is being increasingly eroded by the rising "Personal Computer" centric approach to product design, and end user acceptance, you will see your market share continue to fall. So that section of the P&L becomes more or less just "L".
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Talk to the USA HAMs (your REAL market) when developing your radios - I've never heard of any HAM that has been consulted for future pre-design radio feature planning."

But is the USA the real market anymore?

The number of US hams is about 675,000. An unknown fraction of them are active amateurs, and an unknown fraction of those who are active are in a position to buy a *new* (not used) rig, HF, all-band, whatever.

When you consider how long decent ham gear lasts, and how much good used gear there is around this country, the USA amateur market for new rigs isn't that big.

But what about the rest of the world? There may be more of a non-US market than a US market!

---

I notice that in the post I quoted, the writer capitalizes all the letters in "HAM". Why is that? It's not an acronym for anything.

Until a few years ago, I always saw it as "ham radio" unless it was the first word in a sentence, at which time it became "Ham radio".

Where did "HAM" come from?

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
PPS: Then you might ask...

What about the finals? How does one deal with the heat and size required to transmit a few hundred watts+? Simple, an "RC box" that is mounted at the antenna (no more feedline and its problems). The box would contain the finals (heat sink and fan), perhaps an auto-AT, bluetooth remote-control unit, and the power supply. It could be like having your own cellfone tower, or even digital repeater, mounted on your site, all in a nice little metal box. You would have remote control via a 1 watt palm transceiver. If you don't think so, check out the PDA celleryfones out there that do it all. WOW! Who/when??? Kenwood/soon??? Will your YaeKenAliCom become a PanaSonokia? NAAAA! The contestors and award chasers will not buy it! Not yet? But kids love joysticks more than knobs and switches! Some day...

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K0BG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It appears, after all, very few amateurs ever heard of Antoine Augustin Cournot, or what he is known for.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6LO on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Do "celleryfone" companies sell 'stalks' to raise money? What in name of all thats holy, is a 'cellery fone' anyway?

PUNs aside, there has been alot of personal thoughts, albeit rumors, speculated facts, and downright innuendos tossed about in this thread. It appears that no one really knows what is going on deep inside the management of Kenwood, except for the Kenwood mgmt itself, concerning the future of Kenwood amateur radio production. I, as many have stated, am a long time Kenwood fan and user starting way back with the Twins. I have owned and still own several old Kenwood rigs and daily use a TS-940SAT. True many people do not rush right out and buy the latest radio offerings from ANY company but there are those that do. The market research teams at manufacturing comapnies like Kenwood know this and plan their investments and production to fit those needs. Someone stated that a sales rep asked "Why do hams hold on to old rigs?". Well most have a limited hobby budget and when they do purchase a new (or at least new to them) rig, if it works, they want to get the most out of it. I know I do. Same as a lot of people will put 100K miles on a car before trading in for a new one while others go for a new one on a regular basis.

To each his own and if this means that companies fall by the way side due to working in limited vertical markets, then that is the nature of the beast. Expand, diversify or die is the mantra for the successful company.

I hope Kenwood hangs around for many years to come. I also wish that they would come back to reality and give the amateur market a sensible solid HF/6M radio lineup to choose from instead of "all-your-eggs-in-basket" approach of the TS-2000. It is a nice rig but if it dies, you lose it all.

Just my 2 cents worth,

Gene KI6LO
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WB9HLK on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Too bad- for Kenwood and hams.

I had a TS-440. OK rig.
I had a Drake B line- great rig.

Companies come and go- Collins, National, Hammarlund, Heathkit,... there will always be a new company to fill the need. If Kenwood has given up on the ham market, it is NOT our fault. They simply can't (or won't) compete.

The new rigs from Flex-Radio, Elecraft, Yaesu and TenTec are innovative, competitive and lead the way. Its the wonder of capitalism and free markets, coupled to a diverse group of techie value oriented people (cheapskate hams). I don't want a KWM-380 that costs more than an OrionII. If the latest offerings from Kenwood don't compete in the free market, they will either change or fold up their tent. Elecraft (or whoever) will fill the bill.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company Kenwood/JVC Merger  
by WA1RNE on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
by W2CSH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

Kenwood has bigger fish to fry. They are a consumer electronics company and saw their profits drop 78% last year in the fierce competition among producers from Japan, Korea and China. Currently they are in merger talks with JVC and are seeking capital to buy the JVC brand from Matsushita Electronics. The following article came out today in the financial media. The conditions being dictated to Kenwood by the private equity firms that are putting up the money for the JVC acquisition are to dump unprifitable operations and quickly turn the company around. This means that the industrial radio and amateur radio divisions will be dumped and the more profitable car audio and navigation divisions will be pushed to produce profits.


>>> According to Kenwood's 2007 annual report, net income for FYE 3/2007 is down 56.7% from FYE 3/2006, not 78% - still a substantial decrease.

The COM business which consists of commercial wireless AND amateur radio was NOT unprofitable - actually quite the opposite. Kenwood's 2007 annual report indicates the decrease in profit seen in the Consumer Electronics business was actually compensated for by the COM business. They don't say what percentage amateur contributes to the COM business, but given their recent acquisitions and partnerships in the commercial radio space, the shift of capital to this business, and not even a single mention of the contribution amateur sales makes to their bottom line, it's a pretty sure bet that amateur represents < 25% of total income of COM.

Kenwood's 2 "core" businesses are Consumer Electronics and OEM products for the automotive space. But they've made too much progress in commercial digital radio business to just dump it now - especially since this business is responsible for keeping it's balance sheet black.

So given all that - and now the possible JVC acquisition, it would make even more sense to discontinue amateur operations.

I was very disappointed with they stopped making their Sovereign line of high end audio products and would also miss their amateur product line as well should they decide to do this.


....WA1RNE
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W1YW on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Sov line was very good and very cost effective. Still have E-bay!
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W8JAS on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood has several issues impacting their sales. First, no high end radio. Second, the TS2000 was very innovative, but quality was an issue. Failing finals which seems to be a problem with many Japanese manufacturers. Third, geez, it's about time they get rid of relays - take a hint from TenTec! Fourth, making radio with panels that do not attach to the radio is NOT something I want. Great to have a detachable panel, but I also want to attach it to the radio. Fifth, update your handhelds. Sixth, I know you just updated the mobile APRS radio, but what about a GPS receiver in the radio especially the handheld TH-D7 - wouldn't that be nice, a handheld APRS radio with a GPS receiver in it. Seventh, can all worldwide radio manufacturers standardize on one method of digital voice. Icom is going its own way, no one else is on the bandwagon, AOR is doing something different than ICOM, the U.S. is on APCO25 for the most part and none of them work together (AOR, Icom, APCO). Finally, when people come into the booth can you look excited? Can you maybe get innovative again? Kenwood has lost the excitement. Of course the real reason for the decline is that hams hung onto code for too long keeping many out. Then the Internet arrived and getting rid of code just months ago is just too late. I also look for Kenwood to get out of the ham business. You could see it at their booth at Dayton and read the faces of their employees. The end is near.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KN4LF on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well it's a shame but I think that Kenwood is a goner. There is no way a non Ham can run their "Amateur Radio" division. As we all know this hobby takes passion and a non Ham will not get the job done!

My first Kenwood was the R-1000 and then R-2000 SWL receivers. My first transceiver was a TS-830 Gold. Man that rig had a good receiver on 160 meters, without the PLL and VCO phase noise.

Back at around 1993 I switched to Yaesu and then Icom in 2005. I think Icom engineering is ahead of Yaesu now but that's my personal opinion.

Drake did make a come back of sorts in the 1990's with their excellent R-8/A/B SWL receivers but recently discontinued them.

73,
Thomas Giella, KN4LF
Lakeland, FL
http://www.kn4lf.com

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB2WIK on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Death of a Radio Company Reply
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W9PMZ: "You must have never operated a filtered R-4C or a TR-7. They still perform as good as or even better than today's gear."

I personally haven't. But I have used gear that is comparable, and some that is even better per Sherwood's chart. And I do have a real good sense how a TR7 would perform. But your point is taken, a lot of the new gear today, especially at the more "budget" end of the price spectrum is inferior to the TR7, a nearly 30 year old radio.

But even as the TR7 was arguably superior in just about every performance spec there was, it was soundly beat in the market place by TS-520's/820's, FT-101's/901's etc. Just goes to support my assertion that that it was the "consumer electronics" touchy-feeliness (and price) that sold those TR7 competitors, not their performance.<

::I was there then, and I'm still here now, and I don't think that was it. I bought a TR-7 brand new in 1978, along with the second VFO, power supply, three filters, the noise blanker, etc. The TR-7 "station" (no amplifier, just the radio and stuff that goes with it) cost nearly $2500 in 1978 dollars. I also bought a brand new TS-520S in 1977, and it was $595.00 complete with a built-in power supply. The TS-820S was a little bit higher, I think $795.00 (I didn't buy one). FT-101s and -901s were in the same ballpark, pricewise. When the TR-7 came on the market, I think the only "more expensive" rig on the market was the Signal One, which was innovative but so flaky that most users couldn't keep one operating more than a few months at a time.

So, I think the reason Drake didn't sell more TR-7s was purely "price," which was quite steep. The Collins KWM-380 came out just after the TR-7 if I recall correctly, and it was pretty steep, too. Good rig, but they didn't sell a lot of those, either.

The TS-520S hit the sweet spot: A "new" rig with most of the features people wanted, in an attractive package, robustly built, and very affordable. It was the Chevy Impala of its time.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6: "So, I think the reason Drake didn't sell more TR-7s was purely "price," which was quite steep. The Collins KWM-380 came out just after the TR-7 if I recall correctly, and it was pretty steep, too. Good rig, but they didn't sell a lot of those, either."

Perhaps yes price was the bigger factor for the TR-7. However when the TR-5 arrived on the scene ca. 1983 as I recall, it went nowhere in terms of sales, even less than the TR-7. It was definitely more price competitive. But by then Kenwood/Yaesu really had some momentum going and Icom was starting to make some good headway. So was it the "touchy-feeliness" factor or price???

Re the Collins KWM-380. My take on it was that in the grand scheme of things it was at best a mediocre performer, beautifully constructed, but had really bad phase noise issues, and of course the price. I do also see it as an example of the folly of building a single radio to cover both military/government and amateur users with just one design. I do see that some like to tout that aspect of the IC-7800, but you do have to ask yourself if a design for both government/commercial and ham radio use is really such a good idea? There almost has to be some undesirable compromises made for one or both sets of users.

And yeah, I was messing around with radio way back in 1978 as a teen age SWL, so I couldn't afford any of it. But trying to analyze it all today in the context of business, and marketing vis-a-vis the marketing landscape of today is a fun exercise.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Drakes were built with very high quality, and that quality came at a cost! When it got to the point that Drake could not build a quality radio and compete in the retail world with competition, and still make a profit, they left the business. "

From my understanding the lack of quality ultimately costs a supplier more than a company with a well run quality program.

Drake is out of the ham gear business mostly because of labor in my opinion. I think I read in the Drake story that in the end even Drake was offshoring (to reduce labor costs) its manufacturing of the boards that went into the TR7; and that the quality of those boards were causing major rework at the home factory. Rework will kill a company everytime. I suppose what Yaekenconm did was take the hand assembly as much out of the process to promote quality in the first place. Yes, automation over hand work promotes quality.

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""Which has the greater potential for profits - making a few high tech items on a cost-plus contract, or trying to make lots of quality items that can compete in a consumer market? Where were the highest-paying and most-prestigious jobs for US engineers and technicians back then? "

It depends, aren't defense companies limited in the profit that they are able to make un a governement contract?"

It depends on the contract.

With a cost-plus contract, the company documents all the costs and then adds on an agreed-upon profit margin. As long as the costs are approved by the govt. beancounters, the profit is *guaranteed*.

That's a totally different game than trying to produce something that will sell for the lowest price, in competition with others.

"Back then, if I want to go to a prestigious job I would have voted for Bell Labs. Having starting work for a defense contractor in 1980 I can tell you first hand that my best friend who went to work for Western Electric at the same time made more money."

But what happened to Bell Labs and Western Electric?

Back when "the telephone company" was a highly regulated monopoly, their profits and rates were regulated. Like the cost-plus contract, as long as the costs were legitimate, the profit was guaranteed. So they focused on service and reliability. They could afford to spend big bucks on research (Bell Labs) and quality (Western Electric) because they were such a monopoly. The result was telephones that would last a half-century and more and still work perfectly, and service such that if you had any problem, they sent a nice serviceman to fix it.

"I finally gave up defense contract work and now work in the telecommunications industry (test cellular amps) and I earn more money now than the people who I knew in the defense industry."

The era I was referring to was before about 1975. Specifically the late 1950s and all through the 1960s. That's when US industry, IMHO, really stopped focusing on industrial/consumer products, and the serious investments needed to produce them. Meanwhile the Japanese and others were making those investments big-time.

"What I believe from my experience is that the equation changed due to labor rates and the US consumers thrist for cheap goods (I think 'wik pointed that out). Many of the products I work on are still designed here in the good ole USA; but manufactured off shore to maximize profit. What's wrong with that, after all we are a capitalist country?"

What's wrong with it is the job losses. You wind up with a country where there are lots of things to buy, but too few people who can really afford to buy them.

What I have seen happen over the past several decades in the USA is a slow but steady change in what I call the cost-of-living-distribution. What I mean is that the cost of non-necessities keeps going down, but the cost of necessities keeps going up. "Cost" as defined in "the number of hours you have to work to buy it".

For example, more and more hams can afford nice new ham rigs. But fewer and fewer can afford a nice house with a decent amount of ground around it and no CC&Rs, so they can have a decent antenna system.

That's not a good thing. The middle class, which is the backbone of the whole American system, is slowly being eliminated.

"But wait, the equation is changing again. Due to transportion cost and localized taxes companies are now starting to realize that offshore may not be the answer. I'm not sure where this is heading, but coupled with the Chineese wanting "western pay and accouderments" the manufacturing model is evolving again."

Maybe. Meanwhile, how many good jobs are lost here?
Will they ever come back? How much of the accumulated wealth of the USA will be sent away via the trade deficit before things stabilize? (That's really what a trade deficit does - sends the wealth of the deficit nation to the surplus nation).

As far as capitalism goes, consider this: Henry Ford, who was certainly a capitalist of the first order, was criticized for paying his workers "too much". He pointed out that his purpose in making Model Ts was to sell lots of them, and if the average worker could not afford to buy a car, cars would remain a high priced luxury item. IOW, he thought it made no sense to have people working to build a product they could not afford. He wasn't a philanthropist in that regard; he was just looking at the long term. That long-term view is now considered old-fashioned.

"But in the final analysis, so long as the US consumer can get a $10 DVD at big box mart, they could care less the social and economic consequencses of their spending habits......."

Sadly, yes. Personally, I'd rather have expensive DVDs (and ham rigs) and inexpensive, American made, real estate, food, and other necessities.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WB2WIK on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Death of a Radio Company Reply
by N9DG on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6: "So, I think the reason Drake didn't sell more TR-7s was purely "price," which was quite steep. The Collins KWM-380 came out just after the TR-7 if I recall correctly, and it was pretty steep, too. Good rig, but they didn't sell a lot of those, either."

Perhaps yes price was the bigger factor for the TR-7. However when the TR-5 arrived on the scene ca. 1983 as I recall, it went nowhere in terms of sales, even less than the TR-7. It was definitely more price competitive. But by then Kenwood/Yaesu really had some momentum going and Icom was starting to make some good headway. So was it the "touchy-feeliness" factor or price???<

::People recognize a bargain when they find one. The TR-5 wasn't a TR-7, by any means. It runs one-half the transmitter power, lacked the mother board/daughter board modular construction and all the amazing shielding of the TR-7 and took a lot of shortcuts. I never bought one, but I did "try" the TR-5 once or twice, and it sure wasn't a TR-7! Kind of like owning a Ferrari and then test driving an MG. The similarity is they both had two doors and four wheels...

:-)

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3WN on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve WB2WIK's comments about the cost of the KWM-380 reminded me of something...

Back when I was in college, over 30 years ago (*sigh*), the club station had a gorgeous Collins S-Line. Story was that after the club convinced the powers-that-be-who-held-the-pursestrings at the school to permit the club to update their primary station with, and of course, nothing but the best if you're going to spend the money, right?

Problem was that this happened during the time that Collins Radio was acquired by Rockwell. Somewhere between the time that the club got it's estimate and the school was ready to spend the shekels (and no, I don't recall exactly how long or when that timeframe was), Rockwell reneged on the "guaranteed" quote & PO's and doubled the price of the equipment.

And they wouldn't budge until the school got directly involved. Something about them being a defense research contractor, again I don't know the details, but allovasudden the original deal was on again.

Say what you will about today's equipment, but I'll tell you this: That gear held up for close to 20 years under tough conditions and abuse from people who thought they knew what they were doing and didn't. And in the time I was involved with the club, during and after my school years, it outlasted a TS-520S, TS-820S, and TS-830S & a pair of built and rebuilt Heath SB-301/401 twins!

Now... to get back on topic... I have to wonder, looking back, why did Rockwell double the price? Were they capitalizing on the Collins name and (well deserved) reputation for quality? Where they gouging? Was the S-Line simply costing too much to make and they needed to raise prices to cover that and make a decent profit (but double?) Or were they deliberately trying to price themselves out of the market so that they'd have an excuse to drop out of it? I guess we'll never know...

73, ron w3wn
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"why did Rockwell double the price? Were they capitalizing on the Collins name and (well deserved) reputation for quality? Where they gouging? Was the S-Line simply costing too much to make and they needed to raise prices to cover that and make a decent profit (but double?) Or were they deliberately trying to price themselves out of the market so that they'd have an excuse to drop out of it?"

They were trying to get out of the ham radio market.

After WW2, Art Collins decided that his company would make the very best amateur radio gear. Much of what went into the A line and the S line was derived from work done for other types of radio. (The Collins PTO and mechanical filters weren't invented for ham gear).

Art Collins priced the ham gear just above production cost. Since many major customers like Curtis LeMay were hams, it was good advertising and publicity for Collins Radio to be known as "the best".

When Art sold the company to Rockwell, one of the conditions of the sale was that Rockwell would continue to make amateur radio equipment for a certain amount of time. And they did - but not at Art's prices!

By raising the price, the sales numbers dropped to the point that they could cut production. The KWM-380, which was the ham version of their commercial HF-380, could then replace it, and still meet the requirement.

In defense of Rockwell, however, it should be mentioned that the late 1970s were a time of rampant inflation, and also a time when the prices of certain parts (like tubes) were skyrocketing. Also, the S-line was hand-wired, which meant a lot of expensive labor compared to the automated PC board manufacturing that was coming online in those days.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The TS-520S hit the sweet spot: A "new" rig with most of the features people wanted, in an attractive package, robustly built, and very affordable."

Yep. It offered stuff that no American rig of the time did, as well.

Consider what you got:

- Solid-state except for the driver and finals, which were time-proven tube types

- 160 through 10 meters plus WWV

- AC power supply built in; DC power could be added with an accessory that bolted on the back

- RIT, AGC OFF, processor, VOX, and many more features built-in

- Optional external VFO, CW filter, external digital display with BIG digits

- Built upon the proven TS-520 design that preceded it.

What American-made rig of the time offered all that? Even the Collins KWM-2 did not offer RIT, AGC OFF, or a CW filter, let alone 160 meters.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC7CJO on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Does NOT surprise me, IF this is true. However, it doesn't mean slow demise of Amateur Radio either!! It might be just the BOOST it needs!

After all, what would happen to the hobby should ALL the radio manufacturers decide to bail?? It would mean that the die-hard Hams will have to start BUILDING THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT, AGAIN!!! After all, THAT'S what made Amateur Radio what it IS today! NOT the factory made stuff!

While buying ICOM, Kenwood, Yaesu,... is NICE and convenient, it also takes away from what Amateur Radio really is: A HOBBY where it's participants BUILD their own equipment!

Our society has become a "Throw Away" one! If it breaks, it's usually just too expensive to have it repaired! Just replace it! While that in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, it HAS caused innovation to be something for the very few braniac elite!

"Necessity IS the mother of invention!!!"

If there's no need to design or build something because someone else is doing it, then we are left at the mercy of the big manufactures to build it, and MOST of the time they've left out a feature that would've really been nice to have or even necessary, simply because of the cost factor!

I, too, am cheap! BUT, I WILL build it, if I need to! ALL HAMS NEED to be able to know how either fix or build their own equipment!!! If you can't, don't complain because there isn't any more support from the manufacturer! It's a complicated and TECHNICAL Hobby!

To be honest, Amateur Radio equipment has become WAY TOO complicated! After all, what IS Amateur Radio?? It's people communicating to people!

The more complicated something is, the more catastrophic the break down will be!

Having been in Amateur Radio and electronics for over 30 years, I've seen the simple turn REALLY complicated and when it breaks, it normally CAN'T be repaired economically!

And with MONEY being the bottom line for companies: If they can't sell it, STOP producing it! It's Simple business!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"What's wrong with it is the job losses. You wind up with a country where there are lots of things to buy, but too few people who can really afford to buy them."

But in a capitalist society if no one can afford the item(s) either the supplier will go out of business or cost pressure will bring the price down.

What I have seen happen over the past several decades in the USA is a slow but steady change in what I call the cost-of-living-distribution. What I mean is that the cost of non-necessities keeps going down, but the cost of necessities keeps going up. "Cost" as defined in "the number of hours you have to work to buy it".

The only thing I see here is that clearly the cost of governement (fed, state, local, etc) is out of control the the benefit that is received.

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA9UAA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi All,
If this is the case for Kenwood, I have to admit they'll be missed. I have had lower to mid line Kenwood rigs up through the TS-480 HX. I always got good audio reports. I seem to recall that this subject came up on another board some time ago and the answer was that Kenwood was busy with commercial work; but, they would be back. I guess we'll wait and see. I now have a Ten Tec Jupiter with which I will be satisfied for some time to come.
73,
Rob WA9UAA
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KI6EAA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Maybe. Meanwhile, how many good jobs are lost here?
Will they ever come back? How much of the accumulated wealth of the USA will be sent away via the trade deficit before things stabilize? (That's really what a trade deficit does - sends the wealth of the deficit nation to the surplus nation)."

The trade deficit only means that the US has the ability (or at least credit) to buy whatever from whoever, not a bad thing. We still have much power in the world economy, just not the growth rate of China or India. The 'last' thing any country holding US dollars would want is any instability here. If you own a bunch of dollars, you own a stake in the success of the US. We are the investment of last resort for the world.

OK, so we lose jobs in basic industries, so did England last century. The greatness of any people is to adapt to the way things ARE, not the way a bunch of old timers remember them to be, and I consider myself rather old. Many institutions are dead or dying, big three automakers, big unions, 'free' jobs. Places such as Silicon Valley have replaced much of that. It is a tough situation for some, an opportunity for others.

Many hams I have met have embraced new techologies, others restored old technology, such as I enjoy. It is all for fun. Hams, better than anyone SHOULD understand that things continually change as long as you are above ground.
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by RADIOGUYR2 on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
by AI2IA on June 13, 2007
The title and content of this article are provocative enough to bring out a long string of posts. What do these posts reveal? Nothing. Idle chatter.

Kenwood has the means to do just about anything it wishes to do with its amateur radio line. It certainly has the capability to succeed if their management chooses.

If their amateur product(s) suit your need and the price is within your budget, then buy it. Don't let all the gloom speculation scare you away. LIFE IS NOW. ENJOY IT NOW.


Like Duhhhhhh. And your comment is not???
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by RADIOGUYR2 on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You all are fogetting that to make a radio, collins, drake, heathkit, etc. It takes parts that are made by others. It was these industrial manufactures that closed and cut the parts off. (mainly due to military contracts being cancled as well as TV's being produced cheaper outside the US. They could not keep up with all the envirommental and labor stresses'. So most moved out of country and joined in the local manufactures to produce not only parts but also complete boards' per sae. (TV repair also hit the dumpster about the same time)

It was not the ham radio that killed ham radio manufactures but the advent of the TV and electronics associated with entertainment that caused it. The envrionmental monkies on their backs in the US caused them to move whole plants overseas' leaving the ham radio manufactures high and dry. (even today do you see any CRT or LCD manufactures in the US??)

To make a special part then would cost much more money for short production runs. Most ham radio parts/tubes for amps and radios were using what the military spec'ed for their defense contracts. Hams got a free ride till the gravy train stopped in congress. A shift in military requirements for low current non heating devices caused the demise of the tube and their parts. (driven by the space program) Shortly after that you see the ham radio manufactures all bailing out.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KE4ZHN on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I wouldnt go so far as to say Kenwood is dead or even dying. It just seems to me that they have been passed up by the competition. They dont seem interested in catching up either. Oh well, if you snooze you lose. Having owned a couple of their older rigs I can honestly say I liked them and they gave me good service. My last Kenwood was the TS 850 SAT with the matching DSP 100. A nice combination. It had a very nice receiver and sounded great on the air. I had the chance to swap it for an Icom 756 Pro and never looked back.
 
KENWOOD: THE CHRYSLER OF HAMMING--  
by ARRLBOOSTER on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Just like that screwed up motor company, the maker does not have any sense of the wants and needs of the buyers. Just like Chrysler, there is little quality, no cutting edge technology.
Bye K-wood, don't let the door hit you on the way out!
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by N7YA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ill be honest, i havent read all these posts above this one, maybe the one JUST above mine....but i will throw this one into the idle chatter (i agree thats all this is).

Kenwood is fine, its not going anywhere just yet, and the world doesnt revolve around us hams. apparently, neither do they. Kenwood has put forth fine products over the years, like the TS-430S....i loved that rig, i babysat one back in the mid 80's and truly enjoyed it. But the only Kenwood i have in the house isnt in my shack, its in my sons shack in his room. I also need to get under the hood and try to fix all the things wrong with it just so he can have a good rig while he studies for his ticket(he will certainly be helping me with the repairs). I have a Yaesu FT-757gx in here, its a great rig...but not a Kenwood.

I dont know what Kenwood's plans for the future are, but i know they are still around, not shutting down and likely not going to hang around the shrinking, increasingly less important ham radio hobby for much longer. Im sure they realize that there is plenty of competition for our money, that we dont part with it all the time, that our numbers and opinions arent as significant as they once were, therefore, im quite sure they have been steadily looking to other avenues to market their line.

I dont expect many more TS radios to emerge from this point on, but i do expect them to continue with commercial product lines. besides, regardless of how crappy the booth looked, they still released some new gear this year for us....maybe they just need to send a better team to Dayton next year.


73...Adam, N7YA
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY said..."When Art sold the company to Rockwell, one of the conditions of the sale was that Rockwell would continue to make amateur radio equipment for a certain amount of time. And they did - but not at Art's prices!"

Art Collins did NOT sell his company to Rockwell! Collins went public and sold stock to raise money for the company, and as smart as Art was, he didn't pay close attention to how the stock was to be sold. Rockwell was secretly buying up stock like crazy, and there was a MAJOR HOSTILE takeover of the Collins Corp, by Rockwell. Art Collins litteraly came into work one day and found a Rockwell Employee sitting in his chair, and Art was out! It is what a lot of people say, killed him. So I don't think he had any deals about selling his stuff for a certain price!!
Rockwell wanted to own the rights to certain circuit that was owned by Collins, and they didn't care how they got them. Rockwell also did NOT care about Amateur radio, nor be in the Amateur radio business. They were more interested in the corrupt Govt contracts that were paying them millions of dollars!

RL Drake died and had 2 sons that took over the business, alone with his wife watching the checkbook.
Neither son was a ham, and didn't care about Amateur Radio either. They only stayed in the business for a few more years because of a few long term engineers who were hams, and convinced the sons that they could make a profit. The TR7 is a fantastic radio, even by todays standards, I own and operate one daily. There were several factors that got Drake out of the business of Ham radio...
1.. One of the 2 sons, not sure which one, would sell Drake gear to anyone for 10% above production costs. this cut into profits!
2.. Employment theaf was rampid, many systems were going out the back door. This cut into profits!
3.. Hams were suckered in by other companies lower costs, and wouldn't buy the products. This cut into the profits!
4.. C-Band satellites were becoming popular, and Drake got into the satellite business and it went thru the roof! As they were selling 100 to 1 over ham radio. (and Drake Satellite receivers were NOT cheap either...I sold them)

So at the end of the month, 100 TR-7's sold and 10,000 satellite receivers sold. Both had 30% margins! Which production lines would you cut? The same is going to apply to Kenwood or any other manufacture. How many can I sell at what margins?
Plain and simple..."SHOW ME DA MONEY!"

Greed in this world has gone off the charts and MONEY RULES! What would you do, work for eHam for $125,000 a year, or go to work at QRZ for $50,000 a year, because you like their forums better? Simple answer there.

Kenwood isn't gone, they are just not dumping the money into R&D, until they see bigger margins. If this doesn't happen, they will move on.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W2KAE on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W2WN:” why did Rockwell double the price? Were they capitalizing on the Collins name and (well deserved) reputation for quality? Where they gouging? Was the S-Line simply costing too much to make and they needed to……”

N2EY has it right. In my ten years with Collins/Rockwell it was obvious that costs were high, scratch that, astronomical. Collins had a cost plus mentality, all Collins facilities were under the eye of DCAS, and everything was inspected to absurdity. At the Science Center in Newport Beach we manufactured the mechanical filters and magnetics for that line. The yield on filters was less than 50%, it would never be tolerated today, but that was in the days of inspecting quality in instead of using statistical methods to control quality. Filters a few dB off the curve were destroyed. All of it added up to high actual costs in a standard cost system where everyone paid attention to the engineered cost, and ignored the variances (losses) that disappeared into the mist.

I doubt Collins/Rockwell ever intended to get out of the KWM-2 business, but they had full intentions of getting out of the amateur market. I was not privy to those decisions, but understood it to be true from my friends in Cedar Rapids. No affect what-so-ever on the Commercial market, they were already paying the higher price.

Art Collins may not have wanted to sell, but he bet the company on the doomed C System - there weren’t many choices available to him.

I hope this wasn’t too off-topic, but it partially explains why the most revered companies have to change course for their survival. The course change for Collins was Rockwell, otherwise Collins Radio was dead, gone, and forgotten. Drake managed to make the correction and still stay whole.

Deke W2KAE
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4KVW on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood does "NOT" need ham radio for survival!Ham radio is a VERY VERY small part of Kenwoods overall market anyway & they would NOT even miss the few dollars they make from the small market share they have today or at ANY point in their ham radio making years.

W4KVW
"ICOM RULES"
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K7FD on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've got Kenwood and Drake both in the shack...I feel like such a loser!! :)

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"what would happen to the hobby should ALL the radio manufacturers decide to bail?? It would mean that the die-hard Hams will have to start BUILDING THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT, AGAIN!!!"

Some of us never stopped building our own equipment:

http://hometown.aol.com/n2ey/myhomepage/

"After all, THAT'S what made Amateur Radio what it IS today! NOT the factory made stuff!

While buying ICOM, Kenwood, Yaesu,... is NICE and convenient, it also takes away from what Amateur Radio really is: A HOBBY where it's participants BUILD their own equipment!"

How much of *your* ham equipment did you build?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It was not the ham radio that killed ham radio manufactures but the advent of the TV and electronics associated with entertainment that caused it."

I disagree.

What happened in the late 1960s and all through the 1970s was that many US consumer electronics companies did not invest in new technologies the way Japanese companies did.

"The envrionmental monkies on their backs in the US caused them to move whole plants overseas' leaving the ham radio manufactures high and dry. (even today do you see any CRT or LCD manufactures in the US??)"

Actually, yes.

In 1972, Sony opened a CRT factory in California, to make Trinitron CRTs. Over the next couple of decades they opened at least one more, here in Pennsylvania.

The environmental regulations in Japan are even tougher than here in the USA. Yet at least one company (Sony) managed to make CRTs in both countries for at least 30 years.

"To make a special part then would cost much more money for short production runs."

This has always been true.

"Most ham radio parts/tubes for amps and radios were using what the military spec'ed for their defense contracts. Hams got a free ride till the gravy train stopped in congress."

Not really. Not from what I've seen of post-WW2 military radios.

"A shift in military requirements for low current non heating devices caused the demise of the tube and their parts. (driven by the space program) Shortly after that you see the ham radio manufactures all bailing out."

That's not what I saw at all.

What I saw was that the old-line US companies like Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, National, Heathkit, Johnson, etc., didn't make the transition to solid-state and SSB/CW full-feature transceivers very well.
Look at the TS-520S, introduced about 1974, and tell me what US-made rig had the same features at anything like the price.

Most of all, consider this:

About 1969, a small company in Tennessee appeared on the scene, selling little QRP CW rigs and modules. Over the next decade, as the old-line US amateur rigmakers faded, the little company grew and increased its product line. Ten Tec is now over 30 years old and still solidly in the amateur market with good rigs.

Ten Tec proved a US rigmaker could not only survive but grow and prosper in the past three decades.

Then there's the Elecraft story, only they did it with kits, long after Heath gave up.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Build your own equipment - twaddle!  
by AI2IA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It ain't the good old days now! You build junk or buy and learn to use the best.

If you are serious about state of the art communications, you buy your equipment. You know or study to know how and why it works, and you operate to acquire the skills to use it to its fullest capabilities. Thus, you come to know theory and practice. You leave fabrication to the industrial robots.

If you are a ham clown, then you acquire much analog junk. You fill your basement with clunky "home brew" projects that you know cannot work as good as top of the line items you could have bought, and you content yourself with being a ham jack of all trades, and master of none, but you feel good with that soldering iron in your hand. Yeeh Haaw!
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K7FD said.."I've got Kenwood and Drake both in the shack...I feel like such a loser!! :)"

I see your smiley face at the end. If you got a Drake you are definately not a loser!!!

I really need to do a little more homework on Ten-Tec, as I really like their new Omni-VII, and have been giving it some serious thought. Sell off my Yaesu Mark V and replace it with the TenTec. That would make my shack 100% American made! Only thing is I hardly use the Yaesu, 95% of my air time is on the Drakes.

Have no fear, there will be plenty of radios to choose from. I played with the Elecraft K3 in Dayton, very impressive little radio. Times are changing, companies have come and gone before, but I still think you'll see something new out of Kenwood by the first of the year. Maybe a TS-2008-SE??

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com



 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6TH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.
Some ham posted this:
Until a few years ago, I always saw it as "ham radio" unless it was the first word in a sentence, at which time it became "Ham radio".

Where did "HAM" come from?
....................................................

It started in Dayton and then transformed into field day.

The women folks said "Look at those pigs".

.:
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KD7YVV on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'd love to build my own equipment.
The reason I don't? Simple.
This old Kenwood TS-430S.
Still kicking after decades of use.
I bought an IC-7000 and ended up sending it back.
The screen was too small to see, it got very very hot,
and I got audio reports that didn't make me happy.
So I asked myself, why did I move away from what worked?
The TS-430S is a nice rig with real knobs and buttons.
Granted, a software defined radio may be the latest
whiz-bang thing, and all the USB ports and fancy
displays etc. on the newer rigs may be a boon now, but
in my case, this 430 has stood the test of time.
People say it sounds good, I'm understandable and
don't splatter. It stays on frequency and doesn't drift.
I'm sure the battery that keeps the memory set will have
to be replaced at some point in time, but for me this
old 430 works.

--KD7YVV, Kirkland, WA
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6TH on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
.
ICOM had the right way to compete:

................Buyers..Ratings..............

....Icom IC-718..252......4.8.................

.:
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by VA3TDZ on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N6KYS, I have to echo your sentiments about the cosmetics of Kenwood's amateur radios. To me, they have a funky, Tokyo-by-night kind of look. Not only that, but their HF rigs (including the TS480 et al.) look like consumer stereo/audio equipment, with lots of brightwork.

In short, too delicate-looking for my taste. I think it's safe to say many hams like equipment that looks/feels rugged and professional. Not bog-simple industrial in appearance, but industrial with a bit of flair and style. But not too much.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W4WNT on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If Kenwood is trying to become RoHS compliant in order to ship product to the EU, their development efforts could be tied up for months. RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) requires the elimination of 6 heavy metals and 4 flame retardants from every part in your device before it can be sold in the EU. Any idea how many parts there are in a TS-2000? That means every supplier to Kenwood must certify their individual component does not have any of these ten substances in it.

This is a Product Stewardship nightmare for any manufacturer selling into the EU.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K6LHA on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't pretend to Know The Answer to a "supposed death of a business" as so many do in here. Let me just toss out a number of business who made ham radio equipment before I was licensed and "died" (by actual fact, not supposition or prediction) before I became licensed: Hallicrafters; National Radio Company; RME; Collins Radio (still alive after reformation as Rockwell-Collins); Gonset; Heath Company; James Millen; E.F. Johnson (also still alive but long out of the ham market). I've left out a bunch of smaller firms, irrelevant to prove a fact in ANY field of design and production: Companies are "born," get a 'rep,' linger, and eventually 'die' just like humans. Even the off-shore companies.

"Radio" is only 111 years old. There aren't many corporations of any kind in the USA that existed in 1896 that still exist today...even with mega-mergers. There are MANY "radio" companies today that don't make products specifically for amateur radio...such as Harris Corporation whose HF transmitters are (or were) in use at W1AW...or SGC in Washington state that sells HF SSB radio equipment to the mariner market. RCA and General Electric even dabbled a bit in ham radio products, but have left that market a long time ago. Businesses are in business to make a profit, not to become legendary. Amateurs should keep that in mind.

73, Len AF6AY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W5JON on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
As I recall a couple of months back, all the conversation was about the new owners of CushCraft, and no way would CushCraft get out of Amateur Radio.

Didn't anyone even notice no CushCraft at Dayton this year, only months after the new owner took over.

Only goes to prove the "three biggest lies":

1. The check is in the mail.
2. I will respect you in the morning.
3. There will be no changes after the acquisition

73,

John W5JON
 
Death of a Radio Company-ALL GARBAGE  
by KU2US on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There must be over 100 replies to this thread and I read them all.. What I have compiled is why Kenwood will fail or not fail because they dont have this or that. Hams are cheap, Hams will spend the bucks, no 6 meters, blah-blah-blah...Here is reality: some Hams have the bucks, MOST donot. Give me an inexspensive HF rig with no digital voice crap, with no "so-called state of the art" garbage. Its all moot. How good are all of these so-called advancements, during a low sunspot cycle? Your signal goes from point A to point B depending on how many of those little negatively charged electrons there are in the ionesphere. Wait a few years for the top of the next cycle, and then explain to me why a heathkit HW-9 four watt CW rig can work the world just as good as those fancy souped up expensive rigs do? No bells, whistles, no digital nothing, no 105db filters, no NOTHING. The lack of all these special money eating features can be replaced by good old fashioned operator skills and determination..A basic K-1 or K-2 I say yes to. A TS-2000,(& others) no way for me. I have an Alinco dx-70. 10-100 watts, simple to use, no extra junk, reliable, cost effective, and gets the job done-Period... I dont want to talk to a satellite, send email over HF, connect to the internet with my rig. To me this is not ham radio. I know many of you jump on the first new rig with the most advancements-good for you. If Kenwood came out with a no frills, solid, easy to use and cost effective rig, it would sell as fast as the K-3 (Kudos to the K-3). I always say, if your antenna sucks, so does does your $10,000. radio, plain and simple. An HF rig hooked up to a computer? Dont even go there. And I got up on the RIGHT side of the bed this morning too..
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by NE4M on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting. Two current topics on eham both dealing with death (this one and one about QSLing).
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K6IHC on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not sure what to think of Kenwood at this time, but...

I used Kenwood LMR equipment in the fire service before I became a ham.
My natural choice for amateur equipment was then Kenwood.

My equipment is mainly Kenwood, including some commercial LMR rigs that I use for ham and GMRS.

I would have nearly all Kenwood, except that Kenwood didn't seem to want to compete with Icom or Yaesu in the mini-mobile HF/6m/2m/70cm market. That's why I have a Yaesu FT-857.

I also own several very good, but now-defunct Kenwood radios such as the TM-G707A dual-band mobile, TH-G71A dual-band H/T, and the TM-541A 1.2 GHz mobile. Kenwood has not seen fit to provide replacements for these radios. The G707A and G71A were basic, affordable, entry-level radios. The new entry-level radios from Kenwood are way above the under $300 price point that I consider to be entry-level VHF/UHF dual-banders.

The TM-541A 1200 MHz radio used to sell for about $450.
Now, you often find them selling on eBay for $200 more than that. How about a limited run of new 541s, Kenwood?

I still use Kenwood LMR equipment at work, and it is top-quality.

I'm just not sure where Kenwood is heading in the amateur market, and I haven't been sure for the last couple of years...
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company-ALL GARBAGE  
by N6KYS on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by KU2US on June 13, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There must be over 100 replies to this thread and I read them all.. What I have compiled is why Kenwood will fail or not fail because they dont have this or that. Hams are cheap, Hams will spend the bucks, no 6 meters, blah-blah-blah...Here is reality: some Hams have the bucks, MOST donot. Give me an inexspensive HF rig with no digital voice crap, with no "so-called state of the art" garbage. Its all moot. How good are all of these so-called advancements, during a low sunspot cycle? Your signal goes from point A to point B depending on how many of those little negatively charged electrons there are in the ionesphere. Wait a few years for the top of the next cycle, and then explain to me why a heathkit HW-9 four watt CW rig can work the world just as good as those fancy souped up expensive rigs do? No bells, whistles, no digital nothing, no 105db filters, no NOTHING. The lack of all these special money eating features can be replaced by good old fashioned operator skills and determination..A basic K-1 or K-2 I say yes to. A TS-2000,(& others) no way for me. I have an Alinco dx-70. 10-100 watts, simple to use, no extra junk, reliable, cost effective, and gets the job done-Period... I dont want to talk to a satellite, send email over HF, connect to the internet with my rig. To me this is not ham radio. I know many of you jump on the first new rig with the most advancements-good for you. If Kenwood came out with a no frills, solid, easy to use and cost effective rig, it would sell as fast as the K-3 (Kudos to the K-3). I always say, if your antenna sucks, so does does your $10,000. radio, plain and simple. An HF rig hooked up to a computer? Dont even go there. And I got up on the RIGHT side of the bed this morning too..<<<<

So here you have it folks (above).....the far left end of the bell curve.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company-Not really  
by N2EY on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"How good are all of these so-called advancements, during a low sunspot cycle?"

It is during a low sunspot cycle/poor conditions that the advancements make the most difference.

"The lack of all these special money eating features can be replaced by good old fashioned operator skills and determination."

To a certain extent, yes. But not always.

"A basic K-1 or K-2 I say yes to."

Those rigs are far from basic, particularly the K2. You might be surprised how sophisticated they really are.

"If Kenwood came out with a no frills, solid, easy to use and cost effective rig, it would sell as fast as the K-3 (Kudos to the K-3)."

You might take a good hard look at how the K3 actually works, though. For example, it uses IF DSP and has a whole raft of features built in.

The K3 can do several data modes (like PSK31) *without a computer* or even a keyboard. (It can be hooked up to a computer if you want). Encoder and decoder for those data modes are built in. The display scrolls out the received text, and you transmit by sending Morse Code to the rig with the paddles, which the K3 then translates into PSK31, RTTY, etc.

"I always say, if your antenna sucks, so does does your $10,000. radio, plain and simple."

I would rather have a really good antenna and a basic rig than a poor antenna and a really good rig.

"An HF rig hooked up to a computer? Dont even go there."

Why not - if that's what somebody wants?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""What's wrong with it is the job losses. You wind up with a country where there are lots of things to buy, but too few people who can really afford to buy them."

But in a capitalist society if no one can afford the item(s) either the supplier will go out of business or cost pressure will bring the price down."

Depends what you mean by "really afford". There's also the scenario where people take on bigger and bigger debt in order to buy things they think they can afford.

Lenders used to protect people from themselves by limiting how much debt you could get into. Those days are long gone - it's very easy to get over your head in debt.

""What I have seen happen over the past several decades in the USA is a slow but steady change in what I call the cost-of-living-distribution. What I mean is that the cost of non-necessities keeps going down, but the cost of necessities keeps going up. "Cost" as defined in "the number of hours you have to work to buy it".

The only thing I see here is that clearly the cost of governement (fed, state, local, etc) is out of control the the benefit that is received."

When I was growing up, it was possible for a typical young blue-collar family to buy a nice house in a good neighborhood on a 20 year mortgage on a single income, without having an enormous down payment or the use of creative financing like interest-only mortgages.

Today, it's a whole different ballgame.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WW3QB on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It's clear that Kenwood has done one of two things:

1. Plans to get out of the ham radio business; and/or
2. Has managed their public relations extremely badly.

#2 usually will results in a company leaving the market too. Kenwood needs to make an announcement to correct any misconception.
 
The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by W3DBB on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I always thought of Kenwood as an audio company, not for their communications division. But the audio business is in a bad way. The people doing the buying want to download hit singles and listen to them on their I-Pods piped through their PC. This cuts the audio equipment manufacturers and record companies out of the revenue stream they enjoyed for many decades.

Thirty years ago one of my college roommates had a Kenwood KA-5500 Stereo Integrated Amplifier, rated at 55 Watts per channel. This amplifier was built like the proverbial brick outhouse. The quality of construction seemed much better than that of the various Kenwood transceivers and shortwave receivers I've seen at hamfests over the past 15 years.

My gut feeling is all of the Japanese amateur equipment is sold in the U.S. at a loss to the manufacturer. The amateur equipment dealer is only allowed a small markup on this gear. I don't think the Japanese are 'dumping' this gear to drive the U.S. manufacturers out of business; domestic manufacturers hold a relatively small market share in transceivers and I don't see them as posing much of a threat. When was the last time you saw a new HT or new VHF/UHF FM transceiver bearing a domestic brand name?

I think the Japanese amateur equipment manufacturers sell below cost because they view their commanding market share in ham gear as prestigious and more importantly, a gateway to lucrative two-way commercial and government sales. The commercial and government two-way radio business subsidizes the money losing amateur divisions. Looking further, costs of doing business are passed by a commercial company on to the consumer. Government spending is financed by the taxpayers. So in effect, the value received by the amateur consumer when a new Japanese transceiver is purchased is partially subsidized by non-amateur consumers and taxpayers. Someone did their homework!

When I look at any of the amateur transceivers offered by the four largest Japanese manufacturers I am astounded by the value offered for the price being asked. Ham gear is much cheaper today, in constant dollars, than it was 40 or 50 years ago.

As one of the AMers likes to say, "Kenwood- Sold and Serviced by Sears"!



 
Death of a Radio Company  
by OBSERVER11 on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
who cares?? it is called evolution. If Kenwood cannot produce, then let them go their own way. Look at RL Drake, Hallicrafters, Brimstone, Collins, Katrina, and a long list of fellow travelers. They could not produce, they could not keep up. There will always be new stuff out there as long as there is a market.

Kenwood learned a lesson, they produced a product that was not legal to use in the USA and expected the FCC to give in an let them play. They forgot they were dealing with an agency that does not move very fast. This would be the same as if they brought out a 70MHz rig, made for the ITU Region 1 market, and expected the FCC to grant a new ham band in the USA... I guess that Kenwood can get a way with this in Japan.

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W2RDD on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Frankly, I was more upset when SGC ceased production of the quirky but great SG-2020ADSP2. I know many other fans of that transceiver felt badly when SGC made that decision.

Hey, SGC, we have an opening for you!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company-ALL GARBAGE  
by K4JF on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"An HF rig hooked up to a computer? Dont even go there."

Why not? My TS-870 has been sending data to the computer logging program (and being controlled by it when I get DX info on my TM241A, which is also hooked to the computer) for quite a few years now. It's a very effective system. I could control all the operations from the computer with the software that came with the rig, but choose not to as there is no advantage to me. But having the frequency, mode, date and time all go into the log more accurately than I could write is a real benefit, imo.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KG4RRN on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Could it be that their sales force was doign something more important that weekend???
Could poor planning produce poor results?
Could a slowdown in the AR economy have something to do with it?
I am hoping for a resurgance.
KENWOOD ! KENWOOD ! THAT'S THE NAME ! AWAY GO HAM TROUBLES, DOWN THE DRAIN.... dooo waaaaaa.....
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KG6AMW on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The law of the jungle, eat or be eaten and Kenwood is now leaving a blood trail for the predators. There are other American, Japanese and German companies waiting to move up into the top tier of the market.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W9PMZ on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When I was growing up, it was possible for a typical young blue-collar family to buy a nice house in a good neighborhood on a 20 year mortgage on a single income, without having an enormous down payment or the use of creative financing like interest-only mortgages.

Today, it's a whole different ballgame. "

You are exactly right and its becasue of government taxitation. 50 years ago I'll bet you didn't pay:

12% federal (generally my net rate, it was 24% this year becasue I sold investments to finance my sons education)
5% state
7.65% to the FICA black hole
2% city
1% school
5% property (effective rate)
6.25% sales tax
gas tax

Is there a tax on tax yet?

Oh and I am also need to invest 8% into a 401K because the 7.65% just isn't going to be there.

You need to take a step back and look at things objectively, the only budget item that is increasing at an out of control rate is tax.

It's only going to get worse, I read somewhere that over 50% of the population now receives a government check of one kind or another. Couple this with baby boomers going from major tax contributions (income tax and FICA tax) to government receivers, both political parties wanting to shower the population with health care; there is a economic disaster coming soon...............

73,

Carl - W9PMZ
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W7LV on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Studebaker, Nash and Hudson got rolled up into other businesses for a variety of reasons, like Hallicrafters, Gonset, Collins and RL Drake.

Business, you see, is driven by variable forces (except in command economies like the former USSR). Continued survival depends upon adaptation to, among other issues, changing comsumer needs and tastes and, sometime, just plain good luck.

(You just got that for free, and I paid $41/credit hour to learn it in 1968...)

When's the last time you saw an Internatioal Harvester refrigerator? Or Studebaker pickup truck?

Have you noticed that there are no new Oldsmobiles recently? Bought a Motorola color TV?

Rockwell Collins is making electro-stuff by the boatload for aviation and defense; I don't know about their broadcast equipment and construction operations in the last 20 years. The techs and designers and troops on the factory floor are designing and manufacturing their little hearts out.

Just not for our niche market.

Don't make me cite the rise of the Japanese radio manufacturers as a function of the number of new hams in their country in the 1970's...
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W3HR on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I doubt Kenwood is going away any time soon. While it's conceivable they might not be in the Amateur Radio game forever, they'll always have their stereo business.

:)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When's the last time you saw a...... Studebaker pickup truck?"

Last week. :o)
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W3OZ on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I hate to see Kenwood go if that is what is going to happen. I enjoyed their rigs, but I am looking forward to who ever steps up to the plate and produces the next new round of technology.

I can’t believe some of the attitudes of some of you guys. Have you all died? Could you just imagine some young person saying, “Hay don’t give me that I-Pod my 8 tracks work just fine”. Not embracing new things in life and resisting change is a sure sign that old man death is just around the corner.

Life is full of choices. I chose to strive for the best, expect to win, and be grateful for the journey.
 
RE: Imaginary Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 14, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< RL Drake died and had 2 sons that took over the business, alone with his wife watching the checkbook.
Neither son was a ham, and didn't care about Amateur Radio either. >>>

=====================================

Wanna see a Drake comeback into the ARS? Soembody recruit and get the Drake breothers interested in ham radio! Maybe they did not like the code! HIHI!

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Could you just imagine some young person saying, “Hay don’t give me that I-Pod my 8 tracks work just fine”."

8 tracks disappeared a long time ago, replaced by cassettes.

"Not embracing new things in life and resisting change is a sure sign that old man death is just around the corner."

No, it isn't. Newer is not always better. Things like the iPod gained acceptance largely because they offered real, practical advantages over the older technologies. That's not always the case for new products.

"Life is full of choices. I chose to strive for the best, expect to win, and be grateful for the journey."

But what is "the best"? Who gets to define "the best" for each of us?

One of the problems in selling to the amateur market is that *good* amateur gear tends to last a very long time, particularly if not abused. There are plenty of 10, 20, even 30 year old rigs still doing a great job, which limits how many new rigs can be sold.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""When I was growing up, it was possible for a typical young blue-collar family to buy a nice house in a good neighborhood on a 20 year mortgage on a single income, without having an enormous down payment or the use of creative financing like interest-only mortgages.

Today, it's a whole different ballgame. "

You are exactly right and its becasue of government taxitation."

It's due *partly* to taxation. But there are lots of other causes too, such as the export of good jobs and the trade and budget deficits.

"50 years ago I'll bet you didn't pay:"

Well, 50 years ago I was three years old, so I didn't pay taxes! But I remember what taxes I paid 30 years ago.

"12% federal (generally my net rate, it was 24% this year becasue I sold investments to finance my sons education)"

What has happened there is that the govt. has gradually eliminated the deductions that were most useful to the average person. They've also reduced the top rate, while allowing inflation to push people into higher tax brackets.

But the big problem is the debt. When government borrows money, tax dollars go to pay the interest on the loan. Deficit spending becomes a channel to move money from the tax-payers to those who hold government bonds. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who the bond-holders are.

"5% state
7.65% to the FICA black hole
2% city
1% school
5% property (effective rate)
6.25% sales tax
gas tax"

All those taxes have been around for decades. Depending on where you live, they can be even higher.

And they all go to fund things our leaders say we either want or need. For example, the gas tax goes to build and maintain highways.

What people need to look at is where the tax money actually goes - how much of it is spent on various things. One of the 800 pound gorillas in spending is what they call "debt service", which means paying the *interest* on the various loans the govt. owes. Not paying the loans back, just paying the interest.

"Is there a tax on tax yet?"

Yep, that's what a surtax is.

"Oh and I am also need to invest 8% into a 401K because the 7.65% just isn't going to be there."

Social Security and Medicare will be there. The politicians will see to that. The problem is that you'll need to wait longer to get them, and the benefits won't be as good.

"You need to take a step back and look at things objectively, the only budget item that is increasing at an out of control rate is tax."

Not in my experience. Medical costs, education costs and the cost of housing are up there too.

For example, my first year of college tuition (at a very good University) was $3000. That was in 1972-1973, when the minimum wage was a dollar-something. By the time I graduated, it was up to $4500. Another $1000 or so per year was needed for fees, books, transport and related costs. That was considered expensive, back then.

Between a scholarship, a student loan and a minimum wage job, I was able to graduate with less than $3000 in loans. No financial help from the family, and no real savings of my own.

Fast-forward to today. The same University charges well over $30,000 tuition per year, and the fees and other costs are similarly raised. But the scholarships, loans and minimum wage haven't kept pace, so a college kid today has to either have massive sources of income or go much farther into debt. And yet a college degree is far more essential today than in the past.

My first house, in 1978, cost $30,000 for 3BR 1BA on a nice large lot. You don't want to know what my current house cost.

"It's only going to get worse, I read somewhere that over 50% of the population now receives a government check of one kind or another."

I'd be interested in seeing that source, because that seems very high.

"Couple this with baby boomers going from major tax contributions (income tax and FICA tax) to government receivers, both political parties wanting to shower the population with health care; there is a economic disaster coming soon..............."

No, there won't be a sudden disaster economically. Te politicians won't let it happen.

Instead, you'll see what we've seen for the past couple of decades: A little bit more cost here and a little bit less benefit there. People working longer instead of retiring, because they have to pay off 40 year mortgages and their kids' college loans - and because they're living longer. More young people struggling a lot longer to get started in life, even though both adults are working full time.

All that means less time and less money for things like ham radio. And less space to put up decent antennas and have a good shack.

You want to know why the "average age" of US hams seems to be rising? It's because the younger folks don't have the space or other resources to own a home where they can put up a decent antenna.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"My gut feeling is all of the Japanese amateur equipment is sold in the U.S. at a loss to the manufacturer. The amateur equipment dealer is only allowed a small markup on this gear."

What objective evidence is there to support that idea?

"I don't think the Japanese are 'dumping' this gear to drive the U.S. manufacturers out of business;"

Selling at a loss is part of the textbook definition of 'dumping'. No company can sell at a loss forever, so it is done to drive out competitors.

"domestic manufacturers hold a relatively small market share in transceivers and I don't see them as posing much of a threat."

I am old enough to remember when US ham rigs were all that you ever saw in a US ham shack, and in most ham shacks all over the world. That changed in the 1970s and 1980s, largely because the old-line American rigmakers could not compete in the AR market with the Japanese rigmakers. The Japanese had invested heavily in modern electronics production, and the US companies hadn't. And not just in ham radio, either.

"When was the last time you saw a new HT or new VHF/UHF FM transceiver bearing a domestic brand name?"

Ah, there's the key - are you looking at VHF/UHF or HF?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W1YW on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radios are never the first line of product sales for US radio companies. The market is military and government.

As such US companies are preferred as suppliers if they have a comparable or better product to the foreign manufacturers.

Every single one of the major US companies have products that sell to hams, or are meant to sell to hams, to accomplish the following:

1) showcase a commercial application of the radio or radio architecture;
2) create buzz, name recognition, and goodwill with the true market, by leveraging the fact that many hams professionally are part of the government or involved in the buyer cycle;
3) create a second market with the hams to keep the cost of goods down and the workforce efficient with enough orders.

There is nothing wrong with this. It's been the case for 60 years. Note that when companies like Harvey Wells, Johnson, Hallicrafters, Hammurlund, Signal/One, Swan,Collins, or Drake lost their gov't market share and/or government sales, then they lost the ability to deliver to the hams. You will note many of those got out of the business as the orders died with the curtailment and end of the Vietnam conflict.

When you see a company like Flexradio come out with a spiffy SDR option, it's because SDR is the way government radios are going. Frankly, I think it's a tremendous offering for hams. Elecraft, Ten Tec and others aren't sitting on their toes either.

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Take Collins out of that list, Chip. They got out of the ham business but stayed in the government supplier business.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""Is there a tax on tax yet?"

Yep, that's what a surtax is.


Don't forget Social Security. It is taxed at 85% even though you have already paid tax on 50% of what you put in.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KG6AMW on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Quote, "That changed in the 1970s and 1980s, largely because the old-line American rigmakers could not compete in the AR market with the Japanese rigmakers". More likely they choose not to compete.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by OLDSWAB on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Lets face it! What the HAM generation has got to is an very espensive market! When you use to be able to make your own equipment for little or no dollars maybe from surplus equipment has gotten to computer connected, digital readout,with many,many,bells and whistles. Then comes the price tag. Even Ten-Tech builds equipment from Import manufactures at Ten-Tech's pricing! How much equipment parts are still made in our own country.Now look at our equipment. Even if it is intigrated circuits,why didn't some of our own older companys continue to go off shore for stock parts? This in its self has caused many of our older companys to die away.The next time you fire up that fancy rig you have. Think of all the Companys that died because you or your Ham friends didn't go to a company who was trying to keep up with the JONES. We all brag on our equipment and some try to make it sound that we have much better XXX than the other OM. So think about it. To be a ham today you must have money to, "get the best equipment on the market!" I sill have my SB38B and a lot of dust on an old transmitter that hasn't been used in years. but I wont ever be able to afford the new equipment that is offered today. 73"S I still enjoy my SWL's.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Ham radios are never the first line of product sales for US radio companies. The market is military and government."

I don't think Elecraft sells anything to the military and/or government. All they make are very good ham rigs. Their $600 K2 *kit* outperforms many rigs costing many times the price. Their recently announced K3 promises to outperform almost anything else on the amateur market, if not *everything* on the amateur market.

I don't think Heathkit ever depended on military or government contracts either. Ham radio wasn't their first line of product sales, though.

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W3OZ on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY

R.I.P.

Sorry to hear of your passing
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by AA8X on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you think the Japanese are dumping, then you have not checked the price of Icom gear.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
From a article with a misleading title to comments that pulled the discussion off track to some of the off the wall remarks made, all this thread is about is a supposition that Kenwood is pulling out of the ham market.

Supposition aside, with everything that is happening to ham radio in the US, Kenwood is just resting, waiting to see where the chips fall. Changing test requirements, interference to the ham bands from outside sources--some of which are being sanctioned by the government, feedback from some of the louder malcontents holding ham licenses and more than likely internal difficulties are all working to make Kenwood hold back from development of new ham rigs.

I've said before that we're our own worst enemies. If you look at this series of events from the point of view I've just mentioned, you can easily see why.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I said: "I've said before that we're our own worst enemies. If you look at this series of events from the point of view I've just mentioned, you can easily see why."

I should have said if you look at this series of POSTS from the point of view I've just mentioned, you can easily see why.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey K1CJS.....I'm still confused about what you're getting at. Smile man.....geez, some of you guys are so miserable and self-deprecating.

Brad
N6KYS
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>>OLDSWAB on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Lets face it! What the HAM generation has got to is an very espensive market! When you use to be able to make your own equipment for little or no dollars maybe from surplus equipment has gotten to computer connected, digital readout,with many,many,bells and whistles. Then comes the price tag. Even Ten-Tech builds equipment from Import manufactures at Ten-Tech's pricing! How much equipment parts are still made in our own country.Now look at our equipment. Even if it is intigrated circuits,why didn't some of our own older companys continue to go off shore for stock parts? This in its self has caused many of our older companys to die away.The next time you fire up that fancy rig you have. Think of all the Companys that died because you or your Ham friends didn't go to a company who was trying to keep up with the JONES. We all brag on our equipment and some try to make it sound that we have much better XXX than the other OM. So think about it. To be a ham today you must have money to, "get the best equipment on the market!" I sill have my SB38B and a lot of dust on an old transmitter that hasn't been used in years. but I wont ever be able to afford the new equipment that is offered today. 73"S I still enjoy my SWL's.<<<<<<

I completely disagree with your "logic", or whatever you call what you wrote. WELCOME TO THE YEAR 2007. Everything is more complicated, and everything is global and international. Companies will produce and price according to what the market will bear. They have produced some of the finest equipment available anywhere, at prices that just about anybody can afford. Is $500 for an Icom 718 with DSP or $139 for a new 2 meter mobile REALLY keeping people out of the hobby? Give me a break. By the way, use a spell checker, if you know how.....OK it's one of those "bells and whistles." Unbelievable.

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K6LHA on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K1CJS: "From a article with a misleading title to comments that pulled the discussion off track to some of the off the wall remarks made, all this thread is about is a supposition that Kenwood is pulling out of the ham market."

As Samuel Clemens ('Mark Twain') might have said, "The reports of Kenwood's death have been highly exaggerated."

K1CJS: "Supposition aside, with everything that is happening to ham radio in the US, Kenwood is just resting, waiting to see where the chips fall. Changing test requirements, interference to the ham bands from outside sources--some of which are being sanctioned by the government, feedback from some of the louder malcontents holding ham licenses and more than likely internal difficulties are all working to make Kenwood hold back from development of new ham rigs."

Welp, I have NO idea what Kenwood is doing or why. Their products are still on the marketplace. I've not read their business obituary. How long they will remain in any radio market is rather irrelevant to the market overall. Bill Halligan's Hallicrafters went bust a long time ago. They couldn't compete in any market. Teletype Corporation, also in the Chicago area, went bust a long time ago even after making and selling over a half million Teletypes and being allied with AT&T. Motorola, starting in the Chicago area as Galvin Manufacturing, expanded, grew, morphed, made it big first in two-way radios for government and business use, started its own semiconductor division in the southwest, got VERY big in cell phones, split its semiconductor division into two divisions, one becoming private. National Radio Company just slowly faded into the sunset a long time ago. Collins Radio quit the ham market a long time ago, got purchased by Rockwell International, remained in the business-government radio biz, split amicably from Rockwell and became a new company known as Rockwell-Collins. The old Farnsworth radio company was long ago acquired by ITT, stayed in Fort Wayne, IN, was never really IN ham radio marketing but became quite big in producing military radios (over 300 thousand of one kind reached in October 2006). Harris Corporation quietly (to ham ears) became a multi-division megalith in radio and a known, respected company to the rest of the radio world...despite never being in the ham market. The business history of the entire USA radio-electronics industry is, if written up, a multi-volume set of success, failure, acquisition, merger, dissolusion, re-emergence-after-bankruptcy, birth of the new companies, off to retirement homes for some old companies and CHANGE in the market areas where profits can be made.

Quietly the off-shore designers and manufacturers, first Japan, then Taiwan, then mainland China invaded the huge profit-potential of the USA marketplace. They established a beachhead, drove ever inward for over a half century and totally conquered some market areas. USA workers, ever wanting all the riches they felt they were owed, raised the salary bars ever higher until labor costs prevented manufacturers from competing successfully on their home territory. Even today USA-made radios use off-shore-made components in an effort to remain in the market. And so many hams in the USA today bitch and moan about "riceboxes." :-)

K1CJS: "I've said before that we're our own worst enemies. If you look at this series of [POSTS] from the point of view I've just mentioned, you can easily see why."

I look at the start of this "article" and wonder why e-ham ever accepted an a priori "obituary" in the first place? I look at the obstinate traditionalism of some, holding fast to a past that was before their lifetimes and complaining of change. I see so many letting emotionalism rule their thinking and can understand why so few such ever made themselves a success in any radio business. But, they KNOW the answers and the SOLUTIONS...and aren't reticent on announcing that to all! :-)

"Mankind invented language to satisfy its need to complain..." - Anonymous

73, Len AF6AY

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W7ETA on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Don't forget your Death Tax.

Pay all of your required taxes, choose to save or invest instead of consume, and BINGO! Your family owes more taxes on what wasn't consumed.

Bob

PS: Yup. Thats what is driving Kenwood outta the Ham Radio business.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4CQR on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W7ETA on June 15, 2007 -- PS: Yup. Thats what is driving Kenwood outta the Ham Radio business.

Uh.. Icom, Yaesu, TenTec, Kachina etc. are unaffected by taxes? It is only Kenwood that is affected?

Strange line of thought!

J C S

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4CQR on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Gawd.... Once again:

http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=3875608

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aYrfvNzEv9N0&refer=asia

http://www.rttnews.com/sp/sectorind.asp?date=06/11/2007&item=5&vid=0

At some point, read this so you can understand were Kenwood is, and where it is going.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Their recently announced K3 promises to outperform almost anything else on the amateur market, if not *everything* on the amateur market."

Maybe.... but at a hefty price.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""Their recently announced K3 promises to outperform almost anything else on the amateur market, if not *everything* on the amateur market."

Maybe.... but at a hefty price."

That depends on what you compare it to.

Compared to, say, an IC-706, it's pricey. Compared to an Orion II or other top-of-the-line, it's not.

And unlike many other top-of-the-line rigs, you can buy a basic model, then add features like second receive and a tuner later.

Are there any other ham rigs that let you operate RTTY, PSK31, and a couple of other data modes *without* a computer, keyboard, or monitor?

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yep! The communists said they would win the war without having to fire a shot! China has been doing a good JOB of WINNING!

They already have ALL the money, and he who dies with all the money wins, or is that toys. Oh well, money/Toys, whats the difference?? :)

We really are the "DUMB Americans!" We have a screwed up govt that wants to give illegal aliens more rights and benefits than tax paying citizens, we've run ALL of our industry off shore. Chrysler has already been sold again, this time to a holding company, and Ford and GM are about to go under. And we worry about Kenwood going out of the Amateur Radio business! It really makes ya wonder!!

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com

I'm thinking Ten-Tec! Maybe the new Elecraft K3. Why should I care about Kenwood?

 
Death of a Radio Company NOT  
by W6GPS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Don't know where your getting your information but Phil N4DRO from Kenwood has been a ham since early 1980's.
I knew him when he worked in Atlanta at HRO and RT Systems in Huntsville. I met all the Japanese Kenwood folks at Dayton they are all hams.. I think it would be wise to do some research on a persons background before you make a statement " but not having a licensed ham at the helm of the amateur radio division is taking its toll" is totally false. The booth was hopping all day and I have photos to prove it. Yes there was no HF radio, but the crowd was at the new V71A and UPCOMING TMD 710A.....
Death of a Radio Company....not Kenwood...
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company NOT  
by VE3ENG on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=3875608"

Cool! a JVC transceiver.

73, James, Ve3eng
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N9SZC on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If Kenwood would just reintroduce the TS870S back into production they would sell a million of them.
Price them at 1500 - 2000
Why they discontinued them is beyond me.
I have been searching for one for a while now.

Big Corporations never seem to know what the public wants.
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by KI6EAA on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"You want to know why the "average age" of US hams seems to be rising? It's because the younger folks don't have the space or other resources to own a home where they can put up a decent antenna"

=========================
With all due respect... We could have a month long, thousand post thread on the subject of the rising age of ham operators. It isn't about money.

Many young people do not have a problem buying $300 iPods, and downloading $300 worth of music from the Apple site. Or, spend a similar amount on a school wardrobe, or buy wheels for their car. $600, the cost of an Icom IC 518 and a simple dipole.

They simply chose listening to Linkin Park, or shopping at the Gap, or whatever over amateur radio.

Maybe we cannot change that, and so goes another hobby of older people. The attitudes of existing hams does have an effect on these type of decisions. Consider the way you communicate to young people, and how you represent the hobby. It does send a message to a very image conscience age group.
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by N2EY on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""You want to know why the "average age" of US hams seems to be rising? It's because the younger folks don't have the space or other resources to own a home where they can put up a decent antenna"

Many young people do not have a problem buying $300 iPods, and downloading $300 worth of music from the Apple site. Or, spend a similar amount on a school wardrobe, or buy wheels for their car. $600, the cost of an Icom IC 518 and a simple dipole."

I think you missed my point.

The problem isn't the rig and the dipole. It's having a place where you can put up the dipole and operate the rig.

A 2 gig iPod Nano is less than $150 new.

A decent HF ham rig and antenna can be had for less than $1000 new.

But how much is a "starter house" these days? One with enough room for a decent HF antenna, and no CC&Rs?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Said N6KYS:
"Hey K1CJS.....I'm still confused about what you're getting at. Smile man.....geez, some of you guys are so miserable and self-deprecating"

Just this: Kenwood isn't going under or out of the ham radio business. They're watching and waiting.

You want me to smile--OK. Hows this.... :-))))))
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K1CJS on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Big Corporations never seem to know what the public wants."

Oh, I think they do..... It's the secret to their success. They give us some of what we want in one model, some more in another model, and yet a combination in still another model.

So, to get what you want you have to buy three or four different models of the same thing! How's that for a little illogical logic!!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by OLDSWAB on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sorry ,did I offend you to the point that you think almost everybody can afford a $500.00 radio and then a good antenna on top of that. Gee, I guess I was in the wrong profession to become a Ham Radio Operator! I am finding out now that if you don't make over $21,000 a year you are poverty stricken! Now add that to what ever you want to but just remember there are other people out here that have had to work in a profession that keep your copier, fax machine, typewriter, dictation machine, or computer working that made a lot less than you did and probable have just as much education or more in special schools from many companys that sold you or your company equipment to keep you working. I am a veteran and proud of it. but I don't make fun of other people who might ave not "Spell somthing correctly", or don't seem to you to be able to "Afford" a $500.00 radio.I was at one time able to make the code requirements and the written test, but a long time ago people like you made me steer away and take up the Office Equipment Repair.I had 40 years of that and learned to repair logic boards and mechanical problems on all kinds of equipment. Like I said and also pointed out. It is a big money hobby and people like you that want to flont yourself around with remarks that you have said just prove it. Have a nice day.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W5JON on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If I was 14 years old again, would I really want to:

1. Learn the theory.
2. Take an Exam.
3. Spend $500.00 on a radio.
4. Try to get permission to but up a dipole.

Be rewarded by getting on the radio to hear countless hours about:

1. What Amateur Radio was like 50 years ago.
2. Some 70 year old man's bladder control problems.

OR:

1. Talk to(and see) my High School buddies, and girlfriend on the Internet anytime I want.

Now let me guess....

73,

John W5JON

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It is a big money hobby "

Absolutely not. My golfing friends spend many times more than I do annually. Many times. And you can get a brand new, all HF + VHF + UHF rig for less (full price) than a laptop on sale.

Definitely not "big bucks".
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It is a big money hobby "

Absolutely not. My golfing friends spend many times more than I do annually. Many times. And you can get a brand new, all HF + VHF + UHF rig for less (full price) than a laptop on sale.

Definitely not "big bucks".
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"If Kenwood would just reintroduce the TS870S back into production they would sell a million of them.
Price them at 1500 - 2000
Why they discontinued them is beyond me.
I have been searching for one for a while now. "

AMEN!! Fantastic rig! The only radio that got more audio quality complements than my Collins S-Line! (No, mine is NOT for sale!!)
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KG6POG on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I do wonder what's going on with Kenwood and still believe they make great gear.

I'm also a true fan of the TS-480 series. I think those who have been saying it's a weak attempt and at best an average mobile really aught to remember the review by QST. They seemed to think the radio was competitive with many much higher priced radios, and praised it for its versatility and raved about its spec’s at its price.

As an owner of a 480HX I can say that in over three years of use by a new ham it’s held up to huge user mistakes and has served me extremely well on all bands.

I can only hope Kenwood does stick around, even if its as a maker of good quality mid-priced HF gear it will keep the industry much more competitive.
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by KI6EAA on June 15, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I think you missed my point.
The problem isn't the rig and the dipole. It's having a place where you can put up the dipole and operate the rig.
A 2 gig iPod Nano is less than $150 new.
A decent HF ham rig and antenna can be had for less than $1000 new.
But how much is a "starter house" these days? One with enough room for a decent HF antenna, and no CC&Rs?

73 de Jim, N2EY"

OK, fair enough.

I do not think owning a big house (or even owning any house) is a requirement for a ham. How many hams out there enjoy the hobby from RVs, trucks, mobile homes or apartments? Given the large number of posts about CC&R -proofing antennas, I would guess a lot. Pick up a AES or HRO catalog and look at all the ads for small verticals, apt antennas, etc. It is a big business.

Having lived in Hong Kong and having traveled around Asia, I would doubt the average ham there has a big lot or a 30 meter tower. The JAs seem to get out fine.

Your point that young people have a hard time buying a house is valid, but it seemed to be always that way. It wasn't easy buying that $35K condo in a shitty section of San Jose in 1977, even on the salary of an HP Field Engineer. I gave up all my toys just to make the mortgage.

73
Randy
 
Kenwood out of business  
by WB9YCJ on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If Kenwood suddenly announced "going out of Ham business" - would the existing dealer stock sell out quickly?
 
Kenwood out of business  
by WB9YCJ on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Uh-Ohh. Kenwood just discontinued the very popular
TS-570DG. Will the "SG" model soon follow? Sad.
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by N2EY on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""But how much is a "starter house" these days? One with enough room for a decent HF antenna, and no CC&Rs?"

OK, fair enough.

I do not think owning a big house (or even owning any house) is a requirement for a ham. How many hams out there enjoy the hobby from RVs, trucks, mobile homes or apartments? Given the large number of posts about CC&R -proofing antennas, I would guess a lot."

But are they young hams, just getting started in life? Or are they older ones, sometimes retired, etc.?

Are they living in those conditions by choice (RV living is usually a choice), or because they cannot afford anything else?

"Pick up a AES or HRO catalog and look at all the ads for small verticals, apt antennas, etc. It is a big business."

I agree that owning a house is not a requirement to be a ham. But it makes being one a *lot* easier, and makes low-cost equipment much more effective. The ham with the small vertical or other compromise antenna is not going to get out like the ham with the dipole. And those small antennas are not inexpensive.

My point is that, in the bad old days, if someone had an interest in amateur radio, they could get started with a very simple, inexpensive setup, to see how they liked it. Running a simple wire antenna out to the apple tree, or putting a basic vertical on the roof, wasn't a big deal. For many would-be hams today, that's not the case at all.

"Having lived in Hong Kong and having traveled around Asia, I would doubt the average ham there has a big lot or a 30 meter tower. The JAs seem to get out fine."

What do they use for antennas? Do they have CC&Rs?

You might want to take a look at what has happened to the number of JA hams over the past dozen years. Check out AH0A.org. Look at the number of *station* licenses, not operator licenses, because in Japan only station licenses expire. Operator licenses are forever, so when you see the huge number of JA operator licenses, remember that it's the total number of amateur operator licenses issued since 1952, not the number of Japanese hams today.

"Your point that young people have a hard time buying a house is valid, but it seemed to be always that way."

I'm saying it's harder now than it was years ago.

"It wasn't easy buying that $35K condo in"
"San Jose in 1977, even on the salary of an HP Field Engineer."

How much does an equivalent condo in San Jose cost today? $350,000 would be ten times the 1977 price.

How much does an HP Field Engineer (or equivalent) take home today, with the same education and experience you had in 1977?

Is it ten times what you took home then?

"I gave up all my toys just to make the mortgage."

Location, location, location.

In 1978 I bought my first house, in Wayne County, New York. It cost $30,000. After the mortgage, insurance, taxes, and utilities there wasn't much left for radio.

But the house was on a long, narrow lot that permitted me to put up a nice 135 foot inverted L end-fed wire antenna. I hooked my simple homebrew station to that wire and worked the world.

All I'm saying is that such housing is rarer and more expensive than it was in those days. And that's one of the factors hurting our growth. Not the only factor, but not a negligible one, either.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by WA2JJH on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood is toast. Wonder if my TS-950's and TS-850's will be worth big bucks.

Too Bad
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by WA2JJH on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood is toast. Wonder if my TS-950's and TS-850's will be worth big bucks.

Too Bad
 
RE: Kenwood out of business  
by KC8QFP on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It is very unlikely that Kenwood will get out of the radio biz. I would think that small comps such as FlexTenCraft will go under way B4 Kenwood. You might see some merges, name changes and things like that, but Kenwood will be around in some form or another. Maybe Kenwood will take over FlexTenCraft, or merge with them as the parent comp!!! If Kenwood came out with some universal doitall rig, in the form of a palm, old hams would not like it, and not buy it, at least for the first year or so. They'd bitch and squack about it until they see a few at club meetings, flea markets, or field day, whereas one can work the world from his lazyass chair. If it were so simple even a no-code could do it, they'd sell like hotcakes! Connect "the 500 watt bluetooth >>>box<<<" to the antenner, plug in your fave little mini paddle, or use it's nice built in mic to work everything you want to! All in a little handheld unit that fits in your shirt pocket, AND it outperforms even the best Icom out there today! That's the future as I see it in my cracked crystal ball (took it out of an old Heathkit boat anchor). This would be their way around FCC R&R limits and the small ham community. Heck the little 4 watt PDA could even be programmed for the 11m bozoband! One transceiver that does everything!!! If Kenwood doesn't, perhaps PanaSonyoHitashiba (or HP/Compaq)will. Then again, Yaesu already makes a lot of this kind of stuff in their HT's, all they need to do is to program them to transmit on the HF bands and use the RC ""box"". I never used the Yaesu full spectrum HT's, so I do not know how good they can hear (on a rubber duck - HAH)??? Now this is what I call speculating folks!!! And it may happen sonner than you think!

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The communists said they would win the war without having to fire a shot! China has been doing a good JOB of WINNING!"

Not winning. Buying.

"They already have ALL the money, and he who dies with all the money wins, or is that toys. Oh well, money/Toys, whats the difference?? :)"

They don't have all the money - yet. But we're sure busy seeing they get more.

"We really are the "DUMB Americans!" We have a screwed up govt that wants to give illegal aliens more rights and benefits than tax paying citizens, we've run ALL of our industry off shore."

Think about *why* that was done. Here's a clue: Short-term profits vs. long-term profitability.

"I'm thinking Ten-Tec! Maybe the new Elecraft K3. Why should I care about Kenwood?"

For the record, I've never owned a ham rig that wasn't American made.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company NOT  
by KC8QFP on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< We really are the "DUMB Americans!" We have a screwed up govt that wants to give illegal aliens more rights and benefits than tax paying citizens, we've run ALL of our industry off shore. Chrysler has already been sold again, this time to a holding company, and Ford and GM are about to go under. And we worry about Kenwood going out of the Amateur Radio business! It really makes ya wonder!!

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com >>>

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When the USA (United States of Asia) results from this world economy jazz, everyone will have some kind of communications device capable of just about anything imaginable (way beyond ham radio - but that too). The paddle, mouse/touchpad, joystick, keyboard, voice-command, buttons/knobs, and all those other input devies will become obselete when they implant some little chip in the forehead or arm of the operator. The "RIG" will keep a log of everything you do (buy/sell/communicate)! It will monitor anywhere you go, and how you work etc in your "slave job" (for Kenwood)! Big brother will be watching and he is Asian! This technology already is out there. And WE gave it to them when their alliens got their VISA's to go to our universities to learn all this stuff. As I said, we did this to ourselves, WE created this BEAST! Most ducktors and engineers speak with an Asian accent, and soon this will be the lawyers/politicians! And our kids gradeeate to work at WalMart, Hunan's, and Honda factories. "America" is a subsidary of Asia - ala merge or takeover. And it looks like they did it without using their "N" bombs!!! How nice! And we "DUMB Americans" just sit in front of the boob-tube, or park at some radidio BSing away oblivious to it all happening right under our noses!!! Thank God I am gettin' old and human life is temporary. And our future generations will not have to worry about SS running out and retirement as we know it now. They will have to learn other languages and worsip other gods such as Allah and Buddha! But our schools are already taking care of that mess too. Freedumb and patriotism will change! Is there a real GOD? The whole world will find out IF the prophecies come true. Maranatha!
After that, then Babylon will have fallen for good! (Remember, Babylon was the first empire and it was located in Asia). Keep an eye on Israel people!!!

cheerz or jeerz! Don
now back to my little make believe miserable life
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N5EAT on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"(Does anyone really think the TS-480 is in the same category as these micro-small do-it-all rigs?)"

Yes. It is. I have an Icom 7000 and the TS-480 has a better receiver. Would you notice the difference on an average day at this point in the sunspot cycle?
No. Do the radios sound "different" just sitting on a frequency - each with different DSP and other filtering options? Sure. On first glance - the 7000 might sound better. Under the crush of a huge contest, CW or SSB? The TS-480 wins by a fairly wide margin. Will I trade my IC-7000 for a 480? No. If I had a 480 would I trade it for the 7000? No. Both the 7000 and 480 are GREAT small hf rigs.

From what I read on the internet and from a few friends who own the 480 - it's reliable as rain, tough as nails, and solid as a rock. If they put 480's receiver in a huge box with it's own power supply and dozens of knobs - people would be shelling out 5,000.00 for it and calling it the Kenwood Orion II.
 
RE: The Audio Business is in Dire Straits  
by KI6EAA on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It wasn't easy buying that $35K condo in San Jose in 1977, even on the salary of an HP Field Engineer."

How much does an equivalent condo in San Jose cost today? $350,000 would be ten times the 1977 price.
<<About that in the same area, but not going up now>>

How much does an HP Field Engineer (or equivalent) take home today, with the same education and experience you had in 1977? Is it ten times what you took home then?
<<Equiv income would be about 6 times what I was making then, but interest rates are about 1/3 to 1/2 less now, and, in CA, the Property Taxes have not increased as a percentage of value. Remember 8-13% mortgages and much tighter lending standards were the norm then. The easy money and low rate adjustables would make the monthly load about the same or a little higher percentage of an inflation adjusted income. Just rough calculations and only in my corner of the world >>

All I'm saying is that such housing is rarer and more expensive than it was in those days. And that's one of the factors hurting our growth. Not the only factor, but not a negligible one, either.

<<I see your point, and I agree with you. A small antenna would your patience at this point in the sunspot cycle. Many would just give up.>>

73s
Randy
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by OBSERVER11 on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
JOhN utttered:
If I was 14 years old again, would I really want to:

1. Learn the theory.
2. Take an Exam.
3. Spend $500.00 on a radio.
4. Try to get permission to but up a dipole.

Be rewarded by getting on the radio to hear countless hours about:

1. What Amateur Radio was like 50 years ago.
2. Some 70 year old man's bladder control problems.

OR:

1. Talk to(and see) my High School buddies, and girlfriend on the Internet anytime I want.

Now let me guess....

73,

John W5JON
===========================================

Then start another conversation! Have you only a single band transceiver? get off 75m and try 17 meters or even 30 meters. You might be surprised.

$500.00 for a good used MODERN HF transceiver is DIRTY CHEAP. Do not need to go back 50 years, but going only 30, when the used gear was AM/CW and a new Drake TR4C was 699.00 plus the power supply, it was only 10 - 80 meters, no wide band receivers, ham bands only, to put it on 11m, you had to buy a crystal and not clip a diode.

We had it rough!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Think about it...
Kenwood needs <<<OIL>>> to do busines, lot's of OIL!!!
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N8DV on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If what you say is true and Kenwood is considering pulling out of the amateur market, what exhibitor will take the space left by the Kenwood display at Dayton? :)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W7ETA on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yup.
Death taxes only effect Kenwood because coughfins are made outta wood Ken.

73
Bob
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Gentlemen............

This is not the end of ham radio, or American society as some on here would have you believe. It's just change. Change happens, and it's happening much more frequently today than ever before. We live in a global economy....it's not all about us anymore. Get over it. The manufacturers are producing exceptional gear for us to buy and operate. The advances were unheard of just a few years ago. Celebrate it nd enjoy yourselves. We live in an incredible time in history, and those who embrace and deal with change will be happiest and most successful.....that's just the way it is.

73,
Brad
N6KYS
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This is not the end of ham radio, or American society as some on here would have you believe. It's just change."

Heck, I'm not even sure it's the end of Kenwood as a ham radio rigmaker.

I just got QST for July 2007. Full-page ads by rig manufacturer:

Icom: 3 pages (IC-2820H, IC-PCR1500/IC-PCR2500/IC-R1500/IC-R2500/IC-R20/IC-R5, IC-756PROIII)

Yaesu: 6 pages (FT-450, FTM-10R, FT-2000, FT-897D/FT857D/FT-817ND, FT-7800R/FT-1802M/VX-6R/VX120/VX170/VX-127/VX-177/FT8900R/FT-2800M/FT-60R/VX-2R/VX-3R, VX-3R)

Elecraft: 1 page (K3)

Ten-Tec: 1 page (Orion II/Omni VII/Jupiter/Argonaut V)

Flex Radio Systems: 1 page (FLEX-5000)

Alinco: 1 page (DR-635T/DJ-C7T)

Kenwood: 1 page (the rear cover) (TM-V71A)

You be the judge.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W4LGH on June 16, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
We all have our "PET" radios, but really I don't think there is much difference in ANY of them coming out of ASIA. Maybe something that can be measure on LAB quality test gear, but nothing really major. Some have pretty COLOR Fishfinder screens on them, lots of flashing led's and claims to have "Roofing" filters. Every super-het receiver ever made has a roofing filter...its called the 1st IF filter. DSP hasn't showed me much either. I was real excited about it when it started coming out, but the ONLY truely good working function I have found with it is the "auto-notch". Give me a good mechanical/crystal filter anyday, passband tuning, and I am good to go!

And for the record, as someone else said, 90% of my shack is AMERICAN MADE. I do own a Yaesu FT-1000-MP MKV, but I would much rather, and do, use my Drake TR-7. One day I may sell off the Yaesu. Who knows.

I really don't care if Kenwood gives it up or not, but I doubt they will. More than likely they will put the 480 in a bigger box, and some more software, give it a (grin) roofing filter and call it a TS-4800 and ask $4k for it.

73 de W4LGH - Alan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"$500.00 for a good used MODERN HF transceiver is DIRTY CHEAP. Do not need to go back 50 years, but going only 30, when the used gear was AM/CW and a new Drake TR4C was 699.00 plus the power supply, it was only 10 - 80 meters, no wide band receivers, ham bands only, to put it on 11m, you had to buy a crystal and not clip a diode.

We had it rough!"

Not very rough, though.

Back in the bad old days (I was licensed in 1967), there was a lot of good cheap WW2 surplus around, parts and complete units, which could get a knowledgeable ham on the air for not much money. Discarded TV sets and AM BC radios were pretty common and were a great source of parts for the ham.

Sure, it wasn't plug-and-play, and it wasn't state-of-the-art, but it worked and was a great way to learn.

And if you lived in a house, you didn't have CC&Rs doing the Gladys Kravitz thing on you.

In the bad old days, the top of the line cost a lot more (in real dollars) than it does today. But then, as now, you could have a blast without the latest doo-dads.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K5MO on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Lets face it! What the HAM generation has got to is an very espensive market!"

I'm not sure what a "HAM generation" is, but getting into ham radio has never been cheaper. Solid state entry rigs (TS140, IC730) can be had for under 300$. There's always been a high end to ham radio. Take a look at what Collins and Drake gear sold for 30 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, new gear is feature rich, and a bargin. If you willing to buy used, HF stuff is dirt cheap...particularly if you'll accept tubes (HW101, TS520)

John K5MO
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA0ZZG on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is an interesting discussion. I don't think Kenwood will drop from the Amateur market soon. Here's why:
1. Why do companies like the 'big three' get in the Amateur market in the first place. It's not to make lots of money, but to keep their name in front of the commercial and military customers. Many of them are hams too and they can't charge Amateurs enough to make big profits.
2. Each company will take on a slightly different direction in marketing Amateur radios. It appears that Kenwood wants the mass market, not the smaller high-end market. Alinco still markets HF radios. Who will thay be selling to?
3. Have you ever used a true commercial HF radio? Most really do pooly in the Amateur bands. They are designed for a much less crowded spectrum and a whole lot less knobs and switches. But they are TYPE ACCEPTED and demand a higher price. It's not uncommon for commercial radios to not have lower sideband. Amateurs are the only group that still uses it.
Have fun
Dave WA0ZZG
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think it is so much whether Kenwood or any other will get out of ham radio, but more importantly...

Will we dumb Americans be able to BUY ham radioes the way things are going??? Who can afford to buy a Kenwood TS on a WalMart income? When it costs $5.00/gallon to fuel our klunkers and 2,000/month to heat our homes, I doubt many will be interested in spending mucho-demaro to talk on a radidio! OK, enjoy it whilst you can!!! Or better yet save some of your money for gas, you'll need it to get to work at Burger King!

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"1. Why do companies like the 'big three' get in the Amateur market in the first place. It's not to make lots of money, but to keep their name in front of the commercial and military customers. Many of them are hams too and they can't charge Amateurs enough to make big profits."

Maybe that was true many years ago, but today it's a different game.

AFAIK, military and govt. contracts usually have a "Buy American" requirement, which would rule out Yaecomwood. Those that don't are usually competitive-bid situations, which means low price wins.

"2. Each company will take on a slightly different direction in marketing Amateur radios. It appears that Kenwood wants the mass market, not the smaller high-end market. Alinco still markets HF radios. Who will thay be selling to?"

Good point! This isn't new, either - in the past, some companies (like Hallicrafters) had many models aimed at amateurs for sale at once, while others (like Drake and Collins) had very few.

"3. Have you ever used a true commercial HF radio? Most really do pooly in the Amateur bands. They are designed for a much less crowded spectrum and a whole lot less knobs and switches. But they are TYPE ACCEPTED and demand a higher price."

A lot depends on how you define "performance". We hams usually want the best in sensitivity, selectivity, dynamic range, etc.

The commercial/military users often want something completely different, such as operation over a very wide temperature range, vibration/shock/humidity resistance, ability to be operated by minimally trained personnel under less-than-ideal conditions, etc.

One *big* requirement of most commercial/military users is well documented performance, particularly reliability. "I had one for ten years with no problems" doesn't mean a thing to them - they want documented reliability (MTBF) numbers derived according to specified practices.

"It's not uncommon for commercial radios to not have lower sideband. Amateurs are the only group that still uses it."

Yep. Many commercial provide LSB simply because they can.

btw, before anybody repeats the old urban legend about 9 MHz IF and 5 MHZ VFO as being why hams use LSB below 10 MHz and USB above...it's not true. Using a 9 MHz SSB generator and a 5-5.5 MHz VFO will not result in automatic sideband inversion to the amateur standard.

73 de Jim, N2EY


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K7DLB on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I currently use a TS-950SD and recently had a brain freeze and had it for sale.....Needless to say a buddy of mine clobbered me back into reality and I'm keeping it!!!! I have had a TS450, 570, and several 430s and the 450 is actually the one I miss. The audio on TX and RX was fantastic!!!! I have a plan afoot to sneak a TS480 into the shack as I have heard many nice reports on this rig. SO, I hope KW stays in the hunt. I have a feeling they will. If not, well, there is always E-Bay for that "new" rig!!!!!!
One thing, Kenwood East has got to be one of the best service centers around. I know they are independant, but they are good!!!!! So when I get ahold of my Holy Grail, the TS870, I know where to send it for a checkup!!!!!!
Also, my trick knee is telling me Kenwood is gonna come up with something interesting very soon........
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"and the 450 is actually the one I miss."

I agree, the '450 is a great rig. I sold mine when I bought the TS-870. BUT, when it came time for a new backup rig, I bought another one (should have kept the first one). Great sound, easy to use, versatile and rugged!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W7WHY on June 17, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I'll tell you one thing though, you rich guys are boring as heck. All you talk about is what you just bought. Buying stuff is all you seem to do. Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"

Bill Gates?? 73
Tom W7WHY

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W8JAS on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>>Will we dumb Americans be able to BUY ham radioes the way things are going??? Who can afford to buy a Kenwood TS on a WalMart income? When it costs $5.00/gallon to fuel our klunkers and 2,000/month to heat our homes, I doubt many will be interested in spending mucho-demaro to talk on a radidio! OK, enjoy it whilst you can!!! Or better yet save some of your money for gas, you'll need it to get to work at Burger King!<<<

How true. Tell your Congressional Rep and Senators to support coal to liquids projects. The Democrats are keeping this from being a reality. We have a 400 year supply of coal and it can be turned into more oil than the Arabs have all together. This project will provide American jobs, keep our money in the U.S., keep gas at a reasonable cost, and free up our money for more radios.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K2GW on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For the record I've used and owned equipment from all three of the current major manufacturers as well as others over the past 30 years.

Actually, the folks at Kenwood had a new rig at Dayton and an announcement of the 710 to replace the 700 in December. Amateur radio is not all HF; in fact more VHF/UHF rigs are sold by far. Kenwood is still the dominant player in APRS which is a much larger segment than DStar. Just look at any FindU map.

Around my area, most folks seem to be buying the F6 HT because it's the only one with a full 5 watts on 220 (we have state police sponsored 220 machine that covers the entire state). Also the F6 works quite well as SW receiver/scanner (including AM, CW, LSB and USB) for camping trips and backpacking.

Also with the approval of Sky Command in the US, the potential for using it to provide a community HF station for a bunch of antenna challenged hams to share via VHF is a brand new market. Bob Brunniga is using this concept to let midshipmen in the dorms at USNA to share access to an HF station five miles away.

As a practical matter, Icom and Yaesu HF receivers often have better receive figures when they work at all and after folks pay twice the price. But Kenwood's consumer electgronics roots show in it's quality control and readable manuals that go with it's good reliable equipment.

I doubt they're going away soon, especially with the financial figures shown here. Anything else is mere speculation.

73

Gary, K2GW

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""I'll tell you one thing though, you rich guys are boring as heck. All you talk about is what you just bought. Buying stuff is all you seem to do. Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"

Steve Jobs, for another. The list is extremely long.

73 from a definitely NOT rich guy, K4JF
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< How true. Tell your Congressional Rep and Senators to support coal to liquids projects. The Democrats are keeping this from being a reality. We have a 400 year supply of coal and it can be turned into more oil than the Arabs have all together. This project will provide American jobs, keep our money in the U.S., keep gas at a reasonable cost, and free up our money for more radios >>>

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


If we'd simply use our WASTE products and junk food (even Tobacco burns as a fuel), and use it as fuel instead of Gas/oil and coal, we'd be way ahead. Just burning all the shit from livestock and people will make a shitload of electricity!!! Then there is all the fat and livestock waste products, manure, and plant waste that burns and makes nice heating/AC fuel! Look at all that sugar and other carbohydrates we EAT, great fuel, and we'd get the added benefit of better HEALTH! Howz about some of you brainiac EE's inventing a home generater system that burns such waste to make electricity and heat for our homes, in a unit that can be bought at Sears for a few hundred bucks??? People pay a lot for wood burners and geo-thermal crap, solar, and even backup gas/diesel generators for their homes. A steam turbine can make purified water, heat, and electricity all in one unit that runs on SHIT!!! There is more shit than we know what to do with, too much even for fertilizer. But we pile it up in land fills and play with ourselves (radios). We are dumb Americans!

Don
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W2DAP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I used Kenwood equipment in the '80s culminating in a very disappointing TS-950. I then switched to Icom and never looked back.

Kenwood is clearly focusing on consumer and public safety electronics which provide a higher margin, fewer warranty issues and a less-demanding clientele.

I actually cannot blame them, we hams are often perfectionists frequently asking for unneeded service and taking valuable time from customer service. Probably the Corporate "suits" have realized that for a few hundred sales a year which would be the case of a so-called high end radio (if it meets with success), is simply not worth the expense and aggravation.

Dick
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've used Heath, Hammarlund, Collins, Icom, Kenwood, Ten-Tec, and Tempo over the years. My experience with them can be summarized by the fact that my shack at retirement is almost all Kenwood. Since they just keep on working, and doing it quite well, I don't have to keep buying.

It is also a good thing that Kenwood has other businesses that can drive a big company, and still allow them to serve a small segment of the population like us. (The Kenwood speakers in my '65 Mustang are great). If they purchase JVC, it will probably get even better.

Long live Kenwood. I hope they keep building great stuff.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>>>>by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007
If we'd simply use our WASTE products and junk food (even Tobacco burns as a fuel), and use it as fuel instead of Gas/oil and coal, we'd be way ahead. Just burning all the shit from livestock and people will make a shitload of electricity!!! Then there is all the fat and livestock waste products, manure, and plant waste that burns and makes nice heating/AC fuel! Look at all that sugar and other carbohydrates we EAT, great fuel, and we'd get the added benefit of better HEALTH! Howz about some of you brainiac EE's inventing a home generater system that burns such waste to make electricity and heat for our homes, in a unit that can be bought at Sears for a few hundred bucks??? People pay a lot for wood burners and geo-thermal crap, solar, and even backup gas/diesel generators for their homes. A steam turbine can make purified water, heat, and electricity all in one unit that runs on SHIT!!! There is more shit than we know what to do with, too much even for fertilizer. But we pile it up in land fills and play with ourselves (radios). We are dumb Americans! Don<<<<<<<<<<<<


Unbelievable. Didn't this discussion start out about Kenwood?

Brad
N6KYS

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC2RSP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I understand how Kenwood feels.
I work as a IT/networking and when I am finished with a job the project is reliable for many years (except for Microsoft problems).

If it wasn't for Microsoft being such a low quality piece of junk, non of my clients would ever call me back for repairs.

Most ham equipment, especially Japanese, tend to last for a decade or more and ham operators are happy with their old equipment, which means sales are infrequent for ham companies.

Two avenues left for ham manufacturers (two unpopular choices)

1 - like microsoft, somehow charge a monthly fee, in ms's case, for internet access on their xbox units. Perhaps, a service contract or upgrade contract for new firmware.

2-like domestic cars, make it so unreliable the upkeep is more profitable then the initial sales profit. service centers with ridiculous parts/labor fees. I remember my first car, a Lincoln mark vii. In the shop every month. A fortune is to be made in repairs.

one other option (one I like)
recruit more ham operators...
there are many young out doors enthusiasts who would like some form of communications when backpacking.
i noticed non of my friends even know what ham radio is. I just got into ham and already I am recruiting.
further more, I plan on getting new rigs every 3 years or so, I can always give my old stuff to new operators who are not sure what to get anyway the first time. I certainly won't keep my old stuff in the attic if I can give it to friend and get him into the hobby. once hooked maybe he'll upgrade to a new rig and get someone else into the hobby.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC2RSP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
------------------------------------------------------
I actually cannot blame them, we hams are often perfectionists frequently asking for unneeded service and taking valuable time from customer service. Probably the Corporate "suits" have realized that for a few hundred sales a year which would be the case of a so-called high end radio (if it meets with success), is simply not worth the expense and aggravation.
------------------------------------------------------

So true... not me personally but I imagine most.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< Unbelievable. Didn't this discussion start out about Kenwood?

Brad
N6KYS >>>

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SO??? The link to Kenwood has to do with the economy! And fuel has everything to do with the economy and sales. Then there are the "shit rigs"...
Plus I like to go on tangents and deviate from boring topics such as this BS about Kenwood, and that's what it is... BS!

73! Don

very believable - think about it
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"If we'd simply use our WASTE products and junk food (even Tobacco burns as a fuel), and use it as fuel instead of Gas/oil and coal, we'd be way ahead. Just burning all the"

(organic waste)

"from livestock and people will make a"

(large quantity of)

"of electricity!!! Then there is all the fat and livestock waste products, manure, and plant waste that burns and makes nice heating/AC fuel! Look at all that sugar and other carbohydrates we EAT, great fuel, and we'd get the added benefit of better HEALTH!"

Simply burning such waste products as fuel isn't easy or clean. However, look what is already being done:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization

There's a TDP site in the Midwest located next to a turkey processing plant, which converts more than 200 tons of waste into usable fuel and byproducts.

Here in Philadelphia, there's a TDP plant which converts composted sewage sludge into fuel.

The main problem with the TDP systems so far is that the plants cost so much to build.

"Howz about some of you brainiac EE's inventing a home generater system that burns such waste to make electricity and heat for our homes, in a unit that can be bought at Sears for a few hundred bucks???"

Because it's not that simple.

Look how much it costs to build a simple gasoline-fueled generator setup, using conventional mass-produced parts and technology that's time-proven and well-known.

What you want is a multipurpose device that will provide heat and electricity from a variety of low-quality fuels, yet meet all environmental and safety regulations, last many years, and yet not cost very much.

IOW, you want bricks without straw.

"People pay a lot for wood burners and geo-thermal"

(stuff)

"solar, and even backup gas/diesel generators for their homes."

Because those things cost a lot of money to make.

"A steam turbine can make purified water, heat, and electricity all in one unit that runs on"

(waste)!!!

No, it can't.

All a steam turbine can do is to convert pressurized steam to rotary motion.

One possible system would use a multipurpose boiler to make the steam, a turbine driving a generator to make electricity, and a condenser/heat recovery system that would recover wasted heat for home and domestic hot water heating.

The hardest part of that is making a burner/boiler that can burn different kinds of waste *cleanly*.

The second hardest part is getting it all working together.

"There is more"

(waste)

"than we know what to do with, too much even for fertilizer. But we pile it up in land fills and play with ourselves (radios). We are dumb Americans!"

Not all of us.

How much more would you be willing to spend for electricity, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil, etc., that are derived from waste and other renewable sources rather than fossil fuels?

How much are you willing to invest in new technologies (hybrid cars, mass transit, better insulation, more efficient lights and appliances) in order to have long-term benefits?

The main reason you don't see these alternatives more is that they cost more per gallon, ccf or kWh.

But the costs of alternatives are coming down while the cost of conventional sources keeps going up.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WP4HVS on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
HELLO TO EVERYONE I AM A FAN OF KENWOOD HAM RADIOS, AND I WAS UNHAPPY ABOUT THE COMMENTS MADE HERE THAT KENWOOD IS NO LONGER MAKING HAM RADIOS SO I WHEN AND SEND THEM A EMAIL ABOUT AND HERE IS WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAID.

Hello Jimmy:


Kenwood has NO intention of getting out of the amateur radio business.
This rumor has been flying around for the last 10 years. Kenwood has
come out with two new radio's in 2007 the TM-V71A, and the TM-D710A due
in September 2007.

So PLEASE tell everyone you know that Kenwood is here to stay.


Also new radio's will be out in 2008............73

SO LET SE WHAT HAPPEN I HOPE TO SEE WHAT IS COMING ON 2008.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WP4HVS on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
SORRY HERE IS THE WHOLE INFORMATION AND THE PERSON HO REPLY TO ME FROM KENWOOD.
Hello Jimmy:


Kenwood has NO intention of getting out of the amateur radio business.
This rumor has been flying around for the last 10 years. Kenwood has
come out with two new radio's in 2007 the TM-V71A, and the TM-D710A due
in September 2007.

So PLEASE tell everyone you know that Kenwood is here to stay.


Also new radio's will be out in 2008............73







If you need further assistance, please e-mail us again.

You may also call for Customer Support at:

(310) 639-4200 you will hear three prompts when your hear a voice press
5, voice again 2, and voice again 1.

You may also fax to ( 310 ) 537-8235, or email to:
kcc-amateur@kenwoodusa.com

Sincerely, Leo Fahmie KJ6HI

Kenwood Amateur Radio Customer Support
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"What you want is a multipurpose device that will provide heat and electricity from a variety of low-quality fuels, yet meet all environmental and safety regulations, last many years, and yet not cost very much."

Actually, Jim, the technology for that has been available for decades. It's just politically impossible. A small, clean, safe nuclear generator in the back yard. Along the line of the ones the USSR used in their spacecraft in the 80s.

:o)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WP4HVS on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I HAVE TO SAY I WAS A YAESU FAN FOR MANY YEARS, WHEN THE FT-101 WAS THE RADIO OF THOSE DAYS, I HAVE OWN ALL THE LINE OF FT-101,FT-901,902, FT-990, FT-707, AND A LOT THERE 2 METER AND HT RADIOS, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT GOOD ON THERE SERVICE, I SWICHT TO KENWOOD AND I HAVE NEVER COMPLAINT ABOUT THERE RADIOS AND THERE RESPONE OF THE SERVICE, I HAVE OWN THE TS-430 THE BEST LITTLE RADIO ON HIS TIME, THE TS-930 WHAT A GREAT RADIO AND FINALY THE TS-2000 BEST RADIO I EVER HAVE, ALSO HAVE A LOT OF THERE 2 METER RADIOS AND HT AND DUAL BANDERS, ICOM I ONLY HAVE 2 METER RADIOS NEVER HAVE A HF RIG FROM THEM I LIKE THE 756PRO3, BUT I AM WILLING TO WAIT FOR KENWOOD AND WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO COME IN 2008, ITS NOT HOW MANY RADIOS YOU MAKE IF THE QUALITY OF THE RADIO THAT COUNTS, AND KENWOOD IS JUST THAT GOOD RADIOS FOR A LONG TIME, I HAVE MY HOPES ON KENWOOD.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well Jim, you did a job on my idea, tore it apart piece by piece. I guess after reading your summarial, I suppose one would conclude that it can't be done feasably. Perhaps not, but in time, it can be a good deal if you consider the alternatives. Just think about Apple and Microsoft back in the mid 70's. It was too expensive to make microchips and the idea of an affordable home PC was considered unfeasable by the brains as well. But Steve W did not agree, and where there is a will -- there is a way. Thirty years later - look what happeneded!!! I am glad people like Steve did not listen to the "cant's"! Same was true for Tom Edison. Electric lights replace gas??? NO WAY 150 years ago!!! And many thought Tesla was NVTS!!! Without Nicoli Tesla, we'd have NO KENWOOD HF rigs!

As for dirty fuel, gas/oil/coal are dirty and DANGEROUS. But the EPA/govy is the pain in the ass that makes it dificult and too expensive to change things. I have little respect for the EPA after the WTC messup (9/11). There is plenty of shit out there, and it is going to waste. It becomes a contaminate, breeding rats, roaches, maggots, and diseases as well as polluting our land/water if left unused. It's a great source to recycle since it naturally turns into methanol. (My brother used to have a horse, and the manure pile got huge, nobody wanted it, they had to PAY to get rid of it)!

But we can't even say the shit word let alone recycle the crap! We all do it! Using such waste, and junk food products (and tobacco) to burn as fuel produces heat, steam, and electricity, as well as getting rid of a nucense. It just makes sense, and it can be done on a small scale, perhaps for farms and small business. I suppose you're right about heat exchange to recover the steam (geothermal or a river/lake to condense the steam to purified water). Burning garbage is cleaner than having it sit in land fills for many many years, and it is a cheaper way to get rid of the ""fuel"". It beats burning wood, coal, or oil/gas in the long run. I think it costs a hellofalot more to get the oil/gas/coal/wood out of the earth, than to simply gather and burn some waste products. So I challenge you to go over this again, line by line, and explain how/why it can be done feasably and how it makes far more sense than what we've been doing for far too long.

Tobacco is a great example, it pollutes the air, it makes people sick, and it costs a lot (a waste of money) for the consumer that is addicted to the junk. Many burn over 200$/monthly, their $$$ litterally goes up in smoke. Now IF they use it for fuel instead, on a massive scale, (I suppose that it may still have a high cost do to all the govy taxes), the tobacco growers would be much happier since more people would use their product in a good productive way. I think this is a way to make lemonaid out of lemons. But it would require a device that used such a fuel. I guess you believe that a boiler/generator is not practical. Where there is a will... there is a way! Look at the intricate engineering that goes into your average 2007 automobile? And the technology to manufacture cheap cars that go a million miles is old school (as in Checker cabs). Making electricity with a boiler/dynamo is very old school, and is very reliable.

Maybe Kenwood should diversify and go into the burning shit/tobacco/junkfood for fuel business. Hmmmm, a Kenwood mini-electric/heat plant that also purifies water. Aisa sure would buy them! Especially in dirty countries such as India. And they don't have tax crazy corrupt govy and EPA kooks to deal with that interfere with such ideas. It certainly can be done - and cheaply too! Gas/oil/coal/wood is costing us a lot more than $$$! The rabs have us (and many other dependant countries) by the balls, if they cut the oil supply. Many WARS have been because of the oil! But nobody wants the shit! Rethink this one out, OK Jim?

73! Don

PS: I have an idea that solves the electric car limitation problem, but the nay-sayers won't listen to it either. I wonder if Billy Gates would be interested??? Simply have battery stations that would charge and exchange standard battery packs for the vehicles. Pull in, swap your pack, and away you go. A fresh pack in less than a minute! Maybe some think I am crazy, but it would work and bring down the cost significantly. So tear this apart too EE's! Not that long ago, it was thought to be impossible to go to the moon! (About the time Kenwood got into ham radio)! If Kenwood invented STANDARD vehicle battery paks and battery stations, their "electronics" business would pale in compairson. Bill Gates would seem poor! The world economy needs something else ASAP!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
PPS: Without govy/EPA interferance, I could have a power plant that makes electricity, heat, and clean water whereas it could easily pay for itself by selling surplus power to others in the community at a lower cost than the monopoly utilities companies. But it would depend on the cost of shit being very low. Bio-diesel is no longer a freebie or waste product, and now it is SOLD as a fuel alternative. I doubt that McDonalds and Burger King will give their french fry oil away for free when they can sell it! Imagine this, INVESTING IN SHIT!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""What you want is a multipurpose device that will provide heat and electricity from a variety of low-quality fuels, yet meet all environmental and safety regulations, last many years, and yet not cost very much."

Actually, Jim, the technology for that has been available for decades. It's just politically impossible. A small, clean, safe nuclear generator in the back yard. Along the line of the ones the USSR used in their spacecraft in the 80s."

NASA has had them for decades, too.

They consist of a reactor that is plutonium-based, which is so designed that when activated, it gets hot. There are thermocouples all through the reactor which convert the heat directly to electricity. Simple and lasts for years. All of the deep-space NASA probes use them, including the New Horizons one now headed for Pluto.

In fact, if you remember Project Moonray, it was to be powered by a very small one.

The main problem is that they are very expensive in terms of dollars-per-kilowatt hour and dollars per kilowatt. As in several million dollars for a 1000 watt unit.

There's also the energy cost to make one, compared to the energy it supplies over its lifetime.

Safe? - do you really want pounds of plutonium in everyone's backyard? The stuff is incredibly toxic chemically, as well as radioactive. If a spacecraft unit fails millions of miles from earth, OK, but not next door.

It's not politically impossible - it's economically unfeasible and not very safe. They are used in spacecraft because there's no other practical option for spacecraft that are going to spend years far from the sun, due to the size and weight constraints.

Look up how the New Horizons, Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft are powered, how little power those units make, and how much they cost.

73 de Jim, N2EY



 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N6KYS on June 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>>>by KC8QFP on June 18, 2007

SO??? The link to Kenwood has to do with the economy! And fuel has everything to do with the economy and sales. Then there are the "shit rigs"...
Plus I like to go on tangents and deviate from boring topics such as this BS about Kenwood, and that's what it is... BS!

73! Don

very believable - think about it<<<<<<<

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Don, you are one wierd guy.

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Nicoli Tesla was a "wierd guy" too, so thank you for the compliment. I really don't care to be ""normal"" these days!


As for the cost of a mini-nuclear power plant in one's own backyard, the cost of the plant would be tremendous, as well as dealing with the WASTE unless you want to go into the bomb business. And the govy sez a definite NO to that!

The same problem goes for wind/water power to turn a prop. Wind and water currents are a free resource, but one must live where there is a lot of wind or water currents, sort of like being close to Niagara Falls or the Hoover Damn. But again, the cost of the generators is huge! Have you priced the wind or water turbines lately? The cost of the prop alone would take many many years to recover even from "free" wind or water. And is it reliable over the long term?

Solar cells are also very expensive, and it takes a hellofalot of them to make a lot of power, limited to daylight hours of course. The cost of the storage batteries is ongoing since they must be replaced every so often as well.

The reason that the big power companies use coal or oil to make electricity is simple, it's much cheaper and easier to manufacture, store and transport the fuel. So what I am saying is to miniaturize the huge power plants into mini plants that can do likewise. But rather than burn coal/oil/wood, burn WASTE products. Waste is COSTING US and it is for nothing - to fill landfills and we pay to pollute our land. Theis costly polluting waste is a very good natural resource, and can benefit our people in the long run! Just about anything that grows from the ground can be made into fuel. Animal waste (crap, fat, and even urine) can also be converted into fuel (either as solid, gas, or liquid forms). Organic fuels naturally convert to alcahol, a very clean fuel as compairred to oil/coal/wood burners. And all this is a LOCAL source of power and heat. Again I say, we pay a lot to waste all this power - what do they do with all this waste material?

Yep, I am wierd, but I think of shit as good stuff!!! I'd rather see corn and sugar cane converted into fuel instead of sodie-pop and candy bars that make us sick (also very costly when considering the costs of health care). Maybe the Marlboro man would rather run a dynamo from his tobacco than destroy his lungs with the crap. Really, who is wierd? Think about it when you put that nozzle into your gas guzzler at 5$ a gallon this summer!

73! The wierdo!

But I guess it is not wierd to get all bent out of shape about some damn stupid transceiver!!!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I wish this thread was more about "Death of a Gasoline Company". You people are lamenting about a radio! GEEZ! I lament when I get the fuel bills! Quite frankly, I'd rather see our farmers get rich - I sure appreciate the American Farmer! Now that's really MADE IN THE USA!!! All those kids graduating from school, think about becoming farmers! Get into agriculture, you will be NEEDED sooner than we think! Many farmers are junping on the fuel bandwagon - and for good reasons. I hope they get rich too! Our farmers are not the threat like those we get our oil from. We must stop making our enemies rich and powerful, and instead support your local farmer. I want a car than runs on moonshine!!! SUV's are on their way out, and diesels are on the way IN! I think I will get a Dodge with a Cummins power plant!

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Well Jim, you did a job on my idea, tore it apart piece by piece. I guess after reading your summarial, I suppose one would conclude that it can't be done feasably."

All I did was point out some of the real-world problems that would have to be solved.

"Just think about Apple and Microsoft back in the mid 70's. It was too expensive to make microchips and the idea of an affordable home PC was considered unfeasable by the brains as well. But Steve W did not agree, and where there is a will -- there is a way."

The real story is very different.

The whole PC concept was developed by Xerox in the very early 1970s. Microprocessors appeared about that time as well.

Many companies - not just Apple and Microsoft - went into the personal computer business. You remember the successes, but consider also the failures.

Most of all, remember how much those early PCs cost (in inflation-adjusted dollars) and how little they could really do.

"Thirty years later - look what happeneded!!!"

Sure - because lots of people put a lot of money into the PC business.

How much are *you* willing to spend on an alternative energy system?

"I am glad people like Steve did not listen to the "cant's"! Same was true for Tom Edison. Electric lights replace gas??? NO WAY 150 years ago!!!"
And many thought Tesla was NVTS!!! Without Nicoli Tesla, we'd have NO KENWOOD HF rigs!"

Tesla was a genius, but there would still be radio as we know it if he had never done anything in the field. His radio inventions were later independently reinvented by others.

"As for dirty fuel, gas/oil/coal are dirty and DANGEROUS."

Of course. How much money are you going to spend to stop using them?

"But the EPA/govy"

"makes it dificult and too expensive to change things."

How? Do you want to live next door to a plant that burns trash with no environmental controls?

"I have little respect for the EPA after the WTC messup (9/11)."

Why? What could have been done differently? How was anyone to know how to clean up such a mess beforehand?

I've been to Ground Zero. Have you?

"There is plenty of"

(organic waste)

"out there, and it is going to waste. It becomes a contaminate, breeding rats, roaches, maggots, and diseases as well as polluting our land/water if left unused."

Did you follow the links to the thermal depolymerization articles (TDP) that I posted? Did you read the articles? I think not.

"It's a great source to recycle since it naturally turns into methanol."

No, it doesn't. Not without processing.

You may have meant that decaying organic matter can give off methane gas. That is true, and has been used for years in processes like the gobar gas plants.

"(My brother used to have a horse, and the manure pile got huge, nobody wanted it, they had to PAY to get rid of it)!"

Google "gobar gas plant".

"But we can't even say the"

(word for organic waste)

"let alone recycle"

(it).

Actually, it's being done today. You'd know that if you read the TDP articles.

"We all do it! Using such waste, and junk food products (and tobacco) to burn as fuel produces heat, steam, and electricity, as well as getting rid of a nucense. It just makes sense, and it can be done on a small scale, perhaps for farms and small business."

If it can be done on a small scale, why aren't *you* doing it?

"I suppose you're right about heat exchange to recover the steam (geothermal or a river/lake to condense the steam to purified water). Burning garbage is cleaner than having it sit in land fills for many many years, and it is a cheaper way to get rid of the ""fuel""."

Would you be willing to live next to a trash-to-steam plant?

"It beats burning wood, coal, or oil/gas in the long run. I think it costs a hellofalot more to get the oil/gas/coal/wood out of the earth, than to simply gather and burn some waste products."

The trick is to gather and burn them efficiently and cleanly. Even so, the end result may not be adequate.

Consider how much waste you generate per day - then consider how much energy you use per day. Remember that a lot of waste products include a considerable percentage of water and noncombustible elements, too.

"So I challenge you to go over this again, line by line, and explain how/why it can be done feasably and how it makes far more sense than what we've been doing for far too long."

I posted links to articles about how wastes can be converted to fuel. Have you read them?

"Tobacco is a great example, it pollutes the air, it makes people sick, and it costs a lot (a waste of money) for the consumer that is addicted to the junk.
Many burn over 200$/monthly, their $$$ litterally goes up in smoke. Now IF they use it for fuel instead, on a massive scale, (I suppose that it may still have a high cost do to all the govy taxes), the tobacco growers would be much happier since more people would use their product in a good productive way. I think this is a way to make lemonaid out of lemons."

I think you're just pulling my leg.

"But it would require a device that used such a fuel."

Why raise tobacco for fuel when other things are easier to grow and have more heat content?

"I guess you believe that a boiler/generator is not practical."

Not at all. They just cost more than a few hundred dollars.

"Where there is a will... there is a way!"

Not if what you want to do violates the laws of physics.

"Look at the intricate engineering that goes into your average 2007 automobile? And the technology to manufacture cheap cars that go a million miles is old school (as in Checker cabs). Making electricity with a boiler/dynamo is very old school, and is very reliable."

But not inexpensive. Checker cabs weren't cheap - and they are no longer made. It took a lot of investment and development to get autos to 2007 technology, and they are still very inefficient compared to what can be done.

"I have an idea that solves the electric car limitation problem, but the nay-sayers won't listen to it either.

Simply have battery stations that would charge and exchange standard battery packs for the vehicles. Pull in, swap your pack, and away you go. A fresh pack in less than a minute!"

That's not a new idea - I saw it proposed more than 30 years ago. Popular Science or Popular Mechanics.

"Maybe some think I am crazy, but it would work and bring down the cost significantly."

It would work but it would not reduce the cost at all.

"Not that long ago, it was thought to be impossible to go to the moon!"

More than half a century. It's been 35 years since the *last* moon mission.

I suggest you do some reading on alternative energy sources and what is actually being done today, such as wind technology.

And I ask again:

How much are *you* willing to spend on alternative energy sources?

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
OK Jim, you made your point, at least for city folks. I guess they cannot get away from the huge electric company monopolies. But I was thinking more along the lines of the farmer. If he was able to purchase an affordable power plant that he can run from all the ""waste"" products from the barn, he'd be way ahead of the game. The cost of electricity is a major concern for the farmer. But he would be able to provide heat, purified water, and electricity for his livestock all from one nice unit, (and for his home as well) if it was reasonably priced. The farmer has shitloads of fuel that he doesn't know what to do with, it acutally costs him to get rid of it. You can only compost so much for fertilizer (that is if you grow your own feed). All he'd need to do is pitch the shit/piss straw into the boiler. And as for the smell, we all know what a barn smells like. I'd rather smell that then the city smog, it's fresh country air!!! I am all for our farmers, the heck with the rabs and their damn oil! But wind, solar, water, and other alternative power sources are much more cost prohibitive than what the farmer already has, if he could only be able to get a small power plant that makes (let's say 100KW's) electricity, purified water, and heat from all that ""waste"". Most farms have a water source (well, ponds, lakes, rivers/streams) that can be used as a condensor too.

Even in the city, it may be possible to set up such a power plant in high-rise skyscrapers or large factories. But they'd need the fuel source converted into some form of alcahol or methane gas piped in from a storage reservior. Sometimes I forget that city folks are screwed by the nature of city living. I guess you were thinking that this is not practical for those that have lots less than 1/2 acre, single family dwellings. (Heck, that's not enough space for a small barn)! That's the problem, we don't think much about our farmers, they are important people, and this is far more important than talking about some stupid damn Japanise radio folks!


73! Don

BTW: If you're interested in doing some research, look up what you can find about "COOL" (Country Of Origin Labeling) concerning public awareness about imported food products. Most of the food imported is not inspected by the FDA, and is filthy and contaminated (think about this when you talk about the smell of making power). I would like to see FDA imposed labeling that would indicate whether our food is MADE IN THE USA. Our food is far more important than our cars or radioes! Some of our legislators are interfering with the implimentation of such FDA R&R's. I sure would like to have labeling that tells me that my food is domestic or imported from Asia, AFrica, or S.A. etc.! It's sad that we can reduce our medical costs by dealing with waste products and food sources in a simple way that works to benefit us all -- but there is always OPPOSITION, the "can't people". Jim, I hope that you rethink your obstanance, considering the American farmers this time.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< Don: "I have little respect for the EPA after the WTC messup (9/11)."

Jim: Why? What could have been done differently? How was anyone to know how to clean up such a mess beforehand?

I've been to Ground Zero. Have you? >>>

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

nope! But I bet there are many a person that were there who suffer from the exposure to all that hazardous crap to this day... (can you breathe OK JIM? Take a deep breath, then also consider the exposure to carsinagens too.) who are involved with a huge class action lawsuit against the EPA for it's "alleged" apparent carelessness and deceptive ways of mishandling the cleanup. Jim, were you issued a respirator! Were you banished from the area unless you had appropriate hazard protective gear? Or were you told it was OK to go in there with only a dust mask (if that)? Many were EXPOSED to tremendous hazards and suffer for it to this day (some cleanup workers are DEAD from it). Can you really breathe easily now, Jim? Do YOU realise what you have been exposed to for your valliant efforts (no thanks to the EPA or OSHA)? The tree huggers may think they are protecting the environment, but they do a crappy job of protecting PEOPLE! Jim, if your job went to Asia, and you ended up working at WalMart, you might reconsider how I feel. How many factories moved because of high taxation and EPA hassles? I curse the EPA everytime I have to pass the e-check! I think they are simply a big govy pain in the ass!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
With anything there are obsticles to consider or overcome. Cost, practicalities, sales, education, ability and so on. Kenwood has their EE's to design rigs that people like you guys want to buy. It's all about supply and demand. People DEMAND fuel for their cars and homes. People DEMAND food to eat. And what is the supplier? Asia??? The USA??? I guess that depends on the consumer, doesn't it?

Edison liked the idea of light from electricity, there were obsticles, and people had gas lighting already (opposition). He took the risk (moola and time), and it paid off, people bought it - ALL OVER THE WORLD!

If you simply take the product (such as Kenwood radioes), regardless of its place of origin, some people will buy it, so Kenwood will make it and sell it. The idea is to sell a product.

I am not against some imported goods. But what if we buy from our enemies? What if we buy from compeditors that take our jobs away from us? What about health issues? Would you prefer to buy from a Chinese farmer, or American farmet? I guess that is like asking what you'd prefer, Amish organnic produce, or industrial corporate mega-farm made foods. Our farmers sell - ALL OVER THE WORLD! So imports/exports cut both ways. It depends what people will buy. If our farmers can supply MORE than what we demand, they can sell it as exports. (Notice that I said SELL it, not give it away). TenTec could be as big as Kenwood, even bigger! Why not? Motorola was a huge USA company, so was GTE, GE, even RCA before they moved to Asia! WWII changed things! Unions changed things! I guess we like to buy from our "enemies". The nation of Israel made the same mistake, you can read about their demise in the Bible. Europe, Asia and Africa would not be what they are today had we not supported them after WWII! Funny thing to defeat an enemy then make them more powerful than they were before the war! I blame this on greed and exploitation ala cheap labor and slave factories. Now they bite us in our asses people! We bought into it -- supply and demand! Think about this, IF your job moved overseas, would you go there to keep it? Would you work for Kenwood in China or Japan? I bet you wouldn't even if it were to Mexico!

What makes them an enemy? Threats and war? The demise of our economy? Invasion and takeover? Crime and deprivation (of jobs)? In a way, we did this to ourselves, so are we our own worst enemy? So the demise of Kenwwod depends on the consumer, but it also was the demise of Drake, Swan, Heathkit, Hammerland, Collins because people buy from Asia instead. Kenwood will still sell in Japan, and elsewhere, if not here. They really don't need us. But they will take our money if we give it to them! Supply and demand!

Many of OUR US inventions are used against us! Many nations have THE BOMB! We made them powerful because we buy from them as well. We even are sooo stupid that our companies sell weapons to our enemies (try Iraq for example). We don't give a shit who we sell to or buy from, do we! many do not consider the consequencex when they buy things. Consequences such as no such thing as a real USA made car anymore (unless you buy an electric). Thank you for shopping at WalMart!
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< How much are *you* willing to spend on alternative energy sources?

73 de Jim, N2EY >>>

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

IF they make it cheap in China, I guess I'll buy it!!! ;) HIHI! If we won't do it here, somebody else will, and it will SELL! There is a need and market for such a device that produces power from "waste". There are a lot of people investing in wind, water, solar, and even the nonsense of hydrogen fuel cells, all of which are far more costly than what I am talking about. Yessir, these ideas are not my own, and have been around for a long time - nothing new. But nothing done either, far too much wasted time and a change is long over due!

But counting the cost for fossil fuel is also tremendous, and goes way beyond the gas pump even at 5$/gallon. We are way too dependant on our enemies! Do some rab nations hate Christians and Jews? But we ""infidels of the devil"" sure like to buy their oil! If they cut our oil supply, I bet it would mean WAR! Or would it? Are we at war in Iraq??? Is it about oil? HMMMMM!!!
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA6BFH on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

I’m afraid that this may be yet another indicator of the ultimate, and not to distant, demise of Ham radio.

I certainly hope that a statistically significant number of Ham’s shows up soon that are either interested in radio physics, or radio design!
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC6ZSY on June 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Because of the "Rule" changes within the last several months, I believe that Kenwood should take another look at all the VEC testing that going around just within the USA. Just within the San Gabriel Valley (just east of Los Angeles) there are some 50-100 individuals taking upgrade test(s). "With Kenwood being an outstanding HF Radio, they should take another look...
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
JF says, with quote:""I'll tell you one thing though, you rich guys are boring as heck. All you talk about is what you just bought. Buying stuff is all you seem to do. Question; how many rich guys ever invented something new?"

Steve Jobs, for another. The list is extremely long."

JF: Check your facts. Jobs and Wozniak weren't rich when they "created" something new. That is, when they visited the Xerox research facility back circa 1980 in Palo Alto and 'borrowed' their real money-maker, the Graphical User Interface. Oh, I'll give them credit for the PC itself, but, they were just kids going to college and not particularly wealthy.

Jobs' GUI-made money bought, long after that, lots of creative talent and imagination.

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The problem I have with Kenwood is that they mistakenly assume that amateurs would like similar features as have their commercial radios.

One, that's particularly annoying, is the lack of a squelch knob. Now, before any of you start, yes, few HTs have same anymore. But, its damned annoying to have to hit some function key or two to make the volume control knob into a squelch control or a channel scroll (much less a true VFO knob).

Sure, shafts and pots and/or encoders cost bucks and take up space. But, doesn't ergonomics i.e., ease of operation mean anything? Concentric knobs for VFO entry and or stored channels should be separate from default volume and squelch controls too. And, yes, it is often necessary in amateur radio operation, especially simplex, to adjust the squelch threshold. On a K mobile, you'd come closer to having a wreck by having to really take your eyes off the road to do that as opposed to the others having knobs that can be 'felt' without prolonged distraction.

I'd probably have purchased their VHF mobile by now if it had separate controls instead of "one knob" does all.

We aren't the same crowd as the taxi cabs and public safety users that buy their commercial line.....

Both ICOM and YAESU haven't assumed the same thing. At least the last time I looked at their mobiles.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The main problem is that they are very expensive in terms of dollars-per-kilowatt hour and dollars per kilowatt. As in several million dollars for a 1000 watt unit.

Not necessarily. You are talking about small scale production of space-rated units. EVERYTHING is expensive with those parameters.

I'm talking about millions of mass-produced units, using something other than plutonium. Big difference.

But, politically, we can't even try.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"JF: Check your facts. Jobs and Wozniak weren't rich when they "created" something new. "

I know my facts. Compared to the overwhelming majority of the world's population, they WERE rich. And don't tell me they suddenly became stoopid when they got a little more money. That does not compute.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Quite frankly, I was glad to hear that the K3-USA made stuff was doing OK, and their booth was hoppin in Dayton, and Kenwood seemed like the losers for a change!!! I'd rather hear such good news about TenTec, Flex and Elecraft and other home brew companinies not being the underdog for a change. But there are always gonna be some guys that fall for the sales propaganda (as in QST) and BUY Jap rigs instead. I did it! ;( But now I like to stick to home brew when I can. Maybe someday Chevy will be MADE IN THE USA (and Canada)!

Kenwood will have plenty of demand to supply for, especially in Asia and the SE Asian islands. India could be a great place to sell radio equiptment for civil service. Asia and the islands are prone to volcanoes, earthquakes, and typhoones to say the least. Their cost of living is getting better (thanks to us) so the people will be able to buy cheap rigs for public service. The ARS is much NEEDED over there. Unlike here in the USA whereas ham radio has degraded to being just a hobby for DX chasers and award seekers (much like CB). If Kenwood were to come out with a cheapo do-it-all rig for a reasonable cost, it will sell like hotcakes over there. They sell the big $$$ junk to us suckers over here - that's the expensive ""toys"" that you guys like to brag about having!

The elite nay-sayers on here do so because they make six digit incomes, like the CEO's, and they seem to think things are too cost prohibitive because they want big bucks to make their cold hard cash. It can't be done cheaply in the USA, the cost of labor alone is a killer! But the Asians know how to do it - and do it cheaply, and they don't pay any attention to our nay-sayers that ""can't"" do it! They love it!

I was looking at the TH-F7E they make. All they'd need for HF is an RC box at the antenna with 500 watts of RF power to go with it! Think about it this way, a bunch of hams in India sharing such a powerbox on a tower (like we use repeaters and celleryfones here). The HT is cheap enough, and the RC-box cost can be shared by clubs or groups of hams. Can USA companies sell to the demands/needs of Asia? So Kenwood doesn't need us at all, and I doubt they really care about US sales. We are just little boys playing with our expensive toys, so maybe Kenwood is like the "ham radio play station" supplier for now. I bet if Sony got on the band wagon and made transceivers too, many of you'd jump big time for it!

As for TenTec, Flex, and Elecraft (or any other USA manufacturer), perhaps they can find additional markets in Australia, Europe, and the middle east where they have money to burn! I'd rather see Elecraft open a factory in Poland (for European sales) - than in China or Mexico! Or perhaps a TenTec factory in Auzzieland (for Austrailian sales)! We can do it too. They learned from us, but we seem to need some learnin' here!

Is Motorola still a US company? Maybe they can sell to the Asian market if they made a do-it-all celleryfone that included the ARS freqs. All it would need is software and a few mods to do the job! A Palm PDA with ham radio built in, and a bluetooth HF high power RC transceiver mounted at the antenna completes the setup! Apple is headed in that direction with their i-fone, simply add ham radio to it's capabilities! Hey Steve Jobs, wanna become a ham? Funny thing, I cannot imagine you fellaz talking about "Apple" rigs on here!!! I have the ""i-rig"", and it transmits on all ham bands - all modes (even HD TV and digital voice)! The I-rig does it all, even govy, police, FD, and other business communications! I bet Steve Jobs would surpass Bill Gates on this one, that is unless Bill does it first with an ""MS-RIG""! Naaah, Bill is the copy cat.

But it can't be done... right EE's?
73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K4JF said:"I know my facts. Compared to the overwhelming majority of the world's population, they WERE rich. And don't tell me they suddenly became stoopid when they got a little more money. That does not compute."

No, they stole the GUI from Xerox. Stoopid from the gitgo.

Thieves sometimes become rich people, you know.

Was Ken Lay originally a rich man? Doubt it, unless he made potatoe chips B4 Pepsico wanted them so much.

Yep, punk kids from Silicon Valley are all rich. Tell that in the Barrio in East San Jose.....

Get real, dude.

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"No, they stole the GUI from Xerox. Stoopid from the gitgo."

I don't think the GUI was stolen. In all the accounts I've seen, Xerox simply gave it away.

There were actually three basic concepts developed at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s (the first all-up demo was 1971 IIRC):

1) Distributed computing (a small computer dedicated to each person, rather than a shared mainframe)

2) The graphical user interface, with CRT, light pen, mouse, and supporting software that meant the user did not have to know lots of computer commands

3) Data networking, including the concept of a server for sharing files and shared resources like printers.

All of these seem obvious today but they were revolutionary 35 years ago. Xerox PARC developed all of them but didn't protect them with patents.

And while folks like Bill Gates got very wealthy, and tiny companies grew into giant corporations, it should be remembered that along the way there were lots of failures, dead ends, and incredible amounts of money spent to get where we are today.

Remember Commodore? CP/M? Tandy and the TRS-80? Lotus 1-2-3?

Remember when IBM was a big company and Microsoft wasn't?


73 de Jim, N2EY
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Was Ken Lay originally a rich man? Doubt it, unless he made potatoe chips B4 Pepsico wanted them so much."

Ken Lay made his money years ago. I was eatin' Lay's chips (the only ones, as far as I'm concerned) LONG before Pepsico ever even heard of them. Back when Pepsico only made one beverage, and nothing else.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Jim: Thanks for giving us the straight skinny on GUI. My point, now made, was that Jobs and Wozniak weren't so rich to begin with. And, with freebies like GUI, well, the rest is history.

Yes, I remember all of those, and the VIC20. CP/M-86 for the 8080 architecture machines. The Trash 80 was a nice laptop. I had the first suitcase 'portable', long before Compaq came along. A Columbia. Oh, but, again, I didn't wait til the survivor, Compaq made theirs, which was a few pounds lighter.

Digital Research down in Monterey made some neat software. Yes, lots have come and gone. I have a fairly famous water color painting entitles "Silicon Valley" that used to hang from my office wall. Lots of former biggies that came and went. Ampex, Memorex, and more..... Alan Shugart's 8 inch floppies....

What I miss about not living in the Valley anymore are the sweepings and cast offs from manufacturing. Since most is now overseas, the big surplus houses have all but gone. Only one, I think remains. Halted. All the others have gone the way of Si Valley manufacturing.

Lambda PS's for a buck an amp. Transistors, tantalums, etc., for a buck a pound. Free discrete resistors just for coming in. Great times.

You can't even buy surplus DoD stuff anymore at a reasonable price, thanks to the Internet auction idiocy.

Oh, well. Sit back and buy what apliances we want and need from the Asian giants.

The problem with all of the above is, today, if Jobs and Wozniak were kids, they wouldn't have access to or have the SMT skills and equipment needed to create what they did 30 years ago. Times have changed dramatically.

Oh, I guess they could write software and program, but its the hardware that's the problem.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4
Leeds, AL
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N2EY on June 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Jim: Thanks for giving us the straight skinny on GUI. My point, now made, was that Jobs and Wozniak weren't so rich to begin with. And, with freebies like GUI, well, the rest is history."

I think Jobs and Wozniak were rich by the time they actually got around to *using* the GUI, though. Remember that the Apple II is what built the company, but it was the Mac which fully used the GUI.

Also, don't forget the failed Lisa, which used the GUI but simply cost too much at the time.

"Yes, I remember all of those, and the VIC20. CP/M-86 for the 8080 architecture machines. The Trash 80 was a nice laptop. I had the first suitcase 'portable', long before Compaq came along. A Columbia. Oh, but, again, I didn't wait til the survivor, Compaq made theirs, which was a few pounds lighter."

I recently obtained a specialized IBM PC XT portable, which was used by GE as a programming device for their 1980s-era PLCs. It cost $10,000 in its time - I got mine for less than $100 *including shipping*.

"What I miss about not living in the Valley anymore are the sweepings and cast offs from manufacturing. Since most is now overseas, the big surplus houses have all but gone. Only one, I think remains. Halted. All the others have gone the way of Si Valley manufacturing."

Because we let it.

"You can't even buy surplus DoD stuff anymore at a reasonable price, thanks to the Internet auction idiocy."

What 'idiocy'? I remember reading for years about how "eCommerce" was going to revolutionize the marketplace, and it has.

That sort of thing has made it possible for many people to turn what they thought was junk into cash, and for others to find things they thought were simply unavailable.

For example, a while back me beloved bread-making machine failed. I researched new ones but they were too expensive and not to my liking, plus I had spare breadpans and lots of recipes for my old made-in-USA West Bend.

A quick search on that auction place revealed one for sale that was the exact model I had. For less than $50, including shipping from the West Coast, it was mine. It was in brand-new shape - apparently somebody had used it once or twice and then stored it for over a decade.

Without that auction place, it would probably be in a landfill now.

"Oh, well. Sit back and buy what apliances we want and need from the Asian giants."

Not me! Google my call and see what I use for a station.

"The problem with all of the above is, today, if Jobs and Wozniak were kids, they wouldn't have access to or have the SMT skills and equipment needed to create what they did 30 years ago. Times have changed dramatically."

Maybe yes and maybe no.

check out

www.elecraft.com

and see what is being done here in the USA - today.
The folks who founded and run that company are putting out some nice hardware.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WB5GLB on June 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For what it is worth, I was talking to the Kenwood (Phil -Amateur Radio) Marketing Rep. out of Atlanta during the Plano, Texas Hamcom on June 8, 2007. I have dealt with him in the past and have had reliable responses from him every time. I asked when Kenwood would be introducing a competitive product to succeed the their current High Hf Radio and I received the following reply, “I just went out and purchased retail an ICOM 7800, a Yaesu 9000, and a Ten-Tec Orion II, shipped them to Japan as they requested and I know they do not spend $30,000 without a reason. I think you will see something next year; hardware or software defined; I do not know."

Best regards,

Monty/WB5GLB since 1969


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What do the kids have going for them now? There are the medical professions. As I said, farmers getting on the fuel bandwagon? Entertainment? Should they move to Mexico? I feel for them! Two things are must haves... FOOD AND FUEL! I hope we keep the supply for those demands domestic! And many of us old folks will need health care.

Remember when a color TV set had over twenty tubes? I was watching LET'S MAKE A DEAL on GSN, and remember those color TV's for about 700$, our first Zenith 25" was about that much! Then solid state, then IC's, and the chassis is now like a 4"x4" PCB, the oly big thing is the CRT and cab. I bought a 27" "Asian" Sylvania at WalMart (or was it Sam's Club) for a little over 100$! Fantastic huh? Car's such as the Chevy Vega were about 2K$ in the early 70's (LMAD/GSN). A Pontiac Vertura was about 3K$, and a fully loaded Cadillac Coupe DeVille was about 10K$! And they were MADE IN THE USA!!!

What happened? I remember when gas was less than a dollar a gallon (much less). You could buy a rebuilt starter or alternator for under 20$ for your AMC Ambassador! But such a part for a Toyota or Datson was over 200$ and the labor also was sky high for "foreign cars" (if you had such a mechanic within fifty miles)! I bought a four barrel Holley carb for my '72 Nova at under 100$! Later, a Mitsubishi carb for my New Yorker was over 700$, and is was junk! Did the Asian's cause some of our high prices (aka inflation)? Buy American was difinitely cheaper than the imports until the 70's. I am not against opening factories in Asia, as long as the factories here also stay open too!

If Kenwood, Yaesu, or Icom were built LIKE Drake, Collins, Heathkit etc., with the heavy duty components (i.e. not cheap stuff inside), it probably would have costed more than the home brew rigs. USA stuff was built like a tank, and the nips used lots of light duty plastic junk inside. 1/2+ watt resistors were replaced with IC's. Tube finals could put out 300+ watts (Drake) into a 3:1 load, try to get that out of those crappy transistor finals in your little Kenwood (you're lucky if it can handle 100 watts into little more than 2:1 load for more than five minutes of transmit)! Ya gotta have a transmatch (MFJ tuner for you new guys)!!!

I was guilty, I had a TS-520, and I actually liked its receive and tube finals. I wish it had general coverage receive like that. But I felt that it had to be handled with TLC, its toggle and rotary switches seemed flimsy and cheap. I also had a HayWire 101 (Heathkit HW101) that took a licken and kept on ticking. Same goes for a Drake TR4, built like a tank, rugged, the controls had a good solid feel to them. If you get an old one, most likely the controls will need a good spray cleaner, which many of YOU can allign and fix up for yourself? With the cheapo rigs, it is R&R if you can find the replacement boards. A few caps, resistors, tubes, and a good allignment would bring a nice old classic back, and that's half the fun (if you know how... if not - LEARN). If a Kenwood was made like a Drake, it would probably have costed MORE because of the costs of importation back then, and the added cost of much higher quality components inside. btw, remember when jobs were threatened by robots and automation? Does a >robot< get ""paid"" more to work the assembly lines in China, than let's say in the good ol' USA?

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4CQR on June 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have no idea how or even if this affects the amateur radio market but here is a snipit:

June 22, 2007 - After months of speculation, followed by months of failed negotiations with other agencies, JVC and Kenwood have officially agreed to merge under a holding company in 2008, according to Nikkei report. JVC, or Victor Company of Japan, has been under the control of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (trade name Panasonic) since the 1950s.

According to the plan, Kenwood will purchase 20 billion yen (approx. $161M) worth of JVC shares to gain a 13% share in the company. Kenwood's top sharehold, the Sparx Group, will then purchase a portion of Matsushita's 52% holding in the company.

None of the company's involved have made any official announcements either in the US or in Japah, and company officials declined to comment when contacted.

The sale follows on the heels of a failed negotiation with the Texas Pacific Group, an American private equity firm. The Kenwood deal, if official, may add some much needed stability to the company's stock. JVC share prices plunged to a 5-year low earlier this month when talks with Kenwood began.

I have been watching for sor several months. THe article originated from: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/JVC-and-Kenwood-Will-Merge-32806.htm

Check Bloomberg for more details.

J C S

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Death of a radidio co... is it really "dead"? Is Drake dead? Is Heathkit dead? Is Collins dead? Is Midland dead? Is Regency dead? Is Swan/Atlas dead? Is Halicrafter's dead? Is Hammerland dead? Is Clegg dead? Is Gonset dead? Is SBE dead? Is Henry Radio dead? Is Wilson dead? Is Dentron dead? Is Eico dead? Is HyGain dead? Is Astatic dead? Is Turner dead? Is EV dead? Is TenTec dead? Is Johnson dead? Is Cushcraft dead? Is M2 dead? Is Diamond dead? Is Comet dead? Is Hustler dead? Is Larson Dead? Is AEA dead? Is Palomar dead? Is Vibroplex dead? Is Bencher dead? Is Motorola dead? Is GE dead? Is Telex dead? Is Universal dead? Is Rohn dead? Is Standard dead? Is ROBOT dead? Is Allied Radio dead? Is Olson electrronics dead? Is lafayette dead? Is Barry Electonics dead? Is AES dead? Is HRO dead? Is Texas Towers dead? Is Hamtronics dead? Is W2AU dead? Is ARRL dead? Is Fluke dead? Is Hyle dead? Is Bird dead?

I'm sure there are many more to add (please do), Some are still around but many are gone. Those that remain have probably merged/moved to Asia/Mexico to survive. Many founders are really dead. Perhaps, someday, some will resurrect. But many are gone for good. What happened? MADE IN JAPAN? I will leave it for somebody else to make a listing of brands that we have to purchase now. What do we have to buy?????
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
OK, I'll give it a start as to what is NOW available for us to buy... It's ALIVE!!!

First a few made in the USA??? TenTec, Flex, Elecraft, Gap, hmmmmmmm, ah ah ummm, ???

Elsewhere:
Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, Alinco, (Is JRC dead?), MFJ, (is Uniden dead?), Hiberling, (Is Maxim dead?), aaaah the hell with it, somebody else take it from here... This is what we're left with to buy!

73! Don
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N4KC on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The following was posted on the TS-2000 Yahoo reflector this morning:

Dear Fellow Hams,
I would like to take a moment of your time with this open letter and help dispel rumors, and falsehoods that have been stated
as fact.
I have been assured from Top Management in Japan and the U.S. and I can assure you that the Kenwood Communications
Sector has no intention of exiting the Amateur Radio Marketplace. It is a viable market. The Amateur Division has been
running in the black since our restructuring several years ago. In fact, even with the loss of models over the last four years
the Amateur Division has grown in Market, speaking highly of Kenwood quality and the loyalty of our customers.
At Dayton this year we introduced the new TM-V71A many were sold at the show. The preproduction prototype of the Dual
Band TM-D710A was under Plexiglas, it too was received very well by the crowd; it will serve as the TM-D700A replacement
in late August. We also gave away many thousands of Kenwood Branded items, such as brochure bags, hat pins and
laminated prefix maps.
It is true the core business of Kenwood Communications is Land Mobile. The Land Mobile Radio Division is the second
largest communications company in the world based on sales, second only to Motorola. It takes a full year for Amateur sales
to equal Land Mobile sales of just one month. What we are doing is just good business sense with the product line and will
keep us in the Amateur Market for many years to come.
As a fellow Ham, I want new radios as much as you. The business model of Kenwood is one platform for all markets with the
only difference being firmware. It’s exceedingly expensive to retool the factory for each market.
In addition, Europe and to be followed by the rest of the world has deemed that products be RoHS compliant. The Restriction
of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is the reason we are introducing new products to replace current popular models
that are noncompliant. These new models include TM-V71A, TM-D710A and others after the D710 reaches market.
Unfortunately, this must be accomplished before we start work on any new HF radios.
Most people believe that this is just a lead-free mandate, but it also includes the use six substances: Mercury, Cadmium,
Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated biphenyl ether. The maximum concentrations are
1000ppm. For cadmium the limit is 100 ppm by weight of homogeneous material. The limits do not apply to the weight of the
finished product, or even to a component, but to any single part that could be separated mechanically. (From Wikipedia)
Everything that can be identified as a homogeneous material must meet the limit. So if it turns out that the case was made of
plastic with 2,300 ppm PBB used as a flame retardant, then the entire radio would fail the requirements of the directive.
Please standby for more quality Kenwood products, they will come!

73, from the Helm!

Phil Parton – N4DRO
National Sales Manager – Amateur Products
Kenwood USA Corporation
Communications Sector
pparton@kenwoodusa.com
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Many of the ""dead companie's" rigs and equiptment still lives on (thanks to places like Ebay). And they also can be fixed up to good working shape! I doubt that you will say the same when your MFYaeKenAliCom is twenty years old from now! So I really am not shedding tears over Kenwood!

I lamented more when Zenith went to Japan then belly up! FYI, Zenith was also founded by a ham, wasn't it? Why NO Zenith rigs???

37! Don
 
Death of HF rigs as we once knew them  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe this thread should be renamed "death of HF rigs as we once knew them"! I thought that Kenwood would more or less standardise their rigs, and come out with a software programmed doitall miniaturised rig. Well Phil, was I right? A small rig that can be programmed to do it all! All we'd need is the software for ham radio in the USA! A rig that can TRANSMIT anywhere it can receive! A little rig that can hear as good as a 10K$ HF boat anchor. Goodbye toggle/rotary switches, knobs, and meters! Hello display, keypads, and other computer like input devices. I thought it would be more like a PDA-CELLFONE. I suppose that they can take a small PCB (let's say 2"x3"), put it in a big box, wire some knobs, switches, meters, and a speaker to it, and sell it for 4K$ for the contesters version!!! Kenwood is going to be the innovators here, and make some big changes! And don't be surprized if a Motorola palm-celleryfone will also be programmable to T/R ARS freqs soon. A mini-doitall rig! A RC or bluetooth 500W+ powerbox mounted at the antenna will top it off for high power RF output! Well Phil? Telling any secrets? I see this in my cracked crystal ball, but some think I have ""rocks"" in my head!

73! de wierd Don
 
RE: Death of HF rigs as we once knew them  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
OK, who's gonna be the first to market such a doitall transceiver? Steve Jobs with an "I-RIG"? Bill Gates with an "MS-RIG"? Motorola with a "Razor-Rig"? Perhaps KENWOOD with a "TH-RIG"? Poor widdle hams, you're not getting the special attention you so desire... you're not in the spotlight if they come out with a generic rig! Ham's used to brag about miniaturization, an HT in your shirt pocket. Some dreamed about a doitall device in the palm of your hand! Ham radio is going digital people, no-code should have clued you all in to the changes that are coming soon. If you like knobs, buttons, and switches, you'd better hang onto them, they're going out of vogue. Tube rigs are already antiques. The TS-520 is old school! The Drake TR4C is the '57 Chevy! So will your new rig have ""INTEL"" inside? That's progress!

371 Don
 
RE: Death of Radio Hamming Contraptions  
by W6EM on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well, frankly, money drives motivation, and, well, there's just not that much money to be made in developing a virtual ham rig.

Remember Kachina? (No, no, not the Hopi Indian relics) They tried a PC software controlled rig that had no knobs, but, they couldn't sell enough of them. Nice radios, too.

So you think /\/\other batwing will want to do something for hamdom? Not a chance. They're just a cell phone maker now. And, unless the carriers underwrite the cost of the units, well, no market.

I-N-T-E-L inside? Only if its a Wi-Max, wide area wireless internet free for all box.

And how about Jobs-niak doing an I-Ham? Nutso. Not enough numbers. Oh, yeah, the gravity sensor would be nice, to help keep the controls upright, even if the operator isn't.

Kenwood's commerical vhf and uhf lines are quite successful. They don't need HF gear, plus, its far too expensive for most now anyway. $150 for a Kwoody 2M radio, but $5,000 for HF? Got to be kidding.

My old TS-440SAT and 940SAT are nice radios. And, I can replace any components, as long as I can find them.

Love those knobs. Hate the keyboard. Ah, but voice recognition will change all that. Sure. Until the dog barks in the midst of a QSO, and you go to some frequency never heard of.....

SDR and Cell-ham, egads, man, go off on Field Day and have some fun.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4
 
RE: Death of Radio Hamming Contraptions  
by OLDSWAB on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
" Hi honey, I just got back from the hamfest and got this great deal on a radio. Its got everything I ever wanted, and only cost $1500.00!" Wife's reply."OK but did you stop by the drugstore for our medicine first???" Get my point?

73's
PS to N6KYS The Navy can land planes on a postage stamp. Can you. From some one who was a PRC-10 operator.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC9JHF on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Please excuse the long post, but I wanted to paste the contents of a message from Kenwood. The PDF is at
http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/gEN9RrR6yMiXp54Jrxphte6BBeZW2a5YAjvxqcY_-DAJjKGa6Yz7q-FqpXzxuBvZxW3CXWrJ8TRhimtfOE2YepN_k_eoKG8/I-07-01AR_Kenwood_Amateur_Division.pdf




Dear Fellow Hams,
I would like to take a moment of your time with this open letter and help dispel rumors, and falsehoods that have been stated as fact.
I have been assured from Top Management in Japan and the U.S. and I can assure you that the Kenwood Communications
Sector has no intention of exiting the Amateur Radio Marketplace. It is a viable market. The Amateur Division has been running in the black since our restructuring several years ago. In fact, even with the loss of models over the last four years the Amateur Division has grown in Market, speaking highly of Kenwood quality and the loyalty of our customers.
At Dayton this year we introduced the new TM-V71A many were sold at the show. The preproduction prototype of the Dual
Band TM-D710A was under Plexiglas, it too was received very well by the crowd; it will serve as the TM-D700A replacement in late August. We also gave away many thousands of Kenwood Branded items, such as brochure bags, hat pins and laminated prefix maps.
It is true the core business of Kenwood Communications is Land Mobile. The Land Mobile Radio Division is the second largest communications company in the world based on sales, second only to Motorola. It takes a full year for Amateur sales to equal Land Mobile sales of just one month. What we are doing is just good business sense with the product line and will keep us in the Amateur Market for many years to come.
As a fellow Ham, I want new radios as much as you. The business model of Kenwood is one platform for all markets with the only difference being firmware. It’s exceedingly expensive to retool the factory for each market.
In addition, Europe and to be followed by the rest of the world has deemed that products be RoHS compliant. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is the reason we are introducing new products to replace current popular models that are noncompliant. These new models include TM-V71A, TM-D710A and others after the D710 reaches market.
Unfortunately, this must be accomplished before we start work on any new HF radios. Most people believe that this is just a lead-free mandate, but it also includes the use six substances: Mercury, Cadmium,
Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated biphenyl ether. The maximum concentrations are 1000ppm. For cadmium the limit is 100 ppm by weight of homogeneous material. The limits do not apply to the weight of the finished product, or even to a component, but to any single part that could be separated mechanically. (From Wikipedia)
Everything that can be identified as a homogeneous material must meet the limit. So if it turns out that the case was made of plastic with 2,300 ppm PBB used as a flame retardant, then the entire radio would fail the requirements of the directive.
Please standby for more quality Kenwood products, they will come!
73, from the Helm!
Phil Parton – N4DRO
National Sales Manager – Amateur Products
Kenwood USA Corporation
Communications Sector
pparton@kenwoodusa.com
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC9JHF on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry I missed the the letter from kenwood was alrady posted. Too heavy a finger on the Page Down button. ;-)
 
RE: Death of Radio Hamming Contraptions  
by KC8QFP on June 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
RE: W6EM...

I don't think you quite grasp what I was getting at, ham radio will be an afterthought, second fiddle, NOT the main reason for the "I-Ham" rig! It would merely be another capability of the i-fone added via programming, software that makes it capable of ham radio! I.e. take the i-fone beyond the celleryfone limitations and expand it for commercial/amateur useage too. Isn't this diversification?

The problem with making it viable for ham radio is the high powered transmetters we desire. This is the reason someone has to come up with the BOX at the antenna, the box with power supply, RF power amp, and remote control capabilities (sort of like repeaters for all ham bands). Cellfones and repeaters use such remote power transmitters. A few mods, and you add ham radio to the picture. (same goes for business radio) If hams will pay 3+K$ for a Kenwood or Icom rig, why not for a remote transmitter?

Nay-sayers go for it! Time will tell!

Don
 
RE: Death of Radio Hamming Contraptions  
by W6EM on June 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
No, remote boxes are not the HR that most want. Not we knob twisters anyway.

Ah, but in places with antenna restrictions (everywhere, these days) maybe you've got a point.

Doing a SkyCommand remote or something more sophisticated just doesn't trip my trigger. Maybe so for the next generation. But, folks already have Web-remote base stations, so that stuff is here now.

Kwoodie is going to stick around, so no big deal. As to their "ban" on hazardous substances, oh boy. So, lead free solder has to be it. Funny, but I spent a month in a hospital in FL four years ago and wouldn't yah know it, the hospital issue tooth paste (made in China) was delivered from non other than a lead tube.

And, they sure as heck knew what they were handing out, too. Not the matter that everyone over 50 at some point in their life extruded tooth paste from a lead tube.......

73,

Lee
W6EM/4
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by VE3WGO on June 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
hmm, I hope Kenwood is ok.

The news today is that Matsushita is selling JVC to Kenwood. Also note that Kenwood bought the US communications company Zetron a couple of months ago. As an investor, I'd say Kenwood has cash. See the news and stock quotes at http://stocks.us.reuters.com/stocks/overview.asp?symbol=6765.T

And the TS-2000 is a great radio. I like mine a lot and it has all the bands from 1.8 to 1300 MHz, all the modes, and is very compact with good software control too. It is reliable, and does an admirable job.

I also have TenTec and Yaesu radios too (plus a couple of MFJs, Heathkits and a Kenwood TR-751A), but I love my TS-2000.

Kenwood is profitable, but I'd say it is focussing on running a business, not a hobby. It's too bad when a company that has access to lots of high technology radio components and design skills the way they do, along with other big mobile and cellular radio equipment companies like Motorola, Icom, LG, Samsung, Nortel, Erisson, etc, decides to abandon a market. I hope Kenwood won't leave ham radio.

But there are lots of people who love to bash the YaeComWood trio. Maybe those bashers will finally be happy when they can't buy an HT or FM mobile any more, if YaeComWood leave ham radio. Cuz TenTec and Elecraft sure aren't going to make one - those are made in Japan, China, and Singapore, not the USA, and require skills that frankly, don't exist over here. Even Motorola and Nokia get their cellphones made by Flextronix (contract manufacturer, recently swallowed Solectron too) in Asia.

Internet chat, cellphones, WiFi mobility, etc have changed how people think of communications, world connectivity, mobility, and also how companies think about products for those people.

The electronics industry is moving to the other side of the world from here. The train left the station long ago.

Buy radios now or don't fret when you can't later.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC8QFP on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm curious...
Just wonderin what percentage of the US stock market is foreign? Are the majority of stock holders American? I doubt it! Who ""owns"" the USA?

73! Don
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W2NJS on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Years ago I had a pair of Kenwood VHF and UHF mobiles,
their TM201 and TM401 units. The radios did not and could
not tune out of band for receive and, even worse,
could not be modified to do so. Hamwise they were good
radios, but as soon as I could I dumped them in favor
of a dualbander that was more, in my opinion, "user
friendly." While there was nothing actually wrong
with the units, the lack of flexibility definitely
soured me on Kenwood because Icom and Vertex were then
selling radios that did everything I wanted them to
do.


 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6FG on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well I'm sorry to see any ham radio related business have a hard time of it, as I love the hobby. However, I've been a CW only op since the 70's and Ten-Tec has always made an excellent rig for that mode! Before Ten-Tec I ran Drake and some home-brewed gear. I hope more US companies will step up and fill the void left by Kenwood.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by WA8MEA on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood to merge with JVC next year (Jun 25, 2007) -- This Week in Consumer Electronics (TWICE) reports that Kenwood has agreed to merge in 2008 with Victor Company of Japan (JVC) under a holding company. JVC is owned by Matsushita Electric Industrial Company. Japan's Nikkei business newspaper reports that the final details should be worked out by the end of the month, and that under the plan, Kenwood will buy 20 billion yen ($161,469,466) in JVC shares as early as this summer, raising its stake to 13 percent. Matsushita will also sell part of its 52.7 percent of JVC to Kenwood's top shareholder, the Sparx Group. When JVC and Kenwood integrate operations under the holding company in 2008, Matsushita will sell the rest of its JVC shares to the holding company to complete the transaction. The holding company's stock will be listed instead of Kenwood and JVC, according to Nikkei. Combined, Kenwood's and JVC's sales are $7.3 billion dollars annually for their fiscal year that ended March 31.

This PRESS RELEASE is dated TODAY, 6/25/07

Contrast this with the recent post above by KC9JHF:
-------------------------------------------------
Dear Fellow Hams,
I would like to take a moment of your time with this open letter and help dispel rumors, and falsehoods that have been stated as fact.
I have been assured from Top Management in Japan and the U.S. and I can assure you that the Kenwood Communications
Sector has no intention of exiting the Amateur Radio Marketplace. It is a viable market. The Amateur Division has been running in the black since our restructuring several years ago. In fact, even with the loss of models over the last four years the Amateur Division has grown in Market, speaking highly of Kenwood quality and the loyalty of our customers.
At Dayton this year we introduced the new TM-V71A many were sold at the show. The preproduction prototype of the Dual
Band TM-D710A was under Plexiglas, it too was received very well by the crowd; it will serve as the TM-D700A replacement in late August. We also gave away many thousands of Kenwood Branded items, such as brochure bags, hat pins and laminated prefix maps.
It is true the core business of Kenwood Communications is Land Mobile. The Land Mobile Radio Division is the second largest communications company in the world based on sales, second only to Motorola. It takes a full year for Amateur sales to equal Land Mobile sales of just one month. What we are doing is just good business sense with the product line and will keep us in the Amateur Market for many years to come.
As a fellow Ham, I want new radios as much as you. The business model of Kenwood is one platform for all markets with the only difference being firmware. It’s exceedingly expensive to retool the factory for each market.
In addition, Europe and to be followed by the rest of the world has deemed that products be RoHS compliant. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) is the reason we are introducing new products to replace current popular models that are noncompliant. These new models include TM-V71A, TM-D710A and others after the D710 reaches market.
Unfortunately, this must be accomplished before we start work on any new HF radios. Most people believe that this is just a lead-free mandate, but it also includes the use six substances: Mercury, Cadmium,
Hexavalent Chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls and Polybrominated biphenyl ether. The maximum concentrations are 1000ppm. For cadmium the limit is 100 ppm by weight of homogeneous material. The limits do not apply to the weight of the finished product, or even to a component, but to any single part that could be separated mechanically. (From Wikipedia)
Everything that can be identified as a homogeneous material must meet the limit. So if it turns out that the case was made of plastic with 2,300 ppm PBB used as a flame retardant, then the entire radio would fail the requirements of the directive.
Please standby for more quality Kenwood products, they will come!
73, from the Helm!
Phil Parton – N4DRO
National Sales Manager – Amateur Products
Kenwood USA Corporation
Communications Sector
pparton@kenwoodusa.com

-------------------------------------

Now did the author, K6AER-Michael S. Higgins have insider trader information on this????

;-)

73, Bill - WA8MEA
http://HamRadioFun.com
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by W1YW on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Here's what I said on 12 June:

"As far as I can tell, Kenwood is alive and kickin'. Can we stop these foolish rumors? "

Are you guys happy now? Kenwood is very much alive. OK?

73,
Chip W1YW
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W5JON on June 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The three biggest lies:

1. The check is in the mail.
2. I will respect you in the morning.
3. There will be NO changes after the acquisition.

73,

John W5JON

 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N9DG on June 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sparx TS-3000 anyone???
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WI7B on June 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

It's not only alive, in mobile radio its:

(1) garnering US govenrment contracts

(2) making US acquisitions, and

(3) introducing new products.

73,

---* Ken
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by AD5FD on June 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
well its all over except passing of the green...

kenwood merging with jvc next year!

see front page of arrl site, www.arrl.org
 
Death of a Radio Company- not yet anyway  
by K8JX on June 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just read that JVC is in talks with Kenwood about merging. saturation of the market with older models while waiting for the newer digital models to be produced might account for the lack of newer stuff. Icom and Yaesu seem to keep pushing the older stuff in new packages. I think theres enought room in the world for several Ham Radio companies. and besides, Kenwood makes pretty good stuff.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The Chipster said:"Here's what I said on 12 June:

"As far as I can tell, Kenwood is alive and kickin'. Can we stop these foolish rumors? "

Are you guys happy now? Kenwood is very much alive. OK?"

As we now can see, you were wrong once again with your speculation. Its now going to become a VIDEO company.
Japan Video Company is merging/submergeing, etc.

Perhaps to better compete with the likes of I and Y with their superior front panel displays......

Plus, as the K official said, their BIG business is commercial land mobile. What with Batwing having sold off its core competencies in semiconductors and becoming an import shop for cell phones and its land mobile line, it can't lose.....

 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by N5DUX on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I think it's worth pointing out that Kenwood does produce electronics that aren't ham radio related. (Surprise, surprise) My favorite after-market car stereo was a Kenwood. I loved it. Sadly it is no longer with me, and I got a JVC.
As far as I can tell they're still doing great things in the car stereo market, as well as amplifiers and speakers. Just because they stop making ham radio advances doesn't mean the whole company is dying.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W5JON on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood merging with JVC. Wow, JVC being the real giant that they are in Amateur Radio, should really inspire Kenwood to get with it.

The above post from Kenwood, lists all the reasons for no new Kenwood HF Amateur radios in years. It would seem to me that both ICOM and YAESU are playing by the same rules/regulations and do not seem to have a problem keeping new products in the pipeline.

So for all of you "I told you so", in a year from now we will see how many new HF Radios Kenwood/JVC has introduced .... my bet is NONE.

The only thing good about Kenwood at Dayton this year was you could go to their dead Booth anytime and escape the crowds, at all the other Booths.

Years ago Kenwood was the leader, and it was their market to loose. I am sorry to say, they have managed to "grasp defeat from the jaws of victory".

73,

John W5JON
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WD5GXH on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe Kenwood sees the hand writing on the wall. Amateur radio's decline and fall. All of the amateur radio manufactures started commercial lines in the late 80s and 90s. Amateur radio no longer fills its basis and purpose ( § 97.100) and probably will become a remnant of the past.

THOMAS O. CALDWELL
WD5GXH
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KW4JX on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Or a fine collection of homebrewers again
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KG6OMK on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Does this have anything to do with the planned merger of Kenwood and JVC. JVC has been loosing money for a long time and Kenwood is buying it for about 20 cents on the dollar via some complex deal. Likely unrelated. But Kenwood as a company seem to be doing well. Not being run by ideots
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Japan Video Company is merging/submergeing, etc."

Nope. JVC stands for Japan Victory Corporation.
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KC0YEF on June 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good Day,

Kenwood will have a lot to gain from JVC and to give to JVC simply because of the video experience JVC has hmmm better SSTV/ATV and Kenwood radios can only help JVC's professional series Cameras. I wonder if Ikegami and MAldol/Comet will merge? I can easily look into the future and see an ATV-APRS HF-VHF-UHF Mobile all in one from this merger. I saw Kenwood at Dayton and was very impressed. What next Kenwood?

WWCD?
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K2TIV on June 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the release of the TM-D710A. I bought my TM-D700A last year, and I'm having a great time with, but I could hope for a better, more modern design. The new Icom IC-2028H is a complete disappointment, IMO. When I first heard about it, I assumed it would be a competitor to the D700A, but further reasearch proved that idea incorrect very quickly.

I've also come to realize that the TH-D7A and TH-F6A are better suited to my style of operation than any of the other radios on the market, and I'm going to replace my Icom IC-W32A with the D7A, and add an F6A to my radio bag as soon as I am able, or what ever models come along to replace these two by the time I'm ready for them.

My whole car stereo system is also Kenwood. I went with Kenwood because they're the only car stereo company that also makes Amateur gear, and they are widely reported to have the best iPod connector out there.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W6EM on June 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
JF said:"Nope. JVC stands for Japan Victory Corporation."

And, as the inventors of the VHS format, I guess they were "victorious" per se. Still a video house, any way you slice it. I guess if I want to see what their new gear will look like I can mosey on down to Tuscaloosa and ask for a tour..... whooopie.



 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"And, as the inventors of the VHS format, I guess they were "victorious" per se. Still a video house, any way you slice it. I guess if I want to see what their new gear will look like I can mosey on down to Tuscaloosa and ask for a tour..... whooopie."

They invented the VHS format? Hmmm, I thought Sharp did. Oh well, shows what little I know about TV! :o) Rarely watch the thing. (I really hate it that VHS is going away. DVD is a poor replacement, imo.)
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by N8GJK on June 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Somebody told me that Kenwood was getting out of Amateur radio, so I went to Kenwood and asked them. They told me that the TM-D710 is coming out in September, and to expect some new HF equipment in 2008. They seem to think it will knock icom on its nose, so it must be something worthy.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3WN on June 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W6EM said:
---------------------------------------------
<clip>As we now can see, you were wrong once again with your speculation. Its now going to become a VIDEO company.
Japan Video Company is merging/submergeing, etc.
<clip>
----------------------------------------------
JVC is (was) the Victor Company of Japan. Before the firm was sold, it was a part of the old Radio Corporation of America... surely you recall RCA Victor? Nipper the dog? ("His Master's Voice")
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3WN on June 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My error. JVC, originally Japanese Victor Company or Victor Company of Japan, was the Japanese subsidiary of RCA Victor. The separation came during the time of World War II.

And of course, prior to being acquired by RCA in 1929, the predecessor company was the Victor Talking Machine Company, makers of phonographs including the famed Victrola.

Sorry about the error, I was distracted and should have double-checked my post prior to making it.

73
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by WR8D on June 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ref N8GJK,

Years back when i was about to purchase a new 950sdx i ask the same question. They lied to me because they wanted to sell the 950sdx's sitting in warehouses.

Imagine spending a few thousand bucks on a radio that was already "discontinued" at the time you purchased it new. I saw them also destruct the 940 line. It was'nt old at all and they stopped the support line of parts etc. When you sent one of those in for service it was a hunt and peck repair at 150 bucks an hour.

The 870 is a great one and there have been others in recent years that are great rigs too.....but i refuse to do business with a company that can't be "honest" with their customers. Simple as that.

Ten-Tec and Icom these past ten years have been superior. Especially in customer support.

If kenwood came out with some rig on the scale of the proIII or the 7800 and offered it for 500 bucks i'd still say "piss" on them.

Never again will i be left in limbo on rigs i've invested thousands in by a bunch of liars.

73 John WR8D
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
My '65 Mustang has (after I rebuilt it) JVC stereo and Kenwood speakers. Guess I anticipated the merger..... :o)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by K4JF on June 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Now that the FCC has changed the amp regs, I wish Kenwood would sell the TL-933 over here. That would be a real boost to their market! (Anybody at kwd listening?)
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KW4JX on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
All that counts in commercialism is the number of knobs.
A long time ago in a Radio Club auction in England I was auctioneer and sold a chassis devoid of anything but knobs and working pilot lights.
Buffalo Gil W2/G3LBS
 
Death of a Radio Company  
by KD6KOS on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That confirms what I suspected too. I called Kenwood repair in Cypress, Ca (Cerritos?) and talked to one of their service dudes. I asked them if they still repaired the TS-130S and it was as if I had insulted his mother.. "No,we dont service those any more!" he spouted, I then proceeded to the next "logical" question..."Do you know anyone who does?, to which he replied "NO, we dont repair those any more.." To which I replied... "That's the reason I dont like Kenwood and won't buy another one EVER!...[CLICK]...

I suspect that your hunch is right though, everyone over there is pretty shook up and I'll "bet" that the company is facing major changes and will probably close shop on the amateur products by years end '07.

Jus' an observation...

James - KD6KOS

Sherrif Bart: "CandyGram for Mongo...CandyGram for Mongo.."

Mongo: "Mongo like candy"......BLAM!@!#@!

(Inside Sherrif's Jail)

Mongo: "Mongo impressed..Sherrif Bart only sherrif that can take mongo...huhuh, huhuh.."

...

Mongo: Mongo not know...Mongo only pawn in 'Game of Life'"
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by W3ULS on July 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Kenwood's Parton writes:

"The business model of Kenwood is one platform for all markets with the only difference being firmware."

Aha! That explains it. I have a very good Kenwood handheld, the TH2-KAT. It's got a very legible LCD panel and a quality appearance and feel to it. So I guess it is a cross-breed from a commercial model.

From a financial viewpoint, Parton's explanation makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, for HF operation, ham radios need to be engineered quite differently from commercial/military transceivers due to the extreme conditions under which hams operate--low power, limited antennas (by comparison) among them. The new Elecraft K-3 appears to be a knock-off of the design of the Ten-Tec Orion and presumably will arrive with fewer software glitches. But neither of those excellent transceivers would be a candidate for sale to commercial/military buyers because their circuitry is specifically engineered for hams.

Icom is somewhere in between Kenwood and Ten-Tec, with its offerings generally being adapted from Icom commercial/military platforms but with clever redesigns that do not directly suggest their provenance. But the pricier Icoms suffer as a result of their multiple missions from not having true dual receivers. The forthcoming IC-7700 is a perfect example--quite a rig but with little more operating flexibility than an IC-718.

I have no idea what Vertex-Standard's business plan is with regard to Yaesu.
 
RE: Death of a Radio Company  
by KC2OCU on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The th-k2at a good radio?? This thing is nothing more than a glorified FRS radio. A cross-breed from a commercial model??? If kenwood's comercial models have the same low quality soup can on string, tinny, cheap 25 year old radio shack scanner quality audio as this lemon of an ht(th-k2at) does, than all public safety agencies that use their comercial equipment will be putting their officers at risk. This radio is a joke. My bottom of the barrel Alinco handhelds are far superior in all facets to this junker. I will never buy another Kenwood again. I will do all in my power to discourage anyone I know from purchasing one to. As far as Kenwood leaving the amateur business, let them go. Get out stop flooding the market with inferior quality products. Leave now and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Screw It. Let it hit you, and I hope you get a serious bruise no the coccyx. Leave Amateur radio and don't look back.Goddamn Asian SOB's
 
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