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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:

Mitch Wolfson (DJ0QN) on July 24, 2008
View comments about this article!

The following was posted today in German on the Hilberling web site. (I have translated it):

The production of the PT-8000 series has been stopped.

Due to the continuing resistance received in our efforts to meet the official requirements of the EU-wide manufacturer standards, we were always making changes to the design of this top transceiver. The very ambitious design goals of the PT-8000 were met for some prototypes.

To guarantee this high standard with many suppliers for a production series without restrictions, faces difficulties that can not be overcome within a reasonable effort.

We appreciate the great interest that accompanied us throughout the entire project period.

Original is at:
http://hilberling.com/news/news.htm

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by N6PSE on July 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
It's a shame that they have to cancel their plans to build this spectacular radio. Perhaps the development costs and certification process was just too much. While I wasn't in the market for this $18000 radio, I hope that any manufacturers can succeed in today’s market.

Paul N6PSE
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by DJ0QN on July 24, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Here is the official English annoucement sent out by Jay at Array Solutions:

I regret to announce today that Hilberling GmbH has cancelled the production of the PT-8000 series of transceivers. I am really sorry that this will cause disappointment on your side. Let me explain briefly what had led to this decision:

Hilberling had to counteract continuously obstacles to meet EU wide requirements. This has forced us multiple times to change the design of this high-end transceiver which often has been in conflict to our design goals. We finally could meet all our design numbers within a few prototypes but we and the numerous suppliers were not able to guarantee these numbers for the line production. Measures that would have to be taken to guarantee the specifications are in no way cost effective. All this has led to the a.m. decision to put everything on hold.

Hilberling apologises for any inconvenience you had. We deeply appreciated the confidence you demonstrated for the PT-8000 series of HF/VHF-Transceivers.

Hans Hilberling July 24, 2008

 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by K3AN on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Gotta wonder if this is the real reason, or did they realize the market for their product was way too small for them to ever recover their start-up costs.
 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by WY3X on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I saw them at Dayton in 2007, and thought they were available for purchase at that time. I have one of the brochures for it. It certainly would have been nice to add one to my shack! (But granted, not a realistic expenditure in the pursuit of a hobby.)

I don't understand why they don't build them and market them to other countries though. We once had a ban on Coors beer here in South Carolina. One enterprising beer distributor knew there was a market for it, so had the beer exported to Mexico, then imported it back into South Carolina. Yes, it added some cost to it, but I like Coors, and to me it was worth an extra dollar a six-pack.

It seems like they could do likewise with their radio. Anyone who is going to spend $18K on a radio certainly wouldn't mind paying a few extra bucks to have it exported and imported back!

-KR4WM
 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by W5HLH on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
-----------
Gotta wonder if this is the real reason, or did they realize the market for their product was way too small for them to ever recover their start-up costs.
-----------

Bingo. Unless they had commercial or government (military, etc.) customers lined up, there's just not enough of a market for a $18K ham transceiver to justify its design and production.
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by KA2DDX on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
or..........the thing was so far out of spec, they couldn't get anyone to brand it saleable. Who knows? Oh well, a real shame anyway.
 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by KE4MOB on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know about that rationale. I mean Yaesu (or was it Icom??) came up with the $12K ham radio, and they sell them to this day.

At what point does someone who is willing to shell out $12K for a ham radio not willing to shell out $18K???
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by K1DA on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The germans HATE to admit they are not the best engineers in the world at all times. What specifications CAN'T you meet with an 18 grand radio that Icom can meet with a 718? Do the specs go up with the price? Methinks a male cow has passed by.
 
I question the claim  
by KASSY on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The claim seems, well, dubious. Hilberling would not be the first EU manufacturer of amateur radio gear. The so-called EU regulations don't seem to be an obstacle for other EU manufactuers. Is Hilberling simply admitting they weren't good enough to figure out how to achieve performance and compliance simultaneously? I thought that's what German engineering was all about?

I'd like to encourage them to re-consider their position. The argument speaks of extreme weakness.

Now, if they'd claimed that there was not sufficient market to make it financially viable - THAT would be a valid reason.

- k
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by VR2XMQ on July 25, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
I think they really out marketed themselves. For the price it is on the very high side. Anyone buying a high end costly radio such as this would opt most likely for a top of the line Yaesu or Icom because of the extensive network for marketing and service already established.

A ham who has already a top of the line Yaesu or Icom is unlikely to buy one of these radios. The competition is too great and the numbers for sales just do not add up to make R & D and production viable.

However if they rethink about their marketing and entered the market with a radio in the mid class range like a Pro III then I think they may have a chance.
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by KE2TR on July 26, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Most hams haave no idea what it takes to bring a new xcvr to market. Even companies like Icom have problems bringing rigs like the IC-7700 to market,FCC type exceptance,UL,CE aproval, the list goes on and on and in the long run if you cannot absorbe all the NRE costs as well its simply not that easy. To add to it this radio started at the top, a flagship model to boot! Unless they have backers with the company that have very deep pockets in todays economy its just close to imposible. Maybe they should have started small and worked there way up, who knows but my hats off to these guys for even just trying.
 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by W9AC on July 28, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
> "Bingo. Unless they had commercial or government (military, etc.) customers lined up, there's just not enough of a market for a $18K ham transceiver to justify its design and production."

It was quite difficult to justify the suggested pricing for the PT-8000. But for the fact that the Icom 7800 is used extensively in military and commercial applications, the '7800 and '7700 product would otherwise never be available at a price that the ham population could afford -- expensive enough as these radios already are even with the economies of scale from these non-ham sales.

But what struck me as particularly odd is that the PT-8000 embodied little DSP and the cascaded array of lossy crystal filters is a bit of a kludge for a state-of-the-art IF design.

The PT-8000 had no spectrum scope but did incorporate a second Rx and it was highly equal to the Elecraft K3 in terms of its H.F. performance capabilities. With high-quality transverters, the K3 is still a fraction of the price anticipated for the PT-8000.

As was pointed out, without a strong commercial and/or military interest, ongoing production of the PT-8000 would be impossible to justify except for the very small number of interested purchasers with deep pockets.
 
Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by WB8NUT on July 30, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
Excessive and oppressive government regulations kill off yet another business and contributing to the elimination of jobs. No wonder the EU's unemployment rate is so high. Getting as bad here in the US as in Europe. Too bad for Hilberling.
 
RE: Hilberling PT-8000 Production Stopped:  
by K6AER on August 1, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
The performance of the radio was only marginally better than the IC-7800 at almost half the price. No spectrum scope and the bottom line it was all about the dollar. At $18,000.00 American there was no market. With out the spectrum scope the real competition was the K3 at $3300 fully loaded.

Great dynamic range is lost when the typical noise floor from the antenna is -110 dBm or worse. You need 400 watts, just buy an ALS-500. As for the color selection, you can get any radio painted for under $600.

A pink K3 can be had for under $3900.
 
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