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Author Topic: Transceivers made in USA  (Read 9432 times)
AC6IJ
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Posts: 56




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« on: May 30, 2012, 03:09:56 PM »

 Is it true that no Amateur Radio transceivers are still made in the USA? If there are any, the parts must come from the Eastern countries.  Bill
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K6AER
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 03:27:44 PM »

This is a troll right?

Elecraft, TenTec& Flex just to name a few plus many smaller companies.
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 05:01:49 PM »


Some of them come from the eastern countries like Tennessee(Ten Tec), others come from the west(Elecraft) and we even have some southerners like Flex.

In a way though, and I am not trying to be contentious, these are boutique rigs in their own way.
The mainstream (if I dare say it) rigs do tend to be manufactured overseas.

It should not be surprising that to survive, American manufacturers need to use innovative ideas in rigs to compete with
the cheap labour overseas.
These companies epitomise this, and is probably why they survive in such a hostile market.
Once you go mainstream, in my opinion, the desire to innovate substantially is lost in the pursuit of economies of scale.
It is hard to innovate when you are pumping ten zillion units, all the same, off a production line at light speed.

Let's hope they are able to continue to prosper.

73 - Rob
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M6GOM
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 03:54:06 AM »


It is hard to innovate when you are pumping ten zillion units, all the same, off a production line at light speed.


Yet Kenwood have brought out two new HF rigs in three years, Yaesu five in a similar timeframe.

Meanwhile, Flex have debuted their first new one in over half a decade.
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WA3SKN
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 04:28:26 AM »

The answer to your question is "No".... and that does not make them better or worse than other eqpt on the market.
73s.

-Mike.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 05:04:13 AM »

How about the DZKit Sienna? http://dzkit.com/
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 05:39:20 AM »

Yes, even if the radio is mfg in the U.S., the vast majority of the components come from elsewhere. Take a look at the major parts houses like Mouser or DigiKey and see how many IC's, resistors, or capacitors you can find that are actually made in the U.S.
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AD4U
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 06:07:35 AM »

As posted there are a number of HAM rigs made in the USA.  However (unfortunately) most of the electrical components used in these rigs are made overseas.  They are just assembled here.

Dick  AD4U

PS:  Sorry AA4PB - We posted at the same time.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 11:13:31 AM by AD4U » Logged
KCJ9091
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 06:19:34 AM »

Why is it that a car built by American labor in a plant on US soil is a foreign car but a car built by Canadian or Mexican labor in a plant outside the US is an American car?
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K8AXW
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 08:36:39 AM »

6GOM:  Your observations are correct.  However, two things need to be pointed out.

1 - The "Big Three" can afford to bring out new models periodically whereas the American companies cannot.  They can't afford to.  However, they do service for many years what they do sell and if you call them on the phone you get a courteous respondent willing to help with any problem you have.  Try that with the "Big Three!"

2 - While Flex has brought out only 1 new "model" in half a decade, it must be remembered this is a new technology being developed in this country.  Not Japan or China.  Eventually, Japan and China will eventually get into the SDR business.  Japan will buy out Flex and China will steal the technology.

I have predicted for some time that although the "new" technology being used by the "Big Three" is incredible, it's eventually going to come back and bite them in the butt!  When the hams that buy this new technology find that they can't get parts for their Kilobuck rigs a few years after buying it, it's all going to come crashing down.

Ten-Tec will still be building their comparatively primitive gear and finding a larger market.
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K8AG
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 10:06:07 AM »


In a way though, and I am not trying to be contentious, these are boutique rigs in their own way.
The mainstream (if I dare say it) rigs do tend to be manufactured overseas.


Funny how these "boutique" rigs are all at the top of the Sherwood Engineering ranking for performance.

73, JP, K8AG
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AA4PB
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 10:38:18 AM »

The real problem is that the component part mfgs keep discontinuing products in favor of "new and improved" versions. It won't be too long before even TenTec won't be able to get some of the parts for their older equipment. The only other option is for companies to maintain a large stock of older parts for repair - and that's an added expense.

Heck I've done design and built a working prototype only to discover when its time for production that some part has been discontinued. Then you are looking for a substitue which sometime requires a PCB modification an/or other changes.

If you want long term repair parts availability then purchase a tube radio like a Collins KWM2. I'll bet you'll still be able to get tubes long after the ICs in the latest "modern" transceiver have been discontinued.

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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 06:19:43 PM »


In a way though, and I am not trying to be contentious, these are boutique rigs in their own way.
The mainstream (if I dare say it) rigs do tend to be manufactured overseas.


Funny how these "boutique" rigs are all at the top of the Sherwood Engineering ranking for performance.

73, JP, K8AG

Exactly my point - American manufacturers have had to think outside the box to survive.
I recall when microcomputers were first developed and there was an explosion of different models, databus types and operating systems.
It was very hard for Japanese manufacturers to get a handhold in the market, which was dominated by U.S. inventors.
They tried all sorts of means to standardise the microcomputer, including suggesting certain databus types.
The problem for the Japanese manufacturers was that with the design landscape changing every week, they could
not gear up the production lines and gun out the product.

When IBM produced the IBM PC, you could almost hear the hurray (banzai) from Japanese manufacturers, as they
now had a "standardised" platform to gear up to produce.
This is not to take anything away from the Japanese, who are excellent engineers and deserve the success they have achieved.

Innovation is risky, and it is a peculiar facet of the American character that people will take a risk in business which many other cultures will not.
My brother in law set up in business by himself, and won contracts computerising some city police departments, chemical factories,
and Disney theme games. This was a one man operation, with contracted engineers as needed.

This would be very unlikely to happen in other countries, since the prevailing mindset is one of avoiding risk, and going with
large companies - the "safe" option.
This is why companies like Flex, Apple and too many others to mention, originated in the U.S.

And this is why the U.S., seemingly against the odds, still leads in technology.
Take enough risks, and you will eventually succeed.

73 - Rob
 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 06:24:31 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 3900




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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:09 PM »

Quote
The real problem is that the component part mfgs keep discontinuing products in favor of "new and improved" versions. It won't be too long before even TenTec won't be able to get some of the parts for their older equipment. The only other option is for companies to maintain a large stock of older parts for repair - and that's an added expense.


And this ladies and gentlemen is why SDR will become the norm!  It's much easier to refine radios using software changes than the constant change in chips.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2012, 01:11:10 AM »

>It's much easier to refine radios using software changes than the constant change in chips.<

That's as maybe - as long as you can still get the chips. Once the silicon dies, you need a new chip. Probably a new PCB, since changing the BGA is fraught with difficulty.

And look at the way RF power devices come and go. Some of them don't last in production as long as a pair of women's shoes are in fashion!
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