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Author Topic: Most Improved Feature Over the Years?  (Read 10855 times)
N5RWJ
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2012, 12:23:22 PM »

Well, servicing your radio, is all most becoming pulling and replacing boards. As for SDR it's becoming Thiswww.sdr-cube.com just add a larger display and mouse, for home use, or unplug it and take to the field. this type may be the future?
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W8JX
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 02:17:34 PM »

"last thing I want is my PC being my radio." 

Could not agree more. Would not want a radio that cannot function without a PC.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2012, 08:53:18 PM »

Quote
Could not agree more. Would not want a radio that cannot function without a PC. 


I couldn't agree more!  But do you really think that communications gear will continue as we presently know it?  Pick up an old ARRL Handbook and look at the huge 6' rack mounted transmitters and then follow history to this day and age where we have really small transceivers that outperform the 6' rack transmitters to an unbelievable degree.

With that being said, go back and do the same with the computer.  It has evolved the same way only much faster and continues to evolve at an unbelievable rate.  It's only logical that the two will marry and communications gear, including ham gear, will resemble a brick and everything.....transmit, receive, SWR monitoring....will be done with a mouse, keyboard and screen.

The SDR equipment we see today is just the result of "heavy petting" between the two and the rest will be here shortly.


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W8JX
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 04:57:58 AM »

Quote
Could not agree more. Would not want a radio that cannot function without a PC. 


I couldn't agree more!  But do you really think that communications gear will continue as we presently know it?  Pick up an old ARRL Handbook and look at the huge 6' rack mounted transmitters and then follow history to this day and age where we have really small transceivers that outperform the 6' rack transmitters to an unbelievable degree.

With that being said, go back and do the same with the computer.  It has evolved the same way only much faster and continues to evolve at an unbelievable rate.  It's only logical that the two will marry and communications gear, including ham gear, will resemble a brick and everything.....transmit, receive, SWR monitoring....will be done with a mouse, keyboard and screen.

The SDR equipment we see today is just the result of "heavy petting" between the two and the rest will be here shortly.

Once a radio requires a marriage to a external PC just to function it kinda stops being a radio and becomes a computer device. SDR has its purpose but I feel its future is when it is built into radio in firmware. Rigs like 590 and K3 are small steps in this direction but progress is being made.  Using a PC to do it in software may look impressive but it is just a bandaid fix in my book and another path for possible RFI problems. And, it also in effect REDUCES the energy efficiency of a rig in that you have to power up another device that could easily use up to several hundred watts itself in addition to radio just to have a QSO and then hope your PC does not lock up or reboot on some quirk and put you at zero mhz for several minutes or more. 
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NO2A
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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2012, 12:47:34 PM »

That`s simple! A display with 32 different colors... Cheesy Frequency accuracy and no detectable drift. Can you imagine saying to a ham in 1966 that someday his rig will have a built in digital voice recorder? He would have said,"Yea right."
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K8AXW
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« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2012, 09:11:48 PM »

Quote
That`s simple! A display with 32 different colors...  Frequency accuracy and no detectable drift. Can you imagine saying to a ham in 1966 that someday his rig will have a built in digital voice recorder? He would have said,"Yea right."
 

2A: You're thinking!  If someone told me in 1956 that my transmitter and receiver together would weigh less than 20 pounds I would laugh in his face.  At that time my transmitter weighed 170lbs and my receiver weighed 75lbs!  The VFO weighed only 5 or 6 pounds but it was the third "box" to deal with.  Then there was the antenna changeover system..... warm up time in the minutes (Mercury Vapor tubes) VFO drift for the first half hour.....

Look at it now!

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K3WEC
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« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2012, 09:58:54 PM »

I like a real radio, but admit I'm in the process of building a softrock out of curiosity. 

One thing to consider - PC's as we know them today will also continue evolving.   That keyboard won't be there the way it is now.  Neither will the mouse.  Neither will the screen.   Neither will anything as we know now.   There is a convergence going on that will make these relics...and it won't be long before it happens.   The PC industry already sees it happening and is preparing.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2012, 06:19:19 AM »

The logical result then is that the licence exam needs to be even less technical than it is now, and that only type approved gear can be used. No amplifiers of course, becasue you need to have a vague idea of what they do and dealing with RFI. Or maybe if it's all autotune, it can be installed by a competent licenced technician who checks the whole station every so often for correct functionality.  Then another class of licence with a more technical exam for those people who want to build gear.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2012, 10:01:59 AM »

RZP:  This is no doubt true.  The amateur exams now rreaalllyy aren't mean to determine a person's technical ability as they once were.  The exams are primarily used to test a person's memory.  You learn the answers contained in 3 question "pools" and you pass.  Simple.  If you have a good memory.

The commercial license exams in this country have also been dumbed down and radio stations are not required to perform maintenance tests and proof of performance tests as they once were simply because of the incredibly reliable transmitters and peripheral equipment.  My 1st Phone Commercial ticket is now a "General" Radio Telephone license.

Most radio stations are remotely controlled anymore and many don't even have a human inside the building....everything, from programming to logging is programmed and executed by a remote computer!

I suspect a bit of facetiousness in your "competent licensed technician" and "another class of license..." statements but I see your statements being more accurate than perhaps you realize!
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KK4GER
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2012, 10:59:07 AM »

Well, technology may change and the radios may be different, but propagation won't, so all the old equipment will still be useable.  I don't even care for most of the newer radios with their menu-driven operation and LCD's.  I am a button pusher, knob turner and like analog meters (I do like the digital Freq. displays, though.).  As long as the older units are repairable and parts are available, boat anchor or not, they'll be around.

Gerry, KK4GER
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G3RZP
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« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2012, 11:49:20 AM »

I somehow suspect that while people operate CW, my rebuilt 1939 HRO and homebrew 807 tx on 80 and 40 will produce QSOs!

(for those that are fairly new to ham radio, in this context, an 807 is a transmitting vacuum tube and not a can of beer)

The HRO was probably the 'ne plus ultra' of ham radio receivers in the late 1930s.
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N2EY
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Posts: 3913




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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2012, 11:17:47 AM »

I think what has most improved over the years is what you get for a given (inflation adjusted) price.

In the bad old days, rigs were incredibly expensive in terms of what you paid for what you got. For example, when I got started in the 1960s, the HW-16 was $99.95 and was considered an incredible bargain - and it was! $99.95 in 1967 inflates to about $600 today; see what you can get in a new rig for $600 now.

Note that the HW-16 was a three-band, CW-only transmitter/receiver/power supply kit which needed a key, crystals/VFO and speaker/headphones to be operational. It also could only feed 50 ohm antennas (no ATU nor adjustable pi-net).

Or compare the $250 HW-101 kit with what can be had for under $1400 today.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3963




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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2012, 10:08:06 AM »

Quote
Or compare the $250 HW-101 kit with what can be had for under $1400 today.


I see similar quotes like this on eHam.com quite often.  While the dollar comparison might be true, nobody mentions that the equivalent assembled transmitter/receiver/transceiver cost much more than this.

At this same 5.6:1 dollar ratio, a commercial transceiver "back then" would cost several thousand dollars. 

Living through this era I was able to buy an Heathkit SB-102 but buying a commercial transceiver of any brand or model at that time was completely out of the question.

So it came down to buying a Heathkit or doing without.  If today's $1400 radio was available back then for $250 then I would have bought it.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2012, 10:51:33 AM »

Look at 1953 prices. A Collins KW1 1 kW AM rig.  $3850. A  32V-3 150 watt (input) CW rig $775. A 75A3 receiver with all accessories $672.50. I have a feeling that a nice KW 1 will fetch at least that much today.

If you want something cheaper, a Hallicrafters  S40-B for $119.95 or a National HRO 60 for $483.50. An NC183D for $369.50. In transmitters, a Hallicrafters HT20 (no VFO) for $449.50, a Johnson Viking 2 kit for $279.50 and the VFO kit for the Viking 2 was $42.75.

Which I guess is why so much gear was home brewed, or was surplus, or both.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2012, 05:36:31 PM »

RZP:  Roger that!  Take those prices and multiply them by 5.6 and you get "todays" dollar value.  I rest my case.
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