The death of the American ham radio industry

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4ZD, Jul 24, 2019.

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  1. KB9OAK

    KB9OAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had to self educate since day one of my first real job. I was lowered into a concrete pit 20 feet below ground and asked If I knew how to weld. I said no. The person running the forklift looked at his watch and said "You have 7 hrs to figure it out" Then lowered in a length of 12" diameter tubing that was at least 1/4'' thick. It had to be welded to the face of the pit, which was steel to facilitate an offset pole impact. The welder had already been placed in there prior to my arrival. A few hours later I climbed a ladder back up to civilization having successfully accomplished my task.
    The test ran later that week, with a instrumented vehicle filled with two Anthropomorphic Testing Devices (Dummies) slamming headlong into said large piece of tubing. The welds held. I learned something and kept my first real job.
  2. KD8TUT

    KD8TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My take on it, based on my reading, is that the USA has been "the Innovator". The country eventually sheds industries over seas. This is apparent since WWI- and there is inference to it in the 1800s.

    At the same time, you have a lot of radio innovation going on in the states... but these products are too complex for a single ham to build by themselves.

    A current technology radio requires a mastery of radio theory, the ability to do complex programming, computer design, and the ability to put all these surface mount devices on a multi-layer board which cannot be homebrewed.

    That's a simple way of putting it. People don't "homebrew" these things because almost no one has both the skill set, let alone the equipment, to do it.

    It takes a TEAM of people to design current technology. And their design is based on the work done by other teams.

    A computer... is designed by piecing together various technology (think modules). The technology is already designed- but the board, combination of circuits, choice of components, and many other things create an additional level of design.

    So thank your lucky stars that big companies are making complex radios you cannot build yourself. The closest you can come to it is buying a bare board and soldering the components yourself. Then again: the FPGA, firmware, AD/DA, is already designed. You have to piece it together. That in itself is a maze of specifications and design skills.

    No technology springs from a single person. It's all teams of specialists. Building on the work of others.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    W4ZD likes this.
  3. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Risking a " wrath of Khan" - patting yourself, or "the USA ", on the back for job well done exploiting the inequality of social systems and "innovators" greed is the bottom line, based on MY experience.
    Greed will prevail until another greed takes over or when "social systems" come together on (near) equal terms, thus diminishing the greed incentives.
    It is up to the reader to figure out WHICH social system / society is gaining this equality - the one making products or the one just complaining about the (lack of domestic build ) products they consume.
  4. W4ZD

    W4ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree entirely. In the engineering realm. Scientific breakthroughs are another matter, more often than not the work of one talented dude. And do note the gender faux pas, it was intentional and correct. :)
  5. W4ZD

    W4ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. KN6SD

    KN6SD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  7. KN6SD

    KN6SD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lets try this again...

    Isn't Collins still in business??? I thought they were producing Aircraft Electronic components???
  8. KB9OAK

    KB9OAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought Ten Tec was still around as well.
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Sort of...

    KA4DPO likes this.
  10. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am thinking more of how easy it is to make it work even with damaged equipment. Smashed computer, interface not working, not even a microphone - I could send readable if slow code by tapping two wires together twisted into the PTT connection.

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