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The death of the American ham radio industry

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

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  1. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly. It would have happened even if those union members had agreed to try to live on the wages of a Chinese worker:

    "Well, that's fine, but we have to keep the shareholders in mind, and in China there aren't all those stupid OSHA safety rules and stuff to cost us money!"
     
    WA8FOZ, WU8Y, K8AI and 2 others like this.
  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, that is changing in China with respect to worker safety in that very stringent safety practices are becoming commonplace there now in large part because of their progressive actions and turn to a capitalistic economy.
    They are not plagued yet by unions which have never gone on strike to improve quality of lower consumer prices.
     
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's why all our kind hearted corporations are now looking to Vietnam, etc. ;)

    They aren't plagued by unions because they'd shoot anybody who tried to organize. Don't forget that. ;)
     
    WA8FOZ, WD4IGX, KC8YLT and 4 others like this.
  4. NE1U

    NE1U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exporting of manufacturing was/is initiated by good old boys (as are commonly "the hams") wanting more profit. They searched out off shore for less expensive manufacturing costs. Versus some Chinese guy canvassing the US for prime rip off .. never happened.

    Segments of industry die because of lack of innovation and staying current with marketing practices. I loved Drake, but wtf?!? They died before the internet or SDR. Founder got old, tired, and no grandson full of vim and vigor? I don't know but my guess. That is typical of founder legacy in business school.

    Even the Russians are probably falling into this. Russian developed electronics get moved to an asian "partner". That partner has 95% of the tech. Provide EU & FCC compliance marks, build and ship. In my opinion that they keep hold of their tech because the economy currently allows it. Just a matter of time.

    All of the above is based on current new tech which is SDR only. Possibly the only products immune are the ones that are still small or already built in the 3rd world (Apache Labs?). Yes, Flexradio is doing well if you have more money than b... Sorry, but in my opinion Flex buyer have a proclivity for being appliance opperator. Nothing wrong with that as there is nothing wrong with contestor only hams.

    Alright , a rant. But American ham technology left the continent a long while ago. Hams are asking "what digital technology has won" are sad scenarios. Lack of ubiquitous predistortion is sad as it should be demanded. Adoption of narrow FM should be done and complete for all ham FM repeaters. Do any hams actually understand the concept of repeater coverage area? Been around for well over 40 years (I was doing that shit THEN) and should be available for most repeaters. Coorodination anyone? for best coverage with overlapping repeater coverages? Don't know what that is .. too bad and guess why "American radio industry is absent.
     
  5. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wrong place to discuss but no, they don’t do that there either. Parenthetically, Vietnam is the fastest growing economy in Asia. No a bad thing if you live there and like to eat.
     
  6. W4ZD

    W4ZD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, I did not. But I always thought it superior to the offshore offerings, so maybe it was worth the price? I have operated a lot of gear over the years, including high end rigs from Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu. None of them matched my lowly Omni VI+ in performance. They seem to be worth what you pay for them, to a point. It's all subjective to a point, of course, but to my ears I thought Ten-Tec produced the best rig at that time in history. IMHO. :)
     
    NL7W likes this.
  7. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's appears to be basically true: From https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/vietnam
     
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Collecting, yes.

    From China? No.

    Quite likely.
     
    K7TRF, WA8FOZ and KM4FVI like this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    All Southgate Radio products are Made In USA.

    The founder oversees all design and production.

    Since 1967
     
  10. K0RGR

    K0RGR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think the switch to transistor technology was a huge part of the problem. I remember one early U.S. brand name TV set where instead of spending the money to use a low voltage power supply, they used two high voltage supplies, a few volts apart from each other! Of course, if either supply was interrupted, all the transistors would be instantly fried by the high potential difference. I got really tired of changing transistors.

    Heathkit was fairly advanced in it's use of transistors for lots of their gear. Other U.S, companies just threw in the towel or moved to more lucrative government contracts - which until Reagan had to be sourced here. For a time, the military could buy gear from Japan, but it had to have domestic sources for all the parts. That went away under Reagan. too. Ten Tec was able to go in the other direction - spinning off ham gear from a military market, as Collins did decades earlier.

    Long before we saw an ICOM HF rig here, their little 2 meter FM box filled a need at a time when hams were moving to FM on VHF. I was not impressed with the first Yaesu HF rigs I used. They suffered from bad front end overload. I don't remember the first Kenwood rigs I saw before my dad got a TS-120, which was a nice little rig.

    We should support our domestic makers, but for most of us, they are really pricey - that's the value of having someone answer the phone if you have a problem. I, too , miss Ten Tec.
     
    WD4IGX likes this.

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