The death of the American ham radio industry

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

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  1. MW6ZAN

    MW6ZAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's down to human inventive progress unfortunately, and cheap equipment bombing the market from countries like china. Amateur radio is on its last legs due to the loss of the short wave bands and the availability of instant world wide communication via the computer and smart phone. Amateur radio has lost its appeal to the younger generation, as to if a way can be found to re install the magic of wireless into future generations is debatable. Best 73 and ✌peace
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I still remember when Yaesu hit the market going head to head with Swan. Swan hung in for a long time but it was the lack of profitability that killed them. Cubic realized there was just no money in amateur radio. Drake actually held out for quite a long time, but they made superior products at decent prices, the TR-7 is still a pretty good old boat anchor.

    I have to admit though that when Kenwood introduced the TS-520 and 820, it was over for the Americans. They offered everything you wanted, including high quality, at a lower price than any American company could match. Hallicrafters was the zenith of American short wave and amateur radio manufacturers, I doubt that we will ever see anything like that again.
    KP4SX likes this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    1.5) And the same laws would prohibit exporting products outside the U.S., since as soon as we ban imports, every other country will ban receiving anything from us (or tariff it to death, or whatever).

    Globalization works fine and has made the world seem smaller; each country has to focus on what they're really good at and take best advantage of the natural resources they have. The U.S. has a great advantage there, in that we have more natural resources than almost anyplace and we've imported, and continue to import, many of the best and brightest from all over the globe to take advantage of their talents.
    N0TZU likes this.
  4. K3KIC

    K3KIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually even the Chinese companies are looking at Vietnam to lower costs.
    N0TZU likes this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think it was also a case of the founder moving on. By the time the Japanese became a threat, Herb Johnson had moved on and taken his passion for Swan with him. ;)
    N2EY likes this.
  6. AE8W

    AE8W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't understand why there are not more SDRs built in the US. The automation level via pick and place is some remarkably higher percentage. I don't actually know what it is so I'll not throw a number out (versus thru hole).

    I suspect that the amateur market is so small that only contract manfacturers make money. Contract manufacturers have the equipment for short high speed production runs of one product then switch over to the next product. It has been a few years, but I visited 3 different contract manufacturers in Taiwan and this is the process. And, in Asia, Taiwan is the expensive locale versus China or Malaysia. Even then the Taiwanese manufacturers imported Malaysian women because they were cheaper ... they also looked like they were all 12 years old.

    Does Flex offer plant tours? I wonder if they have a pick and place on site?

    There are a few contract manufacturers in the US but mostly only based here with the actual work done else where. At the moment I don't remember the name, but there is one contract manufacturer based in Phoenix area that has manufacturing in Costa Rica.

    Motorola devoloped Quasar and IBM developed Lenovo for the sole purpose of sell off and easy disassociation with Motorola and IBM respectively. Both were bought by Asian companies. It is how it is done.
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The loss of which shortwave bands are you talking about?

    And why are there more hams than ever in the USA?

    Finally, why didn't the motorcycle obsolete the bicycle? ;)
    AC3GO likes this.
  8. AC3GO

    AC3GO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I "had" motorcycles and "have" a bicycle.
  9. K3KIC

    K3KIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Almost all private and public pension plans, also private retirement accounts, are invested in those stocks. I haven't checked lately but prior to the 2008 crash the SEC estimated that over 40% of stocks listed on the major US boards were owned by retirement related entities or accounts.

    Globalization is a good thing. It will bring the standard of living of billions of people up to where they won't want to go to war. The problem with the transition was that we (the US) were not prepared to adapt to the changes. We were busy with unions, regulations, taxes, etc.

    BTW ironically I worked for the first US company to manufacture in Taiwan, the first US company to manufacture in China, and one of the first maquiladora plants in Mexico.
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    They could get all the workers they want if they raised the wages. But....if they did that, automation becomes cost-effective.

    This is why kits were successful for decades....and why they ultimately stopped being cost effective.

    All of this isn't new; it's been going on forever.

    Books used to be very rare and expensive because they were copied by hand, one at a time. Then Gutenberg made mass production of books possible - and cheap. All those book-copiers were out of work.

    There was a time when most Americans who didn't own other people were farmers, because agriculture required LOTS of labor. Then came the reaper and other farm machinery, and a few people could harvest more per day with less work. Then tractors, combines, etc. The number of hours of work per acre dropped and continues to drop.

    Coal mining - steel making - construction....all mechanized, all getting more done with a smaller workforce.

    There was a time when a typical freight train crew consisted of an engineer, fireman, conductor, and at least 2 brakemen....and a long freight train was 60 cars. Now a typical freight train crew is the engineer and conductor - and 120 cars.

    Shipping containers have revolutionized shipping. The days of large numbers of "stevedores" is long gone; instead, one crane operator does the job. Dockside warehouses are no more; just stack up the containers. Container ships have tiny crews and are loaded and unloaded much faster than their predecessors.

    CADD operators replaced draftsmen. Scanners in supermarkets eliminated the need to put a price label on every item, and sped up checkout. In all but two states, people pump their own gas and diesel.

    And there's more!

    Many things last longer with less service. 60 years ago, a typical American car went from showroom to junkyard in 7 years. Odometers only went to 99,999.9 because very few cars made it past about 80,000 miles. All changed now.
    W0FS, K4KYV and N0TZU like this.

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