Discussion in 'Amplitude Modulation' started by N8FVJ, Mar 31, 2020.
I enjoy SWL and like listening to some of the wideband stuff.
All depends on how one defines "reliable".
The usual number that gets tossed out is MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) which usually means "if you take a large number of these things and run them as recommended, how long before half of them have failed?"
What happens with lots of SS stuff is that it is replaced long before it reaches MTBF or anywhere close.
I have a SDR receiver. It's a nice toy. Useful for analyzing signals with the spectrum display. Lots of eye candy, delicate front end and latency. You may like a ux that involves a mouse but I'd rather tune with a knob and PTO or capacitor. For actual on-air operating I'll take an old tube superhet that's an example of blank check design over any SDR. Get a decent R390, 51J4, AR or CR88, and operate AM with it (this is the AM forum by the way) and get back to us.
good luck telling them apart.
USPS loses money with Amazon, makes it up charging the general public more.
I think a few things changed. Obviously the cost of gas and diesel was a lot less back then. But also, in those days when something was ordered, the wait time was not days but weeks or even a couple months. Merch. was shipped on railroads, bus lines, or any truck line with some available space. Remember Railroad Express? The speedy single purpose FedEx type shipper was almost nonexistent. Well, now folks P and M if something takes a week. All those employees, airplanes, trucks and sorting centers cost money. It is now assumed you want your stuff ASAP and you're going to pay for it. The days of shipping for $2.99 and waiting a month are gone because no one wants that now.
I remember Railway Express, later re-named REA Express. They were faster and less costly than the postal service, and would take heavy merchandise like transformers. United Parcels hadn't started up or was just starting. Greyhound Bus was also fast, cheap and reliable, but that was a sideline for them in "space available" in the luggage compartment on the buses, that they didn't advertise very highly because they primarily moved people and didn't want to be overwhelmed with parcel merchandise. Railway/REA Express went out of business when the trains stopped running. Near the end of their service, costs skyrocketed as I found out the hard way when I had to pay almost as much for shipping a receiver as I paid for the receiver.
Orders were slow for more reasons than just the shipping. First you had to get them the money, either by cheque or money order sent via mail which took several days. They usually wouldn't complete the order until the cheque had cleared and that could take even more extra days. Then it took several more days to fill the order and package the merchandise and deliver it to the shipping service. Then the shipped order took several more days to arrive. All those days added up, and some companies took their sweet time processing the order once they had the money and the order request.
To-day with internet and credit cards, you might place the order and it is out the door that same day. Mechanisation has shortened transit time in many cases to just a couple or three days.
But that doesn't matter a whole lot when the stuff arrives at your front door only two days after you have placed the order, smashed to pieces or stolen off your front steps before you even knew it had arrived.
For many of us it's not really about "performance."
Yup, or even if it arrives intact it cost as much to ship as the purchase price (if bought used, new stuff at commercial rates doesn't seem bad at all - proof that non-commercial shippers are basically being ripped off, though I know that will bring howls from the market worshiping ubber-capitalists. If they can afford to ship it from Gigaparts or DX Engineer for $10 then they can afford to ship it for YOU for $10, more so since you typically take it to their center and they don't even have to pick it up.)