The number of requests for a copy of the letter I received from Kenwoods
National Sales Manager were quite numerous to say the least. So, I bit the
bullet and retyped it for those interested. Please bear with the typos.
Since Kenwood's May announcement that we would be establishing several
distributors for our amateur products, some people have expressed concern.
This letter will try to address your concern and your desire for more
To begin, it is very clear to me that not enough information has been made
available concerning how Kenwood is making changes in our distribution
program. I have spoken to many people in person, over the phone, and even
e-mail regarding the concerns and questions. Once all the information and
facts are presented, a new and clearer level of understanding and acceptance
is felt by everyone.
In past years, Kenwood has received hundreds of inquiries about becoming a
Kenwood Amateur Radio Dealer. In most cases, these have been from small
cities or towns where no amateur dealer is present. In many areas, over 300
miles seperate any person interested in Kenwood amateur radios and the
nearest dealer. Most of these inquiries are from current ham operators in
small towns with maybe less than 1000 licensed hams. They typically own
small businesses and can see the local needs and the opportunity to sell and
promote ham radio in their small town. In the past, the only opportunity in
these small towns to see or purchase a new radio was when a local club
sponsored a hamfest and one of our ~50 Authorized dealers attended. In
recent years it has become more and more difficult to travel to hamfests.
These small dealers can introduce ham radio to new locals interested in
Amateur Radio. As these new hams' needs grow, they will more likely buy more
radios from well-stocked "Superstores" of ham radio. Radio Shack has
demonstrated the need for more availablity of ham products with the success
of their HTX-202 in their over 7000 stores.
Choosing distributors was not an easy process. Finding the right companies
that would handle our product line in a responsible way was important to us.
I am proud to say that all our distributors take great pride in representing
the Kenwood line. These new distributors have a responsibility to qualify
dealers with good intentions and an understanding and respect for the hobby.
Many of our distributors' salespeople are hams now and even more are
interested in becoming hams.
I know our enhanced distribution has created some controversy but it has also
raised many questions concerning the future of ham radio. Year after year
more old time dealers "throw in the towel" after many years as a successful
business. Did you know we have 18 states where there are no Amateur radio
dealers and 24 states with only one dealer? We have many local clubs and
individuals who are working hard to promote Amateur radio with club
activities and classes. Why should anyone want to become a ham? Does 9600
baud packet sound exciting when internet is at 28,800 bps? Does a 2 meter HT
for $250 sound like a good investment when private cell phones are free?
Many think that the airwaves are too full already and that we have enough
new people in the hobby now. This is not the case. What about the LEOS
issue? This is only the first of more threats the amateur radio service
faces. Shouldn't we be more concerned about how to help others become hams?
Should FCC testing be more targeted towards understanding theory and not
pure memorization of questions and answers? Should an Amateur Radio
Operators License callsign be something that a college graduate would be
proud to include on his resume when applying for a job or career in
electronics or communications? I think so! These are types of changes that
we must address!
In my opinion, a lot of people have similar desires. They desire to
communicate, do it responsibly and help others in a friendly manner. Most
people on the air are friendly and most want to help each other.
Kenwood has strong pride and a heritage in Amateur radio. We will continue
building and selling Amateur radio worldwide. We will continue to do what we
feel is right for the future of Kenwood and the hobby.
* We have recently posted 25 years of service bulletins and application notes
dating back to the TS-520S on internet / FTP for all to access. A service
* We publish and distribute THE KENWOOD REPORT to over 1500 Amateur radio
* We are in the final stages of producing a multi-page information guide
about Amateur radio for non-amateurs.
* We also have plans to provide Kenwood amateur radio study guide materials
to clubs, schools and small dealers.
*We will continue to encourage everyone to help promote Amateur radio for a
strong and successful future.
The intent is to look to the future. All things in life change, so must
Amateur Radio. Many are in support of our actions and have praised our
courage to promote change. It was unfortunate that some have been misled to
believe that Kenwood is acting in a unresponsible manner. I sincerely hope
that this information has cleared up any misunderstandings.
Further communications with me can be addressed to me at: Paul Middleton,
Kenwood Communications Corp., P.O. Box 22745, Long Beach, CA 90801 or e-mail
me at email@example.com
Kenwood Communications Corporation
National Sales Manager
Amateur Radio Products Group