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Re: [CQ-Contest] Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Elecraft, TenTec & contesting radios
From: K3BU@aol.com
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 16:18:35 EST
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Howdy contesters.

The "contest rig problem". 

There are variety of radios out there, from cheap, to decent, to good, to 
loaded, to expensive. It appears that there is not a single radio that would 
satisfy all our (varying) needs for the price we can afford. We, contesters are 
forced to make a choice of the best compromise between performance, features 

Personally, being contester and designer since my first contesting days in 
1958 (whata sunspot cycle!) I know what is needed and I know what could be done 
to realize that "Dream Radio". The solution in the distant past was to brew 
your own, we had no choice back in OK-land, no commercial stuff, no parts, but 
what a school. The recent past was, to buy the closest match and then to dig in 
and modify it to suit the contest operating. Now we have situation when some 
manufacturers are coming out with radios aimed at the contesters, but lacking 
the features and performance that we desire, while advertising trumpets that 
"this is IT". For some it is, for some, especially top guns, it isn't.

In other competitive areas, (car, boat racing) manufacturers work closely 
with their racers in building and fine tuning their hardware. In (weird) world 
ham radio, this seems to be a no-no. I tried in the past to offer my 
cooperation to some manufacturers, but the response seems to be: "we know 
better". The 
result is - we get, what we get and either put up with it or try to modify 

I have been dreaming about the ideal contest radio design since my early days 
of contesting, and done some custom fitting of hardware here and there. I 
tried to stay away from ham radio business, in order not to spoil the pleasure 
from the hobby (who wants to come home to "job" stuff). Now going through 
"change" from "da nut contester" to (re)tiring one, I would not mind to get 
in the design of the Dream Radio. Technology is at the remarkable state, with 
RF and computer circuitry coming together, it is a ripe time to do it. I was 
challenged on the Ten-Tec reflector: "If you are so smart, why don't you 
design better radio?" I just might do it. I know what is needed now and few 
down the road. I know how to do it, been designer most of my engineering life 
and time is right. 

If there are any manufacturers that are willing to cooperate, this would 
speed things up and unload some of the hassles with production and marketing. 
not, than my company Computeradio will do the whole thing. 

I believe that we can do it. With the help of internet and contribution from 
fellow (re)tired contesters/designers we can have open platform that would 
grow with changes in technology. Something like N1MM contest logger effort.

If anyone is interested in participating in the project, please let me know. 

Yuri, K3BU.us

    The world's top contesters battle it out in Finland!
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