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Re: [TenTec] "will SDR be here tomorrow."

To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] "will SDR be here tomorrow."
From: Duane - N9DG <n9dg@yahoo.com>
Reply-to: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 21:18:53 -0700 (PDT)
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
--- CATFISHTWO@aol.com wrote:

> and my biggest question, is that, " will SDR be here
> tomorrow."   There is 
> not much "company,"  and are they going to be here in 5
> years? you  have 500 
> computer geeks playing with this like they used to do with
> the Mac, and  when 
> they get bored, who will update the radio, Ten Tec will be
> here tomorrow ,  will 
> SDR or will it be like your old tandy 1000 sitting out in
> the  garage..  My opinion, 

Actually I'd be wondering which ones of the existing big 4
will still be here 5 to 10 years from now. I really do get
the sense that there is another major "changing of the guard"
for radio manufacturers beginning to occur; much like we saw
from 1970 to 1985 or so. In that 15-year time frame the
brands that had been around for decades all but disappeared.
Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, Johnson, WRL were all gone by
1975. Heath, Drake, Swan, and Collins gone by 1985. You do
have to ask yourself why? After all they did all make
attempts at transitioning to solid state designs but yet all
seemed to stall shortly thereafter. In that same time period
Ten Tec, Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood all rose in prominence. And
Atlas came and went. 

Did the current big 4 rise only because they were better able
to implement solid state? Or did it have more to do with
making radios that better matched the increasingly "appliance
operator" mold of hamming. I think it was both with the JA
companies having the edge on making radios with the
touchy-feely controls and blinky lights that became all the
rage in consumer electronics like stereos and TV's at that
same time frame.

I also think that the "old guard" manufacturers of the 60's
ultimately went out of business because they tried to satisfy
a customer base that *insisted* that they keep building
radios that work, function, and be built (i.e. tubes) like
they always used to be, which they did. And I think it could
be argued that doing that was a major part of why they went
out of business. The customers all *said* that they wanted
radios like that but when their friends all started buying
these new fangled solid state radios from Ten Tec, Icom,
Yaesu, and Kenwood the Hallicrafters, Hammarlund etal. sales
fell through the floor and then they couldn't field anything
truly competitive quickly enough to save themselves. Sound

What I see today is these big 4 all making stabs at SDR but
constraining themselves to mostly emulating existing designs
(could this be today's equivalent of the 50-60's era
manufacturers trying to transition to solid state; my hunch
is yes it is). It would also be roughly the equivalent of
back in the 70's if the JA companies and Ten Tec had all
built radios that looked, worked, and felt just like the big
boat anchors they supplanted. I don't think any of them would
have gotten very far if they had done so. Bottom line is that
they didn't and they have all lived 30 or so years because of

When I see $10K radios with Ethernet ports that can do
nothing more than firmware upgrades, or a $9-13K radio that
needs to be sent to the factory for any firmware upgrade at
all I know that those companies simply "don't get it". I see
them making the same fundamental mistake about how to adopt
and apply new technology that Hammarlund, Hallicrafters,
Drake, Collins etc. made years ago. History does indeed

Interesting times in ham radio are on the way for sure. And
to sum it all up, - some words from Mr. Bob Dylan:

"Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?"

(from: Ballad of a Thin Man):


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