We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs  (Read 1905 times)

Offline R4002

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 2507
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 1317 UTC »
The HAM makers all have their fingers in multiple pies. Gov, mil, maritime, aviation, Icom even made and sold desktop pcs for a while. I expect the Chinese to follow suit taking up any space gained from the major HAM makers, I'd love to see a Chinese clone of the IC7800. You hear me China?!?!

How about a Chinese clone of an Icom HF marine radio? 

http://radioaficion.com/cms/feitong-ft-808/

Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood also have their fingers in the lucrative land mobile radio/business radio/professional mobile radio market.  With the widespread adoption of DMR, now even the itinerant construction crew has been told they need to replace their entire several-hundred-radio handheld radio cache with MotoTRBO DMR radios because...digital? 

Yes, we did digital voice to talk to the guy in the tower crane 1000 feet away, even though the analog FM handhelds worked perfectly...

The Chinese are making inroads in that market too....not just when it comes to construction crews using Baofengs but also higher-end DMR (conventional and trunking) systems being offered by Chinese companies, Hytera and TYT come to mind. 

The switch from analog to DMR has had some interesting side effects.  The cheapo Baofeng BF-888 radio (not the "upgraded version" that the vendor has re-programmed with FRS frequencies...) comes with 462.125 MHz as channel 1.  Before they switched to DMR, one of the major downtown hotels used 462.125 as their primary security repeater frequency.  Add a catering company using Baofeng BF-888 radios on the same frequency and hilarity ensues (not the same CTCSS/PL tone, however). 

Now that the hotel in question is using a Motorola MotoTRBO DMR trunking system on their old frequencies, 462.125 is basically unusable [nearly constant digital signal on frequency] for the we-didn't-know-any-better walkie-talkie crowd using BF-888s.  Same with the other default factory frequencies [most of which are carrier squelch 462.225 MHz, 462.325 MHz, 462.425 MHz, etc.), there's DMR traffic on all of them.   Basically the only ones left are 462.625 MHz CTCSS 127.3 Hz [channel 6] and 462.725 MHz CTCSS 136.5 Hz [channel 7].  Ironically, both of these are legal FRS/GMRS frequencies and the users of these radios have more or less been forced to use those two channels as they're often the only clear channels available.

Random tangent aside, I guess the time is now to buy up a bunch of Cobra 29s and Baofeng UV-5Rs.  I read that the FCC issued an enforcement advisory against the sale of Baofeng "ham radios" that transmit outside the ham bands out of the box, have the capability of transmitting the wideband FM on the Part 90 land mobile channels, and aren't certified to operate on the frequencies they can transmit out of the box..

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-980A1.pdf
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 1335 UTC by R4002 »
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 1859 UTC »
Yeh if they made something the Handsome Al Fansome liked, the swl public would buy it in droves! IC7800, China. You hear me?!?


One of these bad boys will soon grace my desk;
https://www.amazon.com/RECENT-RS-918SSB-SDR-HAM-Transceiver/dp/B072155421

Not quite a IC7800 but closer than an Ocean Hopper.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 1902 UTC by Josh »
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline Pigmeat

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 4158
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 1611 UTC »
Look at the knobs on that baby!

Offline Rizla

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Sonoran Desert, AZ
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 2202 UTC »
Quote
the remaining hams are generally well-heeled

Gotta beg to differ; well, maybe half of them, the guys with 200 ft towers and $5K SDR's and the latest, always, from Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood...

The remaining hams are _cheap_... cheap, worn as a badge of honor. A truly great American tradition that represents the true hacker spirit. If you buy an antenna, to these guys you are a loser. If you think there are arguments here, you should see Eham and qrz.
In this tradition, I've been enjoying a 1974 copy of the ARRL antenna book, which cost me $3 (too much I'm sure), and the glories of copper wire in spools from HDepot.

Speaking of cheap, that Recent transceiver looks amazing, hell, Baofengs are amazing for the price -- Shenzhen attitude in action.
QTH: Sonoran Desert, AZ. Kenwood TS-820S, FT-891, Tecsun 880, neophyte in a forest of antenna wire.

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 1825 UTC »
Look at the knobs on that baby!




just dont tell Al that its a sdr with local control options
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline Pigmeat

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 4158
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2018, 1909 UTC »
You just did, Slick. I feel sorry for you.

Offline BoomboxDX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2018, 1209 UTC »
Quote
the remaining hams are generally well-heeled

Gotta beg to differ; well, maybe half of them, the guys with 200 ft towers and $5K SDR's and the latest, always, from Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood...

The remaining hams are _cheap_... cheap, worn as a badge of honor. A truly great American tradition that represents the true hacker spirit. If you buy an antenna, to these guys you are a loser. If you think there are arguments here, you should see Eham and qrz.
In this tradition, I've been enjoying a 1974 copy of the ARRL antenna book, which cost me $3 (too much I'm sure), and the glories of copper wire in spools from HDepot.

Speaking of cheap, that Recent transceiver looks amazing, hell, Baofengs are amazing for the price -- Shenzhen attitude in action.

I beg to differ with you, but your points are well taken. Yes, there are hams who are cheap. But if one can afford a new, or relatively new, working ham rig, you're talking over $1000. And in my world's view, the only people with the cash available to drop a grand on a radio they're going to use once or twice a week is 'well heeled'. Then you have the cost of the linear amplifier to consider. And then some guys need extra electrical wiring to accommodate that.

Wire for antennas is cheap enough. It's the other equipment that's expensive.

I can relate to the cheap guys, the ones who try to make do with less. I once built a wire yagi for my CB hobby, and talked to Mexico with it. It worked rather well. But the guys I hear on the 20 meter band aren't talking cheap. They have money to spend.

73, and peace.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline Rizla

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Sonoran Desert, AZ
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2018, 2004 UTC »
Your points are also well taken. I don't know if it's 50/50, but it seems to me that the ham community that is interesting these days has a lot of action in QRP stuff and DIY. But I've certainly heard tons of the guys you're talking about. I heard a W2 turning his mega fantastic 20 over S9 beam around, just for kicks, to show how bad-arse the reverse beam was... 80 years old. He was very funny. More power to him, I say.

Also, with the long list of "Silent Keys" in each issue of QST, there's a lot of really good gear that's been fawned over, i.e., a Kenwood ts-820 I got for $0 that was barely used, and another person  just brought over coax and an antenna turner, and in these cases my friends thought I was doing _them_ a favor by taking stuff they'd never use. Also, a TenTech Century 21 thrown in... There are ridiculous deals out there if one is patient and ignores Ebay; a lot of the Kenwood stuff from 70's-80's was really well made (not to mention the classic American Swans/Hallicrafters and so forth that I missed out on, from same friend...)

Gotta add that anyone who takes the FCC exams is told that the antenna is the most crucial part of the rig. $1000 transceiver doesn't mean so much with crummy antenna. To really do what I want has meant DIY for me; I don't have an Elmer (yet).

I heard a lot of action on 10 meters during the "Cal QSO party", not so much since, would love to hear more on your home-made Yagi. A CB would be nice to monitor propagation as you and others have (I believe) suggested... As for 20 meters, I hear a lot of guys using 100 watts. The nightly saloons on 80 meters are usually using big amps and God knows what for antennas. YMMV.

73's and best to you!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 2007 UTC by Rizla »
QTH: Sonoran Desert, AZ. Kenwood TS-820S, FT-891, Tecsun 880, neophyte in a forest of antenna wire.

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2018, 2009 UTC »
A friend stumbled into a IC751a, ic r71a, and ic r7000 like new with boxes for $500 or so due to the owner's suicide. This was in the 90s when this gear was still very relevant on the HAM/radio market, I think he tried to give the widow more but she just wanted them gone.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline R4002

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 2507
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2018, 1233 UTC »
I would still love to have a IC-R71A, IC-R7000 and IC-751A, even in today's world of SDRs. 
U.S. East Coast, various HF/VHF/UHF radios/scanners/receivers

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2018, 1748 UTC »
The 751A was one of Icom's best hf rigs, and still is going by dynamic range and sensitivity. The 71A is also a very worthy hf rig, three letter government agencies bought em by the pallet load, as well as the 7000. The prob with the 7000 is the weird tuning and it had a spur in the passband for some reason that could be somewhat addressed by a mod. Otherwise nothing did what it could do anywhere near the price.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 23336
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2018, 1956 UTC »
I have both a R71A and R7000. Both were excellent rigs in their day. The R71A was not a SWLing radio, the audio was not the best. But it was a DXing machine. The R7000 did have its quirks, but was an overall good performing wideband receiver. I'm not sure I could recommend either radio today unless you got a really good deal. Looking at what they sell for, you can get and do so much more with an SDR for the same money.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
NRD 545 / netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 670 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 3121
    • View Profile
Re: Over and out: CB radio-maker struggles to adjust to Trump tariffs
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2018, 2008 UTC »
I have both a R71A and R7000. Both were excellent rigs in their day. The R71A was not a SWLing radio, the audio was not the best. But it was a DXing machine. The R7000 did have its quirks, but was an overall good performing wideband receiver. I'm not sure I could recommend either radio today unless you got a really good deal. Looking at what they sell for, you can get and do so much more with an SDR for the same money.

And there's the rub. Sdr rigs do so much more it's hard to justify spending as much or more on a rig that will definitely need some tlc in the near future unless the problematic areas are addressed.

That era of Icom rig sufferes from some common issues, one is the lytic caps in the fluorescent display section going bad due to heat. Another is also cap related, the variable trimmers in the pll and bfo circuits become corrupted by the remnants of whatever it is Icom washed the pcb with after soldering, or the caps came with something that would cause corrosion. The pll caps are always under a metal shield so it's a pain. Then there's the heat generated by the psu, if one uses the built in psus, that pretty much age everything in the rig. Hint: don't use the internal supplies. Then there's the common issue of the barrier layer caps going bad in the front end, these caps, due to stress or poor manufacturing become leaky, you get a cap and a resistor in one!
To be honest, at this time, decades after these left the factory, replacing every lytic cap in these rigs is not out of order and likely a very good idea, some folks sell complete recap kits for these rigs on ebay.

So as you can see, unless you fall into a too good to pass up deal on any of the mentioned rigs, hopefully with the problematic areas taken care of, you're way ahead getting an sdr. And don't think that one that is new in box would be any better, without use the dielectric layer goes away after only a few weeks or months of not seeing a charge, some caps may rebuild their layer after being turned on, some might not. Thus endeth the sermon.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.