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Thread: A Market For Radio Kits, Ham, Shortwave Even CB

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Pineville, KY 40977
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    A Market For Radio Kits, Ham, Shortwave Even CB

    Whether or not it might seem that some products gain interest in a small online community of people with diverse interest and visions, where not everyone is a ham radio operator, nor shortwave listener neither a CB radio enthusiast doesn't mean there is not a viable market for those products. Radio related kits do sell well provided they get some marketing so that people know they are available. Facebook is loaded with radio related clubs and pages. I have one page that has grown to over 800 people in a short time with over 1200 post reach so that surprises me, my other pages hardly are worth visiting since they are not radio related and do not obtain such interest.

    What is lacking in electronic kit building is the kind of kits that were once available, and that I suppose is because one day the market came along and shifted its interest into developing cell phone and Bluetooth technologies and companies got on the band wagon and went towards miniaturization, plus home PC were gaining ground and they too benefited by surface mount technologies, and thus mass production came along with low cost parts, and this resulted in cheap throw away electronics that only a few in the world can repair, having the knowledge and equipment to repair surface mount stuff. Hobbyist and repair shops hated this trend. But it came and has long been here and so the kinds of kits that are now available are not of much interest in terms of usefulness to the radio hobby. Of course there are those who do have an interest in such kits, especially beginners in electronics who can wet their appetite on such.

    I myself would not mind seeing some sort of low cost shortwave receiver kit that people can build to get into HF radio. It could be a regenerative receiver, or it could be a step or two more advanced. You know with a conventional VFO for tuning. Maybe have a preselector front end. Old ARRL handbooks are full of circuit ideas. I have found I can design radios in software merely using 2N2222 transistors from the antenna all the way to the audio detection section, including AGC circuit. So it does not have to look like a PC to be useful and practical as a kit.

    There are all sort of simple things that we can design from SWR / Wattmeters, to antenna scopes to tune antennas in the field without bringing the big radio gear outside to do so. To Part 15 AM broadcast transmitters (Ramsey no longer makes the ones they use too).

    One circuit I designed this past year was a precision RF signal generator, which required but little in terms of parts to make, you see I work in radio repair and wanted something that I could use to set the S meter to S 9 as well as check the sensitivity of receivers in terms of 1 to 0.2 uV. So I come up with a design for that and that's a useful thing around the home or shop radio shack. Also grid dip meters are worthwhile things to have and use.

    I am also thinking of several other useful but simple things a radio shack needs for the test bench that would not cost and arm and a leg, such as precision voltage divider probes, attenuators. RF dummy loads with built in voltage probes for the scope and other instruments. Also there is a world of ideas for gadgets to be used with the very popular and inexpensive RTLSDR HF software defined radio that sells for as low as $44 now, and so there is an emerging field of interest there. I use the RTLSDR as a spectrum analyzer since its software along with PC computing power results in precision frequency and dB measurements once the frequency is calibrated on the spectrum scale.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    11
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