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"Boat Anchor" or plastic radio?




 
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Author Topic: "Boat Anchor" or plastic radio?  (Read 9297 times)
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k4kyv
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Don
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« on: August 08, 2008, 10:01:30 PM »

Our forefathers were poorer than we are, and yet they had better stuff, relatively speaking.  Some purchases should last a lifetime; others don't need to survive a summer trend. Here is how to choose between cheap and steep.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/HomeMortgageSavings/ShouldYouSplurgeOrSkimp.aspx#pageTopAchor
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Don, K4KYV                                       AMI#5
Licensed since 1959 and not happy to be back on AM...    Never got off AM in the first place.

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Patrick J. / KD5OEI
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2008, 10:14:46 PM »

The true lifetime of plastic radios has yet to be seen. I'm guessing 20 years with good care. The problem is that the parts to fix them (special ICs and the like) won't be squirreled away like tubes and such were. The boatanchor stuff is simple enough for the determined person to do something with, almost in perpetuity, even if exact parts are not available. It's all the digital controls and menus and displays that will finally kill a plastic radio.
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2008, 11:31:48 PM »

There are tons of imported rigs from the 70's that are still on the air every day. Many hams  have no desire to the boatanchor dip'n and peak'n nor want to sit in front of a rig that smells funny and might weigh more then they do. Plastic rigs fit their need.
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Pete, WA2CWA - "A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius"
ka3zlr
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 05:53:37 AM »

I'm missing the Market System that was Adamant against monopoly.

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AF9J
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 01:12:23 PM »

I think to an extent, we have to define what we mean by plastic radios. A fair amount of 70s rice rigs were pretty much all metal.  My Yaesu FT-301SD (which is my high bands AM rig), and my Kenwood TS-820 are all metal (even the front panels are cast aluminum).  The only plastic is in the knobs.   They do not use menu control.  Both rigs still run fine, 30 years after they were made.  The only concern I might have for them, would be finding suitable replacements for the transistors that might fail.  But, it's certainly much easier to find transistor subsititutes, that it is to find a replacement for a microprocessor IC for a 20-something year old rig.  So, as much as I like the ICOM IC-740 my neighbor gave me, I will probably be out of luck with it, when its very basic microprocessor IC calls it quits.

IMO, microprocessor control, is what defines a plastic radio.

73,
Ellen - AF9J
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 09:24:07 PM »

Our forefathers were poorer than we are, and yet they had better stuff, relatively speaking. 
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/HomeMortgageSavings/ShouldYouSplurgeOrSkimp.aspx#pageTopAchor

Don,

You always provide food for thought......

In 1973 I bought a brand new Chevrolet Vega GT hatchback for $2312. One step up from the bottom of the line. I paid extra for the AM radio and rust protection. 

# Chevy 100,000 mile/5-year transferable Powertrain (I had a 12,000 mile or 12 month warranty)
# Standard seat-mounted side-impact air bags(1) ( used my skull)
# NEW Tire Pressure Monitor ( I used a gauge)
# AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 player ( I think I paid $55 for the optional AM radio)
# Six-speaker premium sound (single speaker- center of dash)
# Auxiliary input jack ( In 1973- Huh?)
# Variable speed wipers with washer. ( I had one speed and washed it at the gas station)
# Air conditioning with air filtration system (I opened the windows)
# Tilt steering column (Only if it was broken)
# Driver armrest (Yeah, in the 73 Vega, she was nicer)
# Cruise control (Not available in 73)
# Power Door Locks (Not available in 73)
# Remote Keyless Entry with content-theft-deterrent system (Space age stuff Not available in 73)
# Heated, power, foldaway, body-color mirrors (I think Caddies had that)

The Vega would cost $11,394 in 2007 and the Chevy 2007 Aveo 5-Door LS 1LS has a MSRP of $12,425 or about the same net of negotiations, tax etc.

Which is better stuff, relatively speaking?
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Carl

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NE4AM
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 08:02:35 AM »

Yeah, but how many of the bells and whistles do you really NEED?  How many do you USE on a regular basis?  If the new car didn't have power everything, a dozen airbags and half a dozen speakers, they'd cost $10k less. 
The gadgetry is the first stuff to break as well.

The owners of the menu-driven plastic rigs - does anyone use any of the features besides volume, band select,  tuning, RIT, and (assuming they ever use CW) CW/SSB selection?  Any reason to have more than 5 knobs?

73 Dave
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73 - Dave
AF9J
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 11:00:13 AM »

All I can say Dave, is that when I've had menu driven radios (I have one now - an ICOM IC-910H for 2m, 432 MHz, and 1296 MHz), like most amatuers, I've basically set the menu parameters to what I want, and usually haven't touched them again.   Virtually everything else I need is on a knob or a push button.  Going into menus on the fly (say to adjust CW keyer speed), is a pain and then some.

73,
Ellen - AF9J
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Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 01:04:40 PM »

The owners of the menu-driven plastic rigs - does anyone use any of the features besides volume, band select,  tuning, RIT, and (assuming they ever use CW) CW/SSB selection?  Any reason to have more than 5 knobs?

73 Dave

Depends on the activity of the user. Contesters, DX'ers, digital users, VHF/UHF weak signal users, repeater users, etc. can all find daily advantages in a flexible menu driven rig. Having the ability to tweak or set different parameters on the fly is always a plus. 5 knobs, 10 knobs, or 25 knobs; it's all in providing the flexibility to the rig. My main rig doesn't have any knobs but it has a well-used mouse. In my opinion, providing as many features as possible, and the ability to tweak those features if necessary, is what is driving the market and what many users desire.
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Pete, WA2CWA - "A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius"
K3ZS
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2008, 09:48:22 AM »

My only modern rig is an IC-718.    It is sold as a beginners radio.    That is fine for me, the only menu items are things you would hardly ever change.     The rest is knobs and buttons, just fine for this beginner of 50 years in ham radio.

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N3DRB The Derb
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2008, 11:49:21 AM »

Quote
Cruise control (Not available in 73)
# Power Door Locks (Not available in 73)

not on a freakin Vega, no, but your 73 Coupe De Ville had both of em. Hell, even yer top of the line Olds or Buick did.
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KB2WIG
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2008, 02:20:00 PM »

I operate rice box mobile. The I com has 100 memories.  For example. What I do for 10m is program a channel fer the beacons, a channel fer 28.4 which is the mobile calling frequency.  28.450 the local ssb group. 29.000.000 wideband am - The receiver will copy about 15 kHz here, and then the FM portion of ten.  Tweek and forget....

klc
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2008, 04:07:05 PM »

I think the plastic radio came from the front panel. My late 80's TS440 is all metal except for the knobs and the front panel. Still works FB. In fak I have two bub bem.
I thought I would throw in a little baby talk.
Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
Pete, WA2CWA
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2008, 05:03:49 PM »

Back in them "old days", they only knew how to drill holes in wood and flat metal.
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Pete, WA2CWA - "A Cluttered Desk is a Sign of Genius"
N8LGU
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2008, 01:14:25 PM »

    When I got back into Ham Radio after I retired from the USAF, I went to Berryville and bought a pristine 75A4 and a Viking Invader. Got on SSB. All my new ham buddies said I was living in the past and needed a new "Ricebox". I sold the boatanchor stuff and bought a new IC-751A. It performed as advertised and I made many 10M contacts. However, something was missing. No real joy. When I heard the AM'ers some years later, I knew I had been had. I keep an Alinco DX-77T for emergency use. Plastic radios have no soul. Real radios glow in the dark and bring me much joy.
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kb3ouk
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2008, 10:48:04 AM »

i have 3 newer radios, an icom 718 and two 2 meter fm rig. the one 2 meter rig is nothing but trouble, that's why i rarely change any of the settings. And i've reset it about 5 times. my other two hf rigs are older yaesus, a ft-101 and a ft-901dm. and neither of those radios have any menus or microprocessors(i dont think there's hardly any IC's in them, except for the audio stage, which i think is a huge IC, by todays standards). it's all knobs, which are the only plastic pieces on the whole radio. and the rigs are easy to run. but no one recoomends that a beginner to use a tube rig because of the high voltage and the fear of destroying the finals, or so they say. as long as you keep your fingers out of the final cage, you are ok. and you don't have to woory about blowing the tubes IF YOU FOLLOW THE TUNE UP INSTRUCTIONS. but there are boatanchors around from the 1950s that still run like new, or better than new, but there are also some more modern rigs that are less than 10 years old that have already crapped out.
shelby kb3ouk
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