|[AMRadio] Retro 75|
pulsarxp at embarqmail.com
Thu Apr 8 14:56:55 EDT 2010
I have a Retro 75 and it is great. I also don't represent Dave Benson the
designer. That said I think Dave decided to design a simple fun radio to
build which is very usable at a very attractive price. As I see it, putting
a rig like this on 10 meters will require more parts, more stability, and
much more expensive crystals, plus a more costly output transistor. The
aligning would be more involved too. This design was for a nostalgic return
to the past with an inexpensive price. I doubt you will see a ten meter
version ever produced. Maybe if the 80 meter kit took off, you might see
one for 160 meters or even 40 meters but that would be it. You can't take
months designing something, kitting it and then only sell 50 kits at $65.00.
Understand too, there is a great financial stress on anyone coming up with
the needed operating crystals at an affordable price. You can't supply a
$30.00 crystal in a $65.00 kit. It's got to be in the $3.00 range. How many
guys want to have 2000 made for $2.00 each and sell them for $3.00? It
would take a club with a great designer with everyone doing all the work for
free and then charging a near cost price for the kit to sell an AM rig for
10 meters at around $80 with no cabinet included. (I used a very nice Ten
Tec cabinet for around $6.00 for this project).
I also, just built, a Ft Tuthill 80 CW transceiver offered by the Scorpians
QRP group. They kitted the transceiver for $50.00 and it is VFO controlled
with around a plus 50 khz tuning range. This too is a really nice nice kit.
It works very nicely and is very stable. (I made a great looking home made
case for this radio out of PC board material so the radio fits into the box
like a glove) I think a VFO approach to 10 meters would be better then
using a costly crystal on ten meters. Of course, at this frequency, it
would take some effort producing a stable oscillator.
"Through hole" parts are also becoming obsolete. Spending time designing a
transceiver only to find out parts in your design are now no longer
available is not too exciting for a designer. How many guys out there per
centage wise, want to build something with 150 surface mount parts? Then
too, how many designers want to "help" guys who have built this surface
mount wonder when after it is turned on for the first time and it doesn't
The other problem I see is as the price increases, the demand falls off. I
think many of todays hams would prefer a SSB radio over an AM or FM radio.
You start getting into $150.00 for radio and cabinet and many are going to
start questioning, "Do I want to spend $150 for a one band radio? The more
you add to the project the more considerations need to be addressed. The
considerations are not all electrical but the social ones become more
I have been licensed since 1953. I love to build and restore radios. I
love boat anchors and also QRP as I can restore stuff and build stuff. I
rarely operate because I have very little in common with most hams today and
don't belong to any "group" operating on one frequency. When I do operate
it is usually on CW or talking to a close friend. I own a KW broadcast
transmitter, KW-1 all the way down to an Ameco AC-1 clone and many QRP rigs.
Just my thoughts.
----- Original Message -----
From: "CL in NC" <mjcal77 at yahoo.com>
To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 7:14 AM
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Retro 75
> This is a neat little rig, but I agree with the fellow who said he thought
> a 10 meter version would be great. Before the first iteration of the Ten
> Ten club, when it seemed like all my DX QSO's on 10 were with the British
> and Australians and they seemed to always be running a rhombic antenna, I
> remember a record being set with QRP. I believe it was 50 milliwatts of
> AM signal established a contact between New Zealand and the US somewhere.
> My little DX60 and I also never made a contact above 29mc, since all the
> box SSB gear only had one crystal for ten, 28.5 - 29, and they never
> seemed to venture above 28.7 or so at the time.
> Charlie W4MEC
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