[AMRadio] Retro 75

Dave Rothermel k9dvl at comcast.net
Thu Apr 8 21:00:07 EDT 2010

I checked out wilderness radio sierra. Didn't see any AM radios!

Brett Gazdzinski wrote:
> The wilderness radio sierra does 160 to 10, has a better receiver, 5 watts 
> out, variable bandwidth, a vfo, a case, and costs about $200.00 I think.
> So I think a 10 meter AM rig could be built without a lot more expense.
> I find there are plenty of nice interesting people to talk to on AM, but not 
> during prime time.
> 80 and 40 meters weekend mornings are best for me.
> Brett
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "LEE BAHR" <pulsarxp at embarqmail.com>
> To: "Discussion of AM Radio in the Amateur Service" 
> <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 2:56 PM
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Retro 75
>> 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
>> work.
>> 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
>> important.
>> 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.
>> Lee, w0vt
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