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Re: [softrock40] Reverse Nostalgia

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  • Sid Boyce
    Oops, make that a HP1725 scope. 73 ... SId. ... -- Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 8, 2011
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      Oops, make that a HP1725 scope.
      73 ... SId.

      On 08/10/11 21:39, Sid Boyce wrote:
       

      I was licensed in 1965 but I couldn't afford any of the kits or rigs on sale then, so I started off with a 23 valve  (tube) Receiver and a 3 valve 10W CW Transmitter, both home built. A modulation transformer was beyond my means.

      My first commercial rig was a TS450S bought in 1992 from HRO in Sunnyvale Ca., I couldn't resist the much less than 1/2 UK price tag and in 1993/4 I bought the IC-737 from the same emporium.

      Over the years I built quite a few rigs including synthesized solid state rigs, parts of which e.g PA's/LPF's are ready to add to UHFSDR and HiQSDR.

      Looking at the past homebrew projects I couldn't see myself undertaking them in 2011 even with a better array of test equipment to hand. Back then I had a small transistor signal generator, a transistor dip oscillator, a home made 200MHz frequency meter which is still being used and a HP1750 oscilloscope from work which I now own and later a home made 90MHz Spectrum Analyser module.
      Even the TAK-40 single band RXTX is a mammoth project, quite complex compared to a Ensemble RXTX covering 3 bands and is quite a performer.

      The Softrock gear is a very easy proposition compared to tackling a Transceiver back in the day. It's looking even better for the future as DUC/DDC becomes more affordable, eliminating the need for a "decent" sound card that still leaves you with issues like image suppression, phase imbalance and ground loops to take care of.
      73 ... Sid.

      On 08/10/11 13:57, Peter wrote:

       

      I was first licensed as a Novice in 1971 at age 15, and my first rig was a Heathkit HW-16 CW-only transceiver covering 80, 40 and 15 meters. I think it cost $99.95, and took about 2 weeks to build after school and homework. Heathkit also offered a matched receiver (HR-10B?) and transmitter (DX-60) for Novices covering 80-10, AM and CW. I think they sold for about $100 each, but I could be wrong. The other day I started wondering what those prices would be today, adjusted for inflation. I found a calculator for that on a U.S. Government website, which told me that $100 in 1971 is equivalent to $559 in 2011. Arguably, the U.S. govenrment inflation figures are "somewhat" understated, so keep in mind that the actual 2011 equivalent might be considerably more than $559.

      A couple of years later my parents gave me an HW-101, also from Heathkit. That was a SSB and CW transceiver, 80-10 meters and 100 Watts output. I think those sold for about $300 when you included the external power supply, which would translate to $1677 today.

      One could compare an Ensemble RX II kit to the HR-10B. Of course, the Softrock requires a computer, but nearly everyone already has one anyway. The Softrock is more versatile, and probably performs better. The kit costs $56 in 2011 dollars, which is equivalent to $0.10 in 1971. $100 for an HR-10B vs. $10 for a Softrock.

      Compare the RXTX Ensemble Kit to the HW-101. OK, 1 Watt vs. 100, but the SDR is again more versatile. The $74 price in 2011 is equivalent to $13 in 1971 vs. $300 for an HW-101.

      One can buy a fully assembled, 160-10 meter, 5-Watt SDR transceiver today for around $400, which is equivalent to about $72 in 1971.

      The point is that amateur radio doesn't have to be an expensive pursuit. In fact, it's gotten a lot more affordable over the years.

      73,
      Pete Goodmann, PE, MSEE, NI9N
      www.lazydogengineering.com
      www.garage-shoppe.com
      Inconveniently located 110 km from Radioville, Indiana



      -- 
      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
      Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
      


      -- 
      Sid Boyce ... Hamradio License G3VBV, Licensed Private Pilot
      Emeritus IBM/Amdahl Mainframes and Sun/Fujitsu Servers Tech Support
      Senior Staff Specialist, Cricket Coach
      Microsoft Windows Free Zone - Linux used for all Computing Tasks
      
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