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Old August 4th 07, 10:35 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?

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Interesting, and apropos, item in "Electronic Design" from March of
this year:

"Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?"

http://www.elecdesign.com/Articles/I...rticleID=15076

- --
73, Paul W. Schleck, K3FU

http://www.novia.net/~pschleck/
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Old August 5th 07, 05:15 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?


"Paul W. Schleck" wrote in message
...


"Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?"


Part (not all) of the allure of kits and homebrewing was "I can build it cheaper
than buying". The price of labor has gone down as a percentage of manufacturing
costs, so purchased-ready-built has gone down over the years.

73, BGO



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Old August 5th 07, 07:28 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?

On Aug 5, 12:15?pm, "Gr?mw?tch th? ?nfl?pp?bl?"
wrote:

Part (not all) of the allure of kits and
homebrewing was "I can build it cheaper
than buying". The price of labor has gone
down as a percentage of manufacturing
costs, so purchased-ready-built has gone
down over the years.


That's certainly one big factor. Here are some
mo

The cost of new parts bought in large quantities
is much lower than the single-unit or small-quantity
cost.

The availability of a wide range of
surplus and used parts at prices far
below new has diminished.

Unless something exceptional is built, the
resale value of homebrew is usually but
a small fraction of the cost of all new parts.

None of this is really new, however.

Many years ago, I wondered what it
would cost to build a project out of
the old ARRL Handbook, circa 1960.
I had a 1959 Newark catalog for pricing
out the parts.

The project I chose was a simple 2 stage
transmitter of the type Novices would have
used in those days. Nominally 50 watts input,
plug-in coils, etc.

By the time I got done adding up all
of the individual parts prices,
the total was well over $50.

This was back when a Heath DX-20 kit
was only $36, and the EF Johnson
Viking Adventurer was $55.

These prices do not count tools, so
the difference is even greater because
homebrewing would require metalworking tools
that the kits did not.

OTOH, the little company called Elecraft has
sold over 8000 transceiver kits in recent years,
with minimal advertising.

However, it should be noted that their new K3
is available as either a no-soldering "PC-kit"
or factory assembled.

The first two production runs of the K3 are
already sold out.

73 de Jim, N2EY


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Old August 5th 07, 10:12 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?



"Grmwtch th nflppbl"
wrote in
message
"Paul W. Schleck" wrote in
message ...


"Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?"


Part (not all) of the allure of kits and homebrewing was
"I can build it cheaper than buying". The price of labor
has gone down as a percentage of manufacturing costs, so
purchased-ready-built has gone down over the years.
73, BGO


I've never been a great constructor, due in part to the fact that I've
never lived anywhere with sufficient space to have a decent workbench.

However, the one item I did build of which I am still intensely proud was
a terminal unit for a good old mechanical teleprinter to use on RTTY, back
in the days before computers ruined it ;-)

It took me a long time, but it was one of a kind. It had all sorts of
bells & whistles that "standard" TU's didn't have and was built into a
housing for a telex control unit to match the teleprinter.

Unfortunately, it got destroyed, along with the Creed 444 that it
connected to, in a house fire in 1990 :-(


73 Ivor G6URP


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Old August 13th 07, 02:35 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?

Ivor Jones wrote:
"Grmwtch th nflppbl"
wrote in
message
"Paul W. Schleck" wrote in
message ...

"Whatever Happened to the Electronics Hobbyist?"

Part (not all) of the allure of kits and homebrewing was
"I can build it cheaper than buying". The price of labor
has gone down as a percentage of manufacturing costs, so
purchased-ready-built has gone down over the years.
73, BGO


I've never been a great constructor, due in part to the fact that I've
never lived anywhere with sufficient space to have a decent workbench.

However, the one item I did build of which I am still intensely proud was
a terminal unit for a good old mechanical teleprinter to use on RTTY, back
in the days before computers ruined it ;-)



I believe that there are still significant numbers of builders out
there. I'm one of them, and I know quite a few others.

Paul's link to the story that speaks to the issue is a very good read,
even if I'm not in total agreement, simply because as a person who is
hooked on creating things, I always wondered why more people weren't
into the activity.

There probably will never be a lot of us though, and as our buying
patterns shift to the internet instead of local parts stores, we become
a bit more obscure.

There's nothing like assembling and operating on a piece of equipment
that you build yourself. If you did the actual design, it's an even
bigger treat - taking nothing away from building from a kit though. It's
all good.

Just in the last couple years, I've built:

VHF/UHF J-Pole antenna
1/4 wave VHF Ground plane
2 OCF Dipoles
General purpose dipoles and band specific dipoles.
40-15 meter magloop antenna
UHF yagis (in progress)
Parabolic GHz antenna (in progress)
Digital interface boxes for soundcard modes and computer control of rigs.
Radio direction finders.(in progress)
custom mic/headsets
Shack interfaces

Transceivers have indeed become pretty complex, and are now a niche
market for builders - but they are still out there.

- 73 de Mike KB3EIA -



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