Old Radios vs. New Radios
Wait one while I put on my Nomex flame-proof clothes!
T H E ... C U R R E N T ...S I T U A T I O N :
Now that we use computers, we are able to solve problems that we never had before. :-(
ASSERTION NUMBER 1: ALL NEW RADIOS CURRENTLY SOLD IN THE AMATEUR RADIO MARKET HAVE ONE OR MORE SERIOUS ISSUE(S) !
BUYER BEWARE !
ASSERTION NUMBER 2: THE US MANUFACTURERS / OEMs (ELECRAFT AND TEN-TEC) ARE ACTIVELY WORKING WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS THROUGH INTERNET FORUMS TO ADDRESS THESE PROBLEMS - THE JAPANESE VENDORS (ICOM, KENWOOD, AND YAESU) SEEM TO HAVE A CLOSED EAR TO USER FEEDBACK.
This claim is based on experience members of the senior management of Elecraft and Ten-Tec personally active on the forum, addressing issues. I'm sure the Japenese vendors read the forum. I just don't see much response from them, such as simply admitting that a problem exists, or a mention of "we are working on it."
SOLUTION: BUY AN OLDER RADIO (?)
ANSWER: yes and no
- Many of the problems found in todays over-computerized radios were not found in the older radios (radios with PTO-VFOs and crystal local oscillators).
- Some older radios can hear weak signals just as well as any and better than most modern radios, and have cleaner audio, thus causing less operator fatigue.
- New radios using DSP filters offer more flexible selectivity scenareos and generally have steeper bandpass curves. However, other problems associated with these radios may outweigh their filter benefit.
- Older radios cannot be computer-controlled; thus you are unable to take advantage of many of today's contesting aids, such as CW-SKIMMER, Point and Click QSY, etc.
In light of all of this, one would have to agree that old radios and new radios both have their place in ham radio. The user will have to decide which one (s)he prefers.
To be continued . . .