As I mentioned in the last podcast, we've been in some pretty serious negotiations with a new sponsor that I think is going to bring some MAJOR changes to the podcast.
"Homebrew 4 U" 家釀的你 is an innovative new company based in Fakeszuhow, China. Up until now they specialized in custom circuit board manufacturing, but they recently contacted us with an expansion idea that we found very interesting. They have been listening to the podcast, reading the ham radio magazines, and monitoring the U.S. amateur frequencies (especially 75 and 40). They noticed some things:
Most hams DO NOT build their own gear.... but many seem to feel vaguely guilty about this. They seem to react with unease when they encounter a ham using a homebrew rig. They grow defensive and scornful. The jealousy is quite palpable. Obviously there is an exploitable niche in those sentiments!
Many hams express a DESIRE to build gear but then follow-up and say they "have no time" (what with all the contesting, video games, NASCAR, and golf!)
Other hams say that they really want to build their own gear, but don't know anything about electronics (even though they are Extra Class -- how did that happen?) and they don't really want to learn.
Some hams say they would really like to build their own gear but find parts of the process quite distasteful. Like winding toroidal coils. Or reading schematics. And then there's all that soldering! But they insist that in spite of all this distaste for actual building, they really DO want to join the ranks of the homebrewers.
So.... Homebrew 4 U is developing a FANTASTIC product line that meets the needs of these guilty, busy, knowledge-free, toroid hating, solder-averse homebrew wannabes!
On April 1, 2016, Homebrew 4 U will roll out a line of GENUINE homebrew radios. To bolster their genuiness, they will henceforth be referred to not as radios but as "RIGS" (nice touch, don't you think?)
Unless the buyers select the optional "really build" option (see below), each "rig" will be complete and ready to operate. And here is the beautiful part: it will be a genuine homebrew rig, BECAUSE the company is doing all their work in an actual HOME in Fakezuhow! Pretty great huh? So you WILL be able to proudly announce on 40 meters that you are running a homebrew rig (Remember: rig, not radio!)
Each of the H4U rigs will share some common features, all designed to provide the proud buyer (I mean homebrewer) with opportunities to remind people that he is running a genuine homebrew rig:
-- They will drift a bit. Not too much, but enough to provide you with the chance to mention that your "rig" is "homebrew." Prepare to be envied my friends!
-- The frequency readout will be set up to put you automatically on "wrong" frequencies.
Like 7.162.025 instead of the "correct" 7.162.000000000000000000000000000000000000. Again, another opportunity to gloat. Pretty neat, huh?
-- The audio quality on SSB will be SUPERB. EXCELLENT. This will provide some wonderful opportunities to compare signals with the Enhanced SSB gang. Yours will sound as good or better than theirs, and you can follow-up by telling them that you are using a Radio Shack electret mic element, a one transistor mic amp, and NO EQUALIZER. They'll love it!
REALLY BUILD OPTION: For those wanting to enhance the truthiness of their on-the-air homebrew experience, for just a few dollars extra, H4U will leave one part UNCONNECTED. You will then be able to make that critical final connection (don't worry, it won't be a toroid, and the connection will be via alligator clips -- if you've gone this far we know you don't own a soldering iron!). You will thus be able to tell your envious interlocutors about the happy day when you "finished" your radio. I mean rig. You know what I mean.
Pete is heading out to China this week to supervise the manufacturing (I mean the homebrewing). Thanks Pete! Skype in OM!
So remember, the roll-out is set for April 1, 2016. Watch out Yaesu!
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