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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our New Sponsor: HOMEBREW 4 U! 家釀的你


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! 

 Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. What is "Homebrewing"? It sounds like a new age hippy way to make tea.

  3. Great news, Bill - you and Pete should be proud! Now all I have to do is finish my collection of unbuilt kits so that I can be ready for some REAL homebrew rigs next April 1. I can hardly wait.

    You guys rock!

  4. well done bill good idea on April the first..hi....

  5. Great idea! What innovators! There could be a 27Mhz version to greatly expand your potential customer base. Don't forget the accessories either... echo mics.. leenears... gold plated alligator clips for better quality connections... you call in genuine Sharpie added to the pcb for a small fee...

    The possibilities are endless!

  6. I have already dispatched a process server to Fakeszuhow, China to serve a Cease & Desist order due to obvious Copyright and Patent infringement. Just as soon as he can find that 'home' in Fakeszuhow where all this 'homebrewing' is taking place, the days of Homebrew For U! will be numbered and the entire operation will be squashed like a dead bug. Unfortunately, my process server is more comfortable negotiating the avenues of Manhattan construction sites than the back alleys and workshops in Fakeszuhow. He has tweeted point to point details of his mission as he progresses along his task and the project is beginning to sound fruitless... but I have faith in his problem solving skills. So you had better get your order in today, as on April 2nd, I'm sure that this quickie avenue to homebrew operation will be over!

    President SPHRA
    Society for the Prevention of Homebrew Rig Attainment Shortcuts

    1. Rex: We are not intimidated. We are represented by the law firm of Dewey, Cheetum and Howe! So take you best shot OM. Bill

  7. The timing on this seems a bit funny.

  8. Ustedes Homebrew???? really???? made in Fakezuhow China.....

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Can't wait to get my hands on a real prebuilt homebrew rig from fakezhity!!

  11. Hey - I recognize that little home-brew project............ :-)


    1. Dave: You will be granted stock options. Bill

  12. (I can repeat myself! No worries!)

    April fool's day!
    Interesting idea though!!!

  13. Well written Bill - it was a great read and you really had me for the first few paragraphs. Just going to ebay to order some striped paint, skyhooks and some screws with the points on the bottom instead of the top.

  14. Bill -- can we arrange to market this with my new self-stick antenna? It tunes from 1 to 50, 000 MHz with a 1:1 VSWR and needs no tuner and offers infinite radiation resistance.

  15. I'm concerned. As a true home-brewer, how can I add these to my stock of unbuilt kits waiting to be built - a hombrewer identity item -- if they are already built? Great minds want to know!

  16. Only if the rigs come installed on a cheap piece of cardboard so I can post pictures of it on my twitter/facebook/pintrest/etc and make repeated claims that "I just need to box it up" or "I just need to find the right case for it."

  17. Another great feature is that being built in China, it will not work at first power on, like a real homebrew rig.

    73, Yan - XV4Y.

  18. I have been home brewing all of my life and now I find out from you guys that my home brew rigs were supposed to work? Basta!

    73, Tim - N4CNU

  19. And here I thought all this Arduino talk was the April fools joke. Talk about fake homebrewing! Ha, just kiddin. You guys are great, keep it up!

  20. I haven't had such a good laugh in a long time.
    Keep up the good work!


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