CQ Magazine, same old, same old

Remember CQ telling us that the combined March/April issue was going to get everything back on track?

Remember the promise the May edition would arrive before Hamvention? Mine didn’t, it arrived after the Hamvention.

Well, here it is June 16th. Still no June issue of CQ. In fact, last Friday, I received the July issue of QST.

You see magazines are supposed to arrive some time the month before the publication date on the magazine.

So if you are a ham vendor who advertises in CQ, see about getting your Christmas advertisement in the October issue so people can see it in November or December when the magazine may or may not come out; who knows for sure.

Also noticed on the May issue mailing label, it no longer shows my subscription expiration date is which is both interesting and concerning.

I hope they make it, I really do. But they have handled this ordeal so poorly that I just don’t think they are going to make it since they have alienated so many of their customers.

If they make it another five years, I will be surprised.

TenTec Advertising, or lack of any

I was surprised when I was paging through the July issue of QST, that there were no advertisements from TenTec!

Usually when someone stops advertising, that is not a good omen. I know they are moving their facility, but that is not until Fall so why stop advertising? A very curious situation indeed.

Within the past few years we saw them bring out a crippled QRP rig, drop their high-end transceiver, add a couple of new open source software based QRP radios, but have added no new kits in quite some time.

I hope this does not mean TenTec is having money issues and therefore cannot afford to advertise.

Radio Shack Earnings

Radio Shack reported earnings today. They were again negative and the loss was almost double what the analysts had expected. The stock now sells for almost $1.00 a share. Actually it is around $1.35 this morning in pre-market.

The CEO blames the loss on a slowing of electronics sales. Well duh.

Did anyone ever consider the possibility that Radio Shack does not have the products people want? I cannot buy products I need if you do not have them in the stores.

Radio Shack lost its way a long time ago and it is suffering a slow agonizing death. Again, I doubt they will be in business 5 years from now.

Important lesson here. When you abandon your customers, your customers will abandon you.

Thinking about buying Ten-Tec? Might want to wait until September!

Ten-Tec is moving their headquarters. As a result, they are saying that they are going to have a big sale in September. Here is the announcement from their website:

Dear Ten-Tec customers and friends,

Hamfest at Ten-Tec has been cancelled this year due to our plans to relocate in early fall.

After enjoying 46 years in our headquarters on Dolly Parton Parkway, we are actively seeking a new location in Sevierville that will offer more modern and energy-efficient facilities, a new showroom, and a much-needed upgrade in working environment for staff.

Our current facility and property are already under contract, and, as a result, they will not be available for our annual Hamfest open house and flea market. And, chances are, in September we’ll be neck-high in boxes and crates preparing for our move.

So, in lieu of our weekend Hamfest, we’re planning to celebrate the entire month of September with a moving sale, offering not-to-be-beat discounts and incomparable specials on Tentec.com.

Stay tuned for more details about the moving sale. And, in the meantime, come see what’s new at Ten-Tec at Booths 548-550 at Dayton Hamvention, May 16-18.

Jim Wharton, NO4A


So my advice if you are thinking of buying one of their radios at the Dayton Hamvention or sometime during the Summer, try and hold off until September and get a discount. Sounds like you’ll get a much better price if you can wait until September.

More reasons for DStar over DMR

I have been following Jerry Wanger’s comments on his work designing a DStar handheld to be introduced later this year. Jerry is president of Connect Systems and has already designed and selling a DMR radio at an affordable price. Now he wants to make DStar radios more affordable.

Jerry hopes to have a radio that can be upgraded to other digital methods so that one hand-held can work on a variety of digital methods including Codec2.

On the Yahoo discussion there were some comments he made about having to pay DVSI for using the codec as well as having to pay Motorola for license fees for Mototrbo (or related technologies) which is Motorola’s implementation of DMR. So apparently DMR is not always DMR and while Mototrbo is DMR, DMR is not always Mototrbo.

Don’t believe me? Take a look here: http://www.motorolasolutions.com/US-EN/Technology_Licensing/Standards-Based+Licensing/DMR+Essentials+Licensing+Program

There are no license fees for DStar other than for the DVSI codec.

So DStar is DStar. A completely open standard.

DMR is open, or maybe not if you have to pay Motorola license fees. But maybe license fees are only if you use Motorola’s implementation of DMR which means DMR is not DMR and can very from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on how someone may want to proprietarily enhance their “version” of DMR. What a freaking nightmare.

But people like Northwest Digital Radio, DutchStar, and now Connect Systems are all making or in the process of making DStar radios proving again that DStar is completely open.

You would expect this since DStar was designed by amateurs for amateurs specifically and only for the amateur marketplace.

DMR was designed by commercial interests for a commercial marketplace without consideration for amateurs. Hence why with DStar you register your call and you can use any DStar Gateway anywhere with any DStar capable radio that you programmed your call into. With DMR you register EACH radio.