Radio built like a PC

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DannyB1954

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I was wondering why amateur radios were never built like a PC. You know if you want multi bands, you buy a tuner card and toss it in. You want 200 Watts, buy the power supply and amp, and put it in. This would let one customize their rig to exactly what they wanted without buying features that they did not use. Having assemblies from different manufacturers would let you pick who made the best of what you wanted. Say Icom made the best amp, but Yaesu made the best tuner. If you were not involved in digital communications, you could buy a cheap sound card that did not decode. If you later decided to get involved with it, you pull out the card and install an upgrade, without having to buy a whole new rig.

I think it would be good for the manufacturers as well. With standardized board connectors a manufacturer could make a product that would have a larger customer base, (everyone might want to buy your board because it is the best, and would install easily).
 
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jaspence

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The reason is called FCC certification. Every combination of components would have to be tested in the labs-an impossible task. That is why some software or hardware doesn't work properly on some computers. This doesn't happen very often, but it does happen. (40 years computer repair experience)
 
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DannyB1954

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Thanks for the reply, but they wouldn't be building a radio, only a component for a radio. I would think they could get their part tested to see if it met the standards.I think that computer manufacturers have to meet RF emission standards as well for their power supplies and what not.
I do understand that logic has little to do with policy when it comes to regulations.
 

jaspence

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Radio built from components

The FCC is very strict. The PSR 800 scanner rights were sold to Whistler, but they had to go through the entire process because there was a name change. The electronics are exactly as originally designed, but that isn't enough. Components coming from different sources and being assembled by non-certified individuals would have little chance under today's rules.
 

n0nhp

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However, as an amateur, you can design and build your own, Just can't sell it as a finished product.
Bruce
 

robertmac

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Well, in a way they do. I have a Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF rig, run by an Alinco power supply with a LDG tuner. It can also be tuned by the Yaesu tuner if require. It can run on batteries, AC, or DC. I would hazard a guess based on costs of a lot of PC software, hardware, that not using PC based components may be cheaper. Oh, but I can use a data cable and hook it to a PC. However, I am one that wants to use radio and not be tied to a PC.
 

NYG

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I was wondering why amateur radios were never built like a PC. You know if you want multi bands, you buy a tuner card and toss it in. You want 200 Watts, buy the power supply and amp, and put it in. This would let one customize their rig to exactly what they wanted without buying features that they did not use. Having assemblies from different manufacturers would let you pick who made the best of what you wanted. Say Icom made the best amp, but Yaesu made the best tuner. If you were not involved in digital communications, you could buy a cheap sound card that did not decode. If you later decided to get involved with it, you pull out the card and install an upgrade, without having to buy a whole new rig.

I think it would be good for the manufacturers as well. With standardized board connectors a manufacturer could make a product that would have a larger customer base, (everyone might want to buy your board because it is the best, and would install easily).
OpenHPSDR.org had a design somewhat like this. Different modules plugged into a backplane.
 

NYG

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Thanks NYG. That is the idea I was looking for. I bookmarked their web site and will spend more time there.
A lot of the components that were in that modular design were eventually turned into a single board solution. HERMES is the single board.

I think they have plans to work on a newer advanced modular design but I'm not positive.
 
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