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Re: LF: Rad Com / critical mass etc

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Rad Com / critical mass etc
From: "Mike Dennison" <[email protected]>
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2008 09:44:41 +0100
In-reply-to: <[email protected]>
References: <[email protected]>
Reply-to: [email protected]
Sender: [email protected]
David is quite wrong in thinking that any lack of technical articles 
in RadCom is because the Editor wants a quiet life. There is almost 
no backlog of construction articles, but many on expeditions etc. I 
am certain that the Editor would be delighted to receive one on 
500kHz, or almost any other subject for that matter. The best 
approach in the first instance is to contact the Technical Editor 
(and former Acting Ediitor), Giles Read. 

Mike, G3XDV

> I think it may have been me who picked up  Mal's expression "fizzled 
> out" and applied it to the technical content, in particular
> construction  articles, in Rad Com.
> Trying a little more seriously to look at the lack of activity on 500k
> and  the content of Rad Com, I would say that the two are related. I
> can understand how the change in content in our magazine reflects 
> similar unfortunate changes in other publications. I suspect this is
> primarily  driven by the desire to cut costs, after all changing to a
> news based format  allows the editor/s to simply cut and paste
> articles from one source into the  blank pages which will become a
> future Rad Com.  As a good example of cut  and paste journalism, take
> a look at the 'announcement' of Tent Speakers  from a company called
> 'Blacks' on page 10 of the August edition.  You don't  have to read
> very far into that article to immediately see that it has been  lifted
> from some piece of advertising junk mail that's arrived at the office.
>  Heavily and badly edited, it's reduced size leaves out more facts
> than it  conveys. What for example is an EVA shell? Or come to that
> NXT speakers? We'll  never know, because that information didn't make
> it into the space the editor  had to fill. - A really good example of
> poor editing and production.  It's complete tat.
> So, what's the link to 500k activity?  Well, this group largely 
> consists of very capable individuals who can use a soldering iron and
> many of  those can actively design equipment of some sort for 500k.
> The thing we all lack  is time and frequently we like to save those
> long designing tasks for something  that's right at the top of our
> interest agenda. There would undoubtedly be more  500k operators if
> tested and widely published designs were available. But we  need more
> than that. To really kick start 500k, someone needs to produce either 
>  kits or finished modules and that is where RadCom can be vital.  In
>  the  
> past I have produced designs and kits for 136kHz. The 300W amplifier
> kit was  one, and the completed ready to go 136kHz preamp, designed by
> Dave G3YXM, was  another. I was really surprised that although the
> preamp was only a handful of  components, people would choose to buy
> it assembled and tested rather than build  it themselves. Somewhere
> out there are 150 preamps and 50  300W transmitter  kits which must
> have had some effect on 136k activity. Unfortunately, it costs quite a
> lot to make a kit available. You need  minimum order quantities for
> PCBs to make it cost effective, and a kit that  contains a few inches
> of say, 28 SWG wire means you have to buy a reel......and  so on and
> so on. Having an article published in RadCom was key to making a kit
> viable.   But now, there are no significant articles being published.
> If, I submit an  article am I going to be told, we don't do that any
> more, or we like most  magazines commission articles?
> Basically, last year I looked at 500k as a possible opportunity for 
> designing a DDS driven transmitter. 100W out, little 2 line LCD, PIC 
> microcontroller running a DDS. - All fairly straightforward and if run
> from 12V,  a project that would attract people onto 500k. But the
> single reason why that  didn't happen was because at the time when I
> had the idea, Rad Com hadn't  published a single significant
> construction article in the previous 12  months.
> It takes about 300 - £400 to get something like this started. With no
> means  of promoting it, those components just sit around selling one
> or two every 6  months. The people who buy them arrive at an
> uninhabited 500k and mostly  give up. It needs a certain momentum to
> get it started. If 30 people arrive on  the band in a short space of
> time, others think, that sounds like fun, I'll join 
>  them and you have sustained interest.
>  Of course you can just put a design on the web, but then you  lose
>  the 
> ability to get a 'critical mass' of people on the band.
> With RadCom going to a newspaper format with almost zero 'freelance' 
> technical content, small kit suppliers and individuals are simply
> unwilling to  take the risk.
> Hope that helps
> David G0MRF
> In a message dated 17/07/2008 08:22:10 GMT Standard Time,
> [email protected]  writes:
> To me  the important point that I tried to make in my posting, which
> has drawn no  comment, is the one I made about getting people to write
> up  their experimental work for publication, and specifically that
> concerning  500kHz.
> To maintain progress on gaining a long-term allocation  around 500kHz
> we will need to raise the profile nationally and  internationally of
> work undertaken on 500kHz.  One way of doing this  is to get a few
> good technical articles written, not just sharing knowledge  but
> encouraging others and providing suitable designs to enable them to 
> join in; good construction articles can do just that. 
> 73 John,  G3WKL

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