Made in America…

Posted: May 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


I was walking around the Dayton Hamvention last weekend, looking at all of the new gear. I was really impressed by the turnout of radio & antenna manufacturers, as well as those who make ham radio accessories such as logging programs, CW keys, cables etc.

Then something struck me. Much of the technology that I was marveling at in Dayton is made in America. That’s right, Elecraft, Flex Radio, Ten Tec, Alpha Amplifiers, Force 12, M2 Antennas, SteppIR, Vibroplex, Green Heron, Cushcraft, Hy-Gain and many other fine amateur radio products are made in America.

Not only are these products made in America, but many of these companies are extremely innovative and make very high quality products. Elecraft, Flex and Ten Tec are known as some of the best transceivers. Alpha Amplifiers are known as some of the best, most rugged amplifiers. Force 12, M2 Antennas and SteppIR are well known for their performance and innovation.

It’s nice to see that many high quality amateur radio products are still made in America.

What do you think?

  1. Rick says:

    De WA6NHC

    It is one of the reasons I chose Elecraft, made and designed in America, While the components may come from a variety of places, the board creation and stuffing and testing is done here. I feel strongly about this and buy US whenever I can (which isn’t often enough). The other primary reason for Elecraft was customer service, no one does it better. (Another reason is that it was designed by hams that appreciate QUALITY and performance, regardless of cost, yet manage to keep the prices reasonable. They also USE the products as much as the rest of us so they ‘get it’.)

    As for Ten Tec, I’m worried. Due to the recent experiences of a neighbor ham, it appears that the sale then resale has already reduced customer care. Certainly the level of product is slipping, his new rig was sent back twice with lab proven issues, but it was “working as designed” upon return to factory. He told them to keep it, send the money back and he bought an Icom (couldn’t budget for Elecraft). Last year this would have been inconceivable.

    A lot of US ham product companies now share the same address. I don’t think this is a good sign since the quality control issues of the parent company are well shown to be greatly lacking. When it comes to expensive products, I will demand that it work as advertised, out of the box, every time. A roll of the dice is never acceptable.

    The Asians are great at copying; that is what made their industry. Because of the culture, thinking out of the box is not normally well received there (“The nail that rises up, is beaten down.”; “The quacking duck gets shot.”). There is change, but it’s slow in arriving.

    The KenYeaCom radios are not the primary focus of the company but is one division of many product lines and there is no telling if they ever use their own products. Customer service with the manufacturer, if available, stinks; being both costly and taking up months instead of days. When my Kenwood radios fail, I send it to a well known Kenwood repair shop or authorized repair center, a month later, it reappears.

    They don’t update as well or as often as American radios, which also add new features or refinements in response to customer input. While others upgrade sporadically, there is little if any response to customer complaints or requests; talking to a rock is more practical.

    In the meantime, it is my intent to buy American as much as I can, even if it costs more. I’m not an isolationist, but I grow tired of sending money to other nations and I want to see Americans return to be the king of the hill again.

    Rick wa6nhc

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