Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Buying rare Japanese QRP rigs and accessories
I've never done this and probably never will.
But I know some out there collect or at least interested in older solid state QRP gear, say from the '70s or '80s.
Japan had millions of people go through its basic amateur radio licence, which has a ten watt power limit, in the 1970s and 1980s. It had a substantial industry producing QRP rigs for this market. Some made it outside Japan but I suspect not many were sold.
Names like Mizuho and (ironically) Tokyo Hy-power spring to mind. Because many people don't have a lot of space for antennas a fair lot of gear was produced for the higher HF and VHF bands. Especially, it would seem, 21 and 50 MHz. And if you were in an apartment or small house you could put up a small vertical or dipole and get some long distance contacts on those bands.
How do you get some of this stuff?
You can import it.
But how? Especially if the seller will only ship domestically.
The answer is you use an intermediary company who buys it locally, charges you a fee and sends it to you.
Techmoan explains how all this works (he specialises in audio gear, particularly obscure recording formats). Sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth but where there's a will there's a way.
Anyway I looked on the Jauce website (one of the middleman websites) to see what ham gear you could find. Searching 'QRP' didn't produce much. But 'Mizuho' did. For instance some 6m AM rigs and small handheld HF transceivers. Have a look here for yourself. Also try Tokyo Hy-Power. And other websites and brands.
There's obviously costs and risks, the gear may be old and there may be less recourse if there are problems. But if an FT817 is too plain for you and you absolutely have to have vintage Japanese novelty gear then you now know where to start looking.
PS: Want to read about antennas? Consider this selection of antenna books. They are affiliate links meaning that I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase.
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