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.  

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  1. I watched Techmoans video a few days ago, I really have to ask was it really worth it for a bit of 2nd hand Umpteen year old kit, with all the eXtra charges humped on the final cost?

    One also has to remember, he has Patreons who sponsor his junk buying. So it is bit unfair to the rest of us that don't have such an abundance of spare cash to play the import game at someone elses expense.

    Maybe better buys from your local paper, Ham Mags, and of course sometimes eBay (if your lucky)of course there is now Facebook Market place, but it is always better if you can to try and see the equipment and try it out, instead of taking the gamble.

    73 Steve

  2. I also forgot to mention. That the equipment was 100V working, so a Stepdown transformer is also required, as here in the UK it is 230/240V. Another expense! Although on some kit there might be a link to change over or just a switch to throw over. But I don't think so in his case as it was just made for the Japan market.

    73 Steve


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