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JR Retro Radio

Old 02-25-2016, 12:10 PM
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jaymen's Avatar
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Default JR Retro Radio

Wow, a $900.00 "retro" computerized radio in a Prince Albert tobacco can. I'm amazed they do not include a receiver at that price.

I have several GDA-47 Heathkits with the same case and cool krinkle blue paint finish. So far I have converted 3 of them to 2.4 Ghz and sold them on eBay. The highest bidding went to $120.00 and it included a FrSky receiver. I quit doing the conversions because the cost of buying a DIY module, matching receiver, the vintage GD-47 transmitter, and the actual re-wiring and conversion came to about the same as the auction, so I was giving my work away for free. So now, I do conversions, but only on customers radios.

It takes me about a day or two to do one of these conversions, give or take, because you have to get the old radio working properly first. Then there is the time spent ordering all the stuff, installing it, plus I build a custom conversion board to interface the old electronics and meter to the new 2.4 Ghz module.

As far as retro goes, if it has a computer, what is retro about that? I suppose however that a Micro-Pro 8000 is now considered vintage, but at least it has all metal open ginbal sticks that are high quality.

I was recently thinking that my coversion fee, plus the parts might bee too much for most people to consider having their old radio updated to 2.4GHz, but after seeing the JR price tag, it makes me realize that conversions are a bargain, and way cooler because they are authentic...the real thing.
Old 02-25-2016, 03:59 PM
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I hear ya, Jay. I do quite a number of these conversions, too, but finally decided to streamline the process by gutting the donor and installing my own uP encoder. I originally thought customers would be sensitive to having the 'fidelity' of an original encoder, but find reliability and quick setup time to be more valuable qualities. Much less hassle for how little we make on these.

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