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 Post subject: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Location: Upstate NY, USA
Looks like SSTRAN is done. Saying they are no longer accepting orders and giving refunds for current orders.

http://www.sstran.com

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 2:27 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, NC 28412 USA
So Sad.

I don't think he ever made much of a profit from this.

I wish him only the Best in the future

Bob T


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 3:28 pm 
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It would be nice if someone who was capable of handling production at the volume of orders they got would be offered the opportunity to purchase the rights to the design and manufacture of those transmitters, as there is a small but steady market for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Agreed!
There are other kit sellers such as Far Circuits or Kanga US who could potentially take the reigns.

The SSTRAN is the best going, and it shouldn't die.
I have a 3000 but was ready to buy a 5000. But after reading the posts about them, I held back.

-Steve

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Last edited by azenithnut on Nov Tue 14, 2017 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Ft. Worth, TX, USA
The SSTRAN kits occupied a sweet spot in the market between the cheap modulated oscillator junk and the expensive type-certtied units like the Rangemaster and similar transmitters. But these kits are a bit of an outdated design in my opinion. The way forward is using DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) as opposed to PLL like the SSTRAN.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Wow, glad I bought mine last year then.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 20, 2009 3:37 am
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Location: Long Island, NY
I'm a bit disappointed. I have an SSTRANS AMT3000 and really liked the build quality of it. I had hoped that they would get caught up on orders and I was thinking of an AMT5000...
It's pretty sad when you can have a top rated product that is in demand and can't make a decent profit off it.
Rob


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Location: Ft. Worth, TX, USA
rdusel wrote:
I'm a bit disappointed. I have an SSTRANS AMT3000 and really liked the build quality of it. I had hoped that they would get caught up on orders and I was thinking of an AMT5000...
It's pretty sad when you can have a top rated product that is in demand and can't make a decent profit off it.
Rob


From what I gathered reading the "SSTRAN warning" thread, he shot himself in the foot by not raising prices as the parts costs went up over time. Add to this the total lack of communication, and he looks like a good engineer but a lousy businessman. So I'm short on sympathy for SSTRAN here.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 6:53 pm 
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A place like Sparkfun could easily add this kit to their other kits and they would have the necessary funds to modernize it such that it is still a good if not better product.

They could even take it a step further and make it something that could be used with a Raspberry pi or other things similar that they sell.

Imagine Sparkfun selling a kit with the transmitter on a board to fit the pi, a pi, the necessary stereo tools processing software and programs for music playback/streaming.

A complete stand alone part 15 radio station in one package.

Who wouldn't like that?


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 8:35 pm 
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As much as the SSTRAN fellow had trouble fulfilling orders in a timely fashion, and as much as we all complained about it, I still wonder if there was very little profit per unit. And how much volume is there really?

My hunch is that it was always a labor of love, and he finally said "It just ain't worth it anymore."

There probably isn't enough investment value as a business unless there was someone who wanted to continue it as a labor of love.

Mark K8KZ


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Oct Thu 02, 2014 5:57 am
Posts: 492
Location: Memphis, TN
Honestly, I'd buy one as a 'short kit' where the only thing you got was an instruction manual and the board with the IC soldered in. Everything else could be easily found on Mouser or something. I'm sure it takes a lot of time per kit to pack everything.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Erich Loepke wrote:
The SSTRAN kits occupied a sweet spot in the market between the cheap modulated oscillator junk and the expensive type-certtied units like the Rangemaster and similar transmitters. But these kits are a bit of an outdated design in my opinion. The way forward is using DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) as opposed to PLL like the SSTRAN.

Agreed +1 They have been around since 2003 and needed a upgrade in their product.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 11:13 pm 
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I'm not sure why you guys think it is an outdated product? So you need to set dip-switches to change frequency? How often do you need to do that?

Set it, and its on frequency! what more do you need?

It is a well engineered product that produces quality AM Broadcast transmission within the part 15 rules.

Adding DDS with a micro controller and a display would only add to the cost, then again possibly produce interference with the micro controllers clock.

As for using the Raspberry Pi, they need to improve the sound quality of the audio output. Its TERRIBLE!

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Tue 14, 2017 11:29 pm 
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Outdated? How can the transmitter be outdated when the radios, that are used to tune in the transmitter, are way more outdated? In fact, some of them are almost a century out of date.

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 1:09 am 
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Location: Broadview Hts. / NE Ohio
Wow....

Wonder what happened to them....

Maybe taking an extended break?

Lenny


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 2:08 am 
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azenithnut wrote:

As for using the Raspberry Pi, they need to improve the sound quality of the audio output. Its TERRIBLE!

-Steve


Forget which version of the pi required for stereo tools, but I think it's the most powerful one.

Audio quality won't much matter far as treble is concerned unless one has a HI-FI AM radio they are transmitting to.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 2:26 am 
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It looks like it is time to design a "clone".

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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 2:32 am 
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Location: Ft. Worth, TX, USA
I did a prototype low-level modulated transmitter on a solderless breadboard of all things and got no digital noise on any radio I used. I had a DDS evaluation board and an Arduino with LCD display running all the time right next to the RF stuff with long wires attached. It should perform even better with a proper PC board layout and construction. No worries about noise, and that was something I was concerned about beforehand. Changing to 9kHz channel spacing is a simple software change as opposed to having to use a different reference crystal with a PLL synthesizer.

I could argue that the on-board audio compressor was an unneeded expense on the SSTRAN as well since I use a computer with an automation program which has simple but effective compression as an option, and from what I see, hard-core Part 15 microbroadcasters use either computer-based or outboard audio processors anyway. The compressor is really only useful if you're using LPs/45s or CDs as a source.

As far as us using the transmitters on old radios, I prefer to have a high quality source even if the radios aren't all that great to begin with (and yes, I'm sure the SSTRANs qualify even though I have no experience with them). I have built the simple transmitter types years ago and found them lacking either in audio quality and/or having too much oscillator drift. One I did from an old magazine article didn't even put out a true AM waveform; rather it looked like the carrier and modulation were simply added together instead of mixed (multiplied).

Yes, the DIP switch PLL stuff works and works well, but I would think the perceived value would be higher for something with a digital display and ease of setting operating frequency from the front panel.


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 3:03 am 
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Tube Radio wrote:
azenithnut wrote:

As for using the Raspberry Pi, they need to improve the sound quality of the audio output. Its TERRIBLE!

-Steve


Forget which version of the pi required for stereo tools, but I think it's the most powerful one.

Audio quality won't much matter far as treble is concerned unless one has a HI-FI AM radio they are transmitting to.


Its not so much treble which suffers, its the whole audio spectrum.
The Pi has a VERY noisy background and almost sounds like 8 bit audio.

I've used the Pi 2B and 3B quite a bit.
They are both very similar in power, but the 3B has WiFi and Bluetooth built-in.

I've tried Raspian, Ubuntu Mate and RISC OS on my Raspberry Pis. One of them I use at a friends place when i stay over which is often.
It is more powerful than my old G4 iMac. :D

As it comes, the only MP3 player installed is OMXPLAYER which is command line only.
I've not tried to find a graphical MP3 player yet as I don't care for the sound quality of the thing.

It will play YouTube audio about best as expected, but even then once in a while the sound is terribly garbled.

-Steve

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-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: Looks Like SSTRAN is finished
PostPosted: Nov Wed 15, 2017 4:25 am 
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He deserves an award for providing something so useful to so many of us, probably at almost no profit.

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