Long term availability of spare parts for FRS equipment

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  • Updated 10 months ago
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I consider buying a new Power Genius and  it is going to be my main amplifier for many years to come. My concern is the availability of major spare parts for it. Can we expect that they will be available in say five,ten or more years' time? One can ask the same question about other equipment manufactured by FRS.

Tom, SP7WT
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Tom

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Posted 11 months ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The finals will likely be available for a long time to come. They are LDMOS of type 1K50H and devices of these type are pin compatible. The control circuitry will likely have to be obtained from Flex or Sky Sat. 
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Mike va3mw

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You can ask this question of any electronics vendor, not just FRS.  None of us can predict the future in this regard.  Electronics manufacturers will continue to build parts as long as they continue to sell parts are are profitable.   
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Tom, as Michael indicated, component availability is a concern for any electronics product manufacturer.  The reality is that at some point every component will be superseded by something else.  If the new component is a drop in replacement, all is well.  If not, then the manufacturers who make and support products that use those components must take action to ensure a long service lifespan.

At FlexRadio, we proactively handle this situation in several ways.  We have close relationships with the vendors of the more unique and critical components we use.  We are notified well in advance of a component nearing end of life and are offered "last buys" so that we have plenty of the part on hand for manufacturing and serviceability needs.  We look to alternate suppliers and components to make our production decisions.  In some cases, as in the recent end of production of the FLEX-1500, it was more cost effective to discontinue manufacturing the radio and ensure we have plenty of the components that are harder to come by to ensure a long service lifespan.

Second, with our recent Trade In / Trade Up programs, we set aside a certain number of radios we receive so that we can harvest boards, parts, and components that extend the serviceability of our products beyond that of the "last buy" described above.

As an example of how well this works for us, the SDR-1000, our very first product, was discontinued 10 years ago.   It has many components that are no longer available. But due to our proactive planning, those radios are still being successfully serviced today and in most cases can be put back into operation.

We will do the same for all hardware products we manufacturer, including the PowerGenius.  I can't make any forward-looking statements on how long we'll be able to service a product other than to say we make great strides to ensure a long service lifespan and we'll continue to do so in the future.
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO

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Quite a detailed answer Tim. Thanks for the insight.
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WA2SQQ

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AFAIK Flex still supports their first radios. My old reliable Kenwood TS-930 was orphaned long ago by Kenwood. How about Tokyo Hi-Power? They were a very well known Japanese company that I'm now told is gone. With 47 years already invested into this hobby, I've yet to see any company equal the initiatives that FRS demonstrates to maintain customer satisfaction. I would not have any hesitation in purchasing the amp.