With a stunning new technology, a well known company has decided to re-enter the Amateur market. Will they re-invent Ham Radio when they do?
BUFFALO, NY — An upstate New York company has announced the development of a new technology with profound implications for modern communications, including Amateur Radio. Dr. Robert F. “RF” Burns, president of Buffalo Chip Technology, provided some information at an April 1st press conference.
“We have successfully created what amounts to a very high gain, very broadbanded directional antenna in a single computer chip smaller than a book of matches. Our discovery of Enhanced Integrated Electronic Input/Output (EIE-I/O) has enormous potential”
Montgomery Scott, chief engineer for the Enterprise, added some details. “While it is true that you cannot change the laws of physics, it is sometimes possible to use them creatively. What we have done here is exactly that.” Scott went on to explain some of the background behind the breakthrough. “Until now, electronic theory has described radio propagation in terms of Sine Waves. One of our laddies, Jim Tiberius, started looking instead at Cosine Waves. This led to the discovery of EIE-I/O, and the subsequent development of the CosineOptimized Waveform Chip. C.O.W. chips may represent the most significant advance in electronics since the Di-Lithium Crystal.”
“Unlike Sine waveforms, which vary in length depending on frequency, Cosine Optimized Waveforms are almost uniformly short across the entire radio spectrum. The functional equivalent of a nine element, full sized 40 meter beam antenna will now fit in a package no larger than a credit card. The 80 and 160 meter versions will be the size of a pack of cigarettes.”
“EIE-I/O also has applications in transceiver design,” added company spokesman Richard Tracy. He demonstrated a prototype of a full-featured, all mode HF through microwave rig. The radio, including the antenna, is worn on the wrist and resembles an everyday wristwatch. “We expect this to be especially popular with contesters and their families,” he continued. Imagine being able to attend your daughter’s dance recital or your son’s soccer game, while never missing that big band opening! And won’t the XYL be thrilled – no more ‘laundry problems’ caused working ‘just one more multiplier’ before a trip to the Theory Room.”
Industry insiders have reported a few nagging problems with the C.O.W. chips. “They’re apparently made in a really ugly shade of brown,” said one. “I don’t know how the market will accept that.” Others pointed to a somewhat unpleasant odor emanating from the chips. Buffalo Chip experts have described the problems as small, but unavoidable.
Newer hams may not be familiar with the company. Many long-time Amateurs have fond memories of the firm, however. Founder Joseph MacDonald was legendary for finding and developing electrical engineers. “Sometimes it seemed like old MacDonald had a farm,” recalled one veteran. “He always had a great crop of home-grown talent.”
Spokesman Burns confirmed the company’s re-entry into the Amateur Radio Market. “Our management team believes that Amateur Radio operators deserve the best in C.O.W. Chip products and EIE-I/O technology. We are committed to providing exactly that.”
Competitors were less than enthusiastic, saying it is a long overdue move. According to one anonymous rival, “Suddenly, their management team is committed? Big deal! They should have been committed years ago!” Said another, “It seems like just more of the same old bullcrap to me. The major manufacturers have known about this technology for years. The problem is in maintaining consistent quality control over the manufacturing process. But if they can do that, I think the rest of us might be in deep doo-doo.”
Buffalo Chip personnel insist that they have solved the manufacturing and quality issues, and are ready to go. Production of EIE-I/O units is expected to begin shortly. According to a company press release, Quicksilver Radio Products has been appointed as the exclusive worldwide distributor.
Reprinted by permission for those who may have missed it.