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A U.S. Navy Opportunity Lost


Zenith had hoped that Joe Batchelor’s broadband coupler concept would find a home somewhere within the United States Armed Forces. At least one Central Electronics enthusiast felt that home should have been with the U.S. Navy.


Unfortunately, Zenith was never able to find the right niche for Joe’s brainchild and without a governmental use the handwriting for central Electronics was on the wall. The amateur radio product line lacked sales margins deep enough for such a complex and expensive product. Worse still, the 1980’s practice of using stocking dealers hurt all amateur radio manufacturers and only those having diversified product lines reaching into more lucrative markets could and did survive. One of the more successful companies at making the amateur to governmental client transition was, of course, Collins Radio but so did firms such as Barker and Williamson, Hammarlund and Hallicrafters.


This series of documents from Mr. Don E. Johnson explains how one diversification opportunity slipped off of Zenith’s hook.


A Navy Opportunity Lost-series of documents
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Central Electronics' UHF Project in Development for the U.S. Air Force

The following photos are of a Central Electronics UHF project that was being developed for the Air Force as per Wes. It used a 2C39 as a driver and a 4CX250 as a final amp. There was a socket plate made for two 4CX250's for a higher power version. This was an engineering prototype and is obviously for a rocket of some sort due to its round packaging.

Does anyone know more about this? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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