Well, I went to go power up my trusty old Kenwood TS-930S HF Radio tonight and was surprised by a continuous tone from the speaker and no readout on the display. I could still hear some RF, but it seems none of the controls are working and the radio is not happy at all.
I've done some digging already, and it seems it's something like a PLL unlock or something, but I won't know for sure until I dig into it further.
So, now I have a dilemma. I am perfectly capable of fixing it. I already have all of the schematics, service manuals, and whatnot. But, doing so will be a tremendous investment in time and at high risk since some of the parts on this radio (such as the transistors used in the final amplifier) simply cannot be bought anymore.
Also, I may end up putting 20-40 hours of time and a few hundred bucks into this radio and not having it work when all is said and done.
So, I'm shopping for a new radio. I don't really like newer radios, however, because they are somewhat contrary to the spirit of Amateur Radio. See, we're supposed to be able to tinker with our radios, but in the modern age of complex processors, proprietary software, intellectual property secrecy and paranoia, and such, it is nearly impossible for people to work on their own radios, which leads to massive repair bills when things go wrong. I have the knowledge and ability, but not access to the custom software and firmware used in modern radios.
One of the other unfortunate things about modern amateur radios is that the receivers aren't half as good as they used to be. They certainly don't make them like they used to and even a $15,000 modern contest rig needs serious receiver DSP horsepower to perform not quite as well as a 20 year old Kenwood of 930/940/950 class. Some of these older radios, like the 950SDX, still sell on ebay for more than their original price for this very reason.
My choices are these: Either spend the 20-40 hours and up to $500 to fix this radio, or buy a new radio for about $1000 that has more features, but maybe not quite as good a receiver as this old radio has.
So, what's a ham to do? Your thoughts?