Vibroplex acquires International Radio Corporation

vibro (1)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike (K8RAT) who shares this press release from Vibroplex:

Vibroplex LLC of Knoxville, TN announces the acquisition of International Radio Corporation of Aptos, CA.

inrad-logoThe sale was finalized on September 23. International Radio, commonly referred to as “Inrad”, is the leading manufacturer of aftermarket and OEM crystal filters for Amateur Radio transceivers and receivers with some 250 different models currently available for present day equipment and obsolete gear dating as far back as the 1950’s.

Inrad is presently the OEM roofing filter supplier for the popular Elecraft K3/K3S series of HF transceivers. The last day of operations in California was September 22. Inrad is now up and running at the Vibroplex offices in Tennessee but the backlog of present orders on hand will take several more days to fill.

The former and new owners say thank you to the Amateur Radio community for more than 40 years of Inrad business. Inquiries about Inrad can be directed to the main Vibroplex email address at [email protected] [email protected]

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3 thoughts on “Vibroplex acquires International Radio Corporation

  1. DL4NO

    On the one side it is good to see two companies well known to support the ham radio community to merge as this might be the only way to cope with shrinking markets. On the other side the question is how much of a market is still there at all:

    Crystal filters mostly make sense outside of the SDR technology and that is hardly existing anymore. If you have crystal filters in modern receivers at all there is a roofing filter or two. I know of no modern receiver that uses them anymore on the IF level. A DSP processor does a much more flexible job for much less money.

    And is there really any keyer market left? With no morse code exams anymore you find lots of keyers on fleamarkets. And how many do you need? I got mine 40 years ago from another ham. Every 10 years or so I must replace the rubber feet. But otherwise?

    1. Thomas Post author

      I agree: always happy to see two well-respected companies become one.

      I hear what you’re saying too about keys like those of Vobroplex: they’re built like tanks.

      I, too, would question the longevity of a company that produces products with no planned obsolescence. I know Scott Robbins, though, and he is staying so busy with key production, that he had to hire a full-time employee to assist him (Stan, former Sales Mgr at Ten-Tec). His key market is quite healthy and he is also taking care to diversify his product offerings.


      1. Michael Black

        I think the key market is relatively stable. It’s way down from what it once was, but probably sees about the same sales month to month. At some point it may decline, but that’s the future.

        The filters may be another thing. Collins recently announced it would be giving up the mechanical filter business (though no specific date), and if they see the market going, that’s an indicator. They were “Cadillac” filters, their niche lasted a long time because of the specs. If they’ve found the market gone, it’s not because of competition, but because the market is gone.

        But, InRad had filters for a wide range of rigs, so as long as interest in old rigs continues the market is probably there. Though, it makes sense to consolidate.

        This talk reminds me of the beginnings of the company. I have a vague memory that it started as a sort of “users group” for the Yaesu FT-101, that made a big wave when it hit. So the first crystal filters were in the nature of a group buy, a custom filter made cheap because enough people ordered in advance. Only later did it morph to other rigs, and then more of a company. But it’s been so long that I may be mangling something



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