Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Latest From PAR Electronics – Dale W4OP

PAR_logo_animated One of my most popular postings is the interview I did with Dale Parfitt, the owner of PAR Electronics, 2 years ago. Dale makes amateur and commercial antennas. The amateur line and specifically the PAR EndFedz antennas are big sellers, used by amateurs, SWLs, and commercial interests alike. If one checks the eHam ratings on the PAR antennas, well, they can’t get any better than a 5 across the board.

Over the years Dale has had trouble filling amateur orders and has had to rely on time slots of one to two weeks where amateur orders were taken and then filled. These windows of opportunity happened several times a year as PAR was just too busy with commercial interests to accommodate the amateur market full time. That is about to change.

On August 2, 2010 on the PAR Electronics website a press release was published indicating “LNR Precision acquires EndFedz line of amateur and SWL antennas”.

PAR EndFedz are now being manufactured exclusively by LNR Precision. Please contact them for pricing/availability.

On August 2, 2010 LNR Precision, Inc. acquired the popular EndFedz line of amateur and SWL antennas. Larry, AE4LD, is the new owner. Larry is a talented machinist, active amateur, QRPer and will be far better equipped to manufacture and expand the EndFedz line of antennas. In recent years, PAR has had to resort to only accepting orders in 1 week windows in order to better balance their growing commercial segment and the amateur products. LNR Precision will have much larger manufacturing capabilities and thus amateurs will benefit from much faster order filling. Dale W4OP will be staying on to complete new designs and offering technical assistance to LNR Precision. Amateurs can expect new novel EndFedz models in the near future.

I wish to thank the many thousands of amateurs who have bought EndFedz and whom I think of as friends. I will continue to design/manufacture both commercial and amateur filters and expand our line of commercial and amateur VHF/UHF antenna products and hopefully some really interesting surface mount accessories for HF rigs. You may contact Larry at controlliner@embarqmail.com.

Give us a few days to complete the transition.

I had also read about the change at PAR on several other websites like eHam and one of the Yahoo amateur groups.

I was surprised but glad that Dale had taken some steps to alleviate the EndFedz supply problem. I was sceptical about the level of service LNR Precision might be able to provide as Dale was always there to answer questions; even late into the evening. I don’t think we have to worry. I contacted Dale a few days ago and he graciously agreed to another interview. Here it is in its entirety:

VE3MPG: You've obviously made some difficult decisions in the last few months to sell off your amateur antenna division. Tell us how and why this came about and also finding a competent and astute business person, Larry  AE4LD, to carry on what you started.

Dale W4OP: This was a very hard decision to make. I felt as though I was caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. Our core business has always been commercial. Those clients are  very valuable to us but they can also be very demanding. As the EndFedz line continued to grow, I had to resort to limiting orders to 1 week windows every 5 weeks or so. This allowed us to better compartmentalize amateur production and time requirements but was not really fair to our clients. I was personally involved 80+ hours per week. This obviously was very tiring and also prevented me from pursuing other interests. So, I began looking for a buyer for the EndFedz. After four false starts, Larry came into the picture. He is the perfect candidate. He was already using our product. Larry also has injection molding capabilities and an extensive machine shop. Finally, he lives in North Carolina which made the entire transition much easier and smoother.

You mention some new antenna designs in your press release on your website. Can you give us an exclusive look into what's developing?

Dale W4OP: I really cannot divulge what I am currently working on- but it involves several new designs that I simply could not bring to market through  PAR for lack of production time. A couple are antennas that customers have long been asking for though. Look for some very novel antenna designs with pending patent claims.

With the acquisition of the manufacturing of the PAR amateur antennas including shipping and technical support, what will you do with your spare time? Any plans for a real holiday?

Dale W4OP: I love to play billiards and also I am a competitive distance runner. I will finally have the time to practice both sports and travel to meets. I also just bought another SGC SG-2020 and will be doing a lot of portable ops here in the mountains.

I live on a large Lake (Glenville) that has excellent lake trout, bass and walleye fishing. I have not even bought a license in the last three years. That also will change (my new fly reel just arrived today).

Amateurs around the world are using your antennas and have nothing but praise for the performance and build quality. Your almost immediate email support is legendary. I'm sure that my readers and the users of your fine products  will miss your rapport and camaraderie. What can you say about the loyal following your product and your service have created?

Dale W4OP: I have really been blessed by our clients; made many friends and really appreciate how loyal you all have been. This loyal, patient following is what made all the long hours worthwhile.

PAR will still be manufacturing our Omniangles, Stressed Moxons and filters for amateurs and scanning enthusiasts. I plan on staying active on the QRP reflectors and attending Dayton and FDIM.

In addition I will continue support for PAR products that are out in  the field and will be answering tech questions for LnR for at least a year.

It's been a great run and it's a wonderful feeling knowing the EndFedz line will continue on with Larry and the enthusiasm that he brings to the plate.

Can you add anything else?

Dale W4OP: I appreciate your site Bob. It is not everyone that can  put together insightful questions and keep all of this going. I know I speak for other followers of your site and blog in thanking you for putting your journalism skills to such an interesting and creative  use. Much success in the future. Now is Tokyo ever going to release that 160-->6M HT-200?HT-200

Thanks Dale for your generous contribution to my blog and to my readers. We wish you and Larry, AE4LD, at LnR Precision the very best in your new directions and endeavours.

My previous interview with Dale, W4OP, can be found at this link:

First interview with Dale Parfitt, October 2, 2008

PAR Electronics

LnR Precision

1 comment:

va3stl said...

Bob,

A great post and follow-up to your earlier interview.

Good to read that great amateur radio products can be commercially viable and successful.

73
Alan