The BLANDX News Service ---- 14 March 2009 15:23 EST
$10 Billion Bailout Sought For Dracosonic
New hope has emerged in Washington that a bailout will be forthcoming for Michigan-based shortwave radio manufacturer Dracosonic, which needs $10 billion if it is to survive the next six months.
Since 2003, Detroit-based Dracosonic has devoted 95% of their capacity to building large tube receivers such as it's flagship model DH-999. With a 1/4 inch thick steel cabinet, the DH-999 weighs in at 197 pounds and has 125 tubes (some of which just light up and help warm up the room). As CEO Hugh Morris stated as recently as 2006,
Given the continuing popularity of old tube radios like the R-390A and the SP-600, it's obvious that American DXers love large tube receivers.
Over 40,000 DH-999's have been made but so far only one hundred have been sold, all to the US government as part of a package deal with Haliburton. In explaining Dracosonic's need for a $10 billion cash infusion from US tax payers, CEO Morris explained,
How were we to know this solid-state thing would catch on?
Dracosonic's initial request for a bailout in December was rejected by Congress after Dracosonic submitted their request via morse code. That was widely acknowledged to have sent the wrong message - that Dracosonic couldn't change with the times. The current request was sent by fax machine.
Dracosonic has been on shaky financial ground since 2006 when it paid $473 million dollars for Internet start-up IRCPay, a failed attempt to make IRCs the preferred method of payment of EBay purchases.
To get some quick cash, in November Dracosonic sold its profitable DX coffee mug division to ODXA, Inc for the bargain price of $150 million. CEO Morris claims
Those Canucks really took us on that one. But we needed the cash. Unfortunately, the $150 million just barely covered our quarterly management bonuses. (The sale now gives ODXA, Inc. a 72% share in the DX coffee mug market.)
Meanwhile, Dracosonic shares which were selling for as much as $257 in 1998 are now being given away as prizes in boxes of Cracker Jacks.
Financial failure by Dracosonic would further devastate the Michigan economy. Dracosonic's corporate headquarters, just south of Brighton, employs over 1,000, while an additional 17,000 work at Dracosonic plants in nearby Howell, Hamburg, and Hell.
In return for tax-payer funded support, Dracosonic promises that at least 25% of their receivers will be solid-state going forward.
A major criticism of the DH-999 is that if the receiver is used just 10 hours a week it will triple the typical owner's electricity bill. As an incentive, Dracosonic is now giving away a 1 kW wind generator kit with each purchase of the DH-999.
14 March 2009 15:32 EST
BLANDX Corporate Headquarters today announced that a new e-issue of BLANDX would be published on April 1, 2009, despite the inability of the BLANDX Corporation to secure any government bailout money, or even so much as a Christmas card from any member of Congress. BLANDX CEO Bill Kyle announced,
That's the last time we give money to their campaigns. Unless, of course, we come up with something we really need.
Kyle went on to say that columns in the new e-issue would include Loggings, QSLs, Sven Gonzalez's Listeners' Trashbag, Club News, Naughty Stations, and Christina Van Helder's Techncial Stuff. Bill himself would answer member letters in the From the CEO column.
The highlight this year would be a lengthy excerpt from Jack Mann's new book on the history of the DXing hobby. Other features would include a look at the upcoming BLANDX Fest and a review of the new Bleene RM15 receiver. An article from the archive would detail modifications to add frequency scanning to the Collins R-390A receiver.
Mr. Kyle went on to add that several more vintage QSLs have been added to Dead DXers' Stuff. Also they've found some great new advertisers to support the publication. Kyle went on to add,
Who knows. We might find more worthless crap to add.
Mr. Kyle was asked if it was wise to bring out a new BLANDX at this time, given that in recent history this has inevitably led to a significant decline in most major stock markets. Mr. Kyle replied,
You mean the stock market is still worth something?