The Reverend George Dobbs, G3RJV, was fortunate enough to visit the Mizuho factory and contributed these pictures. He describes the "factory" (the quotes are his) as a single industrial unit with an office, storage racks, and workbenches on one open plan space. He adds: The PCBs appear to be wired by "out-workers" with the assembly of the boards into cases taking place at the Mizuho works.
At left is what George refers to as the modest R&D section of Mizuho, their development bench.
At right is the accounting department, located in the corner of the office portion. Yes, that's an abacus the young lady is using.
Below, left is the Mizuho test bench where completed products are checked out. Below, right is the edge of the workbench which marks the beginning of the office.
Moving down the page, lower left, is part of the Mizuho works museum, where one of every Mizuho product, old and new, can be found. The lower right picture shows George with Mr. Takada. They exchanged gifts, some Kanga (U.K.) kits for some Mizuho ones.
Finally, at left, is a P-21DX transceiver George received as a gift from Mr. Takada. The Mizuho museum did not have an example of an SG-9 (SSB processing) board. As I had three of them I mailed one to them after my visit. The gift was their kind response. On G-QRP and the Mizuho reflector he expanded on this:
In 1999 I visited the National Radio Convention in Japan and spent most of the day after the event with the delightful Mr. Takada, Founder and Owner of Mizuho who produced the SG9 Board [mlx board]. He showed me the company "museum" ......exhibits of what they had made over the years. But - no SG9 board! I asked about it and he sadly told me it was one of his favourites [he designed the board] but he did not have one left. So in my return home, I mailed him one of my two SG9 Boards. I had a lovely letter in return ... still have it.... It begins "when I opened the package, tears came to my eyes....."
A few days later I received a parcel with a neat little 15m transceiver that Mizuho currently make.
The SG-9 board was used by Dentron in the Dentron MLX-Mini QRP transceiver and their HF-200A 100W HF transceiver. Mizuho also used it in some of their own rigs including the SB-2M 2m SSB portable.
Sadly in December, 2004 the Mizuho factory was closed for good. Mr. Takada scaled back his business to enjoy a well earned retirement. Today what is left of Mizuho is operated from Takada-san's home basement. It is now hoped that this page will serve as a way of preserving a piece of ham radio history.
We would like to thank George, G3RJV, for contributing the material for this page as well as other photos posted on this website. We'd also like to thank George for his ongoing contributions to the QRP community as a whole and to the Mizuho reflector.
Photos courtesy of Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV
-Last updated 1/30/2005