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3/10/2017 - International Crystal Manufacturing (ICM) of Oklahoma City has announced that it will be going out of business, probably at the end of May. Royden Freeland Jr., W5EMH, son of the company’s founder, posted a letter this week on the ICM website.
International Crystal produces RF control devices — quartz crystals, oscillators, QCM crystals, filters, TCXOs/VCTCXOs, and precision crystals.
Royden R. Freeland Sr. founded International Crystal in 1950, at first operating out of his garage. One of his first contracts was to produce crystals for Collins Radio. The elder Freeland and his wife died in a 1978 air crash, and his son took over the company, which expanded into the production of other electronics in the 1980s.
In the 1990s, though, it sold off some of its equipment and distribution business to concentrate on its core enterprise — the manufacture of crystal and oscillator products.
The announcement caught some manufacturers off guard, and they are seeking to source the products they had been buying from ICM, one of the few remaining US-based manufacturer of crystal products. Radio amateurs requiring crystals for projects or as replacement parts for older equipment also will have to look elsewhere.
Ironically, International boasts on its website that it’s “a proud supplier to RadioShack,” which, for the second time in 2 years, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.
Technology marches on however, new advances offered by companies like Silicon Labs can also be looked at to potentially fill certain gaps for example with its clock generator chips, such as the Si5351A.
This particular chip or in its breakout board format for hobbyist use thanks to Adafruit Industries will allow the user to "dial in any frequency from 8KHz to 160MHz where one may have used an ICM crystal for example.
The Adafruit breakout board can replace up to three crystals and while its slightly more complicated than a good ole quartz crystal, it allows for future flexibility and no need to keep a HUGE supply of crystals you may ever use.
Thank you for your 66 years of service to the world ICM. Companies like yours paved the way for amazing advances in application specific devices. We look forward to seeing if Silicon Labs can beat your 66 years in business.