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Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear

David Todd (KG9RB) on April 24, 2017
View comments about this article!

Have you ever wondered how anyone wanting to start out in ham radio can afford the prices? I started out as a an avid shortwave listener by accident, messing around with an old am radio in the early 70s. I quickly realized "another world" that existed without sight. Soon I was tuning in BBC voice of China radio, Canada, Australian radio with its signature bird call and guitar theme.

Soon I was swimming in books checked out from the library and craving to learn about this strange new world where everyone was sending this unknown secret code. To speed things up I eventually took an after-school code and theory class and built my first transmitter with about $5 of my own parts and the elmers donated tubes and caps and resisters to all us with a schematic.

Our only job was to find a transformer out of a junk TV and a variable cap out of some old radio. Anyone else do this?

I had a s-38b hallicrafters radio for receive. I used a relay with a light switch for xmit receive switching.

What Iím getting at is why put a price that is high on some old equipment. I know some will say its collectible or I spent such and such dollars for it when I started.

Remember folks if you make The prices too high, the less fortunate canít break into the hobby. Thank goodness for kits and QRP.

Instead of donating rigs to the hams that plead. And you all know that there are scammers out there making a living doing this. Just send them a schematic and some parts or buy a pre-made circuit board with schematics to find the components to fill it.

The point is, old equipment shouldnít be as high as new. And any ham pleading or begging for rigs should really open their theory books and start building. I agree to help other hams to advance technology or to learn.

Since every ham has to learn theory to pass the exams instead of memorizing it, I suggest doing a national elmer program to donate parts and boards etc. That way the hams with the old gear might just might come down in price, especially when the rigs are listed with problems.

I love QRP I love CW and other modes too. I think some have gotten out of touch with the real meaning of amateur radio. Some hams who get involved with public service, like ARES mean well but sometimes excludes other area hams due to the cliques being formed.

In the end remember your theory you learned and use it. Be an example to young ones give out your magazines to the local youth groups hold periodic free building events so anyone of any age can discover the thrill and magic of Amateur Radio.

By the way Iím speaking from experience. I have Parkinsonís and deal with it daily. When I went from a full time University high voltage technician to disabled, it was shocking no pun intended. My whole world changed except ham radio. I can still build with the help of my 15-year-old son and my wife when she isnít watching her shows. HI HI.

Anyway, I priced old and new rigs and asked WHY? So, I started building again, and you want to know something? The magic never left.

In summary:

Lower your prices, sell it then buy new to keep our dwindling dealers in business and allowing young hams to start out cheap.

Thank you for reading this and hopefully I wonít get any hate mail. :)


PS my son and wife are currently studying together to get their licenses.
Now isnít that magic!!!

Member Comments:
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Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9CTB on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
As the lady who wrote the sunscreen grad speech said, "Prices will rise, politicians will philander ..." and she was right. I really did trust her on the sunscreen though. :) Yeah, we watched as the "ebay phenomenon" spread to the for sale boards and eventually hamfests. Now everybody expects ebay prices for used gear except the folks who have to pay them. The only recourse for dedicated hams imho is to join a local club. The only way to beat the estate flippers is to make contacts among club membership. I've seen rigs go for $500 bucks at a hamfest or auction .... and then watched the same rig in better shape pass to a new ham from a club member for $200, which was more along the lines of what it was worth. Point is, there are ways a new ham can enter our hobby-service reasonably, but they require some preparation. Plus, nothing beats the camaraderie of a great, active local club!

73 es thanks for a great article,
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by NY4D on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
No hate mail but re your first sentence: prices today on new gear are more affordable than ever if you factor in inflation. I started in the early 1960s and you might put together an HF cw station for around $200 if you scrounged or built from a kit. Figuring gasoline as a proxy, that would be around $1600 in today's dollars (very rough estimate.) So for HF you can buy new and get a lot more today for half that. You can put together a new vhf station for about the price of a mid range flat screen TV. You can get a Chinese HT for less than a dinner for two at a decent restaurant. So where are the high prices?

As to used gear being as high as new, it isn't. Used gear sells on a very simple idea: supply and demand. There are marketplaces. Buyers and sellers agree on the value or nothing sells.

Build your gear? I'm all for it. But the theory even a general class licensee has tested for is not going to get you very far in building a rig. I say this as someone who has taught technician and general classes for years.

In short, price is not a barrier to getting active on ham radio. Where there's a will there's a way. Very few have the will. We have non licensed adults who won't buy their licensed kids a $30 HT but will get them a $500 cell phone. Sign of the times.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KG4NEL on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Equipment's the cheap part. The house to actually put everything a 31-year old, that's what I'm still having a difficult time with.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by AA4MB on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I sort of echo NY4D's comments in that I'm not sure that you're not looking for a solution in which there is very little 'problem' to solve. Yes, we could always make it a bit more palatable for folks to get into the hobby with cheaper prices - but I think if we put our heads together and figure out why folks aren't getting 'into' the hobby long enough to even look at prices, we'd be better served.

I've commented before about how VHF should be so crowded that we have trouble getting a word in edgewise, considering the numbers of technical licenses and the thousands upon thousands of dirt cheap Chinese handhelds sold/being sold. eBay is a great source of used equipment as long as you use common sense about buying through it and know how and most importantly *when* to bid. (I'm always laughing about how someone will invariably put a nice piece of equipment on with the auction set to end during the middle of the Super Bowl or, worse, in the wee hours of the morning in the US)

In short, I think we need to look a bit deeper as to how to best get people 'into' amateur radio than equipment prices. (If, given our societal paradigm shifts, we can get the new generation(s) interested at all)
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by N8AUC on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
That's pretty much how I got started back in the late 70's.

Mom and Dad thought this was a dumb idea, so they weren't about to help finance this. Initially, they thought this was just like CB radio, because they didn't know any better at the time. But they did give permission for me to have and install antennas on the house and in the yard, so that's something.

So I bought an old Hallicrafters SX-111 at a hamfest for maybe $90. Built my first transmitter from scratch using plans I found in an old book at the public library. Saved every penny I could from my after school part time job to pay for it. I bought the parts as I could afford them. All totaled, I probably had $200-$250 invested in my first station. Which, for a 17 year old kid making $2.31/hr working at the public library, was a sizeable investment back then.

When there is a will, a way will be found. You just have to want to bad enough to put forth the effort.

Prices for Old (no warranty) and Building Gear  
by KK6BXP on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
New equipment.
Alinco DXSR8T 160 - 10 M $470 new at HRO
YAESU FT891 160 - 6 M $700 new at HRO

Why even drop $500 on used gear with almost dried up caps just asking to be replaced, without a unknown history of the gear including potentially stolen I'll pass on that.
And some of the stuff within ham clubs has been sketchy I have seen (crap maskarading as a transceiver)

Plenty of starter HT that are new to be had sub $100

Yaesu new dual band HT FT60R $155 new

Gallon of milk $6 + today
Gallon of 87 $2.79 (CA)

1970 gallon of milk 62 cents
Gallon of Gasoline 32 cents
As you can see from the numbers, cost today are a multiply of 9 or 10
So that $200 then is $2000 today.
Now here is the part most forget, did you monitize the time you spend cobbling this all together? Figure $1.80 to $2.00 in the early 70's for min wage. CA TODAY IS AT $10.50

10 cent cokes then, $1.50 today......
You following yet?

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KG0MN on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The one piece of equipment that I feel is extremely over priced is the asking price for HF antennas. When someone spends upwards of $1000.00 for a few pieces of aluminum tubing and some stainless steel nuts and bolts it truly does make me sick to my stomach. I don't see how these profiteers can sleep at night with the markup they charge.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KE6EE on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
These are kind thoughts and perfectly appropriate in these days of over-financialization of just about everything in our culture.

When as teenager I became a ham in the late 1950s the term "elmer" had not yet appeared. On the other hand, every adult ham I ran into was very encouraging and generous. I don't think it was unusual at all for a youngster in those days to get all sorts of unused gear in excellent condition given to him or her.

I do understand the crazy prices of all kinds of things these days, especially necessities of life. I have just read in the local paper that in my region, the San Francisco Bay Area, $100,000 annual salary is considered "low income." That means you are eligible for government housing assistance in some cities.

Laugh or cry? Just be generous and more than only you will feel better in this crazy world.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by N8FVJ on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Old quality AM gear will simply increase in price. And, enough hams are affluent enough to pay high prices. It will take years before demand goes down.

However some reasonable quality Solid-state HF transceivers can be had for $200-$250. And 2 meter rigs can be bought for $50-$75 with a tone encoder.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KD7YVV on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
An interesting idea except for one thing.
When I was licensed back in 2003, even then, the
tests were getting easier. Couple that with the fact
that even though on paper, our numbers are high as
far as licensing goes, a lot of hams are what I call
paper hams. They have the license, don't even have
a radio, and have no interest. They may have gotten
the license for their job. Then you have the Techs.
They have the Technician license, and have no desire
to advance up to General or Extra. My own solution to
this problem was to get my family licensed, and at
least one of them is General. When I die, my TS 430
will go to him. Now, as far as high prices on older
equipment, I think what drives that is as equipment
gets older and parts become rarer, the value of said
equipment rises. Sort of like comic books. You can
get a comic book for a couple of dollars today but
Action Comics with the first appearance of Superman?
You'd better hit the lottery. Another point is
what the market will bear. An example of this is
the rents here in the Seattle area. 7 years ago,
the apartment I rented was $965. Now it's $2800.
The bottom line is, no matter the price, if someone
wants something bad enough, they'll pay the asking
price. Are some prices ridiculous? Yes, they are.
Sometimes you find a good deal. When my uncle gave
me my TS 430, I sent it out, had it fixed and aligned
and that little radio is still going strong.
So you're looking at what the market will bear.
The mentality is, if people will pay it, I'll charge
it. As far as building your own equipment, I remember
what they used to call "trash night" and it happened
once a year, you could toss out televisions etc.
Nowadays, old electronics are recycled.
A good source of stuff is Goodwill. I often see older
consumer equipment made with parts you don't need
a scanning electron microscope to see.
Why you can even read the values on the resistors!
Maybe it's just me, but if I ever did upgrade my
HF station, my 430 already would have a good home.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K6CRC on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Equipment is cheap! Used equipment especially. With so many SKs now and many older hams with money to upgrade, this is the best time in my lifetime to be a new ham. Look at eHam or QRZ classified. You can get a great rig for $500 or less, sometimes much less. QRP, DSP enhancements, gaming headsets with high quality mics, etc. are all plentiful and inexpensive.
Want eCom VHF/UHF? Chinese Handhelds are less than $50 on Amazon. A Icom IC-7300 is better than nearly all the current rigs on the market, and much better than anything but a handful of rigs from the past. All for $1200-1400.

Regarding your TV transformer, used tube equipment... I built audio stuff like that many years ago. Lucky we are still alive, given 500 volts and inadequate shielding. Cheap commercial radios didn't even have fuses then.

I meet Hams who complain about the cost of rigs, while wearing $200 sports jerseys and sipping $10 coffee drinks. Set your priorities and budgets accordingly, just don't complain about your personal choices.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KG4RUL on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
KG0MN writes on April 24, 2017:
"The one piece of equipment that I feel is extremely over priced is the asking price for HF antennas. When someone spends upwards of $1000.00 for a few pieces of aluminum tubing and some stainless steel nuts and bolts it truly does make me sick to my stomach. I don't see how these profiteers can sleep at night with the markup they charge."

You are paying for design expertise, labor (including benefits), cost and maintenance of equipment, advertising, rent, utilities, cost of inventory (having the right parts or manufactured items sitting on a shelf is expensive), legal expenses, liability & business insurance, taxes on profits (if you actually have any), etc. Sit down and figure out just what you would have to invest to manufacture an antenna then let's hear your reply. Don't forget to include shipping, sales tax and a reasonable value for your time and effort.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W9ESE on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
BITX40 $59. 40 meters LSB.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K8QV on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Everything is sold at the right price or it isn't sold at all. Marketplace forces at work. If I have a piece of old radio gear someone will pay me $500 for, why would I price it at $200? I get the "helping new, poor hams" idea, but on eBay it's more likely that some vulture will grab it and resell it for the $500 it's worth, more if he can get it. Hams of modest means in need of gear will get it either free or well below market value from me.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WB2WIK on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Amateur radio equipment has never, ever been less expensive than it is today.

S-38 was $47.50 in 1947.

Converted to "2017 dollars" that's $538.63 per the standard CPI calculator:

And that's just for a receiver. You'd still need a transmitter, maybe an antenna switch or relay.

Today you can buy a 100W transceiver that covers ten bands for that price and it's an entire station, with a receiver that dramatically outperforms the S-38.

Cheap, cheap, cheap! It's amazing how much the cost of radio hardware has "come down" over the decades. It's never gone up.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K8QV on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Of course the posts noting how radios are much cheaper these days are right on target. Back in the olden days when I was just a kid in the 9th Grade I managed to put together several stations over the next couple of years. Honestly, I didn't find the hobby that expensive even then. No, I didn't buy new or even used Collins gear, but I managed to get on the air and work people around the world. As a kid. With a paper route. Don't tell me a grown man today can't afford to build a station.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K5UJ on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the sentiment of the article, and when I sell equipment, I do so without trying to profit. But as others have stated, old gear mostly sells for what hams are willing to pay, and if it is a lot, then the gear costs a lot.

You can still set up a HF ham station for not a lot of money with the kind of gear I used when I was in high school, namely a novice CW rig, war surplus bug and shortwave receiver, all flea market purchases, but what young adult today is willing to operate like that if they are interested in ham radio at all?
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KD6VXI on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The biggest problems facing hams on hf today, especially new ones, is HOA CC&R.

I have a legal limit station assembled over ten years ago. A thousand bucks. Another 600 for the ft857 a few years ago for my mobile, and it came with an atas 120.

Even as a single father, disabled, with 2 kids and no child support, living in California, I was able to do the above.

I'm sorry, what is the problem? It's sure not the cost of equipment. Maybe for a point and click shopper type guy, I can see it looking expensive.

Rescue a legal limit pair of 500z tubes from a CBer and fix whatever that idiot couldn't (in the case of sb220s, that's a lot of times the bias diode) and 400 bucks for a ts 440. Johnson 275 tuna and a 500 foot roll of thhn strung between trees is your entire antenna and feedline for 200 bucks.

Again, cost is a problem for who?

It's HOA that are screwing the new hams. And a complete lack of interest by newer generations.

RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by N0CEL on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Funny that someone brought up the *high price* of HF antennas. Just today, I was out for my walk, and came across a bunch of old window blinds in someones trash. I found the old plastic *twist* sticks. Y'all may be laughing at me, but I have rolled my own spacers out of these, for open feed lines. *Dirty*?...yes, but it works like gangbusters, feeding a homebrew 40M dipole. Of course, the sun will eventually eat them alive, but it was fun building it! The books are out there, and lots of antenna building docs are on the web for FREE!. My own (boom) mics are all roll-your-own as the plans/schematics are also online for FREE. I think y'all are getting my point. Nice article, but sometimes one needs to choose their *battles*. A ham license is a license to learn! FWIW, the only things I have *bought* are my Yaesu 1900R and a few KW 520's :-)

73...and learn how to build some stuff...I promise you will have fun & learn something (new).

RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by AF5CC on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
My first real ham radio was a Yaesu FT101B, which I bought used from Memphis Amateur for $395 plus shipping in 1981. HF only, no WARC bands, single VFO, no internal keyer, no DSP, no FM and no narrow filter for CW, although it was an option. According to the on-line inflation calculator, that would cost $1051.33 in today's money. I had to buy a hand mic separate since it didn't come with one. It did have an internal power supply, though.

My current radio is a Yaesu FT100D, which I purchased used a couple of months ago from Ham Radio Outlet. In addition to the ham bands, it has general coverage receive, HF plus 6 meters, 2 meters, and 70cm all modes, a built in CW filter, built in memory keyer, built in TCXO, FM, tone encoder and decoder, dual VFOs, DSP noise reduction, built in SWR meter, and a few other features the FT101B lacked. It cost me $350 shipped for it. Came with a hand mic, but doesn't have an internal PS like the FT101B did.

So, as others have said, radios are definitely cheaper today. I did have a blast with the Yaesu FT101B as a novice, and later up through my extra. It definitely won in the fun factor!

73 John AF5CC
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W8LV on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Every year I ponder this: How many folks have observed a guy (we won't say his familiar call sign) in the lot of a "certain" Big Event Hamvention who has the EXACT same used stuff way overpriced junk beyond all reason year after year? YEA... THAT Guy. Now, I KNOW you're smiling because we ALL have peeped this guy! But we've all just shook our heads and thought WTF, and moved on.
And never discussed it with another Ham.
Until NOW. ;-)

You wonder if it's a Museum he's running instead of a used sale... And he RENTS this space every year!


Concerning "valuable" old radios:

This WILL happen to you if you are a Ham.
And if YOU are an Elmer, SHAME ON YOU if you don't WARN anyone whom you are mentoring about this, because this WILL happen to you once you are allocated a Call Sign.

You WILL be consulted by "someone", because "someone else" found an All-American five tube radio, sans at least three of the tubes, which have been replaced with rodent nests, and the prerequisite potential Hanta virus droppings, and a smashed beyond recognition Bakelite cabinet. Except for the brand, which will be discernable through the mouse droppings. The name will be RCA or Philco. Which the finder will tell you. By phone. No matter what you are doing. At any hour. This caller will consult you at night, if you work all hours of the day. Better yet, if you work nights, he will call you during the day, with the explanation that he was "glad he got ahold of you" since he knew that you work "nights".
And you will be expected to appraise said radio. Like you're the Antiques Roadshow Guy ("The smashed up to all Hell cabinet and the missing 12SQ7GT and volume knob DO decrease its value somewhat amongst collectors, BUT the melted capacitors with the combined rat $hit proves it's authenticity beyond a shadow of a doubt, as does the fine even patina of the Bakelite...")

Bonus Points: If you get "consulted" for appraising a gold "Presentation" Vibroplex Bug, circa 2013, because the "finder" knows that it "must" be antique AND valuable and is gonna pay off the farm!

SUPER BONUS POINTS: If you find out that the bug came from the Estate of a guy that you worked. And you still have his QSL card.

SUPER BONUS POINTS and KARMA CARD: If you get "consulted" by by an EXXYL about the price of a bug and you tell her it's not even worth ten bucks, and you'd like take it off her hands to help her in her "situation", but you've already got a dozen of them,
But you know "someone" who "might" be interested and then you "call" him and YES (amazingly) he's interested, say for five bucks anyway, but he's washing all of his cats right now, while he's trying to clean his gutters, so he's trying to do both at the same time to SAVE time, and he's trying to get the cats to stay IN the gutters while he's cleaning them, but they just won't cooperate. (Yes... a Flimsy Excuse for sure: My cats ALWAYS cooperate on this as I'm sure yours do to.) So you buy the bug on "his" behalf. But she doesn't have change for a ten, so you just tell her to forget the change: it's okay, and if she "finds" any other keys around the Once Spousal Home, just let you know and you'll see if your "friend" wants it and you'll be by to pick it up sometime maybe. And then return it to the EXOM of the EXXYL as a suprise.

(What, you thought there wasn't a Moral to this story?)

And reflect back as to WHY the "Annual Parking Lot You've Got to be Kidding Guy" ISN'T an EXOM.

Maybe the whole "I'm gonna sell my stuff this year, Honey" is what he has to do to keep his stuff and his "in a relationship" status, and especially so he won't have to fill out an FCC Form 610 for an address change...


73 and All the Best!

DE W8LV Bill

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K5ML on April 24, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a believer in selling used ham gear below the going rate, if for no other reason so it will sell. I have done that on two recent occasions. On other occasions I have given away a transmitter, a receiver and a crankup tower.

While the price of used gear may or may not be high, there is no doubt that new equipment is a far better deal than ever for the money. For example: In 1963 a new Drake TR-3 sold for $550.00. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics online calculator, that is $4410.87 in today's dollars. Today one can buy a new IC-7300 for $1350. We can literally buy 3 of them and have change left over for the price one paid for a new TR-3 in '63 when inflation is taken into account. I've owned both and anybody who believes that the TR-3 is a better radio than the IC-7300 hasn't been paying attention.

Another brief example: In 1957, I was an SWL studying to get my novice license. At the end of the school year, my parents bought me a Hallicrafers S-38D receiver, a very entry level short wave radio. The price was 49.95. In todays dollars that is $441.23. At that same time, the top of the line, ham bands only Hallicrafters SX-101 receiver was selling for $399.95. In today's dollars that's $3532.91. All things considered, we have it good today.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KB2DHG on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Personally I like the older rigs better than these computer based rigs of today. A 1980's Kenwood ts 440 was a good rig and can be found for around $400 in todays market, a good deal if you can get one in good condition. My favorite rig is my YAESU FT 101EE. I purchased this rig on ebay for $250 and it is a great working rig. SO as far as affordability. you can get on the air: $3-400 for a good transceiver, $150 for a decent new antenna tuner. Build a G5RV antenna material cost about $40, some coax $50 depending on how much length you need. Total cost around $650 and your working the world!

There are even cheaper finds out there you just have to fish for them... Bottom line, if you want it bad enough, there is always a way!
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9MHZ on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
It's easy to not like "these computer based rigs of today" if your metric is one of nostalgia, and that's about all. But seriously, the TS440S is nothing compared to the rigs of today. Owned one myself back in the day, had fun with it then, don't need to go back. Performance numbers of modern radios are phenomenal by comparison. Many "seasoned" hams dislike new gear because of a fear of having to learn something new. There's nothing wrong with the hardware itself, in fact it's pretty impressive and far better than ever.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KD7YVV on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
W8LV: Yep, I've seen "THAT GUY" at our local
hamfest. I've been going for about 15 years now.
I wish I had a picture of this one item he's been
trying to sell. It's a microphone, and it has a 1/4"
phone plug on it like you'd see on 70's stereo
headphones. The original poster says hams should
consider lowering the prices for used equipment.
I don't think that will happen as people want as
much as they can get for what they're selling.
Getting back to THAT GUY, the microphone has no
documentation, I don't think he remembers what it went
to or if he even knows. As equipment grows older,
and caps dry out etc. it becomes more of a gamble.
As many have pointed out, (whatever it is) cost
(x dollars) back in (year) and is (x dollars) in
today's money. Well, let's look at the other side of
the coin. A new ham without a lot of money may look
at this old stuff and look at the new stuff in QST
and wonder, why would I want that old piece of
(whatever it is) when I can save my money and get
a new (whatever it is) complete with documentation
and a warranty should something be wrong with it?
I go every year to the hamfest, and every year I
pretty much see the same people, selling the same
stuff. Granted, someone may be looking for an item
that's old, but like I said, it's a gamble.
Some of the stuff being sold has absolutely nothing
to do with ham radio. $50 for a sony betamax VCR,
green laser pointers with enough power to bore
through your eyeball and pop out the back of your
skull, and all sorts of electronics from the 20's
to the early 2000's. The issue isn't the cost of
older equipment, it's actually wading through all
the stuff to find something that actually works as
it's supposed to. Today's minimum wage is quite
a bit higher than when I was a kid working, so
IMHO (in my humble opinion) there are no "poor new
hams". As I said in my previous post using rent as
an example, people will pay what the market will
bear and through the discipline of saving money
they will eventually get what they want.
Ya know, if that microphone is still available in
2024, I may buy it, just so I can see the look on
the guy's face when I say "You know, I've been
looking at this microphone at this hamfest for the
last 20 years." As Bugs Bunny would say, aren't I
a stinker? You bet, and a curmudgeonly one too.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KB4QAA on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Nope, not going to do it.

Equipment is less expensive today than it was 40 years ago. Further it is more capable and many times more reliable. Overall, a much better value.

New hams must invest in their own equipment. It's THEIR HOBBY! Why should I subsidize them? I've seen far too many new hams who plead poverty, wanting equipment, then disappear. IF they don't have cash now, then SAVE up. It's the old fashioned way of living. Self denial and thriftiness are values that are not encouraged in our society.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K0RGR on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I used to try selling my gear at lower prices, hoping to help out a newbie, and several things happened.

First, the target audience would see the lower price, and assume that there was something dreadfully wrong with mine, because I was asking less than the tip top EBay prices. This attracted the vultures hoping to talk me down even further and take my 'burden' off my hands, so they could repair it and sell it.

Did I mention the junk dealers? They just try to talk you down or scam you, so they can make a lot of money.

Next, some serious buyer will come along, and he'll demand to see a picture of the radio with some random object in the picture to prove that I am 'real'.

Then, you have the dedicated tire kickers. These people have no intention whatsoever of buying your radio, but they will write email after email wanting to know if it has feature x, y, or z installed. Some of these are people planning to sell their own nightmare, and they're trying to figure out why you priced yours that way!

At this point, I'd rather send it to the landfill. Fortunately, I have ham relatives who absorb the overflow for me.

No, I think instead, we need to change the expectations of newbies, and we need to get back to HF. Our current license structure is a disaster in that regard.

There are, indeed, inexpensive HF radio kits that a newbie could use, but they need a General license to actually use them. There are complete transceivers for digital modes in the $100 range on EBay, and they work well, too.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W3TTT on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
A few comments:

I had a whole wall of used, boat anchor type gear. I sold the whole lot and got an Icom 718. Later also got the CW filter. Very happy.

Unfortunately, I got a few pieces of old gear back, like a Johnson Viking AM transmitter. It stays on the shelf until I can get to it and refurbish. (I am waiting for my retirement so I can take the rig out of its retirement!)

I am doing lots of homebrew building. I Like Regen receivers, QRP transmitters. Lotsa fun.

But you can not expect a new ham to homebrew, unless he is already a EE. Just building a decent dipole with feeder would be expecting a lot. I recommend an Inverted Vee. Only needs one support, takes up less room than a full dipole. Works just about as good as a full dipole.

I say, if the price is too high, then don't buy it. And I don't. Do you?

You can only use one transmitter and one antenna at a time. Right? I see photos of stations with dozens of rigs, stacked and shelved. Why do they need that? Oh, right, it's a hobby. Love it.

One more thing. The Icom 718 cost $625. I have had it for 10 years. That comes to $62 per year. It really is a cheap hobby, if you consider that. Bout a dollar a week. 17 cents a day. I can talk all day on it. Penny an hour. YMMV.

RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by ONAIR on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I think it is going to soon be easier for new hams to get into the hobby. A plethora of low priced low power HF radios have been coming onto the market, including a variety of QRP kit rigs that are fairly easy to assemble! It won't be long before Chinese manufacturers are selling decent quality basic 100 watt 10 through 80 HF rigs for under $300.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K5UJ on April 25, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
<<It's easy to not like "these computer based rigs of today" if your metric is one of nostalgia, and that's about all.>>

"nostalgia" is a very small part of the vintage equipment operation; 90% of it has to do with running gear that can be understood, repaired, modified, and maintained. All a significant part of ham radio, more so than simply operating, and in keeping with the preamble to the Amateur Radio Service in Part 97 of the CFR. A lot of hams who simply assemble plug and play boxes they know little about, eventually get bored and drop out of the hobby because they never did anything particularly interesting to begin with, and never actually learned much about radio.

<<Next, some serious buyer will come along, and he'll demand to see a picture of the radio with some random object in the picture to prove that I am 'real'.>>

I can't imagine listing an item on the internet and NOT including a picture. In fact, when I see no photo, I immediately move on.

<<But you can not expect a new ham to homebrew, unless he is already a EE. >>

E.E. program graduates today study only low voltage solid state circuits, are whiz kids on digital signal processing, but are deathly afraid of high voltage and might have a tough time telling a tube from a vacuum cap.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9MHZ on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Rob, I was referring to what he brought up in his post. I'd have a very hard time believing that he'll be repairing his TS-440S. Nothing wrong with owning those rigs, I never implied that. Owned many, many in my years as well. It's about the elements who do not want to have "them there newfangled computer rice boxes..." because they think it's giving in to fads or novelty in the new age. You hear it every night between belches on 40 and 75.

My post was not an indictment in the least, of any type of gear itself. BTW, racks of AM gear are very cool, IMO.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KF4HR on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
My thought is, all things being relative, low end pricing on ham gear is the same as it was years ago. The bigger question is, are people willing to work for what they want?

I started ham radio in 1967 with an Ameco AC-1 transmitter kit, a club let me borrowed a military surplus receiver, and I built my first antenna and T/R switch. If I remember correctly my AC-1 transmitter kit cost $14.95. That $14.95 bought me 2 bands on CW (40 and 80M), 7-watts, and all the frequencies I could afford (buying crystals).

To put things in perspective, back then the kid down the street would cut your lawn for $2 and gas cost 25 to 28 cents per gallon. I know because one of those kids was me.

Now you are lucky if you can even find a kid willing to cut your grass, but if you do, he'll want at least $50.

Most people starting out in this hobby today wouldn't touch a CW-only crystal controlled transmitter with a 10 foot pole. They'd rather buy a dual band HT and talk around the world via VOiP.

There are plenty of inexpensive rigs out there for those that are willing to cut a few lawns.

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by N3KBS on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
There are ways to get into the hobby very inexpensively with new gear found on Ebay or Amazon. I recently bought a dual band 220/2m HT (I have been wanting to get on 220 for years) brand new for $14. Included a car charger as well! Great little radio... And there are 40 meter cw kits available for about $5 too. It is going to depend if you know how to shop to some degree!


Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by NG9W on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I didn't get into this hobby until I was 22, out of school, and gainfully employed. I took out a loan from the credit union to by my first HF rig, a Yaesu FT101ZD with WARC bands, from Jun's Electronics. Paying on that loan, and my car loan, helped me get my credit established.

I rarely buy used equipment anymore from other hams online. Once I bought a used MFJ soundcard interface that fried the +5V line on my mic connector. Another dead horse was an amplifier interface that didn't do all that it was supposed to.

Now if I buy something used from another ham, I make sure it is local pickup where I can verify it works properly. Did this with an Ameritron ALS-600 and an MFJ-921 VHF antenna tuner. It just has become too costly to not get what I thought I should be getting, or having to repair something that wasn't working as it should have.

And new or used, I have never been scammed, cheated, duped, or taken by a reputable dealer. I've done business with AES (RIP), HRO, GigaParts, DX Engineering, and The Hamstation.

David, NG9W
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KN4CPY on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
The new stuff does so much more, and is relatively less expensive, but can the average ham figure it out? Find replacement parts and repair it?
Sadly, the millennials who work in the dwindling number of Radio Shack stores probably have no idea what a radio shack even IS. It's sad; as a kid either my allowance or pt-job income was mostly spent there, on one multi-pack of parts or another. What kid today knows what a CK-722 is, or read anything by Forest Mims III?
To the OP though, even if the pricing model isn't accurate, I think the intent is good. I've been into building computers for years, and I let old stuff go for a song. I don't see it as a source of income, and I probably already got my money's worth, so I let it go for little to others who might get something from it. I see ham radio as another potentially expensive hobby, and it is nice to know that there are some out there willing to help new hams get their station equipment.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WA9RHD on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe people don't know what the "HAM" in Ham Radio stands for!


Those with a lot of money (e.g. rigs) should donate some of the ones they never use (look at the ads - they are all for UNUSED equipment) to someone who would love to use it!!

They could even ask for it back when the newbie gets his first ICOM 7851 or big Step IR!

Then its goes to another newbie!

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KC2QYM on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
This not hate mail so please do not think it as such.
There are many great comments about creative building to save money and of course learning along the way and that's what this hobby should encompass but the poster's other point asks that we hams should lower the prices for radios we want to sell to accommodate other unfortunate fellows. The last time I looked, hobbyists have to budget their money to participate in any hobby. Would we tell members of a shotgun trap club to lower their prices below market on a gun so some poor guy can join the sport, or how about selling your old golf clubs for a pittance because after some unfortunate fellow pays his country club dues he's got nothing left to buy a set of clubs. And of course other examples abound. If I offer a 25 year old rig for $500 and nobody contacts me with interest I could lower my price to say $450 and wait to be contacted. Still no interest I might go down to $400 and if no interest is generated I'll just pull the ad and keep the rig. How desperate would one have to be to practically give the rig away. No, I think for the most part the only way this poor unfortunate fellow is going to find a really low price is if he becomes aware of a SK's widow who is stuck with her ham hoarder's husbands 'junk'. That's where you'll get a great deal. Will the widow really get a fair price for her husband's stuff...usually not but at least she will get rid of all the equipment helped by unscrupulous ham bargain hunters. A ham who is moving up in years is usually the one who may understand this possible future scenario and lower their prices to save their wife the indignity and burden of disposing of their equipment. That said, I knew a woman who was in that situation; her husband left 30 rigs and other equipment behind. I helped price out suggested values for all the radios and got a few local clubs to distribute the lists. The disgusting ham vultures descended on this women offering no fair or nearly fair prices for the equipment. She compromised with a few of the buyers to raise their bids...others insisted that the equipment was worthless. Do you know what she did with twenty radios that the low ball hams told her were worthless? She had her sons take all the crap to recycling yard and sold it all for electronic scrap. She would rather see the stuff end up in a slag pool that let some low class hams have it. Moral of the story, offer a fair price to someone for their used equipment, don't expect anyone to part with their property for some give away price. Don't expect ham radio altruism to cloud the reality of any financial transaction. Ham radio is a hobby and it's also a business.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K6CRC on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Many opinions here. I have been fortunate/lucky in my life and can afford any rig I want. But, growing up in a house with Depression Mentality parents, I do not. Have a simple rig, works well. More features than I can use. Limited by my small lot antennas, so why have a IC-7851?
What does bother me is the 'entitled' attitudes, not from young people, but from some Old Timers. 'hey, I don't have any money, give me your extra rig!'.
Maybe you do not have money because of a health, job, or family situation out of your control. Or, maybe you just made BAD choices. How am I to know that? You can't pay a fair price, but can buy a $200 sports jersey or ring up $200 worth of wine at Costco.
And, if I don't know you and buy your story, what to say my act of kindness will not end up on eBay?
I work with a lot of young people who really do not care about 'stuff'. They have their friends, music, sports activities. Other half isn't materialistic either. To get to those young people, Ham radio needs to be an experience... say a SotA, Field Day, DxPedition, or some such thing. Likely loaning them a rig would would be fine, they would return it or buy it from you. Honesty and being humble is valued, despite the physical appearance.

Older Hams who grew up with the 'Big Union' mentality don't get that, just grab what I can get. And, yes, I was in a Union, two as a matter of fact, before I went to college.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KD8IIC on April 26, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing Worthewhile is without expense!
Make it too easy and no one has respect for what they have or the priveledge, Not Right, to operate on Amateur bands.
I paid for mine and so shall everyone else!
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9MHZ on April 27, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, amazing how that goes. Entire societies and nations have failed because they grasped that. And in today's snowflake world.... eh, never mind.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9MHZ on April 27, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"....never grasped that..." (ugh). Earn/pay your own way, looking out for yourself, saving for retirement.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WB0RXL on April 27, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting web site that shows changes in buying power through the years. For example, according to the Heathkit SB-102 I purchased in 1975 cost around $ 380. In 2016, it would take $1,695.24 to buy the same amount as $380.00 bought in 1975.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W9YW on April 27, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Moore's Law made computing costs drop like a rock. As SDRs get better and better, it's going to drop the price of boat anchors like the rocks they are.

People with otherwise sound minds will genuflect at the altars of name-brands-of-yore. All hail Collins. May the Hammarlunds spare you their almighty wrath. Fooey.

I'm a tinker, a maker, and a solder jockey that's been jolted plenty with flyback juice, plate arcs, and plentiful other jolts in life.

While a great art, it'll be like repairing magnetos, split rim tires, and points in a distributor along with the carbs, my friends. I was raised on tubes and self-wound coils, and RoyGBiv. In the future, however, the costs of SMT-based SDRs will kneecap older rigs-- those beasts that keep houses from blowing away in tornadoes. They're fun to look at, and they are dinosaurs.

GNURadio will give you a headache, those of you that want to pioneer it. In ten years, SDRs will be child's play.

But there are many hoarders of junk in the ham world, and I respect them, because I have ten bankers boxes of junk. My pride is that at least once a month, I find something useful in the junk boxes to fix something with properly. Others will aspire to technical design to the component level, and others will never get it. I respect both. In the end, it's about the radios, but to the hoarders--- it's a sickness only cured by starting afresh after your perceived value is met by the realities of the marketplace. So many hams fool themselves into believing their hoard has intrinsic value. In a way, it does, in another way, it's a rationalization to just acquire stuff. I also respect the horse-trading ham. I do some, myself. But that garage-full of stuff is a disease. My 2c worth.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by NU1O on April 29, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
What about the cost for a factory, engineer to design the antenna, office staff, taxes and benefits, and lastly the cost to market a product in a magazine like QST?

The cost of the aluminum is just a small part of the total cost of an antenna for a manufacturer.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by AH7I on April 29, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
No. Stuff has never been cheaper. A year old used ts590sg gets advertised at $950 and is on the swapboard for weeks. It's a Radio one can use for the next 20 years. Another great transceiver is the Tentec 599. They seem to sell quickly if under $1000. I advertised a clean, working, ft101b for months. I kept dropping the price. I ended up selling at$140. It's great radio for someone who is willing to learn to work on his own stuff. There don't appear to be many new hams who do.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by OH2KEN on April 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Having read the whole thread, most being written by people having had decades of ham years, maybe someone would also be interested in the views of the other end of the line, someone who is starting with this hobby. Someone like me. Now I have never believed that the opinion of one individual necessarily represents the opinion of all individuals of that said group, so I'm speaking for myself here. But I am one real person example from above mentioned reference group. :-) I did not stumble across this hobby as an adult, this ham thing was my father's highly loved hobby. I myself ordered a Chinese ht, because it was relatively cheap. I also bought my father's equipment as nobody here in Finland would pay anything, I repeat anything for it. There were on the other hand a few ham old timers who contacted me when I initially tried to sell the equipment as my father had asked me to do on his behalf. These hams wanted this and that, for free. No newbies turned up, nor did I get contacted via the bureau or informed by older hams of anyone economically challenged wannabe ham either. So I have started with a hardware set consisting of one Chinese ht and an Icom 706. Still building on my radio shack to get on the air on hf, only using the ht on vhf and uhf, mobile, mostly just listening. So, back to the topic of prices on used equipment. I once was interested in getting another 706 for my car. Some where advertised locally or by word of mouth. They wanted something like 500-800Ä, for simplicity let's say that equals 500-800 usd. Needless to say I didn't buy one from these hams. There also was an Icom 7000 offered for 1000 usd, no, I did not buy that either, especially having read about the flaws in it in an article here on eham. So you see, for us inexperienced new hams getting brand new Chinese equipment is the way to go. Old equipment fascinates me and I find it sad that it will sit unused on some operators shelf. But there it probably will remain, the asking price being too high, while some other old timers have no problem with trying to get the same equipment for free from fellow old timers that have become so handicapped that they no longer are able to operate in any way on the bands. Why not give old stuff for a reasonable price to other people OR donate it to someone poor? It is called good will. This has nothing to do with lazy people, there actually is people out there working two jobs and still being poor.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KG5AXF on April 30, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I've been saying this since I received my ticket just a few years ago. Used equipment prices are simply too high. As for inflation, it really doesn't matter, and I think that kind of thinking is part of the problem. These days anything electronic is considered disposable.

Consider that a computer purchased today, will only be worth one-quarter it's retail price in just two years. During that same two years you are are already upgrading the video card, hard drive, and RAM. Then again at 4 years. At five years, it's time to replace that computer entirely.

You can certainly say that radios have a longer lifespan, and you would indeed be correct. However, the disposability of anything electronic still pervades the generations starting with mine. I'm a Gen X'er by the way; 42.

It can also be said that electronics are disposable due to the existence of cheap replacements; yep, here comes the Chinese discussion. Once again, you would be correct. However, consider this, how much longer do you think it will be before the Chinese start producing HF gear...yep, it's happening now. It just hasn't hit the widespread market here in the US just yet.

Personally, I don't see the prices of the big 3 manufacturers coming down any time soon. Nor do I see the prices for EBay gear coming down, fact of the matter is, the US Dollar has been weakened over the past 10 years to the point that it's cheaper for someone in Europe to buy gear in USDs and pay the shipping.

I'm guessing that prices, in general, will not come down for another 10 years.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by GM1FLQ on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"Performance numbers of modern radios are phenomenal by comparison."

And with expectations raised, you do the real life a/b comparisons and they can often be a "phenomenal" anti-climax.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W8LV on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Oh how the mighty have fallen... All of the American name brands now long ago swept away.

I agree that when China produces good and cheap HF rigs, and of course VHF rigs with open and more universally accepted digital protocols unlike the current babble that we have now even if individual Fan Boys of specific protocols won't admit it, for the Big Three, it's Game Over.

I also suspect that a couple of big commercial transmitter producers will also suffer the same Game Over Scenario: Eventually, turn key commercial transmitter solutions from China will be the norm in Commercial Broadcasting.

How can anyone NOT see this in the Industry?

Take a look at a Grundig=Eton=Tecsun portable.
They haven't been made in Germany for years.

And they are good radios and cheap.

That's just how it is.

Times Change. Markets compete. And the dollar fluctuates.. just like all the other currencies do. Especially when any country flurts with printing more money as the "way out": It's just legalized counterfeiting that bites their own citizens in the fanny, sooner or later. Usually sooner.

Always playing in the background is an established industry trying to protect their turf with the political hanky-panky of import tariffs. Which never work. Because while you can impose an import tax in your country against the Other Guy... You can't keep the Other Guy from doing exactly the same thing in HIS Country.
This makes Government Coiffures fill up in the opposing countries, but puts You AND the Other Guy out of work.
Another Big Three tried that Once Upon a Time, but they weren't in Tokyo. Instead, they were in Detroit. That didn't work out too well for them, either. Or us. As workers AND consumers.

It's akin to imposing tariffs on Canadian lumber,
which has the rather dully predictable outcome of raising the price of construction here.

Which means less construction. Less contractors. And ESPECIALLY less subcontractors...working. And the guy up North, to whom YOU would like to export YOUR products to? Well, he won't be buying your Widget. Not because he's singing the The Maple Leaf Forever and wouldn't want to buy YOUR foreign (to him) widget. More likely, it's because now he's out of work. At the lumber mill.

You begin to wonder if the current Regime in Washington hasn't figured out yet that lumber grows on trees. And that jobs do not.

And our comparably small Amateur Radio market, and the agreeably larger Commercial Radio market but still very small in comparison to the lumber market? No different than any other market.

The combination of innovation, quality, and price always carry the day. Always. Always! We decide in the end as consumers which of those three ratios are right for us.

73 and All the Best!

DE W8LV (and admittedly, sometimes W8LV/VE3) Bill

No Americans, Canadians, Chinese, Germans, or Japanese were harmed in the creation of this post.

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KC4ZGP on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

Give a man fish, he eats for the day.

Teach him to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.

73 and wear that seat belt.

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K6MMS on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

Time and space.

I can't speak for anyone else, but all I know is that, while I have the know-how, I simply do not have the time to build my own equipment. Additionally, who's got the space to do such things anymore?

I grew up in the 70's. My mom stayed home with me until I was about 5 and then she too went to work. It's been that way ever since.

My wife and I are both professionals in the power engineering field. We both work 40-50+ hours a week. Then it's homework for our two girls, making meals and grocery shopping. On a good week we get some house cleaning in. So, when are we supposed to be able to eek out any time to isolate ourselves and tinker with old equipment or build from scratch?

The time when your wife stayed at home to take care of the kids and the house are loooong gone. THATS why hams today don't kit-build. Things got too busy. We're lucky to have any time while commuting to work mobile let alone fire up the base unit at home once the kids go to bed.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by AA4HA on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
A new ham is not going to be on HF, they will usually be technician class license holders and spend their first days on VHF/UHF.

If they cannot afford a $25 Baufung then they should look for a hobby that is free.

This is a hobby of increments; Nobody needs to start out with a $1000 radio.

While I have given help to many new hams I do not feel compelled to take a loss on a piece of gear that I want to sell. I am trying to recoup some of my original investment so I can buy something else.

It is always the buyers prerogative to talk to someone else, find a different deal or to get help from someone who is giving something away.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K5TED on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

Things that go for the same price as good used ham gear:

1. 55" TV
2. iPad
3. iPhone
4. Two tickets to a classic rock band concert
5. fast food for lunch for three months
6. two 6-packs of Schlitz a week for a year
7. A pair of mid-priced designer Nikes
8. three months of bloated cable you only watch 2% of.

This can go on and on...
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KJ7WT on May 1, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Well... I have never had a lot of money to spend on ham gear, as it is a hobby, not a necessity, but I have used mostly used commercial gear, one new radio (IC-718) and a variety of commercial and homebrew accessories.
While I'd like to have more to spend, I can still have fun with what I have. I also recently got a bitx40 QRP 40m rig, and it has been fun to fiddle with hardware & software to "customize" this little radio.
If you really want to, you will find a way.
RE: Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9MHZ on May 2, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
"....THATS why hams today don't kit-build. Things got too busy...."

Maybe one reason, but not "the" reason. Heaths were fine for the day, but technologies and manufacturing methods produced far better gear for less cost to the ham consumer. Maybe we could add SMT/SMDs to the demise of kit-building as it was.

But let's be honest with ourselves....Heaths weren't that great even back then (yes, I built them all). And today, they're just plain crap.

Your point is well taken, though. Thank goodness that we have phenomenal affordable gear that allows us to be busy doing real life, while still having fun on those precious few moments of down time.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WO4V on May 9, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
How many times have I made someone an offer on something, and be told that "I have more than that in it!", sometimes vehemently!

What's that got to do with anything? I really don't expect to recoup my investment in a piece of gear, as I don't expect to make a profit on something I have used for a good long time! Yeah, that would be nice, but not realistic...

But this is America, and anyone has the right to not sell anything. And to keep it...I don't have a problem with that...

See ya'll at Dayton!

73, Dave
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by KC5GJY on May 11, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
When I went to electronics school,the I.c.chip was in the near future,so tube
gear (boat anchors)are what I'm
fond of.But I've noticed the prices
seem a little high,even the Goodwill
auctions reflect more money than sense
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by W4JLE on May 12, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a ham since 1956. When I received my ticket, my Elmer dug through his old stuff and gave me an HQ-120 to get me started and checked over my first homebrew transmitter to get me on the air. Through the years I tried to mimic his generosity by what today is called "pay it forward".

Over the years I have collected up broken equipment, repaired it and gave it to a worthy new ham. I only made the decision on 3 factors, attitude, attitude, and attitude. Lately, I would post the availability of a finished radio and ask for recommendations on the local forum. You would not believe some of the nasty emails from some of the self-entitled folks that felt they deserved a free radio and had not received one.

A few months back the 200th radio (spread over 60 years) was given to a young ham. Even those in need of repair sources have dried up since folks have found they could sell broken stuff on EBay.

Many of the new hams are only concerned with seeing how many bucks they can make off their fellow ham. As a youngster, I climbed any number of towers to help an OM that could no longer climb. I am now that OM and needed to have a two-meter beam installed at the top of a 40-foot tower. I contacted a local club and they assured me they had someone. The guy showed up and was at my QTH a total of 20 minutes. As soon as he descended the tower he informed me I owed him $200.00. I always settled for a cup of coffee or an 807.
So much for the old ham spirit!
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WD4ED on May 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Man, I can't tell you how many towers I've climbed for free. 1200 feet (internal elevator) to 30 feet. I was fixing antennas, installing towers and taking them down. All for free for hams. You are right. I don't know who would do that for me now? I have a 50 footer in my backyard right now I can't put up because of disability. Most "club" members are older or in worse shape than I am! :-) We need younger hams if not only to help with tower climbing!

I do loan a gear to other hams for testing and gaining experience. Never had any problems doing that.

I also do a lot of homebrewing. Mainly amps, tuners and Arduino projects. Prices are what they are. Do the internet searching and you can find "acceptable" deals on parts. Yes, ebay is a mixed bag. Some clear over charging and profit taking. But just keep looking.

Thanks for the conversation!

Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by WD8LIC on May 31, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
Seems like more and more hams buy new expensive gear. Homebrew and junk box a lost and now expensive art.
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by K9SQG on June 3, 2017 Mail this to a friend!

I understand what you are saying and, 20-30 years ago your idea might have worked quite well. But it needs to be handled on a case by case basis and get a feel for the prospective buyer. Why? Based upon some personal experience and observations, I've seen a lot of excellent gear go for low to average prices on the HF swap nets only to have it appear a couple of weeks later on eBay where it received a higher price. This was but one reason for the demise of the HF swap nets, supplies of equipment were diminished. In other words, some hams treat our hobby as, well, a hobby, while others use it as a business. Sometimes it is hard to know which group a buyer belongs to.


Evan, K9SQG
Prices for Old Equipment and Hams Building Gear  
by AI4HO on June 6, 2017 Mail this to a friend!
I always, always made it a point to not screw over someone who was looking at any of my stuff I had for sale at times even taking a bit of a loss I have a lot of memories of guys emailing me saying they were on a budget or lost my gear in a fire etc. I would look up their call sign if they had it in there in their bio that this or that had happened and were not on the air because. Did I get ripped off? Probably, but then there were plenty of guys who got back on the air because I wasn't out to screw over the average guy who was trying t get back on the air or just on the air for the first time. I've given more coax antenna wire, parts pieces while active in our local club over the years.

I hope to be an active club member again after 3 years of trying to get my disability under control, just to be able to help the new hams and those who for one reason or another are off the air. Yes it is an expense, but if you can afford a new flat panel TV if there is nothing wrong with your current one use the cash to get you a ham rig, there is always that little plastic card that so many want to use, me I try and steer clear of using plastic. If I don't have the cash on hand I don't get what ever it is that I'm wantin. Would I like to see lower prices on new and used gear....we all would,ain't gonna happen. But we could maybe just maybe drop our prices even 10% hell 5% would be a start. I'm willing....are you?
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