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Author Topic: "unable to test..."  (Read 7537 times)
K5TED
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Posts: 675




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« on: October 03, 2013, 07:28:20 PM »

http://www.eham.net/classifieds/detail/419725

Really? How is it that a ham operator has no way to test a rig or vouch for the performance?

Buyers are supposed to plunk down a kilobuck on a rig that cannot be tested using even rudimentary methods?

On that "other internet auction site" this generally means, "stay away".

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K7MH
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Posts: 328




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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 11:40:44 PM »

I think he is only unable to test the 220 module since it is not installed and he doesn't want to bother (or risk) installing it.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4322




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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 03:52:33 AM »

No antenna or dummy load or power meter?
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KA5IPF
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Posts: 974


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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 04:57:01 AM »

"Unable to test" to me means broke. If I say I can't test it then I don't have to admit it's broke. Just my take on it.

Clif
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W4KYR
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Posts: 437




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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 05:13:44 AM »

It seems the words 'Unable to Test', 'untested', 'no way to test'  appears to be a 'free pass' for people to sell items on auction sites without accountability, so if you buy it and it doesn't work...the seller is off the hook. This seems to happen more frequently with 'estate sales' and the like. I can't imagine the seller not having access to a 12 volt supply (car battery?) or (a coat hanger for)  an antenna.  


If you are buying it for pennies on the dollar just for parts, it could be a good deal for you. On the other hand, I have bought some 'unable to test' items that were selling for pennies for the dollar only to have it actually work.  

Some of those old tube crystal controlled HF marine radios have large 'tapped' coils inside that you can use for antenna projects and might be worth the $30 asking price. And you might be able to recoup your costs by selling off the crystals.

Then there are good low risk 'unable to test' items like SWR meters, antennas, mics, speakers, connectors and keys.

If the seller claims 'unable to test'  and is asking for nearly the same price as a radio or equipment that does work...then beware or avoid it. I have seen  'no way to test' rigs with opening bids of $400 or more ...whereas working versions selling for $500+ .  I once saw a 'non working' rig with the same asking price of a rig that is selling as 'tested working'.


Some rigs I avoid altogether regardless of whatever price it is selling for tested or 'untested'. Your results may vary, void where prohibited...... Buyer beware.









« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 05:21:35 AM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2013, 06:45:22 AM »

It can happen, but it's rare. Last year I was helping to deal with a silent key sale and we came across a 23cm rig in a storage box. Sure, when we plugged it into power all the lights came on but I don't know ANY hams that work 23cm and there are no repeaters, so, even if we could find an antenna it would have been difficult to check out. Someone who only works VHF might find themselves in the same position with an HF rig. Sure, all the lights come on and they can receive some signals using a length of wire thrown out of the window, but how do they test the transmitter?

Tanakasan
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AD4U
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Posts: 2150




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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 07:24:14 AM »

To me it means broken and stay away.  At the price he is asking, the rig should be fully tested and fully operational.  It is hard to think a ham does not have a PS, a dummy load, or an antenna.  My guess is a ham within a reasonable distance has these items and would offer to test.

Dick  AD4U
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4322




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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2013, 08:17:49 AM »

Dick,

There was/is a recent thread somewhere on eham.net where someone said you don't need a dummy load....But yes, for that sort of price, there should be someone around who could at least do some checks.
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2236




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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2013, 07:35:27 PM »

If it is advertised as untested, then assume the worst, and bid accordingly.  In any case, don't bid more than you can afford to lose if it turns up a basket case.
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WX7G
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Posts: 5908




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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2013, 07:09:06 AM »

Three days ago I emailed the owner of the classified ad and asked about his "testing." No reply yet.
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KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 836




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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2013, 02:02:49 PM »

"unable to test" covers a lot of sins, including "what the freak is this thing?  hmmm, I see the last two sold for $666.  I'll start mine at $555 reserve."

it also covers dumpster diving.  see what AC5UP's neighbors have dug out of the trash, and maybe bid on that Wink

otherwise, chances are pretty good it's a workbench queen that will consume all the time and money you should be spending on other pursuits like replacing the house's roof, or paying your divorce lawyer.  parts radio, maybe, if it hasn't already been chopped for the good stuff.

I have a couple of rigs waiting their turn for serious diagnostics from that type of deal, one a CX7a that obviously had a screen-plate short and a golden screwdriver in it.
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G3RZP
Member

Posts: 4322




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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2013, 02:38:27 PM »

>replacing the house's roof, or paying your divorce lawyer<

I am reminded of G.K. Chesterton's 'Cautionary Tales':

'Lord Edgware tried to fix the electric light.
It struck him dead - and serve him right.
It is the duty of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.'

Fortunately, no divorce lawyer needed here even after 30 years.....she says she would have had a shorter sentence for murder!
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KJ6ZOL
Member

Posts: 314




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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2013, 06:21:20 PM »

It seems the words 'Unable to Test', 'untested', 'no way to test'  appears to be a 'free pass' for people to sell items on auction sites without accountability, so if you buy it and it doesn't work...the seller is off the hook. This seems to happen more frequently with 'estate sales' and the like. I can't imagine the seller not having access to a 12 volt supply (car battery?) or (a coat hanger for)  an antenna.  

I've sold several tube radios as "untested". The buyer didn't seem to mind. One was an antique black dial Zenith that had been in my possession for years but hadn't been turned on since Clinton was president. With tube gear, there's always the worry that plugging it in and exposing it to 120vAC without a variac will make some of the caps blow. Smoking the caps can cause quite a bit of damage to the radio and surrounding area (especially if you start a fire), so it's better to call it untested. I also had a Heathkit SB102 + HP23A ps that I'd gotten from my Elmer who intended to restore it with me-until he lost his house and moved to Texas. It had no ps-radio connection cable, and it was anyone's guess how long it had been since it had seen juice, so again I didn't want to risk it, and called it untested. No problem selling it, either.

Then there's the guy who inherited a crapload of radios from his dad who went SK, and doesn't know the first thing about ham radio. I mean, the poor sap has all the parts, but doesn't know how to connect the power cable, stuff like that. I saw an ad like that on a CL board in Oregon. The guy just posted pix, and didn't pretend to know what he had. He had a couple semi-modern transceivers, a MFJ Versa Tuner, a CB, and various odds and ends. I emailed him and explained to him what he had and what it was worth, and suggested Ebay. The ad vanished the next day.

The ultimate weird ad I saw on Ebay. A Storage Wars wannabe found a Yaesu FT401 in a locker he'd bought. Plugged it in and the tubes lit up, but even though the first gen Yaesus ran on 120, you needed an external speaker, which this guy didn't seem to realize. He didn't seem to know why it wouldn't sing, so he put it up and asked $60. The bid ended with him likely paying for the locker with what the radio brought.
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W4GLM
Member

Posts: 6




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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 03:30:06 AM »

"Unable to test" - Huge Red Flag, same-same as More than likely bad.

If it worked properly, owner would likely more than likely stand behind it somewhat,

unable to test - you bought it you deal with it.......................
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