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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: KT0DD on December 30, 2012, 06:24:48 AM



Title: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KT0DD on December 30, 2012, 06:24:48 AM
Aside from the $18,000 Hilberling PT8000, $14,000 FTDX9000, $10,000 IC7800 etc. (which to me is as ridiculous as the government paying $7000. for an ashtray...) has anyone noticed the prices for dual band VHF /UHF equipment from the big three lately? They seem exhorbitant to me!  

Now I know there will be those who will say... go buy the "cheap Chinese trash" if you dont like the prices from the "Quality" manufacturers. Well... I did. The "Quality" big three HT radios I have owned lately said "Made in China" on the box too. I wouldn't be surprised if certain Motorola rigs are made in China as well.

I just purchased a Wouxun KG-UV6D V2 with programming software and cable (with Part 90 certifications for both VHF and UHF) for $160. shipped.

Hopefully the competition from Wouxun, Baofeng, TYT etc. will force the big three and their dealers to "get real" with their prices as well.

73. Todd - KT0DD


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K9YLI on December 30, 2012, 07:51:13 AM
It won't be long  and  the Chinese will be  making  more than  10 cents an hour and the prices  will go up to match   Japanese  wages.
That cheap price is on the backs of  Chinese workers.  While  their  cost of living  matches their wages,  both will go up..
  Considering  money is  now about  10 times what it was in  1950,  that means a Hallicrafters  SX42    at the  $600 range  back then  would now be  $6K..
So   $6K  for a  am fm  receiver covering up to  60 megacycles or so  doesnt seem  out of line..
Do the math

so a   718  at about  $750  or in  1950  money   $75.00    thats pretty cheap..


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K5MF on December 30, 2012, 09:24:48 AM
Unfortunately a large number of people do not understand how money works.  The fact is that we are starting to see inflation kick in from the monetary and fiscal policies of this country.  It is inevitable that inflation will increase and the value of the american dollar will fall, which means everything will cost more - including our toys.  I wish people would understand that our government policies of spending money we don't have DOES have consequences. One of those consequences will be paying higher prices for everything.  We simply cannot ignore this fact.  Unfortunately, we have reached that tipping point in which the political electorate who know little about money and see the government as a sugar-daddy have become the majority.  And they are going to vote for those who spend recklessly for those votes. But everything has a cost in today's dollars or inflated tomorrow's dollars. If you are thinking of making any big dollar purchases, you better do it now because prices are only going to go much higher in the coming years.   


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AC2EU on December 30, 2012, 09:55:05 AM
I have a question:

Are those $18000 radios REALLY that much better?
would you use all of the bell and whistles. Do you need them?
I looked at the sensitivity specs on some of those expensive ones and they're not much better than the lower models, if at all.

Personally, I always thought a good antenna in a good location trumps an expensive radio.
What do you think?

Jim
Ac2EU



Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: WD5GWY on December 30, 2012, 10:23:56 AM
It won't be long  and  the Chinese will be  making  more than  10 cents an hour and the prices  will go up to match   Japanese  wages.
That cheap price is on the backs of  Chinese workers.  While  their  cost of living  matches their wages,  both will go up..
  Considering  money is  now about  10 times what it was in  1950,  that means a Hallicrafters  SX42    at the  $600 range  back then  would now be  $6K..
So   $6K  for a  am fm  receiver covering up to  60 megacycles or so  doesnt seem  out of line..
Do the math

so a   718  at about  $750  or in  1950  money   $75.00    thats pretty cheap..

Check the orignal ad for the SX-42 in this link:
http://www.antiqueradio.org/halli07.htm (http://www.antiqueradio.org/halli07.htm)
In 1947 the SX-42 was $250(although the author of the page says $275, the price shown in the ad posted reads $250) not $600. Still expensive for that time. But, not quite
out of reach for some.
james
WD5GWY


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KT0DD on December 30, 2012, 11:14:54 AM
It won't be long  and  the Chinese will be  making  more than  10 cents an hour and the prices  will go up to match   Japanese  wages.
That cheap price is on the backs of  Chinese workers.  While  their  cost of living  matches their wages,  both will go up..
  Considering  money is  now about  10 times what it was in  1950,  that means a Hallicrafters  SX42    at the  $600 range  back then  would now be  $6K..
So   $6K  for a  am fm  receiver covering up to  60 megacycles or so  doesnt seem  out of line..
Do the math

so a   718  at about  $750  or in  1950  money   $75.00    thats pretty cheap..

What was minimum wage in 1950...or did they even have one yet?

Costs of living vs. wages seem to always have a gap that gets wider and wider...Our own system is heading rapidly towards a collapse under it's own weight !


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KH6AQ on December 30, 2012, 02:05:52 PM
Want the best receive performance? Buy an American made Elecraft K3 for $1550 on up.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AA4PB on December 30, 2012, 02:13:06 PM
Want the best receive performance? Buy an American made Elecraft K3 for $1550 on up.

$1550 / 10 = $155 in 1950's money.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KE3WD on December 30, 2012, 04:43:04 PM
Is a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati better than a Mustang or Vette? 


Fortunately, the consumer has options...


73


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AD6KA on December 30, 2012, 06:31:27 PM
How ridiculous is ridiculous?

Consider the Collins "Gold Dust Twins"
The KWS-1 transmitter along with the 75A-4 receiver,
together, cost over $2500 when new.
Not sure what year exactly.
That's about equivalent to over
$20,000 in 2012 dollars.

The wealthy will always buy outrageous goods.
During the 20's many people invested in rubber
plantations in the Amazon, to fulfill the need for
all the tires for all the cars then coming to market.
Before it's collapse, Rubber Barons were so wealthy
they imported French champaign to water their horses with!
Most of them later lost it all due to the simple
fact that the jungle can't sustain mono crop agriculture.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on December 30, 2012, 07:21:46 PM
One day earlier this year I researched the price of one those beautiful ham transceivers and was startled..... no, SHOCKED to see the $10,000 price tag! 

I set there in front of my old TS-830S wondering who in the hell would spend $10 big ones on a HAM transceiver.  Since I couldn't possibly answer that question I turned on the rig and the very first station I talked to was using that very $10KB transceiver I was looking at! 

I not only got my answer but realized that if a man has the bucks, spend them!  Isn't that what it's for?  Is it ridiculous?  Who cares!  Money is made to be spent!!

Too bad I don't have any.........


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AC2EU on December 30, 2012, 07:44:28 PM
One day earlier this year I researched the price of one those beautiful ham transceivers and was startled..... no, SHOCKED to see the $10,000 price tag! 

I set there in front of my old TS-830S wondering who in the hell would spend $10 big ones on a HAM transceiver.  Since I couldn't possibly answer that question I turned on the rig and the very first station I talked to was using that very $10KB transceiver I was looking at! 

I not only got my answer but realized that if a man has the bucks, spend them!  Isn't that what it's for?  Is it ridiculous?  Who cares!  Money is made to be spent!!

Too bad I don't have any.........

If ya got it flaunt it?
Audiophiles are similar. There is a point at which the human ear can no longer determine the minute differences in THD.
Once you are in the modern moderate priced amps,you are at that threshold, yet guys will spend crazy amounts of money for the THD bragging rights. Ego is an amazing thing and the marketing guys know how to appeal to it.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on December 31, 2012, 02:49:43 AM
there is the point that interest rates are so low now that not spending it is just the same as gradually giving it away to the bank. Realistically, amateur radio has never been as cheap as it now is - look at the prices of even surplus equipment  in the 1950s. Here, in 1950, a war surplus HRO without a power supply was a month's pay for many people, and that was just a receiver.

Receiver sensitivity isn't everything, and at HF, I doubt there's a rig that doesn't have more than most people can use, especially below 10 MHz. The exception may be people with dedicated rx antennas for the low bands, but for the joe who uses the same antenna for transmit and receive, that's certainly the case. Even on intermodulation and phase noise, modern HF rigs are tending to go overboard, producing performance that isn't needed and cannot be used because of the perfomance of all the other transmitters (including point to point, broadcast etc) around.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on December 31, 2012, 07:49:54 AM
2EU - RZP:  There used to be a discussion in our power plant control room during slack time whenever the lottery got up around $100 million dollars.  The discussion revolved around winning the lottery and "how to spend it."  Invariably, the conversation would involve "a nice this and a nice that" or "I'd live here or there..." 

I'd let it ride for a bit and then tell them all "They simply didn't know how to spend money!"  The result was similar to throwing a big rock against a chicken house at 3:00AM! 

Then I would explain to them how to spend money. 

I'm telling you guys, "You don't know how to spend money!"   ;D


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KD0REQ on December 31, 2012, 10:01:45 AM
provide me a few pallets worth, and I'll teach ya ;)


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on December 31, 2012, 10:02:41 AM
'AXW,

Someone said that betting was the surest way to spend money, women were the fastest and drink the most pleasurable - although I am not certain about the latter.

Other ways to spend are to make a small fortune in the airline business, where you have to start with a large one, and to REALLY spend money, own, run and maintain to mainline standards, a steam railroad locomotive.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KG4RUL on December 31, 2012, 11:43:18 AM
Kenwood TM-V71A - True dual band operation - 50W output UHF & VHF - Crossband operation with a built-in CW IDer - Remote control of most function using only a DTMF capable radio - 118-524MHz, 800-1300MHz receive - The front panel can be installed two ways so the speaker can remain unobstructed - Weather Alert function that activates on reception of the NOAA 1050 Hz tone

Currently priced at Ham Radio Outlet for $369.95

Not a ridiculous price in my book


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on December 31, 2012, 07:30:44 PM
RZP:  Looks like my assumption is correct!  Wine, women and song are not good ways to spend a $100 million dollars! 

Buying an airline or a rail system is synonymous with setting the money on fire or stuffing it down a rat hole!   Giving REQ a "few pallets worth" isn't good either!  ;D


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: TANAKASAN on January 01, 2013, 03:41:37 AM
A quick analysis of the big rigs, feel free to disagree or chime in:

Icom 7800
Been going for years, a few initial teething problems that now seem to have been sorted. Nice receiver front end.

Yaesu 9000
More controls than the flight deck of Concorde and I hate the ergonomics with a passion. Other people however swear by 'em. What I do like are the display graphics that show the receiver front end status at a glance and those big meters.

Kenwood TS 990
The unknown quantity, although that LCD above the main tuning control is a good idea.

Hilberling PT 8000
Looks good, nice ergonomics, but they have been trying to get this project to sell for years. Might not be here in 12 months time.

My choice would be the Icom 7800 but the problem is that I don't have the antennas to justify such a rig. It would therefore be a waste of my cash.

Tanakasan


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KT0DD on January 01, 2013, 05:53:43 AM
Want the best receive performance? Buy an American made Elecraft K3 for $1550 on up.


I'm splitting hairs here... but the Elecraft doesn't equal the specs of the Hilberling...according to Rob Sherwoods tests...the Hilberling has 105 db dynamic range at 2 khz spacing and also at 1 khz spacing it doesn't change...it's still 105. The Elecraft is 101db at 2khz spacing.

Is it $16,500 worth of difference...not no...but hell no in my book.



Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on January 01, 2013, 07:07:48 AM
How, in practice, can you USE 105dB of dynamic range?

I've done measurements (published in QEX and NCJ) and in a ITU rural environment, with a big antenna on 7MHz (the worst band), the ratios of noise floor to signal levels meant that 100dB was all that was needed. Remember 7MHz in Europe is an awful lot more crowded than in the US, and there are a lot more very strong BC signals.

Close in, again, how do you use that much dynamic range? The unwanted signals are going to be that clean, right? Key clicks, transmitter phase noise and intermodulation products mean that if another station is that strong and that close, the limit is the Out of Band emissions from that interfering transmitter.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AE5J on January 01, 2013, 08:06:43 AM
I see this obsession with owning the most expensive/latest toy in so many areas it is just not funny.

People flock to the camera stores to drop multi thousands of dollars on the latest and "greatest" digital SLR body and lens without realizing that some of the finest glass in the world was made many years ago. And the finest photographs ever taken (and still so) are made with nearly 100 year old cameras. But, who cares about all that, drop that money.

Look at cars. My daughter got talked into buying an uber-expensive German brand car and then called me to complain that an oil change cost over $900. I advised her to sell it.

I think everyone needs to ask themselves what ham radio is really all about: sitting in front of grossly overpriced equipment and gazing rapturously at the little lights; or actually using that equipment to make contacts and friends the world over. I learned a long time back that to make contacts, spend your money on antennas. No amount of money spent on a rig can make as extreme a difference.

Back during one of our famous oil boom to bust cycles, when everyone was losing all their  expensive toys, there was a very popular bumpersticker that read: "Dear God. If You make it better, I promise not to waste my money like last time." Still rings true. Spend wisely.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on January 01, 2013, 08:32:29 AM
Quote
I think everyone needs to ask themselves what ham radio is really all about: sitting in front of grossly overpriced equipment and gazing rapturously at the little lights; or actually using that equipment to make contacts and friends the world over. I learned a long time back that to make contacts, spend your money on antennas. No amount of money spent on a rig can make as extreme a difference.


OK, how about..... gazing rapturously at the little lights, making contacts and friends all over the world with a 150' tower and the badestass beam going? 

OR:

gazing at your 30 year old transceiver (like me), making contacts and friends here and there using a dipole antenna...... and letting that filthy money pile up in a bank account?


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on January 01, 2013, 11:08:21 AM
Trouble is that money in the bank account isn't really piling up, just at best keeping up with inflation. Plus you can't take it with you. Like the story of four buddies who promised that when the first one died, they'd all put  $50 in the grave. At the funeral, one who was lawyer said he hadn't got any cash, picked up the $100 from the other two guys and wrote a check for $150 which he threw in the hole....


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on January 01, 2013, 07:54:26 PM
Peter, this is all fun and games..... I doubt if either of us has to worry about disposing of a pallet of money!   ::)


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: WB2WIK on January 03, 2013, 11:15:56 AM
It's not the cost of anything that matters...it's whether you actually have to pay it!

My Mayan calendar said the world was going to end, so I could charge whatever I wanted to and just buy all sorts of stuff, knowing with the world ending I'd never have to actually pay for any of it.

Darn, that didn't work out. :'(


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K8AXW on January 04, 2013, 10:04:49 AM
WIK:  You might not believe this but I know a guy who got a credit card and used it more or less indiscriminately.  When his wife confronted him one day and told him, "Jim, you have to pay this credit card company for what you are charging," he was absolutely stunned!  He never thought of that!


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: WB2WIK on January 04, 2013, 02:24:24 PM
WIK:  You might not believe this but I know a guy who got a credit card and used it more or less indiscriminately.  When his wife confronted him one day and told him, "Jim, you have to pay this credit card company for what you are charging," he was absolutely stunned!  He never thought of that!

Don't ask that guy for any advice.

On anything.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K0IZ on January 04, 2013, 03:23:09 PM
A Hallicrafters S40A receiver in 1950 was $99.  This was the most popular receiver of its time.  Towards the lower end of the Hallicrafters line.  In current dollars this is equivalent to $946.44.  For a lower end receiver, this was 3.5 months of 1950 average pay ($3210).  Pretty expensive.

I am glad that some hams have the money to buy the super expensive rigs.  That gets technology going, which eventually works its way down to most of the rest of us.  When the first wall mounted TV screens came out, they went for more then $20K with so so quality. 


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K9MOV on January 12, 2013, 04:59:29 PM
I think G3RZP's post on rx specs. is 100% correct.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: WB2WIK on January 12, 2013, 05:07:19 PM
The RX dynamic performance, which is all Rob Sherwood tests, are but one out of many important parameters for users.  And that's all he claims they are.

Rob uses an IC-781, which is many years old and didn't do all that great in the reports. ;)

To me, there's a lot more to anything's worth than just one parameter.  Most of us are comfortable driving whatever vehicle we have, without it being capable of going 0-100 mph in six seconds.  The cars that can do that may not hold more than two people and may not get more than 16 mpg, and may not have capacity to bring home the groceries.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on January 12, 2013, 10:18:04 PM
Ergonomics are important, and menu driven arrangements lose out badly there.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: ZENKI on January 14, 2013, 04:46:46 PM
Forget the receivers, fix the transmitters.

Now we have a the next TS990s, 10,000 dollar price tag and a useless uncalibrated S-meter. If I bought a spectrum analyzer for that price it would have an amplitude uncertainty of +- 1 to 1.5db

I can buy a cheap rigol spectrum analyzer for 1500 dollars and that has a nice color screen with amplitude accuracy of 1.5 db

I agree with you, the price of the equipment is getting ridiculous especially when you get sub standard transmitters and things like S-meters that cant measure accurately.

The ham radio companies have a successful marketing program that is very good at getting   baby boomers to throw big dollars at  equipment that offers very poor value for money.
I frankly dont know how they can justify the price for the Kenwood TS-990S,  when really its specifications and features are nothing spectacular to what  can be got now for a lot less money.

The TS990S wont outperform the Perseus receiver. A transmitter with good IMD performance and a TFT screen does not make  up for the 8000 dollar difference. Besides all the bells and whistle
is just firmware tricks not hardware.

When I see that the unit has no calibrated S-meter then I know its another ham toy. For the money that  want for the TS990S, I would rather go out and buy a Rohde & Schwarz receiver or transceiver. At least I know
that I am buying something  that is built to   a very high standard.  The R&S will have a super accurate S-meter not some Micky mouse  needle jumping around on the screen telling you nothing.

I dont see a knob on the TS-990S that says "splatter blanker" so we have radio that  has excessive receiver performance that cant be used realistically on the air. Sounds like buying a car with rocket engine
and it sits in the garage because there is no road or freeway where you can make use of it. The 40 meter band in Europe in like a freeway in LA in peak hour. Full of smog(splatter) and no place to move. What good is it sitting traffic
with a Ferrari that cant go anywhere and you choking on the smog(splatter)? If Kenwood had  a DSP beam steering option that would have been more useful that gimmicky analog looking clone dial. The engineers at Kenwood must
be bored and have no RF creativity left.

A more practical radio from Kenwood would have been  direct sampling  receiver with a DUC transmitter. An adaptive pre-distortion PA would have made more sense. All we get from Kenwood is 30 year old technology  dressed
up with lipstick. They not getting my money!



Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KA5IPF on January 14, 2013, 05:38:09 PM
I see you're still stuck on a calibrated s-meter which doesn't mean anything from an on-the-air source unless you know exactly the performance of your antenna and feedline. Then path loss figures in. An s-meter is only good for an appx idea compared to the other guy talking on the same frequency in the same QSO, then it's not worth much. Be better off with no s-meter. Can you hear him, work him. The 59 systems works great and doesn't require an s-meter.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KG6YV on January 15, 2013, 01:56:03 PM

1. Salaries in China for tech workers are going up @ 25% or more per year, so their product prices will do the same OR electronics manufacturing will move to Vietnam and Burma. 
2. Some of the cheap chinese HT's are actually "knock-offs" of the current Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood models.  The Chinese don't respect anyone's intellectual property.  They have been selling bootlegged golf clubs ever since the big manufacturers hired them to lower production costs in the 1990s.
3. That company making the $18000 radio in Germany might not make it and their customers may end up with an expensive/unsupported radio.  It happened to Signal One in the 1970s. 

Bottom line,

"So what"? 



Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: KD0REQ on January 15, 2013, 03:37:58 PM
if you have a Signal/One other than the MilSpec, The Community does a pretty good job of supporting them.  parts are readily availiable.

of course, there are manuals and schematics about.  not so for the MilSpecs, especially the converted Icoms.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: K1ZJH on January 17, 2013, 11:35:39 AM
My take is the latest and greatest offer a USB port or two on the front panel... I just upgraded to a Ten Tec Omni VI and Paragon II, and they will do what I need for the next twenty years, or until repair parts can't be had.  But, I am not a serious contester, nor do I need to control my station via the internet.

Pete


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: ZENKI on January 17, 2013, 08:16:07 PM
Yeah I am stuck on the S-meter and IMD wagon.

For the price that you paying for these radios I would expect a calibrated S-meter and a  clean low IMD transmitter.

Well thats the whole point. If you had a calibrated S-meter and the radio was calibrated you could apply something like an antenna factor to correction  for all the variables. You then will have a 100% repeatable accurate reading.
If you were doing antenna or propagation tests you would  then have a reliable  and accurate data not rubbish data.

Hams would complain if the volt meter or a the frequency  meter in their radio was off by a  factor of 100%, so why do S-meters have to be so lousy when it is such a simple job to fix or build calibrated S-meters. There
would be a riot if some radio had a SWR meter that was off by a factor of 100%. S-meters are simple circuits  that can easily calibrated and the data stored.

Why the current  uncalibrated S-meter's are even a big joke on hams is this. You get on the air and then ask a ham if they  can you give me reading between my amp and 100 watts, or for that matter the front to back ratio
on your beam. Most hams will reply "OM I see  5 s units difference with amp off an on, and 6 S-units difference from the front to the back" Hams will state this with a air of confidence like they are using a Fluke meter
to make the measurements. You never hear these hams say but I must tell you that my S-meter  could be off by 100% and by the law of physics going from 100 watts to 1000 watts is 10Db, not the 36db inaccurate reading my meter shows.
On some occasions you will have some nasty joker tell other hams what he saw on the S-meter and that station X  must be running illegal power because his useless S-meter told him so. You cant have it both ways,  by saying that having a calibrated S-meters is a waste of time and then behaving like you do have a calibrated S-meter is very hypocritical behavior

. I would prefer to have a calibrated S-meter that is accurate just like my volt, swr, impedance and frequency meter. Why is this asking for too much? I can buy a $1500 dollar Rigol spectrum analyzer with a color TFT screen thats as big as the IC7800 and TS9990S and it  will have  a guaranteed accuracy of  1 Db. Why cant you get this accuracy from something costing 10 times as much? Its joke on us and a huge rip off the junk thats being marketed to the ham  community by the manufacturers  at such an expensive price.  There are radios like The Flexradios, Elecraft K3 and many of the direct sampling receiver which all have accurate S-meters. Calibrated S-meters should be standard on all transceivers.

Commercial VHF and UHF radios have had the ability to produce accurate signal strength readings for years. Yet you cant buy 1 VHF or UHF ham radio that has the same ability. Is it because hams are becoming like Cb'ers, all brain dead black box operators with no technical skills  that cant understand the value of  something as simple as measuring a signal level accurately?

SDR receiver and radios like the Flex have perfectly linear S-meters,  why is it too much to expect this from a 10,000 dollar radio? The reason why people do have the 5/9 mentality is because  they all know S-meters are useless
and inaccurate, if you can hear them well you might as well say they 5 and 9. If S-meters were calibrated you still be able to do  this because the S-meter will train the operator on what is a good or bad reference point. After 1 contest you could be giving  far more accurate reports since you know exactly what a real 5/5 or 3/3 signal sounds like.

There are modes such WSPR and  HF grabber that can be excellent tools for reporting how effective propagation and antennas  are. Having the ability to produce accurate results could help us develop  better antennas and have a better understanding of propagation.  A calibrated S-meter  when used with  these modes gives you tool that is far more reliable than most hams and their equipment. It would be great one day to use one of the internet remote receivers
with a calibrated S-meter to do antenna comparisons. If all stations had this capability we could measure relative performance and quantify it very easily.

Botton line is this if I bought an expensive radio like a Hilberling., TS990S, FTDX9000, FTDX5000, IC7700 and IC7800 I would expect for the asking price that It would have a calibrated S-meter. I dont expect
a  meter that is no better than a 100 dollar CB radio. Why is that too much to ask for in this  when technology can deliver this for 10 dollars?  If you read the Icom 7800 brochure Icom  raves about how
their smart engineers spent so much time making the on screen S-meter behave like a real analog meter. It would have better if they spent that time learning how to  build a calibrated S-meter
into their expensive radio rather than some useless eye candy needle dancing on the screen. They truly have their design priorities wrong.

Having a calibrated S-meter might not seem important. Once you own a radio with a calibrated S-meter or a receiver that uses something like the DbUV scale you will never go back to the old  uncalibrated
receivers and transceivers. Its a must have especially for an expensive radio. But hey I could be wrong maybe some people like buying expensive 10,000 dollar radios that dont have calibrated S-meter and  that splatter
like a 100 dollar CB radio. I must be a freak I am expecting way too much!



I see you're still stuck on a calibrated s-meter which doesn't mean anything from an on-the-air source unless you know exactly the performance of your antenna and feedline. Then path loss figures in. An s-meter is only good for an appx idea compared to the other guy talking on the same frequency in the same QSO, then it's not worth much. Be better off with no s-meter. Can you hear him, work him. The 59 systems works great and doesn't require an s-meter.


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: AB4D on January 21, 2013, 07:30:49 AM
Yeah I am stuck on the S-meter and IMD wagon.

For the price that you paying for these radios I would expect a calibrated S-meter.

I would like to see that as well.  Transceivers should come from the factory with a print out that shows the result of every test result, after it was aligned.  Nevertheless, most people don't really care about exacting accuracy.  It's more important to most, the rig is pleasing to the eye. The culture of ham radio is turning more into a group of consumers, rather than designers, builders, and those that pursue the "radio art".

These days, most everyone is "5/9" anyway, no matter what the S-meter says.  Accurate, linear S-meters from off the shelf gear is a pipe dream that's been around for years.  The service manuals I have for most of my gear, all specifies 50uV = S-9 on 20 meters.  All other readings and bands are guesses at best, and the manufacturers do not make any claims for accuracy in that regard.

Until we demand better, we will continue with the status quo.  Suppose, all the manufactures radios began meeting the specifications you believe, could we afford them?  Imagine what they would charge?   

73


Title: RE: Ridiculous Radio Prices...
Post by: G3RZP on January 21, 2013, 10:53:48 AM
I fail to see the point of a  S meter to within 1 dB. If I want to measure to that degree of accuracy, I need more than a meter covering 60 dB or so. That's why I have a spectrum analyser and a vector voltmeter and calubrated step attenuators.

In the same way, I don't need frequncy readout accurate to better than 100 Hz. And many hams (and professionals!) do not seem able to differentiate between accuracy and resolution.