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Author Topic: $$$  (Read 2782 times)
K8DFI
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Posts: 22




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$$$
« on: April 10, 2013, 02:45:40 PM »

I am not experienced in this hobby. I am now just becoming active after having my ticket for ten years. I have a 2 meter that I inherited from my grandfather. I would really like to learn more, and upgrade to better equipment and get on more bands. Now to the point of my post. I know there is a very limited market for ham equipment, but it seems to me the prices are outrageous. I look back at microwaves, PC's, cell phones, etc. Things that came out expensive and most people couldn't afford, are in everyone's hands now as prices go down dramatically after a few years on the market. Ham radio's have been out for decades longer than any of these items, but the prices haven't seemed to follow this trend. Is the limited market the reason, we don't see this same trend in our equipment. Or is the equipment getting THAT much better year after year? Huh
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David
K8DFI
KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 03:44:17 PM »

Every model that comes out has new bells and whistles. These bells ans whistles add up. That being said you can find gently used equipment at a good price if you look around. Yes the market is limited so new things have to come to makes some of us spend money on new equipment. This creates surplus stuff that can be bought gently used. You can get a complete shack for HF set up for 700 to 800 dollars I would imagine. It will work fine and will give you a chance to learn. You may decide that you want one of the newer rigs afterwards thus creating surplus that you have and you can sale it to finance the next thing. I have a decent station. I could have spent much more. I have some stuff I bought new, some I bought used and a couple things I built. It is a hobby and I have to keep money for my other things like hunting. As long as you dont have to have the newest bestest thing you can have a good station for relatively little money. Look around and buy wisely. Now if I can just figure how to get the new Kenwood TS990 then I would but I can not justify 8000 dollars for a rig right now and possibly never!
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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 04:34:40 PM »

Is the limited market the reason, we don't see this same trend in our equipment."

Yes you are correct!  If every ham in the world purchased new gear every year it wouldn't add up to the number of microwaves or cell phone or PCs sold in a much shorter time period.  Research and development is the real cost and it has to be recovered over the number of units sold.

On the other hand, IMO the value of the equipment ie what you get for what you pay has gone up.  People still like the old stuff, I have no quibble with that, but the new stuff is pretty darn good.

73,
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KS2G
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Posts: 394




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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 04:45:39 PM »

Ham gear is now far LESS expensive than it's ever been -- when you consider inflation and, for example, all the functions built into today's HF rigs that used to require outboard accessories.

But, as stated by previous posters, the limited market prevents manufacturers from achieving the manufacturing economies of scale that are possible with consumer electronics.

That said, look at the (lower) prices of today's dual-band (or more) vhf/uhf mobile rigs and ht's (especially the recent influx of hand-helds from China), compared to what those (far less capable) kinds of rigs cost ten years ago.

73,
Mel - KS2G

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K1CJS
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Posts: 5998




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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 05:00:53 AM »

It sonds like you're looking on E-bay and other similar internet sites, David.  Try looking here on this site want ad listing, on Craig's list, or just in the local want ads--or even your local club.  Ham radio dealers such as Ham Radio Outlet sometimes have used gear for sale too--and sometimes that comes with a warrantee!.

Although not as numerous by far as what you see on the internet auction/sales sites, there are bargains and reasonably priced gear to be had.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 05:26:17 AM »

Blame whomever is responsible for not educating as to the basics of Supply and Demand for your dilemma. 

If you can get by your base assumptions and spend some time investigating some of the ways to obtain your amateur radio equipment frugally, you might not get what you want but you just might find that you can indeed get what you need. 

And - not being able to afford the latest and greatest gear is one sure way to LEARN a lot about this wonderful hobby, which will translate to being able to better APPRECIATE the more expensive pieces of gear and what they may bring that add to your operating pleasure. 


73
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K0JEG
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Posts: 648




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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 06:26:53 AM »

And don't forget that the cell phone in your pocket, if you tried to buy it outright, would cost about $600-$800, depending on what model you have. Your cell phone provider makes it up by charging you more for service.

PCs are subsidized by loading them up with bloatware.

I can't say the microwave oven has any bloatware loaded on it, but I'll bet it came with coupons.

Ham radio equipment manufacturers also took a different path: by knowing that they had a limited market, they load up more features. The turn over rate of a radio can be measured in decades, and so they understand the market wants quality and a real improvement over last years' model. And I also think there's a mindset in most companies that they are hams themselves and want to build their idea of the best rigs, not to get into fights over parts counts and retail price (not that there's no discussion of price, but just consider the Icom 9500 receiver... they can't seriously think they'd sell 10 million of them, but there it is).
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N3DF
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Posts: 252




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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 07:09:30 AM »

I contact many hams using HF rigs purchased 20 or 30 years ago.  The "per year" cost is very low.
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Neil N3DF
AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 12:19:50 PM »

Quote
KE3WD:
you might not get what you want but you just might find
that you can indeed get what you need.  

Sounds like the old Rolling Stones song to me!  Grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Can't_Always_Get_What_You_Want

73, Ken  AD6KA
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 02:03:48 PM »

I contact many hams using HF rigs purchased 20 or 30 years ago.  The "per year" cost is very low.

Very very true!

My first HF rig was an old Heathkit SB-104, that was already somewhere around 16-20 years old when I got it.  When I got a more modern rig, I gave that Griefkit to a newly licensed friend ... and HE gave it to yet another new ham.  Last I heard, that old rig was STILL working and giving someone some fun.

My IC-706 seemed like a lot of money when it was new, but it's now in the FOURTH car I've owned since I bought that radio.  It has given me countless hours of fun and pleasure while commuting and traveling, and it's still going strong.

New rigs only seem like a lot of money when you're buying them--a good rig can last a LONG time.  :-)
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VE5EIS
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Posts: 52


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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 04:19:29 PM »

One other thing to remember:

A 10-year-old computer is a relic.
A 10-year-old mobile phone is probably physically unusable on today's networks, or is very limited in function.
A 10-year-old camera either shoots film, or is a very antiquated digital one.

A 10-year-old ham radio does everything it ever did and is a perfectly usable piece of hardware.  It likely is missing very little that modern gear would have.  That means that it won't depreciate all that fast.
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K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 09:27:56 AM »

One other thing to remember:

A 10-year-old computer is a relic.
A 10-year-old mobile phone is probably physically unusable on today's networks, or is very limited in function.
A 10-year-old camera either shoots film, or is a very antiquated digital one.

A 10-year-old ham radio does everything it ever did and is a perfectly usable piece of hardware.  It likely is missing very little that modern gear would have.  That means that it won't depreciate all that fast.

All responses have been great, but this one makes the most sense to me. Now I just need to win a lottery so I can afford some equipment. Grin
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David
K8DFI
KB2FCV
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Posts: 1159


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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 12:21:56 PM »

Ham Radio doesn't have to be expensive. You can pick up a good Icom 730, Icom 735.. or perhaps an older Kenwood TS-430 or TS-440 for under $300. Add maybe $50-$75 for some coax, wire, connectors to make up a simple wire antenna and you're on the air. Still too expensive? You can pick up a Heathkit HW-101 for probably less than $150. I google earthed your QTH, you probably have a few options with some of those trees on the property Smiley
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12784




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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 12:51:47 PM »

You could pay cash for a transceiver with the money you'll probably have to spend on the lottery in order to win anything  Grin
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K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 03:55:07 PM »

You could pay cash for a transceiver with the money you'll probably have to spend on the lottery in order to win anything  Grin


I might spend a couple of bucks a month on the lottery. Basically if I have it in my pocket. which isn't often as I use my debit card for everything. I am not a lotteryholic. I live paycheck to paycheck and typically when I want to buy anything "extra", I have to gather up things I own now and sell them on Ebay, Craigslist, etc. to pay for my new desire. I'm not complaining or whining, just stating facts. Which is why I posted this question to start with. I want to become more active and get some different equipment, but really couldn't understand the expense involved. I am in the process of seeing what I have, that I don't need/want anymore to see if I can get enough $$ to expand my involvement. Thanks again for all of your replies.
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David
K8DFI
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