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Author Topic: Average QTH Cost  (Read 4712 times)
WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« on: June 28, 2013, 04:41:49 PM »

I thought it would be interesting see what others (who want to share) have spent on their "hobby"..   Grin

I've read online the basic setup can be a little less than $1000 (radio, antenna, study material, coax, etc.)

I started out almost 2 years ago with an Ebay TS-570D which I still use.  I bought a Astron RS-35M and was on the air so to say.. ahhhhhh.. 

I figure I'm about average..  two radios + handheld, tuner, I have a cheap amp. 811H, power meter, CW Key, Beam Antenna, Rotator, External Antenna Switch, 700-800ft Coax and a ton of miscellaneous items...  reconditioned hex-beam recently.  Not including QSL cards, postage and all the others things I can't remember.   Not worried about being robbed  Grin

My total "hobby" cost is approx. $8000.   

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KE4JOY
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Posts: 1382




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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 05:15:01 PM »

I would say a reasonable estimate to get into a decent setup from the ground up is in the 1 - 2 K range. 1.500 average. It can be done for less and of course it can be done for more but thats my rough average.
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K3GC
Member

Posts: 118




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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 06:41:22 PM »

10k +  and that's not even big gun - maybe big pistol Grin
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 06:47:49 PM »

I just thought it would be interesting to hear what some had.   I have no idea how much it costs to install a 100ft or 200ft tower with work and antenna, rotor, coax etc.. 
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NI3S
Member

Posts: 67




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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 08:05:06 PM »

I got in cheap, and still use that setup, albeit only at 100W. 

$300 used TS-140S.
$90 PC interface for radio.
$130 LDG tuner & Balun.
$100 coax, connectors, and grounding.
$50 material for building doublet.
$250 netbook

$920 by my calculations.  While it is not the high end does all super contest setup, for causal rag chewing and digital modes it works well.  Even that old 140 can be controlled via HRD.  I have since added a 2m setup with a home brew J-pole.  The cost of a basic station doesn't have to be $20K.

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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 11:32:24 PM »

I got in cheap, and still use that setup, albeit only at 100W. 

$300 used TS-140S.
$90 PC interface for radio.
$130 LDG tuner & Balun.
$100 coax, connectors, and grounding.
$50 material for building doublet.
$250 netbook

$920 by my calculations.  While it is not the high end does all super contest setup, for causal rag chewing and digital modes it works well.  Even that old 140 can be controlled via HRD.  I have since added a 2m setup with a home brew J-pole.  The cost of a basic station doesn't have to be $20K.



Nice!   No it doesn't.   Having fun.
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ZL3OF
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2013, 02:31:53 AM »

Returning to ham radio about 2 years ago after 20 years of inactivity the cost to set up again was:-

NZ$250 Kenwood TS 140
NZ$50   PC 2Ghz Celeron 2 Gb ram
NZ$20   Home brew pc/rig interface
NZ$100 Antenna pole
NZ$0    Home brew ZS6BKW antenna, from stuff in the junkbox including the balun
NZ$10   Home brew ATU using ARC5 components including the roller inductor
NZ$5    20 amp power supply pulled from a redundant server
NZ$118 Daiwa cross needle swr meter

Total NZ$553 which at current exchange rates is US$428
That lot got me on the air.
I later added an AT250 auto ATU for NZ$250 to match the TS 140 as I got tired of cranking the roller round every time I changed bands.
I have not included the FT530 dual band handheld that I purchased new sometime last century!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 02:41:49 AM by ZL3OF » Logged
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 07:01:59 AM »

Quote
Average QTH Cost

Well, that varies widely on where you live, how many square
feet you have, number of bedrooms & bathrooms, how much
acreage, proximity to good schools, what your property taxes
are, crime rate in your area, etc.  Grin

Quote
I thought it would be interesting see what others
(who want to share) have spent on their "hobby".

As the Guardian of The Emerald City said to Dorothy:
"Well now, that's a horse of a different color, isn't it?".

The calculations become rapidly problematic if,
like me, you have been buying and selling gear for 25+ years.
Do I count the $2,500 1985 dollars I spent on my (then) brand
new Kenwood TS-940S as $2,500......or as the (maybe) $1,000
or $900 it sells for today? OR do I convert the $2,500 1985
dollars into $5,250.00 they represent in "2012 dollars" through inflation, etc?
http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

What about gear I bought new, used for a few years,
then sold as used. Does that figure in at all?
Or is it JUST stuff sitting in front of me in the shack,
(or in boxes in the garage?)  Grin

You see where I am going with this?
There are a lot of other relevant factors:

How much money were you earning at the time
you bought the gear? Or are earning now? What were/are
your financial obligations? (Both together figure into percentage
of disposable income.
) Some hams may not have
a problem with spending $4-5k a year on their hobby. For other
guys, that's a decades investment (or longer).

And last but not least, (parden the pun) how emotionally
"invested" are you in the hobby? Like the line from the
Paul Simon song; "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor".
Is ham radio your #1 free time waster, or is it an on-again,
off-again interest?

73, Ken  AD6KA
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K5LXP
Member

Posts: 4522


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 07:08:30 AM »

Do you count the cost of a tower?  You can buy a decent car for what it costs to install a tower and outfit it with antennas, rotor, cables, etc.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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M6GOM
Member

Posts: 990




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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 07:55:10 AM »

First station:

Used Kenwood TS480SAT - £400

Homebrew 20m dipole - £5

Imax 2000 CB antenna I already had.

Used 30A Manson EP925 PSU - £50

Coax, plugs, misc - £30

So the whole lot cost me less than £500/$800

Current set up is a whole different story. I've got three times what my first station cost just in my car.
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N5VTU
Member

Posts: 366




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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 08:57:30 AM »

I thought it would be interesting see what others (who want to share) have spent on their "hobby"..   Grin


Way more than I'm willing to divulge since my YL uses the same computer that I do.  Wink
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K8AXW
Member

Posts: 3958




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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 09:16:31 AM »

The numbers quoted here are all well and good.....however....what is really scary is how much money was spent throughout 57 years in the hobby!

But, by the same token, the hobby has made an incredible return for the money spent.  That would include among other things, on-the-job understanding of my work and yes, even my sanity!
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 10:59:48 AM »

Quote
Average QTH Cost

Well, that varies widely on where you live, how many square
feet you have, number of bedrooms & bathrooms, how much
acreage, proximity to good schools, what your property taxes
are, crime rate in your area, etc.  Grin

Quote
I thought it would be interesting see what others
(who want to share) have spent on their "hobby".

As the Guardian of The Emerald City said to Dorothy:
"Well now, that's a horse of a different color, isn't it?".

The calculations become rapidly problematic if,
like me, you have been buying and selling gear for 25+ years.
Do I count the $2,500 1985 dollars I spent on my (then) brand
new Kenwood TS-940S as $2,500......or as the (maybe) $1,000
or $900 it sells for today? OR do I convert the $2,500 1985
dollars into $5,250.00 they represent in "2012 dollars" through inflation, etc?
http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

What about gear I bought new, used for a few years,
then sold as used. Does that figure in at all?
Or is it JUST stuff sitting in front of me in the shack,
(or in boxes in the garage?)  Grin

You see where I am going with this?
There are a lot of other relevant factors:

How much money were you earning at the time
you bought the gear? Or are earning now? What were/are
your financial obligations? (Both together figure into percentage
of disposable income.
) Some hams may not have
a problem with spending $4-5k a year on their hobby. For other
guys, that's a decades investment (or longer).

And last but not least, (parden the pun) how emotionally
"invested" are you in the hobby? Like the line from the
Paul Simon song; "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor".
Is ham radio your #1 free time waster, or is it an on-again,
off-again interest?

73, Ken  AD6KA

I'll help you out..   Over $15,000 over the last 30 years or so.   How's that?   Grin
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 11:01:12 AM »

Do you count the cost of a tower?  You can buy a decent car for what it costs to install a tower and outfit it with antennas, rotor, cables, etc.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

YES, how much is a tower?   Cost of Tower, Install, Beam, Rotor, - What's a big tower cost fully installed?
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 11:04:28 AM »

The numbers quoted here are all well and good.....however....what is really scary is how much money was spent throughout 57 years in the hobby!

But, by the same token, the hobby has made an incredible return for the money spent.  That would include among other things, on-the-job understanding of my work and yes, even my sanity!

It's like Golf,  but Golf has a smaller upfront cost, bigger long-term cost - lot's of enjoyment if you have the right mindset...  Grin

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