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Author Topic: Is SDR Resale Value Like Used Computers?  (Read 56731 times)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1621




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« on: September 02, 2013, 09:00:31 AM »

One has to wonder how low of price used Flexradio 5Ks will go. I just saw a Flex 5K ad from a respected ham. It was $1998 for a Flex 5K, 2nd RX and ATU, Firewire cable with free shipping. Shipping will cost him around $75 as I have shipped a 5K in the past.

FLEX-5000A only $1998! SHIPPED Conusa 48. Serial Number xxxx-xxxx. MINT! Zero Issues! Latest Firmware. RED Power Switch Indicator.

Considering that this 5K setup was originally about $3700 this is a drastic drop in price. For comparison the Icom Pro III which was about $2389 when new is selling for $1800 and this is a much older radio than a Flex 5K. The Icom 7600 which was originally about the same price as the 5K setup is around $2900 used.

This tells me several things, things I learned when I sold my 5K  3years ago.

1. Flexradios are not as popular as Flexers would like you to believe, hence the poor resale value.

2.The SDR market is getting saturated. There is a limited market for SDR's. Most hams still want a knobbed radio.  Those that are SDR inclined already have one. if there are not many hams buying SDRs the used prices have to drop or the seller ends up keeping the radio.

3. Certainly the discontinuation of the 5K has a bearing on the low used prices. Few hams want a SDR that is run with software knowing that further development is not going to happen.

I believe that used SDR's especially Flexradios are ending up like used computers. No one really wants one.

Stan K9IUQ




« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 09:07:24 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
WD5GWY
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Posts: 390




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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 11:11:08 AM »

I think we saw the same thing happen when the SDR-1000 was discontinued.
I'm not surprised that the 5K's used prices are dropping either. With them being
discontinued, that makes them even harder to resell. At one time, a used 5K would
still bring a decent price. But, if someone is wanting a Flex SDR, at the prices some
were asking for used 5K's recently, one could wait, (however long  Cheesy ) and put a bit
extra money with what they were willing to spend for a used 5K and get a Flex 6500.
The only downside to that is the subscription software. And is one of the reasons, I won't
be getting a 6000 Series when they finally become available on a normal basis. IF, I ever
decide to get another SDR besides my Flex 1500 (which I like using) it will be one of the
Anan SDR radios. Prices are fair and there is a LOT of good software packages available and
more coming all the time. And most of that software is FREE!
james
WD5GWY

I wouldn't mind having a used 5K, but, it would have to be at a much cheaper price than
they currently go for. And even at the price you quoted for the one in the ad, I'd get an
Anan 100 (not the D model) first. And for the reasons I stated above.

 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 11:14:42 AM by WD5GWY » Logged
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2520




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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 11:14:43 AM »

Quote
2nd RX and ATU,

I'll never understand why many hams load their radios. It's like eating dinner at the ball park or movie theater. No question most of that stuff is where the profit lies for manufacturers.

I had one Flex owner admit that he had no idea what to use his 2nd receiver for.  My 5000 doesn't have the 2nd RX and I never miss it. The really dumb purchase would have been the very costly and short lived UHF/VHF module.

For 35 years I've owned one KW rated outboard tuner. The maker, Dentron is long out of business, but that MT-3000 still sells for about what I paid for it. OTOH, some early Flex tuners had problems. 

Basic 5000s have held their value. I love mine.
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HAMMYGUY
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Posts: 83




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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 11:50:23 AM »

I think you're right Stan, the market for high end SDR's is beginning to reach market saturation.  I seriously wonder if Flex will be able to keep the new line going with those conditions.  The high price of entry and yearly software fee's will keep many away.  It would be totally silly for them to shut down their bread and butter from the sales of the 1500 and 3000.  

Even the lower priced Anan's can be hard to sell.  One they are still considered experimental and few people are willing to take a chance on an India company after seeing what happened to the WonderRadio fiasco.  Though Apache Labs is proving to be a pretty darn reliable company so far.  The resale value on their rigs is actually quite low if you do happen to find one for sale.  I think that's partially due to the saturation.  I purchased my less than a year old Anan-10 for just over $900.  The seller had repeatedly attempted to sell it for what I considered a good value, but only after it hit eBay did I bid on it.  There were actually very few bidders.  I have so many lower priced SDR's that I interface with a TS-2000 I wasn't in any hurry to get a more expensive toy.  

I think the biggest bulk of the SDR market will remain in the less than $1500 category.  
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 12:46:07 PM by HAMMYGUY » Logged
M0HCN
Member

Posts: 473




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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 03:39:38 PM »

Possibly, but what will probably happen is that radios with knobs on will increasingly become SDR under the hood (Probably complete with I/Q interfaces to optional external computers).

The real win in SDR is for the experimenter far more then the operator IMHO, I mean a well thought out SDR gives you spectrum analyser/network analyser/trancever/signal generator/sweep generator/arbitrary waveform generator/measuring rx/scope.... All in one box.

If however you simply wish to run a radio as a simple radio then there is no compelling advantage until the economic advantages appear. Consider that a decent 500Hz filter from KVG costs about the same as a 16 bit 125MHz AD chain, and all of a sudden the economics of using an SDR to replace the backend on a conventional radio start to make sense.

I can probably push the per unit cost (If not the development cost) of a competitive HF radio lower using SDR methods then I can do it in the analogue domain at this time and the advantage will only become more compelling as the cost of gate arrays, ADCs and FLOPS continues to drop.

Regards, Dan.
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1621




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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 10:07:42 AM »

Quote
2nd RX and ATU,

I'll never understand why many hams load their radios.

For many hams an ATU is basic. Dxers do not consider 2nd RX "Loading" their radios either.

In fact a ATU less radio is MUCH harder to sell than one with an ATU.

You probably think car buyers are loading their car when they get power windows/doorlocks Satellite radio, Air Conditioning,  power steering power brakes and auto transmission.

Do you long for the days when Cars were NOT loaded? The Cars had no power steering/brakes, stick shift only, heater optional, radio optional and Air Conditioning was a small window side vent.

 Stan K9IUQ
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K0BT
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Posts: 176




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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 12:23:32 PM »

Is it accurate to project a drastic downward pricing trend from a single sale?
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NI0Z
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Posts: 560


WWW

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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 01:07:57 PM »

Anyone want to buy my Flex 5000A?  It's a shame things change but devaluation is a fact of life.  The announcement to discontinue was the biggest contributor.

All in all its a decent rig except for CW and contesting providing you have a supped up computer to run it on!

Tuff times!  Sigh!
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1621




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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 01:32:48 PM »

Anyone want to buy my Flex 5000A?  It's a shame things change but devaluation is a fact of life.  The announcement to discontinue was the biggest contributor.

Yeah tuff times Mark. You Should not have spent all that $$ on a KX3 and Anan 100 AND a new website.  Cheesy You gonna have to sell some AM4L books to recoup.

I thought you already had that 5K sold, you did advertise it a while back. I have sold a lot of ham gear the last 10 years thru qth.com,eham and qrz.com. What I have learned is everything will sell once you hit the right asking price. If it does not sell then the price is too high for the market. Too high of price and you get no answers to your ad. Keep dropping the price every few days until you sell. That is called the sweet spot for selling.

The ham selling the Flexradio 5K was K7ERQ. He buys and sells more used gear than HRO.  Wink He is an experienced seller on qth.com and his stuff is always priced fairly, never too high or low.. He pretty much knows what he can get for a piece of gear.

I see his Flexradio 5K ad is gone, he hit the sweet spot at $2K.

Stan K9IUQ
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1621




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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 03:54:31 AM »

Is it accurate to project a drastic downward pricing trend from a single sale?

I have not based my opinions on this subject from one sale. I get information from actual Flexradio Owners that have tried to sell their Flexs. Required reading for all Flexers or Prospective Flexradio Customers:

https://sdrzone.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&view=topic&catid=11&id=51&Itemid=155&limitstart=6

Stan K9IUQ

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K1ZJH
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Posts: 884




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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 10:54:56 AM »

When they get down to two or three hundred bucks I may buy one, just to see what all the SDR hub-bub is all about! Even 1900 bucks for a rig that can't do CW doesn't make sense.  I'm still living in the 80's with my Paragon II and Omni VI, and perfectly happy with both rigs. I do like the idea of having a spectrum display, but from I've read that isn't "yet" available on the 6xxx series???

Pete
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1621




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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 11:30:20 AM »

I do like the idea of having a spectrum display, but from I've read that isn't "yet" available on the 6xxx series???

The 6000 series does have a spectrum display but no waterfall or "Panafall" display. Not to worry tho. Flexradio has promised one in the future. In fact 6000 series Owners have a lot promises it is waiting on.

Stan
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1621




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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 11:34:20 AM »

Even 1900 bucks for a rig that can't do CW doesn't make sense. 

This is not a problem as most Flexers are SSB only ops.  Wink
Most Flex owners are no-coders.
K9IUQ is a know coder.

Stan K9IUQ
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W6RMK
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Posts: 646




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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 05:52:49 PM »

When they get down to two or three hundred bucks I may buy one, just to see what all the SDR hub-bub is all about!

If you're talking prices of NEW SDRs, then you might be right, but the absolute worst way to "try out" SDR would be to buy an old SDR that has decreased in value to that point. 

It's not like an analog radio, where the basic functions haven't changed in decades, so a 1970s radio works pretty much like the latest one (sure, a few nice features, and much better performance on the average.. but the basic function of my FT-757 and my IC-7000 aren't a whole lot different.. they both do SSB, CW, tune with a PLL synthesizer, etc.)

But if you bought a 15 year old SDR, it's more like you are getting a lump of galena and a cat whisker compared to a superhet receiver. The underlying IC technology (ADCs, DACs, DDS synthesizers, signal processing software) is moving very fast.  For instance things like 16 bit 150 MHz ADCs are readily available, while in 2000, your state of the art was a 12 bit 41 MHz AD9042.  This makes a HUGE difference in the potential performance. 

Liikewise, if you bought an old SDR, it is going to depend on software running on  PC that probably is only compatible with an older version of the OS, has all sorts of idiosyncracies to deal with that, and probably depends on having a particular configuration for the PC. Sure, you might be able to work around all that; but do you want to spend your time working with device drivers and configuration files, or what?

On the other hand.. if working with older technology, as a challenge, interests you, then go out and get a DSP-10 or a Flex SDR-1000. I have no idea what they cost used, but you could probably find one for a few hundred dollars (considering that would be half the new price, anything more is, I would think, extortionate). Most of their owners probably aren't using them and have them in a box in the garage somewhere. 
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K5TED
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Posts: 672




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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2013, 08:55:45 PM »

100w Flex-1000's with the ATU, soundcard and interface card are going for about $500-$600.
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