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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Stuff

from Randy Cook, K6CRC on August 22, 2019
View comments about this article!

Stuff
By Randy K6CRC

Ask anyone who learned to speak English as an adult, it is challenging. The language features complex rules of grammar, illogical spelling, and regional weirdness.

Fortunately, the English language has simplified in the past years, largely due to Cable TV News. Complex phases and even sentences are being reduced to a single word. Everything we disagree with is ‘stupid’, for instance.

In proper English, you would have a long sentence describing various unneeded items that are stacked in closets, garages, and storage lockers. Now, we just call it ‘Stuff’. The late Philosopher/Comedian George Carlin gave his stand-up routine on the subject – noting that ‘Stuff’ expands to fill existing room, until you have no more room. Or, I would add, until you are threatened with the word ‘Divorce’. ‘Divorce’, reduces the quantity of ‘Stuff’ to just the shirt on your back, and maybe the dog.

‘Stuff’ growth parallels the expansion of consumer credit, storage lockers, and suburban mini-mansions. We spend a lot of money to just to store ‘Stuff’, likely, much more than was spent on it all originally. Being a victim of ‘Stuff’, I understand.

No hobby is immune from the growth of ‘Stuff’. But, Ham Radio is the poster child for out-of-control ‘Stuff’. Look at any ‘Spotlight’ section on an eHam.com Home page. Always pictures of brick/board desk systems teetering on collapse under the massive pile of ‘Stuff’. ‘I can work DC to light with my three tons of obsolete ham gear!’ one caption read.

You COULD buy one small modern SDR rig to get on every band, with an integrated tuner and metering for a few hundred dollars, But, noooo, you have to have a six obsolete transceivers, three antenna tuners, an HQ-170, and, of course, two Bird Wattmeters. ‘Hey, couldn’t pass up the package deal!’.

Now, stamp collectors have ‘stock books’ filled with thousands of copies of common, and worthless, items. Coin collectors save all those Buffalo Nickels with the dates worn off. But, unlike Heathkit amps and R390s, that ‘Stuff’ doesn’t weight much or fill up a garage.

Some hobbies are worse than Ham Radio, but not many. If you like old Chevys, it is impossible to toss out those cracked 327 FI cylinder heads. And, no doubt that dented hood from a ’63 Impala has value to someone. What is unique about Ham Radio and ‘Stuff’ is that Hams seem PROUD of their situation. Back to the shack pictures on eHam.

It is hard to get rid of ‘Stuff’ even if you want to. Trying to sell it? How many Elvis commemorative plate collections can Craiglist servers handle before exploding? And, that section of tower is a bit large for Priority Mail.

You can try to break the addiction to ‘Stuff’ yourself. Suffering through an episode on Reality TV by the clutter guru, Marie Kondo, is one way. But, self-help has limits. If, after watching her show, you still ‘Find Joy’ in your pile of Tek O’scope plug-ins, it is time for direct professional intervention. In my case, 1-800-GOTJUNK.

In any case, wait for a short while before dumping your ‘Stuff’, please. I have six boxes of unmarked toroids, and an HP audio oscillator on eBay now. I need to move FAST, my wife just ordered another Kondo video on Amazon.

Member Comments:
Add A Comment
 
Stuff Reply
by KW4UP on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I love my “stuff”! You never know when your “stuff” will be needed. Unlike hoarding animals, I’ll never get arrested for having too much of my kind of “stuff”. If your wife doesn’t love you enough to tolerate your “stuff”, I think it is worth a divorce because she obviously doesn’t have the right “stuff” between her ears. My “stuff” indicates to others the kind of “stuff” that defines who I am. As an Amateur Op., my “stuff” represents one of the highest forms of what humans can do with “stuff”. If you disagree with me, well, you can just go “stuff”-it.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by W4KVU on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
amen.
 
Stuff Reply
by N8AUC on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
As I'm getting older (and hopefully a little bit wiser), I can kind of relate to this.

I've reached the point where having lots of stuff lying around just doesn't seem desirable anymore.

And it isn't just ham radio gear and electronic equipment. It's everything.



 
Stuff Reply
by N1KFC on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
One simple question saves me a lot of headache. For example, when I go to a hamfest and see a piece of gear that looks like a bargain, that I could use someday, that would be nice to have, etc., I ask myself one simple question, "Where will it live?" If the answer is my garage, it likely does not come home.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by W2WO on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I also have too much old stuff --- radio-related, computer-related, and home-fix-it-related. Many of us have a peculiar psychology related to getting rid of our stuff. I am often happy to give (or sell for a trivial price) stuff to someone who will actually use it, but I am unable to simply discard it.

The odd-length boards, the many spools of odd types of wire, old receivers, very old laptops, low-resolution displays, boxes of old electronic parts that might be functional ---- all these MIGHT be useful; you never know. I also know that when I am no longer here, my stepson will rent a large dumpster for the stuff.

Bill - W2WO
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KB2FCV on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
It's amazing how much stuff accumulates and it's not just radio stuff. Kid stuff, clothes, kitchen stuff, garden shed stuff. Our accumulation of stuff has passed down to our kids. My 6 year old has many, many dolls and other toys (brought on by grandmas and aunts mostly) and dresses.

We are actively trying to reduce stuff. With Radio stuff I have been trying to reduce down to current / active projects and stuff I use. I do have a small collection of boatanchors and supporting "parts" but even still.. many of those parts can probably be given away or tossed.

How many toys do my kid really need? Does my wife really need 5 pairs of jeans? Do we need to store all sorts of kid stuff in the basement? Do we need some of the kitchen items we've had but never used in the 15 years we've been married? Too much stuff turns in to clutter. Too much clutter can be stressful - having to step over things and navigate the basement, having to find just a little more drawer space to get all those clothes in, having to find a little more shelf space for all this extra stuff. It's gratifying to reduce. As a ham, it's not easy.. but as I get rid of things or find new homes, I am happy to clear up more space in the basement. This was a good article! Thanks for writing.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K1QQQ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Life can be more boring and just save ONE thing.


If it does not work you can always sell it on Ebay for NEW price. (Of coarse sold as working and can not take returns due to parts swappers)
 
Stuff Reply
by KA2DDX on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Just put another room on the back of the house and shove it all in there. LOL

Nice article - thanks

 
Stuff Reply
by K0CBA on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I'm almost 75 with 'so-so' health, so probably sooner than later I'll be just 'stuff' too.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by N8AUC on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Great posts on this topic.

I agree with the observation that too much stuff turns into clutter, and clutter can be stressful. I think I'm at that point now.

But as another poster pointed out, it's hard to just throw something away that someone might find useful.

As far as radio stuff goes, I have more radio stuff right now than I have time to play with. There are some things I use frequently. Those are keepers. But buying new stuff just to have it, seems pointless. I'm trying to get to the point mentally where, if I haven't used it in a certain period of time, like 1 year, then it needs to find a new home somewhere else. And somewhere else just might be in a dumpster. But that seems difficult to actually do.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KC6RWI on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Even the homeless have stuff, they usually limit it to 1 shopping cart, but I've seen some with multiple carts.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I had a conversation with someone burned out by the Oakland Hills fire many years ago. They managed to take some pictures with them when they (barely) escaped, but not much else. The fire was 'liberating' they said, and caused a re-eveluation of their life. Ended up traveling more and buying less 'stuff'.
Granted a tough way to make a change in your life, seeing your worldly possessions reduced to a 6 inches of ash.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Yep. One of the most liberating things I do is a Saturday morning haul to Goodwill. Came up with something that works for me... if I definitely need something, it stays. If I might need it, it goes.

It really is mental, some smart shrink might know why we all battle this.
 
Stuff Reply
by AJ4SN on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks, Randy. Great article. When I was a kid I never seemed to have the money to buy all the radio parts that I wanted. As an older guy, I have accumulated a lot of parts. I now have four Jackson Brothers dial drives which I may never use. It makes me feel wealthy!

Stan
 
Stuff Reply
by VE6TL on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that the stuff seems to multiply by itself in dark closets. Over the years, I’ve worked on a number of vintage radios and then sold most of them at flea markets or online. But as time goes by, there are fewer collectors of the older stuff and it seems a real shame to throw good equipment away. Museums don’t even want really nice pieces as they either already have a collection or don’t want to start one. Part of the problem is that many of these “old wonders” refuse to die!

I have a sizeable collection of vacuum tubes which I gladly give away to nearby hams but I’ve noticed the requests are now few and far between. So should I recycle these? Murphy says I will be sorry if I do, as somebody will pop up and need one or two. So I hang onto a “reasonable” amount of stuff and still enjoy restoring, homebrewing, and repairing. But then, it’s out the door once it’s done.

Finally, there are many other hams who are in the same boat and are now seeking to find good homes for their collections. Many don’t even want money, just an assurance their old gear will be well looked after. This just puts off the inevitable.

I don’t know if there is a good answer - but one thing seems certain. Many of these old “gems” will still be working another century from now, but I wouldn’t count on the modern stuff.

 
RE: Stuff Reply
by AA4PB on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I got tired of tripping over all my "stuff" in the ham shack so I put a floor in the attic above the garage and moved all the stuff up there. Only problem is that 10 years later I now have stuff in the attic and more stuff in the ham shack. I'm disappointed when I need some part to fix something around the house. I'm sure I have one here somewhere but I can't find it. So, I make a trip to Home Depot to buy one. I get two so that I'll have a spare for next time. Two weeks later I'm in the attic looking for something else and run across a box containing 4 of that item!

When my dad passed on, my brother's son wanted to know if he could buy the house. I said sure - on the condition that you take all of the "stuff". You can sell it, take it to the dump, or burry it - as long as I don't have to deal with it.
 
Stuff Reply
by W6AAJ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Guilty


Yep, I have plenty of STUFF but my STUFF is GOOD STUFF or at least that's what I think. (Your opinions may vary) :)

Solution: HRO, San Diego is having a mini ham fest this Saturday. I hope that my StUFF will become other's STUFF so that I can afford to buy more GOOD STUFF for me!

What do you think of my plan?

73
Jim
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Had a guy tell me once: “Remember, it’s not hoarding if your stuff is cool.”
Not exactly adding to the discussion, but I thought it was funny.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
“...Does my wife really need 5 pairs of jeans?...”

FCV...I’m coming up on 30 years of marriage, so please ponder this little bit of sage advice....let that one go!
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by AA4PB on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Jim, if you come away with more than your brought then you win ???
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by LNXAUTHOR on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
i have found that guns hold value much better than ham radio gear... but i did just unload three rigs recently (SGC SG-2020 and two FT-817s)... and still have an SGC SG-2020 NIB to sell... i'll never sell my WM2 or two RatShack linear power supplies...
 
Stuff Reply
by AC2Q on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Americans in general, particularly Baby Boomers, of which I am one, suffer from the “Orgy of Acquisition”.
Age here is 57, and over the past decade I’ve come to realize that when you own something, it owns You.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Remember that fad/phase maybe 20 years ago, when it was cool to collect, and it seemed everyone had a collection of some kind? Even some TV shows on how-to collect, what to look for, etc.

Sheesh. But, we are the country that came up with disco.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
K9MHZ sez-
''Sheesh. But, we are the country that came up with disco.''

Reminds me of a local comedian's routine (forgot who....)

'My Grandfather said to me, your problems are NOTHING. I survived the Great Depression!
Then, my father said to me, your problems are NOTHING. I survived WW2.

So I told them their problems are NOTHING, I survived DIsco!'

 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KW6LA on August 22, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
And I thought it was just Me ?
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by WA7SGS on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Like one poster said, you don't own stuff, stuff owns you!

Over the years, going up to 1999, when I made long moves, all I would take is what would fit in my vehicle. Lots of stuff was left behind. Very little of that stuff was missed.

We don't get a U-Haul to take our stuff with us when we die. Someone else is going to have to deal with all that stuff. That reminds me of a joke. 1st prize: One week in Philadelphia. 2nd prize: Two weeks in Philadelphia. "Here ya' go kids, one huge pile of STUFF!".

Store-n-locks are God's way of saying "You have too much stuff!".
 
Stuff Reply
by K8BMA on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Someone once told me that the "Dayton" flea market was where half the junk in the United States changes basements.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
^^^^ That’s funny.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by WB8LBZ on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have considered my self to be a mixture of mad scientist and hoarder. In the past few years, I have had to assist in the liquidation of estates. As a result of this unfortunate events I have slowly gotten away from holding on to equipment older than say 10 years of age. I am hoping once I become a Silent Key, there will be some useful items my family can sell that hams will want to own. I own no tube type equipment and only have newer radios. I have been keeping boxes for things if I get them. I don't want to have piles of stuff that needs to be hauled to the recycling center as junk.

73, Larry WB8LBZ
El Paso, TX
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by W8QZ on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The best discussion thread I've read in a long time!

Hoarding is not at all limited to hams (although very well and alive there) - model airplane 'hoarders' are very common - and those are much harder to sell online due to shipping.
 
Stuff Reply
by WD4CHP on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Question:
What is the difference between "stuff" and "junk"?
Answer:
Junk is the stuff that you throw out. Stuff is the junk that you keep.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6AER on August 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The problem with old ham gear is in the next 15 years we will run out of old hams to buy out treasures.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K0UA on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem with old ham gear is in the next 15 years we will run out of old hams to buy out treasures."

Truer words were never spoken.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by N4KC on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!

Two basic rules of life:

1) It takes 25% more money than you have to get by, and

2) It takes 25% more space than you have to hold your stuff.

Accept it and move on.

73,

Don N4KC
www.donkeith.com
www.n4kc.com


 
Stuff Reply
by KA7EKW on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Kaze's Law:

You don't own stuff.

Stuff owns YOU.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KW4JX on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
When I was a kid I went to an auction at my radio club.
The auctioneer sold a short-wave radio to a member after demonstrating the dial and pilot lights working.
After a few days the buyer protested that there was nothing inside the attractive cabinet, but he kept it to this day.
Good pilot lights are the best stuff. They will sell anything. Filter-adjustment knobs are the worst.
 
Stuff Reply
by K3FHP on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Important article with valuable information, but remember:

1. Like STUFF, WORK also expands or decreases to fill the available time.

2. He who dies with the most toys wins!

3. You never need an item until you have sold it for a dollar at the last tailgate.

4. Those nickles(and pre-1983 pennies) are worth omre in metal than the monetary value.

5. When the shack and garage fill, those metal shipping containers can be had for a reasonable price, plant one in the back yard.


May the solar flux be with you,
K3FHP
 
Stuff Reply
by K8QV on August 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
He who dies with the most stuff still dies.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KJ4DGE on August 25, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with all the comments. I rented a room from a guy who owned a house. He was a "Collector" when I first met him and there were 3 other roommates living there. He had a great GOV job and owned a condo as well. I must admit some of his "stuff" was interesting. Not radio but just odd or unique things. He spent his off times at Sousby's auction house. He also collected Marble table tops. By the time I moved out the other 3 roomers were gone and every time they left he used their room for more "Stuff". He had no noticeable social life.

He couldn't really invite anyone over for a sit-down dinner as there was nowhere to sit down. The final straw was when the fire inspectors started showing up taking pictures from outside the place and hitting him with fines to clean up his act and court dates. I was out of there and realized he was a hoarder if not a very unique one.

Nice guy but I am sure if he had sold most of the contents of the house he could retire in the Bahamas.

I was at the Berryville ham-fest this month and as usual a lot of the things being sold looked great. I passed a table that had bags of loose component parts in baggies that said "take me I am free", The guy said please take them, my wife is going to kill me if I bring them home again, lol

Many cultures bury their dead with the things that meant a lot to them, including their pets or favorite weapons or whatever for the trip to the afterlife.

Wonder if there is a Big Ham-fest in the afterlife :)
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by N8AUC on August 25, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Some really great posts on this thread.

It seems to me that stuff falls into two categories: treasure, and junk.

In the ham radio world, it was often said that, "One man's junk is another man's treasure, and it all changes hands at a ham fest." Or at least that used to be how it was, until the internet came along.

But I like the words of the person who said, "You don't own stuff, stuff owns you." I think that is pretty true.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by N4KC on August 25, 2019 Mail this to a friend!

A look at the psychology of "treasure collecting" at a typical hamfest:

https://www.eham.net/articles/29853

73,

Don N4KC
www.donkeith.com
www.n4kc.com



 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 25, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Don, that’s a classic. Hard to believe it’s been 6 years.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by AC7CW on August 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I had a 10'x20' shed full of stuff. It was all stolen from me. I was upset but eventually I didn't miss any of it. I'm learning about minimalism and learning to like the idea.

As an aside: regarding millennials, I was talking to an owner of an antique store. She told me that antiques are dead because millennials want new stuff, they want replaceable stuff even. They like to upgrade to the newest model rather than keep anything. There are not going to be buyers for old ham gear eventually...
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on August 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
AC7CW sez;
'There are not going to be buyers for old ham gear eventually...'
Fewer buyers for most collectables now than just a few years ago. Had a heck of a time disposing of some high quality western Bronzes from an estate I was liquidating. Galleries were stuffed with resells. And, the eventual buyer was older than the former owner....

Enjoy your 'Stuff', or your collections. Likely you worked hard to get them. But, don't count on it to fund a retirement.
 
Stuff Reply
by AA1UE on August 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Great Article . Still have my Stuff. But last year I found a local. High School with a ham club and unloaded a pick up truck full of Stuff.
But that was just from the Garage.,
 
Stuff Reply
by K4IA on August 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
As an estate attorney, I can tell you this "stuff" will have zero value to your family unless you plan ahead. You know what it is worth and you know who might be interested. Dispose of what you can while you are alive and well. Don't leave your poor widow and family to deal with it or it will all (valuable and worthless) end up in the scrap heap.

If it makes you feel better, use the proceeds to buy one "retirement rig" and enjoy the hobby with a really nice piece of new gear. Set that as a goal to ease your anxiety over parting with your priceless olde collectibles. Would you rather have an Elecraft K4 or a dozen dirty old relics and 500 pounds of parts?

QST had an article this month but I don't think it was strong enough.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"She told me that antiques are dead because millennials want new stuff, they want replaceable stuff even. They like to upgrade to the newest model rather than keep anything."

Also heard they're into the "experience of doing things, rather than having things." They are different, for sure.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KD7YVV on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
5 pairs of jeans so your Lady isn't doing laundry
more than once a week. :) Works for me.
What I want to know is why some need 50 pairs of shoes.
That one has always perplexed me.
 
Stuff Reply
by KD7YVV on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Thinking about this, I have an HT, my YL has an HT,
I have an Astron 35 amp power supply, an MFJ 993B
auto tuner, and a Kenwood TS-430S.
As far as ham radio goes, I don't have a lot of stuff.
In the QST magazine every month, I see a solicitation
to donate your gear. That's what will happen to mine.

I do want to get a crystal set and earphone to be
buried with however. My tombstone will say this:

Here lies George, license, Extra Class.
He was from NJ, and a pain in the ***.
Accomplished all he set out to achieve.
Now forever, stuck on receive.
He cannot transmit, but all is quite well.
Please don't expect, a QSL.

(Oh my God! I'm a poet and didn't even know it!)

Everything has value to someone, and I know the old
430 won't last forever, but it was given to me by
my uncle-in-law who loved listening to shortwave.
It is special to me because of that, but since I
have no one to leave it to, it goes to the local
ham club for them to either sell, use or whatever.

All I know is a lot of people are afraid to think
about the end, and as many posters said, the family
doesn't know what to do with all their ham stuff
or don't realize the value of that shiny new rig
bought a week before the ham's demise.

A word of advice: keep good records as far as receipts
go. These establish when it was bought, and what it's
value was at the time. It can serve as a guide.

Random thought that goes through my head when the
power goes out:

Do hams near a prison experience HF interference
every time the prison uses an electric chair?

--KD7YVV (A man, a plan, and a bent sense of humor)
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Uh....OK.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by NN2X on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I had to sell my "Stuff" to do economic reasons..

But one thing, Ham "Stuff" holds onto their value..My wife witnessed this, as when I sold everything, she noted I got back over 95% of my initial investment. When considering consumer goods, Ham radio is not bad when considering holding the value

About "Stuff" I think it is more than that.

Let me set the scene

You have your Ham set on down stairs in basement, in which you have a SB 220 HeathKit AMP, along with old Kenwood 520S, with a home made Quad supporting 10-20Meters. The Ham set is neatly organized on your wet Bar. While having Jack Daniels in one hand and mic in the other, you call DX, and a rare DX Station comes back, and proceed to have a nice QSO.

Yes, you could have the latest rig, and a solid state amplifier, (You can still have the Quad) and presto do the same...

There is something about the "Stuff" that captures a time, in which rekindles the magic when folks like myself started in Ham radio...I think that is why we keep our "Stuff"

C U on the bands (When I get set up again!)
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"There is something about the "Stuff" that captures a time, in which rekindles the magic when folks like myself started in Ham radio...I think that is why we keep our "Stuff"

Well, maybe for some. Personally, operating Heathkits or Tempo One radio radios from when I started would be the last thing I'd want to do today. Progress is good.

Mileages, I guess.

 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
NN2X sez:
'There is something about the "Stuff" that captures a time, in which rekindles the magic when folks like myself started in Ham radio...I think that is why we keep our "Stuff" '

Well put. When I got into 'stuff' audio, radio, and especially cars, in the late 60s, all were expensive, so old, used, and cheap were what kids did. I was given a non-working RX from a Ham's estate that started me in radio. Big thrill getting it working and listening to the world.
On a whim, I picked up an old Hammarlund RX a swap a few years ago, just like my first radio. It is useless for Ham bands, but good for AM. And, it needed some work. More 'Stuff'. I just passed it on via Craigslist free to someone who would appreciate it.
Not sure if the cycle will repeat, but I tried.
 
Stuff Reply
by W6CAW on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Just picked up a Tempo 2020 with a Shure desk mike for $20.00. Now I have more stuff.
 
Stuff Reply
by AB4D on August 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I moved two years ago, and liberated myself of a bunch of stuff. I sold my 72 foot HDBX tower, antennas, sold of all my heavy iron, 30S-1, Drake 4 Line, Kenwood hybrids, anything with tubes. I got things down to a reasonable amount.

I still have a lot of radio stuff, but I'll take another run at the pile and sell some more. Letting go is a bit difficult, but I don't miss the heavy stuff I struggled to pick up or even move.
 
Stuff Reply
by KE7FD on August 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I've noticed at our club hamfest over the years, the same guys lugging around boxes of junk year after year, and I'm sure much of it has made repeat appearances. Rather than sell the stuff at a price that would allow it to change hands, they inflate the prices where no one else is remotely interested in it. I don't know if they associate the items with some sentimental value resulting in their inability to let it go or if they're just very poor peddlers of wares. I agree that this behavior is not unique to hams, but neither are we immune to the affects of hoarding and how we appear to those who know us.

Having said that, I'm headed to the Uniontown Gabfest in a few days to turn loose of some of my stuff so that my family won't be stuck with having to give it away after I'm gone.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on August 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KE7FD sez:
'Rather than sell the stuff at a price that would allow it to change hands, they inflate the prices where no one else is remotely interested in it'

I needed a couple of parts for my old Porsche a few years ago. Local hoarders wanted outragious prices, one saying to me 'They will only go up in price, take it or leave it!'
Fast forward... all those parts are now being reproduced in EU or US because of collector demand. Identical to originals, better tolerances, and significantly cheaper. In some cases, the original OEM. I guess that blew a hole in the hoarders' retirement...
Old stock market saying.. Bulls make money, Bears make money, Pigs get slaughtered.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KA4KOE on August 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I helped clear out an estate from a true hoarder. The guy literally had his entire living space full of gear. There was a small clearing where he slept on the couch.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by G8FXC on August 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I'm having to vacate my shack due to the impending arrival of our first grandchild and the current lack of a spare bedroom! I'm going to share my wife's (much larger) workroom - we each get a side. The shack is full to overflowing, but I have to admit that, as I've taken stock of the contents, all the genuinely useful "stuff" will fit onto a single desk.

There is actually very little radio gear - over the years I have followed the principle of selling one rig to partially fund the purchase of the next one. Almost all the "stuff" is ancient computers, VCRs and similar which have not been powered up in years and are of virtually no value now.

Will our grand-daughter ever have an amateur radio licence? Who knows? But she will learn to sail starting as soon as she can walk, and she will learn to operate the VHF on the boat very young and pass her Maritime Short Range Radio Certificate as soon as she is old enough to sit the exam.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by W3TTT on August 29, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
To KD7YVV
I love it! LOL, ROLF.

And I quote:
"Here lies George, license, Extra Class.
He was from NJ, and a pain in the ***.
Accomplished all he set out to achieve.
Now forever, stuck on receive.
He cannot transmit, but all is quite well.
Please don't expect, a QSL. "

And, regarding "Stuff"...
In the past, I did a bit of collecting. Now, I have sold 75% of my Stuff, and I am selling more and more on eBay until I am left with just enough Stuff to get on the air. Gear now includes just two rigs, one for car and one for shack. Also, test gear (oscilloscope, VOM, Sig gen, etc.) and bins of parts, for building. With building, it is the journey, not the destination.

My main question: Is it ethical to tear apart a perfectly working radio in order to build another radio? I feel a bit guilty in doing this when they are not making anymore of that kind of radio. But the parts, especially the main tuning cap, is worth more than the whole radio.

I have noticed that the millennials don't like old furniture either. Nice, real wood dining sets and bedroom sets of furniture used to go for $1800 - $2000, but now can be had for $200, or even for free if you cart it away yourself.

Joe W3TTT
 
Stuff Reply
by N4LSJ on September 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I've been getting rid of some stuff that has, as per George Carlin, become crap, since it's sat in a drawer for 30 years. If I hardly use it, it is time for it to go. After having cleaned out a whole house full of late wife's stuff, it makes it easier to deal with the emotional attachment to old radio equipment that I hardly have room for. Of course, as I make room, I get to replace the old, gone, stuff with new stuff. ;-)
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K9MHZ on September 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"I've noticed at our club hamfest over the years, the same guys lugging around boxes of junk year after year, and I'm sure much of it has made repeat appearances. Rather than sell the stuff at a price that would allow it to change hands, they inflate the prices where no one else is remotely interested in it. I don't know if they associate the items with some sentimental value resulting in their inability to let it go or if they're just very poor peddlers of wares."

Oh yeah. You nailed it, OM. We've got a Bird 43 guy who has every slug ever made, I think. Each one is priced so outrageously, that I don't think he's sold one in 5 years. When you offer something reasonable, he gets enraged and turns his back to you. Sometimes I wonder if he's there just for the conflict. Strange, strange old man.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by G8FXC on September 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"I've noticed at our club hamfest over the years, the same guys lugging around boxes of junk year after year, and I'm sure much of it has made repeat appearances. Rather than sell the stuff at a price that would allow it to change hands, they inflate the prices where no one else is remotely interested in it. I don't know if they associate the items with some sentimental value resulting in their inability to let it go or if they're just very poor peddlers of wares."

You are missing a third possible explanation - they are only there because their XYL has issued an ultimatum - "Get rid of this garbage!" - they package up some of it and take it to a "hamfest" where they offer it at ridiculous prices, safe in the knowledge that it will go unsold and they can take it home again.
 
Stuff Reply
by K6OFG on September 5, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Loved your explanation of stuff. All so true. We hams all collect stuff. Even being a new ham I have started the boxes of stuff and the over crowded desk in the shack.
Thanks for the article.
Steve.
k6ofg.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by WY7I on September 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
You are right on. My wife has been begging me to start working on the "stuff" NOW so she doesn't have to do it after I go QRT.

I am afraid most will go into the dumpster.

Ah well.
 
Stuff Reply
by N2GEM on September 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Nice article. George Carlin used to talk about “stuff” and how we moved it from one house to another. As I get older, like other posters here, I find the simple life is peaceful. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. Donate it to people who need it. I’m running an old Kenwood 130 and a dipole. Still fun, with just a little “stuff.”
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by G3SEA on September 15, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Nope :)

Minimalist ;)

G3SEA/KH6
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by WA4FOM on September 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
In my case it would be more like "build a new house attached to the old house and move all your 'Stuff' in there". It *MIGHT* fit then, but one room? Hah! Amateur.
 
Stuff Reply
by N6YVY on September 18, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Sell everything keep a couple HT's Buy a Hog and split. See the U.S.A. on two wheels. Oh don't forget a sleeping roll.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by KA1KLO on September 21, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
After so many years collecting 1980 Icom Rigs. My Wife of 63 Years Tells me. "Get Rid of all that Stuff" Yes we a still all together.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by AF6AU on September 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
...But it's all good working equpiment!!! Fact, I kept it all working... I do not keep non-ops.

The issue is: "What is popular today, obsoletes the old".

What to do with perfectly good working equipment?
I Donated my working perfectly S40C and my HQ129X red letter to museums. The old Heath IO-12 went to a school. My perfectly working TS-820S went to a new ham. I guess I will not need my Crystal marker calibrator used for dial radios anymore.
I still have a tube tester for some of my test gear.
I will keep my solid state (pre SMC rigs), and most gear.

How many newer hams can use a grid dip meter or a noise bridge? When the new fangled antenna testers get cheap, (and hold up they seem to die young) I will pass on my eicokits and my Heathkits, or recycle them. Considering the prices of metal project boxes....

On a note though, what we know as a group is considered an art now. Teach the youth so the Hobby does not die.

Saturday afternoon I went to 1 of the remaining large chain bookstores in Southern California.
There were NO Amateur radio books, or electronic hobbiyist topics, by order only.
Not 1 book on Astronomy, a few photography, zip on audio/stereo.

Weirdly they sold vinyl music LP records, but no CD's.
3 gondolas of books on cooking.
2 gondolas on dieting ;)
2 gondolas on sports and such related.
3 gondolas on Self help books... 'nuff said there....
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K6CRC on September 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Having been an audiophile, designing, building, and testing my own gear, and a ham, I can relate to your comment. I also use to have a cheap telescope, dreaming of the days when I could get a decent one.

Now? No one cares about audio fidelity, it is just a file you listen to with headphones. Even the recent obsession with tube amps has faded.
The galaxy is online at several sites, better than any image you could find with your little telescope. My IC-7300 replaces a room of ham gear.

The only think left is records. Yes, they still make them BUT, these are not the $2.50 specials from the discount store. They are very thick and heavy. Recordings are great, beautiful detail. And, expensive. Like $25 each. Mostly Jazz and weird stuff I don't like. Likely a fad to fad away. I am sure we will see turntables back in mass on Craigslist soon.

So, enjoy your hobbies and don't worry, ALL of my hobbies are obsolete! But I still get pleasure from them. Now, where did I put that telescope mount.
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by K4PIH on September 26, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Greg,

Future archeologists are going to wonder when they find my grave and open it only to find a Swan 350!
 
Stuff Reply
by WA2EHV on October 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I just got a Yaesu FT-990, and I'm about to get rid of everything else. I don't want my kids to have to deal with this stuff when I'm Called Home. I'll keep my Vibroplex bug and my original Novice key (I'm 100% CW anyway).
 
RE: Stuff Reply
by WA1KPD on October 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Good article.
Hamfests are changing. The average boatanchor collector paid top dollar in the 80s and '90s for all the stuff he wanted when he was 13-16 years old,
Now it's too heavy, or too much work or like my case a recognition when house downsizing I literally could not unpack the boxes of "things" as there was nowhere to put them.
Much of the stuff was items I picked up for 1 or 2 parts inside. But after 20 years, I had yet to take out the part! So off to the recycling center, it went.
Now the boat anchors. The prices have dropped steeply. But I figure I did not spend my $ golfing, fishing or on some other hobby so if the cost of the hobby is in the decrease in value so what?
I agree with several posters. Getting rid of the "stuff" is a bit of an emotional "tug" but when it is done, it is liberating.
Besides, I might get a really good deal on am SX-17 at the next fest..... :)
 
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