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Author Topic: Financial hardship and Amateur radio  (Read 2367 times)
G3RZP
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Posts: 1148




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« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2019, 03:06:14 PM »

Back in the Great Depression of the early 1930s, when many hams were jobless, a lot of them got on 5 metres. Steal tubes from the family BC set, get a supreregen going on 5 metres to receive and a SEO (Self Excited Oscillator for the youngsters!) and at least they were on the air....

Of course, the downside was that you needed to know some radio theory, which even for an Extra Class Licence, you don't appear to need now - at least judging by some of basic questions asked on eHam.net.
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KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 5485




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« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2019, 04:09:23 PM »

... edit... If your still working you need a good smartphone.  A lot of things at work today require that you have WhatsApp, a browser, email and the ability to take pictures and send them out via email while out of the office.

No way I could do my job without a $750 phone and a good phone plan....

Unless you are self employed, WHY are you paying for a phone to do company business on?
Does your company provide a desk? a computer, ect?

Unless arrangements are agreed to by both parties , if a company requires me to use a phone, computer, a delivery van, ect, then the company provides it.

There are a lot of reasons why it’s a bad idea to use a company phone.  My phone contains a lot of private as well as business stuff.  I certainly do not want to be handing my phone over to someone else should I suddenly be out of work.

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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KX4QP
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Posts: 319




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« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2019, 08:14:32 AM »

Of course, the downside was that you needed to know some radio theory, which even for an Extra Class Licence, you don't appear to need now - at least judging by some of basic questions asked on eHam.net.

This might be due to the excellent study tools now available -- and as one of the likely "offenders" I'll kick in an opinion.  If you use an online study site (I used hamtestonline.com and was very pleased with it) you can learn exactly and only what you need to pass the test.  I went from no license and able to pass a Tech practice exam cold, to passing Extra, in four weeks of study.

I will freely admit I'm not an expert on radio theory -- but I do have the sense to ask questions instead of assuming (and no, you really don't need a lot of radio theory to pass the Extra as it now stands -- a very little electronics math, memorized, and a similar amount of antenna theory).  I went ahead and took the Extra study because the General was so easy to learn and, frankly, it makes things easier for me, since I have "all amateur privileges".
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KB4MNG
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2019, 08:54:20 AM »

Been a ham since 84 and hams are some of the tightest, disheveled, weird bunch I have seen. I walk around the ham fest and almost don't want to be seen there. Thankfully, when I get on the air, the ones I come across seem very professional and squared away.

I have never met a ham locally that buys new. The balk at paying used prices. Im not sure how any manufacturer makes money off hams. But thats my limited experience..

Unless your hobby is bird watching or fishing off the bank of a river, you wont find a cheaper hobby. You can easily get a very good station for $600 and probably can beat that greatly if patient.
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K0UA
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Posts: 4056




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« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2019, 03:10:07 PM »

... edit... If your still working you need a good smartphone.  A lot of things at work today require that you have WhatsApp, a browser, email and the ability to take pictures and send them out via email while out of the office.

No way I could do my job without a $750 phone and a good phone plan....

Unless you are self employed, WHY are you paying for a phone to do company business on?
Does your company provide a desk? a computer, ect?

Unless arrangements are agreed to by both parties , if a company requires me to use a phone, computer, a delivery van, ect, then the company provides it.

There are a lot of reasons why it’s a bad idea to use a company phone.  My phone contains a lot of private as well as business stuff.  I certainly do not want to be handing my phone over to someone else should I suddenly be out of work.



For many years Alltel/Windstream provided me a company phone. Which made some sense, as Alltel was in the mobile phone business. Windstream continued that for several years.  But in the last few years I was there they decided to stop the practice and require you to provide your own phone and they provided a stipend to help pay for it. That suited me just fine.
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N8AUC
Member

Posts: 552




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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2019, 04:54:42 PM »

Amateur Radio is the perfect hobby for individuals who have "financial hardship".
Mainly because Amateur Radio is one of the few hobbies where how much you have to spend
is inversely proportional to the level of knowledge you possess.

If you're buying commercial gear from Ken-Ya-Com, and buying antennas, it can get expensive.

But the more you know, and the more you can build yourself, the less you have to spend to get on the air.
Scrounging parts, and building your gear yourself is a very economical way to put a rig on the air.
Build your own wire antenna out of scrapped wire, and you can same even more money.
Can't afford coax? No problem, you can make your own open wire feed line. But only if you know how.
Don't know how? The information and knowledge is out there, and freely available if you put forth the
effort to acquire it.

Still think it's too expensive? Then you need to acquire more knowledge. Start by visiting your
public library. It's free. Join up with a local club, and you'll probably be able to find an Elmer
to point you in the right direction, and "show you the ropes".

Where there is a will, there is a way. But only if your desire is great enough.
How bad do you want it?

Bottom line: Quit whining, start learning, and apply what you learn. You'll get there.

73 de N8AUC
Eric

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K7MEM
Member

Posts: 667


WWW

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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2019, 05:26:01 PM »

About 15 years before I retired, my company approached me and wanted me to wear a pager, and use one of their cell phones. They were very forceful about it and insisted I accept them. So I told them that, if they gave me a pager, I would remove the batteries and put it in my desk drawer. Oddly enough, I was important enough for them to cave on pager. For me, the cell phone was a win/win. It was only a flip phone, and did nothing but make phone calls. But I never had a cell phone before, so I said OK. It was nice,in that, I never saw a phone bill.

I carried that phone until I retired, and was glad to give it back. During that time, I never had a uninterrupted vacation. If I was away from the plant, there were constant phone calls. No matter where I was, I always had to get on-line and fix something or another.

I have a flip phone now. It does a bunch of things that the old one didn't do. We, the XYL and I, mainly use it for our horse boarding business. But the horses never call me. It even has voice commands. I hate the voice commands, but the XYL likes it. So I taught it to respond to "shut up".
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
SOFAR
Member

Posts: 1415




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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2019, 11:32:58 PM »

I detect a note of disbelief, even scorn, that I'd spend $750 for a top-line, flagship phone.

I wonder if the folks who reacted that way have an HF rig that cost twice that?

$1500 for an HF rig makes a lot more sense than $750 for a disposable Vanity phone.

That rig is going to last, I know, and talk to people that have and still use Kenwood and Yaesu HTs that are 20 years old.

How you spend your money is not my concern. No interest in reading a lengthy paragraph, attempting to validate your purchase(s).

*sent on a reasonably priced disposable phone  Wink
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KX4QP
Member

Posts: 319




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« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2019, 04:12:01 AM »

If you can tell me where I can get a rig for $28/mo over two years, I'm all ears.  And different people have different needs at different times.  When I bought the phone, two-plus years ago, I had no interest in ham radio -- and I spent more than I could really afford because of the time payment setup, in hopes of "future resistance" -- a phone I wouldn't feel the need to replace in two, three, even four years (I've played this game with computers for thirty-some years).

For a rig, future resistance means something different.  For me, it's a rig that will continue to operate for decades -- and that doesn't mean the newest tech.
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G3RZP
Member

Posts: 1148




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« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2019, 05:36:33 AM »

KX4QP wrote:
Quote
For me, it's a rig that will continue to operate for decades -- and that doesn't mean the newest tech.

Newest technology means advanced semiconductor devices that will quite likely be obsolete and 'unobtainium' in 5 years. Plus, if they are in something like a 128, 256 or heaven help you, a 512 BGA package, any failure probably means throwing the whole PCB away. Yes, they are reliable, but lightning or mains voltage surges or even a power supply failure over volting a supply line can kill devices. There are companies who will try changing BGAs in high value equipment but AFAIK, they don't guarantee success, but they do know how to charge! Anything with a 'special IC' or a 'custom' ASIC is likely to have an 'unobtainium' part. It is probably easier keeping a 1936 manufactured HRO going than getting parts for some much more modern rigs.... especially as 'through hole' ICs are disappearing fast.

So I agree with KX4QP....
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