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View Full Version : Hams - why do we queue up to be ripped off???



M0GVZ
07-10-2011, 05:38 PM
I've only been a licenced amateur coming up to 3 years now but I've noticed a common trend in the hobby which was highlighted to me this weekend with the purchase of a Heil Elite Pro-Set headset.

And it is this:

Why do we line up to be ripped off? Amateurs more than any group I know seem quite happy to get wallet raped to pay for kit with stuff that would simply not be acceptable in any other field. Lets take a few examples of what we're prepared to accept in our hobby.

Lets start with the headset I bought. It is crap. It is by far the most uncomfortable set I have ever worn. Sure it sounds good but it hurt my ears, as in physical pain, and the headband felt like it was digging into my head. I have a 40 pair of Sennheisers which are more comfortable. I have no idea who they got to say that you could wear them in comfort for hours but all I can say is they must have no ability to feel physical sensation at all. How many hams have bought these Heil headphones and rather than actually say they're crap have bodged some foam around the headband in order to make them more usable? WE SHOULDN'T BE ACCEPTING THIS ON A 180 HEADSET.


Lets move on to rigs. Icom 7000 is a good example. It overheats. You cannot use a headset on it because there's an 8kHz tone due to crappy design. The mic audio is ridiculously low. So what do we do? We bolt fans on it, make mods to run the fan all the time,go modifying the PCB and pay a guy who has designed a kit to make the mike work as it should do out of the factory. And it doesn't just stop at the "low end" of the market. How about all the mods to the FT2000 just to make it work properly? And when my transceiver says 28.700.00 on the display, I want it to be on 28.700.00, not actually on 28.700.10. This is 2011, we're using digital synthesis, it really isn't that hard to achieve but apparently it is and the old "well if you want it bang on frequency we can sell you a 100 TXCO" seems to be the excuse when it could have been aligned properly in the factory. WE SHOULDN'T BE ACCEPTING THIS ON A 1100+ TRANSCEIVER.

Antennas. I'm going to just ignore top band to 6m in 12ft rip-off here because there's just so much in simple construction to look at. Take a Diamond CP6. You currently pay 350+ in the UK for one of these. Its made of crap soft ally so you strip the threads putting the radials in. And when you do get it up, the bottom trap fails because the rivets go. So what do we do? Do we complain? Do we take it back and demand our money back? No. We take the traps apart and rebuild it using hardware, replacing rivets with 2p screws. But this isn't the only example. There's plenty out there where hams advise replacing the hardware that comes with them - whether it be the screws, hose clamps or whatever.WE SHOULDN'T BE ACCEPTING THIS ON 350+ ANTENNAS. And the Zero Five antennas - oh, the Zero fives - $500 bucks for 43ft of aluminium tubing and some hose clips that needs an ATU to work on ANY BAND. So does a paperclip. And so does 43ft of aluminium tube sourced from your local metal suppliers far cheaper than a Zero Five costs - more on this later.



And it gets better. You get manufacturers (MFJ for example) whose entire product range is just crap and usually needs fixing to get it to work but we queue up and buy it and begrudgingly accept that we should have to fix this stuff we've paid through the nose for and that its somehow "just part of the hobby".

Sorry, but it isn't. It is called being railroaded, given the shaft, being ripped off. And people are just accepting it. Here's how bad it has got because of what we're prepared to put up with. Take the High Sierra "HS-500" manual screwdriver antenna controller which is a 50c rocker switch and a 10c bulb in a 50c project box with a cig lighter plug on to provide power yet costs $69.99 direct from High Sierra.. Why do they think they can do this? Because they know people are stupid enough to pay for it. And this is a situation which we've allowed things to get to.

I said I'd go back to the zero five. And here is where I do it. Part of me wonders if the reasons most are prepared to accept this status quo is because they are lazy and can't be bothered to build their own or learn to. The zero five antenna epitomises this more than any thing else, far more than the commercially available G5RVs and various Windoms because of its sheer ridiculous price for what is just 43ft of tube with a 4:1 Unun at the bottom. Anyone who is capable of tying their boot laces can build a zero five antenna themselves with nothing more than a few hand tools for less than 1/5th of the cost and if it takes you more than an hour or two, I'd be surprised. If you don't want to build the ridiculously simple to construct "matching box", you can buy 4:1 Ununs off Ebay cheap as in 15 cheap in the UK incl delivery so you'd not even have to crack out the soldering iron.

AD7N
07-10-2011, 05:57 PM
Why

Ignorance.

M3KXZ
07-10-2011, 06:28 PM
I've only been a licenced amateur coming up to 3 years now but I've noticed a common trend in the hobby which was highlighted to me this weekend with the purchase of a Heil Elite Pro-Set headset.

And it is this:

Why do we line up to be ripped off? Amateurs more than any group I know seem quite happy to get wallet raped to pay for kit with stuff that would simply not be acceptable in any other field. Lets take a few examples of what we're prepared to accept in our hobby.

Lets start with the headset I bought. It is crap. It is by far the most uncomfortable set I have ever worn. Sure it sounds good but it hurt my ears, as in physical pain, and the headband felt like it was digging into my head. I have a 40 pair of Sennheisers which are more comfortable. I have no idea who they got to say that you could wear them in comfort for hours but all I can say is they must have no ability to feel physical sensation at all. How many hams have bought these Heil headphones and rather than actually say they're crap have bodged some foam around the headband in order to make them more usable? [B]WE SHOULDN'T BE ACCEPTING THIS ON A 180 HEADSET.

<snip>

I agree on the headset. I tried a Heil Pro one before deciding there is no way I was going to stump up stupid money for it. I also found it uncomfortable and not a patch on my Sennheiser set. It's the name on it that makes it seem worthwhile in the eyes of many. If I'd gone and ordered a set on-line then it would have been sent straight back within seconds of me putting it on. Absolute tosh. Why are these sets so popular amongst contesters? Is it because they get given them as some sort of sponsorship which then makes others want to fork out silly money?

AG3Y
07-10-2011, 06:28 PM
What you describe is certainly NOT out of the ordinary. I used to work for Bell Labs many years ago. At that time, telephones were made to last 100 years, literally. They were tested to death for such things as shock resistance, normal wear and tear of the mechanical parts ( repetition tests ) etc. etc. Now days, you purchase a cheap telephone made in China, and it is replaced by a new model in a year or so. Why ? Because the batteries won't recharge, and they are NOT "owner replaceable" !

A home appliance like a washer or dryer used to last YEARS. Just a few months ago, we had to have the main shaft on our washer replaced because the seal failed. Water all over the floor ! The washer was probably not 5 years old

Refrigerators door seals fail, and putting new seals in their place costs almost as much as a new refrigerator would !

Furnaces used to almost last the life of the house, and our "99% efficient" unit cost us MORE in repairs and replacement costs than the amount of gas we saved by purchasing it rather than an older, less efficient design. The computer/controller board alone cost nearly $200, and there probably wasn't more than $20 worth of parts on the thing ! The furnace wasn't more than about 15 years old.

A Collins KWM-2a is probably 50 years old, and is still one of the most highy revered radios that was ever put into amateur's hands. I dare say that almost NONE of the stuff that is being produced today will still be functional 50 years from now.

That is certainly true of just about anything else I mentioned in this post, as well. Sad ! And it isn't the consumer's fault. It is what he/she is being forced to purchase. Anything better would cost 5 to 10 times what it presently does, and I seriously doubt that anyone would be willing to pay THAT !

K0RGR
07-10-2011, 06:47 PM
Gee, I like my Heil headset. Not the most comfortable ones I've ever owned, but not that bad. I can wear them all day long without complaint.

Oh, and I use them to listen to my IC-7000 fairly often. Maybe I'm going deaf, but I don't hear the 8 kHz tone that others complain about - guess I got a good one.

I agree on the MFJ stuff - a lot of it does need work right out of the box, and it's sometimes a real disappointment. I've got an expensive SWR analyzer waiting for me to fix it because they forgot to solder the coax connector. Fortunately I found my old one, which I repaired some years ago - the hardware was not tightened and the calibration was off several MHz..

AD7N
07-10-2011, 06:50 PM
Gee, I like my Heil headset. Not the most comfortable ones I've ever owned, but not that bad. I can wear them all day long without complaint.

Oh, and I use them to listen to my IC-7000 fairly often. Maybe I'm going deaf, but I don't hear the 8 kHz tone that others complain about - guess I got a good one.

I agree on the MFJ stuff - a lot of it does need work right out of the box, and it's sometimes a real disappointment. I've got an expensive SWR analyzer waiting for me to fix it because they forgot to solder the coax connector. Fortunately I found my old one, which I repaired some years ago - the hardware was not tightened and the calibration was off several MHz..

"The cost of doing business" - sometimes the error rate in production is worth the cost of returns, from a company-side profit maximization perspective. Having a robust return/RMA program, but semi-shotty cheap production can sometimes be a real bargin on their end!

G4OTU
07-10-2011, 07:02 PM
Fact is that , when you take inflation into account and then compare todays prices with those of 30, 40 or 50 years ago , all domestic equipment(washing machines, fridges etc) and even most ham equipment is actually very much cheaper now than it was.

For instance ,....when my wife and I were just married (1963) we bought a washing machine/spin drier - it cost us best part of 100( say $200 at the exchange rate then). I was earning around 15($30) per week.

Now , if I was still working I would be on 500 or more (now = $750+) per week and the washing machine would be around 250($375).


Much the same price differences with ham radio gear - and in some cases it is now ridiculously cheap ( 2m handies etc for 50/$75).

Headphones.....best one I ever had was an old WD headset(aquired when I worked for HM Gov back in the 60s) that I used for years until the moulded rubber that encased the whole thing started to biodegrade. They are still around somewhere in my shed - but last time I looked were a sticky gungy gooey mess!


WE SHOULDN'T BE ACCEPTING THIS ON 350+ ANTENNAS

Never bought an HF antenna yet ,other than a magmounted CB antenna back around 1975(not in 30+ years of transmitting )- but , accepting what you say is true , and since you obviously know how to make one - why buy it in the first place?



Last comment ...MFJ equipment, I have a keyer and an ATU by them, both work very well - and the ATU ( Versa-Tuner II) will match almost anything - even an old bike frame !

KB4QAA
07-10-2011, 07:36 PM
I don't know what your problem is with the Heil headset. Do understand that you are paying over a 50% markup from what it costs in the US which shouldn't be reflected on Heil. I find their headband to be as comfortable as a pillow. I would like a tad more room in the ear cup but wouldn't complain. I have several aviation headset that cost many times more which aren't as comfortable nor have as high quality sound reproduction on transmit or receive. I LOVE the phasing switch. b.

N5CEY
07-10-2011, 08:17 PM
I agree with the author of the post that we "accept less than quality" products in all phases or our lives any more. I produce a line of Electro Static Discharge test equipment for the Electronics/Medical/Plastics industry. Some of our products have been in the field for 30 years and come back for calibration and once in a while nicad battery replacement, but very very seldom for repair.
If I produced stuff like the MFJ 259 analyzer I just recently bought, I'd be out of business real fast. Opened the box and heard rattling inside the unit. Opened it up and screws and washers fell out. They had gotten lodged in the variable cap and screwed it up. Yes, MFJ replaced it quickly, but the point was that it should have never happened. Why can't we make stuff that works right the first time, right out of the box? Is that too much to ask anymore?

K0PVW
07-10-2011, 09:31 PM
MFJ -- Mighty Fine Junk ??

Funny thought for my station, I have an MFJ949E tuner for my TS520 - No issues. I have the MFJ-1275M digital inteface for my other radio, the only issue there? My dang computer does not have an RS232 port. My MFJ 9406 transciever, close to 1000 6M qso's no issues! Yet I hear about issues all the time, Have I just been very lucky?

N0BOX
07-10-2011, 09:34 PM
Not only do we line up to get ripped off by retail equipment, but we line up to get cornholed to get hold of used stuff, too. People often sell things on the swapmeet here, on ebay, and on the qth swapmeet for more than it costs new. It's as if there is no depreciation on amateur radio equipment. A person could use a Yaesu FT-857D for 3 years and turn around and sell it for $50 less than they paid for it new, as if in the three years that they used it, they only benefited from $50 worth of use. Yet, less than an hour after the radio is listed, someone has posted "I'LL TAKE IT, PLEASE EMAIL ME! PLEASE! OH GOD, I HOPE I GOT TO YOU FIRST!" Do we not go online and check the retail prices of the radios at the online places, that in many cases run sales that bring the prices even lower and sometimes even offer free shipping?

G0GQK
07-10-2011, 09:49 PM
I'll tell you something about a well known American headset. Many years ago I bought one with a microphone and a friend gave me a headset from the old Lingaphone language company and bless my soul if it wasnt the very same. The only difference was the little round paper stickers on the earpiece
The Lingaphones were free with the course. I also bought an ex military microphone 3/4" across, made a cup for it and when I changed microphones nobody could detect a difference... it cost 50 pence and the ex military store sold boxes of them

2E0OZI
07-10-2011, 10:15 PM
This is interesting as I'm a Skeptic and I have thought for a little while now that the world of ham radio was rife with voodoo, flim flam, and shonky salesmen and hucksters trying shift stuff to us hams and we seem to lap it up and make them rich. Well not me personally....as I'm skint most of the time so its homemade wire antennas for me forever! And 1 radio for the next 10 years... though I do have an MFJ901B but it seems to work fine....

I think there's an interesting study to be done here....

W2IBC
07-10-2011, 11:42 PM
Not only do we line up to get ripped off by retail equipment, but we line up to get cornholed to get hold of used stuff, too. People often sell things on the swapmeet here, on ebay, and on the qth swapmeet for more than it costs new. It's as if there is no depreciation on amateur radio equipment. A person could use a Yaesu FT-857D for 3 years and turn around and sell it for $50 less than they paid for it new, as if in the three years that they used it, they only benefited from $50 worth of use. Yet, less than an hour after the radio is listed, someone has posted "I'LL TAKE IT, PLEASE EMAIL ME! PLEASE! OH GOD, I HOPE I GOT TO YOU FIRST!" Do we not go online and check the retail prices of the radios at the online places, that in many cases run sales that bring the prices even lower and sometimes even offer free shipping?

amen, its like some total boneyard rigs ive seen on ebay run up 300+ dollars (even seen one go for 750) a "bone out" radio should be no more then 50 bucks end of story.

and the idiots who try and get 100 to 200 bucks out of a 30 year old 2 meter mobile. sorry dudes it not worth 20 bucks.

K7JBQ
07-11-2011, 12:15 AM
Ahem,

It takes two to make a deal.

The idiot isn't the seller. It's the buyer.

Remember what Lincoln said: "You can fool some of the people, all of the time."

To which a brilliant marketer replied: "These are the people we need to find."

73,
Bill



amen, its like some total boneyard rigs ive seen on ebay run up 300+ dollars (even seen one go for 750) a "bone out" radio should be no more then 50 bucks end of story.

and the idiots who try and get 100 to 200 bucks out of a 30 year old 2 meter mobile. sorry dudes it not worth 20 bucks.

W4RLR
07-11-2011, 12:30 AM
I would think that some of the high prices the OP mentions are due in part to HM government imposing high import tariffs. I know when I lived in Europe many of the items I could get in the military exchange cost twice as much downtown, due to the high taxes imposed.

N0BOX
07-11-2011, 12:31 AM
Ahem,

It takes two to make a deal.

The idiot isn't the seller. It's the buyer.

Remember what Lincoln said: "You can fool some of the people, all of the time."

To which a brilliant marketer replied: "These are the people we need to find."

73,
Bill

That's exactly what I'm complaining about. In our relatively free market, it's the buyers that are screwing us. It makes me mad that I'm not allowed to post in the swap meet forum that there are absolutely brand-spanking new products available that are shipping for free for less that what some of the listings are trying to get, and it is those listings that always seem to get marked as "SOLD" shortly after. If I could make comments in those listings to warn people that they are getting screwed in front of God and everyone, I would, but instead I would be banned or maligned by people.

Just because people don't like new people to join the amateur radio hobby doesn't mean we should all get constantly screwed by each other. I guess at least when I finally get fed up with the people in radio, I'll be able to sell all the crap I have been using over the years for more money, adjusted by inflation, than I spent on it!

K9STH
07-11-2011, 12:40 AM
It is not just amateur radio operators. Society as a whole has gotten used to products that are not really field repairable and therefore are "throw away". The present trend got started, at least in the military, at least as far back as the 1960s (maybe even before), when field personnel stopped doing any repairs and started changing out modules which were then returned to a central repair facility. Then, to a great extent, the repair facilities were closed down and the modules sent back to the factory. Even later, a lot of the factories didn't do any repairs and just threw out modules. It is the same thing in the civilian market in that it costs more to make repairs then it does just to purchase a new item! Gradually, people have just come to accept that many items are going to be short-lived.

Glen, K9STH

KJ3N
07-11-2011, 12:54 AM
Lets move on to rigs. Icom 7000 is a good example. It overheats.

Neither of the two I own overheat. Then again, I don't try to contest with them, or try to carry on 30 minute transmissions with them. I also use them in air conditioned places and not in direct sunlight on a 85+ degree day.


You cannot use a headset on it because there's an 8kHz tone due to crappy design.

Sounded more like a 16Khz tone to me and that was addressed some years ago. How do I know? I had one that went to Icom service for a free mod to fix that very issue.


The mic audio is ridiculously low.

Hmm.. if anything, I find the mic too hot to use compression while operating from my car. I have to turn the compression OFF and just use mic gain set at about 60. Even then I can get a bit of road noise with the windows down at 70 MPH. ;)


... pay a guy who has designed a kit to make the mike work as it should do out of the factory.

You mean get ripped off by a guy who saw an opportunity to capitalize on people's ignorance. :p

To your larger point, I don't think the design flaw rate in ham gear is any worse than general consumer electronics at large. It could be worse. You could be dealing exclusively with MFJ. ;)

AF6LJ
07-11-2011, 01:03 AM
Overall I agree with Glen;
With that said, some radios shouldn't be sold until they are engineered to work.
My IC-745 came to me new and worked quite well and trouble free for eleven years before the first failure. My plain old IC-756 (no pro) ran for ten years before the display started giving me trouble. I have a list of gripes that I have had since day one.
When I see what Icom gets for their HF marine gear I have to say you get what you pay for.
The ham gear has a lot of bling that the HF marine gear doesn't have. We as amateurs demand this extra bling like bandscopes DSP filters and other items not seen on the commercial stuff.
I have four HF radios; each one of them do the same thing hen you come down to it.
Not a one of them is newer than fifteen years old Ibe if them is around forty years old.
I can fix all of them although the 756 is a challenge for my rotten eyesight. Getting parts for all but the oldest is a challenge.

I have to ask those who have replied to this thread; how do you feel about buying a radio and not being able to get parts to repair it two years later?


In regard to MFJ;
Great products to buy used.
They should have all the quality issues fixed by the first or second time they are resold.

K7MH
07-11-2011, 01:22 AM
we "accept less than quality" products in all phases or our lives any more.
Especially in software it seems!!

I have a Heil Proset Plus. It is a bit on the heavy side and also rather tight. I think I would be happier with the regular Proset which I have used before or maybe the newer Proset Elite but I would have to try them.

I do like the phasing and the switch is convenient. I only really care about having the DX element. I can't hear hardly anything other than the radio with the Proset Plus on. Sometimes that's a GOOD thing!!!

The Proset Plus was a gift so I won't complain...at least not too loudly anyway!!

Still like the Kenwood HS-5 headphones for listening on the ham bands.
I am almost never on phone anymore.

N0AZZ
07-11-2011, 10:40 AM
I for one use nothing but Heil for all my microphones and headsets except for the vintage gear. I have no complaints with the mics 2 PR-781's, PR-40, PR-780, 3 Heil hand mics on 3 Icoms.

As for radios today we get more for less money than ever before in the hobby any of the high end radios really state of the art and 99.5% of the amateur operators could not build. But the upside is there are many hams now selling kits and so many items it's great that they are there for all of us.

Used items I buy my share most of the items that I have bought in the last couple of months have been for a FT-101E complete station and I do mean complete. Other than the radios I've purchased (3) and the amps (2) were less than new cost but not a lot. All the other items some harder to find than others 2 to 4 times the original cost. If you want something buy it if not don't vote with your wallet ham gear holds it's value quite well.

In other words DON'T BUY SOMETHING you thing is to high someone else will.

OH2FFY
07-11-2011, 11:28 AM
Ignorance.

Ignorance ,,
+ the appliance operator mentality.
+ more money than brains.

WS4E
07-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Much is due to a lack of competition for many products. Ham is a small market to sell to and it's an economic fact that without competition you get lower quality.

KY5U
07-11-2011, 03:28 PM
Couple Three thoughts:

1. Why is it when someone mentions MFJ, some hambone genius has to say "mighty fine junk" as if he thinks nobody ever heard that 20+ year old saying before?

2. Why does 40ft of tubing sell for $400 bucks as an antenna? Because the vendors know most new hams will never go to a store and buy 40 feet of aluminum tubing for $30 bucks to build their own. They memorized the ham test answers, and they surely don't know enough to build an antenna. Or they simply want an easy solution and would rather pay for it.

3. Why so much junk? Because many hams today don't know what is true and what is a rip-off. Like the mythical "no radials" vertical for instance, or the G5RV antenna. Everything behind the dials on their rig is "electronic goo".

But you know, they deserve to enjoy Amateur Radio in spite of themselves, and it's good for the ARRL and for vendors to have them lining up with their money. So, more power to them.

M0GVZ
07-11-2011, 04:25 PM
I don't know what your problem is with the Heil headset.

Its the Pro-set Elite 6. First off, the headband when resting on your head feels hard due to the lack of padding. There is actually more padding on the top of the headband than the bottom. And then there's the headphones. They sit on your ears. Not a problem but the side with the mic and cable on puts such a loading on the bottom, the bottom of the headphone presses against your ear, typically on that hard part just above the earlobe and the outer against the skull behind the earlobe. The other side is perfectly comfortable. If you widen it out so it doesn't press on, it slops about when you tilt your head. Part of the problem is the hinge mechanism. You can swivel the earphones however they are the wrong way around as they are either parallel or turn outwards at the front with no ability to turn them outwards towards the rear. Don't know about you but I've not come across many human beings where the front of their ear is wider than the rear yet that is exactly what the swivel adjustment appears to have been designed to accommodate . The whole headset looks like its been built backwards in all honesty.

M0GVZ
07-11-2011, 04:29 PM
I would think that some of the high prices the OP mentions are due in part to HM government imposing high import tariffs. I know when I lived in Europe many of the items I could get in the military exchange cost twice as much downtown, due to the high taxes imposed.

Amateur Radio gear is zero rated for import duty. There is VAT which accounts for 20%. The rest of it is manufacturers applying the standard $1=1 currency conversion rate.

KB4QAA
07-11-2011, 05:55 PM
Well I can see that trying to wedge hinges into that headset could definitely alter the geometries!

-Don't forget the cost of shipping. I bought a used piece of antique test equipment last year from the UK for a very reasonable sum of $25 and when all was done, it cost over $100 to get it across the pond by slow boat Whew. Won't make that mistake again. The seller made two trips to the post office and was even stunned and offered to cancel the sale if I wished. bill

WA7KKP
07-11-2011, 10:08 PM
I grew up in ham radio, starting in the 50's. One thing I've observed is that hams, to use a very broad brush, tend to be frugal (thrifty or cheap in other spheres). At least I am. I do my purchasing at flea markets.

What you describe is what I see in the hobby today. Now that licensing is almost a give-away proposition, the new hams, speaking Yaecomwood part numbers back and forth, are much like the CBer's I knew back in the 70's. They'd BUY rather than scrounge and build. Thanks to 800 numbers and credit cards. Gone are the wishbooks: Allied Radio, Lafayette, Burnstein-Appleby, Heathkit, etc. Now we do our shopping from the glossy page ads in QST, where the prices are usually quoted only by telephone.

Your example of the headphones is just one of many. My headphones for years were WWII surplus, neither high-fi, nor comfortable, but they did the job. IMHO, the best headphones I ever had was the Sennheiser HD-414. Not only high-fi and comfortable, they were high impedance, so I could also use them in low level audio circuitry for troubleshooting, much like my WWII phones.

Same way with microphones. People are in love with the Astatic D-104 (just like the CBer's are), but they're NOT that great, unless the original crystal element has been replaced. My favorite here was the Shure 444 . . . at hamfests they still go for a good price. Yet you can buy the same identical microphone with a GE emblem, and pay $5-10 maximum. SAME MIC!!! I don't care whose name is on it -- the other guy in the QSO can't see it anyways.

And hams seem to think that matching accessories are de rigeur for their Yaecomwood transceiver -- when most of it isn't needed. Power supplies --- who knows any other word than "Astron"? I bought a surplus RCA supply (from their two-way base station) for $15. I had to re-set the current limiter from the factory set 10A upwards, and it did a fantastic job of handling my TS-430 at 15A peak. Okay, it didn't look pretty, but I didn't buy it to look at it. And, unlike Astron, it had provisions for remote voltage sensing, and battery reversion in case of power failure.

Maybe we've got more money that we need . . . ?? And P.T. Barnum was right.

Gary WA7KKP

K8MHZ
07-11-2011, 10:23 PM
No money
No credit
No stuff
No problems

KB3LAZ
07-12-2011, 07:12 AM
As previously stated this problem is not unique to AR. Most things we buy in life is overpriced junk. Often times overpriced junk that we dont even need. Gotta love it. =)

KI6DCB
07-18-2011, 07:22 PM
Well, we whine and moan, but I just did some research, and the reason for today's stuff seeming "cheap" is obvious.

Johnson's Viking II transmitter was $279.50 in 1952; that would be $2316.00 today, and you would still need a receiver, antenna tuner, T/R switch, microphone and so on.

A Collins KWM2-A was $1450.00 in 1959; that would be about $10,900 today, and there is no bandscope, DSP, or any of what we know as "bells and whistles" on the mighty Collins transceiver.

Today's amateur gear seems cheap/flimsy because it is -- relatively speaking. It would have been possible to duplicate the performance of an Icom IC-7000 in 1959, but the effort would have required equipment that was six feet tall, covered hundreds of square feet, used many kilowatts of power, and cost several million dollars...not to mention the R&D costs. Take it mobile? Not likely. Not many hams want to pay the piper for gear that is equivalent to that which was available in "the golden age" using today's technology. Try to find out what military radios are selling [to the military] for, and you will get an idea of what ham gear today would cost were it built "like it was in the good, old days".

Like it or not, these are the days of the "best deals" in amateur radio equipment.

N0AZZ
07-19-2011, 01:33 PM
Some have very poor excuses for everything they do or purchase cost, quality, origin whatever. Ham radio is the cheapest hobby I have ever been in in the last 45 yrs by far. I have new state-of-the-art radios and boat anchors and a few in between I can work on the old radios and I enjoy it. With all the newer radios with smc and the complexity of them it is best to send them to the factory repair center as most all do I'm sure.

I worked on my family for many years but for the last 15-20 there is to much electronics and to much of a chance for self inflected damage to the car that it goes to dealer any more. I still can maintain a SBC that will make 1200+ HP from complete roller setup to tuning with the laptop with many sensors but nothing like a late model car.

I buy most of my equipment because I can and second I'm handicapped. I know many hams my age (retirement that is) who buy all there equipment some who have been licensed over 50 yrs. They have retired the old radios and home brew equipment to hamfests or storage and taking advantage of all the new things available to them.

Do I have the knowledge to build an antenna yes, but I choose not to do so. I do build some kits although my hands and eye sight are not the best and have to do some things twice to get it right. Wish everything was as easy to work on as my Yaesu mid to late 70's radios and equipment at least no smc's.

I must agree today we are lucky to have cheap and the high quality equipment available to us. As far as software I buy most of it like logging programs because I want the best but even the free stuff I do make a donation to them if I do keep and use it.

N7GH
07-19-2011, 07:30 PM
A lot of the time we get ripped off because we are not cautious buyers. Do the research, read about it, talk to people. There isn't a rig out there that doesn't have a dozen writeups about it on the web. Ask at your local club what people have and how they like it. Do you research that HF rig like you research you car? Why not? Tell me you don't have a bad day when the trasmission goes out and that you don't have a bad day when your processor board goes out on your main rig you just bought... Do the homework and save some frustration. If you know they product is overpriced and you can make one in an hour or 2 for 1/10th of the cost... Do it! That is what I do and I encourage others to do the same.

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