Does anyone actually buy $12,000 transceivers?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W4WVW, Dec 24, 2019.

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  1. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I dropped $19,000 and $24,000 on two Harleys that I ride 4 months out of the year... so... yeah.

    $12,000 for a radio that will make you a latte as it logs all your contact automatically? Why not? Dog Bless America.
    K8PG likes this.
  2. N4XRD

    N4XRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not always about value, economy, resale or any of the "logical reasons". Sometimes, perhaps many times, it's about a feeling you have knowing that your particular possession is the ne plus ultra. For instance here is an image of my wife's ZZ-4 small block. Does she need all that chrome? How about two four barrel carburetors? Loud exhaust that shakes windows going down main street, time spent layin' rubber? Nah, she just putts around & only occasionally opens it up. Her satisfaction is just knowing the potential is right on the other side of the firewall. Other men see her cars & tell me I'm a lucky man. Most importantly it makes her smile.
    N1OOQ, NL7W, VK6APZ and 4 others like this.
  3. W7IMM

    W7IMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm afraid I agree with you.
  4. W4WVW

    W4WVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, people spend a lot on hobbies they are passionate about. I get that. Ham radio really has nothing to do with cars, motorcycles, bass boats, etc. It's apples and oranges. I could have done a better job with my OP. I probably should have asked if a $12,000 radio gets you that much better performance than a $1200 radio. Enough of a difference to inspire the purchase. Ham radio will be around a lot longer than I will.
    N4XRD likes this.
  5. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Assuming there is a difference in performance, whether or not it’s worth it is still rather subjective, isn’t it?
    N0TZU likes this.
  6. W4WVW

    W4WVW Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe....but maybe not.

    There weren't many KW-1s made. The sources I know of say no more than 150, and they were only made for a short time.

    The potential market for KW-1s has always been tiny because few amateurs have the space for one (66.5 inches high, 28 inches wide, 18 inches deep, 600 pounds). Of course there are ways, such as removing the heavy iron to make it lighter.

    And on AM, the KW-1 has.....issues. (@K4KYV tells the story):

    Maybe the day will come when they're only in museums....but maybe not. When I got started in Amateur Radio, almost nobody knew what a KW-1 was, and even fewer hams wanted one.

    EDITED TO ADD: The 1953 price of a KW-1 was $3850. That's $36,543.12 in 2018 dollars.

    IMHO, it's amazing that so may KW-1s have survived. Consider how many cars that cost $3850 in 1953 were made, and how few survive today.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    W4NNF likes this.
  8. K3RU

    K3RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Years ago I sold a KW1 - and several other Collins such as 75A1, 2 and 3, ALL for I think $450 !

    Was GLAD to see them go. The KW1 was a BIG HEAVY KLUNKY monstrocity, with odd-ball tube types, as were the 75A.... receivers.

    I wonder how many OM's developed a bad back or worse humping those old boat-anchors around. Didn't then and don't now understand the attraction of those old Collins to anyone.
  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Probably because they were too big and heavy to take to a landfill. :p
    VK6APZ, WW2PT and N2EY like this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The KW-1 uses 3 6BA6, 4 6AQ5, 1 807W, 2 4-250A, 1 12AX7, 1 6AL5, 1 12AU7, 2 6B4G, 2 810, 2 VR-105, 3 5V4, 2 872, 1 5R4GY, and a 6A10 ballast tube. Most are pretty common - but some are not inexpensive.

    Collins' first amateur receiver was the 75A prototype, circa 1947. It was revolutionary for its time, and Collins followed up with the 75A-1, -2, -3, and -4. Each was smaller and lighter than its predecessor.

    A 75A-1 weighs 57 pounds
    A 75A-2 weighs 50 pounds
    A 75A-4 weighs only 35 pounds. A 75A-4 weighs 61.4% of what a 75A-1 does. The 75A-4 appeared about 1955. In just 8 years, Collins had reduced the size and weight of their receiver by more than a third.

    Then in 1959 Collins came out with the S-line. A 75S-3 weighs 20 pounds. and is much smaller than any of the A-line receivers.

    Probably more than a few.

    I think I do.

    Those old Collins are attractive because they're big and heavy. You don't have to chase a 75A-4 around the desk, nor worry about bumping adjacent controls. The knobs and switches are large, solid, and it's easy to just glance at the front panel and know what's what.

    And this is the little one!:


    73 de Jim, N2EY

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