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Does anyone actually buy $12,000 transceivers?

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

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  1. K3RU

    K3RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back when I unloaded the old Collins gear I was pretty much DONE with tubes. All the Collins gear worked but was too bulky for my taste. I wasn't real impressed with the Collins receivers for many reasons. I found the KWS1 to be particularly obnoxious because of it's "footprint".

    This was back in the 80's and at the time was still using - speaking of weird tubes - a SB301/SB401/SB200. A new Kenwood TS940S was purchased later and that was the end of all tube gear - except for the SB200 - in my shack. Got rid of everything I could which contained tubes.

    Not that the TS940S was exactly trouble free, that radio at times was the BIGGEST PITA I ever experienced. At 50lbs or so it can be very difficult to work on even with a service manual and a well-equipped test bench. When working properly, the TS940S is still today an EXCELLENT radio. But overall, I am glad I divorced myself from the "tube hunt" and could NEVER go back to those old analog tuning dials. Digital frequency readout - accurately - to 10hz is a thing of beauty, not to mention all the other "tricks" a digital radio is capable of.

    Today, even the TS940S is more or less obsolete. I have two of them which these days sit and collect dust. Now and then I fire-them-up to keep them working. My main rig now is an ICOM IC-7600 driving an AL-1500. I bought the ICOM IC-7600 new at a very good price just BEFORE the much balley-hooed IC-7610 was rolled out, which has not exactly been issue-free with its "touch-screen" and other problems.

    It's been a long road since I was first licensed in 1966. These days the LAST thing I want to do is work on a radio. I did enough of that in my life and now just want to OPERATE !
    US7IGN, G3ZPF and WW2PT like this.
  2. SP5CKI

    SP5CKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife says different.

    For every $1 put in her new shoes, she recommends to put another $1 in her new handbag, at least $2 in her new clothes, $0 in the antenna and $0 in the radio.
    WD4ELG, G3ZPF, WW2PT and 1 other person like this.
  3. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Then the Japanese came along and said, “Hold my biru.:D
    KI7HSB and WD4ELG like this.
  4. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven’t been licensed quite as long, but after working in the radio business for years, I’ve had enough of the insides of equipment. I laughed recently when some know-it-all child implied I was an “appliance operator”— they just don’t get that fixing and homebrewing things seems more like work to me than a hobby.
    VK6APZ likes this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not really. Most Japanese rigs weren't smaller or lighter than the S-line and similar; they were just a lot less expensive.

    IMHO the true game-changers were the Trio/Kenwood TS-520 family and the Yaesu FT-101 family. They were actually heavier than a KWM-2 or SB-101 or similar, but they were all-in-one-box hybrids that offered good performance and lots of features at a low price (for the time).

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  6. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife says that I can spend as much as I want on the radio if that makes me happy
    SP5CKI and WW2PT like this.
  7. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bring my wife to hamfests because she talks me into buying things I don’t want to spend the money on. “You deserve it, honey. You work hard.” The last time it was a new N3ZN paddle. Before that, an FT2D, a Flex 1500, a KPA500...

    Good spouses like that are hard to find. :D
    SP5CKI, WD4ELG, G3ZPF and 1 other person like this.
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Understood. Plus the KWS-1/75A-4 won't even transceive.

    What "weird tubes" are there in the SB line? You mean Compactrons?

    I had the loan of one some years back (early 2000s). Used it in the CW SS. Was not impressed. Not that it's a bad radio, just that it didn't impress me.

    Way back in 1976 I designed and built a "universal digital dial" with TTL logic as a school project. It was connected to the VFO of any rig, and by setting jumpers would compensate for the tuning direction (in some rigs the VFO "tunes backwards" and the offset, for up to 5 bands.

    It worked well and I used it - but I didn't really like it, compared to a nice analog dial. I still have it; may fire it up again after 45-odd years.

    IMHO, no rig which can put out a legal signal is "obsolete".

    One of the great things about Amateur Radio TODAY is that we have so many choices!

    I mean - we can homebrew, renovate/restore, modify, convert, kitbuild, and buy ready built an amazing variety of radios. All sorts of technologies from 1930 hollow-state to 2020 SDR. We can mix and match however we please. All sorts of modes and bands are open to us, and the technical requirements we have to meet are minimal.

    Want to run a pre-WW2 HRO or SW-3 and a pair of 45s in push-pull? Want to run the latest Flex product? Want to run an IC-7300 made last week into a 60 year old Heathkit HA-10 you restored? Want to run a BC-342 and an ART-13? Want to homebrew something that never existed before? Want to order online via credit card? You can!

    Of course there are a few infamous rigs that should NEVER be put on the air - but they are so very few and far between. (Yes, I'm looking at YOU, Conar 400!). But the vast majority can be fixed up well enough to sound decent, if one knows how.

    And if that's not enough, the prices are generally lower than ever, when you adjust for inflation. That pre-WW2 HRO receiver? In today's money, it cost over $3300. That HA-10 amplifier from 60 years ago? Over $2000 in today's money, as a kit - and that's not counting the shipping for 100 pounds, nor the relays you need for TR. For that much, you can get a nice Acom 1010, which covers 160 and the WARC bands, and is already built - and weighs just 40 pounds.

    Enjoy your 7600/1500 setup!

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  9. WB0ZRD

    WB0ZRD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Someday someone will be getting a tremendous deal on radio equipment and guns if my wife sells it for what I told her I gave for it!
    WA8FOZ likes this.
  10. WA8FOZ

    WA8FOZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Eico 753, Knight T-150, ....

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