Frailty of consumer ego (what rig not to buy)

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK4YWN, Nov 30, 2017.

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  1. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You probably bought the wrong rig. You probably know this, but since you'd asked around for advice and followed your gut instinct [to follow the herd], you feel you did the proper research and there is simply no way you could have made a mistake.

    Cognitive dissonance being what it is, you later run across a zedthread in which someone claims to have found fault in the same radio you now own. The blasphemy can not be allowed. You entangle the foul poster in a series of poorly-designed logic traps that are meant to help you insulate your ego from the fact that you bought the wrong rig, while giving you the pleasurable experience of righteous indignation. Its always fun to blame someone else and punish them for being conveniently available. Even so, its not in the spirit of hAm radio. You wont be able demonstrate your apocalyptic skills if nobody wants to hang out with you.

    This scenario plays out daily on the zed. So lets consider a fix:

    Assume everyone around you is rig-stupid and make a mental note that anyone offering an unsolicited opinion is probably not even a real human being. They're probably an advertising bot written by Google, meant to net-stalk you and generate unsolicited opinions in an effort to sell you something.

    Identify your price. No wiggle-room here. If you have $3 don't even consider a $3.25 rig. Doing this removes the "the wifes gonna pass a stone!" anguish that goes with buying the wrong rig. Set your maximum price and stop thinking about it. Too many variables ALWAYS lead to buying the wrong rig.

    Identify your desired usage. If you want everything in one box: congratulations on your colossal mistake. How can I say this? Because I want more radios. You want more radios. Everyone wants more radios. Eliminate the trade-up/trade-out anguish once-and-for all: KNOW that you will be buying more radios. Pick something that works for the things you know you want to do today.

    Go outside. Look around. Do you have the space for a 160m doublet? Can you erect a 2m array of 17dbi (or better)? How much is a radial field truly going to cost you? Lets be realistic about antennas: compromise antennas suck. Don't wait until license renewal to finally realize that a good antenna system should always take priority. There is nothing wrong with a nightly sked with Bubby Mcsplatterson over in Pokepossum county, but there is nothing more satisfying that busting ye olde pileup and suddenly realizing your amp is still in standby. Antenna first, always.

    Forget brand loyalty. We are all appliance operators and as long as we are willing to be loyal to brands we will always be locked into feature-sets that promote continued investment into a single brand. Look at the offerings of the major manufacturers. Notice the trend: Once you drink the koolaide, you must continue to drink the koolaide to unlock new features. Do you like being told what to do? Because this is how you get told what to do: marry a brand and stick with it through sickness and health.

    If you've settled on a few radios that suit your budget, download and read the manuals. Whats missing? Make sure the functionality of the radio matches your expectations. The manufacturer may have omitted a feature that is required by some other part of your station. Can you live without some features? You may be able to stretch your budget if you know you're never going to need an internal antenna switch. However, there is no point in stretching your budget to get a radio that does vhf/uhf CW/SSB if you're not in a position to put up a high-gain array. Pocket the difference in price, oh wise consumer.

    Skim reviews. Do not take them seriously. Ignore comments like "hands down the best/worst". Ignore comments that mention hardware failures but are extremely vague about the conditions surrounding the failure (these people spill burbon in their radios and go around to forums/review-sites claiming their radio just burst into flames but the manufacturer wont honor the warranty because they are evil and out to get us all). Treat reviews like logic-traps because that is what they are. The buyer bought the wrong radio and is never going to let you know they made a mistake. They're smart consumers. They have all the answers.

    Don't buy anything you aren't licensed to use. Whats the point of handing your money over to someone and getting nothing useful in return? Earn General Class first. Then buy a radio. If something happens before you pass the test your widow and 10 children wont be forced to sell the radio at some absurdly low price so they can buy oatmeal and thin it out with sawdust.

    Good luck getting the right rig for today.

    Post script-
    If you run across a thread in which some zedder is poo-pooing the same radio you bought, don't get angry. Show some empathy for the poor slob. He bought the wrong rig and now he's stuck with it. He should be happy he passed General before being struck by lightning because while he's bellyaching, his widow and children aren't eating sawdust.
    KA3CTQ, W1TRY, N7ZAL and 9 others like this.
  2. KD2NOM

    KD2NOM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is the best 'what rig should I buy' post EVER - hands down ;-)
    KK5JY, WZ7U, KK4YWN and 2 others like this.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    well, elite CW operators wont use anything other than a elecraft. Real DXers only use Flex...

  4. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tldr :p you lost me at probably.
    WF4W likes this.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No matter what rig you get, it will be the wrong one in someone else's opinion.
    W7JZE, K9ASE, WD4IGX and 1 other person like this.
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I'm actually very happy with my purchase.


    I mean how many other rigs on the market can you just simply throw away in the trash like this?

    This is fun and I can't wait to get another one.
    AI7PM, NL7W, K9ASE and 6 others like this.
  7. N1FMV

    N1FMV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Never thought I bought the wrong rig; maybe the wrong bourbon though.
    K9ASE likes this.
  8. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    True...and many times in the owner's opinion as well, after selling the radio, of course. Before that, it was the best radio ever.:D

    He/she was the smartest ham on earth, before and after the sale.:D
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2017
  9. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. KK4YWN

    KK4YWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    you are very wise. keep up the good work.

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