Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WB2BGI, Sep 11, 2020.
Oh, no doubt some of their components (in addition to the tubes) are imported, but the increases began prior to the tariff BS.
I am also 67 and my tower days are over, too. I wanted an amp because I could take it to Florida in the winter where I could not put up a beam antenna anyway. Here in upstate NY, I am using a G5RV. I have given some thought to putting up a windom, but probably have little or no improvement.
Actually, the biggest increases have been after the import tariffs on Chinese goods (which started over two years ago).
It's not just "tubes," although that may be quite a lot. Remember, the aluminum and steel rolls or sheets have increased in cost very considerably due to the tariffs, as the imported material jumped in price to make the American sources about equivalent, and they were already 25% higher. Even though I am an "American manufacturer," making lots of products here in California, we got most of our preplated rolled steel material from China for years, mostly because it was really high quality and cost less per pound, even after it crossed the ocean. Based on just that, we had to increase selling prices quite a bit to have the same profit margin as pre-tariffs.
Then, a majority of electronic components like resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, FR4 PCB material, etc. are all imported. Even the rubber feet on the bottoms of equipment. Almost everything. Cost of most of that stuff all increased. It all adds up.
HF amps today, whether tube type or solid-state, are still a good deal compared with yesteryear, once adjusted by the CPI. The earliest "ham" SS amps like the Icom IC-2KL, were expensive in real dollars, which were bigger than our dollarettes today.
I am looking at an Ameritron ad in the Jan 16 issue of QST. Am 811H is advertised at $999.00 and the AL-80B is $1595.00
Today the 811H is $1199.95, or $200 dollars more, and the AL-80B is $305.00 more. I'm not convinced that tariffs are solely responsible for those increases.
Why not? The timing is exactly right.