Is Ham Gear Too Expensive? Or, Are Some Hams' Expectations Unrealistic?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N2EY, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    W7JZE and N2EY like this.
  2. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great idea but how do you calculate depreciation for every make and model? In addition, you'd also have to know how many of each model is still around since rarity would up the price. I also imagine constructed kits would be almost impossible to assign a value since the variable of construction technique can greatly alter its resale value.
  3. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agreed, and these days I think a "Blue Book" is pretty much useless.

    Today's internet can provide a motivated buyer with the data necessary to make an informed decision. Asking prices, offering prices, conditions, history- much of it is there.

    The value of a blue book was when a person who knew the market could translate their expertise into a pricing guide - which became useful to those who did not have access to such market knowledge. Now the market knowledge is there for anyone who wants it.

    In the absence of a blue book, all a buyer needs is a bit of historical market knowledge, plus some practical "what to look for" knowledge, and they can recognize a fair deal. Without that knowledge, their cost is that that maybe they don't get a fair deal.
    W7JZE and W4RAV like this.
  4. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    For transceivers I use a scaling factor determined by v(t) = .3 + (.7)*exp(-t/4) where t is the time in years since the product was first sold... as a rough estimate not considering other factors.
    W7JZE and W4IOA like this.
  5. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page


    In 1968, a gallon of gas cost ~$.0.25. Adjusted for inflation that same gallon of gas "should be" no more than $1.76. ooops.

    Using the CPI inflation calculator can give some pretty skewed results owing to the effects of technology advancements.

    Anything you want, but don't have the disposable income to spend for the item, is by definition "too expensive"
    WZ7U, W4IOA and K3XR like this.
  6. AB8MA

    AB8MA Subscriber QRZ Page

    If anybody has lived in the same house for the past 50 years, compare the water bills back then to your current bills.

    In my neck of the woods, water has become "too expensive".
  7. K3EY

    K3EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    How many NEW rigs do yo own?

    Obsolete TT doesn't count just like owning a Drake or any other none viable manufacturer product.
    You and EY musta had the same class/teacher
  8. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I spent more for my FTdx5000MP than I did for most of the cars I bought in my life!!
    W7JZE likes this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's why I don't use the CPI. I use the Westegg Inflation Calculator.

    Yes a gallon of regular gas was about 25 cents back in 1968, and by the Westegg calculator it should be about $1.76. Instead, around here, it's $2.85 or so.


    In 1968, few cars got over 20 mpg - even a VW Beetle got maybe 25 on the highway. Today, my big old Honda Odyssey gets 25+ mpg on the highway - loaded, doing the limit, AC on, the works.

    So the real-world inflation-adjusted cost per mile hasn't really increased.

    Of course - but - there's a difference between saying "I can't afford that now" and saying "the rigmakers should be able to make that for much less".
  10. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Absolutely. The relative prices change over the years. In particular, most electronic devices have become relatively cheaper compared to food, housing, or average wages.

    Maybe a radio should be compared to something like a 19 inch color TV, instead of being compared to average wages. But that's not completely fair, because TVs sell in much higher volume than ham radios, and the high volumes benefit more from modern automated manufacturing techniques.

    Hams who think gear is too expensive can always build their own. Good luck making it cheaper than commercial stuff, but the learning and the pride may make it worthwhile regardless.
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