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How Much Is Too Much And Where Does It Stop??

zero2sixty

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#21
Does an owner of a Ford not strive to own a Cadillac? Does an owner of a Cadillac not strive to own a Benz? Does the owner of a Benz not strive to own a RR? As men who work hard to feed, support and protect our loved ones it's our personal reward with a clear conscience for a job well done sir. Cost not-withstanding we spend more and more and then some more to Key the latest and greatest mike, tune the latest and greatest dial, jump out the latest and greatest plane, polish the latest and greatest new coin, shoot a duck with the latest and greatest skeet gun, hook a tuna with the latest and greatest Shakespeare rod, swing the latest and greatest graphite nine iron, strap into the latest and greatest funny car or whatever floats our latest and greatest collective boats. We're men, it's what we do.
 

K7MFC

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#22
What did a 'police' scanner cost then, as opposed to now?
Interesting question, let's run some numbers! I'll use the Pro-2006 as an example - it was arguably the best, most feature-packed scanner you could buy 20 years ago, and some today even still consider this "the best scanner of all time." In 1990, the Pro-2006 retailed for $419.95. Adjusting for inflation using the CPI Inflation Calculator, that is $828.14 in today's dollars. The SDS-200 (the best, most feature-packed scanner today) has a MSRP of $749.

Go back 20 more years, the most expensive scanner Radio Shack sold in 1971 was an 8 channel crystal controlled Sonar VHF Monitor which retailed for $189.95 - that is $1199.29 when adjusted for inflation!

I know this is kind of an apples to oranges comparison with Radio Shack vs Uniden scanners, but the old RS catalgos is where I could find reliable price history. I think the argument can be made a top-of-the scanner costs less today than it did in years past.
 
Joined
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Messages
45
Location
Lakeland FL Area
#23
The question was asked, ie: "How Much Is Too Much And Where Does It Stop?"

I'm looking at the above question from a different point of view... so here goes.

I slapped down $2500 for the Icom IC-8600, paid $700 in advance for a Uniden SDS200 digital I/Q scanner, and another $500 buckaroos for a G-800DXA Yaesu antenna rotor system.
My ham radio budget approaches $10k per year.
I don't think we are anywhere near companies like Uniden pricing themselves out of the market. One has to simply look at the initial SDS200 thread (now locked) and there is no shortage of people willing to practically force money into Uniden's pockets and the radio isn't even technically on the market yet (pre-orders not withstanding).
If it makes you feel any better, then run an inflation-cost-calculator online for some radio gear that cost say $800...
"How much is too much?"

Yes, "how much is too much" when the Big Three's prices of radio gear climb into the THOUSANDS of $$$$ ie:
ICOM IC-7851
$12,499.95 leaving the newcomer ham, or the older fixed income senior citizen, dreaming of the unattainable. Even prices of equipment in the HUNDREDS of $$$, in many cases, may take months to save... until a unfortunate circumstance arises where the equipment purchase is put aside until later... and the equipment money is used for the emergency.

"When does it stop?"

From my point of view, it STOPS when the Big Three, or other companies, price their equipment more reasonable, allowing those with lower spendable income the opportunity to purchase equipment that's more in line with their situation/circumstances money wise.

There are many posts on this web site, as well as others, as to the proliferation of less expensive ham equipment offered by non-US companies. "Why do you think this is?" The answer's simple... Lower Price!

I personally know of a situation where a (new) ham and their spouse are Senior Citizens in their 70's... and their only means of income is social security. So I ask you then... how does any of the Big Three expect a sale when their equipment is priced beyond the little bit of extra income $$ that might be available from this ham... let alone others?

So yes... "How Much Is Too Much And Where Does It Stop?"

73 to ya...

BaoFeng (Former Tech... Now Gen) Blogger KN4OTS
 
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#24
"How much is too much?"

Yes, "how much is too much" when the Big Three's prices of radio gear climb into the THOUSANDS of $$$$ ie:
ICOM IC-7851
$12,499.95 leaving the newcomer ham, or the older fixed income senior citizen, dreaming of the unattainable.
If the cost of new, state of the art equipment is unattainable, the new ham has the option of buying used gear. There's tons of excellent older equipment to be had, and a first rate station can be put together for a fraction of the cost for new.

I'm lucky enough to have a very generous hobby budget. My father used to say 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'. But out of that generous budget, I've only ever bought a small handful radios new.
 

iMONITOR

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#25
Ever hear that old saying..."Happy Wife, Happy Life"? To be honest I'm sick and tired hearing it! It works both ways. There is no reason a husband shouldn't/can't be happy too. If not he should move on! I've been married 42 years. We both worked hard all our lives, saved when we could, planned for retirement, and now it's time us to enjoy the fruits of our labor!

We don't get crazy, I own a 2010 Ford Edge, the wife leases a 2016 GMC Terrain. We don't have a second home, cottage, motor home, motorcycle, jet skis, boat, or take extravagant vacations. My wife owns about four purses, and maybe six pairs of shoes. We don't drink, smoke or do drugs. But we're happy and content and usually want for nothing, and if we do and it's within reason we buy it. She goes to Vegas with her sisters once a year. I buy, sell, trade guns, computer equipment, and if you can't already tell, radio gear! Typically I part with what I no longer use or want in order to geneate extra cash flow to buy new/different gear. Currently I only own two radios. An ICOM IC-7600 and recently added an AOR DV1. While they may be expensive they're what I wanted. There is no sense to me owning 10, 20, 30 radios if I don't/can't use them. I notice in some shack pictures some of the radios aren't even hooked to antennas or even power.

We're all adults (for the most part) and we shouldn't feel guilty when we buy something for ourselves and do what we enjoy doing. What's the point in living if you purposely/needlessly deprive yourself from happines out of guilt? Guilt often has to do with how you were raised or how society brain washed you. Now if you honestly can't afford something, then you need to hold off until you can. Especially if it impacts the "family" finances and security and other needs. You should never spend more than you can afford to spend. Never fail to meet your financial obligations and commitments.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
956
#26
Interesting question, let's run some numbers! I'll use the Pro-2006 as an example - it was arguably the best, most feature-packed scanner you could buy 20 years ago, and some today even still consider this "the best scanner of all time." In 1990, the Pro-2006 retailed for $419.95. Adjusting for inflation using the CPI Inflation Calculator, that is $828.14 in today's dollars. The SDS-200 (the best, most feature-packed scanner today) has a MSRP of $749.

Go back 20 more years, the most expensive scanner Radio Shack sold in 1971 was an 8 channel crystal controlled Sonar VHF Monitor which retailed for $189.95 - that is $1199.29 when adjusted for inflation!

I know this is kind of an apples to oranges comparison with Radio Shack vs Uniden scanners, but the old RS catalgos is where I could find reliable price history. I think the argument can be made a top-of-the scanner costs less today than it did in years past.
Good post, Matt. When I read the OP's initial post this is the first thing I thought of. Is this hobby really expensive relative to any other point in history? Not really. Is any hobby? Probably not.

My philosophy: Twice happy is the person with a hobby for they have two worlds in which to live.

I have been very successful in my 43 years of working. I intend to enjoy my retirement and spend my kid's inheritance. My wife and I are having a good time with that!
 
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Lakeland FL Area
#27
If the cost of new, state of the art equipment is unattainable, the new ham has the option of buying used gear. There's tons of excellent older equipment to be had, and a first rate station can be put together for a fraction of the cost for new.
I agree with the above, but... and it is a BIG but, how many newly licensed hams, especially the older senior citizen, do you know that have the where-with-all, knowledge wise, to be able to purchase any type of used equipment without being either overcharged, or, sold a piece of gear that has met it's last days, or, unable to meet the requirements needed to accomplish the task at hand?

It doesn't surprise me one bit to find out there have been people at ham fests that have purchased equipment (being told by the seller that it was just the piece of equipment that would do the job)... but once set up at home, the unsuspecting buyer found out that they were sold a song and dance?

The other problem I see at ham fests (sp?) is a lot of the used equipment is WAY over priced for either what the equipment is or the condition thereof. Why would one want to spend $$$ for something used and abused, when (for a few $$ more), a new rig with its 1 year factory guarantee can be had?

73 to ya...

BaoFeng Blogger KN4OTS
 
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#28
...how many newly licensed hams, especially the older senior citizen, do you know that have the where-with-all, knowledge wise, to be able to purchase any type of used equipment without being either overcharged, or, sold a piece of gear that has met it's last days, or, unable to meet the requirements needed to accomplish the task at hand?
That's a valid concern. It's really up to the amateur community to step up and help the newer hams. I've been licensed almost 45 years, and I still recall the help I received from the older hams in the area. I was a kid in school, down on the low end of 20 meters doing 30 wpm cw, and keeping up with the best of them. They saw the effort I poured into the hobby, so they poured some effort into me.

As a result, I was given radios, parts, pieces, and best of all, knowledge.

Today, I pay it forward. I'm involved in some of the more esoteric branches of the hobby, and if someone is willing to do their part, I'm happy to help with radios, parts, pieces, and knowledge. Unless I have serious money invested, I give stuff away, because so much was given to me. I have no problem going to a swap meet with a new ham, and making sure they don't get ripped off.

There is a reasonable expectation that someone getting a ham license should put forth some effort to learn stuff. It seems like a lot of new hams just want it handed to them with no effort on their part. They also seem to be the ones that grumble the loudest about the price of equipment.
 
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#29
I'm lucky enough to have a very generous hobby budget. My father used to say 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'. But out of that generous budget, I've only ever bought a small handful radios new.
Hear that. I get the most enjoyment out of fixing stuff.... computers, radios, cars, whatever. There's great satisfaction (to me anyway) in finding some ugly duckling piece of gear, (older Motos in particular) and getting it cleaned up and working. A few I keep but mostly swap out for another project. Keeps one busy and learning, which at my age, may help beat the Reaper for a while more too!;)
 

opiekitty

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#30
I know there are a few here on this fine website, like me, that are in the 'senior citizen' phase of your lives - grandchildren, in our 60s, veterans, semi-retired snowbirds, and all of the highs and lows in-between - that love this great multi-faceted hobby of ours - amateur radio, shortwave radio listening and scanner monitoring - who remember the cost differential from when we first started to find interest in the radio hobby to now 40-50 years later as we attempt to keep up with the technology. What did a 'police' scanner cost then, as opposed to now? What percentage of your yearly income was devoted to your hobbie(s)? How much have your buying habits changed from then to now? Interesting, huh.

I started the new year off with a few add-ons to the radio desk, and it got me to thinking, which is dangerous. A few days ago, I slapped down $2500 for the Icom IC-8600, paid $700 in advance for a Uniden SDS200 digital I/Q scanner, and another $500 buckaroos for a G-800DXA Yaesu antenna rotor system. Plus coax and fittings and adapters. When I looked at the total amount I almost had to slap myself. When did the amateur radio hobby get so expensive? I am officially retired now, we are Florida snowbirds just getting into the RVing experience and taking it slow, one day at a time, and we have been blessed by our Lord to be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle and provide the same for our children and those in our family circle who need a helping hand. Not a millionaire by anyone's standards, but retirement is certainly comfortable, and I have long ago justified the whims of my income so as not to feel wracked with guilt every time I write a check. The fact is, I make an obscene amount of money for what I do (soundtrack recording), and I have only recently come to terms with it. So, long story short, as I balanced my bank accounts and went over the figures, I looked at how much I actually spend yearly on my own personal hobbies vs family functions and vacations, church tithing and charitable contributions. A wave of guilt ran over me as I tried to mentally justify spending nearly $4000 in one transaction for radios and equipment. Wow! Had to ask myself, just how much is too much? Where does it end? But, instead of any cancellations or stop payments or second thoughts, I immediately thought about how I could pad the impact and distract so she wouldn't take much notice. Easier said than done. I went and purchased his & hers mountain bikes. I booked a Carnival Caribbean cruise for May. I bought her (ok, me, too) a new Nikon Coolpix P900 digital camera. Some new outfits for her to wear in the Caribbean. I took a deep breath at my desk - where does it stop? It is now the domino effect. Now I am scrambling to paint camouflage over everything radio so as not to be noticed. (hah!). She doesn't blink at guitars and recording equipment for the studio, because she knows that provides the income. So how do we justify that radio desk nook that grows and grows and grows and soon demands a room of it's own?

Is there a support/help group for this, I wonder? lol I am kidding, of course. If I didn't think I could afford it, I wouldn't spend it. This is all about my wife's lifestyle and philosophies versus my own. This is considered frivolous spending by her. A waste of money and time by me over something she does not entirely understand nor is able to rationalize. So, the only thing I can think of to do is counter-punch with travel and bling and what she likes. I am sure many of you reading this are in the same situation. How do you justify the expense? I can usually sway her if I can convince her that this all pertains to family safety and survival. We have bugout kits and emergency gear and all that goes with that, so communications was, at one point, a justified expense...but now? She knows better. I was bitten by the bug years ago and it is now coming to light just how bad this radio hobby (ok, obsession) infection has grown. I have one wall in my studio dedicated to radio, and now thinking of converting in the basement. Anybody in the same boat? How do you justify? lol

How much is too much and where does it stop?? Love to hear your own situations :)

JD
kf4anc
HI JD, Awesome to have this hobby and I understand. My wife likes to craft and I like radios. We compromise and we both respect and support our hobbies. The agreement we made is to pay cash for the hobbies and most important like you stated is "Tithing to the Lord" FIRST and He always provides extra cash for hobbies/blessings. You are blessed with some nice radios Brother!! God Bless, Steve
 

TailGator911

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#31
Great replies guys! And that Inflation Calculator is amazing! We've been playing around on that for almost an hour now lol. Yup those venerable 2006s are still worth their weight in gold - mine still works like a champ.

opiekitty - Yup! Praise God for His blessings, nothing is without Him! Thanks, brother!

zz0468 - 'the harder you work, the luckier you get'..words to live by, literally. Your father was a smart man.

I know not everyone believes in God/Jesus and lives their lives accordingly, so I'll keep it brief for those of us that do - My wife and I are Christians and we do our best to live our lives by the Word. She just came into the room and threw some Biblical quotes that pertain to what we are talking about here...Ecclesiastes 5: 18-20, Timothy 6: 7-8, Hebrews 13:5... I won't elaborate on these verses so as not to get into Bible study or anything but long story short - they pertain to enjoying the fruits of your labor and not trying to live beyond your means and to be content with what you have. I'd say all of that applies here. Bottom line is be happy with what brings you joy!

JD
kf4anc
 

CQ

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Exosphere
#32
Does an owner of a Ford not strive to own a Cadillac? Does an owner of a Cadillac not strive to own a Benz? Does the owner of a Benz not strive to own a RR? As men who work hard to feed, support and protect our loved ones it's our personal reward with a clear conscience for a job well done sir. Cost not-withstanding we spend more and more and then some more to Key the latest and greatest mike, tune the latest and greatest dial, jump out the latest and greatest plane, polish the latest and greatest new coin, shoot a duck with the latest and greatest skeet gun, hook a tuna with the latest and greatest Shakespeare rod, swing the latest and greatest graphite nine iron, strap into the latest and greatest funny car or whatever floats our latest and greatest collective boats. We're men, it's what we do.
And she wants 70% of that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 70% tax on the super-rich is more popular than Trump's tax cuts, new poll shows
 

spongella

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#34
Whenever I reach the feeling of "too much" I just sell 'em on EBay to recoup the expense of prior purchases. Latest example, bought a spectrum analyzer for $1300, brand new, used it several months and then sold on Ebay for $1100. Always wanted one and am glad for the experience.
 

Ensnared

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#35
It all depends. How would you like to approach death? Would you like to spend money on things or be bored to death? There is a reason I have both ears active on trips, scanner in one and CB in the other. As for the other, I will drop this, one of the funniest in the Bible: Proverbs 21:9. I live by this.
 
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Messages
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#37
It will eventually come to a full stop. Generation Y really doesn't care about hamming and Generation Z will care even less than Generation Y. The days of standalone radio manufacturing are slowly coming to an end. It's nice to see some here enjoying it while it is still here.
 

W3JMC

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#38
It will eventually come to a full stop. Generation Y really doesn't care about hamming and Generation Z will care even less than Generation Y. The days of standalone radio manufacturing are slowly coming to an end. It's nice to see some here enjoying it while it is still here.
Guess I'm exception to that rule being Generation Y myself :)
 
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municipality of great state of insanity
#39
spacellamaman - I'm pretty much fat and sassy and satisfied here with my wife. If things ever do change, I'll take your offer into consideration. Please reply with a pic of your radios and firearms (lol)

JD
kf4anc
AND firearms??? i think we are going to be very happy together. the description of your wife however tells me we should work something out to keep her around too though. some may consider it "living-in-sin", but i think she could could bring alot of good to our marriage.
 

K7MFC

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#40
It will eventually come to a full stop. Generation Y really doesn't care about hamming and Generation Z will care even less than Generation Y. The days of standalone radio manufacturing are slowly coming to an end. It's nice to see some here enjoying it while it is still here.
Ham radio, a dying hobby since 1912™ ;)
 
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