I have read and heard this countless times and often in a "bragging" manner!
Is this the image that we hams should be promoting? Consider this:.de K7PUC
Whether or not we should promote this concept, it IS a fact. Having sold
antenna/tower stuff pretty heavily over the last five or six years I can tell
you hams are cheap. The majority will nickel and dime stuff at hamfests.
Recently I met with a big time contester who also buys and sells towers and
we agreed on the cheap term to describe hams. However, there is a difference
between being smart cheap and stupid cheap. Smart cheap is a guy who
wrangles a 150 foot tower (in good shape) for pennies on a dollar from someone
bought it ten years ago and never put it up. Stupid cheap is a guy who
spends $1000 on a tower and antenna and then buys used unknown coax hamfest.
spends all the effort and money to get a signal out and then attenuates it
with crappy coax.
I have a lot more respect for guy who builds a quality station with
scavenged good stuff than I do for one who got it out of a box. Isn't that
radio used to be when it first started? Most of us can't build our own
xcvrs, but we sure can tinker with the antennas and towers.
Without being smart cheap, I couldn't have been able to build a world class
superstation on a teacher's salary.
By the way, where to get the CATV? I picked up close to a thousand feet
from the cable company in Sarasota, along with about the same amount of 1/4
EHS, all for free. I got 2000 feet from a guy who no longer needed it and
had gotten it for free. Oh yeah, I actually paid $100 for two broken spools
of CATV stuff at a scrap metals dealer. One had over 2000 feet and the other
had 1200 feet on it. You would not believe the amount of free Heliax I got
in conjunction with scrap tower.
Granted it is harder now to get the scrap stuff, especially the Heliax since
the price of metals has gone up recently. However, for enterprising cheap
ham, it's out there.
TowerTalk mailing list