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Re: [TowerTalk] 2006 Top Ten Chutzpah Awards - the top two

To: Jim Lux <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] 2006 Top Ten Chutzpah Awards - the top two
From: Pete Smith <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 16:59:23 -0400
List-post: <>
Jim, I'm sorry - because they can get this grotesque price doesn't mean that 
ARRL should implicitly endorse their doing so.  As a citizen, I have other 
channels to rail against my government's absurd procurement practices, but as a 
ham I hate to see the gullible get .... gulled.  

73, Pete

At 04:36 PM 8/22/2006, Jim Lux wrote:
>>p. 32 "Broadband Manpack Antenna and Mast from B&W" -- claiming less than 2:1 
>>SWR 1.6-60 MHz.  Picture looks like two christmas tree light reels, a lot of 
>>hookup wire, two three foot pieces of tubing and a humongous balun/dummy 
>>load.  Rated for 20 watts.  $545 for the antenna alone, or $1190 (!) for the 
>>antenna and mast kit.
>Well manpack, in this case, doesn't mean it operates while attached to a 
>manpack, but, rather, that it can be carried by a man in a pack.
>This antenna is the same old terminated folded dipole that has been B&W's 
>mainstay for aeons.  The new fiberglass poles and the canvas bag are new.
>Sure enough, it's got a 2:1 match over the band. It's somewhat(!) inefficient, 
>but, heck, it *does* radiate, and from a system design standpoint, maybe the 
>appeal of no moving/controllable parts against the cost of whatever increase 
>in Tx power (if any) is needed to close the link is attractive.  It's aimed 
>not at hams, but at folks with a bit more cash, who aren't interested in 
>homebrew, and who are running a $5K+ ALE radio into it.
>Cost-wise it seems expensive, but compare it against something designed to 
>compete squarely against it in the same basic market: the long SGC whip and 
>the companion autotuner.  In procurement costs, the ability to get all the 
>stuff packaged together in one box/bag that fits is probably worth a good part 
>of the purchase price, as opposed to procuring the antenna from one place, the 
>mast from another, the attachment fixture from a third, and a suitable bag 
>from a fourth, not to mention that the intended buyers aren't interested in 
>fabrication.  This is a turnkey product that fills a particular need.
>That is also the "manufacturers list price".. I suspect that the actual price 
>to your local buyer is somewhat less. When I worked for a manufacturer of 
>theatrical equipment in this price range, the factory price was always higher 
>than the dealer price, because we wanted to protect our dealers. What we 
>changed the dealer was substantially lower, because they have to cover their 
>costs and profit, plus have room to negotiate on a package deal.
>  In this case, the buyer would probably be going to some retailer of 
> emergency comm gear for some package, including radio (from Harris, Racal, 
> Vertex, etc.), antenna(s), carrying cases, support, training, etc.  B&W might 
> be getting all of $500 for their part of the deal.  I'd venture that you'd 
> have a tough time duplicating the product for the same price, especially if 
> you buy new materials and pay reasonable wages, and deal with all the 
> paperwork, not to mention probably waiting 90 days to get paid.  We used to 
> figure that the "retail sell price" would be 5-10 times the purchase cost of 
> the components... using that rule of thumb, could you duplicate the B&W 
> product for <$120 in brand new parts?
>(after having read through countless posts on a new portableantennatesting 
>yahoo group)
>Jim, W6RMK


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