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.
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
TowerTalk mailing list