At 01:59 PM 8/22/2006, Pete Smith wrote:
>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.
I don't know that it's all that grotesque. It's high, in a ham context
(where people are proud of finding their antenna wire in a construction
site dumpster for free), but I don't know that it's all that grotesque.
Consider that HRO sells a Alpha Delta DX-CC (a multiband antenna with 2
coils, a center insulator/coax connector, and 3 dipoles worth of precut
wire and some spacers), as a kit, mind you, for $160.
The B&W thing has a load resistor, a bunch more hardware, not to mention
it's already assembled on some nifty plastic spindle thingies, all for
about $500, list. So, comparing to the DX-CC, it's about 3 times as much,
but it IS assembled and has some more parts.
In fact, HRO sells the BW broadband antenna in copperweld (without the
poles, but with the high power load) for $230 (compare to BW's website list
price of $250). The SS version is $400 from B&W (Is there $150 bucks worth
of SS wire in there? I doubt it.). The "manpack" antenna is another $150
more (for the nifty carrying case and the spools?)
So, overall, the BW antenna isn't a great deal, but it's not a totally
horrible deal, either. If they were charging $10K, I'd say they were
ripping people off.
As for the RF performance (in a dollars/dB sense), that's another story
entirely, and something that the editors of QST should try to do something
about with an educational article. However, they draw from a limited pool
of potential writers, have limited editorial space, etc.. I am loathe to
complain excessively, because if someone comes to me and says "Well, why
don't YOU write the article, you obviously think you're qualified to do
so", I'd have to beg off. It's all I can do to get the journal articles
and reports that I get paid for at work done on a halfway decent
schedule. As you know, it's a lot of work to do these things, and finish them.
However, overall, I agree with you. I see ads for (useless) products that
sell for remarkably high prices considering what went into them (even
counting the R&D expense) and think, "I should/could have done that". I
have immense respect for people who actually take their little ham widget
and make a viable product out of it, even if they are losing money on every
sale in an objective sense (or paying themselves a nickle an hour).
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