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Re: [TowerTalk] Cushcraft R5 sealing of the traps, What sealant

To: Jeff Carter <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Cushcraft R5 sealing of the traps, What sealant
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 15:26:51 -0700
List-post: <">>
Jeff Carter wrote:
> Sure!
> I actually have ordered from these people (Cable Organizer) and was
> quite satisfied both at the quality of what I was sent and the fact
> that they didn't seem to be thieves like more and more organizations
> marketing to hobby-ists seem to be these days.  There is a
> conversation in another thread about how folks who are marketing to
> hams are dishonest a lot of the time, but I find it's pretty much
> across the board.  The reason professionals don't encounter this so
> much is because they know the difference in what they're buying, and
> even they get tripped up sometimes when trying to save a buck or two.
or professionals have a keener sense of what their time is worth and 
figure it's easier and faster to go with one source they know of, and 
not spend all afternoon researching how to save a few bucks.  Sort of 
like ordering from McMaster-Carr.  Sure, they are sometimes more 
expensive than other sources, but I know where to find them, they ship 
fast, etc.

An engineer who is being paid to do some quanta of work (not the typical 
ham situation, I grant you) is costing their employer or client around 
$100-150/hr.. or call it $2-3/minute.  5 minutes spent browsing the web 
or navigating a new website, setting up an account or shipping address, 
and you've blown your savings on shipping cost.

If you're in a moderate to biggish company where there is a non-zero 
administrative overhead to getting a new vendor approved, it could be an 
even bigger hurdle. Although, most large organizations have something 
along the lines of a credit card to order small (<$2K) things without 
having to go through formal "purchasing and acquisitions", but there's 
still a non-zero hassle factor, and as they say, time is money.

Jim, W6RMK

> As the grey-haired guys retire and/or die, much of what they knew dies
> with them, and the generations that follow are left to fumble in the
> dark and pay $15 or more for shipping 2 or 3 ounces, or other such
> travesties that spring from not knowing any better.

Not necessarily a travesty. It costs the selling company some non-zero 
amount, even for very small orders.  Even though the shipping clerk may 
only be $20-30/hr, fully burdened, if it takes them 5 minutes to print 
up the label, enter it into the tracking system, etc., that's a few 
bucks right there.

And, a lot of companies simplify their shipping by using the same method 
for all shipping, regardless of purchase size or weight.  Companies like 
FedEx and UPS offer very attractive total shipping solutions in these 
situations.  Both Sellers and Buyers tend to like things like tracking 
numbers to answer the "where is my stuff" question.  The seller because 
the buyer can go online to find out easily, without calling the seller 
(who would have to have someone there to answer the phone, etc.). 
Buyers because, well, they can push the refresh button every 10 minutes 
waiting for their stuff to get there.  Obviously, one is free to look 
for vendors that aren't using that strategy if your cost/benefit 
analysis is otherwise.

> I don't want anybody to think that any of this is a personal attack on
> those who feel it's their God-given right to spend too much for
> nothing.  I am a Veteran of the US Military, and I served proudly to
> protect *your* right to do things that make absolutely no sense to me
> whatsoever.  I'm just glad to be asked to participate in the
> conversation here on TowerTalk.

Oddly, the DoD is notorious for seemingly paying a lot for stuff that a 
consumer could get much cheaper.  A lot of times that's for a couple 
good reasons:
a) there's a paperwork burden to prove that the taxpayer isn't getting 
ripped off
b)there's a minimum transaction charge (often to provide the paperwork 
for (a)).. $500 isn't a huge bump for a $100K spectrum analyzer.. a 
pretty big bump for a $4 hammer. As long as you buy more dollars worth 
of spectrum analyzers than hammers, it's probably ok in the overall 

Overall, though, DoD procurement does a pretty good job.  One hears on 
the news about the few outliers, but the vast majority of things go 
through just fine. Many commercial companies would love to have their 

Jim, W6RMK

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