[TowerTalk] Source for FairRite ferrite cores

Jim Brown jim at audiosystemsgroup.com
Thu Jan 25 15:20:47 EST 2018

On 1/25/2018 11:27 AM, Bob Shohet, KQ2M wrote:
> Amidon was also the only supplier that was willing to give even better pricing than listed plus they answered most of my technical questions.


I wouldn't expect ANY parts vendor to provide useful technical advice.  
I first published my research showing that Fair-Rite #31 was the 
superior material for HF chokes in 2008. It took at least 5 years for 
Amidon to notice. There used to be a ham named Amidon who started the 
company, and I strongly suspect he was the source of the tech data they 
list. He's been SK for a LOONG time.

> Your experience may be different, but if you didn’t spend the time doing the hard work like I did, then you missed a great opportunity.

Over the years, I've personally done four large group purchases of 
Fair-Rite parts, and worked closely with others on five more. I've also 
done several group purchases of Amphenol RF connectors and high quality 
audio connectors. In all cases, either I or the other ham doing the 
group purchase has done the homework you describe.

There was a time when Fair-Rite direct offered the best prices. For the 
last several years, Dexter Magnetics and Lodestone Pacific have had the 
best prices. Many years ago, I bought from Kreger. They have not been 
competitive for about ten years.

k9yc.com/RFI-Ham.pdf lists several Fair-Rite vendors, and advises 
getting quotes from as many as practical. I also noted that any one of 
the vendors may provide a lower quote on a particular part because they 
have remaining stock from a large order for another customer, or because 
their customer base buys enough of that part to justify their own 
purchase in quantity for stock.  From several posts in this thread, it 
appears that Arrow falls into that category. Some vendors are more 
oriented for small quantity purchases (for industrial vendors, 100 
pieces is fairly small quantity). I found best prices on Amphenol 83-1SP 
connectors at Allied, but better prices on adapters from other vendors. 
I find best prices on audio connectors from Full Compass, and suspect 
that Sweetwater will be competitive.

Also, quantity price breaks on Fair-Rite parts rarely fall into decimal 
slots like 10 and 100 pieces. Rather, they depend on box quantities, and 
vary from one product to another. When buying quantity, a buyer should 
ALWAYS ask where the price breaks are for a given part. For example, the 
2.4-in o.d. toroids are packed 100 to a box, which the "largest 
clamp-on" (1-in i.d.) is packed 36 to a box. I recently paid $13.57 each 
for 150 pieces of the relatively new 4-in o.d. #31 toroid. Their box 
quantity is 25 pieces, with breaks at 50, 100, and 250 pieces (the 
largest quantity I asked for), and one box of the #31 "largest 
clamp-ons" for $8.45 each.

#43 material is a bit less expensive than #31 if purchased in the same 
quantity. I've recommended #31 for use at 6M and HF because it's 
superior to #43 below 5 MHz and for 6M, and nearly as good as #43 
between 10 and 30 MHz. It is thus a more universally useful part, so the 
price difference disappears if purchased in quantity.

73, Jim K9YC

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