Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I don't see how people do it.

Call it envy, call it wonder, call it what you will. I was listening to the local VHF repeater on the way home and was listening to a few guys discuss their latest plans to purchase new HF gear. And these guys weren't buying to replace boat anchors. These guys are replacing state-of-the-art radios they just bought a couple of years ago.

My question is ..... how do they do that?

I must truly be poor or overly frugal or something (cheap!); but in my 30+ year Ham career, I have never changed rigs like I change my socks, shirt or underwear. My K2 is going on six years old this year. I had my Icom IC-751A for a decade before I parted with it. Before that, I had my Heath SB-104A and an Icom IC-730 for over ten years. I will admit that I had my Novice gear for only a few years before I built the SB-104A.

I guess for some, a fun part of this hobby is to horse trade equipment. I guess that's just not my style. But I sure wouldn't mind if a K3 happened to fall off a UPS truck and landed in my lap! I'd never get rid of the K2, though. I made THAT mistake by selling the SB-104A and my HW-8. If I had to do that all over again, I wouldn't. In my experience, there's something regrettable about parting with a piece of equipment that you built with your own two hands. You have a history together.

Maybe I'm just corny and overly sentimental.

I sure wish I had the financial resources to even consider doing it, though!

72 de Larry W2LJ


  1. I don't understand either, Larry. However, I think there are many more hams out there that are watching costs. The guys with really big bucks are the minority.

    Maybe the big-spenders are Wall Street traders using our tax money to buy $4000 transceivers. Nice bonuses...again.

    Long live QRP and kit transceivers.

    72 Dick

  2. Yeah, would be nice to be able to buy every latest and greatest rig du jour, but I've always made smart choices and avoided the temptation to fall for the pretty ads and marketing hype. I went through a few different HF rigs back in the 80s and 90s when I was in the business but only when presented with the opportunity to upgrade with reasonable expenditure. Since then I owned a JST-245 for 14 years, and plan to keep my now two-year old K3 for at least another dozen years. Still have my first rig, an HW-9 that I somehow managed to avoid butchering when I built it in 1985. If I ever buy another rig it will be a K2, simply for the thrill of building it.

    Some people just can't be happy with what they have. If nothing else, they keep the used market alive and kicking. What I find amazing are the guys I see on TV auctions who buy 1970's muscle cars for six figures -- no price too high to reclaim one's lost youth...

  3. I don't know how they spend big money on rigs myself. My Kenwood TS-530 was $275, and I really thought I splurged when I got my Icom IC-718 for $550. Now I want a smaller more portable rig like a FT-857D or 897D that also does 6m, 2m and 440 SSB now that I have a Mini-Buddipole. Of course, I do have a sportbike that consumes money, so if I parted with my Ninja I'd have more than enough for fancy rigs. Sorry, can't do that. Maybe its just a matter of priorities, :).

    Jason - N6WBL

  4. I'm hanging on to my K2 for the same reason. But I guess I'm fortunate not to need to sell it. In the past, I always needed to sell something in order to buy something else I really, really wanted. At the time the loss seemed more than offset by the gain, and I never imagined I might one day be nostalgic about the thing I was selling.

  5. Agreed. Meanwhile, I've been saving up for 5 months to replace my walking-dead TS-120S.

  6. After nearly 30 years of being inactive, when I first got back into the swing of things I fell victim to the "radio roullette affliction". Not because I had the means to afford it - I didn't - but because I didn't really take the time to properly educate myself on how much radios had changed in three decades. I kept thinking that each "upgrade" would bring tremendous new levels of enjoyment and abilities. But it simply didn't pan out that way. What I found was that the changes were marginal and often what I thought I was upgrading was, in fact, a downgrade or no improvement at all.

    The good news is that there is a cure for this 'disease' - an empty bank account. And, fortunately, somehow I ended up with a K2 in all of my horsetrading.