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Old March 28th 07, 08:44 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Rediscovering the hobby.

Steve Bonine wrote:

Which gets us back to the point that several have made in this thread --
the importance of making contact with the local ham community.


I forgot to mention this in my last post, but Paul, if you were heading
out to Dayton, we could arrange to meet and look at some of that old
equipment if you needed some buying guidance.

- 73 de Mike KB3EIA -


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Old March 28th 07, 10:59 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Rediscovering the hobby.

Michael Coslo wrote:
Steve Bonine wrote:


I've had two experiences on Ebay. One buying, and one selling. Both were
bad. When buying, the stuff wasn't as advertised, and under selling, the
buyer never showed up. Leaving bad feedback isn't much in compensation.


I'm sorry to hear this. I've had perhaps a half dozen experiences with
eBay, all buying, and not all fo this was ham gear. I've never been
disappointed. I picked up an absolutely gorgeous Vibroplex bug, and the
seller packed it such that it could have been delivered by catapult and
would have arrived intact.

The moral of the story, I think, is that there are both good and bad
experiences to be had any time you buy anything. I've had bad
experiences related to buying new stuff, too. There's a lot you can do
to reduce the probability of getting burned, but it can never be reduced
to zero. The alternative is to never buy anything, and that's no fun
either.

I simply love going to Hamfests. The socializing is fun. Lots of bad
food to eat too! Lots of interesting people to watch.


You mean the guys who have more radios hanging from various parts of
their body than I even own? grin

The one thing that depresses me about attending hamfests is observing
the aging ham population and the lack of diversity. I can't shake the
thought that these events won't be around in another decade because so
many of the attendees will be too old to be there.

My XYL has a rule that I like. "On presently manufactured radios, if
it isn't 50 percent off new, buy new."


I like that. I continue to be amazed at some of the items that sell on
eBay for more money than it would cost to buy them new. Not ham gear so
much, but with beekeeping equipment it is truly amazing. I've checked
some completed sales and compared prices for known items with the price
listed in the current catalog, leaving me just shaking my head.

On older stuff, if you can't see
and touch it, let someone else have it. Nothing like that warranty for me.


The warranty is certainly worth a lot, as is the simple fact that the
gear is coming directly from the factory and you know it hasn't been
abused. But sometimes with the older stuff, seeing doesn't really help
that much since it's unlikely you'll actually be able to apply power and
do a smoke test. I'm never enthusiastic about buying a piece of gear at
a hamfest (for other than parts) after hearing the seller utter those
magic words, "Oh, it works great."

Your point about Eham is excellent, Steve. In fact, I would suggest
anyone who is interested in getting equipment should browse through
their reviews. I've spent more than a few entire evenings at their site.
I would note to the prospective buyers that they read the reviews in
addition to looking at overall ratings. There are some Hams out there
who never met a radio they didn't like! ;^) And a few who are really picky.


Oh, absolutely. The individual reviews are by far the most valuable,
but you do have to read with a grain of salt. You have to judge whether
the specific piece of equipment might have been a lemon, or perhaps the
person who wrote the review was the lemon. And you're right; some
people never met a radio that they didn't like. But nothing beats the
real-world experience.

The Hamfest also has one experience that I really love - even if
some don't - the discussion driving the sale. I just love that give and
take with the person selling the equipment. Unfortunately, some sellers
don't do this, but when I "lock horns" with a seller that knows how to
deal, we both have a great time.


Yep, I understand, having watched my wife enjoy that experience many
times, especially in foreign countries. But it's not one that I enjoy.
Different strokes for different folks.

One of the options I didn't think about until after I submitted the
original article is buying used gear at a commercial ham radio store.
If I did that, I would insist on the right to bring back the specific
piece of equipment for full credit on another purchase within some
period of time, perhaps 90 days. I don't know if the stores do that
these days, but it seems reasonable to me, and would provide an
advantage to buying the gear through the store as opposed to directly
from the owner.

73, Steve KB9X

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Old March 29th 07, 06:40 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Rediscovering the hobby.

Michael Coslo wrote:


I've had two experiences on Ebay. One buying, and one selling. Both were
bad. When buying, the stuff wasn't as advertised, and under selling, the
buyer never showed up. Leaving bad feedback isn't much in compensation.


I've also had a couple of experiences on E-bay, I sold a refrigerator,
was a good experience, and I tried my absolute best to cancel a bid once
with no luck--a very bad experience.

snip

My XYL has a rule that I like. "On presently manufactured radios, if
it isn't 50 percent off new, buy new." On older stuff, if you can't see
and touch it, let someone else have it. Nothing like that warranty for me.


I grew up on a farm/ranch out side of "classic-smalltown", Texas.
Everything we got we ordered from either Sears or Montgomery Ward;
Shoes, shirts, basic household equipment as well as farm equipment was
all ordered mail-order.

At times we got what we wanted, other times we didn't--even from big
name stores such as Sears or Wards. Then we'd have to box the items
back up and send them back for credit... wait for the credit paperwork
(refund check) to arrive and then re-place the order. This could take
weeks and you're walking around in shoes with holes in them--for instance.

That's when I decided that I wanted to try-on what I buy--be it clothes,
or any sort of equipment. I want to turn it on, twist the knobs and
take it for some sort of test drive.

I try to always buy new, although I've only had one new HF radio since
I've been a ham. I've had new handy's for VHF/UHF and new VHF/UHF
mobiles but only one new HF, the rest have been used, and I'd been much
better off getting new then.

For years I would not even consider getting on HF because each and every
time I went to get on HF my 'used' radio would not work, I'd have to fix it.

I had not been on HF since 2001 and in 2006 I decided to try HF again,
and true to form, I turned on my HF rig and one of the large caps in the
PA decided to explode... and I mean explode.

I turned around and bought a new HF rig the very next day. I made more
contacts in the next week than I'd made in the previous eight years
total. Mainly because I didn't have to work on the radio to make it work.

Working on the radio each time I wanted to tune up took all of the fun
out of radio for me, for I wanted to do on HF what I was able to do on
VHF/UHF; i.e.: talk.

Now, I'm HF active as well as VHF/UHF and I'm really having a good time
on the bands.

Collectors will have a different outlook, of course.


This is what I can agree with, if you're only going to use it to put on
display, then that's what it would be for.


Your point about Eham is excellent, Steve. In fact, I would suggest
anyone who is interested in getting equipment should browse through
their reviews. I've spent more than a few entire evenings at their site.
I would note to the prospective buyers that they read the reviews in
addition to looking at overall ratings. There are some Hams out there
who never met a radio they didn't like! ;^) And a few who are really picky.


Same here.


Russ - KW5KW



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