One degree of separation

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One thing I always took offense from...kind of.. are the people who see my tower and antenna, 7 ele LP and prior KLM KT-34XA (which dwarfed the house), and ask "oh, is that for CB?". Maybe more pity on the questioner than offense at the question. But it was the whole stigma of CB as a hobby (vs using it as traffic planning/warning system) compared to the truly noble and righteous Amateur Radio hobby complete with mobile ops honking CQ at each other. 

What strikes me though, from posts on here to conversations I have with members offline, no, there is a serious lot of money in this hobby / way-of-life. What I haven't yet seen is someone saying they hired a private jet and pilot to ferry their new toy door to door, because they could. I am not commenting on the wisdom of comparing FedEx overnight vs UPS overnight rather the number of posts that segment of the conversation generated. Has anyone considered flying into Austin (very nice airport btw), dining at the French restaurant on 7th St, then picking up the toy before you leave the next morning?

It just struck me how much money is being applied to the, um, hobby.
The title refers to the, I guess, conventional belief ham radio is merely but one degree of separation from CB.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Posted 2 years ago

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DrTeeth

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We should also get credit or even medals for our negotiating skills in 'getting permission' from our other halves to spend such money on a 'hobby'. My XYL's considered opinion of my ham equipment is 'a bloody waste of money'. Normally, she does not swear so her using that epithet in my example is like treble-underlining her opinion and breathing fire. But I did it AND am busy working on my next spend and she does not even know it yet, he he.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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You, sir, are an evil person. And when Wonder Woman and her Amazonian friends catch up with you, there will be some reckoning. ;-)
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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I cannot wait ;-).
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km9r.mike

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Kinky
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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My wife is a ham operator and has followed me with almost all my hobbies
and sports. Ham radio is by far my most inexpensive hobby, my others
are astronomy, photography and blue water sailing.
It's as easy as that: Dangle a licence in front of her and promise
her that she can use (almost) all of your nice ham radio equipment... ;-)
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KF4HR

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Never pondered such things. 
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I find this hobby way cheaper than others..... now, if you want to pick me up with your jet to fly me over to Austin, I take you up on that Walt!!! :)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Ham radio is inexpensive compared the true costs of an XYL.  Just saying.  (I wouldn't change a thing, as the XYL even got her license so she had some idea what I do in the hobby.)

Ham radio is very inexpensive compared to two sons still in University.  Just saying. (All three sons are licensed BTW).

Ham radio is extremely inexpensive compared to my last airplane I owned alone (a Beech D-50A Twin-Bonanza).

Guess life is just expensive and you do the best you can??!

73

Steve K9ZW


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Walt - KZ1F

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In 98, I bought a 98 Cessna 182S, N95242. In 2000 I bought a Cessna Millennial Edition 172, N169ME that I was going to use to give flight training in. Love the new aircraft smell. Both were leather interior. For AMEL, an older Piper Duchess. ..good times!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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XYL suggested I spend more time/money on Ham Radio because I used to spend that time away at work and now being retired Ham Radio keeps me out of her hair...

She also defended my tower when the neighbors complained to the City post Katrina that I did not need such a large tower  

Quote "Because he should not save the Life of Anyone Outside of La Jolla"   --

She replied Quote:

"Call your lawyer, I don't care how much it costs, those Bitches can't win"


These flites may count sort of:

Many TImes I have Flown to Friedrichshafen and Dayton to Pick UP Gear.. not a private jet

Many TImes I have Flown to Yuma and Visalia to Pick up Gear... private plane...

Usually better prices and instant gratification at Hamfests than direct from Manufacturer.


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Walt - KZ1F

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At one point I was going to fly into Austin, stay in town, a little one-one-one with Flex. A little like flying into Wichita to pick up my, then, new toy from the Ceesna factory and fly it back east. I would not even contemplating that had I not had an IFR rating Long cross country flights are the best.
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Ham radio is a lot cheaper than many hobbies.  I figured it cost me annually almost the price of a 6500 to keep my 1946 Aeronca Chief, even if I didn't fly it at all, figuring in hangar, insurance and annual inspection costs.  Dayton; with travel, room, and board, is well over a kilobuck, before we (KE0GIC & I) even hit the exhibition halls and fleamarket.  It helps to have a very understanding XYL, who is now, after following me around for over 50 years, also licensed.  Even though she's seldom on the air, she understands my enthusiasm, and her ARRL Life Member plaque hangs next to mine in the shack.  She wouldn't have a problem with flying off to Austin to pick something up, as long as she got to go along.
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Steve (N9SKM)

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Other hobbies:
Reef Aquarium keeping
Flight lessons (Almost time for my PPL Checkride)
Firearms

So all expensive hobbies. I could buy alot of ham gear with what flight training has cost. But we are talking about hobbies here, Things we do for fun not because we have to. The government and bills get enough of my money, if i want to pay 110$ an hour to rent a plane or 100$ on a 3 inch wide coral than so be it!

If i was close enough to Austin and had my licence i would rent an aircraft and go pick mine up. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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Steve, you don't want to stray too far without an IFR rating.
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Steve (N9SKM)

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Key words were if i was close enough to Austin.
 And yeah weather is obviously something taken into account when flying VFR but plenty of people travel with only a VFR rating, Its just never worth risking iffy weather.
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Walt - KZ1F

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I'm sure at this point you've become familiar with the $100 hamburger. Close enough is a vague and relative term. I did the bulk of my flight training in the 90's. Back then 100LL was $2.50/ gal. Now, at the local municipality ap it's $5.50. So maybe that hamburger is $300.
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Jon - KF2E

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When I got my private license the flying club at Ft Eustis had two old Army
T-41's(172) they rented. The one the radios worked reliably in was $11/hr wet and the one they didn't was $10.50. Of course as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army making $8k/yr I couldn't afford to fly a lot even at those prices.

Jon...kf2e
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W7NGA

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Oh dear ... I am feeling old. I put myself through Stanford pumping gas at one of the San Jose airports and getting my ratings. 80/87 was $0.47/gallon and 100/130 was $0.52/gallon. When fuel prices started approaching a dollar per gallon I thought the world was ending.
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AA0KM

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I don`t know how this hobby compares to CB products but there is a lot of hamradio gear produced over the years.

http://rigpix.com/index.shtml

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DrTeeth

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Thanks for that smashing link. Brings back memories.
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Lee, Elmer

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I have never felt any kinship with CB.  I got into the hobby when CB was a means for small business to easily communicate between a base and a mobile.  They had their own little column in Popular Electronics and their own display case down at the Allied Radio store and that was the end of it.  Entirely different domains.  When that service was taken over by the outlaws I still felt no kinship.  Neither do I find the hobby expensive.  You just budget for it like everything else.

73  W9OY
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Don Stefanik

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I had a $20,000. 2001 Honda Goldwing. Put on a bunch of accessories and after a few years of riding sold it and now have less than $10,000.00 in amateur radio equipment over the last 4 years I have been a ham. Of course I have resold some of my equipment as well recouping about $5000.00.

So $5000.00 in 4 years. Not bad as far as I'm concerned.

73/DJ

VA3KBC

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Walt - KZ1F

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And I had a $2,000 Honda 360 and a $600 ts-530sp that I still own.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I had a 1978 Bass Tracker that I bought used in 1996 for $1200 and put another $1100 into remodeling from the hull up. I kept it for 18 years and sold it for $1100. Then I bought an Allumicraft 6' X 12' all aluminum pontoon boat for about $9600 including sales tax and registration.
That was about the same as I have spent on my 6500 and tower installation combined. And I still don't have a gas engine on it. Another $1000, please.

But then I see people buying $35,000 fishing boats and $40,000 trucks to pull them with and realize that amateur radio is a lot less expensive than many people's hobbies.

And for the money I have spent, I have gotten MUCH more use out of the ham gear than the boat. (It hasn't gotten out of the garage in two summers.). I use the ham gear almost every day. At least a little every weekend. Which may be why I haven't been fishing for a while!

The Dollar-to-fun ratio is much better with my ham gear.

Ken-NM9P
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Walt - KZ1F

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But Ken, the difference there is the boat can be used for other thing besides catching fish. Personally, I'd prefer a 29' slope; big enough to sail down the East coast but small enough to be handled by a single person.

A radio has but one purpose.
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Steve W6SDM

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I too am offended when people refer to my ham radio hobby as CB.  I know they do so out of ignorance, but it still hurts just the same.  I worked hard for my licenses over the last 50 years and I don't like being painted with the same brush as some pot-bellied, beer-drinking, ignorant, red-necked clown with a Cobra, Moon Raker, and a power mic - keeping in mind that some of those adjectives may be used to describe me from time to time, although not all at once.

As far as the hobby being expensive, I am also into off road and photography.  Some of my lenses rival the cost of a new rig. 

My agreement with the XYL is as follows:  I can spend what I want on ham radio or other hobbies as long as I put an equal amount aside for household items like new furniture, drapes, or carpet.  It's like a 100% import tariff on ham radio equipment.  My worst fear is that when I go SK, she will sell this stuff for what I told her I paid for it.  :)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Steve, good buddy, we will never truly go SK.
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W7NGA

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> she will sell this stuff for what I told her I paid for it.

My wife asked me to create a file listing all the *actual* values of the equipment I have purchased over the years, and promised not to open it till I am gone! If she peeks, I will wish I was gone!
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Corey/ KC0YNS

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You better be here when I go SK, My wife thinks all the items in my shack cost  $100.00 each, May be some big bargains.....
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Mike W1BFA in Maine

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Not to get too far off on a tangent, but the interest, fun and learning I got from being in this hobby since I was 14 went a long way toward leading me to a career that I not only enjoyed but was successful at. I consider all the money spent on ham radio over the last 49 years to have been a great investment and sometimes kept me out of the bars. More kids should have the opportunity to do the same. Mike W1BFA
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Walt - KZ1F

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What is it you do Mike? Ya know, the other thing too, that Steve touched on, there is effort (or was) when we go our licenses. Be it in the 60s or the 80s, it was effort and people, absolutely, had every right to feel pride.
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Mike W1BFA in Maine

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Hi Walt... I was in the telecom/ISP etc. business... Amazing the head start to hobby gave me , so many parallels. Retired now so the hobby is how I get my geek fix.. Another thing that makes the effort worth it is when I can amaze the grandkids. My kids didn't seem to be so impressed... They still make fun of me sometimes saying " cq cq cq" and laughing ay me.
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Mark - WS7M

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The amount of money is staggering at times.  When I started I got a bag full of parts and half finished projects from my novice mentor and then he disappeared off the map.  I was left to try and piece together the crystal transmitter for 40m.  I then set off to build a receiver from the handbook and got it kind of working but it had massive problems and I'd couldn't hear much with it.  My dad took pity on me and bought me a nice kenwood R599 receive that was a dream.   I oped that way for 6 months.  25 W crystal control home built CW transmitter and my R-599 receiver which allowed me to hear stuff I couldn't come close to working.   

I built my own quad and used excess pipes from a construction site as a tower.  The quad cost me $25 for the long dowels I used as the spreaders.

I'd say my entire station including the R599 was worth about $1000 including all the spare parts I was sold.

While I had a ball with this meager station, a rich old guy that lived near me passed his novice and had a 100 foot tower and stacked beams installed and purchased a complete Collins S-line (top radio of the time).  I figure he dropped about $10k on it and when he'd go on the air, I just pulled the plug as he'd blank my receiver pretty good.  

Recently after spending some hard earned money to get my Flex6500 and finally an SPE 1K am I started to help a new Flex owner get setup.  Nice guy.  He was getting his station setup for the first time.  He had a 6700 and the SPK 2K and really didn't know much about how it all worked.  Not ragging on the guy as he was totally cool but I kind of learned by starting small and building and I'm still doing that today at 59 years old.  I have a small station.  I may be years before I can have a big tower and be a "Howard" and blow the doors off everyone.   I might never get there.

I did place an order for an SPE 2K but I can't get one until near the end of the year.  But if I go through with that purchase I will have close to $20k in my station.  I'm sure thats nothing compared to some of you.

I spoke to some one here who when their Flex6700 failed for some reason, they ordered another one for backup purposes.  That is some serious dough for a guy like me.

Anyway on the subject Walt started, I long ago come to realize that when Smokey and The Bandit came out that the world was going to think we were all CBers and we all spoke with sentences ending in "Come on back now"... I just decided there was little I could do to fight that popularity.

Actually I love to go down and listen to the CB bands sometimes.  The other day I was down around channel 19 or so and this guy just pegged my dBm meter and called himself something like the "LoveDoctor" out of Florida.  Either we had really good propagation or this guy was running some serious power and a big antenna.  I figure the later but he was LOUD.

Frankly I find 75m and CB to be some of the most entertaining places in the radio spectrum.  Appalling at times but certainly entertaining.  75m is a lot like watching Dr. Phil.  You never know what crap is gonna happen next.

Anyway I'll post this again... If any of you are having second thoughts about your mega tower, mega beam and/or SPE 2K amp and decide you'd rather not look at them for a while, just take them down, box them up, ship them to me.  They will still be all yours... I'll just take care of them for you until you come to terms with being considered a CBer!!!

:-)
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DrTeeth

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It's nice to come across a 'normal' person on this forum rather than those who spend annually on their station or aircraft what others earn, and love telling other people so. There is so much willy-waving in ham radio.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Point taken, Guy! For myself, I mentioned my aircraft only in the context of 'toys' when I was working. Pre retirement that focus shifted to acquiring those things to reduce the burn rate in a fixed income mode, one floor living, whole house alternative power source, geothermal climate control. Now that we've entered retirement the days of buying everything FRS has to sell, because i could, are past.
(Edited)