Entries from February 2015 ↓

Is a ‘Rebuilt’ SB-220 worth $1300?

The rebuilder certainly thinks so. If you go through his laundry list of repair items you will find that he does have at least $1300 tied up in the rebuilt SB-220.

Unfortunately that does not answer the question as to worth. Unwise investments seldom attract wise buyers and it is the wise buyers that have the money.

We need to investigate the linear amplifier market. What else can we find for $1300?

Found, a used but operational Alpha 76A for $1200!

The Alpha did not need a rebuild to remain useful and still produces 1500 watts output from the original pair of finals.

Unless the SB-220 rebuild included a significant upgrade it will probably need another rebuild after the present one wears off.

Then, even if the SB-220 rebuild did include upgrading, the amp is still an SB-220.

Remember the volkswagen beetles with the Rolls Royce hoods pretending to be something they could not live up to?

A search of the marketplace discloses that a working SB-220 is worth about $700. That is based on sales and what an educated buyer is willing to pay. That price is actually about twice what the SB-220 kit was selling for originally. That is also about half of what mister rebuild was asking.

So, is the SB-220 undesirable? No, for the person who only has $700, the SB-220 is very desirable. However, If you are considering the purchase of a $1300 SB-220, you would be much better off buying a used Alpha.

Ham Radio Classifieds

The ham radio classifieds is where you go to buy used and abused radio equipment that is no longer wanted by its owners.

It is a good place for new comers to ham radio to find out what not to buy. Of course not everything listed is junk, just 90 percent of the stuff being offered.

The intent of the classifieds is to buy on-line. You are invited to send serious money to someone you don’t know and will probably never meet for equipment you have not seen or inspected. The opportunity for fraud is a serious problem and draws many a would be crook. A person intent on larceny does not need to engage in a burglary, he merely has the victim send him the item at the victims expense.

Sponsers of the classifieds service try to convince users that all participants have ham radio call letters and are familiar with the super secret two digit code hams use to mean ‘best regards’. Why some of those claiming call signs may even have radio licenses issued by the government. All that is supposed to make the participants honest without exception.

Recent efforts to verify the licensed status of participants suggested including the persons QSL card in the picture taken of the equipment being offered.

I suppose a license from the FCC innoculates holders from any tendancy to commit larceny.

Shortly after the QSL card suggestion we saw a lot of 3 by 5 cards with hand written call letters. I guess it was not possible to take a picture of the license itself or even find a real QSL card.

It is no wonder why sellers consider prospectve buyers to be dumber than mud fences. How dumb is it to send big bucks to someone you don’t know for something you have not seen?

Applying a little more logic we find there is no reason to believe that the picture portrays the actual equipment being offered. Even if the picture was of the equipment offered, the picture cannot verify that the equipment works. Scare word phrases like ‘It worked the last time I used it’ merely raise more questions about the item. Why that is almost an admission that the thing is dead. Why else would the seller not want to test it now?

In any case, regardless of what is right or wrong with the item, it is no longer wanted by the seller. That indicates it may not be wanted by anyone except the person considering the ad. If that is you, are you willing to spend serious money to find out what is wrong with the item or the seller?