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Am I the only one that feels like the person trying

KG0MN

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Mar 5, 2010
166
42
38
to sell you a new tri-band mostly aluminum antenna should be wearing a mask and holding a gun. I just checked the current spot prices on aluminum per pound and this is what it looks like. 6063 is 60 cents a pound and 6061 is .50 cents a pound. So now lets compare a new Mosley TA-33-M that tips the scale at about 40 pounds and it will cost you right at $800.00 the only part that you could call machined would winding the coil forms. A handful of hardware and clamps and then aluminum tubing that slides together. Something is just wrong with this picture. As long as they have been making TA-33's I would thing they have recouped their research and development costs
 
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B

BOOTY MONSTER

Guest
to sell you a new tri-band mostly aluminum antenna should be wearing a mask and holding a gun. I just checked the current spot prices on aluminum per pound and this is what it looks like. 6063 is 60 cents a pound and 6061 is .50 cents a pound. So now lets compare a new Mosley TA-33-M that tips the scale at about 40 pounds and it will cost you right at $800.00 the only part that you could call machined would winding the coil forms. A handful of hardware and clamps and then aluminum tubing that slides together. Something is just wrong with this picture. As long as they have been making TA-33's I would thing they have recouped their research and development costs

a few of the benefits of home-brewing (y)
 

Captain Kilowatt

Professional Amateur
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
16,992
11,420
823
59
Nova Scotia,Canada
True that manufacturers have bills etc and they must pay for shipping on everything they buy as well as pay for those machines they use in the manufacturing process. They also have advertising costs to deal with. Saying that aluminum is only a few cents a pound is innaccurate because while scrap is paying that price manufactured tubing is much higher. Those who build an antenna at home and claim they can build better for less are not looking at the whole picture. I built a HEAVY duty six element 6m yagi for less that $50. I simply used the elements and boom from an old Wilson Shooting Star along with the element/boom brackets. I made a center insulator from an old piece of acrylic rod and used three SO-239 connectors from my junk box. I fashioned a half wave coaxial balun from a piece of coax cable and simply bought six good quality muffler clamps to mount the elements to the boom. I used the heaviest pieces of tubing. this thing is FAR and away more rugged than 99% of the 6m yagis out there but only because the tubing size was based on an 11m design. I am not knaive enough to say I can build better for less if placed on an even ground.
 

Billk

Member
Jan 8, 2012
26
0
11
72
www.enginerepairshop.com
Kevin,
Raw material is not the same thing as tubing :( Take a look at this page and look at the price of round tubing about half way down:

McMaster-Carr

Now granted an antenna manufacturer probably buys enough to get a lot better rpice, but there is a big difference from the raw material. And like the others said, how about the insurance so that when a tube falls off and someone sues them ? Workmans comp, general insurance ? Electric (my bill at my business this month was $700 :( ) Salaries, rent, and on and on and on . . . . . . .

Everyone should own a business for a while and they would get a lot different perspective on why prices are what they are :)
 

WA8ZYT

North Florida
Feb 21, 2012
201
37
38
Near Gainesville, Florida
dmfarms.com
I understand all the business stuff, as I used to own a small business.

I just prefer to build my own, because I like to, and have the skills, and tools to do so. Often, the time spent hunting down parts can exceed the cost of a commercial built unit alone.

Lots of hams who are not confident in their mechanical skills or lack the tools and room to construct antennas just buy commercial. Or they just simply want buy something and get it up right away, and be done with it. In that case, suck it up and pay the price.
 

fortyfiver

Member
Jul 6, 2011
43
8
18
DIY antennas

Don't forget the mountains of governmental regulations including environmental and waste regulations. In some jurisdictions, just paying the fees for generating metal waste dust from the machine processes and the "polution" fees for machining lubricants, finishes, etc., is half the cost of the end product.

I build a lot of my own stuff, especially antennas, because I enjoy it and at my age I'll take any opportunity to prove to myself I can still do it! Sometimes I can even use the projects to justify to my wife why I needed that new bandsaw, chop saw and drill press! (Still have to somehow tie in the purchase of a new gun now and then...)

A recent project gave me some very valuable rewards:

-Cost of materials = less than retail price of the antenna
-time spent = WAY more than waiting for delivery of retail antenna
-performance of home-built antenna = retail antenna in any measurement

-teaching my teenaged son how to choose components and materials, how measure, cut, and assemble parts using relatively simple power and hand tools, soldering components, tapping threads in holes, and the time spent with him on a "Father Son Project" we get so few chances to do? THAT, folks, is priceless.
 
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Marconi

Usually if I can hear em' I can talk to em'.
Oct 23, 2005
7,176
2,224
343
Houston
Yep fortyfiver, your last comment is worth more than most ever even consider. I'm proud of you.
 

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