Re: So how does this hobby work now?

Jeff Kruth

Like any other hobby or endeavor of man, scarcity leads to speculators wanting to cash in.  In the 1980's when I was buying govt surplus buy the truckload, no one wanted 500 series scopes. They fell from $500-$1000 apiece retail to $50-$100. This was because there was no more commercial market, only hams and a few hobbyists.

In the mid  '80's, I used to see tube guys buying 585's for $10.00 at the Gaithersburg MD hamfest, pulling the tubes and leaving the carcass near the trash barrels.Its like anything else. Now if you want the stuff, you have to travel to where it is and make a deal, then lug it home. Or pay a high price to those who are remarketing on eBay etc. There you are paying for the convenience of sitting on your duff, ordering off the computer then waiting for it to be delivered at your door. How easy!  I used to drive all over Hells half acre chasing stuff down.  But now, the pickins are slim and the low hanging fruit is gone. Things like 519's were immediately scrapped by anyone who bought them because who wanted a scope with no vertical sensitivity and a few centimeters of deflection.... People valued the 4X150s and sockets more than the rest of the scope! No one cared about 1 GHz BW, they looked at the size and said UGH. I recently passed (2018) on 1500 pounds plus of old Tek scopes because it was not worth my time to struggle with moving, storing, then trying to find a home for 'em then getting the shipping money out of any potential customer. Since the fuel surcharge of the mid 2000's UPS has steadily raised their prices to absurd levels. At one time junkyards were full of model T's. Now original parts from one are quite pricey. Same with the old Tek scopes. Of course as the old timers kick off, some stuff ends up available for a song. The widow just wants the basement clean again.... Due to the way govt accounting worked, excess equipment hit a HUGE peak in the late 80's early 90's. Stuff was available by the pallet load for CHEAP. But there was no market for it then, so off to scrap much of it went. I personally saw Cadisco and US Surplus in Baltimore, both BIG dealers, sell their inventory to scrap metal dealers when they closed their doors. It would make tears come to the eyes of many on this list. I always made it a point to get it when the getting was good. The only problem is moving it, storing it and caring for the stuff over the years. Adds a lot to the value.When guys would approach me after the govt auction, I would sell stuff off the pallet pretty cheap. I didnt have to move it store it and fix it. All adds to the cost. Oh well. Who would have thought that in 2020, there would be a internet list of Tek addicts! Still storing all that stuff until now would have been a showstopper. And, no offense intended, but there is still no money in it, so why would someone bother?I mean, people beef about paying $100 for something, when in reality $100 doesnt buy hardly anything of value anymore. Its like $25.00 back in the late 70's when this stuff was available. $100 is 20 Big Mac meals, nothing really. Yet people back then would pay $25-50 for a 1A4 with all the nuvistors in it. Even then, the tubes were worth more than the plugin.No one wanted the sampling stuff at all. Too much work to fiddle with. YMMVJeff Kruth  In a message dated 12/18/2020 1:30:17 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes: Now that it appears that there is a much smaller offering of 500 series stuff on eBay, where do people get stuff now? There hasn't been a 1S2 listed in years AFAICT. The single 1S1 that's on now has been re-listed several times at 280$. Spectrum analyzer plugins, 1A5, test units, Type O, etc So how does one ascertain the value? Where to get one? I mean there's a Type O for 200$. Who would buy that?

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