2 is 1 and one is none? Spare(s) radios/accessories etc.

I have the philosophy as posted in the title. I am relatively new to the radio hobby and wonder if this is common? If you have a piece of equipment (kit) that you absolutely cherish, do you buy a second as a backup? I see having the backup as a parts kit or as a replacement if the model is discontinued ( I.e. FT857, KX1 etc) I also see how one may say that having 2 of the same exact model radio as a waste of financial resources. In the hobby, is there an in-between area where replacement parts are stocked in the event company XYZ goes under or the model is discontinued? I suspect the more popular radios/accessories/parts are readily available on the used market and that could be the contingency plan for replacement?



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By the time you need a replacement there will probably be better options.


I’ve done it for my GPS. It’s a 2008 model Garmin Vista HCX with no touchscreen. The new walking GPS have touchscreens which I don’t want. I realised a few years back that I did rely on the GPS and if it failed I’d have to get a new style GPS. So I did a bit of watching on eBay and found they came available quite often. I bought a used one as backup for £35, the original having cost near £200 9 or 10 years back.

I’m using the newer one now as it seemed daft having bought to not use it especially as the thumb joystick is starting to wear on the original and that is now the backup.

I have used several of my phones as a walking GPS but they’re rubbish in comparison to using a proper walking GPS. I use them when on SOTA vacations and don’t want to pack the GPS.

I agree with Richard. Before buying in spares ask whether you will do the servicing or employ a service person. They normally keep some spares. By the time they can’t access spares it’s time for a new up to date rig.

I knew someone who had a transceiver and linear for each band. This was in the days of vacuum tube transceivers. He had instant QSY. OK he switched the antenna of which he had several. He was the top VK DXCC leader. Of course he had a couple of duplicated stations as spares. He wasn’t going to miss a new entity. Amazing.

I have a number of rigs that can do more than one role. For example my IC7000 with its ATU normally lives in a padded small suitcase with key, mic and antenna. It is used for drive up SOTA activations. I can carry the case, battery and mast to the operating position. When we have had no AC power it has been moved into the shack as the backup for the home station. I have another 10 W rig and a 5 W rig for HF for backpack operation. I select the rig on a weight basis. Long walks, less weight.

I have a FT 857 in the car that could be removed and used in the event of a melt down. So far it has remained as the mobile. All different and each has its advantages.

Of course you could chose to build a mcHF set and keep a complete set of the less common parts.

Now when it comes to antennas I carry two unless I am really on a weight minimisation crusade. There are also several in the car along with a spare mast. Lack of confidence I guess.

Not for high-tech devices because they become obsolescent quite quickly, but for clothes and footwear, yes. There’s been a few things which I’ve worn out through frequent wearing - a favourite jacket, a pair of moleskin trousers and a beautiful pair of Italian hiking boots, to name a few. Then wishing I had bought replacements before they were discontinued. It’s not just a man-thing - my wife says the same.

I love the iPod Nano (little square one with no screen and clip) when I heard they were discontinued I bought 2 spares. IMO they are brilliant for running/biking with. Just load it with your favorite music and hit play. Sometimes simple is best.

I agree about obsolescence. By the time your current equipment wears out there will be something more updated and shiny to fill the roll. I’m so close to pre-buying a TX-500 right now. I keep asking myself do I need it? I still have barely touched the surface on exploring what my FT818 can do. But! Will I be able to pick one up in the future if a limited number is made?

Good philosophy, especially with the safety equipment. When out on solo backpacks for SOTA peaks, take both a Garmin In-Reach and an ACR 406 MHz beacon. The latter is the primary ticket home if something bad happens.


There’ll be another well hyped radio along soon enough.

And there’ll be plenty of these for sale either because they turn out to be dogs or because the people who have to be first on the block with a new toy will be selling them when they buy the next big thing.

From my humble experience, the big ticket (radios, gps) items seldom fail while activating. But, anything that goes “beep” (GPS) I carry an alternative method and spare batteries. Knowing and being comfortable doing field repairs on the simple equipment is a big factor as well. I tend to believe in the “KISS” as well for gear for activating.


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