Here is something to make you laugh

So there is potential good news on the horizon with 3 of the major Covid vaccines looking good such that “normal” life may return reasonably soon.

In the meantime here is something that should put a smile on your face. Actually no, be careful, you may fall off your chair laughing and injure yourself.

I’ve just seen a TS-530-SP advertised on eBay. (I must add that it’s nothing to do with me) and it has the original box and does look to be in good condition for its age. Well it could be 38 years old. Nothing wrong with that, there’s lots of old ham gear about that due to its cost when new has been wonderfully cared for and looked after.

But it’s the price.
£795 :rofl: :joy: :laughing:
€894 :rofl: :joy: :laughing:
$1063 :rofl: :joy: :laughing:

OK, it’s not that bad. There is free shipping included in the price. So that’s all right then. :slight_smile:

Of course the 530 was the cruddy low-spec cost-engineered version of the TS-830 so it’s not even the top of the range model.

Sorry that made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to need a paramedic.

£795 for a 38(ish) year old average performance radio that will be suffering from so many degraded components due to it being a valve (tubed) PA and thus exposed to lots of heat/cool cycles.

I bet P. T. Barnum would have something to say about it.


Yep, it’s a constant source of amusement to see the look on some Ham’s faces when you offer them what their 40 year old 101ZD is actually worth. Some guys at rallies seem to think their old boat anchor like wine has improved with age :slight_smile:



Yes, the price is ridiculous, but that series was BUILT! Built to last and beautifully engineered. My TS520S looks like new and in some ways outperforms my FT857D. I only run it occasionally as the other rig is more convenient. On the price, I paid £150 for my 520S in showroom condition and in the original packaging, with both filters and a non-working DG-5 digital display, and I think it was a bargain.

If you thought £795 was funny, hold on - recently I saw an R1155/T1154 combination going for - wait for it! - £3500! When I first got into ham radio I could have bought the two in their original packing cases for a fiver!

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Yes, it seems there are a lot of folks out there with too much
easy money to spend these days. So they pay the atrocious prices
and the rest of us suffer… I see many rigs for sale for the same as
new price or more, it’s crazy ! It used to be that a used rig would go for about half the new price if it was fairly new, but not any more! And if you want to sell something for a “reasonable” price, the buyers think there’s something wrong with it.
John K6YK

Weight and power consumption?

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I’m not laughing. Ham gear is like most things where rarity condition and provenance counts for a lot. Collectors are not necessarily using it much except possibly in boat anchor contests. The R1155 and TX combo if it is in clean working and was flown in a British WW2 bomber is a fair price as quoted. Where can you get another?

I heard today of a purchase of an IC706 possibly to be used. No way. Its a museum piece. Or should be. In original carton and possibly never used.

It’s a pity my FT817 is so battle scarred. Soon its price will bottom and then start to appreciate.

I may not know the price of everything but I do know value when I see it.

There is a cycle. As artifacts age they go out of fashion, become briefly fashionable some time later and later again become collectors items. If only I had kept those brass candlestick holders my mother threw out when we were connected to electric power. My grandmother bought them in the late 1800’s.

Brian you should have spent a tenner and got two. One for keepers and one to use. Even buying now will be better than trying to get interest on a bank account.


At one point I did have two R1155s, the first one was the B model, later I got the “trawler band” model, I think it was N. They were wide as a barn door and too drifty for SSB. I passed them on to others when I got my first Eddystone receiver - which is also now an antique!

No, the filters are a dam’ sight better and it seems more sensitive, perhaps due to those better filters.

1154/1155s have become a collector item in the last 10 years. Prices were appreciating for good items 20 years back especially as so many 1155s were butchered in the 50s/60s for use as general coverage/ham receivers. Originality is what is wanted now… I’m sure there will still be some sets in their wrappers somewhere. What is funny is how the 1154 is now wanted. When my interest in radio started in the early 70s you could not give them away… an 1155 was cheaper if you took the 1154 with it at the same time!

There’s a ham local to me who has made a healthy amount of cash restoring them to mint condition. If you look into their history they were designed very much to do a specific job, comms with Allied bombers in WW2. The Air Ministry knew that a Wellington or Lancaster had an average operational life expectancy of 6 weeks and the radio equipment was specified that it only had to work for a similar period. Why make a radio that would last 5 years when it was likely to be shot out of the sky after a few missions? The 1154/1155 was built such that they are nearly impossible to service… built in sections and then pop riveted together such that you have to drill the rivets out to work on some parts of them, especially 1154. Said local has done some amazing work doing ground up restorations and the price reflected the hours spent.

However, an 1154/55 combo that may have seen operational service has a certain cachet that a mass produced ham transceiver lacks. 101ZD, 530SP etc. are essentially worthless now. OK maybe £125 with a sack of spares. Maybe a touch more for a 902 or 830SP. But then you really need the whole line up for it to be worth anything and it was the 2nd VFO, ATU, Transverter, Monitor Scope and Linear. Few people had the brass then so the real money is the properly rare accessories. But to be honest, unless you now have the money and wanted the full setup as youngster, you’d not buy a 530 but go and buy an IC7300 (even with finance and an extended warranty) and have a radio that is orders of magnitude better in performance and use. Or a true SDR.

The fact is that there are lots of “obsolete” and even “antique” gear that will perform well enough on the air to give a satisfying experience. Yes they may lack the latest thingummies, no touch screen (ugh!), no waterfall, no built in sound card, no automatic coffee maker or single-malt dispenser, but they dam’ well WORK! The IC706 might be a “museum piece” but you often come across these museum pieces being used on the air, and why not? They sound just as good as the latest you-name-it alphabet soup! It is the market that rules, I suppose, people ask “silly” prices because other people pay them, but if they sound as good as a top-line current rig, why not indeed.

Does not have planned obsolescence feature already build in? :smile:

I do not see similar technology jump like in moving from thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) to transistors in consumer electronics. Number of active elements (transistors) is certainly less but that unit price has gone down in past 30 years too. Few transceivers today have valve PA build in and 200 W linear amplifier is a separate purchase.

73, Jaakko ac1bb/oh7bf