shaitand writes: I just got my amateur radio license and while I can afford the gear I can't help but wonder why the gear is so crazy expensive. Point this out to hams and they will say it doesn't have to be expensive and point to "cheap" radios and kits that are $150+ and offer limited technology.
I know ham radio gear isn't a large market but the same designs that were good 20 years are being sold for the same prices today. It would seem like you could probably implement an HF radio transceiver using a pic microcontroller that costs less than $20. So why are 20 year old designs of this gear selling for $1000?
I can buy an entire modern equiv to a laptop that would have cost $2000 20 years ago for $300 today. Why can't I buy the actual radio being sold 20 years ago at $1000 for $100 today?