[AMRadio] Re: Value of Homebrew Rigs,

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Wed Jul 12 09:45:09 EDT 2006

On 7/11/06, Donald Chester <k4kyv at hotmail.com> wrote:

> I recall in the 1980's, before they started to bring in such big bux, there
> must have been over a dozen KW-1's on the air regularly.  There were several
> lists of all the known serial #'s.  IIRC, more than half the ones ever made
> were still in existence and accounted for.

According to Bob's current list, all but about 33 of the original 152
are accounted for. I say 'about' because his list shows two #34s,
which doesn't seem likely. I figure the other #34 owner actually has
#39 (unaccounted for) and just has bad eyesight like me.

A far higher percent accounted for than the almighty SX-88, which was
made in much higher numbers (500+?). Certainly speaks well for gear
actually being used, quality/cost considered.

> Then the owners began to see offers they couldn't refuse, and since then,
> most have disappeared off the air and into trophy rooms.  Quite a few have
> gone to collectors in Europe and Asia.

I know of the one in Belgium, one in Germany, and one that supposedly
went to Japan back in the late 80s/early 90s according to the
then-recently retired Collins worker I spoke with. He knew the seller,
said the rig was completely restored to the last screw, and some
collector in Japan paid over $40K for it, then had it airfreighted
over. The figure he gave me was $46K, can't remember if it included
the shipping.

The perceived value may have something to do with the survival rate,
although they weren't "collectible" back then. More of a substantial
investment in high quality gear for actual use. The true value in my
view is the enjoyment that comes from using this old stuff as
originally intended. To look at an old rig and know that it was once
someone's shiney new pride and joy, and that I have an opportunity to
enjoy it as they once did is great.

Come to think of it, I do need to get my house painted.....  (o:

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