10 Dec 2012

VHF yagis - amazingly high prices

Just browsing the Waters and Stanton website and I noticed some nice yagis for 2m. Rather larger than I could ever consider as the one I was viewing would stretch over my garden and the next two, HI.

.......and then I saw the price.

The 22-element yagi from InnovAntennas (see 22-LFA2-144 22 element 144MHz LFA2 Yagi 3kW (17.001m long) 18.55dBi gain) is a whopping £605.95 !!!   Probably delivery is not included either. 

Of course, if you want a moonbounce station you may have to buy several of these big yagis, phasing harnesses and booms, plus a large AS-EL rotator, a big tower, low loss cable ....and an expensive rig. This soon looks like a hobby for the seriously rich only.

Now I've no doubt whatsoever this is an excellent antenna that is well designed and optimised, but it is just 20 odd pieces of aluminium, plus a few insulators, nuts and bolts in the last analysis.  OK design costs have to be recovered, but the mark-up is a conservative ten times, if not more, on the raw material prices. Is this justified?

We are all different and I am not judging what others should do with their hard earned cash, but it's just not amateur radio (in my view, others will disagree) when you have to pay silly money for rigs, antennas and accessories.


Julian Moss said...

Crikey. I had no idea what VHF antennas sell for now, but I just checked the prices of the Tonna range and they are still in the realm of sanity. For £600 I'd expect the antenna to create its own band openings!

PS: I do wish you would get rid of these impossible captchas Roger!

Roger G3XBM said...

The captchas come with my blog service. I hate them too!

LA4ANA said...

Here is a comment to put things a bit in perspective. I like to make my own antennas. It is one of those things a ham still can do without advanced tools and knowledge. And it is very satisfying. So last spring I made another Yagi, again based on a design by YU7EF. This time it was a 13 element dual band 50/70 MHz beam on a 6 meter long boom. The alu boom itself (40x40x3mm) cost me about 120 GBP, the element tubes (12x1mm) about 150 GBP and then another 100 GBP for insulators, boom to mast clamp and some other small stuff. That makes a grand total of around 370 GBP. Innovantennas sells a simular dual band Yagi for roughly the same price.

Now, I do not know the price of aluminum hardware in the UK, but I am not surprised that many Norwegian hams prefer to buy and not build considering the price and not least the availability of aluminum tube her in LA-land.

73 de Robert LA4ANA

Roger G3XBM said...

Thank you Robert.

I had no idea that the material costs were so high. Still sounds very expensive to me, but I guess I have done the suppliers a disservice.

It would be interesting to know the InnovAntennas or W&S profit margins on these large antennas, but I would understand that this is confidential and unlikely to be shared.

Julian Moss said...

I use Blogger too but I opted out of the captchas.

Anonymous said...

£600 is a lot for a heap of aluminium, but then I ask myself why should the manufacturer cost his time for amateur products any differently from his time for professional antennas. What price would a 15dBi 65deg sector 900MHz antenna be, for instance.

aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk sell tube at a fraction of Norse prices. But everything is expensive in Oslo, no? I went there for a weekend, everything was 2.5x the UK price!

Personally, I am happy to build on the cheap. Amateur radio is a hobby for me, and I get more pleasure building and trying, than from operating a black box. I don't need my antenna to be good enough for install on a Crowncastle mast, or to last 20 years. More likely I shall have changed it for something else within that time frame.