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Old 11th Apr 2019, 11:09 am   #21
AC/HL
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

According to this it was intended for service use: https://www.radioblvd.com/ar88.htm
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Old 11th Apr 2019, 3:10 pm   #22
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

I suspect Ian's original question will be very hard to answer in any direct terms. For example the ARR88 was an enormously subsidised, war time high quality production effort, despite only being a single IF model. It was a real Rolls Royce by comparison with it's predecessors, even the AR77 and remained so long after hostilities ceased. Money is no object when it comes to Military applications so it's difficult to do a real cost comparison. I know someone who works on fairly mundane items for Helicopters but the price and quality are both very, very, high.

Subjectively, in the 60's, an AR88 was generally the province of older/financially superior Amateurs and looked upon with some reverence. [Nobody ever mentioned the weight then ]. There was a common belief that they had "cost thousands" originally [pounds sterling presumably]. Unfortunately, I've just sorted and put out of reach, my mag collection while painting but I've found a private ad for an AR88LF in the RSGB Bulletin [Sept 67] at 30 and absolutely brand new AR88D's were available from A J THOMPSON [HERTS] in Practical Wireless [April 1965] for 75 [or 45 reconditioned and tested].

Both of those prices would have been well out of reach at the time. I got about six pounds a week as a teenager and 12+ was a good wage for an adult, if that gives any perspective. Even if you had more money there were always other priorities ahead of your hobby. David must have made a heroic effort to buy his AR88 [post 9] but there are always exceptions. Earlier generations accepted having to "strive and save" as a given perhaps but that achievement would have been impossible for many of us and as he says, took an [admirable] single minded approach for a year.

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Old 11th Apr 2019, 4:06 pm   #23
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

All.

I have a letter from Racal dated 8th December 1959 and it states -
The price of the RA17 in the UK is 465 inclusive of cabinet, and delivery can be effected within 2/3 weeks.

Regards

Rob.
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Old 11th Apr 2019, 11:56 pm   #24
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

A bit less than a new Mini, then.

About 11,000 in today's money.

Slightly more than a mini size car, now.
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 12:31 am   #25
dave walsh
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

Was a Mini more than that in 59 Herald? Easy to spend 12,000 [or double that] these days! You make my point about a military subsidy though.When you look at the development history of the RA17 [I'm no expert] it might have costed out at [guessing] 25k each at least. A bargain if you could afford it!
Few people would be in that position though in 59.

Dave

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Old 12th Apr 2019, 6:59 am   #26
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

The Museum of Communication in Burntisland (worth a trip!) were the beneficiaries of all the radio gear from the Cattenach estate. This gear had been built up by a younger member of the family who went to war and did not return. Just before the war ha had ordered a brand new HRO receiver. In a display case they have a brand new unused shiny HRO, with its invoice beside it. I can't remember the price, but it's there. Direct evidence of what an individual would have to pay in 1939 for the best receiver of the day.

(Apple wants to replace 'were' in the first sentence above with 'we're' - oh dear!)

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Old 12th Apr 2019, 7:39 am   #27
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

I shall never complain about equipment costs again...
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 8:52 am   #28
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

I think a mini was about 200 quid at introduction. Probably a car and an AR88 weren't that far off parity inflation was low but not zero over the difference in time.

As close as makes no difference. Both would be a major financial exertion for the average wage earner.

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Old 12th Apr 2019, 8:58 am   #29
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

My recollection of 1959 was that a Mini was about 479 on introduction and the 105E competitor was 499.

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Old 12th Apr 2019, 10:32 am   #30
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

I recall back in the early 80s a friend saying the problem with being a TV repair man was that when he started the value of the TV on the back seat equalled the value of car he carried it in...by the 80s it was worth a tenth of the value of the car. Sic transit gloria TV repair man.
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 12:25 pm   #31
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

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Originally Posted by ronbryan View Post
My recollection of 1959 was that a Mini was about 479 on introduction and the 105E competitor was 499.

Ron
That was the figure I used, too.
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 4:47 pm   #32
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
Apple wants to replace 'were' in the first sentence above with 'we're' - oh dear!
It's a machine, you're a Human. You win.
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 12:55 pm   #33
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

Getting more and more interesting!

Ian Rose [original poster]
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 6:37 pm   #34
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

The RA17 didn't rot as quickly as a Mini. (I speak from experience: I have an RA117 - my Mini is long gone.) The RA117 doesn't drift as much either or have as much backlash in the gears - ahem. However you have to be careful with the price comparison. There is a story that Ford costed the Mini and told BMC that it wasn't possible to make it for the price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
Subjectively, in the 60's, an AR88 was generally the province of older/financially superior Amateurs and looked upon with some reverence. [Nobody ever mentioned the weight then ].
One of my school teachers was a licensed amateur. I was invited to his house to see 'the shack' (this would be the late 1960s - how times have changed) and he had an AR88D. I marvelled at this wonderous thing - it was the first communications receiver I ever saw. My forays onto the short waves were with a one-valve regen. The first thing he pointed out was the table upon which it stood. It was an antique type piece of furniture with hefty turned legs like those on billiard tables.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 7:52 pm   #35
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Default Re: RA17 and AR88 cost when new?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Box Nick View Post
The RA17 didn't rot as quickly as a Mini. (I speak from experience: I have an RA117 - my Mini is long gone.) The RA117 doesn't drift as much either or have as much backlash in the gears - ahem. However you have to be careful with the price comparison. There is a story that Ford costed the Mini and told BMC that it wasn't possible to make it for the price.
It is very off topic but the mini gear change was referred to as the Christmas Pudding. Stir it three times and make a wish.

Pass the tablets and a glass of water.....

Craig
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