The ARRL On-Line Auction: Going Once, Going Twice, GONE!
Not with a whimper, but with a definite bang of the gavel, the Third Annual ARRL On-Line Auction closed on Friday, October 31 after nine days of frenzied bidding for almost 200 items. ARRL Business Services Manager Deb Jahnke, K1DAJ, said that she was thrilled with the responses the Auction received during its run. The generosity of many donors, Jahnke says, made it possible for the auction to offer a diverse list of items that included transceivers, ARRL Lab-tested and reviewed equipment, exotic vacations, vintage gear and mystery "junque" boxes.
This year's auction had more bids and more products than the 2006 or the 2007 auction. "Almost 1300 bids were placed this year on 197 items, auctioning off more than $43,000 worth of merchandise," Jahnke said. In 2007, more than 1100 bids were received for 181 items; in 2006, 1300 bids were placed for just over 100 items.
"For the third time in a row, the ARRL On-Line Auction did not disappoint," said Jahnke. "Not only did we have an increase in the number of items to bid on, we were so pleased to see a dramatic increase in Business Partner donations to the Auction this year."
While R4 Systems -- developers of the Proteus Design Suite, a suite of tools for professional printed circuit board design -- was a new face to the ARRL Auction family, many old friends, such as ICOM returned. R4 donated a Proteus Suite software package that sold for $728; ICOM donated an IC-7000 HF/VHF/UHF All Mode Transceiver that eventually attracted 11 bids and sold for $1325.
One of the more popular items in this year's auction included four "junque boxes," donated by the ARRL Lab. Garnering 77 bids between them, these Amateur Radio treasure troves went for more than $250 each, raising more than $1000. "We featured the 'junque boxes' in our first auction, and they proved to be so popular with our bidders," Jahnke said. We brought them back last year, and once again, we couldn't believe how they were all the rage. I can't even begin to describe how well-received they were this year." The contents of each box are a mystery, Jahnke said, known only to the ARRL Lab staff. "And they won't tell!" she said.
A lucky bidder won the chance for a little DX with the vacation spot on St Croix, donated by Vicky Thorland Oster and George Oster, NP2N (air and ground transportation not included). This premier Amateur Radio station is equipped with multiple transmitters/receivers, amplifiers, antennas and on-site electrical generation capability, and is located about 100 meters above sea level with wonderful antenna views to EU, USA and Asia. There are three operating stations with a triband beam for 10, 15 and 20 meters, and a dipole on 40, 80 and 160 meters. The "Pro Station" is a station for the serious operator and contesters; it features an IC-757 and Ameritron AL1280 amplifier. The "DX Station" is a fun station for the operator who wants ease of operation combined with the fun of operating as DX and features a Kenwood TS-440. The "Fun Station" features an Alinco DX70 transceiver and is the place to be if you just want to have fun, try out QRP from a DX location or spend as many hours as you wish rag chewing around the world.
If you are interested in Emergency Communications, then the ARRL On-Line Auction had a great deal for you: Emergency Starter Go Kits. These kits include an abundance of everything today's amateur needs when heading out to assist served agencies. Each kit contains an ICOM IC-V82 Sport handheld transceiver, package of six AA batteries, a black tote bag to hold all your gear, a reflective vest, an ARRL Repeater Directory and an ARES Field Resources Manual. Opening bids for each of the 13 kits was $105, and together they raised $2214.
Proceeds from the auction benefit ARRL education programs including activities to license new hams, strengthen Amateur Radio's emergency service training, offer continuing technical and operating education, as well as create instructional materials.