[aprssig] Linking digipeaters

Scott Miller scott at opentrac.org
Tue Mar 8 19:35:57 EST 2011

> A TNC shouldn't cost more than $30.  All it does is convert sound to serial
> and back again.

It does a fair bit more than that, at least if it's not just a dumb KISS 
device.  And really, I spend probably as much time on background stuff 
that goes mostly unnoticed by the end user as I do on packet-related 
code - configuration programs, bootloader code, diagnostics, and stuff 
that makes the end user experience easier.

Yes, you can sell a TNC for under $30.  But until there's a steady 
market for about 50,000 per year, I wouldn't expect to see that price 
from anyone who's going to produce and support them on a commercial 
basis.  From a quick glance at my books, I'd estimate that salaries and 
overhead put our free tech support at around $40 an hour.  That eats 
into a $5 or $10 profit margin per device really quick.

Oh, and if you want to buy it at a brick and mortar store, don't forget 
that the retailer wants a 20% to 40% margin for themselves, too...

(Sorry if I sound cranky, it's tax season!)


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