[time-nuts] Comments on Tbolt deal?

GandalfG8 at aol.com GandalfG8 at aol.com
Sat Jun 5 13:45:06 UTC 2010

In a message dated 05/06/2010 13:47:02 GMT Daylight Time, kd1sq at spamcop.net 

Seller  "flyingbest" on eBay is offering those Tbolt/PSU/AA packages 
for a  princely $189.

Any "gotchas" or reasons to not get one of  these?

In general terms the Thunderbolt is a great unit and very good value and  
I'd certainly recommend it, but a couple of observations on this auction in  
Whilst that package would certainly be convenient they have another auction 
 for the T'bolt only at $130 with free shipping, that saves you $60 and all 
 you need then is a basic antenna similar to that with the kit and a  
suitable power supply and connector.
Basic antennas can be had on Ebay for a few dollars and it's easy enough to 
 build a suitable linear supply for not much money, with the added 
advantage you  don't have switch mode noise to worry about.
Manuals and the Trimble software are availabe free online anyway.
A further consideration is that whilst the stand alone units are  clearly 
stated to be version 3.0 firmware, and the case photo shows one  marked as 
Revision E with a 2004 date, the T'bolt shown with the  kit has version 2.22 
firmware and is a Revision B from 2002.
At the very least I would ask them to confirm what version they would  
supply with the kit and if they are also applying that "return for any  reason 
option" to the kits.
Another Chinese seller worth considering is Bob Mokia who sells on Ebay as  
fluke.l,  ( if you're searching that last digit is a small letter "ell" not 
 a "one"), and 290329755146 is one of several BIN  auctions he's offering 
for these.
Admittedly this is $10 dearer for the stand alone unit, although he does  
indicate in one auction that he has antennas and PSUs available, but I and  
others here have dealt with him quite often and his reputation is good.

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