Let me see.
1. Free receivers to areas that don't have good coverage.
2. $90/month access account to FA services if you provide them data.
3. Pretty good fault finding from FA and the community.
4. Subsidised/cost price Receiver Dongles for about $US17.
Seems fine to me.
Free receivers to areas without good coverage doesn't help me cover my costs of the raspberry pi, the sdr receiver, the solar panel, the battery, the solar charge controller, the antenna, the mounting bracket, the PVC tube to house it all in, the 12v to USB power adaptor, my isp bill and my time in managing it.
90 dollar a month access account. What does that do for me? I don't think I've ever used any of its benefits.
Yes, good tech support.
Subsidized cost for receiver? Mine was all of 19.00 dollars when I bought it for another project.
Raspberry pi with sdram card and case, wifi dongle, 70.00 dollars,. 30 watt solar panel, 55.00 dollars. 5 amp Lipo battery, 35.00, 3amp solar charge controller, 8.00 dollars, sdr rcvr, 19.00 dollars, 12v to USB adaptor 12.00 dollars, USB cable, 4.00 dollars, PVC tube with caps and mounting brackets 15.00 dollars, ISP 45.00 dollars a month. Antenna and antenna cable, 6.00 dollars
My time building and learning, free because it was a fun learning experience.
That comes up to around 224.00 dollars not including my ISP rate.
Not that I'm not in the game here. I've been providing free data to FA and only FA for over 6 months now.
I just think it should be recognized that all of us are giving FA free data at our expense and they sell that data.
I understand the antenna has a cost attached to it. But so does everything that we the providers give them.
This is a voluntary hobby. Voluntary.
Everyone knows what it costs and are in direct control of what they spend.
There are no big secrets here as far as I know. I don't understand the point of your rant.
Try telling Wal Mart how much it costs you to visit their store. See where it gets you.
I enjoy building antennas and experimenting with the equipment. I'm waiting for the newest FA antenna to get back in stock and I've been trying to decide how to hook it up and how much to spend. It's voluntary and I like it.