Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
What makes AADs so expensive ?

 


J0nathan  (A License)

Mar 18, 2012, 9:33 AM
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What makes AADs so expensive ? Can't Post

hi
i was wondering recently why aads are so expensive...if you look for example into a vigil 2 aad there are 2 batteries a few chips, cables and a bit of rubber making it water proof. i know that adds have to work very good in order to be reliable and save someones life and also that the companys have to have a high price since there are not that many people who buy skydiving gear compared to other sports. also they have a long life so per skydiver about 1 is bought every 12-20 years (not counting those who dont use one). is that the reason that makes them expensive or is there something else (e.g in the production) which makes them expensive?

blue skies


(This post was edited by J0nathan on Mar 18, 2012, 9:35 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 18, 2012, 10:15 AM
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The production/mfg costs are probably not what causes such a high price.

The costs associated with initial development and testing of the design have to be spread out over the units sold. The costs associated with making tooling for any parts (castings, electronic boards, etc.) have to be spread out over the units sold.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Mar 18, 2012, 10:25 AM
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In reply to:
The production/mfg costs are probably not what causes such a high price.

The costs associated with initial development and testing of the design have to be spread out over the units sold. The costs associated with making tooling for any parts (castings, electronic boards, etc.) have to be spread out over the units sold.

Exactly. It's a small niche market, with high demand within the niche, virtually no demand outside the niche, low overall supply and very little competition.


darkwing  (D 4164)

Mar 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
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And lawsuits.


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Mar 18, 2012, 11:18 AM
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In reply to:
hi
i was wondering recently why aads are so expensive...

Because

1) The market is willing to pay that much for them. In a sport which costs $5000 a year $125 on AAD life isn't much.

2) A lower price limit is set by R&D and fully burdened costs of employees needed to design, build, maintain, and market an AAD which are divided over a rather small number of units sold.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Mar 18, 2012, 11:19 AM)


virgin-burner

Mar 18, 2012, 11:48 AM
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why are parachutes so expensive!? they're just a bunch of rags and lines sewn together..

why are rigs so expensive!? bit of material here and there, couple grommets, bit of steel-tubing..

Crazy


feuergnom  (D License)

Mar 18, 2012, 11:57 AM
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ok, i'll give it a shot:

last summer i had the opportunity not only to meet helmut cloth (the inventor of the cypres-unit) bit to have some very in depth talks with him and the chance to take part in one of his presentations of the cypres.

to state that it's just another electronic gizmo with some circuits and wiring falls short of what it really is: its a highly sophisticated piece of electronics where each and every component has undergone extensive testing and quality control during assembly - either in part or the whole.

as helmut cloth told it, no other electronics manufacturer (he dropped some big brand names) wanted to go trough the adventure of manufacturing it - so he had to invent the whole production / quality control process.

if you search the forums you'll probably find a thread about dissassembling old cypres units (cypres 1 that would be) and what you find in them, iirc with pics. so try to imagine what it takes to put it together in the first place and seal it off with silicone....
assembling cypres units is still done by hand and - again iirc - it takes a week do finish one unit.
even if I have no similar stories from the other aad-brands you can be sure there are a lot of factors that add to the cost - which is why I find the point of "marketing-issues" a bit retarded.

one more thing to think about: a cypres will last 12 years - if you divide the original cost to the amount of time it will serve you, there's loads of more expensive (and many times pretty useless) skydiving paraphernalia around Smile


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 18, 2012, 5:17 PM
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Funny thing is they've been about the same price for 10 years or so.

Since it's a product of limited demand, and the liability exposure is only growing minute by minute I think that's pretty amazing.


Skybear

Mar 19, 2012, 9:44 AM
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The initial development of the Cypres 1 was over one million german marks back in the 80s. I think we can say that today it equals more than a million euro or 1,5 million USD. And then it didn't stop. Continous research is done to evaluate the lifetime limits, the usefulness in new disciplines (swooping, birdman), new hardware (waterproof cases) and so on. Plus what feuergnom already wrote.

My C2 is the piece of electronics in my household which is developed and tested to the highest standards. Neither my Audi S5 or my Canon 70-200 2,8 IS II lens can compete with its standard. Just to mention two really expensive things and not all the fancy stuff from Apple.


piisfish

Mar 19, 2012, 9:51 AM
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plus the manufacturers are greedy and need to feed their lust for big cars, fast girls and hot drugs, and the also give a huge commission to resellers.
Actually the cost of an AAD is around 12$ but with the price you pay them, lots of people can throw a hell of a party Smile


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Mar 19, 2012, 9:57 AM
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In reply to:
The initial development of the Cypres 1 was over one million german marks back in the 80s. I think we can say that today it equals more than a million euro or 1,5 million USD.

Divided by 83,000 units sold (Cypres 1, there are another 70,000 Cypres 2 units out there) that combination of exchange rate and inflation would yield $20/unit development costs.


feuergnom  (D License)

Mar 19, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew someone clever would come up and do this sort of math (insert emoticon of your choice)
since the biggest part of the skydiving community lives in the U.S. aka the home of capitalism and neocons I'll just say: suck it up, cupcakes. who said that businessmen don't have every right in the world to make big big dollars?

on a quick sidenote: IIRC helmut cloth originaly wanted a partner but was turned down by many big companies - so he dished out all the dough out of his own pocket - which by the time being the eighties of the last century was a shitload of money.
so stop bitching about the cost for an electronic backup device that not only has saved many dumbasses lives but might be doing the exact same thing for your sorry bum Unimpressed

ETA: this is not meant to be an insult on drew eckhart - more as a general fedup notice to the public coming from a poster whos simply fed up with people arguing about the cost of skydiving equipment and the sport as such. want someting cheap? get a bowling ball


(This post was edited by feuergnom on Mar 19, 2012, 10:32 AM)


Abedy

Mar 19, 2012, 10:51 AM
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In reply to:
...and a bit of rubber making it water proof...

I picked just this one, because it shows that it's not only "a bit of rubber". If you want to make the unit waterproof you could seal it with rubber/silicone or something but then it wouldn't work any more: It would be airtight, too. So they looked for material that allows for airflow but prevents water from getting in. After very thorough research they finally found a supplier but it turned out even their material had to be individually, manually checked with about 50% of the parts not meeting the high standards.
Airtec is a manufacture, every employee checks the unit he gets thoroughly and completely, then adds his part(s) and so on - followed by several final checks.
If you every have the opportunity to be near them ask for tour. Should be possible if you are with some fellow skydivers. You'll be impressed!


J0nathan  (A License)

Mar 19, 2012, 12:11 PM
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Re: [Abedy] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

if i get the chance i will certainly ask for a tour Smile

btw, just a random side thought about the air having to be able to get inside...

couldnt you make the aad unit work with GPS ? so that it tracks altitude via gps. wou wouldnt have to adjust altitude if landing zone is higher etc if the device had a rough altitude for the ground level.

edit: i just checked, the altitude accuracy for gps is +/- 15 m which seems ok. so as long as there is a way to ensure constant satelite connection that would work.


(This post was edited by J0nathan on Mar 19, 2012, 12:15 PM)


Skybear

Mar 19, 2012, 12:41 PM
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In reply to:
if i get the chance i will certainly ask for a tour Smile

so as long as there is a way to ensure constant satelite connection that would work.

The tour is really excellent. Do it!

About GPS: You can take the chance to talk to Helmut about this on the tour. They thought about it already years ago, but there were numerous problems with GPS that can't be solved in a satisfactory manner for different reasons. It is too much to write it down here and I am not an expert for this. But you will see that Helmut is one of the smartest persons ever who designed skydiving gear. The way he thinks and approaches problems is really inspiring. His philosophy is: "If it is not 100% perfect it is not good enough."


J0nathan  (A License)

Mar 19, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Re: [Skybear] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

anyone got a video series explaining how aad s work bit by bit in detail ?


ShcShc11  (A 15638)

Mar 19, 2012, 2:15 PM
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Re: [feuergnom] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I knew someone clever would come up and do this sort of math (insert emoticon of your choice)
since the biggest part of the skydiving community lives in the U.S. aka the home of capitalism and neocons I'll just say: suck it up, cupcakes. who said that businessmen don't have every right in the world to make big big dollars?

on a quick sidenote: IIRC helmut cloth originaly wanted a partner but was turned down by many big companies - so he dished out all the dough out of his own pocket - which by the time being the eighties of the last century was a shitload of money.
so stop bitching about the cost for an electronic backup device that not only has saved many dumbasses lives but might be doing the exact same thing for your sorry bum Unimpressed

ETA: this is not meant to be an insult on drew eckhart - more as a general fedup notice to the public coming from a poster whos simply fed up with people arguing about the cost of skydiving equipment and the sport as such. want someting cheap? get a bowling ball

Lol. I think Mr. Cloth definitely earned the right and it is saving lives and helping newer jumpers get over their psychological hump.

Its still worth discussing about the overall cost.


feuergnom  (D License)

Mar 19, 2012, 3:01 PM
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guess I'm in the mood for telling stories - so here we go (and if I make a mistake there will be someone around here to correct me for sure)

basically an AAD measures changes in airpressure and through a sophisticated algorith aka clever programming tells the unit at which speed you are falling and at which altitude you are - so far so simple and yet so hard to do accuratly. if you do a search in the forums you will find lots of very clever arguements and discussions (some pretty stupid ones also) circling around the slight inaccuracies that are connected to slight variations in pressure around a moving object in airspace - read the effects of the burble.
so in other words: while on the ground the AAD calibrates itself to the local airpressure. as soon as you start you way to alti it logs the changes again and arms itself at a given alti (well at least this is what a cypres does)
once a skydiver has reached his final destination (aka jumprun) one could say that it switches to alarm mode - the ground is approaching. given that you pull in time and there is no more rapid acceleration after deployment, it goes to sleep again.
if you don't pull in time and fall trough a predetermined height with a predetermined speed it will give a signal to the cutter to do it's job. and all this is done in real time - pretty impressive, isn't it?

don't know if there is an in depth vid about all this out there, but if you take a look at cypres' webpage you might find some more answers Smile

ps: its always good to know as much as possible about your gear Cool


piisfish

Mar 19, 2012, 4:01 PM
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Jonathan i guess you were not jumping when the US military went to war in IrakTongueDon't trust a GPS for Precision. Unless a couple of km off wouldn't change the issue


virgin-burner

Mar 19, 2012, 4:03 PM
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apparently, people have no problems spending 600$ on a friggin' phone that MAYBE last them two years, but they have a problem spending 1200$ for a device that last them 12yrs to save their lives; says a lot about people, doesnt it!?

Crazy


ShcShc11  (A 15638)

Mar 19, 2012, 5:05 PM
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In reply to:
apparently, people have no problems spending 600$ on a friggin' phone that MAYBE last them two years, but they have a problem spending 1200$ for a device that last them 12yrs to save their lives; says a lot about people, doesnt it!?

Crazy

People can go for the 400$ Argus Wink


virgin-burner

Mar 19, 2012, 5:40 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
apparently, people have no problems spending 600$ on a friggin' phone that MAYBE last them two years, but they have a problem spending 1200$ for a device that last them 12yrs to save their lives; says a lot about people, doesnt it!?

Crazy

People can go for the 400$ Argus Wink

which will be obsolete in what, one year!? Wink


theonlyski  (D License)

Mar 19, 2012, 6:47 PM
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In reply to:
anyone got a video series explaining how aad s work bit by bit in detail ?

http://skydiveschool.org/#/container/ Click on AAD.


AlexDias  (A 61839)

Mar 19, 2012, 7:22 PM
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My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way but only cost me 300$ .. and has a lifetime of.. well.. unlimited! I am sure some tech freak could program a N3 to activate another device in the case of still being in freefall at given altitude... If you ask me charging more than a thousand dollar for an AAD is a complete ripoff but unluckily we don't have any choice... because if you're looking for a fairly reliable AAD there's only 2 products! so no competition = max producer surplus!


theonlyski  (D License)

Mar 19, 2012, 7:24 PM
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In reply to:
My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way but only cost me 300$ .. and has a lifetime of.. well.. unlimited! I am sure some tech freak could program a N3 to activate another device in the case of still being in freefall at given altitude... If you ask me charging more than a thousand dollar for an AAD is a complete ripoff but unluckily we don't have any choice... because if you're looking for a fairly reliable AAD there's only 2 products! so no competition = max producer surplus!

We do have a choice, I'm free to jump with any AAD (minus Argus which is banned in my container) that I chose, or none at all. That's a choice. Wink


Southern_Man  (C License)

Mar 19, 2012, 7:32 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way but only cost me 300$ .. and has a lifetime of.. well.. unlimited! I am sure some tech freak could program a N3 to activate another device in the case of still being in freefall at given altitude... If you ask me charging more than a thousand dollar for an AAD is a complete ripoff but unluckily we don't have any choice... because if you're looking for a fairly reliable AAD there's only 2 products! so no competition = max producer surplus!

We do have a choice, I'm free to jump with any AAD (minus Argus which is banned in my container) that I chose, or none at all. That's a choice. Wink

Also, if the market is really that inefficient there is ample room for somebody else to recognize a market opportunity, develop his own AAD, sell if for considerably less and still reap large profits.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 19, 2012, 7:34 PM
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way

No it doesn't, not even close.

Look at the failure rates, and the rate of returns for operational issues, and that's where you'll see the differences. I can think of 10 people who have had problems with their Neptunes in the past few years, and about half of that number who have had problems with a Cypres in the last 17 years.

Note- not to disparage Neptunes, they are a fine product and seem to be well made and well within accpeted limits for what they are. I have also heard of great customer service anytime there is a problem.

AADs are not that expensive. Look at the price of other consumer products and there are tons of electronics above the $1500 price point, and every single one of them is made in far greater numbers than the Cypres and by far larger companies than Airtec.

Look at SLR cameras. Cannon makes 2 or 3 models under $1500, and at least that many above that price. They also make 1000's of them per year, and are a huge international corp. Do you think it's crazy that they produce high-end cameras?

When it comes to an electronic device that has a cutter aimed at your reserve closing loop at every phase of the jump, from climbout, to high speed freefly, to busy big ways, do you think it's out of the question to expect a high end device? How would you feel knowing that the guy climing out two group in front of you has an iPhone app hooked up to his reserve closing loop? It wouldn't make me happy to still be in the plane.


AlexDias  (A 61839)

Mar 19, 2012, 7:54 PM
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Re: [davelepka] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Siri, Can you remind me to open my parachute please?
Laugh

I don't mind paying that much for something that could potentially save your life and that lasts 12-20 years... I'm just positive that it could cost less/have a longer lifespan... I am pretty sure it's not that hard to make it have an unlimited lifespan provided you do some check ups.. Reminds me of the story on light bulbs... at first they always tried to make them last longer.. then they discovered that if it was the case then no one would ever replace them so the market would die.. and now every regular lightbulb has a lifespan of around 1'000 hours or so..


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 19, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Reminds me of the story on light bulbs... at first they always tried to make them last longer.. then they discovered that if it was the case then no one would ever replace them so the market would die.. and now every regular lightbulb has a lifespan of around 1'000 hours or so..

That might be true, but the consequences of having a light bulb in operation beyond it's useful life are quite different than that of an AAD.

Do you disagree with life limits on aircraft components? Aileron control cables, and wing attachment bolts, and the like?

A life limit on an ADD is the same thing, and I certainly want my 'aircraft' (my rig) to be held to the same standards as any other aricraft. I like for the materials used to be tracked from the loom through production, I like for the designs and specs to be certified, and I like them worked on by a certified rigger. Why would I go to the trouble (and cost) of all that only to stuff a piece of 'discount' electronics in the reserve compartment?

The gear, and all the trouble that manufactuers go through to ensure it's reliability, is what makes this sport possible. Jumpers can find a way to kill themselves when wearing eve the best rigs. Imagine if in addition to all the 'user error' related deaths, there were just as many due to gear failure because of 'discount' materials, design, or construction.


Abedy

Mar 19, 2012, 11:37 PM
Post #30 of 62 (1124 views)
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In reply to:
My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way but only cost me 300$ .. and has a lifetime of.. well.. unlimited! I am sure some tech freak could program a N3 to activate another device in the case of still being in freefall at given altitude...

If it were that easy someone would have already done, huh?
Whatcha think how come that competitors ended up in almost the same price range? Only due to them being greedy?
Building a reliable AAD isn't easy, there are many facts to consider.

If you want something cheap, look for a KAP3.


Larhsw  (D 14462)

Mar 20, 2012, 1:44 AM
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The problem with a gps is that you need a clear and "unobstructed view" of the satellites or a gps passive antenna/retransmitter mounted inside the airplane in order to keep the gps signals and have a continuously updated position. The longer you travel from the point where your went "dark" to the satellites the longer it will take to get updated and on the grid again. This can take as much as 2 minutes, during which you will be back on the ground after your jump...

Also, with the not-perfect positioning of most civilian gps equipment, I don't think this would be a very good idea...


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 20, 2012, 6:55 AM
Post #32 of 62 (1076 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Siri, Can you remind me to open my parachute please?
Laugh

I don't mind paying that much for something that could potentially save your life and that lasts 12-20 years... I'm just positive that it could cost less/have a longer lifespan... I am pretty sure it's not that hard to make it have an unlimited lifespan provided you do some check ups. Reminds me of the story on light bulbs... at first they always tried to make them last longer.. then they discovered that if it was the case then no one would ever replace them so the market would die.. and now every regular lightbulb has a lifespan of around 1'000 hours or so.. .

Really?

Don't you think that someone would have if they could have? Vigil and Argus both tried, both had lots of issues (CYPRES did in the beginning too).
Vigil has been addressing them, Argus went into denial/silence mode and seems to have mostly abandoned the idea (NOTE: This is a very general/overall comment, I don't want to restart the debate about Argus)

The pyro charge in the cutters has a pretty specific lifespan. After a certain time it becomes unreliable. Not inert, but a small but significant percentage of them fail to fire.

There's no way to test this without firing it.

The circuit boards deteriorate over time. Some of it is testable, some isn't (at least non-destructive testing).

And you can buy "Long Life" incandescent light bulbs. The per hour cost is somewhat lower than regular bulbs, but the initial cost is pretty high, so most idiots don't do the math. I use them in the fixtures that are a bitch to change or ones that are on a lot.


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 20, 2012, 7:08 AM
Post #33 of 62 (1071 views)
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Re: [feuergnom] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

ETA: this is not meant to be an insult on drew eckhart - more as a general fedup notice to the public coming from a poster whos simply fed up with people arguing about the cost of skydiving equipment and the sport as such. want someting cheap? get a bowling ball

^This.


piisfish

Mar 20, 2012, 7:41 AM
Post #34 of 62 (1058 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Siri, Can you remind me to open my parachute please?
Laugh
o..
some french dude came up with the iCutter App and extenison, all you need is to connect it to your iPhone.

Suck this, Android double cheeseburger with pickles and extra bacon
Attachments: iCutter.JPG (59.9 KB)


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 20, 2012, 7:10 PM
Post #35 of 62 (988 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The initial development of the Cypres 1 was over one million german marks back in the 80s. I think we can say that today it equals more than a million euro or 1,5 million USD.

Divided by 83,000 units sold (Cypres 1, there are another 70,000 Cypres 2 units out there) that combination of exchange rate and inflation would yield $20/unit development costs.
now incorporate, staff pay, insurance, building costs and upkeep, and insurance, ongoing R&D, marketing including travel to boogies publishing etc.. and many more that I dont know about.
The costs do go up some.


airtwardo  (D License)

Mar 20, 2012, 8:20 PM
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I am pretty sure it's not that hard to make...

I'm just positive that it could cost less...


In reply to:


I'll take DeLorean for 300 Alex. Sly


Glandu  (D 26253)

Mar 21, 2012, 8:51 AM
Post #37 of 62 (917 views)
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Re: [virgin-burner] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

What makes Skydiving in general so expensive now ?????????


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Mar 21, 2012, 10:39 AM
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Re: [Glandu] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Glandu,

Quote:
What makes Skydiving in general so expensive now ?????????

IMO it isn't; it was more expensive when I started in '64.

I worked for the US gov't. for over 30 years so I used their pay scales to compare.

In 1964 ( when I started jumping ) a jump to 12,500 ft cost me $5.50. The 1964 pay per hour for a US gov't worker at GS-10 @ Step 10 = $5.16 per hour. He/she had to work 1.06 hours to jump at 12,500 ft.

In 2012 a jump to 13,000 ft will cost ~ $23.00. The pay per hour for the same GS-10 @ Step 10 = $29.75 per hour. He/she has to work 0.77 hours to jump at 13,000 ft.

Just my comparitive thoughts.

JerryBaumchen


Abedy

Mar 21, 2012, 11:15 AM
Post #39 of 62 (882 views)
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In reply to:
In 2012 a jump to 13,000 ft will cost ~ $23.00.

Crazy It's about 29-30 EUR for ~14,000 ft here which is about 38-40 US$.
A pretty good pay-per-hour here (after taxes and social security etc) here is about 12-15 EUR, so we got to work about 2 hours for one ride.

No wonder the number of fun jumps is declining.


f94sbu  (D 16017)

Mar 21, 2012, 1:06 PM
Post #40 of 62 (852 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My Neptune N3 works exactly the same way but only cost me 300$ .. and has a lifetime of.. well.. unlimited! I am sure some tech freak could program a N3 to activate another device in the case of still being in freefall at given altitude... If you ask me charging more than a thousand dollar for an AAD is a complete ripoff but unluckily we don't have any choice... because if you're looking for a fairly reliable AAD there's only 2 products! so no competition = max producer surplus!

How do you guarantee that your N3 has unlimited lifetime? An obvious way you can tell if it isn't working is if the display doesn't match what your eyes tell you. Do you think that it would give you an error code and ask for the unit to be sent in for repair? I guess you are ok with the N3 failing every once in a while because you will manually notice it. However, would you be ok with your AAD randomly failing on you and you have no other way to find out than that you died after a no pull and the AAD had been malfunctioning for some time, but you were not able to notice?
On top of that, how often do you recharge your N3 and how often do you swap the battery in your AAD? Does your N3 have a cutter that is custom made? The list goes on and you seem to have no idea what you are talking about. (FWIW, I work in the electronics manufacturing industry so I have a fair amount of knowledge of electronics etc.)


AlexDias  (A 61839)

Mar 21, 2012, 1:45 PM
Post #41 of 62 (849 views)
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Re: [f94sbu] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Look I understand all of your argument and I'm not trying to prove anything.. It's just a guess here.. but seriously a technology thats 20 years old.. still cost the same price? I call bullshit!

But you know.. maybe I am wrong. And either way it does not matter because AAD are awesome and I'll be more than happy to pay 1'000 for something that might save my life for the next 12-20 years! It's just my personal, not very educated, opinion... but if I look back I remember having a phone that was called the sony Ericsson P800 around 2005 and it was SOO awesome and cost like 800.. now it's just a piece of crap that a wouldn't even buy for 10... so if this applies to practically every new technology.. why shouldn't it apply to AAD? I mean it's just a little computer chip and some wires and a cutter.. Being young and having grown up in this whole tech revolution I don't understand why something that was invented when I was 4 is still top notch technology when I'm 23 when everything else I used to know has just become obsolete like crazy!

Take the time to think about this point of view instead of getting into the details of the products, reliability and blablabla


virgin-burner

Mar 21, 2012, 4:40 PM
Post #42 of 62 (821 views)
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i find ADD to be awesome!

details are interesting!

look, something shiny!

i want an iphone5!!!


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 21, 2012, 4:55 PM
Post #43 of 62 (817 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

How many phones has Ericsson sold since then?

Along with all the other companies that make them.

I'm going to guess that it's a few more than the <200k CYPRESs that Airtec has sold.

Huge volume and high levels of competition drive technology advances and price reductions.

Once more, it it had been that easy to make one better or cheaper, someone would have done it.


AlexDias  (A 61839)

Mar 21, 2012, 5:29 PM
Post #44 of 62 (807 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think someone would have done it... Cypres has a market share of around 80-90% and it is VERY hard for new entrants in this market because the entrance barrier is so huge and it takes so long to build a reputation.. I don't think if tomorrow someone comes up with an AAD as reliable as cypres but half the price it will sold that good.. because people are too fond of cypres especially in a market where reliability and consumer's satisfaction and trust means everything...
look at vigil.. it entered the market in 2003 and it is still not considered 100% reliable even though it probably is.. (or at least close enough).. and cypres is still dominant..
Not really an incentive to launch a new company in that market.. if you know it's gonna take 10 years until people start trusting your product and buying it...


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 21, 2012, 6:35 PM
Post #45 of 62 (792 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Vigil has taken a decent sized share of the market, given the issues that have come up.

Argus was doing the same until the cutter question came up and their reaction to it was...

Less than ideal.

I don't think there's any serious issues with either of them (except for the Argus cutter) and wouldn't have a problem jumping them (again, if the Argus cutter questions had been addressed).

But neither of them was that much lower in price.

And neither of them has been around long enough to have a real answer to the life limit questions.


sagan  (D 29467)

Mar 21, 2012, 9:16 PM
Post #46 of 62 (769 views)
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Re: [Squeak] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ditto --- all those costs are not small and many of them like insurance are paid up front, sometimes well before you have an actual product that can produce revenue.

If you were sitting there in your lab potentially with employees on the payroll, a building, insurance, etc, etc, and you were just starting out I'd say that you'd more than be entitled to the rewards if it DOES work out. Of course you don't start with all that but with the type of device we are talking about, the control and quality process is expensive no matter how efficient you are on day 1 and even if you can do it cheaply it requires a tremendous amount of discipline (translate not a 9-5 job in terms of hours).

Remember also that by using his own money (a substantial amount) he was risking potentially his career and life savings. I'm not sure how much personal capital he had beyond the investment but when you have that much money, what is the motivation for that person to want to part with it? This is especially true when you get into the sums where it starts equalizing 10-15 years of a "normal" salary. Obviously there's passion that drives someone to want to invest and do this but that only goes so far and for so long.

You would be amazed at the Gross Margins of most consumer products especially retail items like clothing. They have to be massive.

All that said -- What I've found in my business career is that this "discrepancy" which has been pointed out here between unit cost and sometimes even overall cost and revenue is what allows for new companies to come into existence and compete with the big dogs. Have an amazing T Shirt idea and can produce the shirt at roughly the same cost as any major brand and are willing and able to sell the shirt for $10 vs $25 for the big dogs? Yes of course it'll work. Then at some point where that company becomes so large and has other obligations beyond just 100% customer focused, say insurance, people's payrolls, or even complex debt covenants with banks and investors and that same company will quickly find it now needs $15 or even $20 to survive where before $10 was content. Before they know it they are the big dogs.

And with that said I go through business plan after business plan where those basic concepts aren't understood or considered. The math on unit and hard costs is all correct but then the rosy "sales" projections or inability to see that there are setbacks with most new ideas (what happens if the development took 2 years vs 1, what's if the TSO is rejected the first time, etc?) most plans typically fall apart.

To be honest I'm amazed at how many vendors there are in a fairly small community such as skydiving and more so I'm amazed at generally regardless of product or manufacturer how well most things are put together (besides jumpsuits, I really have a bone to pick with jumpsuits Tongue why can't anyone use e-thread!!! Bar tack the sucker if you have to. And how come it seems like out of the 20 jumpsuit orders I've seen go through in the last 3 years regardless of measure and re-measurement on the first try it doesn't fit! grrr Sly)


f94sbu  (D 16017)

Mar 21, 2012, 11:11 PM
Post #47 of 62 (757 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

You dont get it. The price of the components were not much higher 20 years ago compared to what they are today, you are not paying for the square inches of silicon.
Besides, that Ericsson P200 still works pretty well but my shiny new smart phone keeps dropping calls and loosing connection to the network. I guess that you just appreciate different things today. But with an AAD, I want exactly the same reliability today as I wanted 20 years ago. _Thats_ what we are paying for and not the components inside.


Waldschrat

Mar 22, 2012, 2:56 AM
Post #48 of 62 (733 views)
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Re: [f94sbu] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/
Attachments: cypres.jpg (72.3 KB)


Premier likestojump  (D License)

Mar 22, 2012, 5:17 AM
Post #49 of 62 (717 views)
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Re: [Waldschrat] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post


But even in the late 90's the Cypers1s sold for $950
I am sure they were even cheaper when they came out in the early 90s. Any of you old timers got an old papyrus invoice to reference that ?


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 22, 2012, 5:52 AM
Post #50 of 62 (710 views)
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Re: [likestojump] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some standard prices:
Paragear '93-'94 Cypres 1 = $1225
Paragear '11-'12 Cypres 2 = $1425

Someone wanna run the Cypres 1 through the inflation calculator?


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Mar 22, 2012, 6:18 AM
Post #51 of 62 (661 views)
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Re: [pchapman] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some standard prices:
Paragear '93-'94 Cypres 1 = $1225
Paragear '11-'12 Cypres 2 = $1425

Someone wanna run the Cypres 1 through the inflation calculator?

Do we need to include exchange rates as a variable as well? Or are Cypres prices set independent of that? (I don't actually know the answer to this question, but I've heard people mention the exchange rate as a reason for increasing prices).


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 22, 2012, 7:26 AM
Post #52 of 62 (637 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

IIRC there are only 8 or so vendors in the US for Airtec, everyone else selling them in the US orders from one of those vendors. I worked for at least one of those vendors and will tell you the price varies with exchange rate when buying direct from the manufacturer.


Ron

Mar 22, 2012, 7:41 AM
Post #53 of 62 (630 views)
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Re: [virgin-burner] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
apparently, people have no problems spending 600$ on a friggin' phone that MAYBE last them two years, but they have a problem spending 1200$ for a device that last them 12yrs to save their lives; says a lot about people, doesnt it!?

That is a really good point. Another thing that pisses me off is the guy that will skip buying an AAD talking about the cost, but will drop 1k dollars on tunnel time.

While we are on it... people who spend several thousand a year and then don't have health insurance claiming it is too expensive.

Some people's priorities are messed up.


theonlyski  (D License)

Mar 22, 2012, 8:01 AM
Post #54 of 62 (625 views)
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Re: [Ron] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While we are on it... people who spend several thousand a year and then don't have health insurance claiming it is too expensive.

Then having a hard landing, and since they skydive for a living having no insurance, they go to the ER and get free treatment.

FWIW, I have full medical coverage for life.


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 22, 2012, 9:00 AM
Post #55 of 62 (605 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In May of 02, I got a cypres I for a little over $900. The timing with exchange rates was really good.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Mar 22, 2012, 9:16 AM
Post #56 of 62 (597 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

You're missing the point.

This is a never before seen photo explaining why they are so expensive:
Attachments: helmut cloth.jpg (57.7 KB)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Mar 22, 2012, 9:38 AM
Post #57 of 62 (587 views)
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Re: [pchapman] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

$1,930.02 in 2012


iliketofly  (C License)

Mar 22, 2012, 10:21 AM
Post #58 of 62 (577 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

$1930.02, Where?


Abedy

Mar 22, 2012, 11:02 AM
Post #59 of 62 (568 views)
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Re: [AlexDias] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
but seriously a technology thats 20 years old.. still cost the same price? I call bullshit!

The problem is, a CYPRES in 2012 is more advanced than a CYPRES of 1994. And if you send in your CYPRES it will get the latest firmware, a new battery if needed and any part that shows any sign of wear replaced free of charge.
That bullshit? Tongue


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Mar 22, 2012, 12:39 PM
Post #60 of 62 (537 views)
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Re: [iliketofly] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Paragear '93-'94 Cypres 1 = $1225
Paragear '11-'12 Cypres 2 = $1425

Someone wanna run the Cypres 1 through the inflation calculator?


RUnning it through an inflaction calculator comes up with $1,225.00 in 1993 dollars equalling $1,920.02.


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Mar 22, 2012, 10:44 PM
Post #61 of 62 (497 views)
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Re: [pchapman] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Some standard prices:
Paragear '93-'94 Cypres 1 = $1225

Sure but you could pay a _lot_ less with the strong dollar versus the Deutsche Mark and DZOs who were selling them at cost because they thought everyone should have an AAD

I paid $850 for one of mine in 1998 and $900 for one in 2000.

In 2010 dollars that's $1131 and $1128 respectively.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Mar 22, 2012, 10:46 PM)


virgin-burner

Mar 23, 2012, 6:10 PM
Post #62 of 62 (432 views)
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Re: [Remster] What makes AADs so expensive ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You're missing the point.

This is a never before seen photo explaining why they are so expensive:

best post in this thread!

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh



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