Ken, W7TS wrote:
<<<The Omni VI+ is a great rig, I love it, but dollar for dollar you get
more enjoyment out of the Hercules II. It will make your rig a 500 watt
transceiver and the people you can hear will answer you. If you get the
Omni Vi+, you will have one of the worlds best receivers and will hear
lots of stations that can't hear you. >>>
I've never run an amplifier, but everything I've read and heard from
others indicates that an amp makes a lot more difference on SSB than on
CW. My personal experience agrees. I got my license as a 15-year old kid
in Massachusetts. There, I worked Europe every day on phone. Now I'm in
Seattle, another high-latitude hop or two further (i.e. weaker signal).
Most of the time, I can only have hello-goodby contacts on SSB to Europe.
On CW (or Pactor), I can still chat. Note that I don't have a beam,
Power also matters more the lower in frequency you go, and the more
crowded the bands are. It may mean the difference between a contact and
no contact on 40m and 20m. It may not matter much on 15m and higher.
If you're a *competitive* DXer and need to bust every pile-up, get all the
power you can. If you're more casual, it may not be necessary. Running
100w instead of 500 also means you can use cheaper feedlines, antenna
>From my RF-choked urban area, the Omni VI's quiet receiver hears more
stations that I *can* work than my old Icom 751a does. But the difference
between the Omni V and VI's basic receive performance isn't that great.
The receivers are *very* similar. Doug, since you've already got an Omni
V, the amp would be a bigger performance jump than upgrading to an Omni
VI. And note well that some hard-core CW guys prefer the V.
On the other hand, the Omni VI has DSP and a few improvements and
conveniences over the V. So if you find yourself cursing the V's user
interface, you may like the VI better, IF you can deal with menus.
I got my Omni VI (with option 3 upgrade) last summer, and I love it. I
tend to keep my rigs a long time, so I couldn't see buying an older Omni V
that might have more trouble sooner than a VI. If I'd already owned a V,
I might not have changed, though.
Doug, you're not in a bad position. You're choosing between a newer
Ten-Tec rig and an amp. That's much better than having no Ten-Tec radio
at all :-)
My suggestion is to find someone with an Omni VI+, and play with it for a
couple of hours. Second best: read the QST reviews of the V, VI and VI+,
which talk in detail about the operating differences in each.
Peter - KD7MW
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