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Re: [TenTec] Off Topic, sort of

To: Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Off Topic, sort of
From: Rick Denney <rick@rickdenney.com>
Reply-to: Rick Denney <rick@rickdenney.com>,Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 12:35:48 -0400
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
Augie Hansen writes...

> I'm delighted to see a couple of American companies kicking butt
> with some world class ham equipment. Let's hope that Ten-Tec and
> Elecraft both live long and prosper.

In my various hobbies, I've observed that American mass-production
items become uncompetitive with Asian mass-production items, but then
American companies shift their focus from mass production at lower
price points to niche and custom products at higher price points. For
example, high-end bicycles shifted from American-made Schwinns and
Huffys found in department stores to (cheaper) Asian-made
department-store offerings with American brand labels. Now,
American-made bicycles such as Trek, Cannondale and Serotta (and many
others) start at the upper middle price point and go up into the
stratosphere. For high-end products, the high costs of American
production are within the higher price points and companies can be
successful, where they struggled trying to be competitive with cheaper

Ten Tec has made this shift (whether intentionally or not--and it may
have been the market that opened up for the higher price points), and
Elecraft virtually defines it.

When I look *inside* my Omni V, I see a product made by people who
care how their product looks even on the inside. I have a Kenwood
TS430, which is a completely usable radio, but the inside of it shows
far more evidence of cost engineering. The Kenwood shows more refined
external product design based on their long history (at the time) with
consumer electronics. But the Ten Tec has a functional elegance
suggesting that the person who did the styling was a radio person, not
a product stylist. The Elecraft also lacks mere product styling, and
its appearance suggests a radio that wants to be *used*.

Rick, KR9D

Richard W. Denney, Jr. PE|Iteris, Inc.              |
Associate Vice President |107 Carpenter Dr. Ste 230 |    703.925.3819
rwd@iteris.com           |Sterling, VA 20164        |Fax 703.471.1757

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