The old 50w TenTec amp was the Model 405.
For many years, the QRP class in Field Day was limited to 20 watts.
Although true QRP guys didn't like that, the reason was logical: there were
several transceivers on the market, sold as QRP versions, which had 20w out.
With a 5w limit, people could easily cheat and run 20w. With a 20w limit
people had to use a 100w transceiver to cheat. The control was frequent
visits by the Field Day Police to stations who typically claimed high
Anyway, what I wanted to say is, running 20w and a horizontal loop (Sky
Loop), 84m total length, and CW, our club typically beat all but the top 20
in the 100w class, who mostly ran dipoles.
Apples to apples, the 100w class was separated into two classes; just one
single antenna, and any antenna (including beams).
Our results were against the 100w stations running just wire antennas.
Over my nearly 40 years of hundreds of portable operations, I found that
there is a huge difference between 5w and 100w, but not much difference
between 20w and 100w. On the other hand, since most of my operations were
from battery until I switched from Motorcycle vacations to RV vacations,
running 20w instead of 100w sure increased battery life!
Of course the great thing back then was, there were transceivers which only
required 150 mA on receive, when you turned the dial light off. Now days
they all need an amp or more (except some of the QRP rigs with just a few
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
On Behalf Of Dr. Gerald N. Johnson
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: [TenTec] TenTec 1254 ---THANKS
My FT-857 manual says .55 amp receive squelched and 1 amp receive. There
is a 5th pin on the power connector that when grounded cuts the power to
20 watts through 2m and 10 watts on 432, I think that's shared with the
897 that has a bigger case with room for a battery. There's no
indication in the op manual that the battery sense pin (that 5th pin)
affects receiver current consumption or PA idle current. I know that the
RF power output can be reduced way below the factory settings by
lowering the TX gain in the alignment menu. I did that to an 857 that I
use for 10 G transverter service and now while the display says it
varies from 5 to 50 watts, it actually puts out 2 watts on 2m.
I've run 25 watts RF to an 8 foot whip through a manual tuner on 40, 20,
15 and 10 meters for FD with very good results on CW and SSB. I found I
had to tune more often on SSB when working my way up a band than on CW,
probably because 25 watts was plenty power for CW and there was more QRM
on SSB. That whip was mounted on the roof of my all metal Airstream, so
it had a really good ground plane though only about 8' wide by 15 feet
long (a little Airstream).
Back before FCC rules prohibiting a 3 watt input HF amp, Tentec made
one, maybe called the 509?, that would be a fine accessory to an FT-817
though a nearby club has run up a serious score the last two or three FD
with a barefoot FT-817. They do take care to use effective antennas.
Another FT-817 user finds his works fine on battery with a random wire
backpacked into a western mountain camp. He makes contacts, like mostly
CW, not necessarily on a prescribed circuit, but at random.
73, Jerry, K0CQ
On 12/27/2010 10:15 PM, Bwana Bob wrote:
> No, I don't have any processor problems. I was referring to the mod kit
> available here: http://www.cholakian.com/TT1254upgrade.html, although I
> don't find the coarse tuning steps of the 1254 that much of a burden.
> There are a number of popular portable general coverage transceivers on
> the market, most notably the Yaesu FT-857, and 897 and the ICOM 703 and
> 706, and the IC-7200. The QRP FT-817, while cute, and a lot of guys
> like them, in my opinion it does not run enough power for reliable
> communication under poor band conditions (a frequent occurrence, given
> the lack of sunspots. Most of these radios are not well suited to
> battery operation, because their typical current drain on receive is
> about 1.5 amps. Older Ten-Tec radios do much better in the battery drain
> area. A possible exception is the Yaesu VX-1210, which is a commercial
> 20 watt manpack radio, currently favored by the "HF pack" crowd.
> I have an original Paragon as the main radio, but I use a Scout for
> portable vacation use. I use it with a reel-out dipole and it works
> great. I've looked at other portable rigs, but after reading a lot of
> reviews and user comments, I always decide to stick with the Scout.
> The 1254 will certainly meet your needs if you mate it up with a simple
> CW transmitter. Yes, the political and economic situation is spooky. I
> keep a 72 hour kit and maintain all the radios, especially HF. Here in
> NJ, there isn't much else that I can do. "Bugging out" is not really an
> Bob WB2VUF
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