>From the time I was first I was licensed in 1960, I bought used gear.
Finally, in 1980, I bought my first piece of new gear...a Ten-Tec Omni A,
Series B. This radio would be my primary rig for the next 15+ years and would
travel with me to three continents and provide me with well over 100K QSOs
without a single failure. I parted with it in 1995, but always had a warm
spot in my heart for that simple, reliable radio.
Its amazing how the mind can observe and record things without you
consciously directing it to. At a swap meet last weekend, my eyes fell upon
something on the other side of the room that I needed to see. As I got
I saw a stack of beat-up-looking Ten-Tec gear. It was covered with a layer
of dirt and grime. It took a little imagination to realize that it was an
Omni A, Series B, matching remote VFO, 252 power supply and remote digital
It looked as though someone had stacked stuff on top of the Omni and put a
large gash on the top of the case. The trim ring on the transceiver looked
corroded and unrecoverable. I started to walk away, but noticed that all
the lettering on the panel looked good, as best I could tell. I spit on my
finger tips and rubbed some of the grime off the tuning knob. The expected
scratches were not there suggesting that this radio may not have seen a
lot of use. I did the same on the other knobs, and found the metal inlays to
be in very good shape.
I noted that the dial cords were broken and the VFOs were both seized, but
everything seemed unmolested, with the exception of the power cord, that
was crudely cut about a foot from the connector. I made a ridiculous offer
and was countered immediately with a "Sold!".
I brought it home, set everything next to the kitchen and started
cleaning. The more I cleaned, the more excited I got. This gear was in
shape. Front panels were perfect, the cases were much better than
expected, the gash could be repaired, and the trim ring cleaned up perfectly
just a light application of Soft Scrub. Then I took off the top
cover......bonus!!!...a 217 CW filter! (it is worth more than half of what I
Now I'm in the quandary of whether I should try un-seizing the VFOs and
repairing the dial cords. I'm sure there may be other issues, maybe it would
be better to send the radio back to Ten-Tec (if the still even work on
these). Any suggestions out there? I know there is information on line on
doing these repairs and I still need a power cord to do any testing. Any
comments or suggestions are appreciated.
This is one of those good luck stories. This Omni A has serial number in
the 600s, just like my original Omni did. I will keep you posted on my
efforts to get it back on the air!
This radio is probably as nice as any 30+ year old radio you'll find
Paul and Karen Schaffenberger
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