[TenTec] Omni VI vs. VI Plus

Chester Alderman chestert@pressroom.com
Mon, 21 Jul 1997 09:53:29 -0400

>Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 06:51:40 -0400
>To: "Peter A. Klein" <pklein@seattleu.edu>
>From: Chester Alderman <chestert@pressroom.com>
>Subject: Re: [TenTec] Omni VI vs. VI Plus
>In-Reply-To: <Pine.GSO.3.95.970716171708.4804F-100000@mozart-1>
>At 05:17 PM 7/16/97 -0700, you wrote:
>>Hi, folks!  I'm new to this list, so if there's an FAQ that answers these
>>questions, point me to it.
>>I'm seriously contemplating getting an Omni 6, maybe used, maybe new.  I
>>already own a Timewave DSP-599zx, so I'm not sure that the new Omni 6 Plus
>>DSP options would do me any good.  I'm not a contester or competitive
>>DXer, though I do like to work DX, such as I can from the Pacific
>>Northwest with a dipole and vertical. :-)
>>Currently I use an Icom 751a with 2.4 and 2.1 kHz SSB filters and two 500
>>Hz CW filters.  I'm not unhappy with the 751a.  But I would like to use my
>>CW filters on AFSK, and I'd like a less noisy receiver with better
>>close-in strong signal immunity. 
>>I've read that the Omni 6 has one of the best, quietest receiver there is. 
>>I'm more concerned with really good basic receiver performance than sub
>>receivers, spectral displays, hundreds of memories, and the like.  (You
>>can see why I might be a Ten-Tec kind of guy!) 
>>1.  What are the differences are between the Omni 6 and 6 Plus? I've seen
>>the current QST ad, I need the technical details. 
>There are very few technical details on the difference between the two.
The Plus only adds the designed-in DSP and the additional 9 Mhz filter.
>>2.  There are 3 options for upgrading the Omni 6 with some of the features
>>of the 6 Plus.  What exactly are these options?
>#1-Add the chips (IC's) for DSP.  #2-Change the board for the additional 9
Mhz filter. #3-Have both #1 and #2 installed.
>>3.  I have the Jan 1993 QST review of the Omni 6.  Can you point me to any
>>other reviews of the Omni 6, the 6 Plus, or the upgrade options? 
>You have to decide how much 'faith' you put into either QST or CQ reviews
of ANY radio. My personal opinion is that anyone who 'bitches' about
birdies from any receiver whose antenna is disconnected, well, lets just
say their elevator does not go all the way to the top! I've never known of
any circuit designer, who must build a 'cost-effective' radio, who would
design the front end of a receiver to operate properly into an
open-circuit. It can be done, but it would require an isolator at the front
end, which would only add about $1000 to the cost of the receiver. The ONLY
test (my opinion) you can perform that means anything to you, is to put the
radio on your desk and operate it in YOUR environment.
>>4.  I already own a top-of-the-line outboard DSP box--the Timewave 599zx.
>>What would the Omni 6 Plus give me that an Omni 6 (standard) and my
>>Timewave wouldn't?  It seems on the surface that getting an Omni 6 would
>>be ideal for my situation, but I may not have all the details.  Are there
>>other changes in the 6 Plus, beyond the extra 9 mHz narrow filter
>Before you discard the idea of the Plus' on-board DSP, consider the fact
that your Timewave was designed to operate with EVERY radio, the
designed-in DSP for the Plus was designed for Ten-Tec by a company that
designs, produces, and sells DSP boxes; the difference here is the Plus DSP
was designed specifically to operate WITH the circuitry of the OMNI
receiver, meaning it's design can be optimized to it's one and only
operating environment.
>>5. One negative I've heard is that Ten-Tec radios tend to *need* their
>>manufacturer's world-class service.  In particular, I've heard a few
>>horror stories about intermittent problems.  Is this your experience, or
>>is it just nasty rumors?  And can most problems that do occur be solved
>>with a board swap, without having to send the whole radio in? 
>That's true. I've had my Omni 6 for almost six years and I've had my
Corsair II for eight years, and if these things EVER break, I really will
need TT's world-class service. I also own a Titan amp, and since I often
run high-speed CW, I have a lot of (self-induced) problems with the relays.
Ten-Tec always has a very knowledgable person to talk with you on the
telephone and they never hesitate to send you a part or a board, and then
you return your defective component. Unless you have some real catistrophic
failure, you will never have to send your radio to them for repair; and
when you do, you can expect typically two to three week turn-around time,
not two to three months that is experienced with other manufacturers.
>>Any general comments from Omni VI owners and comparisons with other
>>medium-high end radios like my Icom 751a would be welcome.
>There are no other 'high-end' radios that compare with the Omni 6. When I
bought my Omni 6, I owned an Icom IC-781; after comparing the two radios
side by side, on my operating desk, I sold the IC-781. There was no huge
difference between the two, just that when trying to pull out weak CW DX
signals on 80 and 40 mtrs, I found I could sometimes read them with the
Omni, but could not with the 781. The trade off I made was the 781 could
run QSK at any speed you want to run, the Omni will not run CW at speeds
over about 70 wpm. The other trade off I made was the cost of an Omni was
about $2800 (with P.S. & filters) and the cost of the 781 was over $6000!
>>--Peter (KD7MW)
>>Peter A. Klein  (pklein@seattleu.edu)  :    -----==3==      ---      ---
>>Network Administrator, LAN/WAN/Novell  :   |    |  |  |    |   |    |   |
>>Seattle University, 296-5569           :  @|   @| @| @|   @|  @|   @|  @|
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Chester Alderman
Tom - W4BQF

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