[TenTec] Buying a TT OMNI VI+

Clark Savage Turner WA3JPG turner@safety.ics.uci.edu
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 17:29:11 -0800

> Cuz it's the best damm rig sold on the planet....

> KB6JOX - Dave

> >-----Original Message-----
.......(stuff deleted)

> >But, here is my questions.  I am new to this reflector because I want to
> >find out more about the OMNI-VI+.  I've been asking around on other
....(stuff deleted)

> >So, anyone out there want to tell me why I should sell the 850 and buy one?

Hi Lee:

While Dave is probably sincere in his declaration above, I suspect
his reply is not helpful to you, since you asked for information.  I
did a direct comparison between my OMNI VI (not plus) and my 
IRCI equipped Kenwood TS 940.  It follows. I hope it helps.  I have
used the TS 850 and I like that radio nearly as much as the OMNI,
it is a very good one.  It is fairly similar to the 940, so I 
hope this comparison applies to your question.  NOTE that the OMNI VI
plus has "fixed" the auto notch distortion problem (now gone) and 
added AF DSP that is very, very nice.  Go from there.  Other comments

From: turner@safety.ics.uci.edu (Clark Savage Turner)
Newsgroups: rec.radio.amateur.equipment
Subject: Re: TEN-TEC Omni VI

I replaced an IRCI equipped Kenwood TS 940S/AT with an OMNI VI a few
months ago.  I also was able to let go of my Drake twins soon after 
the switch.  (silly, I know, but I needed the money, and the OMNI was the
R4C equal in everything I could see except out of band rejection.) 
I made some comparisons before the move.  Here are some
of my basic feature comparisons:

Kenwood TS 940		*		Ten Tec OMNI VI

1.  Slope tuning wonderful	* PBT very sharp, not as versatile as slope
				    for SSB	

2.  IRCI filters great,		* Filter choices much better, quite as
    nar SSB and CW (400 Hz pair) * sharp as IRCI, more of them, cheaper 

3.  Audio peak for CW great     * No audio peak filter, digital lowpass fair

4.  General coverage receive    * ham band only, no big problem

5.  built in AC only power supply * no built in supply, but runs on 12 vdc
				    good for many purposes

6.  built in auto tuner		* no tuner, but good final section,
				  I always use an external tuner anyway

7.  good RF processor on SSB		* audio processor, yuck

8.  VBT on cw			* PBT with narrow filters equal to VBT

9.  3 level attenuator		* one level of attenuation

10. dual great noise blankers	* one noise blanker, good

11. Very heavy unit		* light, easy to move

12. stupid memory system	* very good memory and menu system

13. manual notch  		* auto notch and manual notch, but
				  auto notch distorts SSB audio

14. filters dep on mode		* filter choice indep of mode

15.				* anx antenna switch (rcv) on front panel

16.				* keyer built in, auto ID timer, better
				  fast VOX for SSB, bandstacking registers
				  and other more modern features included.

17. auto tuning rates for	* static tuning rate, but set from front
    band scanning from knob	* panel.  Can set very slow, for precise
				  CW tuning with narrow filters


Now, in general, the receivers were comparable under most circumstances.
I am in an area where a local AM BCB station pushes the TS 940 meter
to full scale even with the 30 db attenuator on.  For 160 and 75 meters,
without an antenna tuner in line, the front end of the 940 crumbles.
The OMNI does maybe a bit better, but not a big difference.  I always
put a tuner in line to work 160 and 75.  (I use a nonresonant 450
foot horizontal loop 40 feet up, it loves to pick up AM BCB.  The only
receiver that can handle it is my Drake R4C.) 

The Kenwood 940 has more pleasant sounding receive audio on SSB with
the pair of 2.7 KHz filters against the OMNI pair of 2.4's.  The Ten 
Tec auto notch is useful, but I don't like its distortion.  

In close in signal work, where big signals come up next to your weak
ones, the OMNI seems to do a lot better than the 940.  Not common 
circumstances, and not a huge difference as far as I can tell, but 
enough to notice.  Makes working stations much more pleasant under 
heavy QRM.  You can REALLY TELL during a 160 meter contest in the
late evening, when the CW signals commonly come in with full scale
60 db over S9 ... and you want to hear a weak one next door.  You kick
in a 250 Hz filter behind a 500 Hz filter behind the standard 2.4 KHz
filter and tweak the PBT.  It is impressive.

BOTH rigs suffered from bad gain equalization with the CW filtering.
Switching in the narrowest of CW filters in either rig with a weak
signal can be tough since the filters have a lot of loss.  Ten Tec has
an extra IF amp you can use to make up for some of the loss, but it
does not cover all cases, as I have found (especially the pair of 
250 Hz filters).  The Kenwood with IRCI 400 Hz filters suffers the
same.  Not a big deal to put in a little bit of extra gain yourself
in either rig though.

Overall, I still respect and love the 940.  I keep an IRCI equipped 
Kenwood TS 440S/AT because I love the thing so much.  It keeps up
in 99 per cent of all situations.  However, the Ten Tec OMNI just
puts me over the top in good selectivity / filtering options and 
the 12 vdc power source, which is important to me.  There are other
good things about it, but these were the critical factors to my choice.


Clark Savage Turner, Graduate Student Researcher
Software Engineering Testing
Department of Info. and Computer Science	1514 Verano Place
Irvine, CA. 92717				Irvine, CA. 92715
(714) 824 4049					(714) 856 2131

WA3JPG, QRP #3526, active on HF, VHF and UHF.

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