[TenTec] Is the Orion an AM radio or a DXer's radio??

Mike Gorniak mgorniak at genesiswireless.us
Mon May 1 09:55:00 EDT 2006

The amazing thing to me is how well my Orion (Original) works on AM, as well as contest and DX SSB. Truly superb in all of these categories. The CW folks seem happy as well.

A lot of people love those old AM rigs for a lot of different reasons that don't relate exclusively to their audio performance.

With specific reference to AM performance, I think some of the rehabbed broadcast transmitters have a decided performance edge
here, but not as much as you might expect. With suitable broadcast style external processing, I have run music through my Orion (into a dummy load, of course!) and found that the audio, as heard through 
a typical receiver IF stage, is just about as loud and clean as the latest generation Harris 50 kw broadcast transmitters. (yes, I know that wider bandwidth receivers will start to reveal significant differences.) Used in amateur service, with only the human voice for modulation, the differences diminish considerably.

So, take your pick. The Orion shines as a Contest, DX, CW And AM machine, IMHO.


Mike, NM7X


Original Message

Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 21:40:02 -0600 (MDT)
From: richardw at mho.com
Subject: [TenTec] Is the Orion an AM radio or a DXer's radio??
To: tentec at contesting.com

I have been reading all the emails concerning AM mode and the Orion.   I might be rather naieve, but I though the Orion was designed as a DXer's radio (the first one Ten Tek ever produced for the DXer); two receivers, roofing filters, good DSP bandpass filters, good cw breakin, FSK for RTTY, speach processor, etc. etc.

I might have missed the call outs on the clusters, but I can't recall any callouts for the VU4 or Aves Island on AM; more or less any other major DXpedition!   If you are really big into AM and "broadcast quality" AM, why would you purchase an Orion??   I would think one of the old "boat anchors" that runs 100% plate mod with a pair of whatevers running in class B push pull would be the rig of choice.   I have to say that I have not had one DX station tell me that my audio was poor or was lacking in the lows, mids or highs.  I use a Heil mic with swithable elements and it works just fine.

I don't know that you can design a radio that does everything perfectly; reminds me of the military several years ago when they wanted a "one size fits all" aircraft.   The answer was the F-111/FB-111 and something else; did everything, but not anything very good.  


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