[TenTec] My First Ten-Tec

John Farler k4avx1 at windstream.net
Wed Jul 4 11:40:17 PDT 2012

Very interesting topic... I was first licensed as a poor teenage novice 
in 1958.  Used a Hallicrafter's
Rx and various xmtrs but always CW.  Built a DX-100 kit, but still 99% 
CW.  College and beginning
work as a poor teacher who only got paid 9 months a year and who always 
attended summer
school kept me in the old rig category and off the air for many years.  
Was very active in NTS
when I was on - CW only.
Drifted back to ham radio in mid-seventies.  First xcvr was a little 
Swan 260, with a handle on one end, AC/dc
supplies built in, and a sweep tube final - a neat inexpensive little 
rig, but not a great performer.
Still have the little "Swan" call sign that sits on the desk and showed 
you got it on credit!
Did miles and miles of mobile with it.

Traded it in on my first Ten-Tec Rig, a new little analog Century 21, 
which was my only rig for 5-6
years.  Even with the DC receiver, it was a great little rig and I moved 
a lot of traffic with it,
operated portable some, and finished DXCC.  Couldn't believe the QSK and 
the ease of "no-
tune" final.  I was still a poor teacher, though, and had to use it as a 

Fell in love with Ten-Tec and the next jump (to an older model) was to a 
used analog Triton IV, using
the Century 21 as a trade-in.  WOW!  What a great radio.  Smooth qsk, 
but needed some filtering
on CW.  I got a diagram for an MFJ audio filter, using four 741 op amp 
sections, built it on a piece
of perf board, used lengths of solid copper wire for the pins, and 
plugged it into the rx where the
Ten-Tec audio filter was to go.  Worked like a charm, and gave me 3 
selectivity widths.
I still have that rig, and have lent it to new hams several times, used 
it mobile, and on many
field days.  Just think, all the other rigs of the time used at least a 
tube driver and finals, but
the Triton was all solid state.

Since then, I haven't wavered from the guys on Dollywood Lane. Still a 
poor teacher, I took out
a second mortgage in my house in late 80's or early 90's, and bought a 
brand new Omni V.
Got a bit of a promotion, the kids finished college, retired about 2000, 
and have enjoyed TenTec's
since.  I have the two mentioned above, an Omni VI+ (A great rig, in my 
book), another Triton IV,
a rerun Century 21, an Argo 509, a Corsair II (a lovely rig - the 
culmination and peak of the analog
series, as far as I can tell), a Hercules II Amp, 229 tuner, a couple 
more 100 watt tuners and power
supplies, and an Argosy analog rig, fully option equipped and in mint 

Somehow, I missed the first Omni Series - they came out about the time I 
got the Triton IV.  Had and
sold a Scout - drift on cw, and had a Argo V somehow blown up by a 
close-by stroke.

EXAMINATION thread - General test '59 at Dayton HV in a big, very noisy 
room; Advanced Class by a civil service
examiner in a short-lived experiment by FCC in a couple states to bring 
exams closer to more areas
(I had to tell the examiner what to do); Took the Extra, just as quickly 
as a VE session under the new VEC program
was held within driving distance.  After I took the 20 wpm code, the 
examiners gasped, "You copied it
solid!"  My response - "Yeah."

John Farler
k4avx1 at windstream.net
(now a poor retiree who can't afford an Orion)

More information about the TenTec mailing list