[TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies

Jim Brown k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Fri May 24 04:58:09 EDT 2019

On 5/21/2019 9:23 AM, Rick at dj0ip.de wrote:
> 1x OM7+ = 3x IC-7300
> or
> 1x OM7+ = IC-7300 + Linear Amp + Beam

I like your arithmetic -- Mom and Dad were both accountants, and made 
sure I knew how to add and subtract. The Kenwood TS590S and SG are very 
nice radios at a very nice price. I know serious contesters who use 
them. Elecraft showed a very pre-preduction K4 with very nice features 
and specs, for delivery in early 2020. It's a very high quality SDR, 
going after Flex, and in the Orion price class.

The three K3s and a KPA500 are the only radios I've bought new since an 
Omni A Series D in 1980; the K3s, bought in 2008 and upgraded in 2015 
with new synth boards are still state of the art. I gave that Omni A to 
a newly licensed ham around 2003. I replaced my Titan 425's (bought used 
around 2005) with 87As a few years ago, also bought used. Both were 
designed by K4XU (for the 87A, RF only, not the logic and control).

The K4 radios (three versions) look good, with very nice features but 
I'm not tempted to buy one. A MAJOR virtue of the Elecraft rigs is their 
upgradeability as a result of their modularity. It cost me about $700 
each to upgrade the dual-RX K3s (new in 2008) to 90% of the performance 
of the K3S, introduced in 2016. With any other brand, you get to buy a 
new radio.

Oh yeah -- Elecraft is very well managed, and likely to be in biz 10-15 
years from now when you need something. Like Mom and Dad, they know how 
to add and subtract. :)

IMO, Elecraft is the worthy successor to Ten Tec. I worked Al Kahn, 
principal of Ten Tec, using one of his radios when I was operating 
mobile CW in the '70s.40 years later, don't remember his call. I've 
worked N6KR, principal EE of Elecraft, running CW, him always QRP, most 
recently two weeks ago, and every time I was using one of his radios. I 
work Eric, WA6HHQ, on 2M, because we're locals. I know a half dozen or 
so of Elecraft's engineers. Some work out of the factory, some at home. 
The guys I know are active hams. K6XX is a world class contester, WRTC 
competitor, a production engineer for their power amps. They USE their 

Elecraft maintains a presence on their email reflector -- both 
principals, N6KR and WA6HHQ, read it every day. They get input from 
users that show up in design, and they respond to problems. Both were in 
their booth in Dayton and in Visalia a month earlier. Contrast that to 
ANY other mfr of ham rigs. Will you EVER have the chance to meet Mr 
Yaesu, Mr ICOM, or Mr Ten Tec?

Al Kahn, the principal founder of Ten Tec, and long before that, of 
Electro-Voice, a pro audio company at least as great as Ten Tec, is one 
of my heroes. In addition to Ten Tec and EV, he did a lot to keep ARRL 
afloat during and after WWII. But Al's long gone, and so is the company 
he founded.

73, Jim K9YC

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