[TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies

Rick at dj0ip.de Rick at dj0ip.de
Fri May 24 08:11:25 EDT 2019

One thing we can all be grateful for is, when CQ Magazine changed management
(long time ago), the new management canned the CQWWDX contests.  It nearly

Al Kahn (K4FW), Vic Clark (W4KFC), and one other OM (forgot the call sign)
stepped up and took over the contest, keeping it alive for a few years,
until another change at CQ Magazine re-instated the contest and resumed
ownership. (Al had a different call sign at the time.  He picked up the K3
call when he moved to Tennessee.)

When Al was well into his 90's, he was still maintaining his daily CW skeds.

Also, Jack Burchfield (K4JU), the co-founder and (then) chief engineer of
Ten-Tec, later president, was well known for his mobile SSB work in the 80s
and 90s.   But LONG ago, he was very active in contests, especially the SS
CW contests.  It was thanks to him that Ten-Tec radios had such sweet BK-IN.

It seems to me, owner/senior management's active participation in our hobby
is what makes a good company good.

Rick, DJ0IP
(Nr. Frankfurt, Germany)
May the Sunspots be with us!

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec <tentec-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of Barry Simpson
Sent: 24 May 2019 12:15
To: k9yc at arrl.net; Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies


Barry VK2BJ

On Fri, 24 May 2019 at 18:58, Jim Brown <k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com> wrote:

> 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
> 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 
> radios!
> 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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