[TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies

Rick at dj0ip.de Rick at dj0ip.de
Fri May 24 15:29:29 EDT 2019

And I agree with Mike:

It's the antenna, stupid!

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

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec <tentec-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of Michael Tortorella
via TenTec
Sent: 24 May 2019 19:31
To: k9yc at arrl.net; 'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment' <tentec at contesting.com>
Cc: Michael Tortorella <w2iy at verizon.net>
Subject: Re: [TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies

At some point the Pareto principle takes over - that last 20% increment in
performance requires 80% of the cost.  I venture to say (and am ready to be
shown mistaken) that most hams (except those on this list :) ) will not
notice the different in 1 more dB of dynamic range in practical situations
on the air.  In most stations, the limiting factor in station performance
these days is less likely to be the receiver, and certainly not the
transmitter (except for the power aspect).  Usually, the biggest bang for
the $ comes from putting more wire and/or aluminum up in the air.  Don't get
me wrong - I am not at all against the improvements in technology that we
have seen and surely will continue to see, I only advocate that when setting
up a new station or improving an existing setup, one should prioritize where
to spend your $, and a lot of the time a better receiver will only make you
more frustrated because now you can hear things you can't work because of
transmitter and/or antenna inadequacies.  

As always with opinions, YMMV.  Since I really don't have any data to put on
the table, I'm just a loudmouth with an opinion on this subject, so feel
free to agree or disagree.

Thanks for the BW and 73, Mike W2IY

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Brown
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2019 4:58 AM
To: tentec at contesting.com
Subject: [TenTec] The New Radios and the Radio Companies

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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