Tag Archives: Ten-Tec

Ten-Tec’s website offers an update on service/sales and message from new owner

The Ten-Tec Eagle HF transceiver.

The Ten-Tec Eagle HF transceiver.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike (K8RAT), who notes the Ten-Tec’s website has a one-page, informative placeholder.

I’ve pasted the full page of content below which includes updates on service and a personal message from the new President, Mike (N8WFF):

(Source: TenTec.com)

Greetings and welcome to Ten Tec’s temporary web page where we will provide updates about the change of ownership.

Effective January 1, 2016 the Ten Tec assets for RKR Designs, LLC were acquired by Dishtronix, Inc.

There are many things in transition at this time such as the telephone numbers and website. We ask you to be patient and not overload us with questions and email.

At this time we are fully occupied with our commercial business and restructuring and moving some things around. There are no plans at present to leave the Knoxville area.

Any outstanding transceiver purchase order at the fire sale price is cancelled. All sales orders shipped after 1/1/16 are invoiced at the list price without exception. You may cancel your sales order without any penalty by contacting sales@tentec.com

We have changed how service is conducted. Effective immediately for all units in for repair, there is a minimum charge on one hour labor at $140.0 for any unit sent in, even if it is not repaired. It takes the service department one hour to receive, unpack, set up on the bench, evaluate, estimate the repair, repack and box the unit, prepare shipping documents and prepare the invoice. If your unit is repaired during this time period there will not be additional labor charges. If further work is required it will be billed at 125.00 per hour in quarter hour increments. Parts and return shipping is charged additionally. It takes on the average two hours to repair a unit.

To clarify this labor structure we have prepared the following chart for your convenience:

Fullscreen capture 1102016 113616 AM

At this time we are unable to offer extensive telephone or email support. We are monitoring the service@tentec.com email address but may not respond in a timely manner. We are rearranging the service department and trying to sort out things after the previous service manager elected to retire. If your radio was here, it is still here. If you object to our repair policy we will cheerfully return your radio to you at your expense. Just email us and someone will contact you to make arrangements. Otherwise, we will resume repairs in February.

Going Forward
There are a lot of things to be done. It is our plan to reincorporate Ten Tec as an independent corporate entity. Meanwhile it is an operating subsidiary of Dishtronix, Inc. an Ohio corporation.

The Future
Although Ten Tec has changed hands several times in the last couple of years, I would like to state that Ten Tec has changed hands for the last time in the foreseeable future. Dishtronix has been continuously operating for 17 years, is financially stable and will continue managing in a manner that promotes and maintains fiscal responsibility and financial stability. My vision as the owner is strictly long term. I have no plans to leave this business and will continue to operate Ten Tec as long as I am physically able to do so. I believe the Ten Tec transceivers to be some of the best transceivers available at any price and personally have been operating an Orion II until the first change of ownership. Everyone who uses a piece of equipment long enough, develops a personal wish list of things they would change or improve. I feel extremely fortunate to now be in the position where I can use my skills and expertise from more than forty years of ham radio and SWLing to implement changes which I hope will make fantastic products even better.

Unfortunately I have had to make some tough decisions which were made for the long term health and viability of the company. The Ten Tec team is the nicest bunch of people you could hope to work with and have overall reacted positively to the changes. Some team members have chosen to pursue retirement or other opportunities but the core competency remains. We are extremely fortunate to have retained former engineering manager John Henry on a consulting basis and I must give him the greatest credit. I certainly would not take on this project without him and the other team members like Boyd Lichlyter and Patty Gann. Ten Tec is like a big family, and I do not view this as me acquiring Ten Tec but more like me joining an extended family of talented and skilled people. I hope anyone reading this who is in the market for a new radio will help me support this great group by at least trying one of their radios. Of the present production the Eagle is my favorite for having the best sound out of the box, and that is what my personal preference is always based on – good sound. My all-time favorite is of course the Orion II so an Orion III is on my personal wish list for the future. There are numerous Ten Tec user nets on the air and it is my intention so support them by posting the time and frequency schedules on the website. If I can accomplish one thing at Ten Tec it will be to be more customer-centric. I want to build the radios that you the customer wants! I am looking for ways to reliably engage with our customers so we can do that, and I think factory support of the nets is one way to start.

The Ten Tec team is working on production improvements to our facility and business. We are fully occupied with our commercial business at this time. When I have capacity the next step is to run the first batch of Omni 7+ which is the Omni 7 with some minor cosmetic changes and improvements such as a flat metal front for improved shielding. Following this we are releasing the Super Eagle which brings into the Eagle most of the DSP features found on the Orion II and is the first step on the path to the Orion III. This is different hardware from existing product so it is not a firmware upgrade. There are no firm dates or guarantees for when these things will occur.

The blow out sale prices are over and any outstanding orders at those prices are terminated. Those prices were previous owners intent to liquidate all inventory and will never be repeated.

I am pleased to state that we have completed some firmware updates which will soon be posted on the new Ten Tec website once it is up and running to entice people to visit the site.

Dishtronix has other new products under development as well. The DX2400MKII replaces the DX2400L1 legal limit + solid state amplifier and should be unveiled at Hamvention, to mention just one. We are close to beginning production of our Emtron DX2/3-SPd tetrode amplifiers which will also be shown at Hamvention. We may even decide to build and service these at Ten Tec.

There are some other exciting things happening which we may announce in the near future.

Thank you for your patience during this transition.


Mike, N8WFF

Ten Tec, a Dishtronix Company
Dishtronix, Inc.

Dishtronix announced as new owner of TEN-TEC

tentec-logoI’m pleased to see that the new owner of TEN-TEC has now been made public; I’d been asked to keep this quiet until a formal announcement was made.

Many thanks to several Post readers who shared the following announcement from the Ten-Tec message boards.

DishtronixFrom Mike Dishop of Dishtronix:

“As some of you may be aware, Dishtronix has purchased the assets (but not the liabilities) of Ten Tec from RKR Designs. I had desired to keep this under wraps until Ten Tec is reorganized, but there is too much speculation concerning the service department to continue without an announcement of some sort.

There is a myriad of things that must be accomplished before everything is formalized. Unfortunately these things must be done before we can continue with jobs that were sent in for repair to RKR. At this time I would ask people to be patient and please do not call or email me about your repair. When we get the phone numbers transferred successfully or new phone numbers we will post them. As we progress with the change, someone will contact you about your repair. When service resumes we will be contacting the repair customers.

As some of you may be aware I have been looking at all aspects of operation of the company and restructuring operations has been necessary. In reviewing the service department accounts, it is apparent that some customers use the service department to diagnose the radio and elect to not proceed with the repair. Unfortunately this open door policy costs the company one hour of billable time to receive, unpack, open, diagnose, provide an estimate and repack a radio for return to the customer.

Effective immediately, all radios including those sent in to RKR, will incur a 140.00 minimum charge to look at a radio, even if it is not repaired. Service time is 125 per hour with the average repair requiring from one to two hours. This means you can expect to pay at least 265.00 plus parts and return shipping for any repair.

For customers who sent radios in to RKR which were not repaired, who object to these terms, we will return your unit to you at your expense.

A second problem in the service department is with the time technicians spend on the telephone that quite often ends up having nothing to do with the Ten Tec product but is some other station deficiency. The problem here is Ten Tec is not compensated for that time, yet Ten Tec pays wages to the technician. When the service department resumes operation, Ten Tec will charge the customer for any telephone call or email that consumes more than five minutes of technician time. That time will be billed in quarter hour increments at the prevailing service rate.

I am fully committed to bring Ten Tec back to a sustainable state. This will take some time. Please give us time to finalize these plans since there are so many business related issues to get through. We will definitely need to rely on you as customers to help continue the Ten Tec tradition of innovative product and cutting edge technology.”

Ten-Tec software engineer, John Henry (KI4JPL), followed up the announcement with this message:

Given the content of the new owners announcement above, I (John Henry) also request that if you can wait a while for your product to get serviced in the Ten Tec service department, please let them alone until they get back with you as he described above. If you absolutely have to have your unit back now, then the service@… email address is still working, and will continue to work. The phones are in transition, so I doubt you will be able to call and get an answer for a while. once phones are set up, the numbers will be announced. Once the website is ready, everything will be on it. Remember, if going to tentec.com takes you to rkrdesignsllc.com, then the website transition has not completed yet.

Given the nature of this announcement, and it will almost positively bring out more questions, again, please be patient. The new owner is working through a lot of business issues, and I myself work a full time day job and consult into the evening, so, answers may be few and far between. Though this announcement is going out to a lot of venues, I will attempt to monitor


73, KI4JPL

Ten-Tec has a new owner with long-term vision

TenTecLogoMany thanks to several readers who sent a link to this discussion by software engineer, John Henry (KI4JPL) on the Ten-Tec email discussion group:

I wanted to bring people up to date on what is happening right now.

I had a discussion with the new owner last night, and I wanted to relay some information.

He is now officially the new owner of TEN-TEC.

He is planning the rigs and amplifiers and other accessory products to engineer and to manufacture for the coming year to cover the purchase and expenses for the year, working on the details of the various plans for service, sales, and marketing, etc.

Don’t underestimate the amount of time and planning and effort that this business strategy planning maintaining overhead etc stuff takes.

Learning lessons from the past to help the future of the company be more viable.

What will you see? and when?

Planning on having the OMNI-VII back in production in 1st quarter 2016, hoping to ship in 2nd quarter 2016.

Dayton, He will be there, going to try to get the same TEN-TEC booth/booths as possible. Showcasing the existing products, and possibly something new based on the existing products, time will tell.

He did say that he will either bring back the Orion II or have an Orion III. Time frame is tbd. could be as early as end of 2016 or Dayton 2017????

There might be improvements/changes to certain rigs, e.g. maybe there will be an OMNI-VII+ maybe an OMNI-VIII in a year???

The Eagle will go back into production some time after the 1st OMNI-VII run.

Prices will return to the original pre liquidation sale prices when the new website is up so that each will be at a point that will make enough profit to make the company viable. Other features will get added where possible.

TEN-TEC was actually shipping a $200 bill with every one of a specific model that it sold this last year.

There were so many ways that TEN-TEC has been hemorrhaging over the last couple of years, and even back a bit further, that changes will have to be made. Some the public won’t like, but then the alternative is that TEN-TEC would close forever.

Also remember, it was made public that the two owners of RKR were looking for a new owner, and how many stood up to say “I’ll buy it/fund it/save it”. This gentleman did and will do what he has to do to keep the brands alive.

There are plans to bring back some VERY good products, items that have been big sellers for TEN-TEC just a few years ago, and were profitable and have been requested for quite some time.

Also, there are still commercial orders coming in that will be there for maybe another year or two using the same RX331/RX340 platforms that will help him maintain a cash flow that will help realize amateur market production runs. There might be a need in the future to try to raise some more capital if certain plans come to fruition with commercial and fema customers, if those work out, may need to raise some cash to buy the parts, so there might be a gofundme funding campaign set up, where amateur customers can help donate to purchase the parts, and then part of or all of or x times the amount of the donation is taken off of their next order of a TEN-TEC product > a certain dollar amount. No, don’t look for exchanging your $100 donation to cover 1/2 of a Rebel, that won’t happen, Talking a major product, e.g. an OMNI-VII, or a high powered amp….. To do this first class, we need a 200K capital infusion for a new factory building and some new equipment to replace that was liquidated if anyone cares to step
up and accelerate our success. 400K would give us the facility, equipment and capitol to put everything back in production to a stocking basis and allow us to complete the Orion III. If 400 people will give us 1K each, we will commit to the Orion III of your dreams in 18-24 months and give you 2K off the target price of 5K as well as engrave your name and call on a plaque on the new building that says you helped build it and save TEN TEC.

Where do I fit in?

No, I’m not the owner, but I am going to do whatever I can in the evenings to ensure that TEN-TEC is a success. I want to see it be a success, and maintain what can be maintained of the people, and improve it’s image/products/etc back to where they were years ago. The owner is quite insistent that I remain intimately involved with TEN-TEC even if it is on a part time basis. It is my choice of how much or little I spend on TEN-TEC
and the door is assuredly left open for me to come and go as I please. He wants me to be the VP of Engineering, but, well, time will tell how all of this plays out.

I am also working on digital modes for HRD, so, my evenings are quite interesting.

In the future, who knows?

Where do you fit in?

Be patient, this is a total reboot of a company, ripping away the excess that bleeds it dry (e.g. high rent, using an MRP system that costs $$$$ monthly when something is already in place to take care of it, changing to a cost effective internet/phone system, so many “luxuries” will be removed and put in their place the necessities to get business going profitably), and building the business and products with the key employees to make it strong again. You build the employees, the employees build the company. But it will take time.

The products are there, the technology is also there for the future (some things that were in the works that no one in the public knows about) that the new owner has a plan to finish soon.

Actually, TEN-TEC does need to take the time it will take to make it a success. Otherwise if he runs headlong into this as was done in the past, he will fail. If people buy rigs and amps and tuners and other accessories elsewhere in the meantime, well, that is their decision. The market continually has new and continued customers. existing customers periodically look for something new, enough of a continual market that should sustain itself for years.

The new products coming out that are planned include continuances of good known technology, and of course some are a step ahead of what is in the market today, and you will see those in 1-2-3 years.

I will not divulge nor answer speculation on anything further than what I have stated above as to what products, when, etc. I can also tell you is that the owner has emphatically stated to me that this the last time Ten Tec will change hands for the next 15-20 years or so as he is my age and plans for us both to operate it until we are in our 70s or physically unable to continue, so Ten Tech could not be in the hands of anyone more SERIOUSLY long term goal oriented. He has wanted Ten Tech for a long time for the excellent DSP AGC technology built in to our transceivers so I think it is safe to say that there will be future generations of the Omni, and Orion style units as finances permit. But again in order for this to happen it is critical that YOU support TEN TEC by purchasing existing TEN TEC products. Look for the Omni 7+ next year.

So, whereas he still wants to remain anonymous until his formal announcement in the first quarter, I myself am convinced that this will work, enough so to help him wherever I can, and so are the key core employees at TEN-TEC. If anything, our message at this time is please be patient with the negativity. There are other things happening behind the scenes which can not yet be publically discussed before they are finished.

If this sounds like cheerleading, well, then so be it, I care about TEN-TEC, the people, the legacy, and will do what I can to make it a success, and, if this fails, well, we will give it a valiant effort.

Please understand that I have other commitments from now until Monday next week that I may not be able to respond/answer questions until then. But do realize, that I have disclosed about as much as I can for now.
This statement came from a draft I created, and the new owner gave me inputs on, which items he felt like disclosing now, etc. So, there may be some he/I/our’s mixed up, but I hope the message from him is clear. TEN-TEC is something he is passionate about, and is committed to making it a success. Yes, there are trials and tribulations, but, he is convinced he can do it, and I will do whatever I can to assist, and so will various core TEN-TEC individuals.

73, KI4JPL

John Henry

This is a most interesting development. As many of you know, I’ve always loved Ten-Tec equipment–I consider their amateur radio receivers to be some of the best on the market. It’s been a tough few years for them and I certainly hope the new owner can inject some energy and innovation behind the brand. I will post updates as they become available.

Looking forward to the 2014 Dayton Hamvention and FDIM

Each year, I attend the Dayton Hamvention and much of the QRP conference, Four Days in May.  This year, I’ll be working our Ears To Our World table again, along with other volunteers, at booth 411 in the Ball Arena (BA411). Please stop by and introduce yourself!

What I love about the Hamvention (besides the massive outdoor flea market) is that it is a one-stop-shop for innovations appearing in our radio world.

Here are a few of the companies I’ll be following at the Hamvention this year:


Ten-Tec-AlphaTen-Tec announced yesterday that it will merge with Alpha Amplifiers under the flag of RF Concepts. I plan to stop by Ten-Tec’s booth Friday and learn more about the merger. Personally, I believe the merger with Alpha Amplifiers is a good move. Both of these companies are known for great customer service and quality US-based design and manufacturing.

I know Ten-Tec is introducing a new open-source product to their line, the Patriot, because I’ve been beta testing one (check QRPer.com for details later this week).


Icom-ID-5100Icom will showcase their new ID-5100 D-star, dual band, mobile with built-in GPS. While I’m more of an HF guy, this radio does intrigue me. You see, for almost one year now, I’ve been very pleased with my Icom ID-51A, dual-band, D-Star handie talkie (HT).

I find D-Star to be a very flexible digital mode and I’m amazed with how many interesting mom-and-pop companies have produced products for the D-Star mode. I’m surprised neither Yaesu nor Kenwood has adopted the D-Star standard (it’s not proprietary to Icom–indeed, read about the CS7000 below).

The new ID-5100 is a mobile version of my ID-51a. What I love about this radio is that it can store repeater frequencies and dynamically load them based on your geographic location. Perhaps my largest gripe with mobile VHF/UHF rigs is their inability to adapt to the repeater “landscape” when you travel. The ID-5100 may change this and push other manufacturers in the same direction.

Connect Systems

CS700_WEBIn less than a year, Connect Systems has become a household name among ham radio enthusiasts who love VHF/UHF and digital modes.

This Connect Systems is developing an HT–the CS7000–which will be the first non-Icom radio to have the D-Star digital mode. Whatsmore, in addition to D-Star, the CS7000 will also pack DMR.

I don’t think Connect Systems will have a working prototype at the Hamvention (I could be wrong), but there is a possibility that they will be taking early orders.


FDM-DUO-openingI’ve been intrigued by the Elad line of Software Defined Recievers. This year, they will attend the Dayton Hamvention. I look forward to checking out the new FDM-DUO tabletop SDR. I plan to review some of the Elad product line in the near future.


Last year, Palstar showcased a prototype QRP transceiver with touch screen interface. To my knowledge, this would be Palstar’s first transceiver (though they’re well known for antenna tuners and their shortwave radio receiver, the R30A).

Last year, I was told that the new Palstar transceiver would be available this year and would retail between $1,600 – 2,000 US (a rather steep price for a transceiver with 20 watts output). One of the transceiver’s designers assured me that the receiver would “be worth the price.”


antennajet_front_hamradio2013I’ll stop by Bonito’s booth to check out their new AntennaJet ASM300.  I’m curious how it works and what the Hamvention price will be.

Though pricing is a little steep, I might bring one home as I often would like to share one antenna with two receivers simultaneously.


PX3The only new product I know of from Elecraft is the PX3 Panadapter for their Kx3 transceiver. Reviews of the larger P3 Panadapter for the Elecraft K3 are excellent, so I imagine this will be a great product. I hope to check out the PX3 at the Elecraft booth–I believe they’ll have a prototype on display.


For the past three years, the market for software defined radios has been growing rapidly. I’ll be on the lookout for anything new–especially improvements on current 3rd generation SDRs.

Did I miss something?

Please comment if there’s something you’d like me to check out at the Hamvention–I’ll try to include it!

Again, if you’re attending the Hamvention, please stop by and introduce yourself at our booth: 411 in the Ball Arena (BA411).

The Ten-Tec RX-320D and Model 1254 have been discontinued

Tthe RX-320D black box receiver

Tthe RX-320D black box receiver

I just confirmed with Ten-Tec that the RX-320D PC controlled receiver and the Ten-Tec Superhet receiver kit, the Model 1254, have both been discontinued.  A Ten-Tec representative told me the reason both of these models have been discontinued and removed from Ten-Tec’s product line is because one of the parts used in production is now obsolete.

A long run…

The RX-320 and RX-320D have had a very long product life as the RX-320 was introduced in the late 1990’s (1998, if memory serves)–pretty amazing.

I owned an RX-320D for a long time and thought that it was still a great value. Here’s a review I wrote in 2009.

The Ten-TEc Model 1254 "superhet" receiver

The Ten-Tec Model 1254 Superhet Receiver kit

As third generation SDRs have emerged, and become so affordable in the past few years, it’s hard to justify the purchase of a receiver whose control software was designed for Windows 95.

So long RX-320D, you’ve had a long run…

I have SWLing Post reader, Larry, to thank as his recent inquiry about the Model 1254 Superhet kit prompted me to call Ten-Tec for verification.