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 takes you to, 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

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14 thoughts on “Dishtronix announced as new owner of TEN-TEC

  1. George W5NG

    Hmmmm… I was about to order a new RX-340. Think I’d better stand on the brakes…
    Not very encouraging!

  2. Lee Andrews

    After being in the amateur radio business in Australia for some 40 years, I must say that no-one has ever made a worthwhile profit out of importing, selling and supporting Ten Tec products, unfortunately. Regarding the above announcement by Mike; there may be many USA amateurs seeking Ten Tec repair service elsewhere at friendlier rates and with friendlier service policies. In addressing a few comments above, I should mention that I was instrumental in convincing many Chinese commercial radio manufacturers to start making amateur radios and I can tell you they have absolutely zero interest in setting up any service centres in any country outside China to support their products. The four big Japanese amateur radio manufacturers have absolutely nothing to worry about in that area. In saying that, they DO support me directly. I can also say that Yaesu, followed by Alinco, have been the most responsive in competing against Chinese amateur radio manufacturers. Both Yaesu and Alinco have always provided outstanding product support to me. Oh, Rudi at Emtronics phoned me some months ago to tell me he sold his tube/valve amplifier business to Mike at Dishtronix. Mike should be able to support Emtronics amplifiers in a more satisfactory manner for USA amateurs – being based in the USA. Btw, my technicians and I have successfully (99%+ success) repaired over 25,000 amateur radios and related products over the past 40 years.

  3. Armol F Walrath

    I would like to have them back up and running, so I can get the schematics I need for the Jupiter they never repaired. They put in a different board that has NO schematics to go with it. The schematics that I have, have a MC1496C and the new board they put in that has not work, has NE612A’s in it. This is the circuit that I’m having a problem with. The one I have is a Figure 4-6 and this schematic is not the right one for the board that they put in? John Henery said they would take care of this when they get up and running. I would like to get old board back or one like it? NOT a Happy Ham…KB1PIF I have all paper work to show when radio was sent in and the board replacement..

  4. Glenn Scott

    For many of us, Ten Tec had a great deal to do with the Service department and the professional knowledge of the TT product line and the kindness each of them provided to us over the years. When the company was still intact, my belief, is the need for the Service Department to make a huge profit was NOT a concern. Good service kept many of us buying Tennessee built rigs for decades.
    As it is, the new owner(s) want to make a profit from the Ser. Dpt. and I bet any of us in the same position would be just as eager to turn a dollar. I suspect the initial investment was very high.
    Let’s hope that manufacturing will be a big part of the TT business in the future and things will relax some. I suppose we should be grateful that someone is trying to keep Ten Tec going.
    I for one wish them the very best but encourage the new owners to understand the strength and history of the TT Service department and how foundational they have been in keeping TT customers loyal to the product line. Many of us have been customers for over 40 years. I hope Ten Tec is around for decades into the future.

  5. Mick

    Just as a by the way comment :
    Many years ago (1970’s I think) I was the unhappy owner of a Ten-Tec RX10 direct conversion receiver, a vile little beast !

    Now I have a major problem with an atu from the Much Failed Junk company, I should have known better !

    Two useless products from America. Tomorrow my Comm Radio CR1-A should arrive, hope I have better luck this time !!

    1. David J. Wilcox

      You will. I have had to fix/repair some of my MFJ tools and radios and even taught the service people things about their products that even they didn’t know (and I am just an old retired family doctor without any electronics training). I still buy their products because when I get them working they are good value for the money and I learn something. Everything I have from MFJ is still being used in my shack and many items are used on a daily basis. They offer many things that no one else offers also.

      Dave K8WPE

    2. Glenn Scott

      If you are just going to insult American made items, why don’t you buy stuff made in your own country??? Oh,,,your country doesn’t make any neat stuff like the MANY excellent items made here in the USA over the last 70 plus years. The RX 10 was an entry level receiver that worked very well at the time and for the low price it was offered. MFJ has made some junk but to their credit, they make a lot of AFFORDABLE items that are probably not available in your country.

  6. David J. Wilcox

    I think TenTec built its reputation on first, no penalty to self diagnose your problem and secondly, no penalty if you did try to repair it yourself. We hams should be able to at least open our radios or get an elmer to help us open it for a look see and simple diagnosis. On the other hand many of TenTecs newer radios are beyond the repair skills of the current ham population, just like the Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood. Right now it is time for outside repair shops to get up to speed to handle our repairs at their current repair fees, possibly less than the New TenTec prices. Also prospective TenTec purchasers will be driven off by the negative publicity of these recent take overs and the uncertainty of a future existing TenTec. If the big three Japanese companies went through two sellouts in a few years and then made a similar announcement regarding their service fees and policies it would cast the same doubt on their ability to provide what we amateurs want and need: products that enhance our hobby experience AND reasonably priced and available service. I have many older TenTec rigs and service them myself with the help of internet elmers. I will continue to buy Elecraft for my new rigs. They are so much like TenTec used to be in my experience. I wish the New TenTec well, but sadly see the handwriting on the wall.

    Dave K8WPE

    1. Dave NS8S

      I agree! Recently I contacted Ten Tec Service department, and asked for service documentation for my Ten Tec to repair my Omni 7 failed encoders which had failed, and will fail again. The fellow happily sold me the replacement parts, and his advice was “good luck” and then that was the “Elmer” advice I received!
      I love my Ten Tec Omni 7, but am reluctant to hold on to it. I’ve owned five previous Ten Tec transceivers, and each had it’s own personality regarding flaws…but that’s true with many. Reading the comments here makes me on edge as to keeping it. Great forum,, however! Dave NS8S

  7. Paul Hrivnak

    The chances of success with any company is like
    trying to catch a fart in a windstorm !!
    The initial investment into a venture like this to resurrect
    outdated products is not for the weak of heart as all the products
    need quality updating and new software.
    Indeed a waste of resources and money

  8. Cap

    A bit steep a charge to look at a radio….in some cases it would be uneconomical to repair most radios at that price!

  9. William Pietschman

    “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.”

    Hmmmm…. well, while I can certainly see the $140.00 minimum to put off folks who try to get a free diagnostic at the company’s expense, might you consider applying that towards the per hour charge?

    Say, for example, you find a PA transistor is straightaway out in my entry level Scout 555, for example… It seems you might find that certainly within an hours time. Yes, it’s old and such. But $265 plus parts? So with the parts and shipping and markup and such, we’re talking $400 dollars here. Hummm…that’s about halfway to two thirds of the way to an entry level Big Three Rig.

    And the Chinese haven’t even scratched the surface of HF.Yet. And even though they haven’t, when they do, their HF rigs are going to be about as cheap as Bic lighters. Actually, as cheap as CHINESE knock-off Bic lighters!

    No, they won’t be particularly good. But they will get better. A LOT better, over time!

    The Chinese are not going to remain just Manufacturers and Jobbers in this game forever! Why should they, when they already make things for everyone else?

    Maybe the Big Three can stand up to this, at least for a while. But there were American companies that couldn’t stand up to THEM, forever. Things are going to change.

    I like strawberry. But in a pinch, when there’s only vanilla and chocolate, then I have to settle for vanilla. But you know what? I still like strawberry.

    I would hope that Ten-Tec would consider modifying their new policy as I stated above. I want the company to flourish, and this would, I think, be a reasonable and fair policy on both sides of the table. It keeps customers returning to Ten Tec.

    You have a lot of responsibility resting on your shoulders, Sir. It’s not merely Pride that wants me to see an American Company in Tennessee remain: It’s a matter of National strategic importance.

    For me as a customer if the policy is not modified? It’s economically pretty much of a deal breaker.

  10. Mick

    Good grief ! warm caring people they are not. This greedy attitude should be enough to stop anyone from dealing with Ten-Tec. There are too many firms here in the UK who act like tin gods and talk down to their customers, perhaps arrogance is a world wide problem.

  11. Dan Robinson

    Wow…have to say I’m glad I sent my RX-340 in for repair when I did last year, when the first signs of trouble were appearing regarding their slowing repair process. I finally ended up selling the radio, and I’m glad I did because this sounds like things are going to be in upheaval for some time…


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