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Best used TenTec for the buck?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by K1ZJH, Apr 7, 2012.

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  1. K1ZJH

    K1ZJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm thinking about picking up a used rig that is a bit more CW friendly. TenTec seems to be the preferred brand for CW performance.
    Is there a major difference between the different Orion revisions, or would an earlier rig (Omni) be a better bargain? I like the Orion II, but even
    used they are a bit pricey. Dual receive for chasing split operations is a big plus.

  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The original Orion is right behind the Orion II on Sherwood's list. They are #5 and #6 on the list, right ahead of the new Eagle at #7. Further down the list, at #21 is the Omni VI+. I just bought a one with all the filters for $1,175 shipped. Still, anything in the top 20 or so is a good performer, and I'm looking forward to getting my 'new' radio. But, I've seen used Eagles going for around $1500 without the filters.

    There are a lot of comparisons out there on YouTube that you might find useful. One is between the older Perseus and the Omni VI. There actually doesn't seem to be a huge difference between the two, though I believe the Omni has the edge.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have an original Orion and also a Jupiter. The Orion has a slight edge (not much, really) in day-to-day performance but of course the Jupiter does not have the second receiver, which is a very costly feature to implement.

    They are both perfect for CW, including fast QSK if you like that.

    It's funny, if you get used to chasing DX without a second receiver (just using split VFOs) the advantage of the second receiver isn't that much. I can "reverse" VFOs on the Jupiter or my older TS-850S with the push of one button, and tune around to find who they're working, in about a second; this is more up to propagation than it is equipment.

    Having a completely separate receiver (I use on old 75A-4 usually) is somewhat better than using the "second receiver" in a transceiver, I have found. I do that quite a lot. A good used 75A-4 can be found for $500-$750 or so and makes a good second receiver without it being built in.

    Another good "second receiver" is the Drake R-7. It's a phenomenal receiver; not as stable from a cold start as modern gear, but after 15-20 minutes (or just leave it on all the time, it consumes very little power) it's fine and almost impossible to overload.

    Even the old 75A-4 only consumes 85W, and it has a lot of tubes. Uses less power than a 100W light bulb.
  4. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    About all the ten tecs are great radios. The key is the filtering. I was going to purchase an older ten tec but the lack of filters held me back. I could not find originals for sale anywhere. I'm sure inrad could help but at $150 a pop, that was not an option.

  5. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wik do you protect the 2ndary rx from tx in any way?
  6. K1ZJH

    K1ZJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like I'll be ending up with an Omni VI. Finalizing the deal now, and it has all the filters.
    Guy is willing to do a meet, so that saves shipping. Reviews look good.... this will be my first
    TenTec so I am anxious to try her out.

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