Best used TenTec for the buck?
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.
The original Orion is right behind the Orion II on Sherwood's list. http://www.sherweng.com/table.html 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.
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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.
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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.
Wik do you protect the 2ndary rx from tx in any way?
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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.