Ten-Tec: Fits and Starts

Whether or not the current version of Ten-Tec still has serious plans about returning to the market seems questionable. What we know is that the firms assets belong to the owner of Dishtronix, a reputable electronics and HF amplifier manufacturer in Ohio.

Its owner was forthright at the beginning of this year about his plans and the realities of resurrecting a brand best known for it’s work in the 1970’s and 80’s in a new millennium. He said Ten-Tec would release firmware updates for a few of its transceivers. It did. He said Ten-Tec would have a presence at the Dayton Hamvention. It did. He said that there would be a couple of new product offerings — souped up versions of the Eagle and Omni 7. So far, nothing.

I’m not certain that you can even purchase a new transceiver from Ten-Tec right this minute?

The operation has moved to a much smaller facility in Sevierville and is servicing equipment with only a few employees. And these are apparently overwhelmed with service work – based on this recent public posting:

“The Sevierville operation is presently overwhelmed with handling Service and Small Parts orders. This will hopefully be resolved by end of October. Also it was made clear in this communication, no attempt to contact the Dishtronix operation in Ohio should be done. They have no parts nor technical information about any of the Ten-Tec models or products. The staff in the Sevierville operation are working as a “First Come – First Serve” basis for service work and parts orders. The Sevierville staff will address all models and requests and research as they have time.   Please be patient and understanding for a response to your request. Please DO NOT contact the Ohio Dishtronix offices for any matters regarding Ten-Tec or Ten-Tec products”.

Dishtronix has a full-plate with the launch of its new Prometheus amplifier and having also taken on the Alpha Amplifier baggage along with Ten-Tec in the RKR debacle.

It’s almost as though owner Mike Dishop, N8WFF is a glutton for punishment.

Will Ten-Tec survive? Your guess is as good as mine but it might well come down to your definition of success. Continued service and the sales of replacement parts would certainly make some Ten-Tec owners sleep easier. Others are waiting on a new super-charged Eagle before committing again to the brand.

I think a lot of time has passed since Ten-Tec last functioned as a designer and manufacturer of amateur radio transceivers and the market has likely slipped away from them. Still, I’m impressed with Dishop and have received plenty of private feedback that he’s one of the really good guys in our hobby.

This recent response from him to a complaining Alpha Amplifier customer makes me believe Dishop is indeed, one of the good guys – and good people can overcome almost any adversity.

Author: Jeff Davis