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Author Topic: RKR Designs LLC / Ten-Tec / Alpha Amplifiers  (Read 280260 times)
N9KX
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« on: June 30, 2015, 09:25:21 PM »

so, in April it was announced that RKR designs had bought Ten-Tec and Alpha Amplifiers from RF Concepts...

Since about that time, the website has this info:

Press Release
(April 2, 2015) RKR Designs, LLC of Longmont Colorado has announced that they have acquired the assets of Alpha Amplifier and TEN-TEC brands from RF Concepts. RKR plans to expand the product line, while continuing to service their customers that have enjoyed their products over the years.

The principals of RKR Designs are Richard Gall, Ken Long and Rich Danielson (Gall and Danielson of QSC Systems, Longmont, Colorado have been a successful contract manufacturer, for over 20 years). Ken Long, N0QO has over 20 years in the electronics and amateur radio industry. Long will be President and CEO of the new company. QSC has been building Alpha amplifiers for over 5 years. They have also been building boards for TEN-TEC since their purchase by RF Concepts last year. Mr. Long said “QSC has always been a fantastic contract manufacturer, and has the expertise and knowledge that will allow us to bring down costs, while increasing quality and reducing manufacturing times.”

When asked for comment, Michael Seedman, AA6DY said “I can’t think of a more capable group of people to take over the 45 year Alpha Amplifier/TEN-TEC legacy. Ken Long has been involved with the industry for years, and has a great feeling for products and operations. He has the manufacturing and engineering resources available to deliver quality products that our customers demand”. Mr. Seedman went on to say “Alpha and TEN-TEC have always had a warm spot in my heart, and I am thrilled that RKR Designs will be able to continue the operations of the business. I wish them the best”.

Ken, Richard and Rich have been working very close over the past several years and feel that this new relationship will benefit the company and customers moving forward. This closer relationship to the contract manufacturer will allow a more consistent process and delivery of quality products along with significant cost benefits.

RKR Designs LLC is privately held, and terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Anyone out there heard any updates on where the Ten-Tec line is headed?  Will there be an Orion 3, an Omni VIII and/or maybe an ArgoVI/Eagle hybrid in the future?  I'd love to see them come out with a Pegasus II as an affordable quality option for the low budget ham...  Will they retain the Ten-Tec name(s) and location or might that all change?  I suppose it is only speculation until there is an official announcement; but if July is the start of a new fiscal year, perhaps the future is starting to be put into place...?

I did read recently on QRZ read that John Henry had taken a position working for Ham Radio Deluxe ...
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?485075-The-Ham-Radio-Deluxe-Team-is-Growing-Again!

The Ten-Tec fans I have come across who happen to know the new owners are expecting great things; i guess we will all have to stay tuned.


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WB8NUT
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 04:08:10 AM »

I am concerned. TenTec the last few years seems to be getting its rear-end kicked by Elecraft. Elecraft has become the new American Radio cult company. They have been able to bring out new products FAST.

TenTec on the other hand has become slow to bring out new products, and lacks real innovation in higher end radios (yeah, I know the Rebel and Patriot are some innovation). Look at the Argo for example. Missing HF bands and no 6 meter! That is not innovation.

Several years ago I went to the TenTec booth at Dayton and asked them why their new Argo was missing bands and did not include 6 meters. I said why is it that Elecraft can do it, but not TenTec. The smart-a$$ed person working the booth said, "I don't know, you'll have to ask Elecraft." So I did. Elecraft's response was "we're just able to build a better product." OK, TenTec, got the answer.

BTW, I have only owned many TenTec radios and do not own a single Elecraft.

The only good thing recently is that TenTec has brought the price of the radios down to a realistic price. However, they kind of screwed the existing customer base by sharply devaluing what they purchased at the higher price point.

In summary, TenTec needs to recapture its lost leadership. Bring out new radios, bring out new products fast, be more innovative and keep products are reasonable prices. Losing John Henry though does not signal that happening any time soon.
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KC8Y
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 11:17:21 AM »

I acquired the the TT-Argonaut VI (539) QRP transceiver in May, 2015; it's great!
NOT into high-power, only operate digital & CW modes.

RKR Design's service dept. operates fine &  is OK with me.

Ken KC8Y
 
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W7AIT
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 03:31:48 PM »


I purchased a Ten Tec RX-340 and its the best receiver I ever owned.  Beats the TS-590 too which surprised me.  All this based on specs, bench testing and actual use.  Great for SWL and surprisingly, is an excellent performer in the ham bands as well.  One Hertz resolution and high intercept point. 

RKR is building many of these every month and its in full production;  many units sold to the commercial / government market and a few to hams/ SWL.  They also make a 1RU no knob version for listening server farms as well.  Has a very high MTBF of 20,000 hours also so failures are a thing of the past.  A superb receiver.
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N9KX
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 05:31:07 AM »

Looks like RKR is having a

"Once in a Lifetime Inventory Reduction Sale" only on the

ALPHA 9500
&
TEN-TEC Eagle 599AT

some pretty awesome prices. 

http://www.rkrdesignsllc.com/

i have heard some of the usual doomsday predictions, but i wonder if this instead signals that they are getting ready to begin some new products in their line-ups(?) 
An Eagle with auto-tuner and CW and SSB filters for just $1099 is imo pretty spectacular.

http://www.rkrdesignsllc.com/products/transceivers-receivers/ten-tec-model-599at-eagle-transceiver-100-watts-if-dsp-with-tuner/
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W8VVE
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2015, 05:38:16 AM »

The once in a lifetime inventory reduction sale is now over.
Sam W8VVE
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 03:19:51 PM »

I've read where the Eagle will back in production later this year... there was some concern that this signaled the end of the Eagle production... but hopefully it will be offered again soon. I am still hoping to see an Orion III on the horizon. 
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WB8NUT
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 06:33:37 AM »

I don't understand the thinking of the new owners. You have an inventory reduction sale to eliminate the inventory of the radio? Now there are no Eagles in stock? The Eagle is not currently in production? And to get to this you take another $400 off the price? Why would a company do such a thing?

The problem with their current pricing methodology is that now people will be afraid to purchase a radio at list because if they do, and TenTec or whatever they are calling the company now, discounts the radio steeply, the value of their radio on the used market plummets.

So it seems that all TT is left with now is the Omni, Argo, the Rebel and the Patriot. Not much of a leadership position now. It appears from this that Elecraft must be kicking their butts when it comes to the U.S. manufactured radio market.

Seems so sad to me and I have had a number of TT transceivers over the years.
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N9KX
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 10:08:46 AM »

If the new ownership is making some changes to the lineup, wouldn't this be just the kind of thing they would do in order to free up labor to work on the new direction?  With the Eagle sales that have happened in the last year or so, everyone who wanted one and could afford one -- probably now has one...   
I guess we are just going to have to be patient and see what happens next...  I'm hoping for good things  Smiley
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 10:57:21 AM »

I hoping for good things, but you can't sell a 1500 dollar radio for 1100 bucks, and then increase the price a few days later. Who in their right minds would pay more than the sale price?? 

Pete
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N9KX
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 01:56:18 PM »

Black Friday sales happen every year in retail, but people continue buying those products year round.
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 04:24:00 PM »

I don't understand the thinking of the new owners. You have an inventory reduction sale to eliminate the inventory of the radio? Now there are no Eagles in stock? The Eagle is not currently in production? And to get to this you take another $400 off the price? Why would a company do such a thing?

Whats the mystery here? Its called quick cash for profit by liquidating equipment and when not building replacements none of sales money has to be used to reinvest. Large corporations do this ll the time with buyouts or mergers. They are not going to come out and say TenTec is going out of business until AFTER they sell everything. They are slowly bleeding it.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KD8MJR
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 05:05:05 PM »

I don't understand the thinking of the new owners. You have an inventory reduction sale to eliminate the inventory of the radio? Now there are no Eagles in stock? The Eagle is not currently in production? And to get to this you take another $400 off the price? Why would a company do such a thing?

Whats the mystery here? Its called quick cash for profit by liquidating equipment and when not building replacements none of sales money has to be used to reinvest. Large corporations do this ll the time with buyouts or mergers. They are not going to come out and say TenTec is going out of business until AFTER they sell everything. They are slowly bleeding it.

Guys I hate to say it but JX is exactly right.  Who would buy a Ten Tec radio or an Alpha Amp at even those discounted prices if they said they were about to close the doors?  This is exactly what happens when companies are bought out. The new parent company sells off the inventory and liquidate the acquired companies assets. This Business model was perfected in the 1980's during the Reagan era.
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
KC8HXO
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« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 07:06:05 PM »

I have had 2 service experiences with TenTec over the last year. Unsatisfied, I bought an Elecraft. Likewise, I have had 2 experiences with their service department. Elecraft Service EXEMPLARY. Sorry, TenTec. Your service department is costing you sales. ..... I HOPE I am wrong, but I do believe I hear the fat lady warming up in Tennessee.
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WB8NUT
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2015, 04:09:36 AM »


Guys I hate to say it but JX is exactly right.  Who would buy a Ten Tec radio or an Alpha Amp at even those discounted prices if they said they were about to close the doors?  This is exactly what happens when companies are bought out. The new parent company sells off the inventory and liquidate the acquired companies assets. This Business model was perfected in the 1980's during the Reagan era.


Well if TenTec is using that so-called model perfected during the Reagan era, then I guess TenTec will be experiencing some unprecedented growth since that is what happened to business and jobs in the 1980s when the economy exploded with growth. Looking forward to seeing this happen with TenTec.
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