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Author Topic: 100 WATT CW ONLY RADIO  (Read 1292 times)
KT4XP
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2009, 06:18:20 PM »

Thanks for all the good advice.

A vintage Ten Tec sounds like a plan.

One question though.

what are the pro's and con's of the Ten Tec

Triton IV digital versus Triton IV slide rule dial?

thanks peter kt4xp.
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W5RRP
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 06:28:49 PM »

About 3 decades ago I bought a new ICOM 730.  It has been my primary rig ever since.  It is a great cw rig, easy to operate, and can easily be found for under $200.00.
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WA3SKN
Member

Posts: 5420




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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 07:01:59 AM »

Your price range calls for used gear.
And with CW as the main mode, stick with Ten Tec or Elecraft.  Luckily, they try and support their older eqpt for a long time. And, they are easy to work on.
Of course, any used gear can have problems, but it is nice to have the possibility to get parts for it!
73s.

-Mike.
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K3YD
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2009, 08:12:46 AM »

An analog or slide rule dial may take a bit of "getting used-to" if you are a relatively new ham and have only used digital read-out radios.  I've been licensed long enough to have grown up with analog and can use either.

Cons of digital read out?  I had a display go blank, twice, because of slightly corroded connections, which rendered the radio functionally useless until the front panel was dis-assembled and the contacts cleaned (hint: Cramolin C-5)  A few older digital display radios have also been accused of generating low level RF noise.

Final comment:  TenTec makes CW radios which also work SSB.  Most other brands (in your stated price range) are SSB radios which can work CW.  Once you try the absolutely silent, instantaneous  (no RELAY) T/R switching of a TenTec, you'll know what I mean.
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KZ1X
Member

Posts: 3227




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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2009, 07:09:13 PM »

I am sort of surprised nobody suggested this radio:

http://www.rigpix.com/tentec/century21.htm

It doesn't meet 100% of your stated goals, but ... you won't miss what it doesn't do, and you can often get one for less than your stated budget.  Use it for 2 years, and sell it at the same price you bought it for.  Free radio!
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WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 12980




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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2009, 07:24:18 PM »

The Century 21 is a good CW rig, even though it is direct
conversion.  Not the highest performance, certainly, but
quite adequate and enjoyable, and certainly likely to be
the cheapest non-QRP Ten-Tec rig available.  But it doesn't
cover the WARC bands.  (Neither does the Triton for that
matter.)

While the Triton rigs weren't bad in their day, they do
have a few quirks.  Besides having the over current
protection circuitry in the power supply rather than in
the radio (which is why you need a Ten-Tec power supply
or a fast-acting magnetic circuit breaker) they also
used dual-gate FETs in the front end, which tended to
be more susceptible to overload than the later rigs with
high power bipolar amplifiers.  That might be an issue if
you have a lot of local hams.  Otherwise it is a fairly
simple rig to use.  It's best if you can get an audio
filter to go with it, however, since it didn't have an
internal crystal filter.  (OK for casual operating with
the SSB bandwidth, but not as convenient when the band
gets crowded.)

The main difference between the analog and digital dials
is the need for a crystal calibrator to find the band
edges on the slide rule dial, since the calibration
isn't ideal.  The dial shows the 100kHz segments, and
the knob skirt is calibrated in 5 kHz increments within
each segment.  Probably the biggest problem is that the
dial cord spring was actually a piece of elastic, and
they decay with time.  I've restrung my Argonaut and
Argosy a few times - the replacement elastic parts are
still available from Ten-Tec.

But if you aren't used to reading analog dials on clocks,
slide rules, or the like, a digital dial will probably
be easier to use.

I would recommend the Triton IV series over the earlier
I or II.  And note that Ten-Tec doesn't call them the
"Triton" any more due to a trademark dispute with some
other maker of commercial radio equipment.  I think the
Triton IV is officially the "544", but anyone who
answers the phone in the service department at Ten-Tec
will know what you mean.
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K3YD
Member

Posts: 55




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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2009, 06:11:12 PM »

For a good overview of the older (= most affordable) TenTec Radios, go to http://www.tentecwiki.org.
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