I see a lot posted about this mystery new QRP radio from Ten-Tec. Of course, everyone is entitled to an opinion of what it should include or what it should exclude. Matters like keep
the sale price right, the IMD better than any other ham transceiver ever created etc. etc.
What you all miss is that Jack Burchfield and Al Kahn broke the commerical QRP ice back in
1968 with their set of modules which led to the PM-1, PM-2, and PM-3 transceivers, and
finally, The Argonaut 505 in 1971. (If this is a mystery to you, you can read all about the
developments in my new book THE FIVE-WATT QRP MOVEMENT IN THE US, 1968-1981, in PDF
format, from www.qrpdxpropagationantennas.com
, free download.) Heathkit got into the party with the miserable HW-7 -- Doug DeMaw's response (among a long list of QRP projects and
articles he authored for QST) was to publish a whole new receiver section for the HW-7.
At any rate, by the time the 515 appeared with its improvements, QRP had taken off and was
worldwide and all the major contests had included QRP sections -- yep, DX contests especially!
The 515 could be improved to an 8-pole xtal filter by an external mod or by a few simple mods
to the current QRO transciever's IF board. Its audio is legendary. I still use my 505 and 515
and no 160 meters, but 30m can be added by a very simple 4-part mod to the 515. I never got any of the later Argo models -- didn't need anyting better.
OK, wandered off topic. What I wanted to say is that all of the speculation about marketing
strategies and cutting corners etc. is bunk. Burchfield could have retired years ago, but
he's hung on for a couple more and wanted to have one last crack at improving the Argo series. It is a labor of love -- he always was very much into QRP from the start -- and I can understand him not wanting to say "it is all over". QRP can't end.
So, you IMD and tech guys -- get a new unit and run your tests with the latest solid state spec analyzers and scopes and tell us what you find about the merits or shortcomings of the design. Then we can judge for ourselves about the merits of it before buying one. Incidentally, excluding 160 meters violates no natural law about what ranges a transceiver should have -- I've known a ton of QRP'rs who could care less about 160 meters. When assessing the performance of a design, personal preferences might be interesting, but what it does is the important thing.
72, Ade W0RSP