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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Omni C Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Omni C
Ten-Tec Omni C Reviews: 32 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1289 (when new)
Description: HF radio
Product is in production.
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N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2017 02:58 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one with all the filters and matching power supply
KB1CKT Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2017 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Love it  Time owned: more than 12 months
IMO, I have three gripes about the rig: the preselector (aka "resonate"), a PTO which needs periodic rebuilding, and a strange two-knob power setting. Ok, a fourth: I'm afraid the band switches will wear out, which might brick an awesome radio.

Perhaps the resonate control is actually a good thing; the radio is quite selective and sensitive--and quiet. Maybe that's due to this control? It's not much of a bother other than during band change. Mine has some felt behind the knob as it's too loose otherwise.

I do like the analog PTO, and I've never noticed drift. But I feel a bit of grit in there, and it's not exactly fun to rebuild. I may give in and get an external VFO.

The ALC knob is apparently to set max output power, while drive is for setting mic gain. But drive also works in CW mode. Since I pretty much only do CW, ALC is set all the way up, and I tweak just drive. Seems like a wonky setup to me.

Zero beat: I've read that it really doesn't work. I tried it recently, and I agree, it doesn't seem to help with zero beat. I haven't had an issue though with just going by ear.

Mine has the 1.8kHz and 500Hz filters; the 500Hz filter is a bit lossy. But otherwise I find this radio a joy on CW. I use an external speaker, set the RF gain all the way down, then advance AF until I get about all the noise I can stand. I flip the Audio filter to 1, to tame some high frequency hiss, then raise RF gain until I hear band noise. I have to lower gain for a few signals, as the AGC does pop.

On SSB: I tried it a couple of times, and found my audio overdriven on a second radio. Might be a radio problem, as I also a loud carrier. So, no idea there. I had to resolder some crystals when I got it, relube the PTO (wish I had gotten new parts when I did it!); but that's trivial repairs for a radio of this age.

I have read to not use this radio on 18MHz, due to a transmitted spur at 18MHz. Not sure what to make of that. As I tend to stick to 80/40/30 it won't bother anyone.
W3ATT Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2014 10:47 Send this review to a friend
Way ahead of its time...  Time owned: more than 12 months
You would have to spend thousands of dollars to get a receiver this quiet.

I've been using this rig for over 2 years now and have logged over 3,600 CW qso's with it to date.

I have compared signals back-to-back with radios from the "Big Three," and cannot find a better receiver. On a spectrograph during summer qrn conditions on 40m, my suspicions were proven true.

While other rigs struggle to pull weak cw signals from the terribly noisy audio (some rigs sound like a tornado is swirling inside the rig,) the Omni shines. It can be seen and heard.

Hearing is one thing, but actually seeing the signal on the audio spectrograph confirms that CW notes just seem to float on top of the tiny crackles of qrn (which are very quiet in the Omni) and weak signals can be pulled with ease.

To update my Omni, I added two kits from One is Joe's sine wave side tone kit which replaces the old raspy side tone with a joyous (and adjustable) side tone - Great improvement for only around $25

My next upgrade was to replace the old and drifty PTO with Joe's DDS digital encoder dual VFO with split (also available at Now the Omni has silky smooth tuning and rock solid stability without having to wait for a warm-up.

As far as the complaints about the AGC pop, just read the manual.. It clearly states that you should adjust the RF gain to achieve an S-7 signal strength (I usually go even lower like S-5 or so on strong signals,) and then adjust the AF gain according to the level needed for you, and the pop goes away. Not a big deal for such a great rig.

If you can get one for $300 - $350 or less, buy it. Throw in some upgrades, and you will have one of the best CW rigs made without a single menu to navigate. (Lots of the Big 3 rigs use DSP and can't even compare to the nice receive in the Omni)
KW4JA Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2014 12:43 Send this review to a friend
Best I've used  Time owned: more than 12 months
My only radio is the Omni C which I've been using eight years. After 20 minute warm up it works perfectly for digital modes requiring only two rca to 1/8 inch cables attached between computer sound card and patch cables on the rear. What I like best I can run up to 100 watts for 20 minutes (100% duty cycle). What modern transceiver can do that? It has an adjustable notch filter that nearly eliminates nearby signals that would desensitize it. The radio does cw perfectly with Ten Tec qsk. On top of all that the controls are right in front of me and radio keeps working. Plus I am a person that can't replace something that won't stop working. It's almost environmentally wrong to replace something that keeps working. So no need for a newer radio although I am sometimes tempted.
If you find an Omni C buy it. You can't go wrong.
KB5JO Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2014 04:22 Send this review to a friend
Suits my needs  Time owned: more than 12 months
Listening this morning to two ops on 40M trying to figure out manual for one of the new radios, I was thankful for the old Omni C on my desk. No menus, sparse controls, sufficient for all of my needs. The price was right too, bought used several years ago for not much.

Have owned several of the microprocessor controlled radios with the layers of menus, they've all gone to live elsewhere. The Omni C will stay.
RSHIRE22 Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2013 13:12 Send this review to a friend
The last radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using an Omni C for five years. It is my only radio. After owning a variety of mid priced Japanese radios I always come back to Ten Tec. After being a 99% cw op for several years I am now a 99% JT-65A op. I often look at ebay
auctions and other sites for other used equipment but nothing justifies changing radios especially at the price.

This radio works perfectly: Stable after warmup,
very sensitive, warm audio for monitoring ssb.
On JT-65A I work stations worldwide including
long path to Western Australia (17000 miles) from Florida running 40 watts and an MFJ 2286 vertical.

What else do I need?
WB4EDB Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2013 04:35 Send this review to a friend
Ten Tec had it Right  Time owned: more than 12 months
Of all of the older Ten Tecs i really enjoy operating the Omni C the best. No, it is not perfect but it has fine qsk and a great zero beat feature.A rig that can be worked on yourself and is just a joy to operate.Yes I know some will have issues with its agc operation but just turn the rf gain down some. No doubt one can spend a lot more for a rig and probably get more but for bang for the buck the Omni C is a sleeper. Smiley wb4edb
NR7N Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2012 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Beats many rigs of today  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired a Omni C (546) and I am extremely pleased with it. It needed a small amount of work such as rebuilding the PTO, resoldering HF oscillator crystal socket pins and replacing broken leads to a few front panel LEDs. I also performed a simple RX alignment. The folks at Ten-Tec were great and Paul even took of the front panel off the Omni C they have back in TN to let me know the LED wire colors. All I can say is wow. No rice box outfit would do that.

This rig is accessible and can be worked on by the ham owner so it harkens back to another time.

Performance is dazzling. I side-by-side compared it with a brand new IC-7410 and The Omni C hears better, has better received audio and better on-the-air signal reports. What more can you ask for. The '7410 is for sale now and the Omni is my main HF radio. Everything on it is functional, it's intuitive, the manual and Ten-tec support is great, and the performance wonderful (especially the receiver).

We haven't made as much progress as we think in the last 30 years.

When I do buy another new radio it will be a Ten-tec. The service/support is the best in the industry.
KB1OF Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2012 05:31 Send this review to a friend
Time tested rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been a ham for 31 years and have had all kinds of HF tranceivers but have never had one better than the Omni C. The first Omni I bought was the Omni D. A few years later the ham I bought it from was having memory problems and wanted to buy back the Omni D. He was having trouble tuning his TS 430 and could tune the Omni because of its simplicity. I traded with him for the Kenwood but missed the Omni D. Then I had a chance to buy an Omni C with all the filters, mike and speech processor, remote VFO and power supply for $200. The problem was with the VFO in the main rig. I sent it in to Ten Tec who rebuilt the VFO and realigned and tweeked it before they returned it. I sold teh Kenwood and moved into the Omni with ease. Later when the ham with the Omni D became a silent key, I was able to buy it too. I am now the proud operator of both the Omni D and the Omni C. I use both and keep the D set up for CW where I spend 99% of my radio work and the Omni C mostly for SSB. There is no rig with as sensitive a receiver or as quiet as the Old Omnis. From time to time I have chances to operate the new rigs, and am delightfully proud to get back to my Omni D and C. KB1OF - Bud
OLLIEOXEN27 Rating: 4/5 May 14, 2011 15:42 Send this review to a friend
re review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a revision of my original review of the Omni C in which I gave the transceiver a 2/5. The transceiver has amplification in the IF stage which greatly increases noise and listener fatigue. My solution for this problem has been to set the RF gain level to 5 (half scale) and to slightly detune the resonant control. How this affects radio performance such as minimum discernable signal and sensitivity is uncertain nor have I done A/B testing with my other Ten Tecs but the radio has become much more pleasant to use and so earns a 4.
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