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Author Topic: Ten Tec Century 21  (Read 2127 times)
OZ1BWD
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« on: April 28, 2018, 03:00:02 AM »

I once had a Ten Tec Century 21 and the only thing I could hear was Radio Moscow. Regardless of the VFO or bandswitch setting. I got angry and throw it away. Should I have used a bit more time with it with troubleshooting?

Peter
OZ1BWD
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K3GM
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Posts: 2547




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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 09:06:44 AM »

As a US Novice op in 1980, the Century 21 was a thing to behold in it simplicity.  It had its quirks, but its relatively large chassis also meant it was easy to troubleshoot and repair.  I still see them for sale annually at the Dayton Hamvention.  There's no doubt it could have been repaired.  Great little CW rig.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 11:52:17 AM »

I once had a Ten Tec Century 21 and the only thing I could hear was Radio Moscow. Regardless of the VFO or bandswitch setting. I got angry and throw it away. Should I have used a bit more time with it with troubleshooting?

Peter
OZ1BWD

Sounds to me like the VFO injection wasn't working.   I have a C/21 right now (purchased used about two years ago) and I'm in California, so there aren't many very local SW BC stations around, but I do have one right up the street from me (KVOH) which runs 1.25 million watts e.r.p. on two bands (18m and 31m) and is 4 miles from my home (it's aimed right at me!) and it doesn't bother the C/21 at all...no overload, no leak-through, no issues.

Back in the 1960s-1970s when I lived on the U.S. east coast and Radio Moscow had many megawatt-level transmitters running, they certainly caused "QRM" on 40m ("meter pinning signals") but were never "the only thing I could hear."   I could work stations on 40m CW within a few kHz of them.
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N4KZ
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 07:53:36 PM »

I know the Century 21 has its fans but I'm not one of them. Back when the C21 was on the new rig market, I wanted one. Not sure why. I already had my extra ticket so didn't need it as a novice rig. Just kind of thought it would be a cool addition to the shack. A nice low-powered CW-only rig. But I already had several other rigs and didn't really "need" a C21. Many years went by, the kids grew up and went out on their own leaving dad with a little extra disposable income for radio toys. So one day, I am looking over a used ham gear website and I see a clean C21 for sale. I pulled the trigger and soon a clean C21 arrived at my home. I was expecting a little more output than 15 watts but as an old QRP guy who's worked the world with far less RF, I didn't sweat it. But oh that receiver. No AGC. Learned that the hard way. My ears finally stopped ringing about 12 hours later. The rig was more primitive than I had counted on. I made contacts with it but I had cheaper QRP kits that worked better than the C21. But the C21 has its followers. I ran into a group of them in the Hamvention flea market one year. I didn't have the heart to tell them I had already found a new home for mine. It just wasn't what I wanted or thought it would be. YMMV.
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