Posts Tagged ‘HB-1A’

Change of emphasis?

I have never owned a Ten-Tec transceiver (although I once built and used one of its transverter kits) but I always thought that the thing the company’s products were most renowned for was their good support for CW operation and excellent QSK. So I was surprised to visit the Ten-Tec website a few days ago and see beneath the logo the slogan “The SSB Company.” Obviously CW isn’t seen as so important these days.

In the last couple of years Ten-Tec has dropped its kit range, its QRP Argonaut transceivers and most recently has been in the news for announcing that it will be rebranding the Chinese-made HB-1A QRP CW transceiver as a Ten-Tec product. I suppose someone somewhere has decided that this makes commercial sense but it doesn’t seem to me like the way to hold on to a reputation as an innovative indigenous American manufacturer of quality radio products for the discerning amateur.

Ten Tec HB-1A

From John Harper AE5X’s blog I have discovered that Ten Tec will be re-branding the Chinese HB-1A QRP CW transceiver. The Ten Tec versions aren’t exactly the same – they will be selling two versions, one covering 40 and 30 metres and one covering 30 and 20 metres whereas the original covers 40, 30 and 20. This may have something to do with meeting FCC spurious emissions specifications.

As it happens, my HB-1A is on eBay at this very moment. Not that there is anything wrong with it, just that it doesn’t do anything that my FT-817 can’t do and I’ve spent quite a lot on new radios recently so it seems right to dispose of some of the ones that aren’t being used.

But its performance wasn’t exactly spectacular. It’s a bit sad to see the company that made and discontinued the Argonaut 516 HF QRP rig and matching 526 6’n’2 metre rig offering such a basic radio as its only QRP product.

I’d love a Ten Tec 516 / 526 pair, so if anyone has one in mint condition that they’d like to sell or trade for an Elecraft K3/100 drop me an email.


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