Ten-Tec Discontinues Omni II

I received an email from Ten-Tec announcing they have sold the last Omni II transceiver and have discontinued the radio. The text of the email in its entirety follows:

Dear TEN-TEC Ambassadors & Friends,

We hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer experiencing all the thrills of DX and working QRP. Your friends at TEN-TEC are busy as usual making ready the new Rebel 506 for delivery in late July. Dayton was a huge success this year with sales exceeding 2012. We thank you and also the wonderful group of Ambassadors who helped us in the booth this year. We could not have done it without you.

As time is marching on we are beginning to make plans for another TEN-TEC Homecoming Hamfest September 27th & 28th. This is always a huge event and preparation will begin before we know it to welcome our guests from far and near. Check the web site and watch for further information and news as time draws nearer.

On a rather sad note, about the time you read this message, we will have sold out of the last 566 Orion II transceiver. Unfortunately, due to the availability of some very critical parts plus skyrocketing prices for difficult components, the staff at TEN-TEC decided to discontinue this product. This does not mean we will not trade or sell used and demo Orion's and Orion II models. We will continue service and support this product as we have done in the past with all TEN-TEC products. Is a new Orion III on the horizon? There are plans for several new TEN-TEC products lined up for the future but at this time no concise decision has been made for another Orion transceiver.

We are very pleased with the results of our efforts on the Argonaut VI with matching 418 linear amplifier. Check out the product review in the August QST and Rob Sherwoods testing www.sherweng.com. More fantastic news: This year, a pair of Eagle transceivers will be working as W4S at Ft. Pitkins on Santa Rosa Island off the coast of Pensacola in July for another IOTA contest.

As always the staff here at TEN-TEC continue to welcome your support and participation in the TEN-TEC user nets that meet every Sunday. The TEN-TEC 40 meter SSB net will start first at 20:00 UTC on or about 7.260 LSB and the 20 meter SSB net will follow at 21:00 UTC on or about 14.325 USB + or -

Sincerely & 73

Your TEN-TEC Sales Staff

I have to wonder about Ten-Tec in recent years. Elecraft is running rings around them. Elecraft can bring new products out faster than Ten-Tec. Ten-Tec's new QRP transceiver not only took an extremely long time to make it to market, but when it finally was available for sale, it arrived crippled without the 60, 12 and 6 meters bands. When I asked a gentleman working the Ten-Tec booth about it at the Dayton Hamvention, I received a very smart-a$$ answer.

He stated that the case was too small to put in the additional bands! So I asked how your competitor Elecraft was able to do it AND have space for battery, tuner and 2 meter module? He said go ask them.

I did, they told me they are capable of superior transceiver designs. So there you have it.

But I digress.

The real issue is the lack of a follow-on model. Now there is no high-end transceiver from Ten-Tec. Based on the amount of time it took them to bring out a new Argonaut, who knows when we'll see anything that might replace the Omni II.

Too bad for a company once so highly respected with a fiercely loyal customer base. If you can't change fast enough and are not nimble enough in this competitive world, if could mean the death of the company. I do hope not.

But there appears to be a downward direction for Ten-Tec. To the best of my knowledge they have not had any new kits or refreshed the kit line in over 10 years. They started selling Chinese made QRP CW radios - yikes! Are you kidding me? What happened to the Made in America focus? Ten-Tec needs to recapture their mojo fast.
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