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 Post subject: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Joined: May Sun 28, 2017 9:08 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Whiteville, TN
Saw an ad for a Ten-Tec Corsair for $350, "clean, works well, only will put out 50 watts. Don't know if there is an adjustment or if something is wrong." Or some statement very close to that. Did some internet investigation to find there are several Corsairs available that transmit the design 100 watts for 300-350 bucks. Corsair I & II for more. What would you collectors offer this owner?

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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
I always find it to be a giant red flag when someone mentions equipment as "working well", then proceeds to describe how it is NOT working well.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 7:22 pm 
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Joined: May Sun 28, 2017 9:08 pm
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Location: Whiteville, TN
GIANT red flag!!

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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 25, 2015 9:46 pm
Posts: 39
I had a Corsair II for 25 years which worked very well for me. I had to rebuild the PTO once, which was a PITA, but otherwise there were no major problems. I sold the rig after Ten Tec went out of business. It had a very quiet crystal mixing PTO. The original Omnis were also very quiet. If you want to get one look for the Corsair II.

John VE3PMA


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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 03, 2018 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 5013
I also find the works well except for some obvious flaw to be humorous. Typically with that issue there will also be other less obvious issues.

Sometimes I think TenTec is like the Apple of the ham radio world because there are some true fanatic followers and this often leads to examples selling for more than they normally would since it only takes one buyer at an inflated price to make others think that is the reasonable market price. Ten Tec made some really good gear and for those who work full break-in CW they have some superb choices. There provision of low phase noise rigs when most of the competition was largely ignoring this problem also resulted in some very good gear. But it seems like every piece has one or more little quirks built in be it sub-par internal connectors in the early units leading to intermittent issues or various glitches in some of the later units that kept them one step away from greatness. I nearly bought one of their high power amps 20 years ago but several of the reviews caught the issue of the output network padder caps used on the lower bands that didn't have sufficient RF current capability and even long dashes resulted in declining power output as the network went out of resonance. If the right manager had been given some control over the company back in the 1980s I think those little shortcomings would have been removed and Ten Tec would have been far more successful. For some reason most of their rigs also look better in person than they do in photographs which didn't help sales especially once they moved away from selling their products through the major ham gear retailers.

I have several Ten Tec products from the early RX-10 receiver and Power Mite QRP transceivers through an Orion that I bought three years ago. I found a complete set of unbuilt 1300 series QRP sets from the 1380 through the 1315 last year at a hamfest and I plan to start building those later this month. The Century 21 is a great CW rig although if Ten Tec had gone with a 12 volt final for portable operation it would have been even more popular. I would love to find a TX-100 since I have the RX-10 receiver and model 200 VFO. Hopefully the remains of Ten Tec will continue in some fashion but I doubt it.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Thu 04, 2018 2:33 am 
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Joined: Oct Fri 09, 2009 9:25 pm
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Karl, the Corsair was the model 560. This was also called the Corsair I, but to my knowledge, not formally by Ten-Tec. The Corsair II is the model 561. To my knowledge, these were the two Corsair models produced.

Todd
ka8gef

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Last edited by KA8GEF on Jan Thu 04, 2018 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Thu 04, 2018 2:33 am 
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Joined: Oct Fri 09, 2009 9:25 pm
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Karl,

I own a Corsair (model 560). This was also called the Corsair I, but to my knowledge, not formally by Ten-Tec. The Corsair II is the model 561.

My impression is that these were quite innovative designs in their day with quality components, construction and reliability. My guess is that, in order to compete effectively in the marketplace, Ten-Tec had relatively thin sales margins as a result of what they put into these radios, not to mention US labor vs. Japanese labor expense.

There are several possible reasons why the output is low, obviously, from ALC issues to a failed PA transistor etc.

The Corsair is an excellent CW rig. With optional filters, I doubt few transceivers built in that era could beat the Corsair in that mode. I do find the dynamic range in the sideband mode to be a bit restricted, one reason why I operate a Kenwood TS-830s instead. The 830s is somewhat easier on the ears and I don't want to tear into the Corsair to install the mods required to improve audio content and reduce the common 'hiss'

I don't think you would be disappointed with a Corsair,or Corsair II. The risk is what else may be wrong with this particular unit, troubleshooting and repair is a bit more challenging than with a tube based/boatanchor rig.

Todd
ka8gef

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-Let us never lose the lessons we have learned.


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 Post subject: Re: Question for wiser than me:
PostPosted: Jan Thu 04, 2018 2:49 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7353
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
I absolutely loved my original Corsair. Fantastic CW rig with deliciously smooth and easy full break in. Zero phase noise velvet smooth audio. However the noise blanker control was an absolute stinker with zero performance and just a waste of front panel space.


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