The announcement made the rounds in the Amateur Radio World just before Dayton 2014. Ten-Tec and RF Concepts were “merging.”
Merging is the “polite term” that is used when one company swallows up another. It invokes images of singing songs around a campfire, teamwork, and a real partnership. The truth is, in the corporate world, that doesn’t really happen. Go here to read about the merger. During the 2014 Dayton Hamvention, you had to go to two separate locations to talk to RF Concepts or TenTec. We’re hearing it will be different for the 2015 event, which will be the 1 year anniversary of their blessed union.
Our Factual Radio investigators have done some good old fashioned detective work, and can share with you what’s going to be hot from the RF Concepts brands this hamfest season. But first, a look back into both of the company histories.
Ten-Tec began in the late 60’s with many of their first products being geared toward the QRP CW operator. Some of their first rigs were highly functional, but by today’s standard very simple.
Their last 40 plus years as a serious amateur radio equipment supplier have seen many changes in their product family. Although they still have (as of this writing) a few kits, most of their rigs show up at your door ready to operate. Ten-Tec has been no stranger to innovative amateur radio products. It is fair to suggest that the introduction of the Ten-Tec Pegasus was the very first Software Defined Radio (SDR) on the amateur market.
The Pegasus was soon joined by another popular SDR radio, with traditional front panel controls – the Ten-Tec Jupiter. Jupiters are still been sought by discerning amateur radio operators today, bringing you both SDR capabilities and traditional front panel feel.
Ten-Tec even produced a great rig for the QRP crowd. The Argonaut series has seen many changes over the years, but until the last decade or so saw no really challengers for features an innovation.
They even tried to capture some market share with a wildly creative open source transceiver, the Ten-Tec Patriot. This is a new and potentially very promising little rig.
RF Concepts has been around just about as long as Ten-Tec has, and they’ve had an impressive run of products. Catering largely to the QRO operator, their products have remained legendary among discriminating radio amateurs.
You’ll find a copy of the press release on this link.
SO, WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN UP TO FOR A YEAR?
The big question on every amateur’s mind is just what exactly have these two companies been working on for a year? You can slide over to their websites, and buy some of their existing products at an attractive price, (feels like a closeout sale to me) so what’s coming next?
Investigators at Factual Radio have been able to land the scoop, well ahead of the 2015 Hamvention. We know what you’re going to see at the show!
THE BIG NEWS
Factual Radio has learned that the new RF Concepts is very close to signing an exclusive distributor relationship with the new BaoFeng company, for USA distribution rights of the new BaoFeng Hurricane, Tornado, and Tsunami SDR Transceivers, as well as the 3 new amplifiers that should be introduced this year. Look for a joint press release just before the 2015 Hamvention. It is not clear yet whether the new rigs will be relabeled with the RF Concepts brand(s) or not at this point.
Additionally, look for the Ten-Tec engineering team to bring forth some really creative new products surely to delight those who are just waiting to add to their Ten-Tec inspired collection of gear. Look for a new “bare bones” SDR rig, and an exciting new radio The Ten-Tec Minimalist, we managed to grab a few engineering prototype pictures of both!
Look for several exciting splashes from the new RF Concepts Company, and all their brands. And remember, you heard it here first at Factual Radio!