How to Find Someone to Repair Ham Gear
by Ron Chester ★ Tuesday, June 1, 2021

I almost bought another radio, which would have been a major upgrade for me as a QRP rig and as a Parks on the Air rig. But when I discussed it with the Budget Committee, we decided to keep concentrating on paying off credit card debt for now.  Clearly I can get by with the many wonderful radios I already have. But, a lot like me, they are getting older & older.

So I got to thinking about where to go to get rigs repaired, upgraded and aligned. For decades Ten Tec was famous for repairing any rig they ever built. Needless to say, they developed a very loyal following because of this policy, especially considering that they've been producing rigs for over fifty years! This and their great QSK keying on CW were the two features that people would rave about the most with Ten Tec.  But due to a change in ownership, their repair policy has now changed. This January a ham wanted to have some repair work done on an Argonaut V QRP rig. He got a message from Ten Tec that said:

"The Argonaut V is no longer in production and we
no longer take this unit in for service or repair as many repair parts are
no longer available and we are unable to make the repair."  

The Argonaut V is just one generation older than the QRP rig which they are currently producing! At this time eHam has 88 mostly rave reviews of this rig from Oct 2002 until Jan 2021.  Reviews for the successor Argonaut VI began in Dec 2012. This changed repair policy at Ten Tec was pretty shocking. I have at least eight wonderful Ten Tec rigs which the company now lists as obsolete. What would I do if any of them broke or needed servicing?   

I started looking around and I ended up back on eHam which not only has tons of useful pages reviewing a huge variety of ham gear, but they also have a page full of reviews for Amateur Radio Equipment Repair. It's a very long list of options, nearly 150 different choices. Included are Howard Mills who did the great restoration of my classic Collins 51J-4 receiver and W3FPR, the expert Elecraft guy who may have recently retired.  I also found a guy who is very familiar with Ten Tec gear and has accumulated 62 five star reviews over the last eight years, and NO reviews for anything less than five stars! I will certainly be contacting him in short order!!  

And of course as hams, we also have the option of doing it ourselves. Last year I wrote about Hayseed Hamfest, LLC which is a great resource for capacitor replacement kits for many of the classic old radios. These are a great start for bringing an old prize back to life.