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Alpha and TEN-TEC to Merge Under RF Concepts Banner

05/14/2014

Two major American Amateur Radio manufacturers are joining forces. Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC have announced that they will merge under the RF Concepts brand. The announcement came May 9 in Longmont, Colorado, where RF Concepts and Alpha are headquartered. TEN-TEC, the older of the two concerns, is located in Sevierville, Tennessee. The merger creates a multi-million-dollar company with a product line that extends from QRP transceivers to legal-limit amplifiers.

RF Concepts/Alpha Amplifiers has been in business since the early 1970s and has produced more than 13,000 amps. TEN-TEC, founded in 1968 as a maker of transceivers for the QRP community, has expanded its line over the years to include a range of transceivers — from basic to top-tier — receivers, tuners, amplifiers, and accessories. While there is a small overlap in the companies’ respective product lines, RF Concepts Chairman Michael Seedman, AA6DY, called the union “the perfect combination of Amateur Radio brands.”

“For more than 40 years, Alpha Amplifiers and TEN-TEC have shared a reputation in the Amateur Radio market for offering exceptionally well-engineered, American-made products backed by extraordinary customer service,” said Seedman. “Alpha Amplifiers is known for ‘key-down performance,’ and TEN-TEC is known for pushing the boundaries of transceiver performance and capabilities.” Such a merger “makes perfect sense,” he added, pointing out that the merger will more than double the size of RF Concepts, allowing it “to invest more capital in innovative engineering and customer-driven product development.”

Plans call for RF Concepts to share operations between its Colorado and Tennessee locations, and the company is looking for a new operations facility in the Sevierville area that would house manufacturing as well as some engineering resources as well as technical and customer support services. A few weeks ago TEN-TEN announced that it would not be holding its annual hamfest in Tennessee this year, due to plans to relocate its headquarters this fall. TEN-TEC announced “a massive moving sale” during September. The Colorado facility will house engineering resources, technical and customer support services, and much of the front-office operation.

Jim Wharton, NO4A, who took over as TEN-TEC’s president in January after founder Jack Burchfield, K4JU, retired, will continue as the president of the TEN-TEC group, while Ken Long, N0QO, who has been overseeing operations at Alpha Amplifiers, will head the Alpha group.

“Ken and I have spent quite a bit of time discussing our short and long-term focus over the last few weeks, and I feel our responsibilities are very clearly defined,” Wharton said. Long said he and Wharton have their work cut out for them in making sure the merger “goes as smoothly as possible.”

Announcement of the merger came a week before Dayton Hamvention®, where both Alpha and TEN-TEC have each had a prominent presence over the years. Upward of 25,000 visitors are expected to attend the show May 16-18, and Alpha and TEN-TEC will operate separate booths at this year’s show. Alpha will be demonstrating its not-yet-released DreamTuner 4040 Automatic Antenna Tuner, while TEN-TEC will unveil the Patriot, an open-source, Arduino-based SSB transceiver.

The two companies are privately held, and terms of the merger were not disclosed.

 



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