David  Pierce,  KE4OZ
S, has been a ham over 19 years.  Most of this time was spent as a Tech Class licensee.  He worked at a local fire department, but had to quit when his vision started to deteriorate several years ago.  Now it has gotten pretty severe, but he can use a magnifying glass to read parts of a page at a time.  Our club, the KY Mountains ARC, meets informally every Friday at a local home-cooking  restaurant for breakfast.  David showed up one morning about a year ago, and said, "I want to take my General Exam."  We give exams to anyone who shows up and wants one.  So, after 19 years, he took the exam in a booth, while we filled our stomachs.  He passed with very little trouble.  Congratulations to the new general!

Then, about six months ago, he was ready to take the Extra Class Exam, saying he wanted to get it done, before his vision got even worse, and he would have a very difficult time studying and taking the exam.  He came through again with flying colors.  Since he is unemployed because of the vision problem, the club wanted to get him on the air somehow.  I had an olld Ten Tec Triton IV, which received, but would not transmit, which I had bought from an old friend who got into financial trouble when his wife left, cleaning out the bank accounts.  WB4IEA and I (mostly him) worked on it four or five hours, and found dead finals and a bad transistor in the driver, and some suspicious voltages from the control board. 
Pricing finals came up with a big cost, and there appeared to be more than just finals wrong with the radio.  I posted on the Ten Tec Listserv   asking if anyone had an old junked 540 with good finals, and explaining David's hard work in upgrading after so many years and overcoming problems.  Imagine my surprise when Mike Bryce, WB8VGE, emailed me saying he would work on the radio for free, I just needed to get it to him.

Then came another surprise when another ham,  K4ZM, Jim Younce,  on the Ten Tec Listserv emailed me, saying he was a former Ten Tec dealer (Yes, they used to sell through dealers), and had final transistors, driver transistors, and some other parts left over from his dealer days, and he would donate them without charge to the cause.  Jim, who lives in  Mobile, Alabama, has a history of helping handicapped hams.  Take a look at his bio on QRZ.   I got him and Mike together via email, sent the transceiver on its way, and the job was started.

I really believe Mike had it fixed the first day he received it, or very soon after, as he emailed "The Ten Tec Lives!"  He took the job of repairing it in spite of having a very heavy work schedule himself, and went through alignment and everything that needed fixing or tweaking.  He kept me updated on the progress and soon the rig was on its way back to Kentucky. 

I  set it up with the power supply and digital readout I had for the rig, and amazingly, the first contact I made was in South Africa on 15 meter phone, barefoot, on my mini-beam.  The receiver has that nice sound from the front mounted speaker, and everything worked just fine.
I thought the rig would be ideal for him with the fairly large digital readout, and Dave managed to get an 80/40 dipole up for the rig.   We turned it on and made a contact with a local ham, who gave us a good report on audio and signal strength.  Dave has made several local and longer contacts since then, and has been happy to finally get on HF, after 19 years on the "short stick."

Our club President, KY4JLB, donated a D-104 microphone to be used on the rig, since I wanted to keep the Ten Tec stick microphone shown in the photo.  It's the only one I have with high impedance to work on the several old Ten Tec and other vingtage rigs I still have.  I rewired the D-104 to work with the Ten Tec, and it seems to be fine.

I think the Jacks on the front of the PS and the large digital readout will make this rig easier to use for Dave.  The big speaker in the front of the PS also is better than the small one in the bottom of the transceiver.

Congratulations to David, shown with his wife at this year's club dinner, for having the persistence to upgrade under a handicap.  He used to do a lot of tower work, years ago. 

Also, thanks to the two hams, WB8VGE, in Ohio,  and K4ZM , in Alabama, who graciously devoted their time and resources to help Dave get on the air.  Both are active on the Ten Tec Listserv, as well as the QRP-L listserv, and have contributed much to the hobby, and continue to do so. 

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