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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Ten-Tec Argonaut VI 539 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Argonaut VI 539
Ten-Tec Argonaut VI 539 Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $$995.00
Description: Argonaut VI 1-10 Watt Transceiver
Product is in production.
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K9TWO Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2014 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Exceptional  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First I would like to preface my remarks by saying that I actually own this rig and did not use it for a few minutes at a friend's house and I will base my review on how the radio works, not on which bands the radio does not have. I have no problems with it not having the 60 or 12 meter bands, I never use them anyway. Ten Tec left those bands out for a reason. 60 meters is to much like a CB channel as far as I am concerned and 12 meters will soon be as dead as 10 meters.
Not knocking 10 meters, it has always been my favorite as long as you stay above 28.500
As far as the Argonaut, it has better receive audio then any rig I own. Much better than my IC-7600 and just a little better than my FTDX-3000.
I like to be able to turn the RF gain down and still have the S-Meter working. Most rigs won't do that. I use a LDG AT-200 Pro autotuner with mine. Just plug in the mic, set the rig at 5 watts and have it in the CW mode, key the mic and it puts out a carrier to start the tuner. Only takes a few minutes to tune all the bands. I will be using my Elecraft P3 with it soon since it has a 9mhz IF output capability. Ten Tec is sending me the needed cable to install the IF out port.
May have to use a buffer, will find out soon. Ten Tec is sending the cable FREE. In summary, this is one of the finest, simple and best sounding, non tiring rigs I have ever used and I have several. My tuner tuned all bands 80 thru 10 meters with no problems. If you are planning on getting one, I don't think you will be disappointed. Go to the Ten Tec site and read the specs. I did get the mic and cw filter with mine.
Ten Tec installed the filter and set the menu functions for it. I did go into the menu and turn on AM so I could listen to AM stations and WWV. Of course you can't transmit without the optional AM filter. Enjoy .... 73 K9TWO since 1959

Note: bought a Clifton Labs buffer amp and have the Elecraft P3 running with the Argonaut. Works great, plug and play.
W6GF Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2014 22:27 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an easy to use radio, with great RX audio and punchy TX audio. It holds it's own against my KX3, and most like the Argo's TX audio better

Great job Ten Tec

George W6GF
KF7DS Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2013 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful RX - great rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Recently purchased a 539, which is my first Ten Tec rig...honestly, I was expecting a desk bound KX3, not a QRP rig with robust rx and excellent audio that is not fatiguing to listen to for extended periods....very impressed.....and, that is through the included speaker.

The filtering is very good....I can use the rig on 40m without an RX antenna, and the only other radio I have had that can do that with my antenna farm is my FTDX3000 (which has many more filter options).

The ergonomics are simple and the radio is a pleasure to operate...Ten Tec hit a home run on the interface....The lack of 6m or 12m is not an issue as neither are open enough to dictate whether I would purchase the radio or not.

I like the radio so much that I ordered an Eagle. Now I have portable and home station options:).
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2013 13:46 Send this review to a friend
Another Great Argonaut To Continue the Tradition!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It took me a lot less time to enjoy this new Argonaut than it did my previous model (Argo V) which I still have and use. I got the AM and CW roofing filters with it and I've noticed on CW, it comes close to the performance of my Orion II. No....I didn't say as good, I said comes close!

The CW filter gives it a nice touch. Last night, I decided to try 75 meter DX on SSB and wasn't disappointed. I worked an EA3 with a 4/5 report and was called afterwards by a VE3 who gave me an unsolicited compliment on the audio.

Yes, it doesn't have 60 meters or the 12 meter band, I knew that before buying it. If someone buys it and complains that it didn't cover those bands, didn't you read the specs first?

I find the 539 to be a nice, capable and fun rig to use. Ten-Tec has yet to disappoint me!
VK2JJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2013 04:59 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Considering my experiences with this rig, which could simply be described as exceptional, I wonder how somebody could describe the Argonaut VI as "mediocre".

With basic wire antennas (inverted vees) I am having fun with plenty of DX CW QSOs to USA and Europe on 30m using 10 Watts from here in Australia.

My previous rig was a Kenwood TS-590, which is a fine rig, but the receiver in the Argonaut is a step better.

The quality of the receiver and QSK in the Argonaut makes operating a joy.


VOODOO2 Rating: 2/5 Aug 25, 2013 04:18 Send this review to a friend
A mediocre QRP rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When using this xcvr at my friends QTH, it certainly takes quite a bit of time to come up the competent user curve.
The rig works well for what it is but for over $1000 there are many other full featured choices out there that will run circles around this rig.
But I am guessing there is a loyal base of TT fans who will not be dissuaded. Whatever floats your boat.
WB8DQT Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2013 08:24 Send this review to a friend
A first-rate extension of the Argonaut legacy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This rig has a superb receiver and the learning curve for accessing functions is a small price to pay for the simplicity of the front panel! To date I have operated operated the rig on CW (faultless Ten Tec QSK), SSB, SSTV (analog and digital), PSK31, and JT65A and have received consistently good reports on signal quality.

I operate QRP exclusively (QRO reserved strictly for emergency communication) and have had a nice range of QRP rigs. I expect this one will be my favorite. My older Argo V has now been moved to the cottage for portable work and the 539 has taken center stage at the home station. The 539 is not intended as a trail radio and if that's what you want, you should look elsewhere. I have two Ten Tec R4XXX rigs for the trail and I can afford to lose either of them - a pretty basic aspect of any wilderness radio! I also have a Flex 1500 - a real technical marvel with superb performance, but you need a very capable computer and the software is nowhere as integrated as it should be. I think the 539 receiver is better than the Flex and I don't need the computer!

The rig is "missing" the 60, 12, and 6 meter bands. If that is important to you, don't buy the radio. That's pretty simple and does not have anything to do with how well it works! If you are concerned with ratings based on performance, you had best stay with reviews from those who have actually used the 539!

I am operating the digital modes with a Signalink USB interface and it works fine. Just remember to "turn on" the accessory connector by adjusting the line gain as described in the manual. Just for the record, I find that precision digital modes can only be pushed to 4-5 watts out without running afoul of excessive IMB. Less demanding modes such as CW, conventional RTTY, and analog SSTV can be pushed much closer to the rig's 10 watt maximum output.

I purchase the rig looking forward to retirement and I am pleased with the decision.
VE3MKX Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2013 20:27 Send this review to a friend
What a surprise  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ive seen the advertisements and pictures of the radio. After acquiring one, I was surprised at how easy it is to use. There are many functions readily available for use. What a great receiver. The DSP works great and the display is easy to read too. As for no 6m or 12m , oh well.... Im over it... ;)

This rig is a well kept secret !

73 Mike
WA7ZK Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2013 00:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Job Ten Tec!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My 539 was a demo that was returned to the factory and updated before resale. Received in just like new condition. I ordered the optional CW roofing filter which is a bargain ($35). The receiver sounds excellent especially with a external speaker (see cons below).

Ten Tec has come out with a firmware up-date since I purchased the 539. They added some new features to the ARGO. It was down-loaded with no issues.

I love the sound of the receiver, I have a Mark 5 Field which also sounds great, but many times I just listen with the Ten Tec. The Passband Tuning and variable band-with works great. On CW you can go from 2500 down to 100 Hz, with no ringing. The stations off to the side just disappear.

I had a blast using the ARGO on Field Day operating with a deep-cycle RV battery and a low sloping dipole on 40-15 Meters. With 5 watts on SSB it did very well. I was amazed to contact Maui on 15 when they were almost fading into the noise, they were not operating QRP.

Sherwood Labs just added the 539 to their listing, it came in just below the Ten Tec Orions for close in dynamic range. Ten Tec did not compromise in their Receiver design (or the TX for that matter).

Cons, as mentioned by others it would be nice if Ten Tec could squeeze in the chassis room for 60 and 12 meters. There is no external speaker jack. You can use a powered speaker on the headphone jack. I prefer a non-powered speaker such as the Realistic Minius 7, which sounds wonderful with this radio. I utilized the Aux hole at the rear of the set to install a mini SPST switch to direct speaker power to the headphone jack. A simple and easily reversable mod.

My favorite radio.
KD0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2013 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Better than expected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The good review in CQ magazine is accurate. The downconversion design, SSB voice roofing filter, and digital filtering combine to make a quiet receiver capable of completely killing off guys operating 2Khz away from the station you work. The operation is about as good as you can get with this small form factor; e.g.occasionally you will move the tuning knob while operating the passband tuning. But that's the price paid for a very small package. PSK also worked as advertised with the accessory sound card interface, which is more convenient and compact than a Signalink USB. I haven't figured out how to check SWR yet (despite the manual's procedure), and the talkback feature isn't as useful as it might be. But so what? Early this morning,I worked a guy in Luxembourg on 17 meters, running 10 watts voice into a multiband wire. He said my audio was good, and I know his was. This is what it's all about, isn't it?
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