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


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Argonaut VI 539
Ten-Tec Argonaut VI 539 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $$995.00
Description: Argonaut VI 1-10 Watt Transceiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com/products/Argonaut-VI-QRP-1%252d10-watt-Transceiver.html
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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?
 
KO6Z Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2013 07:42 Send this review to a friend
Good Job Ten Tec!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been a ham for 45 years and a QRP op since the early 70's beginning with Heathkit's HW-7. There are few QRP radios I haven't used at one time or another. The Argonaut VI is built strong, it's simple to use, and it works very well. Many tend to overlook the fact that attaining operational simplicity in a complex piece of equipment is a significant engineering achievement. I think Ten tec's engineers did a great job on the new Argonaut.
 
TF3JB Rating: 2/5 Mar 14, 2013 03:11 Send this review to a friend
Looks nice...but  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been a great admirer of Ten-Tec transceivers ever since I first used the Century 21. What a CW marvel. And I can say the same about the Argonaut 5 and its successors.

I must agree with ON6AB, what a disappointment the new Argonot VI is, no 12 meters in a QRP rig? In a way, it is OK that it comes without 6 meters, but the competition has it (even at a lower price!). Then, no 60 meters. Well, this is a bit short sighted, because it is most likely that we will get 5 MHz as a world-wide amateur band at the ITU WRC 2015 conference.

Regrettably, I will have to wait to buy the new model 539, until 12m and 60m have been included in this otherwise interesting QRP transceiver.



 
K3MD Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2013 14:17 Send this review to a friend
Wow!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It would be impossible to do a more complete or objective review than that done by K4SWL on the net at QRPER.COM. Excellent receiver. NR works well. Roofing filter for CW works well. Ran it in the CWops bimonthy contests and it worked fine. The USB to COM port UART software works well, is easy to download, and interfaces well with N1MM and ACLog. It is very easy to confirm that the COM port is working correctly by running system on control panel. Audio quality on receive and transmit SSB is excellent. The built-in speaker does not have the tinny sound of it competitor. It has a built-in audio speech processor, new for Ten Tec QRP rigs. The variable receive bandwidth works well. Receiver is quiet without NR, with it, it is fantastic. Hears as well as an IC-7800 (which costs $11354 more). Controls are well thought-out and intuitive. Certainly beats a Power-Mite 2B, my first Ten Tec rig. I am glad we finally have a ham-band only rig, down conversion. Did not try it on PSK31.
 
F6GYY Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 07:05 Send this review to a friend
Really outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi,
In 30 years I had many rigs, main transceivers and also portables....

I am very pleased to own this little marvel now .
I was following the project since the beginning... The receiver is extremely good as I expected it.... A real joy to use..

Very light and small. Unlike the competition, the readout of the display is first class. As with a good car. View is perfect from nay different angles and you can also use it as a base station..
The VFO knob is very smooth...

My AM and CW filter have been installed by Ten Tec... The selectivity the audio sound on SSB amd on AM are outstanding...

The ergonomy is also very good...The TMB switch is a fine solution.

To run it as a portable general coverage receiver from 0-30 MHz, I have added the Datong UP-Converter UC-1 to it.....Output is then between
28.0 and 29.0 MHz....

Algeria , (1267 km from here ) on LW 252 KHz could be received during the day with RS59 and a very good audio quality.... Loudspeaker or headphones...

Well done, TEN-TEC.

 
K9JWV Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2013 15:44 Send this review to a friend
One AWESOME rcvr  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Stunning receiver operations! Just completed the CQ WW 160 contest as a QRP entry with my 539 and I am floored by how well that receiver kept the alligators and noise out of my headphones!

Signals from strong, STRONG stations < 1 kHz away disappear - turn the RF gain control down (yes, this rig DOES have an RF gain control), adjust PBT control for strongest signal of interest, adjust BW control (read DSP control) for minimal interference from close-by stations and....poof! QRM disappears and you make QSOs!

The transmitted signal is top notch - receive solid, positive comments on the keying as well as SSB voice sound!

The QSK remains .....well….flawless, as any Ten Tec owner can attest to!

That NR control really works! Turn the receiver on, head to 160 meters, listen to the "lots of noise levels," turn NR on.....smile a LOT!

Yes, doesn't have 60 meters nor 12 meters....is that any sort of reason to give it a one? Don't THINK so - disregard that ON station's dismissive comments (IF not having the ability to operate n 60 or 12!) and get this rig...OR, wait 'till the reviews start coming out (CQ suppose to do a review in the February, 2013 magazine) to find out this receiver matches up, I predict, with a K3 or KX-3! No, doesn't have a second receiver but....its dynamic blocking range and IMD3 specs match up well with any receiver.

Four buttons and one toggle switch give you a wealth of "controlling" options - Ten Tec definitely followed the K.I.S.S. philosophy with this one! I have a severe case of neuropathy so having fewer controls AND controls that I can "manipulate" easily was a prime reason for me to purchase this rig....Ten Tec came through, in SPADES!

Enjoy this rig, people! Jim Rodenkirch K9JWV
 
W1YB Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2013 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Exceeds its design intent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I do not own a A VI yet, but I have used one extensively. I use the "common" bands - usually 17 and 30, but occasionally 20 and 40. 6 and 12 meters are completely useless for my purposes. This rig is SO easy to listen to for extended periods, and it is easy to operate. I make more contacts with it than I do with my other rig that has both 6 and 12.

When finances allow I'll purchase the A VI for the shack and a KX3 for portable.

 
ON6AB Rating: 1/5 Jan 3, 2013 18:12 Send this review to a friend
Amazing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's 2013 right?
That this rig still has no 6m coverage is a crying shame but that seems to be TT "tradition".
However, how on Earth can someone design a 1000$ rig without 12m coverage?
I checked the brochure and I downloaded the users manual because I couldn't believe it but unfortunately it's not a typo.
The typo seems to be in the design.
What a joke...
 
N1DZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2012 18:41 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wow! I am so impressed by the receiver on this radio. Using it for the past few days I can truly say that Ten-Tec created another amazing little QRP transceiver.
The Argonaut VI is solidly built and has a high quality feel to it. All the knobs feel sturdy with little play and the display is easy to read. The simple front panel is surprisingly intuitive. It is kind of refreshing to have only three knobs and 4 buttons. Granted some operations require first to set the rocker switch in the proper position. However the triple function of the 4 front buttons is easy to master.
The receiver of the Argonaut VI is absolutely superb. You have to hear it to believe it. The audio on receive is super easy to listen to. The bandwidth control and passband tuning work flawlessly. In A/B comparison with my TS-590 on a noisy 80m band listening to a very faint T6LG, the Argonaut VI had consistently better copy than the TS-590. Pretty impressive as previously I found the TS-590 to do better than my K3. It seems that the 539 can handle the static crashes and band noise better. Obvious on a quiet band the receiver does really well too and is sensitive enough w/o having to use the preamp. I did not notice any improvements with the NB or NR.
I received good audio reports on SSB. On cw the internal keyer works very well and the QSK is smooth as silk. After 5 minutes keydown the radio did not get warm and the output did not drift.
Overall the Argonaut VI is a very impressive QRP transceiver with a receiver comparable to the top transceivers in the market. Some argue that the 539 is too expensive. Considering the legendary Ten-Tec service and that Ten-Tec products hold their value in the pre-owned market, the cost of the Argonaut VI is, in my opinion, very reasonable.
 
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