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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | TenTec Hercules II Help

Reviews Summary for TenTec Hercules II
TenTec Hercules II Reviews: 32 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1395.00
Description: Full QSK, 500W solid-state amplifier
Product is in production.
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WA1RAW Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2007 05:46 Send this review to a friend
The Big Easy!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased new in 1994 with Ten-Tec remote head and power supply. After 12+ years Herc II ownership and 40+ years exp with other amps (BTI LK-2000, Collins 30s-1 30l-1, Drake L-4b, heath sb-220, Henry 2k-4 3k, Kenwood tl-922, Nat'l ncl-2000, etc.) I now feel qualified to write a review.

When most people walk into the shack they ask where the amp is, thanks to the Herc II remote head, which is the best thing since sliced bread. Rarer than hens teeth, but worth every cent...if you see one, buy it!!

The amp itself has never given me a problem -- not one, ever. Absolutely reliable. Totally broadband coverage with no tune up required. Just switch the band switch and transmit 500+ w! It has good self-protection circuitry, so hamfists, such as myself have no worries. Don't hesitate to buy one if you can find one!

The power supply (90-100 amps at 12vdc) is compact and has never given me any problems whatsoever. You can run the amp on a car battery (deep cycle only) if you wish, so it would be easy to use the amp either mobile or maritime, but I haven't done so. I just use the amp at home. The power supply is a nice accessory to have, but not absolutely necessary, depending on your requirements.

The tiny remote control head is a little gem, and a work of art!! Just switch the band switch and transmit!! Again -- buy, buy, buy, if you can find one!

Cabling these 3 ten-tec pieces together couldn't be easier, and I've never had any problems interconnecting the amp with non-ten tec equipment.

This amp and its accessories are any easy 5. My only recommendation to any potential buyer is to just check the amp out prior to purchase.

If Ten Tec were to start manufacturing the Herc II again they'd probably sell a million. A smart buy!!!
KO0Q Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2007 21:09 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned a Hercules II about a month and it works flawlessly. I purchased the Ten Tec 311 Band Data Converter to connect the amp to my Orion II for remote band switching. I've never used a tube amp, but this solid state amp is about as easy as it gets to use.
K3SRO Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2006 10:18 Send this review to a friend
great amp, very quiet, well made, good value for the dollar  Time owned: more than 12 months
It is too bad that Ten Tec does not make the Hercules II any longer. It was a pricey amplifier, but it is well made, quiet and takes up little desk space. The only problem with this amplifer is that you need a hefty 80 amp P/S to operate it. It can be used with a marine battery, but maintaining a charge on the battery is annoying. Care should be taken when operating this amp indoors with a marine battery system (battery fumes). The 9420 P/S (100 amps) was a nice option to power both the Hercules II and a Ten Tec HF transceiver, but it was an expensive option. The amp will usually have a maximum output of 500 watts with the exception of 10 meters. I use my Hercules II with the OMNI VI+ and the auto 253 antenna tuner. It makes a great auto 500 watt station. The internal fan on the amp is whisper quiet too.
HB9AZT Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2005 02:19 Send this review to a friend
Best Amp for remoters!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this amplifier for a internet remote operated station together with a kenwood ts-2000. It's a very stable and reliable amp and brings up to 600 watts with about 50-70 watts input. It has a very nice feature for remoters: bands are switchable via external relays, so just connect it to the band output of a microham interface and you have the perfect amp for a remote operated station. It has also an output for the fault marker of the protection circuit, so you can check any faults via a web i/o-device. The harmonic suppression is excellent, i measured more than 50 dB. If you find one, don't hesitate to buy it!
KD6WD Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2005 09:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent, wish it was still made.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
About 2 months ago I purchased my first Hercules II amplifier with the Tentec 100 amp power supply. I liked the amp so well I purchased a second Hercules II.

I also have the Titan III amplifier. I moved to Florida about 2 years ago. Little did I realize you can get a heart transplant or kidney transplant quicker than you can get an electrical contractor to run a 220 volt line.

So I used my AL811 amplifier for a while. Even though the al811 is the best bang for the buck, it in no way compares to the Titan III. So I purchased the Hercules II. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. I hooked it up to a 35 amp hour sealed lead acid battery and that puppy puts out over 400 watts on only 28 watts drive. And after continual comments on how clean the audio was from over 300 stations I felt this was a real keeper. I have since added a second gel cell of 35 amp hours and an 10 amp automatic battery charger. This combo keeps every thing running for 4 hours of heavy rag chewing. The side benefit is that the harmonic suppression on this amp is so good it doesn't get into the tv, the portable phones, etc. The amplifier is well protected if you fire it up on the wrong band or have extremely high swrs.

In my opinion it beats the dickens out of the ALS-500 and ALS600. You won't have to send this amp back for several repairs. Tentec in their wisdom set the amp up with plenty of headroom. 500 watts with 8 MRF458's left plenty of room for higher swrs with out damage to the devices. I am not trying to knock Ameritron but in my opinion they should have setup their ALS-500 for about 400 watts max and had a similar reduction on the ALS600.

For you guys with the 5 watt qrp rigs (817) you will love this amp because you get out about 100 watts with 5 watts cw.

KR4JA Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2005 06:58 Send this review to a friend
If you can find one, buy it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Found a mint one-owner Herc II and bought Larry�s (N8MIS) interface logic kit. Great combination with my Icom Pro II. The amp band-tracks with my Icom on 160M-10M. I run the amp with a pair of 100Ah Deep Cycle Marine AGM batteries hooked in parallel and a Battery Tender Plus 6A automatic charger. It�s nice to have an instant 500W while my TenTec Titan is doing it�s 3 minute warm-up. The Hercules II is a very well built amp, nothing comes close in today�s market, with the possible exception of the SGC-500.

It seems the Hercules II was an amp made �before it�s time�. I would think that with the popularity of today�s Icom radios (Pro, Pro II, Pro III), along with the N8MIS logic interface kit which will also work with the IC706 by changing the din plug, and the vast improvement of HF mobile screwdriver antennas over the last 5 yrs, the Herc II + Icom + N8MIS interface, would be an ideal HF mobile setup. If you can find a Herc II, get Larry�s kit while he still sells it, you will be very pleased.

73, Dave
KAHL Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2004 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use, reliable, well protected!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
An excellent amplifier, well protected against operator or other error. Puts out a reliable 550 watts with less than 100 watts drive. The internal circuitry is carefully and neatly laid out, it has a large heat sink, and a very quiet thermally controlled fan.

It is a very solid unit, and the digital LED's that indicate peak power are a real plus.

The Hercules II at K1AHL is a real keeper, it would be hard to imagine a more useful and user friendly unit. Mine is fed from an Optima Blue Marine Deep Discharge/Starting battery with a 10 amp automatic charger; in QSO's the charger has no difficulty in 'keeping up' with the amperage used.
KZ1X Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2004 19:52 Send this review to a friend
a 500W+ IC756PRO 2  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the gizmo described below made by N8MIS. (He did a nice job; I could have built it too but it was a time vs. money calculation ...) Any way, with this Icom control interface and the Herc II / 9420 I've had for 5 years, I have an auto-band-switched, no tune, clean 550W from 160 - 10 meters. Only way I'd "upgrade" is if I could find an autotuning Emtron DX2 with the 3CX1500D7 ... and since that does not exist, my setup now is "the best a man can get." Full QSK, full duty cycle, never a glitch or groan, instant on -- and no extra 200W of shack heat from filaments running in the long NC summertime.
KI6YN Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2004 19:03 Send this review to a friend
PERFORMS FLAWLESSLY  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just select the band and away you go. The QSK is great; you do hear the vacuum relay though. I only operate CW and use the Herc II when conditions require it on either my Omni 6 + or Orion; I use a single DPST switch to select control rig. The Herc is silent and just loafs along. Think about it, 500 watts is less than an S unit away from full legal power and this is all solid state and does what it was designed to do without any problems.
G7EIT Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2004 19:54 Send this review to a friend
A great amp  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have only had one for about 2 months but have done many hours work since. I can get about full power out at test but it will run cool at 300watts. I do get very good reports with it and I find it to be very stable.

A+ for the chunk of kit
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