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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | TenTec Rebel Help

Reviews Summary for TenTec Rebel
TenTec Rebel Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $199.00
Description: Rebel Mode 506 Open Source QRP Transceiver
Product is in production.
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VE3XDB Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2016 10:17 Send this review to a friend
Fun little QRP rig   Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this rig for about 3 years, and it is in frequent use. I have updated the sketch with Rebel Alliance 2.3, and have been controlling the rig using my computer, running Debian Linux, Flrig and Fldigi. The K3 option in Fldigi works with the Rebel Alliance sketch.

* works well with the computer, although it took awhile to perfect the process;
* nice receiver, stable with good audio;
* the Rebel Alliance sketch give me everything I need, including a keyer, frequency enunciator, and K3 selection, which works with the Rebel.

* the sidetone and transmit offset are not on the same frequency.
* it took quite a bit of effort to get this rig to play nice with the computer, and it still fails 50% of the time, at initial start up. Once connected, it works fine. My operating system is Debian 8 Linux. The sequence that I use is:
1. Fire up GTKTerm, set up for 38400-8-N-1. If you have selected the correct port, you should see a display showing the frequency, DC power voltage, RIT, and keyer speed. Change the frequency using the encoder on the rig to confirm that it is being read by the computer.
2. Launch Flrig using K3 transceiver settings. Change frequency using the scroll wheel on the mouse to confirm connected. May have to wait a few seconds. Once confirmed, shut down GTKTerm. At that point, the S-meter should start working.
3. Start Fldigi, set up with default sound card settings. Make sure the headphone jack is plugged into your soundcard on the computer.

Once this is done, you should be able to decode CW and change frequency with Fldigi. Some of the other controls work, but I confine my use to these two controls.

* I am using the rig only on 40 meters. Need to give it a try on 20, and wire up the band change board.


NP3TY Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2015 16:52 Send this review to a friend
I love this little radio   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received radio sent by ten tec, arrived in good packaging when opened it impressed me the construction and easy operation, it is an excellent receiver and has good filters and an amazing QSK, the group 506 ten tec yahoo is very helpful , for the first time buy a ten tec radio has been a great experience, I recommend this product for anyone who wants to qrp and have all the tools to make good contacts
N2QFD Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2015 19:19 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My first new factory rig and not a thing to be disappointed about. The ability to re-write the programming in the radio is awesome and I've added to the design to get the radio where I want it. Taken it into the field and operated portable. Great break in and the filters are more than enough. Had about 100 QSO's on it since March 2015 and never let's me down.
KO4O Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2014 16:27 Send this review to a friend
Great little qrp rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this rig 2 months I just needed a good qrp rig, I never had any plans to to do any of the modification, On my first weekend there were 2 contests, I was able to work 141 contacts and 12 countries while learning to use it on 40 meters. As of now my plans have changed, after getting a couple of arduino boards and learning a little arduino programming I will definitely do some of the modifications. I have owned many TenTec rigs over the last 40 years and have never been disappointed. It has a very hot receiver, very stable and of course great qsk.
AE6RQ Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2013 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Pure enjoyment in so many new ways!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fundamentally, the Rebel 506, is a SA612-based QRP transceiver design like many others, and its off-the-shelf performance is as you would expect with those designs too. Looking at the front panel and data sheet, you'll probably notice that the radio doesn't come with a display or even a keyer!

But neither ultimate performance, nor an array of bells-and-whistles are what this little radio is about. The Rebel, whose schematics, board layouts, and software source code are all provided under an open source license, is meant to provide a solid radio foundation integrated with a high-performance, off-the-shelf Arduino-compatible microprocessing platform. The result is a radio reference platform that can be extended through both software and/or hardware. Its obvious that Ten-Tec put a lot of thought toward ensuring that the hardware design is good for expansion. This includes things like jumpers at both the input and output end of the BPF (so you might substitute in a different BPF), easy access to audio output, use of a fast DDS, and read-access to the AGC voltage.

Already, the Rebel community (see the Yahoo Group) has been busy to modify the original Ten-Tec software and in a couple of cases, provide minor hardware enhancements. The result is that this little radio now has multiple display options (displays are $4 from eBay), a CW keyer, beacon mode, automatic band switching, and CW frequency read-out. CW-decoder software is apparently around the corner. There is some talk too of modifying it to support PSK and other modes.

With the Rebel, I get to have a decent performing radio that also brings me lots of fun in so many other ways. When I add to it, it satisfyingly morphs from a Ten-Tec radio into MY radio. Because this radio is continually evolving and morphing, it's very different from a kit which offers little modification potential after it's all put together. Its gratifying to know that I'm part of a larger team all contributing, in whatever ways we can, toward bigger, better and more impressive capabilities from this radio.

NG9D Rating: 5/5 Oct 16, 2013 18:17 Send this review to a friend
A First Look - and Listen!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received the Ten-Tec Rebel 506 a couple days ago. So far have only been using the receiver with the stock operating program. As I write this, the room is filled with CW audio from the Texas Tumbler Acoustic Resonance Speaker plugged into the Rebel.

The DDS VFO is rock steady. The stock LED tuning step counter is easy to use. The rig powers up on 7030 kHz. So, setting the Step Function to 1 kHz, rotating the tuning knob and counting 17 blinks of the LED results in QSY to 7047 kHz. A slight twist of the RIT results in reception of W1AW at 7047.5 kHz. The rig is programmed to stay within the 40 and 20m ham band limits.

If you are interested to listen for yourself -- including a brief demonstration of the wide, medium and narrow filters -- cut and paste this link into your browser:

When I learn more about the Rebel I will add to that link.

73, Lynn
AK2B Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2013 07:00 Send this review to a friend
Great Fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The fruits of programming can reveal itself in two ways. One is where the result shows up on a computer display and the other propels a robot across your living room floor. The world of Arduino has opened up the second type, embedded computing, to a large group of hobbyist instead of just the few who were able to master assembly language programming.
Ten Tec has very cleverly introduced the Arduino world to the radio amateur by mounting a ChipKit Uno32 development board smack in the middle of a two band QRP transceiver, the Rebel 506.
I hesitated buying one at first surmising, why do I need yet another QRP rig? Well, I thought, it could be fun. I joined the "TenTec506Rebel" Yahoo group and found that several amateurs had already contributed to the open source code by adding additional features to the radio. Having had some programming experience, I could no longer resist. So far, I've added a four line LCD, a relay band switching board, a keyer and customized the tuning rate for my particular preference.
Programming is done in the chipKit development platform called mpide, which is very close to the Arduino IDE and makes use of most of the same libraries. The chipKit Uno32 is a great deal more powerful than the Arduino Uno yet anyone who is familiar with Arduino will feel right at home with the chipKit Uno32.
The radio itself is has an NE602 for a mixer and 4 pole varactor tuned crystal filter allowing ssb as well as cw reception. An AD9834 DDS VFO allows tuning of the entire 40 meter or 20 meter amateur band. As shipped, band switching is done by changing 5 jumpers. There is plenty of audio to drive a speaker and overall the Rebel 506 is a well-built transceiver. At $200 it is a worthy product for the price. For the fun I've had with it so far, it has more than paid for itself.

Tom, ak2b

W3KC Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2013 11:45 Send this review to a friend
Flexible  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Basic 5 watt 2 band QRP rig as shipped with nice filters, RIT, and QSK. The red dot QRG blinker in the TenTec logo is a really neat touch.
Performance has been excellent.
My first addition will be a digital readout, and that's the exciting part - there is lots of potential for enhancments.
Thanks to TenTec for opening the door via open source with the modestly priced but high quality Rebel.

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