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Reviews Categories | Transverters | Ten-Tec 1208 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec 1208
Ten-Tec 1208 Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $$95
Description: SSB-CW 6-Meter Transverter Kit
Product is in production.
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KD7RDZI2 Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 14:07 Send this review to a friend
America's Best!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have just acquired the assembled kit version of the transverter. My transverter is NOS, the manual was printed in 1994!!!
I drive the transverter with about 2 Watts and the output is about 10 Watts on my wattmeter. Reception is what it should be. The frequency was carefully calibrated. The conversion gain is about 3 S-units. They provided a switch so I can choose the HF or the 6 meters without disconnecting antennas. The drive can be anything up to 10W provided R5 is changed. What I really like is the manual: it's informative and better than a service manual. Surely the best manual I ever owned.
KG4NEL Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2014 18:30 Send this review to a friend
This ham’s introduction to DX on VHF  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like many hams in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, my introduction to amateur radio was the code-less Technician license, which limited us to the world above 50MHz. I took the typical approach and bought an HT for my first radio, but I had been an SWL before; I knew there was a lot of DX I was missing by only monitoring the local repeaters.

The peak of Cycle 23 brought with it a lot of DX opportunities on VHF, and because I had a Yaesu HF rig for shortwave listening, I decided to get one of the TT 20 meter-to-6 transverters. I quickly put up a dipole in the attic, and was rewarded that night with a roundtable of regulars stretching from Charlotte to central Virginia. The following day, I heard ZF1DC from the Cayman Islands calling CQ – I didn’t work him, but I was hooked.

This was over my high school’s Christmas break, giving me lots of time to leave the radio on for openings. The MUF was good to me over those few weeks, and after working both Scotland and Greenland via F2, I knew what people meant about the frustration and fun of the Magic Band – all with a handful of watts and an indoor wire antenna.
KC8LTL Rating: 4/5 Jan 7, 2011 16:24 Send this review to a friend
Good basic Transverter  Time owned: more than 12 months
A few years ago I won a bid on a factory made 1208 on ebay, but I never got around to using it for various reasons. But this summer I saw 6M spots and ran to get my FT-100 from the car to work some people. This worked ok on SSB, but when I went over to CW, I found out that after as many hours I have spent on CW with my Elecraft K2, I was not comfortable using my FT-100 on CW. So, I got out this little black box and used it with the K2, and it worked quite smoothly. Just plug in the power and connect the RF cables and your are set to go.

RX in normal situations was at least as good as the FT-100, and since I was more comfortable adjusting the filter settings (and keying speed, etc) on my normal radio, the operator comfort was much better. The auto detect TR switching seemed to do QSK better than the FT-100 as well.

There is one down side to a transverter to 20M, however. In July the CQ VHF contest was the same weekend as the NA QSO Party (RTTY) and the very loud RTTY signals on 20 were adding quite noticeable QRM when looking for CW on 6. Strictly speaking, this is not the problem of the 1208. I unplugged the coax from the transverter and found I was hearing the 20M stations from just the 4 ft RG8X patch cable. They barely moved the needle, but then again, neither did the stations I was working on 6. While not really the fault of the 1208, it is a design decision that got a bit in the way.

There ARE fancier transverters out there which should provide higher performance, but they both cost more and require more planning for interfacing into your station. This little box will get you on the air on 6M simply and fairly quickly without you having to pay for and learn how to use a new radio. As such, I expect it will have a place in my shack for a long time.
IW7ED Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2010 12:35 Send this review to a friend
Good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
very good for the modification of the new range 70MHz.
IW7ED Rating: 3/5 Dec 3, 2010 07:52 Send this review to a friend
Very good for 70mhz  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very good for change for the new range (for Italy) of 70MHz.

73 de iw7ed Fabio
WB4QNG Rating: 4/5 Dec 4, 2006 18:10 Send this review to a friend
good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got mine off of e-bay a couple of years ago. It will get you on six meters. Would rather have a dedicated 6 meter rig but the difference in price this will work
VE8NX Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2004 15:17 Send this review to a friend
good kit but not for beginners  Time owned: more than 12 months
built one of these several years ago and used it until I got an 817. Worked great and the service from Ten Tec was excellent.
Only problem was when I forgot to turn off the auto tuner on my 450SAT. It kicked in and blew a few components in the xvtr. Called Ten Tec and the folks were very helpful and sent replacement parts right away.
Good kit, manual was a little wonky but if you read it over first and give it some thought before starting, it should not be a problem (It may have been rewritten since I built my kit)
KB1GMX Rating: 4/5 Feb 2, 2004 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Good 6m Xverter for price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just fnished the second of two I own. The first is still in use and is assembled by the book. The second is going to be embedded in a transceiver I'm building so it's not in the really nice TenTec case. It's a nice modifyable design.

Both do 9.5W using Bird wattmeter and 13.8V dc. Both check out using any handy 20m Rx as having an extemely good RX.

The power is good enough for openings and will easily drive larger bricks for serious power.

A note: I give it a 4 as it's not a beginners kit by any stretch. It is still an excellent kit and for the dollar it's hard to get a better transverter.
KC9FCO Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2004 15:32 Send this review to a friend
A good building block  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As with other reviews, I also had trouble with Q15
and lots of noise....I cured my 1208 by replacing Q15 the BF998 with a 3N200 and removing the Gate2 to Drain bias resistor and putting a 10K pot from +12 to ground with the wiper to Gate2. This gave me control of the Rx gain.
I found the kit to be very straight forward and fun to build. The instructions were clear and product quality was very good. I would recomend this kit to any one interested in getting in on 6 meters at a budget.

For those who like to experiment and modify this is a good choice. The layout lends itself to easy mods.

I'm running my 1208 with a Navy R-1051B receiver and T-827 exciter, with the seperate Rx/Tx, I had to modify the 1208 input circuit, removed some of the pin diodes added a SMA style connector and such.

Next I'll pull some 4CX250B's out of storage and a couple of High voltage Xformers and put together a nice foot warmer to kick out a few hundred watts. Of coarse we'll have to have the filters installed too....

Any how....back at the Ranch.....
The 1208 is a wonderful little kit and well worth the price.....!!!!!!

Any one wishing details of the mods, I'll put together a document and send it to them.
email me at

N9ESH Rating: 3/5 Aug 5, 2001 03:42 Send this review to a friend
Nice addition to the shack  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I must agree with the other reviewers that the 1208 is a handy item to have in the shack. It does what is advertised and is a great way to introduce a newcommer to 6 meters. If you never worked 6 meters, be prepaired for some interesting if not exciting propagation.

I will note, however, that this should not be a first time kit builder's project. A Heath-Kit it is not. If you have moderate to extensive Heath-Kit expierence, the 1208 should be a snap. Otherwise, put in some soldering and building practice with simpler kits to build up your skills. Some of the components such as the tuning slugs, are very delecate and easily broken (Ten-Tec added an extra tuning coil with slug!). Some steps in the assembly manual are not very clear, so read them very, very carefully. Also, be sure to have the right tools to do the job.

Problem noted:

Upon completion, the receiver showed 7 S-units of solid noise. Troubleshooting showed Q15 to be oscillating. The fix I used was to put a 10K resistor across R39. I don't know if Ten-Tec recomends this, but it quieted the noise floor to nil and increased the receiver gain quite a bit. Several Hams I talked to had this same problem. It would be nice if Ten-Tec added a note on how to fix this oscillation problem in their manual if it is encountered. (The manual says to tune for max noise! It does not say how much to expect)

Once the noise problem was fixed, the 1208 works like a dream. Now if only someone would come out with an affordable 6 meter brick amplifier with about 50 watts.......
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