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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Ten Tec RX-320 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten Tec RX-320
Ten Tec RX-320 Reviews: 25 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $$295
Description: Computer Controlled Shortwave Receiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com/TT320.htm
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KG4LJB Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2013 17:30 Send this review to a friend
Nice little HF receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first RX-320 back in the late 90's and have had a lot of fun with it. Though it's no longer my primary receiver, (my Flex 5000A is a bit more fun), I still take my trusty RX-320 with me on vacations or when camping.

Picked up another in need of repair recently, and have restored it to normal operation (Bad mixer FET's). It's currently on loan to a new ham that wants to get the feel for HF ops while he prepares for his General ticket.

I have come up with a process that replaces the 9 pin serial port connector with an on board mini-USB interface. Even U1 - the RS-232 transceiver I.C. is removed, and data from the replacement USB device is sent directly to the microprocessor (it's actually a DSP chip, but who's splitting hairs!).

To your computer and the RX-320 control software, it still "looks" like a serial port, but hardware wise - it's pure USB.

No dongles, no serial cables, no adapters, no mess, no BS.

I've performed this mod on both of my RX-320's and it works brilliantly (on Windows 7 and XP).

Anyone interested should look at this blog post:

http://marineelectronicsrepair.com/?p=162

I repair electronics for a living (30+ years) and have come to be quite familiar (and impressed) with this little beast. If yours is misbehaving, feel free to contact me. There's a very good chance I can help you.

Shoot me an email or call me at the shop. 941.748.1941.

I have a few other mods I can perform - such as the replacement of the crappy old RCA antenna connector. Options are UHF (SO-239) BNC or my favorite - TNC. You loose the use of the on board whip antenna - but so what. It's pretty much useless anyway, (in my opinion).

My next mod is to tap into the 1st I.F. with a buffer amp, and export the signal for use with a $20.00 DTV dongle - thus giving you a pan adapter and all of the benefits associated with SDR! I've got a good game plan and it looks like it's actually going to be pretty simple, (I just need some TIME)!

For what it's worth, many Tentec radios use the same serial port interface circuit as the RX-320, therefore my USB mod will work with them as well.

Other mods in the works (or at least on my grey matter drawing board) are a GPS disciplined master oscillator - making the unit EXTREMELY accurate in frequency and making it so you never have to add (or subtract) a few extra HZ to the frequency readout in order to get good clarity when listening to SSB signals.

This is a fine little rig. I'm surprised Tentec does not sell a lot more of them!
 
3B8BB Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2012 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio amazing reception  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had this radio for a few months now,hears everything my IC-R75 hears and more.I use RX-320 Control Panel ver. 2.1.133 downloaded for free with very good results indeed as it makes use of the multi filters available.Had a small antenna at first but it really came alive when connected to my longwire through a FRT-7700 passive tuner....Highly recommended little radio
 
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2012 04:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the Ten Tec-320D few years ago but havent used it much main intrest is mainly aero,ndb antenna is a Wellbrook-ALA1530AL-1 performance is excellent..
 
VE5MV Rating: 0/5 Jul 27, 2012 15:59 Send this review to a friend
problems  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my unit used from eBay.com...couldn't get it to function on either WinXP or Win7....sent unit out to be serviced and the technician reports it is functioning fine for him...again cannot get it to function at all on my computer...tried different cables and tried to get com ports adjusted correctly - nothing. Tried 3 different control programs. Nothing. So I am forced to give this little radio a zero rating...the instructions and troubleshooting help sections are extremely brief and limited and in real life offer no substantial assistance whatsoever. So I still don't know where the problem is located. If and when I ever get the little radio to work I will update this review.
 
K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2012 11:51 Send this review to a friend
Wow... this is great ! A Lot of Radio for the Money !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use the Ten-Tec RX-320D as a "second receiver" to compliment my Ten-Tec Omni VII transceiver. I use N4PY control software to display a constantly updated frequency spectrum scope on the computer. I mouse click on the band scope, and both radios instantly tune to the selected frequency. Thereafter, I then have the RX-320D resume "scanning" the band. It is like a mini-panadapter, or second receiver.

OF course, I also enjoy using the RX-320D as a general coverage receiver, which receives both broadcast stations and amateur stations with clear, crisp audio, and selectable bandwidth filters. I see another reviewer complains of the audio, but I presume he is referring to the internal speaker... It has swell audio out, if you run this through your computer sound card, and you can use software-based equalizers and sound processing applications to further refine the sound - for example, when listening to the ham bands, I reduce very low, and very high, audio frequencies, which are above or below (respectively) the frequency range for human speech, and this reduces unwanted hum or hiss on the audio chain. The sound is, therefore, as good as your computer speaker system. (I use a pair of small M-Audio active "studio monitors" and it sounds great. You can further tailor the audio out, of you employ a passive frequency equalizer between the computer and the active monitors, but that is bordering on overkill. Nevertheless, you have wide latitude in shaping the resulting audio out. Using the crappy interior speaker is, therefore, a self-inflicted wound, or victimless crime, as it were.

The radio has simple, but important and effective controls. RF-Gain is your best friend, allowing you to maximize signal-to-noise, and the many filter selections allow sufficient flexibility and improve selectivity when desired.

There are MANY control programs available - most of them are free and do a good job - but I use N4PY's control software (which also controls my Ten-Tec Omni VII and Kenwood TS-590s tranceivers - or either of them at the same time, allowing me to run the RX-320D as a "second receiver.") N4PY keeps the software free of bugs, glitches, and occasionally adds new features. N4PY software controls both radios, AND sends frequency data to my Palstar AT-AUTO tuner - such a deal. I change frequency, and both rigs and the tuner respond instantly, and my antenna is matched even before I send the first dit or dah. I like that.

I sometimes run the RX-320D with a computer control program called ScopeStation Ultra by Callsign Software. It has a more elaborate and detailed user interface and provides even more control, and monitoring functionality than the N4PY software provides. The producer of that program also provides excellent support and keeps the program updated, and free from bugs. The software makes the rig a full fledged, full sized, top performing radio - it really is an excellent radio for the price.

Note - I concur with others who recommend a good external antenna, with high quality coaxial cable transmission line to keep minimize EMI/RFI. Using the little whip that comes with it will be cause for disappointment. This is especially true if you operate the rig in a ham shack, where transmitters are used close by. I have my little black box located near the wall where the receiver antennas come in, and run high quality coax to the antennas, so I have no problems at all. A little care is all you need to avoid the problems others report.

The rig communicates with the computer through a serial port. I do NOT use a USB/Serial adapter cable. Instead, I use a 4-port PCI-e/serial card in the computer, which gives me 4 old fashioned serial ports for my various radios that use serial ports to communicate with the computer, and this is the best $24 I have spent in the past 20 years. This is a totally fool proof solution to wanting serial connectivity. Call me if you want a USB/serial adapter cable . . .


My only gripes are the on/off switch is on the back of the box, and there is no LED pilot light to indicate whether the rig is on or off. I may add that... or not... someday as a workshop project.

Bottom line = excellent radio with excellent selectivity, sensitivity, multiple sharp skirted filters, useful RF-Gain control, easy to operate computer screen user interface, and has a very small footprint on the desk top. A lot of radio in a very small, easy to use, package. Yeah, I am very happy with my Ten-Tec RX-320D receiver.

// K8JHR //





 
W4DXL Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2012 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Makes DRM Super easy!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you are into digital shortwave listening this little guy is a must! I was amazed at the results I got with a simple pair of clip leads. I haven't had a lot of time to play with it but last night I hooked it up to my Cushcraft R-5 vertical and this radio really showed it's stuff! I was able to hear RNZI from New Zeland aimed at the Pacific and I'm on the east coast! Tuning with the Dream software is easy just highlight the station in the list and the radio tunes it. If you find the 320D all you have to do is connect an audio cable from the IF output to your computer's sound card input, it's that easy! I have tried DRM with communications transceiver and this is by far the best solution. Analog listening also works very well too!
 
KB9IV Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2010 18:20 Send this review to a friend
Fine Little Box  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have found the RX 320D SDR Receiver to be fine and usefull in all modes. Giving it a 5.0 is not overdoing it.

It's well worth $200 going price used. The receiver is very quiet and amply sensitive top to bottom. DSP fiters work very fine the audio out that is ample with NO Hiss.

Yes the control software is dated and sparse but once you get familliar its simple and effective.

I plan on buying another so I won't be without this fine receiver in the future.

Ten Tec repaired mine in one day due to a "Mother Nature Handshake" and TT is top notch
Company. They standby by their products NOT hide behind their products.

It's a win, win all around........Bravo!!\

Bill KB9IV
 
DF9CY Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2009 06:04 Send this review to a friend
I love that black box  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the RX320D since 2003 while working for a company developping car radio. I wanted to show my bosses what is possible with a little box on MW and SW, especially with DRM. And it worked :-) DRM with the RX320D worked so fine even mobile in a car that we had to implement it into the next generation development. Sad enough it never made the way into the cars. I have done a lot of test drives through Europe and through the U.S. and always I had my RX320D as a reference with my. Even after this extensive use it looks like new.

I sometimes use it as 2nd receiver with converter for receiving EME signals on 2m with good success.

Nowadays I have it running WSPR (by K1JT) as receive only on 30m and 40m regulary.

I made the recommended modifications and it works fine now in the LW bands.

The RX320D has a good sensitivity and the filters do a good job. The serial port speed of 1200 baud is very slow; that could be better.

The TT software is very poor, so I use Clifton's ScanRX320 and Gerd's GNRX320. Both are very good. I have written some own software in C# language but that is for private use only.

Although 400 were a lot of money in 2003, it is worth that value. I can only rate it 5.
A BNC socket would have been better and 9k6 or 19k2 bd for communication between PC and RX320D should have been a must.

The RX320D is a rig I shall keep in my shack.

Christoph DF9CY
 
TERRYW Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2008 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Great results with Black Box  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Very impressive results with 320D. Love the metal case. Lots of freeware and shareware available for control and processing. DRM compatible with impressive sound via software. Nice sensitivity, selectivity and stability. 34 bandwidth filters, which quite blew me away. About as sensitive as my E1. My E1 has better sound through headphones than the 320. The 320 sounds more like my ATS909, which is no bad thing. Sounds like a shortwave radio, huh? ECSS available through some software packages to deal with fading distortion.

All around love it, with great price to features ratio. Great customer feedback. Reliable product in my experience.
 
JETPILOT Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2008 00:17 Send this review to a friend
PC based Gen Receiver & more. It's a Great Value!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm reviewing the RX320D which is a later version that came out a few years ago. Basically but with a IF output at 12Khz for DRM reception, ie the D in RX320D. I bought this radio off of ebay for less than $300. The basic unit is just a small black box with a on/off switch, a removable screw in telescopic antenna and connections: Serial to computer cable, power (from remote power supply), antenna (RCA jack) and three outputs - speaker, line-out & IF (at 12khz for DRM radio).

Basics -PC radio means computer and software. The radio is connected via serial-to-serial/USB cable (provided) to a PC computer. There are no controls on the box except on/off. Everything is controlled from the PC: freq, volumes, filters, AGC, AM/USB/LSB/CW and so on.

The audio output comes from one of one of three small 1/8" phone plugs direct from the RX320D speaker, line-out and IF jacks. You can use a standard speaker or re-route the line-out or IF back into the computers sound card.

The IF output is at 12Khz, which is needed to route into the computers sound card, where special DRM software (seperate from the controller) decodes the DRM signal to digital audio. The DRM software can be found free or commercially under DREAM. I'm in North Carolina and about 900 miles from RCI's Sacksville NB Canada station. They have 8 hrs of daily DRM programs (almost all in English) which I enjoy (9800 & 9790 Khz). With out the software the audio is just static. With DRM the audio is like FM radio.

The unit comes with a basic "controller" program/software. There are many other controllers, for download on the web, many freeware and some commercial. Clifton's RX320 control software is my favorite, which interfaces with a ILG data base utility. Commercial software like RXplus is impressive. Check their site out for details for a boat load of displays, features and digital modes.

There is an active Yahoo Ten Tec RX320 group.

The built in telescoping amplified antenna on-top the radio can be problematic indoor near a high RFI noise environment, such as around computers, printers, monitors. The solution is a good outdoor antenna with a coaxial feed. The antenna screws out if you like or you can leave it in. When you plug into the RCA antenna jack, the built in antenna automatically disconnects. I'm glade they have the built in antenna but to make this radio sing you need a good antenna (true really of any radio right).

The one negative I can think of is it does not have an on/off light. I guess being tied to a PC might be considered a negative, but small portable laptops are readily available. Software is around to tune the RX320(D) with a Palm Pilot!

Ten Tec RX320D at about $360 is a step above portables in features. Although not quite up to the hyper expensive radios that cost 10 times more, it has features that you only find in those new super expensive rigs. Not saying its on par because I have never used those high end rigs, just that this is a good value.
 
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