- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

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

Reviews Summary for Ten Tec RX-320
Ten Tec RX-320 Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $$295
Description: Computer Controlled Shortwave Receiver
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Ten Tec RX-320.

<— Page 2 of 3 —>

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.
WD8AQS Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2007 08:43 Send this review to a friend
The best PC controlled radio for the price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I think TEN TEC did a great job on this little black box. Does everything you want a good communications receiver to do. Lots of control programs out there plus a few for Palms. I bought the D model and have a blast with it. I can't think of anything negative about this rig, it just never let me down.
The best computer controlled receiver in its price range.
AB0XE Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2007 04:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Reciever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I keep this radio out of view with cables
going to my computer. I use it mainly
to monitor the bands when I am out of my basement shack. I use the Ten Tec software which is good
but may upgrade later to a better software.
I attached a Griffin knob to my computer so I get the feel of a radio turning knob.
This radio is a keeper, I am very happy with it.
VE3EFJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 1, 2006 14:54 Send this review to a friend
Time marches on....  Time owned: more than 12 months
Much has been written about the Ten Tec RX320, and much of what has been written is quite accurate. It works amazingly well and it provides some value for he money. From an engineering aspect I am impressed that it works as well as it does seeing that there is almost no front end at all.

I am quite happy with my RX320. There are some items that could go on a "wish list" such as a Noise Blanker and NBFM but they're not really missed nor essential. However what this radio lacks is what I would call "detail". For lack of a little more effort this radio suffers somewhat. It doesn't feel like a finished product.

The radio is not just the black cube. There is a software component and it has to communicate with the computer. This makes the supplied software free game for critique. Its the other half of the radio. The radio is decent. In the case of the RX320, the supplied software and the 1200 baud connection does the radio (the "hardware") a disservice.

My review will end up giving the radio an eHam 4. It does not get a 5. It gets a 4 for the following 2 main reasons.

The supplied software does not allow one to realize the full potential of the radio. Compared to whats out there for a few bucks or for 'free' from Clifton Turner, the supplied software is uninspiring and flat. It does work - true, but it is in real need of an update. Actually, its in need of a rewrite. You use what the factory supplies and then you use something for free written in Basic and you just have to wonder. The supplied software is an under achiever.

The RS232 connection is a good idea. Any computer can drive the RX320. However *nobody* drives a radio at 1200 baud, except perhaps a NASA probe on its way to Jupiter. The bandscope function is pretty well useless at 1200 baud. 1200 baud is right on the edge of being just fast enough otherwise. No, I don't want or need a USB port. Anything above 9600 would be welcome. Its 2006 guys. 1200 baud was state of the art 20 years ago. I'd settle for 9600. Please?

It gets a 4 for 2 more reasons that I'd put in the area of "detail". Actually, lack of it.

There is no indication of it being on. Its just a black cube. A 10 cent LED on the front panel would be most welcome. Please.

No one.... and I mean no one - uses an RCA phono connector for an RF connector. Heathkit did this back in the 60's. Lets get with the program, guys. Is this a radio or not? If it *is* a radio, how much effort is there in an SO239 or a BNC connector? Cost.... about 50 cents.

I enjoy using this 320. It *is* a good performer. The supplied software is lackluster and flat, and the 1200 baud connect while functional, is at best OK. Is it worth the price? Hard to say - there isn't a lot to choose from these days. Updated, I'd say yes. As is, out of the box and nothing more, its less of a radio and more of a well working toy. The LED and antenna connector are annoyances; the 1200 baud can be lived with. Drive it with some 3rd party software and its a MUCH better radio. I shouldn't *have* to make these comments if the factory was on the ball. Or cared. After all, this radio is coming up on 10 years old.

The basic product is decent. With some better software it drives quite nice and otherwise does what its supposed to do. With something like Clifton's RX320 software, the radio will compare favorably with "normal" radios in its price range. What this tells me is that the radio really should be reviewed by the factory and redetailed and modernized. It wouldn't take all that much. Given the age of the radio, I am NOT holding my breath.

Oh well.....
AB7JK Rating: 4/5 Dec 7, 2005 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Nice with limitations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The RX-320D worked easily for me right out of the box. The filters work well as did the freeware from the internet. I won't go into all the features which are already covered in other posts.

With a 50 foot end fed zepp leading to my shack I experienced the following:
SSB were the most difficult signals to listen to with computer and monitor hash degrading reception. A laptop computer, LCD monitor, and or a long sheilded cable feed would be necessary.
On LW and MW performance was better than advertised - I heard more longwave aircraft beacons than were heard with my R-1000 and MW signals were much stronger and clearer than with my Grundig S350 or R-1000. Noise and images also were no problem on these frequencies. I consider the RX-320D exceptional on MW and very good on LW.
Perhaps his applies only to the D' version.
Shortwave coverage was very good with strong signals but digital hash becomes a problem on weaker signals.
The DSP signal processing is very crisp, readable, and can be manipulated with ease using the passband tuning of the control software.
For me however the audio does not meet my tastes missing the richness and warmth I experience listening to stations with the R-1000 (who's audio matches that of tube radios esp. at the 12khz bandwidth setting using an outboard notch filter).
DSP audio is clearly inferior and I've never heard a DSP rig that changed my mind.

The TenTec is neat and alot of fun but for the audio I don't recommend it for general shortwave listening. Call me spoiled - I use the Ten Tec and a couple of aspirin to look around the bands and find something interesting then I turn on the Kenwood to do the listening.
G4IRX Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2005 09:13 Send this review to a friend
No knobs required!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
At £239 here in the UK for the RX-320D this receiver has to be good value for money. You don't get a front panel with knobs or displays but you do get a solid RF performer from 150kHz to 30MHz with DSP IF and demodulator that you drive from your PC.
Either use the supplied Ten-Tec software or download some of the excellent third-pary apps out there, my personal favorites are RXWings2, ShortWaveLog and GN-RX320.
I initially had reservations about the reduced sensitivity on MW/LW but unless you are using it for weak signal DXing you won't notice it with a decent antenna. For strong AM/SW stations wind the bandwidth out to 8kHz and enjoy the fidelity :-)
Mine was purchased to use as an internet remote controlled receiver, used in conjunction with Bob Sillett N3OEA's excellent shortwavelog system, but it still works equally well with my Handspring Visor PDA. I plan to use the palmos combo to develop an in-car installation sometime.

My only complaints are a lack of synchronous AM and FM detectors, and no manual gain control. No big deal at this price (but then the Sony 7600G has it) If you want these or want to DX weak stuff then get an AOR 7030. I still give it 5/5 though.

If you buy in the UK then AOR UK are the importers so you can be assured of first class service.
KB9IV Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2005 10:16 Send this review to a friend
Very Impressive  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Being a SWL for 35 yrs and a Ham for 25 years I can say the RX320D to be the best in performance/price.

Couple the addition of N4PY's software make the small RX320 a superb SDR.......Why?
As a user there isn't anything more a operator has to add for full pleasure.

Sensitivity...Excellent 250Khz to 29Mhz.

Selectivity.. Impresive (Easily defineable) great Shape Factors & Ulitmate Selectivity.
(Example) I can tune with no problem alongside my local 1KW AM station, 2 miles away, 10KHz+/- using ECSS and PBT with flexiabiity and show NO SIGN of my local. Even Icom's, Kenwoods, Drake have problems with this.......yes I've owned the Pro's, Drakes and Kenwoods.

The TT SDR RX320D I was unsure of performance because I owned a TT RX350 receiver($1100) and disliked it. Fell flat on the above tests.

I highly recommend the TT RX320D. One should however have some type of outside antenna, double shielded DB9 cable and LCD computer monitor. These three items will reduce local noise greatly and enhance reception with it.

Best 73,

Bill KB9IV
SWLCHRIS Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2004 22:19 Send this review to a friend
Two Years of RX320  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been a SWL since about 1989 or so. In the years I have owned several radios ranging from an elcheapo all in one multiband radio to a Motorola R390.I got this radio a couple of years ago to replace the ones that were finally dead here.
Overall shipping from Universal Radio was excellent,the radio arrived in a double boxed carton with the original box from Ten Tec plus padding and all from Universal in another box.
Looking at the radio there on my desk at the old apartment was nothing short of jeez..It was way smaller than anything I had owned up till then.
At the time I had one computer with dual boot of Win98 and RH 7.3 and so I got all the programs I could find.
When I hooked it up, I was really surprised by how well it operated,most software programs for the control being very intuitive and easy to operate.
The first thing that made me sit up and take notice was the amount of filters and the agc choices and tuning modes.32 filters 3 agc modes and all sorts of ways to tune this rig.
Two years later in a house with the ability to put up some half decent outdoor antennas and this radio really proves it's worth.
I find that if you are in an apartment ,there will be a whole lot of noise in the radio,it can't be helped that's how sensitive the radio is. In a house somewhat seperated from everyone this radio really shines.My first week in the old house I moved into ,I strung up some wire out back ran it to a 300 ohm to 75 ohm transformer fed with tv coax and was tuning into Radio Uganda and a couple of Peruvians and hearing them faint but clear here at this location in Kentucky.
Now I am at another house with an even quieter location and it simply shines. I use a 21 ft vertical and 50 ft longwire fed the same way as my old antenna. The only problem I have with it is that my piece of crap USR 5610 modem makes so much racket I have to use an external 33.6 modem to hear the tropical bands.Now I have it hooked up to either my Slackware box or a Compaq laptop that I have up and running with Win 3.11 till I replace the cdrom drive.The Slackware box has Hector Pereza's rx320-0.6.1 running the rig and I use the Ten Tec software on the laptop.I hate Windows with a passion,but till I get a cdrom drive that's what I 'm stuck with.Overall review?
*****,for 300 dollars this is the best value in a radio ,pc controlled or not.I don't know of any other radio that offers the versatility or the performance this one has for the money.
K1FPV Rating: 4/5 Jan 12, 2004 14:54 Send this review to a friend
Excellent RX for the Money  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had my RX-320D now for about 3 months. It performs almost as well as many more expensive receivers I've used. Having the ability to vary the bandwidth is outstanding. I find it very sensitive, even in the VLF range. This is inspite of several strong AM stations nearby. Using a 90' long wire as an antenna, I regularly get several of the European and N. African BC stations between 150kHz. and 250kHz, sometimes, well before nightfall.

The only deficiency I could say it has is the lack of a noise blanker, though I don't very often need it. A notch filter would be nice too. However, I intend to use this radio to copy digital signals and the noise blanker and notch filter wouldn't be needed. Not a bad radio for the money!
LSWL Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2003 15:23 Send this review to a friend
Great RX for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The RX-320D is a very good receiver for the price. I use it all the time to decode PSK32, SSTV and RTTY.

The benifit of haveing the D version is that you have the 12kHz IF output so that you can use it with software to decode DRM signals.

The receiver picks up noise from the computer etc if you just use a long wire, use a sheilded feed line to your antenna.

Great receiver, I would recommend it to anyone who wanted a comm receiver under $350.
<— Page 2 of 3 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.