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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.
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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.
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.
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.
LNXAUTHOR Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2003 20:17 Send this review to a friend
A Fantastic Open Hardware Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
- what you get is an external power supply, serial cable, rca phono plug, floppy, screw-in whip, manual, and a black box with no dials, but a P/S connector, COM, line out, speaker out, external antenna connector and power switch on the back...

- if you're a geek, this computer will blow you away... i don't use any products from the software monopoly, so it is important to me that any computer-related hardware be supported by open source... well, the folks at Ten-Tec have created a wonderful 'open hardware' product, and have released specifications on the 320's protocols...

- the 320 does not have any internal memory, and relies instead on commands sent at 1200 baud via a serial cable... this means that the 320 can be controlled by nearly any computer - including a Palm OS PDA!

- i was completed overwhelmed by this product's performance and capabilities when i fired up my Linux workstation, connected the 320, downloaded several free, open-source clients, built them from scratch and then launched them to control the radio...when i attached it to my external antenna, i heard stations that never even registered a signal on my ATS-505, even though it uses the same external antenna!

- the big bonus of course, is that i will NEVER have to worry about software support for this computer... even though Ten-Tec supplies a floppy with software for [shudder] Windows, i will be able to use this receiver with any computer i buy in the future, or any legacy computer supporting RS-232 serial communications...

- in fact, in the first five days i had my 320, i wrote several routines to supplement the open source controller program to add my own features and change the appearance of the 320's 'virtual' faceplate! simply awesome!

- oh, and did i mention that this receiver supports unlimited station memories, with audio recording through line-out capture, signal analyzation, and just about any feature you can create with your imagination?

- i routinely now use my receiver via my 802.11b wireless network!

- i give this product a solid 5...
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