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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Ten-Tec Scout 555 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Scout 555
Ten-Tec Scout 555 Reviews: 65 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $569.00
Description: 160-10 mtr CW & SSB 50-watts
Product is in production.
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KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2009 14:34 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Bargain  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Simple, fun, easy to use, great portable "vacation" rig for anyone. Add an appropriate power supply and tuner (LDG anyone?) and have at it. Perfect rig for the cabin or RV -- 5 to 50 watts. Just add an antenna and have fun!
AB0TX Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2008 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Good for what it is!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought this little radio at local ham store. I wanted one for a long time and had the chance so I jumped at it. I was first impressed at how much fun I had with this little radio. It is very simple to operate which is a plus. I use mine on CW mostly and the 50 watt output is plenty although I use QRP a lot and contest with it. It is also a very fun rig with PSK31 at the 20 watt range.

I have all the band modules for mine but I only use 3 or 4 (80, 40, and 20 mostly) on a regular basis.

It does what is claimed it will do. Jones filter is pretty effective at narrowing out unwanted cw signals. I haven't messed with the filter much on SSB. Mic audio on SSB has been favorable and recieved good reports.

It does tend to get a little warm when operating at long periods using 50 watts continuous CW. I added a small fan to the heat sink on the back of the radio for long winded PSK31 sessions. That does the trick.

This is not the most complex radio I have ever used and does have a few short comings that I miss.

1)No line out key to key a linear amplifier although you can add one.
2)No antenna tuner.
3)Tuning dial is a bit slow and hard to turn.
4)Tuning is WWV for UTC time is tough unless 10Mhz (30 meters) is open.

1)Super easy to use.
2)Reasonably priced on ebay or hamfests.
3)Compact size.
4)Replaceable band modules
5)Decent output power (50 watts)
6)Pretty good reciever performance

I knew what I was getting when I bought this radio and was surprised to find myself having a lot of fun using it. It is not a IC-706MKIIG or an FT-857 so don't expect that and you should be ok. I have found I have a hard time convincing myself to sell it. It is a lot of fun to play with. I think a SCAF-1 audio filter will be a great future addition to it.73
K4JAH Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2008 19:55 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
N6MUK Rating: 5/5 Jan 27, 2008 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Just A Great Little Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Scout new around 1996 or so. I have used it mobile and in the shack for years and years. Currently, I use it daily in my Jeep Liberty with great success on 40 meters cw while commuting to and from work. It's a great little cw machine! So easy and natural to use that I want to say it is organic. If there's a genetic code common to the chromosomes of all Ham Radio operators, Ten Tec cracked it and lifted the Scout right from it.

It has a great sounding receiver. It has a very effective noise blanker. It is no contest rig so don't foolishly compare it to one. It can't take the heat of the death rays and was never intended to. It can't split either. I have never tried it on SSB so I can't speak to that mode. Others say its a joy to yak with. I tortured it with PSK-31 a few times last year but while I was working a Greek station, it got hot and started to smell like burning baklavah. I won't do that to my old friend again!

-I never have experienced the frequency jump you have heard about. Not even once.

-Years ago I called Ten Tec for advice and changed a resistor to speed up the qsk so it's like a Ten Tec's qsk should be.

-I love the Jones filter. With the addition of a cheapy MFJ or Vectronics($29) cw audio band pass filer, no DSP is wanted. It's a very effective combination.

-Believe me! The Scout's 50 Watts puts out just like a 100 Watt rice box rig. On the other end they won't notice the -3 dB.

-A few days ago I was driving in the mountains and it started to snow. Apparently the snow and freezing rain de tuned the god-awful 40 meter Hamstick antenna up on the Jeep roof. I looked over at the Scout and it was being punished by a 10:1 VSWR! I still got a 599 report. That goes to shows just how unimportant high power is for HF communications.

Let's face it, Ten Tec knows how to design and build a real rig; they have some serious radio mojo going on, (It appears that Elecraft has got the mojo going on with the K rigs as well).

If you watch ebay you will surely find a nice used Scout to buy BUT IT WON'T BE MINE!

N7RST Rating: 4/5 Dec 26, 2007 07:44 Send this review to a friend
Good QRP Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I gave this radio a 4 because there are some inherent things this radio could or should have.
1. RF Gain
2. Noise Blanker should be standard
3. TUning knob a bit klunky
4. Mode Selection would be better

I have had this unit for a while and it plays well. One gripe is the lack of a noise blanker. Without on, if you have noise, you can't hear a S-7-9 signal thru it. Sensitivity isn't the best and selectivity certainly isn't.
Sure would like to see an RF Gain control on this unit. Most QRP radios have some sort of RF Gain control. All in all, for what you can get for around $300 or so, not bad. However, you might do well to get a used TS-130 or similar as you get more flexibility but a bit more current draw on rcv.
AC4R Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2007 13:33 Send this review to a friend
NIce CW Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a Scout back in the ninetys while in Sevierville, TN. on business. Went to the plant , got the guided tour, and bought the Scout on the spot, along with a hand full of modules. I have used my Scout mobile , and will agree it does not like low voltage, I always leave the engine running when operating parked in the mobile on state lines, etc. I have not had the drifting problem others mention when the rig is getting full voltage. It is great on cw running a straight key, and the "Jones Filter" is nice to have and very effective. It doesnt have all of the bells and whistles , bare bones, but gets the job done quite well. I also have a Kenwood TS570D, and Icom IC718, but would not part with my Scout.
KC7YTK Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2007 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer after 8+ years.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first HF rig, bought it new and have really enjoyed it. I understood it was not a super-de-duper top performer with all the bells and whistles of a 3K$ rig when I bought it, and kept my expectations realistic. What it is and what it does it does exceptionally well. It is REALLY simple to use, no buried sub-sub-sub menus to wade through, each knob does what it is labeled to do, receiver is rather hot-I could work most anything I could hear with a proper antenna. Transmit audio is good, got a D104 at a swap meet, and it improved TX audio immensely. The guys I rag chew with said I sounded like any of the other guys with stations costing many times as much. The adjustable jones filter is so simple to use and works very well. Ten-Tec support is also good-I left the antenna connected during a T-storm (dumb) something in the ALC fried and the rig kept outputting 100 watts. I tried to adjust it back down and it kept going up. Sounded great on the air until it refused to turn on one day. Sent it in and Ten-Tec had it repaired and returned quite promptly. :) I am well pleased with the simplicity and consistently solid performance with this rig; if you find one used for sale in good condition it will make a good addition to the shack-a dedicated rag chew rig perhaps? I am now sold on Ten-Tec and have added a new Argonaut V to the shack-will add a review after I have ran it through its paces like I have the Scout; Initial impressions VERRY positive.
W5NNH Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2007 12:01 Send this review to a friend
Regret Selling mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
First, this is NOT a super-duper, all-the-bells-and-whistles fancy rig. It is a basic little workhorse.

A buddy of mine, who is not a ham, won the Scout at a hamfest in Augusta, GA. He had it for about a year when he found out I had received my license. He gave it to me and it was my first HF rig. I used it as an IF rig with a TenTec 6m transverter for years. Later, I decided to sell the Scout and the transverter and get a new TS2000 "Shack-In-A-Box."

I love all the things the TS2K will do, but wish I had my Scout back for hauling to deer camp, riding around in the truck, etc.

It did tend to drift a bit, but barely noticeable to me. About once an hour, I'd have to touch the dial a tad to correct. Voltage stability was fine, as long as you ran with a reasonable power supply. Audio was excellent and I always received outstanding reports on my audio.

Finally, it was a rig I could work on and fix myself, without having to send to the repair shop or other expert. That counted for a LOT in my book.

I want one again.
G4FSU Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2006 05:18 Send this review to a friend
Super Little Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
As with all Ten-Tec radios, people seem to love them or hate them. For me, the Scout is an excellent minimalist radio and can be found for a very reasonable price. It's a delight to operate on both CW and SSB.

Sensible, simple, easy to use layout.
Jones filter gives excellent CW and SSB performance.
Excellent QSK performance.

Poor image rejection on some bands - 17m is the worst.
RIT range is limited to +/- 1kHz which is bad news if you need to work split.

I've never noticed any drift - maybe I'm lucky. It has a good old fashioned PTO like the old Omni's i.e. not synthesised, so you probably shouldn't expect temperature controlled TXCO performance, but during the course of a QSO, I've never had a problem.

If you want bells & whistles you'll hate it. If you enjoy simple, fun, effective radios, it belongs in the classic collection!
K1HAH Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2006 16:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two and use them in two separate places. Reliability is the key to this 50 watt superior cw machine. Nothing is perfect in this world and everything needs preventative maintenance and this ladies and gentlemen is a good contest or just casual chat machine.
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