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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Scout 555 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Scout 555
Ten-Tec Scout 555 Reviews: 68 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $569.00
Description: 160-10 mtr CW & SSB 50-watts
Product is in production.
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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.
M0AIR Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2006 13:18 Send this review to a friend
reliable and fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
these little rigs are very nice to use and incredibly sensitive with a quiet front end. I can regularly hear OK1EF on 30 metres down to its 100mw beacon - thats from my qth in UK and with a simple wire aerial. My scout is rock steady and gives realy good results. If you don't want many features - then they are a good economical buy. Make no mistake = the performance is good - I got Sri Lanka on 20 watts the other day.

Modules giving poor results almost always can be fixed by a drop of oil down the low pass socket = they have to sit flush with the front face to work properly and any stiffness will stop this. The modules are very reliable.

WD5BCL Rating: 4/5 Feb 22, 2006 19:27 Send this review to a friend
Delivers Fun!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
...just like it's 1993 advertisement states. I'm truly saddened that several others have thought it necessary to rate this little rig so poorly. I own one with a 12A series serial number--built in one of the last years of this unit's long 12+ year production run--and have NOT experienced the objectionable drift or instability problems voiced by others. I admit that I'm not a blazing fist; CW is not my forte, and I tend to gravitate to SSB voice. Ten-Tec advises in it's literature--and hams have reported it for years in reviews--that the unit may drift during a long CW transmit period, since the RISC microprocessor is used to emulate a Curtis Type B iambic keyer, as well as manage the LED display and perform frequency correction. High-speed CW using the built-in keyer simply uses so much microprocessor time that little is left for frequency correction chores. It's a tradeoff: unit cost and simplicity versus frequency stability in this scenario. As far as mobile use goes, all mechanically-tuned transceivers will suffer ill effects from vibration and mechanical shock, and the Scout is no exception. Again, know what you are buying, and then decide. This is NOT an Orion or a Jupiter, so please don't expect it to perform like one. If you, like me, are either buying or have boought the Scout because you like simplicity, don't flip incessantly through the bands, and understand that the advantages Scout offers far outweigh its drawbacks, then the Scout is a GREAT radio, and worthy of consideration. Note, also, that it is STILL supported by Ten-Tec as of this writing.
N5RNY Rating: 2/5 Feb 11, 2006 17:46 Send this review to a friend
Drift-o-matic 555  Time owned: more than 12 months
Was this radio made by K-Tel, or Ron-Co? Seems a bit like a toy to use, altho I will admit the variable filter works pretty good. But wow, this thing needs help in the stability department. When using it mobile, in a pickup that isnt smooth riding like a car is, the radio is useless. I'm always reaching down to correct the frequency.

Forget transmitting, I keep getting reports of drift. Hence the name: Ten-Tec Drift-o-matic.

Seems to me if the CPU that corrects the frequency could have been designed with an actual frequency "LOCK" button, all of this could have been avoided.

I wanted to like this little "Made in USA" rig, but its hard to. My advice? Look elswhere.

K3MD Rating: 3/5 Sep 27, 2005 18:39 Send this review to a friend
The rig drifts  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned one of these for around a year in the 90's, and 3 months recently. Had a complete set of band modules. Plenty of power for mobile operation, truly great receiver, crystal variable-bandwidth filter does a job. Built-in keyer is fine.
This rig is unstable, tends to drift UP with time. The caps in the temp compensation portion of the PTO are overcompensated. There is a mod in the Ten Tec reflector that I put in, this slowed down the drift, but did not stop it enirely. If you can live with around-100 Hz jumps on rx and tx, this is your rig. If not, don't buy one.... they all do it, it is a design flaw. The drift is worse if you uperate the built-in keyer at 25 plus WPM (which I did). The CPU operates the keyer and checks for frquency lock both. Noise blanker works well.
DL9LH Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2005 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Better !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Dear All,
they used to call me Mr Kenwood, me and my beloved TS-530SP, but a year ago I bought a Ten-Tec Scout 555 for portable use. To be frank he is a desaster in portable use because he is very touchy with the voltage (less then 12,5 Volts he does not work very well). So I decided to sell him but before that I installed him at my shack for testing.


After lots more DXCC and a change of Antenna to a monoband (EH Antenna for 20m) environment I regret that I have wasted so much time thinking of the TenTec as a mobile transceiver. Much better receiption, great filter, good audio, great quality and no fuzz - I just sold my Kenwood instead. Looks like there is a new Ten-Tec fan in Germany ...

73 de Lutz, DD1ZH
KG6TT Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 22:33 Send this review to a friend
Two better than one!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first Scout about a year ago with all the plug in coils and internal Noise Blanker. I intended to use it primarily as an emergency and portable rig (I have an Omni-6+, Paragon and TS-940SAT too) but found it simply too enjoyable to not use. It is so simple control-wise that it doesn't seem lacking but rather well thought out in a very purposely minimalistic way. I decided to finally put an HF rig in my car and my Scout was the obvious choice, but I didn't want to loose the Scout on my desk SO I bought a really sweet used one directly from Ten-Tec (also with the noise blanker installed) about four months ago. It is mounted in the car and thus far has done a great job.
N7ESE Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2005 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio!!!!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought my Scout a year ago on the advice of my brother(N6BDU). This was my first HF radio. The one I have was well used and a little beat up but it works fantastic. I have over 500 QSOs in my first year of CW HF operation and constantly recieve high praise from Hams all over the world. Over 200 of my QSOs are DX and 50 watts with an efficient antenna seems to be magic. I have a Ten Tec OMNI VI now but the Scout will never leave my hands unless it is stolen or some other disaster. This is a simple high performance radio. If you like whistles and bells with tons of buttons-buy something else. For me, Ten Tec rules!!!!!
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