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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Century 22 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Century 22
Ten-Tec Century 22 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $Discontinued, used 250 to 350 if
Description: CW QRP/QRO 80-10 TRANSCEIVER
Product is in production.
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G6HUI Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2015 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I read about the TenTec 579 Century22 long before I saw one in the flesh. That was about 2 months ago, I found one at a local Rally the amateur selling it asked if I new what it was I said dam right I do he laughed and said most people do not what it is and pass it by. Well I snapped it up. It is in excellent condition and a real joy to use. The filter is brilliant and the controls simple to use. It has been in use nearly every day since I have had it and the K1 does not get switched on unless the bands are really noisy. I just find it brilliant I'm only running QRP (5W) and having so much fun with this radio. A real keeper.
VK5GI Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2013 05:04 Send this review to a friend
A very good transceiver - but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months aware that this is a 30 year old rig, so be prepared to do your own "fettling".
Positives -
this rig looks good on the bench, is a great colour, is very light and is very rare as well. (only 700 made!). It also puts out a respectable 20 watts, more than enough for good CW contacts.
Negatives -
Mine is somewhat deaf, but I don't care. The DC receiver takes a little getting used to, and the string thingo that moves the frequency indicator will drive you mad. TenTec to their credit, still look after their products and, even though I'm in Australia, I'd have no problem in seeking their help.
Having said all that, this is a remarkable rig. When you buy one it will be at least 30 years old, so hopefully for you the bugs will have been well and truly sorted out. The receiver sounds great, and the transmitted signal (CW only) is clean and "sparkly", and the QSK remarkable. I would not let this loose on a novice - it is a treasured possession that I would only occasionally let ME loose on! If you can find one, then buy it. They really don't come up that often.
HFHAM2 Rating: 4/5 Oct 14, 2012 12:43 Send this review to a friend
Nice Simple Little CW Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
First of all, this is quite different from the Ten Tec Century 21 although they both have direct conversion receivers. That means that you can tune to either side of the CW carrier. It sounds like a complication, but in reality, you just leave the offset set to one side or the other and take note of the rising (or falling) of the pitch of the beat note as you tune into it (sounds more complicated than it is); can also be used like a "CW Reverse" setting to escape QRM.

Twenty watts out, CW only which is probably equivalent to 100W SSB on transmit (it will receive SSB but not transmit).

The best feature of this rig is its variable audio filter ("Jones filter" I think). Goes from quite wide for SSB receive to what sounds like ~200Hz for single signal CW receive. Rejection is also very good for an audio filter, plus it's stock, not an add-on like the (fixed) CW audio filters are in the Argosy.

It's a PTO rig like other Ten Tecs of the era, which work well, but periodically need dismantled and re-greased (or rebuilt if one has been remiss in re-greasing).

That's about it, a nice simple little CW only rig which works well for the casual CW operator. Worth about $200-$250 max for one in mint condition in my experience. You can pick-up an Argosy for about the same or a little more and that will give you 50 watts out CW and SSB, although you need to pay attention to what options are installed with an Argosy.

Yes, I have owned both and other Ten Tecs of the era.
K0FL Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2012 11:32 Send this review to a friend
Fun if you can find one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 34 years in ham radio I'm for the first time writing a radio review on E-Ham. What has inspired me to such an extreme???. The Ten Tec Century 22. I have owned most of the top end rigs so I know when I'm sitting in front of a good radio. The Century 22 is such a rig. It took a while to find one that was complete and fairly priced, but when I did I didn't look back. The one modification that MUST be done is the audio filter mod. It is easy to find on the web and basically there are 8 capacitors that need to be switched out with 8 of a different value. This will center the audio filter to the 750hz range instead of the 500hz from the factory. This is VERY easy to do. I wish all radio boards were this easy to remove from the radio and work on. That being done...for a true cw operator using a direct conversion receiver with a 4 pole audio filter is a great pleasure to use. This is not a contest rig in the fact that an audio filter won't block out a S9 signal 5kc away, but what it will do is make a casual contact extremely enjoyable. No phase noise from processors. Just sweet cw tone from the speaker. On a direct conversion radio the best way to operate in my opinion is to adjust the volume to a set level and utilize the RF gain control as a volume control. Your mileage may vary but give that method a try. The Century 22's are some what hard to find but are worth the search and if you find one in good shape snatch it up. The market is good for these radios so resale is easy if needed. The radio has two options that were offered from the factory. One a calibrator board that is very desired, and the built in keyer that in its day was great but most hams these days are used to iambic paddle operation which this is not. The qsk is flawless as you would expect from Ten Tec. I use an external keyer on mine or the straight key when in the mood. Prices for the radio vary greatly. I've seen a ham want $450 just for the radio without options and as low as $200 for the radio in poor shape. I picked up one with both options with the TT power supply for $360 shipped which I feel is about what it's worth. Older Ten Tec rigs retain their value and I have no doubt I can keep this radio 10 years and get my money back. (I did this with a Omni V). Feel free to contact me direct if you have any questions or comments.

Best of 73

de Tim K0FL
M0TWA Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2011 16:16 Send this review to a friend
good simple direct conversion fun  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you are looking for an all singing dancing radio with bells and whistles...stop reading and look else where... if however you are looking for old school fun with a quality direct conversion radio, then this could be right up your street... since my wife bought me this for christmas few other radios have been used in my shack, at 70 uk sterling it was a steal..have had some really nice cw qso's with it. YES it drifts slightly, YEs at night time it gets clobbered by the broadcast stations here in europe on 40 just makes it more of a challenge and adds to the mine..when are you buying yours?
ON4LDU Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2011 06:11 Send this review to a friend
Super transceiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've owned my century 22 since abt 1 year and it's a really great cw trx. After some mods on the PA final(10w output to keep it alive) you can really enjoy it to listen cw comfortably. The filter is awesome. All you can hear is worked and the receiver is very quiet without any qrm or flutting.
The qsk is the best i've never heard.
Sure a big surprise when you hear this one.
If you can find one, sure you'll keep it.
Abt 100 dxcc's worked easily with it !
73's de Al
KE4EZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2010 14:58 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned the Century 22 for about 4 years now and its just a really nice CW rig. QSK is great receiver is excellent. 20 watts is plenty on CW.
I use it alot on NTS nets and its been FUN.
Simple rig that works very good.
I did relace analog dial with a Hendricks QRP kit Digital Dial 1 - glad I did- also added lamp on- off toggle switch on the rear panel for portable use. The DD1 really helped find freqs its a worthwhile thing to do if you're not a collector.
FB Rig.
WD8PNL Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2008 14:31 Send this review to a friend
An Excellent Portable Transceiver can be Made Even Better  Time owned: more than 12 months
Since my prior review of March 23, 2007 I have used my Century 22 in many portable setting, including Field Day 2008. It has performed flawlessly.

I have made a modification which reduces power consumption by 1.7 Watts, This is meaningful for portable settings where battery power is employed. The modification amounts to replacing the potentiometer of the FILTER control with one that includes a push-pull switch which feeds the lamp that illuminates the meter. I arranged it to comport with the way the AF-POWER control operates: Push In for normal operation (i.e., meter illumination), Pull Out to extinguish meter illumination and reduce power consumption.

Making the modification is rather simple; acquiring the replacement potentiometer can be challenging. The replacement potentiometer should be a 10 Kohm linear taper unit (same as the original). eBay sellers, and a few other folks, carry potentiometers primarily used for tone controls in guitars, where the push-pull switch is a desired control feature. Note that such controls have splined 1/4 inch shafts, so add a bit of J B Weld to cover the splines in order to obtain a smooth shaft surface that's appropriate for the set-screw knob.
GW0LBI Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2007 10:29 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for QRP!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had a second-hand Century 22 for a few months now, and it's really revitalised my CW operating.
Mine was running 17 watts when I had it so I quickly 'QRP'd' it and it now runs a maximum of 10 watts.
The stability is excellent, the break in is a far superior to that on my FT100, and the filtering is unbelieveable.
A real pleasure to operate - just wish I'd bought one years ago.
WD8PNL Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2007 02:26 Send this review to a friend
Direct Conversion at its Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
Once you correct a slight design goof by Ten-Tec, who rarely goof, you have an excellent go-anywhere moderate power CW-only transceiver. For reasons unknown, Ten-Tec intended the audio filter nose frequency to be 750 Hz (as published) but scaled the RC time constant incorrectly and obtained a nose frequency of about 500 Hz (too low for most CW operators). The correction is to replace eight capacitors, C41 through C48: remove the original 0.0033 uF capacitors and install 0.0022 uF capacitors.

Although Ten-Tec sells an inexpensive repair kit that contains replacement dial cord and elastic cord, the elastic cord is what weakens over time while the dial cord shows little deterioration over time. I found that round elastic cord that's sold by Crafts & Stuff [Bar Code # 70049-43960 (black) or Bar Code # 70049-23960 (white)] is a suitable substitute for the original elastic cord and it costs only $1.10 in 5 yard length.
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