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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten Tec Argo 556 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten Tec Argo 556
Ten Tec Argo 556 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $495
Description: 10W version of the popular Scout HF transceiver
Product is in production.
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KN6WX Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2011 03:00 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these over 10 years ago and still own and operate it, along with all the band modules they sold at the time (which you have to change "plugs" to change bands).
This is a beautiful rig for the QRP enthusiast. Signals seem to jump right out of the receiver and it has good CW filtering.CW is full QSK, with a good note.
I use a Ten Tec Desk Microphone for SSB. I recall one particular late night on 80 Meters that I contacted several "7" calls and got good reports from those that could hear me (which most could).
I have used this rig on several Field Day events and surprised several QRO Operators with it's performance. One year, I had an Operator that was saddened that I wasn't going to attend with this rig. He went and bought one, just to have it for the contest.
I would definitely recommend this rig to anyone that is looking for a good QRP only rig or someone trying to run their station on solar power only. It does a splendid job and isn't power thirsty at all. It's only draw back is keeping track of and changing all the "band" plugs...
K7VO Rating: 5/5 Aug 1, 2003 00:11 Send this review to a friend
Excellent receiver, simple to use, low current draw  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had one of these with a complete set of modules which I sold when finances got tight. I really regret selling my Argo 556, and I do hope to buy another in the not too distant future.

The Argo receiver is excellent in terms of sensitivity, selectivity, and audio quality. The Jones filter is quite effective at narrowing the receiver passband and eliminating adjacent QRM. When operating SSB the rig gets excellent audio reports with the stock hand mic. Mine had the optional noise blanker which was quite effective.

While the Scout 555, the 50W version of this rig, can be turned down to QRP power levels, current draw remains quite high. The Argo 556 is quite stingy in terms of power consumption, making the rig an excellent choice for portable operation.

My code speed is just now getting to the level where the frequency "jump" issue might just be a little bit of a problem, but if you're running at 25WPM of less and don't send novels in CW it should be stable enough. The Argo 556 is stable enough for PSK31 operation.

I like simple, spartan rigs that perform well. The Argo 556 is a fine example of such a rig.
N7ORS Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2002 16:42 Send this review to a friend
Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned many Scouts (model 555) and when I started getting into QRP operating I was looking for a portable rig that had low power draw. Yes, you can turn the Scout back to 5 watts but it is still not as efficient as the Argo with respect to battery draw. I bought an Argo and was blown away. Receiver is Excellent - it will bring tears to your eyes...or at least give you a lump in your sounds so good. Full Break in CW.
I always thought portable QRP was a CW only endeavor, but I have worked many stations with voice on 3 watts with no problem. This radio is the best kept secret in Amateur Radio. Maybe I should have been selfish and not said anything. If you can find one get one, or two.
K5QLF Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2000 16:22 Send this review to a friend
One of the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ten-Tec made a mistake by discontinuing the Argo 556, commonly known as the QRP version of the 555 Scout. I made a mistake selling my 556. I have owned various T-T rigs over the years: a couple of 509s, a couple of 515s, two Argosy 525s and one 525D, assorted Power Mites, and a Delta. Of that lot, the 556 Argo was the best. Admittedly, the modules made bandswitching a little slower, but I was in no hurry. That was a trade-off I willingly accepted in return for design, size, convenience, performance and price. The Jones filter and the noise blanker combined to overcome the effects of a very high noise level that (still) makes copying weak signals difficult and, occasionally, impossible. The filter let me pull stations out of pile ups. T-T's famous QSK was a sheer pleasure to operate. The keying was smooth, clean and crisp. The VFO was solid as a rock. No one ever complained about drift, chirp or the other gremlins that occasionally mar a QSO. I never used my 556 on ssb, but the ham who bought it from me (and who won't sell it back) raved about its performance on that mode. The 556 was a terrific portable rig, and I took it on many an outing to the Texas Gulf Coast. I could work anything I could hear, and I could hear almost everything. I put the 556 through some fairly demanding times, and it came through each one. I know of no other *commercially made* QRP rig that I would even consider over the 556 Argo.

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