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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Ten Tec Argonuat II, model 535 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten Tec Argonuat II, model 535
Ten Tec Argonuat II, model 535 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $~1300
Description: QRP (0-5W) CW/LSB/USB Transceiver
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.qsl.net/tentec/specs/535.jpg
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F6EHP Rating: 4/5 Dec 25, 2008 12:01 Send this review to a friend
great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very nice rig, pleasant to use, except the audio level not enough high - I bought it in 2000 and will keep it - backlight has benn changed by a new one found for a few nuts at http://www.glowsafe.com/e-shop/product_info.php?cPath=36&products_id=163
 
MM3KDZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2005 05:44 Send this review to a friend
Fine rig, once AGC mods are done.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I got my Argonaut II rather by mistake. I went after a Scout in a private advert but it had already been sold. The seller had an Argonaut for the same price, so I took it. I knew very little about it - there being very few of them I guess on this side of The Pond - but in retrospect I got a very good deal. It came complete with the desk mike, step attenuator and digital interface.

I run almost exclusively digital modes and used it for a few months from the car as stationary mobile with a magmount whip from some better locations than the home QTH. I was impressed, even though it only managed about 4 watts on PSK31 and RTTY.

However, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the AGC behaviour. Slow AGC was useless and fast
wasn't much better. Static pulses would kill the gain completely. AGC off was nothing of the sort:
strong adjacent signals cut the gain to the point where I couldn't see the weak ones on the waterfall; it was acting more like fast AGC. By this time I had got a Scout and was using it in the car, so the Argonaut started to gather dust.

I then came across Wayne Montague's (VE3EFJ) AGC mods here:

http://www.qsl.net/tentec/mods/536agc.htm

and did them one evening when the TV was boring. It wasn't too difficult - just made sure the two resistors were the correct ones when I took them off the board. Anyway, they have transformed the Argonaut. I prefer to run it with the AGC off and back the RF gain off (note: the Argonaut V doesn't have one!) when there are strong adjacent signals about. It is now my front-line rig, combined with a small linear amp when I don't want to run QRP.

The ergonomics are pretty good:

a) wonderful variable bandwidth and PBT
b) decent sized tuning knob (unlike the K2)
c) big display complete with clock

but I don't like

a) those slider switches on the top of the rig - can't put anything on top of it
b) the feeble backlight on the display
c) 4-column numeric keypad (phones and calculators have 3)
d) the bar graph meter; give me an old-fashioned analogue one any time (eg Argo V)

So that's it. A Delta II would be nice, but I bet they're even rarer than the Argonaut II over here.
 
DK6JK Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2004 14:17 Send this review to a friend
my favorit  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my third Argonaut II. The features I like: AGC-ON/OFF/FAST/SLOW; QSK-FAST/SLOW; JONES-FILTER 0,5kHz - 2.4kHz; PWR 0-5WATT; PBT IF-BW; a nice rig. I compared with the Argonaut V; I returned to the Argonaut II in position receive they are similar but the features of the Argonaut II I like more.
 
N4XY Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2000 02:27 Send this review to a friend
Top Notch QRP Transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my TT ARGO II new. It was the very best QRP radio you could buy until the K2. I concede that ONLY because of the superior receive specs the K2 achieves by being a Ham-Bands-ONLY radio. The ARGO II is General Coverage. I also own a K2, and like both radios. This review is about the ARGO II-but the preceding needed saying, since the 2 radios are in a class of their own.

BASIC SPECIFICATIONS

The ARGO II covers the frequency range of 100kHz to 29,999,99 kHz. Receive and Transmit. It has 10Hz resolution, with a 7 digit backlit black-on-orange display. Worst case stability is 1 PPM/deg C at its highest frequency.

It requires ~ 0.75A on receive, and 3A on transmit-preferably at a typical car battery's voltage of 13.8 VDC.

Dimensions are HWD: Inches: 3.75 x 9.75 x 12.5 and cm: 9.5 x 24.8 x 31.8

Weight: 8lbs 10oz / 3.9kg

OPERATING SPECIFICATIONS

The TT ARGO II can operate CW, LSB, USB, and even FM. It uses an 8-pole (~ twice that of the K2) crystal ladder filter for ~50db or more carrier suppression and ~45db unwanted sideband suppression @ 1.5kHz.

On receive, the ARGO II's filtering uses a Jones-type 8-pole ladder filter for continuously adjustable BW from ~500Hz to 2.5kHz. In use, it is absolutely wonderful. You can balance the degree of background stuff you want to put up with against the tone or quality (on SSB) of the signal.

Furthermore, the combination of adjustable BW and PASSBAND TUNING really enables the overall passband filtration to work as effectively as anything you can buy-even today. The ARGO II's FULL BREAKIN makes the ARGO II's sidetone sound like just another signal (well... another loud signal) providing clear copy between dits below ~ 35-40wpm in the QSK FAST position, with no pumping, thumping, or etc.

DOUBLE CONVERSION on all modes (except triple for FM), the IF frequencies are: 1st 45MHz & 2nd 6.144Mhz. The IMAGE REJECTION is greater than 80dB; and it has an IF REJECTION of greater than 70dB. Typical DYNAMIC RANGE is 95dB. The NOISE FLOOR is at -129dBm, providing an average sensitivity of 0.25uV for a +10dB s/n in SSB.

It also features a digitally controlled PASSBAND TUNING of +/- 2.5kHz, and a NOTCH FILTER that tunes from 250Hz to 2.2KHz, with typically 50dB of notch.

It has a built-in speaker, and puts out 1.5W into 4 ohms.

Finally, there is a switchable NOISE BLANKER that is very effective. Also, there is a VERY effective speech processor; SWR metering; VOX; AGC FAST/SLOW, and QSK FAST/SLOW switching-plus switchable SQUELCH operation in FM only; and DIAL LAMP ON/OFF for battery conservation.

The ARGO II uses a standard 4-pin microphone, with low-impedence mikes welcome, as well as electrets. Two mikes were offered by TT, the 700C hand mike; and the 705 Desk mike. I found-from on-the-air comparisons, that the 705 easily beat the hand-held 705.

CONCLUSION: Obviously I REALLY like my ARGONAUT II. It is an absolutely super QRP rig. Their market price, as of this review (00 05 18) is from $650-$750 in excellent condition. Worth every penny.
 


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