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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Triton 2 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Triton 2
Ten-Tec Triton 2 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: cw-ssb 80 to 10 meter 100 watt tranciever
Product is in production.
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WB0CFF Rating: 4/5 Oct 1, 2011 14:16 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a "tech special" on Ebay a couple years ago for a winter project. I spent less than $100 for a somewhat working radio in need of TLC. It was easy to work on. Most of the issues were cleaning of contacts and relubrication the PTO. I found a cheap, slick and reversible modification to fix the RIT interaction with the PTO. I have used it on SSB (a net) once and got good reports. I mainly use it on CW where I do most of my ragchewing. To complete the station I rebuilt and cleaned up a Ten Tec KR-50 keyer to go with it. Do not buy a Triton II if you expect it to work like your friend's brand new digital radio. Keep in mind that it's 40 year old technology. The Triton II made a mark in history by being one of the first (if not the first) all solid state commercially available 100W transceiver. It's only features that will put many modern rigs to shame are its keying, QSK and simplicity. It is a fun piece of ham history to use and own.
KB7RUT Rating: 4/5 Apr 20, 2009 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Love the old thing.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a Ten-Tec Triton II for over a decade now, and it still serves as my primary HF radio. I have had opprotunities to replace it, but I have a difficult time spending a thousand bucks on a radio which may or may not work as well.

The radio is incredibly easy to operate, it takes very little tune it up and transmit. I have hade many people comment on the clean, natural sound of my transmit audio. It recieves beautifully, and I am able to pick out even the hardest to recieve stations with the addition of an external filter. It works great even at higher SWR, and less than ideal situations. It is able to punch into pileups with enough power to get me noticed.

It is fairly easy to work on, and ten-tec support is always available for help.

Mine also suffered the biggest flaw of the radio, the tuning dial string. It has a small elastic section which, after years of use, becomes stretched out. I had heard of fixes with rubber bands and springs, so I decided to contact ten-tec support. To my surprise a replacement string is avaliable for $1.50 (and $3.00 S&H). Replacement was a simple affair. Other drawbacks; the case is a little flimsy, and it is akward that the mike jack is on the back.

But in the end, it works great, sounds better, and is possibly the easiest HF rig to operate. It would be a great first HF radio, or a great backup. Best of all, you can find them CHEAP!
KA4DQJ Rating: 4/5 Mar 6, 2008 22:09 Send this review to a friend
Ugly, Awkward, Cheap, Simple....and Works!  Time owned: more than 12 months
It is! Ugliest ham rig I ever laid eyes on, although your mileage in the "beholder" department is sure to vary. Looks cheap, like it was made from surplus plastic toys and soda cans, and has the fewest knobs/switches ever on a fullsized ham rig.

Over a year ago, I friend brought me a box of junk over after cleaning out his shack (like I needed more junk!) In the box was a Triton II which looked exactly like the Triton One I owned in the late 70's... The "II" just has double output wattage (100w).

The rig is also awkward in that every single jack on the thing is on the BACK panel of the beast.... headphone, speaker, CW Key....if you're going to hook ANYTHING into the Triton II, plan on pulling it out from the wall and using a flashlight to find the right hole.

The thing sat untouched for the better part of a year, until I found myself bored one weekend. I hooked it up to 12v to find that that the transmitter worked ok, but that the receive function was completely dead. The dialstring was broken, and the dial indicator so rotten that it would crumble if handled. Even the dial/meter lights were burned out. This baby had seen decades of abuse and neglect!

Over the next few weeks, without going into all the assorted cussings I gave the rig, I got the old Triton II up and running. If anyone has ever worked on one, your experience may mirror mine... it's a relatively easy rig to work on, but a bear to align; especially the mechanical preselector "contraption" as I learned to call it. If you don't have just the right alignment equipment to include a calibrated signal generator and frequency counter, don't bother!

The screw holes in the plastic were long ago wallowed out and missing, but I eventually tapped in some oversized screws to replace the duct tape that held the thing together.

Finally, it was ready to use... well, almost.

I had no microphone, but I dug into my junk storage until I found a handmic from and old Sears Roadtalker 23-channel CB. I never was a CB dude, but I can say that the old Sears 23 channel radios were quality down to every choke and capacitor. Apparently that quality extended to the microphone as well. The microphone plug is nothing more than a 1/4" stereo phono plug so the wiring was very easy.... especially if you've ever wired up those "megapin" connectors on the more modern handmics that have the controls on the mic.

Jimbo, KM4CI, the daytime 40m technical guru who will tell you in a second if your audio isn't up to par, even said that the Triton II sounded better than "75% of the others" on the air. Now, if you don't know Jimbo, that is as great of a compliment as you'll get anywhere, because Jimbo knows his business, and doesn't exaggerate!

Like my old Triton from 30 years ago, the Triton II is also mechanically unstable. Jarring, or even flexing any part of the case will cause a frequency shift. Warmed up, and and left untouched, it is quite stable after a half-hour warmup. An external speaker (drag the the thing out from the wall again) "warmed" up the receive audio pleasantly. A matchstick tacked onto a replacement dialstring with arrow fletching cement made for a functional analog dial indicator.

Now for an antenna. I grabbed three 5' sections of 2" PVC pipe and some 14 gauge wire at Home Depot to make a military copy 2-30mhz NVIS (AS-2259/GR) at only 15' high. Some leftover rope and tent stakes completed the hour-long job. Whoops! No coax.... well, I found some commercial grade 75 ohm CATV that the Comcast crew had left on the side of the house. (If you've never built an NVIS, you might like it. There's no "skip zone", and the thing resonates in many frequencies without even a tuner, including 17m which came as a shock). Go by my house and the "cage antenna" in the front yard is the NVIS (I never understood why the wife didn't order it taken down! Women... go figure!).

I dubbed the the setup my "$18 Ham Station", since that was my total cost to get on the air. I went to the OMISS Net and worked W.A.S. in 53 calendar days (certificate #340). Some of you may have one of my QSL cards while talking on the Triton.

Tune up is simple... select the desired frequency, wiggle the Preselector knob for the loudest receive audio, and advance the transmitter Drive knob until the LED lights on the voice peaks sent by the CB handmic. The single sterling quality of the Triton is the pulsed calibrator tone... you can't get the calibrator signal mixed up with a carrier in the background... one of the banes of the calibrators that transmit a steady tone.

I also checked in several times to the Sunday afternoon Ten-Tec net where the Net Controller keeps track of the radio models that have checked in. In every case, I was the only Triton/Triton II checked in. Either Ten Tec didn't make many of the Tritons, or those that were made didn't stand the test of time.

I just recently "retired" the Triton II to underneath the bed in the spare bedroom to make room for a couple newer rigs on my shack table. It is still working, and who knows... I may dig it out again one day, or give it away to some needy ham who has no other way to get on the air (I still remember my poor college days, and the adage "He who pities another, remembers himself" holds very true with me).

But, if you happen to see one of the old Tritons around, you won't be disappointed unless your equipment tastes are more equisite than a decades old cheapo can provide. If you're asking "does the rig have this feature", then the answer is probably "no". ;)
N2DTS Rating: 4/5 Jan 26, 2008 18:59 Send this review to a friend
nice radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got one of these a few days ago for very little money.

It was a bit beat up, had the dial cord problem which I fixed with a spring, it had a bad carrier null pot which I replaced. The boards unplug and come out very easy for repair or mods.
Its VERY easy to work on. Each section is built on its own little plug in circuit board, and has its own section in the manual with diagrams, pictures, and adjustment points.

This radio works VERY well for what it is, the receiver is very good, both on CW and SSB.
It puts out 100 watts and does not seem to care about swr. QSK is very nice, the receiver is easy to listen to, I have had the rig on for days at a time, and it sounds good!
You cant dial the selectivity down to 50Hz, but it does a good job under normal conditions.
I have not noticed any off frequency stuff disturbing the receiver, no nasty AGC problems, it just sounds nice.

The rig is small and light for 100 watts, the vfo seems stable and is nice and easy to tune.

The things that are not great are the frequency readout, and the cabinet is quite strange, pure early Ten Tec I guess...

If they had built the rig in a nice cabinet, say something like Collins or Heathkit (HW-SB series) and included an accurite dial, the rig would have been superb in my book.
Electricly, the rig works much better then many newer rigs, less noise and distortion than even more modern radio's.
Somehow, they got much better performance then the sum of the parts.

This rig is a lot of fun to play with.



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