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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Triton IV Digital / 544 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Triton IV Digital / 544
Ten-Tec Triton IV Digital / 544 Reviews: 38 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $875 (when new) 150 (power supply
Description: Classic 70's 100w, solid-state, no-tune ssb/cw rig
Product is in production.
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KB1TPX Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2010 11:33 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was recently given a TenTec 544 with the Power Supply, to use as long as I want. This is my first rig as a HAM. I'm running it through a G5RV at 36' and have been able to talk to everyone I hear, so far!
KC4CP Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2009 13:16 Send this review to a friend
NB like no other!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In 1987 I bought my first Triton IV - 544 (the rig was 8 years old at the time). I loved the sweet audio but eventually moved on to the newer rigs. Since then, I have had most every rig that came down the pike. Presently I have an Icom 7600. So, why did I recently buy another Triton IV ... and then buy a second Triton IV?

First, and most importantly, it has a Noise Blanker (if the optional NB is installed) that can't be matched by any other rig! Some days I have horrible S-9 QRN (primarily power line noise). On other rigs, the NB might reduce the QRN but not eliminate it ... and it deteriorates the Rx audio. But the Triton IV totally wipes out any QRN (and I do mean "totally" wipes it out) and does not deteriorate the Rx audio! I promise you it seems almost magical.

Second, the Rx audio is just so quite and sweet sounding. When you first turn one on you will think the receiver is messed up ... but it is not! Unless you have ever owned one of these rigs it is hard to comprehend.

Now then, it is lacking in many areas. The Tx audio needs a good Heil mic and W2IHY EQ in order to sound "good." The frequency display is always a little off (you learn to tune to a voice, not the exact freq.). Unless you install a VFO Stabilizer, it will drift (unless you leave it on all the time). It lacks 12, 17, & 30 meters. And I could go on and on.

I will always have a late model Icom in the shack (I love the newer Icom radios!). But the Triton IV keeps me operating with the QRN would make it impossible on any other radio. And it gives me a Rx audio experience that is unlike any other.

If you can find a nice one on the used market ... buy it! You will love it.

David - WR4N (ex KC4CP, ex AC4CP)
WB4AUW Rating: 3/5 Oct 20, 2009 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Must have been a lemon  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am convinced I got a "lemon" from Ten Tec after reading these reviews. I traded a FT 101B complete station and got the Triton IV in the late 70's. I used it about 6 months and that is all I could stand, traded it on a new TS 820S. Both the Yaesu and Kenwood had far superior receivers. The transmitter on the Ten Tec was ok but nothing special. I did take a chance and bought an Argosy later and it was a great little rig that I used for QRP work. The receiver in it was wonderful so I think maybe the Triton I got was just a dud out of the factory.
AA8VE Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2008 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Even better with 242 remote VFO!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've enjoyed my 544 Triton IV for several years and agree with all these other good reviews so, no need to just repeat the same information. I'd like to mention how well it is when the T*T 242 remote VFO is used with the Triton IV. The 242 adds a second VFO for Split operation but it also has a feature that allows both VFO's to be listened to at the same time, so it has dual receive on the same band. This feature works very well and was quite a bit ahead of it's time for an HF rig to have dual receive.

The 242 VFO is a little different than the other T*T remote VFO's for the Omni D and Corsair and probably all the other ones they made to go with PTO tuned HF rigs. The 242 has a band switch and covers the same bands as the Triton plus it has 2 sockets for fixed crystal operation. Since it has the band switch it means that it also has the L.O.'s or Local Oscillator crystals and mixer board so it's final output is ready to be mixed with the 9 MHz IF in the Triton. Since it has these L.O. crystals in the remote VFO it means that those crystal oscillators are not in the rig and they are not effected by the internal heat in the Triton therefore there is not nearly as much drift of freq when the 242 is used to run the Triton, it will hold steady from cold start up through the complete warm up of the Triton during use. As long as the 242 is located such that it doesn't get any heat from the rig or power supply it will remain very stable. I mount mine either next to the Triton with a few inches of space or better yet, mount the Triton and power supply on a shelf directly above the 242 so none of it's heat effects the 242. The Internal VFO will drift a couple hundred Hz during it's warm up time and needs to be touched up every few minutes to stay on freq.

The other T*T remote VFO's don't have a band switch, they have a selector switch for VFO, X1, X2, X3, X4 etc to switch in the fixed crystal positions but the VFO section is the same for all bands. It's output is probably just the PTO's 5 to 5.5 MHz which then is mixed with the internal L.O.'s in the rig. So as the rig warms up the L.O crystals are still going to cause quite a bit of drift which is normal for rigs with crystal oscillators running in them. The crystal oscillator stages are the best way to design a radio because they run cleaner with less harmonic noise, that's why old T*T's are such fine rigs and the PTO is the best way to tune through a VFO.

All the PTO T*T's with remote VFO's are fine rigs but I think the Triton with it's 242 is just a bit better because of the stability issue. The cost of the 242 would be probably over twice as much to build as their other remote VFO's because it has the L.O. stage plus the mixer and control board, it's actually nearly half an HF rig in there!

So enjoy your Triton's, I'm sure they will continue to be very desirable rigs as time goes on and since they don't seem to age they will be with us for many years to come. Also if you don't have the 242 keep an eye out for one to connect to your Triton because I know you'll like it and it adds so much to a great rig. Not only does it add dual receive but it's also sort of like having a memory channel because you can set it to a freq on one band, then switch to the rigs main VFO and tune anywhere else or to a different band and when you switch back to the original band and to the remote it will return right back to the freq you set it to originally without needing to spin the main VFO all the way back again. You can also switch between any 2 freqs on one band to tx and rx as well as listening to both at the same time if you like!

73 Jeff AA8VE
N8MUS Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2008 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Original Owner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Dad bought this new for me when I was 15 or 16 somewhere in there. Well I am 44 now and still have the 544 and matching 262g power supply. Pto has been rebuilt and recently replaced the reed relay. It has been a trouble free rig and also a fantastic performer. I have set newer rigs next to it and have tried to like them better, (some kenwoods) and Yes they are good too, but the Ten Tec just plain hears better and is easier to run. I did get a Pegasus direct from Ten Tec recently It was the last one they had and my 544 has the narrow 250hz filter which next to the dsp on the Peg the old 544 sounds better. I did like the feature on the Peg of being able to adjust the output bandwidth on SSB but have always gotten good reports with the 544 so not sure how much that is really worth. Sent the Peg back for a refund still have the 544. I wish I could add the Warc bands to my Triton and all would be perfect! The station also includes a Dentron Super Tuner Plus, high power tuner. And a Heath Kit SB220 when a little juice is needed. I am considering an "Upgrade" to a Corsair which I feel is basically the Triton upgraded to 160-10 and Notch filter added. Plus it would look good next to the 544 Just have to find the right one.
DL1CYP Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2008 04:25 Send this review to a friend
i love it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the tt544 + PSU 262G on ebay (120EUR).
The seller described it as totally damaged, because of the "ugly" wiring inside and was also afraid to try out if its still working. So I risked and was very surprised when i saw the rig is in a good optical and also working condition.
Great...the best TRX.....
The only thing that bothered me on RX, was the digital whining noise caused by the counter IC MK50398N. I solved the problem by removing the C5 on logic board (its the 750pF cap between pin16 and Vcc). Now its perfect!


WA6L Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2007 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Old, but not a Boat Anchor  Time owned: 3 to 6 months

I bought a used Ten-Tec 544 because I thought it was a good looking rig (it is) and that it would make a great back-up rig (it does). The unit worked, but the band selector was a bit flaky.

I sent the unit back to Ten-Tec for repair and alignment. That in itself was a wonderful experience. When the unit came back it looked like new and worked perfectly. That was my first experience with Ten-Tec service and I was very impressed.

I am primarily a CW operator, and this is one fine CW rig! The QSK is darn near perfect, and the zero-beat switch is an idea that needs to be reinvented in today's modern radios. My rig also has the optional CW filter installed, which works like a charm. The RIT is also a nice feature and works as well as an external VFO for CW split operation.

The 544 is very easy to use and to tune. The tuning knob has a great feel to it and the frequency is very stable after a short warm-up. I enjoy having an analog meter back in the shack, and this one has the added feature of showing you SWR during transmit.

This is an old rig, but it still has a lot of life left in it. If you can find one at a decent price, you will be getting a lot of radio for your money. It is my back-up rig, but it sure seems to get a lot of use!


John, WA6L
N7INO Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2007 18:13 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig I bought a Year ago, It started out as a back up rig, I had to send my 706 in for repair. I put the 544 on line to a auto tuner, What a user friendly radio. The noise blanker works, good reports on my siginal, Great receive. I sold the Icom when it got back and bought a 580 Ten Tec for mobile. On base I run 20 and 40 meters and sometimes 80.Goes from band to band with ease and the tuner makes it very user friendly.The VFO is rock soild I added a ex. speaker and ran a cord to the back so I could either use the speaker or phones. Its so nice I don't have to get out the manual to do anything as with the 706. NEW IS NOT BETTER. 73 Jim
N7BBX Rating: 5/5 May 26, 2007 21:49 Send this review to a friend
Great Oldie  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wow what a GREAT little transceiver! Very simple to use with no menus to fool around with. Talk about plug and play or in this case plug and talk. I bought this on Ebay and did have to send it back for minor repairs. Ten Tec still supports this radio even after 25 years. What a great receiver. I use this as my 80 meter rig and it sits proudly under the Kenwood 850.
W1SNE Rating: 5/5 Feb 22, 2006 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Performance AAA+++  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
$190 for a TenTec? Must be a real junker. Boy was I wrong. Just pure fun. No menus, no confusion, just fun! Awesome receiver, great ssb and superb cw performance. Bought as a back up, now can't keep my hands off it! And the manual is truly impressive too. My new 746-Pro could learn a few things from this classic Triton. Don't pass one up if it comes your way.
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