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


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Argosy & Argosy 2
Ten-Tec Argosy & Argosy 2 Reviews: 29 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $Currrent market estimated $ 300
Description: 80-10 meter ssb and cw rig that features built in a swr bridge, low power drain on receive and 5 /50 watt output. Ideal QRP rig. Introduced about 1981 and discontinued about 1987. The Argosy 1 had an analog tuning dial and the Argosy 2 featured digital display and tuning. Many optional filters available.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com
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You can write your own review of the Ten-Tec Argosy & Argosy 2.

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NY4D Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2010 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Sweet Analog Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have another Argosy II in the shack for some minor work before it goes to the new owner. I've always liked these rigs and having it here reminds me why.

Keeping in mind that this is an early 1980s rig -

Pros:

* Nice sounding strong rx audio
* Simple to operate
* Big boards, discrete components, easy to work on
* Very stable for a PTO rig.

Cons:

* The AGC pop which was tamed but not all the way. Really that's only an issue with 40 over S9 signals

* No 17 or 12 meters but we knew that going in

* No vox - but this won't bother most people

Please note - there are published mods online for the Argosy for such things as IF hiss and AGC. These are correct for the original Argosy but not so for the II. For example, component numbering on the AF/IF board is different for the II, and some values of the actual corresponding compnents are different. So do your homework before breaking out the golden soldering iron.

This isn't going to take the place of your modern pro type rig, though in some areas it compares quite well. Great backup or take along rig though. Very fun to use. Not much to do with it but make contacts. Basic at the same level as the TS-120 and 130 Kenwoods, also fun rigs.

Apples to apples - I have a Ten-Tec Scout and overall I like this Argosy better. 'Nuff said.

Rating based on what it is, almost 30 years old, analog low end radio, and not based on comparing it to the new digital if dsp rig you bought yesterday.
 
26JLH Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2009 16:31 Send this review to a friend
good old vintage ham radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i got this off epay about a week ago and it looks to be in very good order, there is little wear on it must have been well looked after.
this is the first usa radio i have had looks to be hand made not thrown together to last 5 years, and in the bin it goes so i am pleased with it.
you will need to tune it as the ofsetts can go out by 150 hz or so. i am not botherd i just allow for it its part of vintage ham radio fun.
has all options bar narrow filter, there is a space on the board for a xtal filter i will get one later.all in all a well useable collectable radio...jeff... M6GLH united kingdom..
 
NS5U Rating: 4/5 Sep 22, 2009 15:17 Send this review to a friend
Most Fun Ever  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a couple of the 525D Argosy radios and they are just plain fun. It was my first hf rig and spent a lot of time in my over the road truck. It worked very well with a hustler antenna stuck up above the cab while sitting in freight docks waiting for cargo.

The QSK is legendary Ten Tec and I have never found anything much better. The audio filter alone made 40 meters a pleasure to use late into the evening. I had the 500hz CW filter and even the noise blanker but seldom needed the one and the noise blanker wasn't very effective.

50 watts was always enough for what I wanted to do and even got me into a 75 meter phone group one night in Florida while I was in Cleveland. Another driver was sitting in the cab to see what amateur radio was all about when the group asked what I was operating with to have such a good signal from "way up there in Cleveland". They were quite disgruntled to learn the Ten Tec was sounding at 50 watts into a mobile whip as good as the amplfiers and wire aerials they were running. They quit talking to me and one even said I had no business on that band with my rig.

That was enough to convince my driver friend to learn the code and become a ham. He is still going strong 20 years later.

The 525D is a little deaf on the upper bands 15meters and 10 but not so much they can't be the source of great entertainment.

It is an easily understood circuit and all through hole parts. The interior is very roomy and in all a pleasure to work on or modify. There really isn't much to improve except maybe to add the rf gain control.

First rigs always hold fond memeories but this radio stayed around a lot longer because it worked so well.

Since then I have had IC-730, Ft-100D, IC-746 Pro and nonPro, Ts-520, Ten Tec 580, Ft-847, Elecraft K2 and K3, Heathkit DX60 and a Hammarlund 215, Index Labs QRP++, SW-40+ and 30, Steve Weber ATS3B, even a couple of Ramsey kits for 40 meters. At present I have an IC-703+ and an ATS3B.1 and a big pile of parts and kits from Diz.

Each radio has its strengths and the best rig I have ever owned is the one I am working at the time you ask the question but the Argosy is outside the envelope as it was the most fun I have ever had playing radio.
 
SV8YM Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2009 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Analog beauty!  Time owned: more than 12 months
You just can't give such a nice vintage rig as the Argosy (I've got the first model) anything less than a solid "5"! The Argosy is a pleasure to use, and you may even EXPERIMENT with it without a jeweler's loupe! Take a load of THAT!

I think the Argosy is a fine rig to own and use, even today, in the era of DSP and micro-miniaturisation. Won't cut it in a multi-multi environment, but will make a Sunday morning on the HF bands definitely pleasurable!
 
G4GZG Rating: 4/5 Jul 11, 2009 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Good starter or alternative to new tvcrs  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my TT Argosy 2 for about 18 months. I've had other TT rigs, starting with a Century 21 back in 1979 and then later a Century 22 > I bought the Argosy to use as a second rig when I wanted to use lower power or avoid RFI issues.

I mainly work CW and data modes with a little SSB and for thes emodes the Ten Tec has proved an excellent performer.It has a strong Rx with excellent sensitivity and selectivity ( mine has the CW Xral filter and two Audio filter stages, but no noise blanker. I found myself defaulting to the Argosy many times and my Icom Pro sat ignored on many occasions. I put this down to the feel of the Argosy. Stations seem more alive and real and the Argosy filtering is preferable to the Icom DSP.. Not bad for a 25 year old rig which I wish I'd bought before and won't part with. Big plus in todays world is that you can fix it yourself with ordinary ham technical experience as all components are discrete and lead through on standard PCBs. Well recommende das an inexpensive practical rig.
 
VE9AA Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2008 17:20 Send this review to a friend
My 2nd! Wish it had 160m  Time owned: more than 12 months
My 2nd Argosy II 525D. Only just got this one the other day, but owned previous one a couple years before selling it a few years ago to finance another purchase. Instantly regretted it. Fairly rare to find one nowadays. Both were EX-CNIB (white caner) rigs with voice annunciator boxes. This new one has zero mods and only the audio CW filter which is "good" but not great. Hoping to find a crystal CW filter for it. WOndering if anyone has a mod to get the thing to play on 160m? (one of my favorite bands)
Cheers !, Mike VE9AA
PS-I would've given it a 4.5 as it's certainly not perfect, but worthy of a 5 (I've had $1000 radios which weren't the fun of this ol' classic)
 
W9BB Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2008 06:59 Send this review to a friend
525 Analog a Great Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 525 Analog version with cw filter, mods incorporated and separte PS and works great. A fun radio with very good sensitivity and functionality. I know the digital versions has some problems but have yet to hear of the analog having any issues.

Hears well, easy to operate and very functional and easy on batteries (analog).

A great portable, camping companion, QRP, etc. Gives you all you could want in a QRP radio with power when required.

When you compare something like the Index Labs, etc., it out performs and out hears the other similar QRP units.
 
VE7BGP Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2007 08:57 Send this review to a friend
Back to Basics & Fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It has been a while since the last review for these Great little Argosy,s was posted. A week ago I became the proud owner of A Ten Tec Argosy like the old Omni A&D and Trition's A Ten Tec Classic. It came fully loaded with better 220 main SSB Filter, 217 CW 500Hz filter, Audio Filter, Marker Board and yes a NB board. Our Club Station VE7NA has a Onmi Db for the last 3 years and I have enjoyed many nice casual CW QSOs on that rig. Wow I liked the QSK on that Ten Tec. I always wanted an Arognaut 509 since they came out when I was a young ham. I jumped and immediately bought this Argosy when it was offered to me. Wow is this radio Fun to operate. Full QSK CW no bothersome Relays! It is a no Bell & Whistle Radio but what a performer it is. Great receiver and filtering. I have 2 IC-751A's to compare it to. My Argosy is sn 721 so it has a very low noise floor and wow the 16 poles of Crystal filtering and Audio Filter combo great. Add a miserly less than 1 Amp current drain putting out 3 watts, 5 watts about 1.5 amps with the switch in the QRP position 1/2 amp on rx when I put in a led for S meter lamp I can cut this down more. This Radio will be a great radio to operate Battery Portable QRP. In contrast My IC-706 MKIIG goes under 1 amp on receive if you turn display Back Light off but lowest TX current is 4 amps putting out 5 watts. If QRP won't do it for you you have 50 watts on tap with the throw of a switch and that is only 1/2 S unit down from a typical 100 watt rig. I use a Shure 444 Hand Mike on SSB and I like using one of my Classic Vibroplex Bugs with that Argosy. If you got a bunch of Bell & Whistle Rigs with their Menu to access all the features Give the Argosy a try they are 8 Lbs of great radio. I will keep my Argosy till it becomes Vintage in a few years around the peak of Solar Cycle 24. If you find a used Argosy grab it fast like I did you will have SKCC fun.
73
Gerry VE7BGP SKCC 625
 
VO1MDS Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2005 20:45 Send this review to a friend
I LOE MY ARGOSY  Time owned: more than 12 months
HI PEOPLE, IM ALSO A LOVER OF THE TEN-TEC ARGOSY 2 525D, I BOUGHT MINE FOR ABOUT $350.00 CDN ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, NEVER BEEN DISAPOINTED YET, I EVEN MADE A FEW MODS TO THE RADIO MY SELF, INCLUDING A REAL OFF AND ON POWER SWITCH, AND CHANGED THE ALC LED TO A NICE GREEN ONE.
I NEVER GOT THE NOISE BLANKER WITH MINE,BUT DID GET THE THE MATCHING POWER SUPPLY AND MODEL-700 HANDMIC. THE THING WITH THE ARGOSY IS THAT YOU NEED TO ADJUST THE ANTENNA TO SUIT THE ARGOSY, SHE GETS VERY ANGRY WHEN THE SWR IS NOT WERE SHE LIKES IT. SHE WELL LOWER THE OUTPUT POWER JUST TO PROVE IT.
THE AUTOMATIC RF POWER SHUTDOWN FEATURE IS A NICE FEATURE ON THIS RADIO, WERE SHE WELL NOT LET YOU TRANSMIT IF THE SWR IS OVER ABOUT 1.5 TO 1 .
I HAVE MADE MANY CONTACTS ON HER ALL OVER THE WORLD, WITH REPORTS OF 5-9 BEING THE MOST POPULAR REPORT IM GETTING.
IM USEING A HALFWAVE HORIZONTAL DIPOLE AT 30 FEET, THE COAX IS 75OHM THE SAME STUFF YOU USE ON YOUR TV, THE RADIATORS FOR THE ANTENNA ARE STEEL WIRE WITH A PROTECTIVE COATING ON IT.
THIS ANTENNA WITH THIS RADIO IS A DEADLY SETUP. I LOVE MY TEN-TEC ARGOSY 525D AND SO SHOULD YOU,YOU WONT BE DISAPOINTED IF YOU GET ONE, I WAS NOT.
 
KU4QD Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2003 23:25 Send this review to a friend
Better than most "starter" rigs, excellent filtering  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned two of the original (analog) Argosys and I'm in the process of buying my third. There are many good reasons I keep coming back to the venerable Ten Tec Argosy, even with its shortcomings.

I don't know why there are two different sets of reviews for this rig. Oh well... here goes in this spot.

Argosy pros:
-Excellent receiver in all respects
-Excellent transmitted audio
-Full QSK
-Excellent filtering, particularly with the optional 220 8-pole filter replacing the original 4-pole filter. An optional crystal CW or narrow SSB filter can be added for up to 16 poles of filtering. In addition, the 224 option is an audio CW filter offering two possible bandwidths. In the wide position it can also serve as a very narrow SSB filter. It can be used in combination with the crystal filters for very tight reception without ringing. THIS IS THE STRONGEST POINT OF THE ARGOSY.
-Effective notch filter (standard)
-Effective noise blanker (optional)
-Can switch from 5W max output to 50W max at the touch of a button, and can vary RF output in either position
-Digital readout on 525D can be switched off to reduce power consumption. Has both digital and analog frequency readout.
-Durable, well built old rig
-Very reasonably priced on the used market, even with the matching 225 power supply.

Argosy cons:

-Does not cover 12, 17, or 160m
-Rigs are aging. These rigs are all 14-22 years old. Common issues:
--PTO may need rebuilding
-Analog units with serial numbers under 425 had a very high receiver noise floor. Most should have been modified by now, but definitely test drive any early versions before buying. The mod is available, but... that should figure into your planning. The AGC complaint on early units is real too. The mods aren't difficult to make, though.
-Many optional components (noise blanker, audio filter, crystal calibrator for analog version, amplifier keying circuit) are no longer available. If they do turn up on the used market (and they rarely do) they are expensive. Buy a well equipped Argosy or decide any options you don't have are ones you can live without.
-Optional filters are still available but are expensive ($109 new, typically $60-70 used) and your rig can take two (220 and either a 217, 218, or 219). Try to find a rig with the filters you want already installed or plan on the cost of adding filters.
-Voltage regulation is in the power supply. You either want the matching 225 supply or else you need a circuit breaker.

Because of the vastly superior filtering I tend to prefer the Argosy on the bands it covers to most other "starter" radios, including many newer and facier ones.

IMHO, you really can't go wrong with the Argosy. You just have to understand the advantages and disadvantes of this old and decide what's important to you. One with the mods in deserves a five. It's a real performer.
 
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