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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Ten-Tec Eagle 599 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Eagle 599
Ten-Tec Eagle 599 Reviews: 5 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $1,795
Description: Ten-Tec has created a transceiver combining simplified controls and ease of operation with the excellent performance of a low first IF 160-through 6-meter ham-band architecture in a compact, mobile-friendly structure. The analog portion of the radio is double conversion with IF frequencies of 9.0015 MHz and 22.5 kHz. A third conversion to zero-frequency IF is accomplished in the DSP processor.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.tentec.com/?id=360
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KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2015 23:51 Send this review to a friend
Remarkably good XCVR with a few minor idiosyncrasies   Time owned: more than 12 months
Our review is from the perspective of a very casual CW and somewhat more demanding SSB/AM operator. The Eagle has highly selective filtering (with the appropriate roofing filter combinations for the desired operating mode/use), very low noise reception; and a transmitter with superb audio in SSB & AM with unusually high Final Amplifier RF Output SWR tolerance (3:1) and (optional) Auto-tuner Matching Range (10:1)!

Two of the transceiver's greatest deficiencies mentioned often and elsewhere in this review are a hard-to-read "S" Meter and ergonomically inconvenient RIT Knob. However, these irritants are NOT "show-stoppers". The associated "S"/SWR Meter's numerical values are indeed very hard to read--but the indicated relative bar-graph values are very easy to read. Familiarity-with-use makes this problem a temporary one. If not using the second (VFO "B") of the two available (Main Tuning Knob controlled) VFO's ("A" & "B") for operating "split"--then VFO "B" can be conveniently-used as your RIT Knob. Later Eagle Firmware Versions include the option of exchanging the inconveniently-located existing RIT Knob with other less-used knobs if VFO "B" is needed for "Split" Operation.

One (sometimes) not-so-obvious problem with the Eagle occurs with certain "roofing" filter configurations and combinations which can inject "digital (microprocessor) noise" into the first (9 MC) IF thereby seriously degrading receiver IMD performance. Fortunately, smart filter choice/placement can completely eliminate these issues. There are three roofing filter slots numbered 1 thru 3. Slot # 3 is exposed to the highest digital noise field which diminishes through Slot # 2 to the lowest noise level at Slot # 1. Consequently, Ten-Tec noted in Section 10.2 on Page # 36 of the Eagle User's Manual Release 1.007 (Mar. 4, 2011) that their 15 KHZ Filter (if used) be located in Slot # 1 "for optimum FM performance". The "standard" 2.4 KHZ Filter is normally provided from the factory in Slot # 1. We believe that even the Ten-Tec recommended location of the poorly shielded (two crystals openly-mounted on a small circuit board) may degrade IMD performance. I.E. we have chosen to forego use of the as-provided by Ten-Tec (optional) 15 KHZ Filter altogether-- thereby loosing the capability for FM operation. Addition of the well-shielded (four crystals FULLY enclosed) optional 6 KHZ Roofing Filter allows wide-band SSB & optimum AM operation. I.E. all filters provided by Ten-Tec except for the 15 KHZ FM/Wide-band AM Filter are well shielded and so may be safely installed in any slot. Should one choose to install the optional Vibroplex/INRAD supplied 2.8 KHZ Filter (which we have tried with noticeably improved transmit/receive audio on SSB)--we recommend using only Slot # 1. The INRAD 2.8 KHZ Filter is better shielded than the Ten-Tec 15 KHZ Filter--but not as well shielded as the other totally enclosed Ten-Tec Filters. With both the 15 KHZ and 2.8 KHZ Filters installed (in any order) in Slots 1 & 2--severe broad-banded digital noise was heard on the 10 MHZ Band when selected via the Band Selection Push-button. For unknown reason(s), selection of the 10 MHZ Band by first selecting any band either above (14 MHZ, Etc.) or below (7 KHZ, Etc.) and manually tuning to 10 MHZ via the Main Tuning Knob yields greatly diminished perceived noise. However, the elegant solution would appear to be the use of FULLY shielded roofing filter assemblies in all cases. We are currently configured (with no detectable digital noise issues) with the FULLY shielded 6, 2.4, & 1.8 KHZ Filters. If our CW activity were higher or more demanding interference-wise--we would opt for installation of our 600 HZ Ten-Tec Filter in place of our 1.8 KHZ Filter.

One item that can add greatly to the quality (flywheel-action) feel of the Eagle is a heavy-weight custom machined Main Tuning Knob. Our Knob was CNC Machined in Romania (www.LZ2JR.com). The knob appears to be similar or identical in dimension to an Elecraft K3 Knob.

The Eagle's plug-in circuit-board type (optional) Noise Blanker appears to be totally ineffective on many types of semi-sinusoidal waveform noise. However--it works miraculously on short duration (high peak-to-average) repetitive ignition and commutator/slip ring (brush) type noise--so don't just assume that it doesn't work.

The Eagle's "little brother" (the Argonaut VI) appears to be a very similar unit limited to 10 Watts Output. It was introduced after the Eagle and has a few features here-to-fore not available with the Eagle. One is "speed-sensitive tuning". This is sorely needed in the Eagle and may be as simple-to-do as a firmware chahge. If Ten-Tec survives (as we hope it does)--Eagle owners should press Ten-Tec for this upgrade. Don't let this minor shortcoming stop you from getting an Eagle as push-button-selected speed changes are not that bothersome once you learn to normally tune in the largest practical steps for the selected mode.

There are minor delay/timing issues associated with CW operation when interfacing the QSK capable Eagle with a non-QSK capable Linear Amplifier (I.E. a non-Ten-Tec Amplifier) that can be easily addressed. Fortunately, there are no such issues when using the AM & SSB Modes. I.E, the Eagle in AM & SSB Modes can key any Linear Amplifier (QSK or not) directly (providing keying voltage compatibility) with no timing/delay issues.

The Eagle really soars for such a small package. The more you use it--the more you will like it.
 
K3BR Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2015 12:17 Send this review to a friend
The Eagle continues to fly  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, it's about a year since my review of the 599 on 15 December, 2015. I looked hard for any issues, discrepancies, malfunctions, etc. I cannot find ANY, so my previous review of the product stands.
This is after many contests, about 3K DX contacts, and heavy, daily use, 99% CW and digital. There is one tiny mention: the integral TenTec speaker has better audio quality than my $29 MightyFineJunk headphones!!!
73 de K3BR.
 
N2PM Rating: 5/5 May 23, 2015 12:33 Send this review to a friend
Back to great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Back awhile I had submitted a positive rating for the Eagle, then like a fool I sold the rig, last December while the first sale and ownership transfer was going on I purchased another one, returned it after two days, scratchy controls, poor audio, very disappointed. Two weeks later ordered another one, bad speaker unimpressive, returned it and lost all faith in TenTec, Well last weekend Tentec ran a Dayton special sale at a super low price and free shipping, well could not resist ordered one. Bottom line this unit this one of the best radios I have ever owned ( Ham since 1962 ). The quality is exceptional. Can't explain how this rig can be so much better. Glad Tentec is back they are great people and his rig is top qualiy, welcome back!
 
V31HB Rating: 2/5 Feb 8, 2015 19:53 Send this review to a friend
SNFU issues  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
warning my report may grate TenTec cult enthuiasts! [1st] its short comeings [2nd] attributes [3rd] what it was benchmark reference from & supplementry comments...[1st] CLUNKY secondary menu- imagine having a big knife switch duct tape on top of rig , every time U wanted to change something one must alternate one side or the other. first the function button then GO FIND & push menu operation button. revert back ,go thru the whole rig-a-ma-roll again."Ka-chunk"...VFO rotating increments CLUMSY settings ;should be dail r.p.m. sensitive ramp up or down...S-meter/swr ; teenei tiny numbers squint @ to read...AM reception-without 6khz filter installed HORRIBLE S.W.B. stn gen coverage listening ;SSB mode only. just 2 optional filter slots which influnence modes of operation...incapable unlock TX for gen coverage;eg. CFARS or MARS ect...Speech Processor-anaemic...TX mon audio-low out put...Aux RX/noise canncelling input mod- holes & parts supply but NO instructions...RX intermiting freq shift instability- after 45 days owning ,it started to act up. QUESTIONABLE REIABLITY ! just missed 30 day return trial refund.now warrenty issue.fix it or flog it ? [2nd] RX very quite; nice , good sensitvity ,optional filters 1800hz & 600hz + DSP tools impressive...TX Audio constant excellent reports; irrspective of speech processor...broad Z ant tuner range - 10:1...back light buttons & custom color LCD...I.F. out put jack for panadapter...2nd jack hole is for aux RX or noise canncelling device TenTec supplys hole & parts (but if use , lose 3db overall reception)...light weight weight & small...[3rd] -if they smarten up leave at thier sale price $1500.+ thier options they installed, it competve price ...TenTec has a 30 day trial return refund. it just sucks mine had a reliabilty issue just out side this envelope. wouldve i senter back for refund ? maybe, but im stuck with it now. intermitten problems are extremly diffcult to trouble shoot even on warrenty. being a SDR rig makes it all the more challenging , software or hardware SNFU...the access menu issue can be resolved by using one of many CAT programs. i base my comparsons from kenwood TS-480 & Drake C-Line ,R4C sherwood eng enhancements with casscade filters & T4XC upgrades by WB4HFN
 
W8NWN Rating: 4/5 Dec 13, 2014 20:43 Send this review to a friend
S METER  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 3rd review. I am told by another ham that giving the Eagle a "1" strickly because of a very poor "S" meter is not fair to Tentec. So...........I am now raising my 1 to a 4. The Eagle is a very high quality product made in the US.
 


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