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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Ten-Tec Eagle 599 Help


Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Eagle 599
Ten-Tec Eagle 599 Reviews: 73 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $$1995
Description: Ten Tec Eagle Model 599. offers simplified controls and ease of operation. 100 Watts, SSB & CW, 160 Mtr to 6 Mtr and General Coverage Receive .50 t0 30Mhz. Nifty and Compact and a Mobile friendly structure.
Product is in production.
More info: http://tentec.com
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K3NB Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2015 09:26 Send this review to a friend
Worth its weight  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iím a new ham - playing radio for a little over 2 years.

Last year I was enamored of the KX3 after seeing/working one at Hamfest Huntsville just after getting my general, and I bought/built one. Then the amp. Then the panadapter. Tried traveling with it all, found I needed a piecemeal/handwritten list of instructions to follow to get the whole thing set up every time. Plugs, wires, grounds, settings, power cables and the depth and number of menu items required a flow-chart to follow. Out of the box, setup often took 30-45 minutes. Then it was almost time to pack it up. I donít like complicated. I flew years ago - rated in gliders, SEL VFR/IFR, some rotary wing time - but prefer gliders. I like simple. ďIn der KŁrze liegt die WŁrzeĒ as my grandmother wouldíve said.

So I wanted something smaller, more compact, fewer "features."
After reading about, then seeing and hearing more about the Ten Tec Eagle, I thought about getting oneÖ then one day I just up and sold all my Elecraft stuff in one fell swoop. Gone. New owner loves it. Placed an order through RKR (I missed the labor day sale) and waited. And waited some more. September turned to November and no production from TT. One day I awoke for some reason at 4AM to find an ad on the Ten-Tec Yahoo group from a guy in my neighborhood who was selling one. Emailed, called, and picked it up that afternoon then canceled my order with TT.

I am in awe of the thinking of the Ten-Tec engineers/designers. As the guy selling it to me said ďpretty much you get what you see.Ē Easy to understand front panel, simple setup, easy to follow instructions, good selection of filters, factory-installed IF port for a panadapter, USB port for a computer, 100 watts and a wire take up less space (and weight) than the old KX3 package - Iíve got it tucked away inside a Halliburton aluminum (EMP-proofed) case for travel and TEOTWAKI planning. Takes about a minute to pull out, plug in the mike, antenna, ground, and battery cable (USB if I want to use HRD) and Iím on the air. Iíve played with this outside too with a 20M hamstick dipole drawing power from a couple of high-output Lithium-polymer batteries (and Winradio LWA-0130 and some wire) in my yard. Radio only draws about 1.18 AH on receive, 20 AH on transmit. 10AH of LiPo will last quite a while depending on use and ambient temperature. As others have said, the cooling fan starts running after a while and is a little annoying as it cycles on-off. Maybe a little more ventilation in the case could fix that, but Iím not complaining, just noted it cycling. This should be a great rig for camping. They make a bracket for it for a mobile setup Iím not interested in, but itís available. I'm waiting for the 712 USB adapter in the mail to use with a Windows tablet and HDSDR (light, portable, compact, right?).

Just last night I made a great contact with Barcelona, Spain. Drawing power from a 35AH deep-cycle backup battery by my desk, 100 watts from a 2-band east-west facing homebuilt dipole (kind of like a V, 35 feet in the middle, 60 feet at the west end, 40 at the east, centered on my chimney). Got a good 59 report from him. Online propagation maps didn't even show 80M getting off CONUS at that time. And he's using a 21 foot yagi on 80M. Cool.

With a handheld mic and my rig I was happy to get the report that he could hear me so clearly. I just recently sold an alpha 8410 after playing around with it for a year. Didn't need the money, just didn't need the amp as I found I made far more contacts while running barefoot and the fan was louder than my tinnitus. 1500 watts or 10, if the airwaves aren't propagating, it doesn't matter that much, does it?

For the money, for the features, for the FUNCTION (I can pull in stations loud and clear on the Eagle I can barely hear on my KW 590s), versus size and weight - and the WAIT, TT wonít be producing these again until January 2016 they told me when I called - you canít go wrong. Or at least I donít think I did. Everyone has their favorites, the TenTec Eagle 599AT is mine right now. YMMV.
 
NK8A Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2015 12:32 Send this review to a friend
Great features  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned a few state of the art radios,or so called "high end radios", and I find the Eagle to be the best fit for me.I am mainly a cw op and the easy to adjust cw features of the Eagle are great for me.Overall this radio is a pleasure to operate for a keep it simple person like me.
 
N8HSD Rating: 4/5 May 31, 2015 18:19 Send this review to a friend
Would Rate a 4.5--Excellent  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have waited six months to write this review. At the "summer sale price", I believe this is an excellent value radio. In addition to my Eagle, I currently own an FT817, FT857, IC7200, and TS590S, all fine radios in their own way. If I could only have one, it would be a toss-up between the TS590 and the Eagle. Ultimately, I believe the Kenwood is better built and more versatile, and would be a clear choice for a contester. The Eagle, however, is easier on the ears, and, IMO, a bit more fun. Both rigs hear equally well--superbly, in fact. I find the Eagle's audio more pleasing and natural. I personally do not find the vaunted "simplicity" of the Eagle an advantage over the sophistication of the TS590, and I miss the 590's dual antenna ports and variety of adjustable menu driven parameters. But, it's the Eagle that sits in my prime operating position in the shack.
 
AH7I Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2015 10:33 Send this review to a friend
Overall very nice for the $.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
In my opinion there's nothing better at the sale price $. I love using it on 40CW. However, it's got some quirks. They bother me. They may not bother you.

1. The noise floor on 160 is raised by the second harmonic of an internal switch mode regulator running at a nominal 900kHz. It's spread spectrum and drifts. If you use the same antenna for transmit and receive on 160, you'll never notice.

2. In receive mode the cooling fans cycle on and off some 5 to 15 times a minute. "Fan is operating within the specifications of the radio."-tentec. It's unlikely you will notice unless you have a very quiet shack. There is some indication that Tentec may make a firmware change to address this.

3. Published diagrams do not reflect hardware changes. One big change since introduction is a switch to MOSFETs in the final.
 
K1FPV Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2015 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Great Smaller Cousin To The Orion II  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my Eagle now for close to 3 months and have used it quite a bit. I love it's compactness and style in general. I have run it side by side with my Orion II and have to admit, performance-wise, it is close to the Orion. Needless to say though, I have more receiver filter selections on the Orion II as well as other parameters, but when using the similar roofing filter, reception is comparable to the Orion.

I was fortunate to buy this transceiver used on eBay from a ham who took great care of it and I got it at a great price. There was a bit of a learning curve with it, but the more I use it, the easier it gets.

I use mine with a Yaesu SP-2000 speaker and switch it between the Orion II or the Eagle. Receive audio great, and the transmit audio is also good. I've gotten great audio reports. I use the Ten-Tec Regal mic with it. The only mode I haven't used yet is AM which I will be using soon, I'm sure.

Ten-Tec has another winner with this transceiver as they have had with others. The new lower price they are selling for now makes it even better. I own a number of Ten-Tec transceivers, receivers and accessories and have yet to be disappointed! I also have a Kenwood TS-590 and a TS-2000 to compare with and a Yaesu FT-2000. Each has their strong points, but I find myself using the Ten-Tec's more as well as liking them more and more. WAY TO GO TEN-TEC !!

Bill
K1FPV
 
KY6R Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2015 05:07 Send this review to a friend
Really Nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I traded my beloved Elecraft KX3 for this rig - mainly because I have an ACOM-1500 that needs more drive than the KX3 produces. My Eagle has the 2.4 and 600 hz filters plus the Noise Blanker (all are superb).

While my main rig has been the Elecraft K3, this rig is no slouch. I have owned Ten Tec rigs before - Orion, Omni VI, Argonaut V, and know their legendary QSK on CW, and very good SSB and audio quality on the newer TT rigs.

I've owned the K3, KX3, TS-590S and now the Eagle, and by far my two favorite rigs are the K3 and the Eagle.

I am a bit surprised at how I seem to gravitate to the Eagle more than the K3 these days - I expected the Eagle to be more like the TS-590S, but its quite a bit better actually - it ranks neck and neck with the K3 in my books.

I'm sitting here listening to CW on 40M in the early morning - and am actually quite "mesmerized" at just how good this rig sounds. The filtering and PBT work so well, and the audio has such "punch" and the RX so "hot" that no PRE is needed.
 
K3IE Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2015 10:00 Send this review to a friend
Fun and Simple  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up the Eagle a couple of weeks ago. I was looking at a K3, which is a great rig, but by the time I added all of the modules it was a greater investment than I wanted to allocate.

My first rig, back in the 70's when I was a teenager, was a Triton IV. I later moved on to the Japanese Big Box rigs but decided to come "home" to TenTec. The Eagle, IMHO, is the perfect blend of simplicity, performance, and value. Plus, I almost forgot what a pleasure TT rigs are for CW ops.

And, its small footprint helps with my limited shack space.

I have integrated it with DXLabsuite. Its Commander module can control many of the rig's features via easy to use Sliders and User Defined Buttons. This simplifies adjustment of some of the Eagle's features that require multiple steps via the rig's menu.

It is a fun rig for me, whether chasing DX or contesting.

- Hunter K3IE
 
NK8A Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2015 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Quiet ,simple to use  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I am mainly a cw op. The Eagle is everything I need for my style of operating.Sometimes I will do some PSK 31,and the 712 interface,makes this mode easy.This radio has good filtering is quiet,and has a good ATU.I don't need anything more.Oh, and the price was right too!
 
KI4RYV Rating: 4/5 Feb 26, 2015 16:02 Send this review to a friend
Nice, no menu, super quite for the money Vs. super $4k+ rigs  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The no menu operating setup is nice! I dont ever use my IC-7000 after getting the Eagle. I use a FT-1000D when the bands are clean. The 1000D has a bit better audio because its uses crystals and has no DSP. I use the eagle when band is crowed and poor conditions.

When using the Noise Blanker of the Eagle it really muffles the band noise. It dose this with a small sacrifice of RX audio quality (No experience with other DSP radios but I gather its a problem with them all). With the RF backed off a bit with the NB on, I have nearly a complete quite when no signals are coming in. With this setup weak signals still make it threw.

I gave is a 4 out of 5 because of the TX audio. Im a big HiFi oriented ear guy. I take great pain in RX quality with EQs, mixers, tube amp, high end surround sound theater "center channel" (center channel because its setup more for voice) and I strive for the same quality going out. Other HiFi guys on the air said I sounded pinched when on the Eagle. I got a 2.8 Inrad filter and it widened and cleared it up TX nicely. So 4 out of 5 because poor audio out and I did try a few mics before the filter.

Im running a 2.8 Inrad, 6k factory and a 15k factory filters. This makes the Band Sweep knob flow nicely. Crowded bands I can turn it down to 2000 to 2400. Over 2400 opens a bit wider and better RX audio (Still not as good audio as the FT-1000D)
 
KU7I Rating: 4/5 Feb 11, 2015 13:31 Send this review to a friend
Traded a loaded KX3 for mine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I traded my loaded KX3 for the Eagle. The physical build quality and craftsmanship on the KX3 is superior to the Eagle. The knobs on the KX3 feel very expensive and metal ike........they could have been plastic for all I know but they FELT expensive. The controls on the Eagle do NOT have the same expensive feel. The concentric AF/RF gain control on the Eagle was not aligned properly. When I would turn the inner knob, the AF gain, it would also turn the outer RF gain knob which of course should not happen. I had to manually loosen up the AF gain knob and slide it out on the shaft about a millimeter. That fixed the problem.


The auto tuner in the KX3 is amazing and I swear it would tune a steel frying pan handle up on 80 meter cw. The Eagle auto tuner is okay and works fine but it takes longer to find a match.


The KX3 would receive wider than the stock roofing filter which was fun when listening to ssb. I think stock out of the box the KX3 went as wide as 3450hz in ssb receive mode. The Eagle will only go to the stock 2.4khz if you have no optional filters.


The KX3 was VERY capable and had adjustments for everything. Too many in fact for my operating style. I like a more basic and simpler and intuitive menu system which is why I ultimately made the swap for the Eagle.


The Eagle S meter on receive is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to read........seriously....even when wearing my + 2.0 reading glasses it is still very difficult to read but now I know which bar = S3, S5, etc just by the physical location of the mark.


I would compare it to a Lexus RX350 to a Toyota Celica. The KX3 being the Lexus and the Eagle being the Celica.


That being said I am MUCH HAPPIER overall with my Eagle. It is super easy to use. My only real complaint is the RIT is NOT EASY to use. In lieu of the Eagle RIT I just operate split vfo mode which is now a walk in the park.


The dsp on both the KX3 and the Eagle seem to be about the same.....both are OUTSTANDING. The qsk on both are about equal. I run my Eagle into a Ten Tec Hercules 2 using the Eagle amp key signal on pin 8 of the ACC 1 jack. This goes to the Hercules KEY IN and voila'........full 550 watt qsk!!!!!!!!!!


The PBT and DSP bandwidth are a joy to use on the Eagle but the KX3 was just as good.


Take Home Points: I am not a super techy kind of guy and I find overall the Eagle suits my operating style better than the KX3. I love the full 100 watts out and get this, you can dial it all the way down to 1 watt output if you want. Actually it will go all the way down to 0 watts in 1 watt increments from 100 down to 0. I think the technology is essentially the same between all of the big makers of radios.......Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Elecraft, Ten Tec. However, how that technology connects to a user seems to be the big difference. The overall build quality and feel of the KX3 is much more elite and higher quality BUT I ENJOY the Eagle way more and for me it is much easier to use.

If I could only choose one it would be the Eagle over the KX3. A friend of mine has the K3 and it too has a very busy menu system. The Eagle just suits my operating style the best which is casual cw and ssb.


The RIT is such a severe pain and non-intuitive pain in the rear that I am giving the Eagle a 4 instead of a 5. For a company known for its cw fondness I can not understand why the RIT is so difficult to use.

The speech processor makes a huge difference. I run mine maxed at the "9" mark on the menu with the stock hand mic. It works great.

I will add a wider filter later, probably the 15 kHz filter so later I will be able to dial wider than 2400hz. For now I am limited to that because you need one of the optional roofing filters to be able to listen wider than 2400 hz. I have verified this with John at Ten Tec who is one of the engineers of the radio.


As I said, I would do the trade again. It is very simple to use. The PBT and BW control are a dream. SSB and cw sound very nice.

I will eventually add a weighted tuning knob to it. The FT1000D had the best heavy tuning vfo knob of all time. Maybe one day I can get the Eagle to have the same feel.
 
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