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Show all reviews of the Ten-Tec Eagle 599
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of the Ten-Tec Eagle 599.
Mar 29, 2013 20:52
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Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Obviously got the Eagle. Went for the loaded radio and it has the noise blanker, antenna tuner, 2.4, 6 and 15khz filters (for SSB, AM and FM use) and the 708A mic.
I got it to upgrade to a modern radio as the station here for HF as a TenTec Triton (m540),
a Tempo-one, and a HW101 as the mainstay 100W radios. The only one that has satisfied me till now was the Triton as it has a noise blanker that works and a very good receiver for a 35 year old radio. The radios I compared to included the
K3, KX3, K2 with everything, and a few IcKenYea radios in the same dollar class. The radios that had spartan panels were too menu laden to use to my liking. But at 3 inches tall it's still compact without being tiny.
Right out of the box I plugged it in as everything here has power-poles. it came properly setup with a sheet noting the setup from the factory.
First observation, the buttons light up blue! Also the function button is a yellow color and blinks when activated. Big improvement over my TT526 (6n2) my VHF workhorse radio. It was a not mentioned feature. It passes the test of can I run this without the manual or cheat sheet easily. The manual is not large or hard to read and worth reviewing as the radio has features that are not loudly noted or immediately obvious.It even inclues a quick startup for the new user that
just want to hear their new radio.
Bench testing says it works as well or better than spec. Testing the TX found full power and the transmitter audio was right the IMD was good as any other 100W radio I've had the opportunity to use and test on the bench. The RX was given a quick test as the receiver IMD test setup to
do it right is time consuming and I wanted to
use the radio. It seems to be a very hot RX.
While on the bench I opened it up and it's very well arranged inside and very tidy in construction. If you are opening it take care with the top cover as the speaker leads are not very long, though they are long enough with care to be easily unplugged. Inside surface mount devices are the norm in this radio it should be easy to service as it is very modular and accessible. I'd add if my 6n2 and Triton are any example service is unlikely to be needed.
Operating the buttons fits with my expectations and I found the soft touch buttons a bit nicer than the hard ones on the 6n2 and that one is 10 years old now. Tuning dial has a solid feel as well.
On the air it is easy to use and performs. I've used it on several antennas including a snakewire
(expedient short dipole on the grass) and the tuner seems to tune them all. Its not always fast but seems to seek a better than 1.5:1 match every time. Also the time to match seems to be related to how bad the antenna is.the stock hand mic works
and sounds according to those that know my voice
good. The 708 mic is also a good mic and sounds good my recording and report.
Some have noted that some features are second level on the buttons and should be first level.
This is a personal preference and in most cases
not an issue.
I have put a lot of hours into listening with all my radios and this one is very good sounding. Compared to a HRO 60 I use at work its very good
I have noted there are a few birdies, rare that a wide tuning (.5 to 30 and 6M) radio would not. None are limiting as they are weak and tune fast.
The blanker works well with the local power line noise. The digital NR is effective though it does add artifacts to the audio, acceptable as it also helps make the station listenable. The auto notch
(lid filter) is effective and a joy to have.
The filters do their job and are transparent, turn the knob and it does the right things. Passband tuning is something I did not have on other radios and is welcome addition. Dual VFOs are nice and what the the second VFO is set to displayed under the main in smaller numbers. The display is clear, uncluttered and easy to read even without my glasses.
The bail that forms a raised stand is very robust
and raises the radio nicely off the counter. I find the "its a transceiver" styling without racing strips or other cosmetic styling pleasing. The variable color and brightness display is welcome.
Things that were not clear from advertising or
even here were.
*Lighted buttons, I like that.
*For AM receive the wide 6khz filter is not required. For transmit at rated power it is.
* The radio has been improved since its
introduction and even some testing (ARRL).
* It has a rear panel 9mhz IF output for
user defined purposes like a panadaptor.
* Comes with the cable and plug to add an
alternate receiver input
* Comes with DIN plug for the sound in, out and
amplifier keying. plus the KEY jack.
As a portable radio note that it's not QRP, the RS wants about 1.5A at moderate volumes, and the TX is 2.5A with no modulation. Compared to the QRP set this is not intended to be small battery friendly though I did run it for a few hours with some transmitting on a 7AH gell cell at 40W with
no difficulties noted. Testing on the power supply says its more tolerant of low voltages (still working at low power at 10.8V).
I found dealing with Tentec to be easy and direct.
questions that I had were answered quickly.
A very pleasant radio with a few unexpected and welcome surprises. I don't feel like it was expensive for the features and performance. I think TenTec did a very good job with this radio.
Their 30day return policy will not be used as it will stay!
I rated it a 5 even though nothing is perfect but its way more than a 4.
Product is in production.
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