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

Reviews Summary for Ten-Tec Argonaut V
Ten-Tec Argonaut V Reviews: 96 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $895.
Description: USA-made 20 watt IF-DSP HF Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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KK4NWW Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2017 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first expression about this Gem is Wow!! The green S Meter and green LED 8 segments digits blown me away!!! Just about to being shocked again when turned on the receiver. Again a stronger WOW!!!! Cristal clear receiver super sensitive and with the amazing filters the selectivity reaches the Top!!!
How well this radio receives with it own speaker 4 inches. Only gap I found no rf gain on it. From qrp to 20 watts. Defintelly a Keeper.
De kk4nww
K0RDS Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2016 17:56 Send this review to a friend
Quality Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my Argonaut V new several years ago. It has performed great for me all the time. I run it at 5 watts into a Horizontal loop antenna at 25 feet. Have only used it on cw mode and boy does it perform. I would say if you can find a good one buy it.73, K0RDS, Richard
KE6YX Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2015 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Sweet operating rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my second Argonaut V. I purchased the first one used many years ago, and in a weak state of mind I sold it to fund an Elecraft KX1 to have a “trail friendly” rig. What a dumb decision that was.

Over the years I have owned a wide variety of QRP rigs, and all of them had serious compromises of one kind or another. Today it seems that almost every QRP or low power HF rig is designed to be carried in a back pack, not as a desk top rig, which is what I really wanted.

When the new Ten Tec Argonaut VI arrived on the scene I watched it for awhile, read all the reports, and decided it was just what I was looking for. During the last Dayton sale I bought one.

After 2 weeks of constant problems, and working with Ten Tec service trying to resolve them, I gave up on it, and returned it for a refund.

I started thinking again about the older Argonaut V, and decided to give it another try, found a nice one on, and have fallen in love with it. The Argo V gets great reports on both CW, and SSB, and all the audio reports are positive using either a Ten Tec 701 hand microphone, or the Ten Tec 705 desk microphone.

In the past I have avoided QSK keying, especially on 40 meters, because I hated the harsh noise blasting in my ears between CW characters, but for some reason on the Argonaut V the noise seems softer, and now I am happy using QSK. I have no idea what they did, and it could just be my imagination, but it sure seems better than most of the other rigs I have used including other Ten Tec models.

While I would have liked a real RF gain control, like others have stated, I found the RF attenuator to do a reasonable job in place of it. The band width adjustment is clean all the way down to the minimum 200 Hz setting without distortion or ringing. I have stored most of the QRP and SOTA calling frequencies into memory making band switching a breeze.

The display is large, easy to read, and the analog meter is beautiful.

If I were to pick one nit, as the rig came to me, the tuning knob would scrape against the plastic encoder shaft bushing in the front panel, making tuning both rough, and noisy. I fixed it by cutting a thin disk of self adhering felt with a hole in it for the encoder shaft, and stuck it to the back of the tuning knob. Now it is smooth, quiet, and the felt adds just a touch of dampening which is a plus. I also noticed the tuning knob is solid aluminum not plastic.

Unlike the new Argonaut VI, which has the headphone jack at the rear, the Argonaut V has the headphone jack where it belongs, on the front panel duh! I like listening to the rig which has a nice internal speaker when possible, and only plug in the headphones when the going gets rough. Having to leave the headphones plugged in all the time, or fumble around in the back of the rig using the Braille system in the middle of a QSO is a dumb setup.

Rather than coming up with a whole new Argonaut VI, I think they should have refined the Argo V by dumping the FM mode adding an RF gain function to the squelch knob, a notch function, and memories to the keyer. Maybe add a DSP noise reduction too. It would have saved a lot of development and tooling cost, and they could have called it an Argonaut V MKII.

My Argonaut V is running in the background as I write the review, and it sounds sweet.
WA4JM Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2015 08:09 Send this review to a friend
After 8 Years...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I still pull it out and power it up. I am amazed at how well it sounds and and how well it hears. A great rig and as the say, "It's a keeper." I will not part with it.
WI6T Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2014 15:41 Send this review to a friend
Twenty watts of pleasure  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased new at the TT factory with the crystal stable oscillator in 2006. No problems in eight years. Used with all modes (yes, even AM at five watts). CW QSK is wonderful. I installed an of/off switch on the bottom of the case for fan operation. AM receive is a joy at six kHz. I got the TT Model 712 USB interface for digital modes and it could not be easier. Been a ham over forty years and have a number of rigs; the TT Argonaut is one of my keepers. If you find a decent one for sale, go for it. Mine will never leave my operating desk.
K7FD Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2014 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Coming up on 6 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Got my Argonaut V in 2008, still one of my daily drivers. Sitting next to a TS-990S you might be surprised that AM reception on Argonaut V sounds better than on the Kenwood. Listening to AM on this rig rivals any rig I've ever used. I use this rig for 2 things: 1) listening to AM group on 3.885MHz every morning and 2) on CW. In these two categories, it is an amazing radio. The receiver is excellent. I have never had a mic plugged into it, so can't comment on that part. I love this little rig and hope it keeps ticking...

73 John K7FD
N2DTS Rating: 3/5 Jan 23, 2014 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Not as good as I thought it would be  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The good:
Really nice audio on SSB receive.

Very nice style radio, like the analog meter, the big display.

Nice that it goes up to 20 watts.

Nice sidetone.

Small well made package.

Sensitive quiet receiver.

The not so good:
My tuning knob is very stiff to turn. The radio moves around the table when using the finger hole.

On CW, using break in, there seems to be audio artifacts when it switches between RX and TX, not there when using vox (semi break in).

AM modulation is very poor, it does not get close to 100% positive modulation.

Poor audio on TX, low gain with both pots turned up and a dynamic mic, can sound ok on ssb but mic level is very critical.

Overall the buttons are simple, but its not simple to operate some things.

That nice looking analog meter is wide open inside, there is no case around the meter movement, so dirt can get right into it!

My K2 was easier to operate, but had much worse audio.

My Wilderness radio Sierra is easier to operate, and likely works just as good on CW.

Something like an Icom 756 pro series is worlds better to operate because it has enough buttons to do the job, and even though its got klunky relay TX/RX switching, it does not have odd audio artifacts.

This rig is a good small portable (not manpack) radio on CW, will serve on ssb in a pinch, has a nice receiver, and it looks very nice.

For portable operation, I think I would do Elecraft, even with the poor audio.
For a home station, I want band stacking registers, good TX and RX audio, built in tuner, and a few more knobs and buttons.

The band up only button does not bother me, nor does the lack of detents on the multi knob, but that control seems a little erratic at times.

I get over 20 watts out, and use the attenuator on receive with the full size antenna's and the receiver has plenty of gain.
The filters are not sdr sharp, but very good.

My radio has the latest software.
N0TVE Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2013 12:18 Send this review to a friend
Fun Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This has turned out to be a really versatile radio for me. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I am using the Argo. almost exclusively as a portable rig. I usually connect it to a LNR 10/20/40 EFHW or an Icom AH-703 antenna ( a great antenna by the way!). I power it with a 12v LiFePo battery that I keep at 13.8 v output by running it through a battery booster. I have made contacts all over the world with this set from lots of parks.
The radio is simple to use and well built. The controls are solid feeling and everything is easy to read. Receive is very clear and the audio reports that I get are good.
Twenty watts and a good antenna are all I need for fun with this radio.
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2013 15:49 Send this review to a friend
Solid little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Perspective is everything here. In 1979 I bought a new 509 and used it for two years as my only rig. The 509 was traded for an Argosy. I still use it but it's riding in the same boat as the 509: it's usefulness is limited, e.g. no keyer, no real dial calibration, RIT, XIT, etc. After a decade of wanting one, I just scored a nice 516 on ePay.

For those of us who used the older TT stuff, this is something from Star Wars. This rig has everything you need to reliably do everyday hamming. With the SignaLink plugged in the Aux 1 port and a simple Serial to USB cable, I can do all the digi modes. CW works very well. No the tunable bandwidth is not as elegant as the newer rigs. But it will help when help is needed. QSK is, of course, transparent. It's got both AM and FM. I also own a Jupiter and the buttons essentially work the same with no "real" menu's. It's got enough bells and a few whistles so as to help the operator with access not getting in the way.

In short this is a fun rig. Mine has all the options: heatsink fan for heavy operating and TCXO for some stability. I plan on using this as my everyday radio. A very neat old gal.
KF5HDU Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2013 06:08 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic little rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this little rig for a specific purpose, which has been to have a versatile, compact, easy on amp draw transceiver that I could mount in a small enclosure and carry with me in any vehicle. Score one for me! This rig has exceeded every expectation. Yes, it is only 20 watts, however, after experimenting with a number of different antennas, I have found that it really makes the most out of whatever antenna you hook it to. I have checked in on numerous nets during less than ideal conditions, and it has really worked well. The built in filters are awesome. You can fine tune what works for you. The band switch button that only scrolls up has been mentioned before, but it's not that big of deal. I do have it hooked to an LDG Z100 Pro tuner by the way. I do wish you could direct enter frequencies, but instead you just save your favorites in memory and go with it. As far as power consumption, it does very well in my opinion. With open squelch, and listening with a moderate volume level, it draws about 800 mAh. With sound squelched, no volume, about 350-400 mAh. Not bad! Coupled with a small solar panel, and a 12Ah AGM battery, I have worked several hours at a 20-25% duty cycle at 20 watts out, with out a problem. That's impressive. I even have a cigarette lighter plug to power poles I use for the rig, and it doesn't miss a beat. I am very pleased!
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