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Reviews For: Ten-Tec Triton IV (540)

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Ten-Tec Triton IV (540)
Reviews: 24MSRP: 400.00
A basic HF rig, circa late 1970s.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KK4TZ Rating: 2021-05-01
Nice Basic Transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my Triton 540 last year from an on-line posting. It was a knee jerk impulse buy and I paid $250 for it with the matching 262G power supply and both cw filters. I may have paid too much for it because I have seen them sold in the last year for $50 - $150 less. However this one was received as a clean 8 on a 1-10 scale for cosmetics and in good operating condition. The previous owner had replaced the pto drive and included the old parts. I really enjoy operating it. The QSK break-in on cw is wonderful and I receive great audio reports on ssb. It has an excellent receiver and output is right at 100 watts on all bands. This is a basic transceiver without a lot of bells and whistles and I am very happy with it.
AC2Q Rating: 2018-12-01
Great Simple Radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have 3 of these I purchased “broken” and repaired.

I like the fact they are at a level of technology I can service.

A feat sounding rig, transmit and receive.

The circuitry is top notch for the era, as others have said Ten-Tec went full Kmart on the enclosure.
K3XR Rating: 2016-01-23
DIAL CORD TIP Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The Triton IV is still a great rig to operate after all these years took mine off the shelf this week and noticed the travel on the dial cord not as it should be after playing around with it for a time decided to look for some elastic dial cord not an easy task did some searching around and found 1/32 inch bungee cord on Ebay finished the install in about 10 minutes and it works just great calibration right on. Note...only replaced the elastic part of the cord the "string" portion is fine. Thought this tip might be helpful to those of you who need to replace the cord.
KB1GMX Rating: 2013-12-26
very good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I rarely give a 5, nothing is perfect. So in my book a 4.5 would be fair, shame I can't give that.

Radio with CW filter added, NB and 252 power supply.

Mine came to me as an estate purchase of the first owner SK. So its condition was about as good as a
35 year old radio can be. It works correctly, is very quiet.

Excellent receiver. Only exceeded by my Eagle.
Its power needs are small and much less than most
new radios. That makes it nice for battery ops as
I run the station off solar power. The noise
blanker is effective and the offset tune is good
enough for split ops. While its old dial and
string the calibration is very good and the
built in calibrator is there to verify with.

Transmitter performs as new and sounds very good
on the air. On the lower bands I've seen 105W and
85W on 10M is normal into the Bird. The
transmitter seems to lack overshoot like some
newer radios when set for lower power output.

I've peaked and poked around inside and this one
is clean and unmolested. A fun and useful radio
and for the non WARC era everything an op could
want. If I had to fix it there is nothing in
there that is hard to find or fix. Id expect at its age the finals might be rare but newer parts likely would work if ever needed.

I'm keeping it as its light and hard to abuse
while providing a great receiver and 100W power.

KB1TMA Rating: 2010-11-18
Great Starter Rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Recently purchased a Triton IV with the Model 262G Power Supply, Ten Tec 228 Antenna Tuner/SWR and a D104 for $180 after getting General License. This radio has worked exceptionally well for something that's 30 + years old.

The operation is simple and all reports I've received regarding the signal strentgh and audio have been very good. So far I've managed to work 17 countries on 5 continents the farthest being a VK7 station from Rhode Island on a homebrew dipole.

It may not be the newest or most powerfull rig on the air, but I still manage to get thru pileups and make the DX QSO's. If anyone is looking for a strong, no frills HF radio I'd have to say this one radio you may want to consider if you can find it.
26JLH Rating: 2010-01-12
i still like it Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
i have had this a while now and its still good. i got a scrap one for parts.this one has all the boards plus a spare set of all boards and parts.not bad, very low noise floor i have restored this and i will never sell it on ebay. it may be old but my pals say it sounds better than there new stuff there just baffled that a 30 old year radio sounds so good, beat that yaesu,there ft2000,that always seems to be in the repair shop ive heared one being blown up by snow i thought only trains could do it,,i know,, wrong kind of snow i,e the static kind...m6glh

Earlier 5-star review posted by 26JLH on 2009-11-21

this radio was in a loft for 10 years,needed new bulbs pto re grease new dial string.oh and a complete clean up it was a fithy animal, and i did not keep the change hi hi.
reciever has about the lowest noise floor of anything bar nothing, sensitive too, good filters.
microphone socket on the back thats the only thing i hate you lose most of the mike cable round the radio that realy sux, but the radio is ok. knobs a pain to get off with those odd allan keys but i got some comming from the US.
i like this radio so much i bought another one
and i want to add a ext vfo yanks dont like to sell to us via ebay over here in england but come on we are your pals and we always will be even if Bush was a war munger..jeff.. uk england.
M6-GLH new radio HAM.
OLLIEOXEN27 Rating: 2009-03-17
caveat emptor Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned three 540s over the years the best working one being the first. I would only buy one from someone you know well locally - avoid flea bay or even the User Groups. Currently these are being sold at markup due to the high Eham ratings and reputation.

If you get a bad one you'll have intermittent problems - power out, band switch, control panel. etc. You'll never get the truth out of the seller.

At their best the 540 has top notch audio, Qsk though my current one has a relay that clicks whenever I return to receive (don't ask).
My first 540 I could work anything I could hear with 5 watts. My current 540 is both deaf and mute.
N3QE Rating: 2008-01-31
Wonderful simple rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I got one of these used a few years back.

I did a little cleaning of switches and contacts, and it works excellently on the air. The bandswitch is still flaky on 10M, I'll deal with that in a few years when 10M comes back into fashion :-).

Not a lot of controls, but the stock SSB/CW/CW-narrow filters make operation effortless.

My rig is now 30-some years old and still has the same finals in it as from the factory. Maybe there has been some "fade" in output over the years - maybe not, I never saw the rig really suck 200W in - but still has no problem doing 80W true output power keydown on CW.

RIT when DX'ing is not as easy as with a modern digital rig where you can read off the offset to a Hz. But that's not a major hassle, and I'm growing used to it.

Had to modify the keying interface on my HD-1410 keyer to accomodate the low voltage drop on key-down required by this rig. Google for "HD-1410" and "Triton" and you'll see the mods that can accomodate it.

I have actually talked to the Ten Tec factory about getting me an Omni VII. Without a doubt, if I ever buy a new rig, it'll be a Ten Tec. But the old Triton keeps on working without a glitch, so haven't made the plunge yet!
AA6ZE Rating: 2008-01-07
One of the best Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I got a 540 a few months back with the cw filters and noise blanker installed and have been very pleased with it.
The single conversion receiver is hot and very quiet compared with my Corsair.With the cw filters kicked in weak signals seem to pop in out of the background. Wonderful QSK. And a noise blanker that really works! A very well designed rig that doesn't do a lot of things,but what it does do very well. If your looking for one ask about the pto and dial string as these are the only weak points in this radio. Ten Tec still works on them and has parts after 25+ years. Try to get that kind of service in a imported rig.Two thumbs up!

NN8B Rating: 2007-08-23
My good fortunes with the 540 Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I had always looked at the 540 and wished I had one since being licensed in 1979. To me it looked like a radio should look.

In 2007 at the Dayton Hamvention I found a 540 with all internal options that came with the 262M and the 262G power supplies for $125. The VFO was super smooth and the rig worked just fine. What great audio from this old rig. Then a few weeks later I saw the 244 digital display and the 240, 160 meter converter for sale, and I got them for $65 each. Then a week later I found the 242 external VFO and was able to get it for $65. It needed the dial restrung and the top had been painted but was otherwise in excellent condition. The 1977 price of this equipment would have been $1394.00. Adjusted for inflation, the cost in 2007 dollars would be $4631.00. This rig was the Orion II of it's day. And I got it for $320.

All in all it is still an excellent playing radio. The quiet analog receivers still cannot be beat. With the external VFO on these rigs, I can listen to 2 separate frequencies on the same band, at the same time. This is great for working split. Only rigs with 2 receivers can do that nowadays.

The 540 station has been a fine addition to my Ten Tec stable. It's a keeper.