Ten-Tec Argonaut V

The Argonaut 5 , model 516, was released in 2002. The Argo 5 was not a kit, it came from the Ten-Tec factory ready to operate.

This is a full featured multimode transceiver covering all amateur bands from 160 to 10 meters. It is capable of CW, SSB, AM, FM and digital mode operation. Reception is possible on all frequencies from 500 kHz to 30 MHz.

Ten-Tec put a lot of radio into this box! This transceiver has most of the bells and whistles of most big QRO rigs. It is a flash firmware-defined radio using digital signal processing (DSP). The DSP allows for front panel control of the IF bandwidth and IF shift. In the photograph above, the small "750" indicates the bandwidth is currently 750 Hz. In CW and SSB mode, the IF bandwidth is continuously variable between 200 Hz and 3 kHz. in AM mode, the bandwidth is adjustable between 400 Hz and 6 kHz. In FM mode, the bandwidth is fixed at 15 kHz. Also, a DSP based noise blanker is standard equipment.

The firmware was designed to be easily updated by downloading the latest software release from the Internet. A standard serial cable connects the computer to the Argo for software installation. This permits the radio to be upgraded via software when new features or even new ham bands are introduced.

The transmitter is capable of 20 watts of CW output power making this rig appeal to QRO operators as well as QRP'ers. The power level is adjustable via a front panel control (1 to 20 watts) and the panel meter indicates output RF power. It is not adjustable below one watt. There are separate RIT and XIT functions as well as dual VFO's. With two VFO's, you can even work cross band or cross mode if desired.

Ten-Tec provided 100 memory channels will that store frequency, mode and filter settings. Also for ten meter FM use, the memory channels store the transmit CTCSS tone frequencies and repeater offsets. The squelch control works on all modes, but it is most useful in the FM mode.

The Argo has a built-in keyer, however it is not a memory keyer. The keyer speed is adjustable from 5 to 50 words per minute. Ten-Tec radios have a reputation for excellent QSK operation and this rig is no exception. Transmit QSK is very smooth and the time delay is operator adjustable from the front panel.

An auxiliary DIN connector on the rear panel is used to connect the radio to a computer sound card for digital modes like PSK-31 or RTTY. Audio input and output levels are independent of the microphone gain and volume controls.

Options available for the Argo V include a Temperature Controlled Crystal Oscillator (TCXO) option for increased frequency stability. Also an optional fan kit is recommended for improved heatsink cooling during AM, FM or digital transmissions with long duty cycles.

Probably this rig will be better suited to be on the shack operating table rather than used as a field radio. Current draw is about 500 mA on receive, a bit too much for extended battery powered operation.

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Updated June 15, 2016