RE: Ten Tec Argo 556


From: rohre (
Date: Sun Jan 22 1995 - 21:38:20 EST

The 556 is just the 555 sans the heat sinked final on the back panel. For
about the same money, if resale value is a point to you, you can buy the 555
and use the power control pot on it to turn it down to 5 watts. That way, you
could sell it someday in any QRO or QRP community. If you like milliwatting,
it looks to me like one could add a switch on the back say, to disconnect the
power to the final amp stage and bring out the RF to a connector so
milliwatting could be set up. I must confess, I have not gone below the SSB
QRP levels, as the challenge to me is to work SSB QRP against the rest of the
QRO crowd, and blow them away when I do (often) get a good signal report; then
telling them of my QRP power levels. All other features are the same for both
rigs and they have the same manual. The schematics were not very good xerox
copies in mine, was the only real complaint I had. One other thing was I was
expecting more from the noise blanker circuit; but it evidently was designed
specifically to work on auto engine static, (ignition), and does not do
anything for most other noise on the higher HF bands 20 and up that I prefer.
The filter is quite good. The receiver is very sensitive. They provide a
stereo phone jack, but I reccommend using communication phones, for good stereo
phones will pick up a little of the computer hash from the microprocessor that
runs the frequency management system and the keyer, (full QSK!) The keyer is
fun, but defintely is weighted for 10 wpm and up. It defaults each time you
power on to 25 wpm! I think this rig is good for me, for it will surely make
me get my code up to Extra Class speed! When keying at top speeds, you do have
to let up and let the micro correct the frequency, every once in a while as the
VFO is permeability (Coil) tuned. That coil tuning is what the knob is doing,
so it is firm feeling and stable for mobile use; you do not "spin" it; but I
quickly got used to it, and it is OK for the purpose. Probably would stay on
frequency if you literally "backpacked" with it transmitting!

I have had a lot of fun with the rig at home to an all band Gap Titan vertical.
 Even worked a DX contest, and got both Europe and Japan.

There has not been time to take it to the field, but that would be easy, and
mobile as well. The key and keyer jacks are 1/8 inch type, so one has to have
the small plug, but they provide one. Generally, if the other station I am
hearing has a strong signal, I can work him. Also, even when my signal
strength is close to the band noise, I get "penetrating audio" reports, so it
sounds good at the other end to my contacts on SSB. I use an old Astatic
bullet mike or a D104, and am not sure which is better. Even though there is
not specifically a speech processor, they are shaping the audio well. I have
modules for all bands but 30 and 160, and they have held up well to much band
changing with our variable sunspots these days!

I am a satisfied user, and basically I prefer a rig like this that all you have
to do is turn it on and key or talk! The only thing is you can't work split,
like chasing DX on 40 SSB; but with a second receiver, that is really no
problem. I have worked another Scout on the air on dying band, and it does
sound good. BTW, I do not own stock in Ten Tec! 73/72,
Stuart K5KVH
To: qrp
>From: Richard Kendrick on Sat, Jan 21, 1995 3:23
Subject: Ten Tec Argo 556
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>From: Richard Kendrick <>
Subject: Ten Tec Argo 556
To: qrp <>
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Does anybody have any experience with the Argo 556, the little brother of
the Scout? I received my QST today and saw the full page advertisement
(I'd seen it before and blew it off) and this time my eye caught the
header "Attention QRP Enthusiasts". Well, the price and size looks _real_
attractive to me; a nice tiny all band rig just right for qrp. What are
your experiences with this rig?

Richard Kendrick CET WA7TWI |
Amateur Radio Extra Class | Do not adjust your mind, there is
QRP #4129/G-QRP #8591/MI-QRP #M-1412 | a fault in reality.
Phoenix, AZ email: |

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