TEN-TEC has created a 100 watt transceiver combining simplified controls and ease of operation with the excellent performance of a low first IF 160-through 6-meter ham-band architecture in a compact, mobile-friendly structure. The analog portion of the radio is double conversion with IF frequencies of 9.0015 MHz and 22.5 kHz. A third conversion to zero-frequency IF is accomplished in the DSP processor.
The TEN-TEC Model 599 Eagle signifies strength born from DSP technology in HF design. Listening to input from Ham radio operators from around the world led our team of engineers to a remarkable compact yet high performance transceiver that Hams of all ages and skill levels will find a joy to operate.
The large easy to read display can be conveniently configured with your favorite background color and intensity, making your Eagle a pleasure to use as a base, portable, or mobile radio. Flexibility also extends to the Eagle with TEN-TEC’s Sensitune automatic antenna tuner, noise
canceling circuitry, and of course TEN-TEC’s famous selective roofing filters.
The TEN-TEC Eagle will truly provide years of outstanding performance unequaled by any other radio in its size or price class. You can be assured the Eagle offers more receiver horsepower with new DSP based architecture, Selectable Roofing filters, noise reduction, antenna tuner, and of course TEN-TEC’s legendary QSK keying. A tribute to American ingenuity makes the Eagle a radio you can be proud to show your fellow Ham radio operators.
Whether you are a seasoned contester, DX chaser, net operator or a casual operator, the TEN-TEC Eagle has the performance and convenience that will provide years of operating enjoyment!
What’s Included with the 599 Eagle
New and demo TEN-TEC equipment purchased directly from TEN-TEC in the U.S. is warrantied parts and labor for 12 months from date of purchase. Purchaser pays inbound shipping to us for warranty repair, we pay shipping to return the repaired equipment to you by UPS ground service or equivalent to the continental USA and Canada. Alaska, Hawaii and outside U.S. and Canada actual return shipping cost paid by owner. The only warranty exception is for the model 238B antenna tuner and the 417A Titan III linear amplifier, which are warrantied for three years parts and labor, under these same terms. Used equipment sold by TEN-TEC is warrantied for 30 days, parts and labor, under these same terms.
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Posted by Rick Westerman DJ0IP on 2nd Dec 2011
I have been a member of the Bavarian Contest Club for 25 years. I “upgraded” from a K3 to an Eagle last year and finally found time to use it in my first big contest.
Radios I have previously owned and used in contests: Orion, Omni VI+, K3, Drake 4C line with Sherwood filters.
Going into the contest I was curious to learn:
• Is the Eagle’s receiver really as good as the specs portray it to be? How does it compare to the other radios I have owned in the QRM of a major contest? Would the receiver crunch, or stand and deliver?
• How will the 100w transmitter in this tiny box hold up in a contest using a not so perfect antenna? How hot would it get? How loud would the fan be?
• How well will it interface with modern contesting software?
• Would I miss some of the things people have complained about (e.g., no band stack register, no remote VFO knob)? Would I miss all the knobs of the other radios?
• And a personal question, will I still enjoy contesting when the computer is doing most of the work for me?
• Eagle with 1.8 kHz and 300 Hz filters, ATU, plus the 2x RCA Phono Jack Mod*
• Antenna: 80m Off-Center-Fed Dipole with 100’ of LMR-240 coax
• Home-Brew Preselector connected to the 2 additional Phono Jacks
• External Keyer (MFJ-495 Millennium Keyer)
• Dell Laditude D-620 with WinXP Pro
• Contest Software: Win-Test Ver. 4.9.1 (latest version)**
* Used in this case for connecting the preselector; may also be used for connecting a noise canceller or separate RX antenna.
**The software does not yet have a dedicated interface for the Eagle. I ran it with Radio-1 = Orion2.
This resulted in 3 minor issues which did not significantly disturb operations. These issues will be resolved when the Eagle gets its own interface in Win-Test.
THE EAGLE’s RECEIVER:
I was especially curious to learn how it would perform on 40m. This has always been the toughest band here in Europe. Although the shortwave broadcast stations have moved outside of the ham band, they are still only 200 kHz away from our operating frequency and many of them peg the S-meter.
The receiver was excellent in every respect, even without the preselector. There was no sign of the receiver crunching from strong adjacent stations unless they were only a few Hz away – in which case they aren’t really adjacent, they are QRM on my same frequency.
I ran it first with 300 Hz bandwidth but soon reduced it to 200 Hz. I never touched the bandwidth control again. I ran 100% search and pounce. If I had had a strong enough signal to keep a frequency, I would have called CQ and opened it up to about 500 Hz, but I never operated in this mode. The filters were excellent, as good as anything I have used, with absolutely no sign of ringing.
The pre-selector is a precaution I always take. In the past I have often had problems with strong local stations and of course on 40m it helped significantly with receivers which were inferior to the Eagle. Hams living in the states probably won’t understand the need to have a preselector here in Europe. Most radios benefit from it. As with the Orion and the K3, the Eagle did not need it.
THE EAGLE’s TRANSMITTER:
Normally I don’t pay much attention to a radio’s transmitter. 100w is 100w. This time, the 100w was coming from a tiny little box. Heat? Fan noise? No Problem!
I only have one antenna for all 5 bands (in fact it covers 7 HF bands), and its SWR was less than perfect on several bands. The SWR was excellent on 80, about 1.8:1 on 20 and 10, about 2.5:1 on 40m, and about 3:1 on 15m. These are not terribly bad values, but certainly high enough to cause most Japanese-built rigs to fold back their output power unless using a tuner, especially on 40 and 15m.
On the first day of the contest I used the built in ATU on 40m and 15m. I did not use it on the other bands. On the second day I did not use it on 40m either. I was curious to see what would happen on 15m with over 3:1 SWR, so I tried it for a short period and it worked fine; did not get hot. However I did not have a good feeling abusing it like that so I soon turned the ATU back on.
The transceiver output power was consistently 100w (on an external watt meter with plus/minus 10% accuracy), regardless of which band I was running or whether the ATU was used or not. The Eagle never even got warm and the fan noise was not loud. I use open-headphones, meaning I can hear ambient room noise when I am wearing them. Sometimes I could just barely hear the fan running.
BTW, I always run an external keyer regardless of which transceiver I am using. This enables rapid adjustment of the keying speed. I rarely touch the paddle but when I do, I usually have to adjust the speed too.
RUNNING THE EAGLE WITH CONTEST SOFTWARE:
I was disappointed that Win-Test did not yet have full support for the Eagle, but happy to see that it functioned “good enough” running it with the software’s Orion 2 interface. This is supposed to be fixed in a future release of Win-Test.
Until this year, the only kind of transmitter control I have ever used from the computer was keying the exchange (report). As always, I keyed the transmitter in CW from the computer’s parallel port. The only other connection between the rig and computer was the USB2 cable.
The Win-Test software uses Telnet to connect to a server which feeds DX Spots from several DX Clusters.
New to me was the “Bandmap”. In the past I had used the PR Cluster Window inside the software to view DX spots but manually tuned the VFO to their frequencies.
The Bandmap window displays a vertical analog display with 1 kHz markings. There is a yellow pointer in the middle of the display. The call signs of all the stations spotted on the band your are operating on are displayed next to the analog scale, according to the frequency they are on. When you tune the radio’s VFO, the scale with call signs scrolls up or down with the call signs scrolling with it. As you hit the frequency of a station, its call sign is back-lit in yellow and magically its signal pops into the headphones.
Color coding is used to depict the status of each station. You can tell by the color if the station is a new country, new zone (which is both a new country and new zone), or just a station which you have not yet worked. Stations you have already worked are displayed in gray Italics.
You can do 3 things with this system:
• Simply tune the VFO and watch the stations scroll by. If you work them, enter them manually into the contest log.
• Double-Click the call sign; this immediately tunes the transceiver’s VFO A to that station’s frequency, and enters the call sign and zone of the station into the log – as not yet worked, of course.
• Right-Click the call sign; this opens a sub-window with several options. I used the first one often, which transferred the frequency of the station selected to VFO B. If there was a big pile up on the frequency, I could save it to VFO B, continue searching, but easily return to the frequency later by pushing the A/B button.
In my opinion, the features offered with this combination of software and computer controlling the radio is far superior to anything you could ever do with a radio’s built-in band scope.
All of this worked as it was supposed to, but it wasn’t always 100% accurate. The operator still has to pay attention; it was rare, but a couple of times the call sign of the DX station had been spotted wrong to the DX Cluster. They haven’t replaced us yet.
OPERATING WITH THE EAGLE’s [perceived] SHORTCOMINGS:
I had owned my Eagle for quite a while before I learned it did not have a band stacking register. I did not think that would bother me much. In fact when running with computer control of the radio, I did not even notice it missing.
In the past, I had come to enjoy the Omni or Orion’s remote VFO knob sitting right next to the keyboard. I have operated many contests where I hardly touched the radio itself except to change bands. I only tuned the remote VFO knob. There is no remote VFO knob available for the Eagle. The Eagle is quite small. I simply pulled it up beside the laptop with its front panel in line with the laptop’s screen and slanted towards me. My Vibroplex was just to the right of the screen. The Eagle’s VFO knob was just as close as the remote VFO knob of the other radios had been. So were the only other controls I needed, the AF volume control and occasionally the RF gain.
Operating the Eagle was effortless and even better than operating the other radios with a remote VFO knob because I could reach all knobs without stretching. This was really comfortable operating.
What did I like better about the Eagle than the K3? I never had to consult the manual.
Throughout the contest I couldn’t help wondering why the Japanese radios, especially Yaesu’s have so many knobs and buttons on the front panel? To confuse the Russians? The Eagle is proof that a good radio does not need all that excess baggage.
DID I ENJOY WORKING THE CONTEST UNDER COMPUTER CONTROL?
Big Time! I could not believe how easy contesting has become. It certainly is different from the old days of operating Sweepstakes with a separate receiver and transmitter and an old Vibroplex bug.
I’ve been contesting now for 48 years. For most of my ham career it was my primary interest in ham radio. In the meantime I enjoy/need my sleep too much. I slept 6 hours the first night and 7 hours the second night, and had a total on-the-air time of about 30 hours. I made over 1,000 QSOs with the Eagle; enough to give me a good understanding of how well the Eagle performs.
Personally, I would not trade my Eagle for any other radio at any price. It enables my kind of operation: simple, easy, no need to consult the manual.
Posted by Brian - K0MCM on 24th Oct 2011
Just got my Eagle last week and did not get to operate until today. I made 90+ contacts in 3.5 hours on 12m and 17m. Let me say this much. I had fun today. This radio is great. Rather than write paragraphs of feedback I will post some bullet points for the group.
--Was operating portable from a city park.
--Used mono band 1/4 wave verticals for 12m and 17m with 4 elevated radials.
--Great success using the 33 amp hour battery
--Using a Diamond SX-200 watt meter noticed by output power was 50-70 watts with
the radio set at 100 (makes perfect sense since I was operating on +/- 12.0 vdc)
--Got to use the PBT during some adjacent channel bleed over. (very effective
in eliminating the interference
--I kept getting questioned about what microphone I was using. So I embellished and said that I had a rare hand mike from TenTec called the BS-Hand Mic (BONE
--I did not have to pull out the manual today. I was very disappointed because I actually had my reading glasses with me.
--The Function Button and Multi Knob did not require constant use as I was told. I was looking forward to TenTec's Hand and Finger yoga class.
--The constant questioning of my "great audio" by other hams slowed down my qso's per hour. Will have to address that before sweepstakes.
--QRP stations in the noise floor could be easily copied with out the PreAmp or Noise Reduction circuits. (could have been a great reason to use the Function
--Set up time was the same as tear down time. And I did not get any breaks during operation because the radio never malfunctioned.
I don't think TenTec can address these complaints with firmware updates. Will have to wait for the next model to come out in a few years. In the meantime I will operate HF in a state of bliss, peace, and happiness.
In summary it is your choice what radio you purchase and choose to operate. If you don't like this radio than I don't like you.
Posted by Polk County TN Boys on 2nd Oct 2011
The eagle hf what a excellent transceiver and a excellent receiver great listening audio very clear clean and crisp audio ten tec has done it again excellent sales and help from Stan and Paul and the hole support team thanks
Posted by Lou Janicek N2CYY on 29th Sep 2011
Have had now for 9 months and absolutely love this radio (and TenTec support). Simple to use, awesome, natural sounding audio which is a pleasure to listen to, just the right amount of buttons and knobs to get the job done without a nested set of annoying menus which all work together to make using the rig a pleasure and help return the "fun" in operating.
Posted by Joska HA9RT on 28th Sep 2011
The Eagle is a true performerr. Small, but very very powerful!
I questioned what to buy, K3 or Eagle?
I chose the Eagle and have used it since June. Iit was a very good choice.
Has an excellent receiver, it is very easy to use, low weight and small professional design
Excellent sales and communications (Stan WD0BGS, Paul WD4EBR), professional team.
The Eagle is very good trasceiver at a very good price.
Posted by Mike, WA1EYP on 27th Sep 2011
Has an outstanding receiver. Better than some transceivers I have at twice the price. Does not have feature overload. I do not need a queue card to remember them all. Listening audio is crisp, clean, and easy listening.
Price is reasonable for the performance.
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