The TEN-TEC Rebel model 506 transceiver is designed with the purpose of providing Ham Radio operators a platform for developing and writing code using the open-source Arduino programming environment. It is a factory built CW QRP radio with a Chip Kit Uno 32 Arduino compatible processing unit that holds the operating program. The radio is provided with programming for basic operating functions that allow it to be used immediately as a basic QRP transceiver. Additional operating functions can be programmed by the user, either by writing the code or copying/adapting code developed by members of a growing number of Arduino special interest groups. It is this sharing of programming routines and ideas for functionality that is the heart of the Arduino open-source concept.
Basic features include a 40 & 20 meter QRP transceiver with internal jumpers to change bands. Full band coverage on both bands. Typical power output will run 4-5 watts with 13.5 VDC. A drift free operation is achieved through DDS synthesizer technology. CW sidetone through headphones. Three filter bandwidth choices and three tuning rate adjustments included with the stock program.
http://forum.arduino.cc/ (user discusion forum)
chipKIT Uno32 (Digilent, Inc.):
http://www.digilentinc.com/ (home page)
http://www.chipkit.org/forum/ (user discussion forum)
506 Rebel Yahoo Group:
506 Rebel Source Files (Source Code Project and Eagle Board files):
Visit our Transceiver Downloads page and scroll down to the 506 specific section.
Showing reviews 1-10 of 13 | Next
Posted by Rick Beatty - W7RNB on 27th Dec 2013
I got my REBEL for recently and have become hooked on its simplicity of use and as a software learning tool. You don't have to write software, because it is simple to use right out of the box. 10 minutes and your on the air. For those who are curious about what is behind the VFO knob here is your chance to see. Here is hope that TenTec will consider an all mode, all band radio in the future that is configurable like the REBEl, BRAVO TENTEC!
Summary ? Excellent radio project for QRP, 5 watts output, east to use, fun to play under the hood, software configurable, open source software for learning and adding your option.
Posted by W5san on 18th Dec 2013
Very nice product. I have lots of nice expensive radios (ts-590s, kx3, etc) and i like to use them, but would never modify or tinker with them. I have been building some simple sa612 based dc receivers and ran across some Arduino based dds vfos. This rig was a logical next step for me.
I hooked up a 1602 lcd and modified the base software to display frequency, signal strength, battery voltage, and rit offset similar to the H1B1 display and am very pleased with its performance so far.
The hardware is set up for the basic lcd and was hoping that the base software would already display frequency at least, but it didnt. Would be all some hams would want - a dds stable vfo, full coverage 40 and 20 (including ssb), superhet receiver with adjustable if crystal filter. (add simple lcd)
I am not a big Yahoo fan, so i would have preferred a cd with base software and some helpful startup tips. I think the inovative qrp world will embrace this rig and do many enhancements
Posted by Richard K5ANR/QRP on 28th Nov 2013
This reminds me so much of ordering a set of parts from somewhere and then doing mods on the kit except this is mostly in software. yes, something new but there is nothing wrong with learning -- especially if you can remember what you learned!
Posted by George K2WO on 12th Nov 2013
I just received my Rebel today from Ten Tec. After getting it unboxed, I
connected it to a Power Supply, a dipole antenna, my EZKeyer (AA0ZZ), some headphones and started tuning around on 20 Meters. The band was hopping here in FL and the Rebel receiver seemed very "hot". After acquainting myself with the BW and Tuning controls, I decided to take the plunge and put out a CQ on14.060. Much to my surprise, I got a call from Jorge, EA2LU in Spain. He gave me a 549 and we had a very nice chat.
This is a neat little rig and now I see why everyone on the Yahoo Rebel 506 group is so enthusiastic about it. I'm very interested in getting a display and a keyer in it and since I don't know the first thing about Arduino programming, I will be actively following the work being done by the talented hams on this Group. This is a great Yahoo Group and I look forward to getting my hands dirty with my new Ten Tec 506.
Posted by Dan KL1JP on 4th Nov 2013
I took the radio out of the shipping container, connected it up to power, antenna, key, speaker and an LDG autotuner and got on the air for the Nov 2 ARRL Sweepstakes contest. Some serious problems that need to be addressed are lack of display and switching bands.. In order to log a QSO, I need to know what frequency I'm on. The best I could do was guesstimate. I think if I roll the turning knob over until the red LED comes on, that would be the lower band limit and then I can guess where the digital folks come on with the RTTY or PSK warbling so that would be 14.070 or 7.070 respectively. Divide the difference by the number of full rotations and yes... I can get an estimate of what frequency I'm on. Most definitely need a display or a CAT interface to know exactly where I am. Also, taking the case off to change bands. I changed between the 20m and 40m about 10 times per day; trying to pick up grayline contacts. I wound up with just leaving that pretty case in the off position. I am very excited about the radio. Pretty good receiver and a few filters that helped a lot. I was able to discern weak signals in large 20m pileups. Overall, I'm very impressed with my first use. Never made any contacts though... from Alaska, a qrp signal is even smaller than normal. Based upon my first time use, I give this radio a 5 star and thumbs up rating. What an incredible experimental platform. Good job Ten-Tec.
Dan (KL1JP) Alaska
Posted by Dan Wietchy ( KL1JP ) on 28th Oct 2013
I ordered the TT Rebel 506 because I'm teaching a combination ham radio/arduino class next week and thought this would be a great example of the arduino capability. I'm very pleased at the pricing, packaging and delivery of the radio itself. Professionally done and well done TT ! However, for newbie's such as myself, how about including a simple brochure on things like taking the case off. And... no, it's NOT intuitive. The yahoo group is informative and I suspect it will grow as more experimenters purchase the unit.
Posted by Ron on 28th Oct 2013
Great product. I would like to see Ten-Tec develop more radios like this one. Very likely to buy a second Rebel just for the purpose of software development.The quality is what I have come to expect from Ten-Tec radios.
Posted by Dave on 24th Oct 2013
Fundamentally, the Rebel 506, is a SA612-based QRP transceiver design like many others, and its off-the-shelf performance is as you would expect with those designs too. Looking at the front panel and data sheet, you'll probably notice that the radio doesn't come with a display or even a keyer!
But neither ultimate performance, nor an array of bells-and-whistles are what this little radio is about. The Rebel, whose schematics, board layouts, and software source code are all provided under an open source license, is meant to provide a solid radio foundation integrated with a high-performance, off-the-shelf Arduino-compatible microprocessing platform. The result is a radio reference platform that can be extended through both software and/or hardware. Its obvious that Ten-Tec put a lot of thought toward ensuring that the hardware design is good for expansion. This includes things like jumpers at both the input and output end of the BPF (so you might substitute in a different BPF), easy access to audio output, use of a fast DDS, and read-access to the AGC voltage.
Already, the Rebel community (see the Yahoo Group) has been busy to modify the original Ten-Tec software and in a couple of cases, provide minor hardware enhancements. The result is that this little radio now has multiple display options (displays are $4 from eBay), a CW keyer, beacon mode, automatic band switching, and CW frequency read-out. CW-decoder software is apparently around the corner. There is some talk too of modifying it to support PSK and other modes.
With the Rebel, I get to have a decent performing radio that brings me lots of fun in so many other ways too. When I add to it, it morphs from a Ten-Tec product into MY radio which is very satisfying. Finally, its gratifying knowing that I'm part of a community, contributing where I am able, who are all working toward bigger, better and more impressive capabilities from the Rebel.
Posted by Carl Gansen on 21st Oct 2013
I got my Rebel in the mail a few weeks ago. Before doing any tinkering, I made a series of QSOs on 40 meters. I am using a PC amplified speaker for the sound. The Rebel is a very basic QRP rig but it is easy to use.
I have downloaded the code. After tinkering a bit, I decided to order an extra Chipkit Uno board (and some prototype shield) that the Rebel uses to give myself a platform to tinker external to the Rebel. The intent is to transplant what I learn into the Rebel. I have learned how to make a 4x20 display work. I have learned how to operate small relays. It has also inspired a couple non-Rebel ideas such as a band select actuator between my Orion and Hercules II now that I am seeing the capabilities offered.
If you want to learn new things and have fun on the air, my Rebel has provided both.
I also recommend this book http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Cookbook-Michael-Margolis/dp/1449313876/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1382380480&sr=8-7&keywords=arduino
It is a great learning supplement.
Posted by Lynn Hagar on 17th Oct 2013
Thanks for creating an educational ham radio product!
By viewing the Ten-Tec Rebel 506 play list on YouTube channel NG9D, all radio amateurs can see and hear this little gem of a QRP transceiver:
I will report my learning experiences with periodic updates to that link.
Showing reviews 1-10 of 13 | Next