The Scout receiver of the 555 and 556 run rings around a Kenwood TS 50. I
used both last Field Day, and the TS-50 has really bad intermod performance,
and is bad with strong signals around it, and is B-R-O-A-D!
The Jones filter of the TT is a dream, and even goes more tight than I like to
I have done sensitivity comparison between the Scout and my Kenwood 450, and
the Scout is as sensitive or more so than the 450. If you believe that the
Kenwoods basic sensitivity should be about the same, then the difference is in
how the Scout handles strong signals better than the TS 50.
I have read the TS 50 has only a "stock" relatively wide filter, and you do
not have the option of other selectivity choices. If so, the choice is Ten
Tec far and away. Now that being said, you must remember the Scout is a basic
transceiver without the frequency splits, memory channels and other fancy
stuff that most can do without. You also get the two 500 kHz segments of 10M,
but not the satellite band section on the Scout, so if that is important to
you, there is a way- with another Scout 10M module, and you customize its
frequency coverage to the satellite band by changing a crystal. By the
schematic it should work, and the tuned circuits should either be broadbanded
enough, or you lower the capacity across them to raise the coverage.
But you look at the intended use, and make your choice. A Scout can be turned
into its 556 Argo QRP brother, by removing one plus 12 Volt wire; and some
jumper coaxes are plugged in to bypass the final heat sinked amplifier and
have the low pass filters go direct to the driver stage. That is the basic
difference in the two models. You also can take a Scout, and turn down the
power pot, and have 5 watts out and if you feel you need 10 times that power,
you can turn the pot back up.
I really like the Scout, the band modules are pretty sturdy, and you can use
an ice box box, or drawer organizer tray to carry the extra band modules
around with you on portable excursions. The TS 50 seemed to me to be almost
TOO small for convenient use and visibility of the controls, and I was afraid
the antenna coax would drag the TS 50 off the table.
Some folks are shocked by the stiff tuning of the PTO on the Scout, but I like
that feeling of it being rock stable, and got used to the feel quickly. Now,
of course I grew up in ham radio in the glowing filaments days, and kind of
like the military radio tuning, so you have to set your goals, and if possible
try one out, and see what your budget is and the Scout lets you have a lot of
fun on less budget than the imports.