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Results: Scout User Impressions

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: Results: Scout User Impressions
From: montaw@inforamp.net (montaw@inforamp.net)
Date: Tue, 14 May 96 18:57:58 -0500
I did not get a large number of responses. I think previous enquires
may have burnt some people out. However, I would not post if I 
didn't think I had sufficient data. Those that did respond paid the
price as I went back and forth for further detail and clarification.

This is going to be a long one .....

Not So Good
  - SSB and CW only
  - needs optional band modules
  - only operates USB/LSB on the band 'standard'
  - no VOX
  - becomes expensive if you want all band HF operation
  - unacceptable, cheap PTO drive mech 
  - images on some bands - 17 meters for sure

Good Things
  - inexpensive
  - variable bandwidth receiver
  - compact and light
  - G10 epoxy circuit boards
  - low current drain
  - good AGC with no pops
  - good intermod characteristics
  - really simple to operate
  - built in keyer
  - QSK
  - accessories readily available and inexpensive
Some (almost) Quotes
  - THIS is the way a YaeComWood should tune
  - the bandwidth will go narrower than I like it
  - does not intermod like a TS/50
  - ... at least its not one of those dreadfull ratchet dials
  - I would not buy it again
  - the more I use it, the more I like it
  - as sensitive as my TS/450 or better
  - I'd buy it again
  - real nice audio
  - the PTO drive needs re engineering
  - the switches allow for eyes off mobile - no pushbuttons

My Summary
    Although it is capable of 160 to 10 SSB and CW operation with
the appropriate band modules, it is not cost effective to buy a 
Scout and load it up with 8 more band modules. Regarding this, the
Scout will appeal to an operator of 2 or 3 bands.

Playing reverse engineer, consider the Scout originally conceived
as a monbander - no bandswitch. The requirements to operate on any
one band are almost the same as any other. You realize that with 
just a bit more tweaking, you can turn that monobander into a 
multi bander with a separate module. Now you have an anybander, one
band at a time. This is far better - nice and flexible. Now all that
needs to be done is to get Marketing to sell the Scout in this way -
as a customizable monobander one band at a time. Research says that
while many want the capability, few operate more than a few HF
bands. Everyone wins, but now some customers are all hung up about
all the band modules that are 'required'. Sigh ....

Some controversy remains regarding the PTO 'feel' and backlash. The
general concensus is that this is an exaggreated 'problem', although
one first time Ten Tec buyer was quite peeved about this area.
Depending upon the band, one or two 'birdies' may appear. The
weakest band is 17 meters where there appears to be an image 
rejection problem. Some Scouts seem to frequency hunt on CW; others
are rock stable. The PTO is mechanically 'OK', but if you provoke
the area around the PTO location, you will affect the stability.

Owners 'love' the AGC and the receiver in general. No pops in the
AGC. The AGC time constant is a good compromise for SSB and CW.
Because it is a simple capacitive discharge type, a strong signal
takes the AGC longer to recover. There is some hiss in the recovered 
audio because the filtering is at the front of the high gain IF
strip. All of this is not untypical. In a lot of radios you do not
hear this because of heavy audio roll off.

Overall, the Scout seems to be just fine - for its price point. This
does not excuse a poorly constructed or designed set, but one should
be prepared to accept some compromise. Only you can decide how far
you'll go. The Scout offers enough radio for most and not enough 
for some.

If you are still undecided, remember that purchasing a new Ten
Tec is not like purchasing a foreign radio from a dealer. It can
make a 2 way trip. Ten Tec has a 30 day money back guarantee. 
Order one and play with it. Keep it or ship it back in 30 days.

Your loss is a coupla bucks, and then you'll know ... For Sure. 

Pardon me while I duck under the table ....


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