Commonly used commercial rigs

2: The Ten-Tec Argonaut 515


Made in the USA by Ten Tec, the various versions of the Argonaut have always been popular and the 515 is no exception to that.

Designed for QRP SSB and CW, the rig features break-in CW of exceptional quality. The display is analogue. There is an accessory 'port' on the rear panel which allows an optional audio filter to be added for extra CW selectivity. I used a simple 2 X 741 op. amp. circuit, which worked well. No built in keyer is provided in this model. The 515 is easily serviced as each board can easily be taken out, being 'plug in units' and worked. Documentation is very clear, describing each module in detail.

The case is a bit disappointing, being partly 'plasticy' in construction, except the alloy front and rear panels. The rig covers 80 - 10 metres, but does not include the WARC bands.

Expect to pay about 275 at least on the second hand UK market (about the original price when new, but the value of the pound sterling has altered somewhat!). Not that they appear often - a sure sign of a good rig! Once someone acquires one, he/she keeps it, or lives to regret parting with it, like me!

One of the best dedicated QRP rigs of yester year, in my opinion.

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