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TEN-TEC Jupiter

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W0BKR, May 23, 2002.

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  1. W0BKR

    W0BKR Guest

    A friend of mine and I both bought the TT Jupiter just to see how it compared to the IC-746 and other similar priced radios. What we found was it was a DOG! Not just mine, but he came to the same conclusion about the same day I did when we met at the local coffee shop.

    You can buy an ICOM 718 with DSP for HALF the price of the TT!!!
    You don't get the scope, but honestly, what does it buy you ?

    What I found in my TT was first a QC problem. Radio had to be returned to rework, even though it was through QC.

    No up/down buttons, no tuner, no 6 meters, no preamp and weak receive on 21 and up.
    Cheesy construction.

    Anyway, I won't be buying another TT anytime soon. I read the QST review on it, it confirmed my suspicions on being weak on receive and worse yet, wide on receive. Poor dynamic range.

    Save your money and get the IC-718 if nothing else (for $550.00 !!!&#33[​IMG].
  2. W5ATX

    W5ATX Ham Member QRZ Page

    This sounds like the typical stereotype of American products come true. I can't comment on the Jupiter, but "cheesey" is a word that has applied to Ten Tec rigs in the past.

    Back in the late '70s and early '80s, the Omni series rigs were good quality. But they didn't have near the features of similarly priced rigs. That was a shame. In fact I recall the Omni D was great, but it didn't have a passband tuning/IF shift like ALL the then-current Japanese rigs had. Cheesey.

    Anyone remember the advertisements for the Century? They extolled the "virtues" of the new, simple ANALOGUE readout. No kidding, entire full page ads to explain this new readout to the new hams who'd never seen anything but a digital readout. I don't think I can call that cheesey - it was pathetic.

    Sorry to hear you had such trouble with that rig, but thanks for the heads up. I read your post about the IC 718 and it's something I may keep in mind for my mid-summer bonus from work. Hmmmmmm . . .


  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    With cheesy construction, you'd think it was Mickey Mouse radio. Eww, that was too obvious.

    I agree on the Jupiter. I've owned several T*T rigs over the years, and in general they work better than they look or feel, if you know what I mean. Two things they all had were great CW break-in and great transmit audio (modulation). Without exception, they all excelled in these two areas, from my oldest Triton I to my newest Scout 555, and lots between.

    But so many other things are left to be desired...

  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I Love The Ten-Tec Jupiter!!!
    After reading the prior comments on the Ten-Tec Jupiter I would like to add mine. My other rigs were an Icom & a
    Ten-Tec Scout. I decided to get another rig (you never have enough). I looked at the ads and spent about a month working stations and listening to the quality of their transmitted audio. The best audio out of the box was a toss up between the Kenwood 870's and the Ten-Tec Jupiter for rigs under $2000.00 I decided to buy
    the Ten-Tec Jupiter. I have had the rig for over three
    months and I just love it! The rig has a super receiver and is very easy to use and you can quickly change filters
    without going thru a bunch of menus. As a retired computer programmer, I realize that a lot of menu's do
    nothing to significantly improve a rig's performance and
    inhibit an operators ability to quickly change settings
    based on band condition changes. I have only downloaded upgrades to the radio once since I purchased it. Ten-Tec is the only firm that says if you
    do not like the rig, return it for a refund. Yes, I will buy
    Ten-Tec rigs again. In fact, I am currently looking for a
    new vehicle so that I can use my next Jupiter as a permanent mobile rig. By the way, I work Europe just
    about everyday with the rig. You gentlemen on the
    east coast should try and work Japan everyday with
    those rigs that you think have such hot receivers. You can check this out if you listen between 14.045 and

    Best 73's

  5. benk8dit

    benk8dit QRZ Member

    I like mine just fine. I've had it about 4 months and am thoroughly satisfied with its performance, especially on 10 and 12 meters. The Jup is  very easy to listen for long periods of time. While I agree that it is not as slick, nor as wysiwyg as the import rigs, it's a work in progress that at best is better than its import rigs costing similarly, close to the best rigs costing much more. At its worst, its glitchy,
    tempermental, and troublesome. But, it is my estimation that if you get past the worst points it approaches the best points in a hurry. Its a matter of paying for real estate and moving on. Its a learning curve quickly climbed.
    There are challenges to meet that the import radios rarely present you, but the payoff is better than expected. Your entire approach to hf radio may be shifted in the process, as you learn more about what is and what ain't. Nothing stays the same in radio electronics for very long and the new aspects of this gear has impressed me very much.
  6. W0BKR

    W0BKR Guest

    I think the one post sums up the Jupiter well:

    "it's a work in progress".  For sure.  I sent TT some comments and suggestions on how they might consider a Revision A to the radio, and what I got back from Scott (sales rep) was a flipant and smart a**ed comment.  That drove me to send it back for my money back (besides have QC problems).

    I would really like to see somewhere, what the TT Jupiter provides the improts don't (don't get me wrong, I am not an import advocate). I just don't see the comparion. If you are talking the scope, that is cosmetic only, as in the IC-756, IC-746, etc., it doesn't really become useful until you are talking the 756 PRO, etc.).

    The QST reviews and numbers support the statement that the TT Jupiter receiver is an entry level receiver, not on par with the similarily priced competition grade radios out there.

    I have to say with all honesty, the TT Jupiter isn't close to it competition priced brothers (i.e. IC-746, IC-756, etc.).  For $1200, I sure expected alot more then I got.  What I got was an entry level receiver, minimal featured radio, etc.  If you want a "simplistic" radio, well the Jupiter might fit the bill but for $1200...ouch.  The Icom 718 is better (look at the product reviews by QST).

    There must be some real QC issues on the receiver side however.  One reviewer may state it receives well, mine didn't and many other former owners confirmed that also (at least 6-8 individuals I have spoken to over the air).  

    I like Steve (WIK), like the QSK, the tunable "DSP", but beyond that, that's it.  It lacks too much to warrant $1200.  If it were priced where is should be in the $500-700 range, then maybe I could accept it, but not at $1200 (and you don't get 6 or 2 meters).

    IN any case, you get what you paid for.  If you like it, great.  Mine was a big disappointment, a dud.  I won't be courting TT for a long time until they clean up their QC, service attitude, etc.

    PS:  Drakes and Collins were never cheesy and were built like tanks!
  7. benk8dit

    benk8dit QRZ Member

    For the reasons that you eschew the Ten Tec way of doing things, and for the reviews that you quote, it is clear that Ten Tec has clear differences with their foreign competition. The competition is so good it put off all other american competition. The foreign competition is showing signs of not doing as well as they used to because of the vagaries of their home economy and the advent of ebay and quick resale of used equipment. Icom stands alone as the sole manufacturer of cutting edge equipment and remains on target with hams service expectations.
    Yet you see falling prices on all Icom equipment. They need to sell large numbers in order to maintain profitablility in a negative cash flow relative to their home currency. You know that you are getting more radio for your money than ever before. But you are a ham. A ham is a guy or gal who used to take things apart as a child to find out how they were put toghether. Hams help advance the radio art by understanding what it is they are dealing with. If they are appliance operators at first, it is understanding that we strive to achieve and know that simplicity is appreciated. If we are ever called on to repair our own equipment, do we even have a prayer? Do you appreciate the human effort involved when looking at the latest high tech edge cutting rig? I agree that when you operate it, it works first time, everytime. Predictablility
    of perfection is assured. If there is ever a problem, do you have any idea what is involved in repairing this item? Neither do I. Its gotta go back! Even if Im lucky and have local expertise available, they are usually relegated to advising you to send it back, due to density, complexity and use of proprietary materials and tooling. Yikes, I'm but an appliance operator! That's ok! So's everybody else.
    But I dont like that feeling. I got into radio so that I could participate. I want to understand what Im doing like I used to when point to point wiring was current technology.
    I also want to be current in knowing something about what it is I'm looking at in today's SMT. You dont get that opportunity with the import rigs, you just dont. I think you could, but once you understand something about what's involved in repairing it, you need to send it back anyway. At this juncture you could ask yourself if this is
    what you want. If it is, then go on. If you say NO, Ten Tec
    becomes a vision of lovlieness alone in the wilderness trying to cater to hams who are just plain spoiled by the
    competition. Ten Tec has a clear heritage of ham radio
    running deep in its veins, so when you call them and ask them questions in the spirit of ham radio, they can answer you in like terms. No, theyre not as slick as the imports, but by gum, most of the time I dont have to send it back, and much of the time I recieve the component at no charge. So when you pay big bux for a seemingly barebones rig, and you have problems with it, try to solve the problem yourself, or get help, not only do you learn something, youve fulfilled the spirit of ham radio. Not only will you feel better, youll look better to your pals
    who know that you understand what's what and why. Only then will your Ten Tec work as advertised.
  8. K3UD

    K3UD Guest

    I think there has been more contoversy about the Ten Tec Jupiter
    and the Kenwood TS-2000 than any other rigs in recent memory. It seems that people eithe rlove them or hate them with very little middle ground being evident.
    (Just a comment as I don't have either of them but if someone wanted to send me one I would be very happy to evaluate it and post the results here)  [​IMG]

  9. k7pgk

    k7pgk QRZ Member QRZ Page

    I have had my ten tec over 16 mo. & enjoy it every day. Simplicity & Dependability, good audio right out of the box. I won`t have to buy a new rig when the new bands are opened to amature service either, Thanks K7PGK
  10. W0BKR

    W0BKR Guest

    Well, I can't see where the "foreign" competition is being hurt by TT.
    It was Icom that came out with the 746, the 756PRO, etc. Also, anonymous posts don't have much credibility with me either.

    Kenwood is the only manufacturer that has fallen behind as compared o the 1970's and 1980's.

    As to TT, I have to say I like certain features in some of the radios, but I don't care for either the looks of their radios, or the performance therein.  I have met probably more individuals who have gotten rid of their Omin V and VI's for QC reasons, as I encountered with the Jupiter I got.  Plain and simple, look at the QST technical reviews and observe the measured performance.  It doesn't compare to the $500 dollar radio price class.

    The Japanese market is still very strong here in the US, don't kid yourself.   Only one reason for any decline in sales is available cash and the current economic market.  Guys are willing to shell out $3000+ for a top line radio to rag chew with, and even more for an amplifier. Japan's economy is "falling off"? What does that mean I wonder. To coin the phrase then what's America's excuse then [​IMG] Supposedly, an equipment review from actual users, not an economics 101 course..hi.

    I realize there are those that love the TT and the "buy American" philosophy.  I would like to buy American also, if the price were right and the product a performer.  Unfortunately, when and if you do find a good performer, the foreign priced rice boxes trounce the American price by a significant amount.

    That is one reason Kenwood came out years ago with an "American" sounding name.  It appealed to individuals as sounding American.  Yaesu wasn't as popular and neither was Icom and both Icom and Yaesu weren't in the running with Kenwood years ago.  Now I venture to say, Yaesu and Icom are neck and neck and Kenwood has fallen behind with no new whiz bang products. I suppose one could chastise us for buying Asian autos also. Has to do with something like affordability and reliability. Something the American auto market is coming to grips with.

    My TT Jupiter was a dog, and I have met others with similar experiences.  Yep, there isn't any middle ground.  It either works or doesn't and mind didn't.  Most of the problem was in poor QC (had to send it back for rework right off the shelf).  The other issue is for the $$ you can find a lot more in a second hand IC-746, 756PRO for only a few dollars more.

    I didn't like the performance and lack of features coupled with poor QC, plain and simple. Check out the IC-718. For $500 you get a great radio that works superbly. It too doesn't have an internal tuner, but compare the performance and features. Why then is the TT priced 2x that figure ? Scope? That surely isn't worth $500. Hi hi.

    There are those that still love the TS-520, and others like the Heathkits.  Different strokes for different folks! For me, until TT can come out with a radio that QST reviews with high marks (all have fallen short to date) and with the features of the "rice boxes", I won't be buying another anytime soon. That sour taste is still lingering. Glad you like yours. Glad I returned mine!
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