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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

    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 . . .

    73,

    Chris
     
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber

    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...

    WB2WIK/6
     
  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
    14.062.

    Best 73's

    KD6WD
     
  5. benk8dit

    benk8dit New 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 New 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]

    73
    George
    K3UD
     
  9. k7pgk

    k7pgk QRZ Member

    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!
     
  11. N5JOB

    N5JOB Banned

    I have read the arguments about Ten-Tec.  I want to sum it all up the way I feel about it.

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE that Ten-Tec can offer for the problems their products have caused Amateurs.  

    How would ANYONE feel after spending $1,200.00 on a new radio, opening the box, taking the radio out and having it FAIL.

    One word comes to mind... UNACCEPTABLE!

    Amateurs talk and amateurs listen.  Are you listening Ten-Tec?  We're sick of your low quality products and we're not going to buy them anymore!
     
  12. KD7KGX

    KD7KGX Ham Member

    I own a Ten-Tec Omni VI/Option 1 (an original Omni VI that was upgraded to the VI+ DSP/firmware, giving me everything that an Omni VI+ is except for the extra 9mHz filter slot).  I bought this rig used, from the second owner, who had an urge to pick up a Jupiter for its general coverage rcvr capabilities and who made me a good deal -- less than half the price of a current Omni VI+ for basically the same radio.

    It is not valid to compare a mid-price new rig to a used current-production top-of-the-line rig, either in price or in performance.  The Jupiter is no Omni VI... and yet the Jupiter has some capabilities that the Omni VI doesn't.  The VI will never work on 60m without extensive mods... the Jupiter will work after a firmware download.  The VI doesn't support AM... the Jupiter does after a firmware update.  Sure, the VI has a more sensitive receiver with better specs... but if both radios were side-by-side in a shack would it be possible to work a QSO with one rig that couldn't be worked with the other?  Maybe so... but it would be the extremely rare QSO.

    Re comparing the Jupiter with the 746 and 746PRO... while the Icom rigs are very popular and deservedly so, the only upgrade path from one to the other lies through the purchase of a new rig.  The Jupiter, on the other hand, can be upgraded to the latest factory specs just by downloading the latest firmware for free.  The Icom looks more polished... the Japanese are generally very good at the aesthetics of product design, while we Americans sometimes struggle (look at our car industry).  But according to the specs put out by the ARRL, the Jupiter is fully comparable to the 746PRO, and at a realistic street price of nearly 30% less.  I agree that the Icom line looks nicer... but my limited experience with both the 746 and the Jupiter leads me to believe that the Ten-Tec rig has more features for the serious operator, especially the CW and HF digital mode enthusiasts.

    My dealings with Ten-Tec have been few... but they have always been extremely quick to respond, and quick to ship the parts/accessories I wanted.  I also appreciate the fact that the Omni VI is constructed so that I can work on it if I have to.

    My first serious ham rig was/is an Elecraft K2.  I bought the Omni VI because I wanted to run HF digital modes at more than 5w and the 100w K2 option wasn't released yet (I have it now, need to build it).  

    My experiences as an Omni VI operator couldn't be better.  The radio hears extremely well, runs high duty cycle HF digital modes like PSK31 all day at 50w without getting hot, and the flexibility of the passband tuning and filtering means that it's easy to zero in on one signal (SSB, CW, or PSK31) on a crowded passband.  

    I would buy another Ten-Tec HF rig.  I WILL buy another Ten-Tec HF rig eventually... and the Jupiter looks like a tempting replacement for my Drake R8A... equivalent RX capabilities with the ability to transmit.  The new Orion also looks very interesting.  As with any new product, be it a car, computer, or HF transceiver (from any manufacturer), I'd wait a short while for the initial production glitches to be worked out before I'd pick one up.

    One nice thing about the Ten-Tec rigs is that the factory supplies complete schematics in the owner's manual, so an intelligent ham can service his own rig up to a level he is comfortable with.

    Re pulled reviews on another website... IIRC the review that was pulled was basically a bitchfest at Ten-Tec, when most likely the freight company was the problem (items loosened during shipment).  The reviewer made no effort to fix the problem himself, even with Ten-Tec phone assistance AND with the knowledge that his warranty would be unaffected.  He eventually sent the rig back to Ten-Tec and received a full refund.  Geez... what else do you want from a company?

    Icom is justly well-regarded for their HF line... and so is Ten-Tec.  Perhaps only Elecraft has a service and support reputation that is equivalent to Ten-Tec... and Ten-Tec has been doing it for far longer.  I'm sure that an occasional bad Ten-Tec goes out, as does the occasional Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu, Dell, Compaq, HP, etc., item.  However, neither Icom nor Ten-Tec would have survived as they have if they put out "junk."  Lucky for us as hams that we have the choices we do when it comes to picking out hardware... it's hard to make a mistake.

    I guess that, if you are not interested in how radios work and value aesthetics over pure performance then Ten-Tec is probably not a brand you want to consider.  On the other hand, if you understand radios (or want to), and value performance and flexibility over 'a pretty face' then you might want to consider the Ten-Tec line.
     
  13. W5KRM

    W5KRM Ham Member

    Everyone talks about "I love it", "I hated it". Bottom line, the Jupiter "offers" some things to some people but in general it lacks much to be desired, especially at the price range. Upgrades via software? Well, yes you can get that via TT, when they produce it, but it certainly can't make up for the lack of receiver performance, features that were never designed in that the "foreign" radio makers provide as standard for either the same price or even less! Example? Tuner, up/down, tuning rate, 6 meters, hand mike as standard, etc.

    Sure, some will swear by TT, but I have run into many, many individuals too, that have had nightmare experiences with TT's poor quality control. To each their own.

    The bottom line is the initial post provided feedback, personal user experience and exposure to the radio. That is what user feedback is. As to the foreign makers having "problems" with their radios, one certainly doesn't see that with the excellent products Yaesu and Icom have been cranking out and the wide market share they are grabbing.

    As to TT, they will continue to have a die hard group of groupees that swear "Buy American". Nice slogan, but make me something worth spending the higher then competitor's dollars on and I will.

    The Jupiter is an entry level radio. Albeit, fun and unique, but not a Dxers radio by any stretch of the imagination. If you are into nets, etc., I am sure it works great. But my personal exposure to the radio leaves me wanting something much better. My Icom 718 performs levels better then the Jupiter.

    One cannot compare the Jupiter with the scout or the IC746. Two different apples. However, comparing the performance on the HF side, then you can. Look at the QST reviews and compare the numbers. The Jupiter is entry grade material, but not priced as such.

    For all those that swear buy TT, keep at it. Perhaps someday their QC will improve and draw more customers. Until then, I am sticking with what I have.

    Until then, GL!
     
  14. KI4NGN

    KI4NGN Ham Member

    I purchased a new TT RX 350D SWL receiver, price $1K.

    Returned it within a week. Knobs and buttons felt cheap to use, loose and sloppy. Receiver kept malfunctioning, TT's initial response was to reset it. Told TT that I was having the same types of problems that I had read in dozens of reviews (I should have known better), and asked if they had any upgrades, hardware or software, for the obvious design problems? Their response was that there was nothing wrong with the radio in general, just something wrong with mine. Excuse me? I just told them I had read of dozens of others (gave them links) having the same or similar problems. They insisted that mine was an isolated problem.

    Sure, they are quick to respond, but what good is that if the response is worthless? They are either dishonest in dealing with their customers or entrapped within some serious self-denial.

    This was my first and will be my last experience with Ten-Tec.

    My first decision was based upon buying American. My second was getting my money's worth no matter who made it.
     
  15. F5VBY

    F5VBY Ham Member

    Mmm! I have had my Jupiter for 7 years now and apart from it getting zapped in transit from the USA when it was first delivered, it has been perfect. Still outperforms most other rigs and on 40M, using it on SSB have now worked ALL ZL Counties on this band. So what is wrong with the RX - nothing perhaps its your antenna!
     
  16. F5VBY

    F5VBY Ham Member

    Tentec Jupiter

    Mmm! I have had my Jupiter for 7 years now and apart from it getting zapped in transit from the USA when it was first delivered, it has been perfect. What do you guys expect for the price? it is one of the best performing rigs I have had in its price range and what does it matter if you dont like the knobs they dont effect the performance!

    Where it counts it still outperforms most other rigs and on 40M, using it on SSB have now worked ALL ZL Counties on this band. So what is wrong with the RX. I think we all agree that the TX audio is second to none and straight out of the box! Sorry I cant find the same problems that you have perhaps your not treating it right Hi!
     
  17. WR8D

    WR8D Ham Member

    Ten-Tec as good as anything i've operated.

    I just recently traded mine off. Loved it infact. The only reason i traded it off was after way to many years of looking at the same rigs here in the shack i decided to change things. Kept all the amplifers but the 5k classic "W4HRK" is very happy about that change!

    Number one with that rig is you've got to have a good station ground. You can't have rf all over the shack. I loved the receiver and got a kick out of running it in pegasus mode.

    No rf and never a problem at anytime when running the jupiter along with any of my amplifiers at 1.5kw out in any mode. Outstanding tx audio reports that were never ask for...cw like a breeze!

    Nuff said!

    --... ...-- WR8D:cool:
     
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