Ten Tec Rebel, Model 506

I thought I would share a few comments about my new radio, a Ten Tec Rebel, Model 506. I have owned this radio for about three weeks, but for two of those weeks I have been out of action (illness). However, I have listened to some CW transmissions on 40 metres and I intend to keep the radio on that band. It is capable of transmitting on both 40 metres and 20 metres, CW only at about five watts at 13.8 volts, a little less using a 12 volt supply. The radio is an open source Arduino based device for tinkerers! But is it ready to transmit on either 40m or 20m depending on the band you select by changing five sets of jumpers. There is no frequency readout but the default 40 metre frequency is 7.030. Changing frequency is achieved by setting the frequency step, turning the dial and counting the led flashes. I listened to some SOTA activations on 7.032. I already own a Ten Tec Argonaut Model 539 and the controls are very similar to the controls on the Rebel. There is a Rebel Group on Yahoo and many US operators have added additional features to their Rebels, for example, frequency readouts, band changing circuitry, additional bands and a morse keyer to name just a few. I have armed myself with the ARRL publication ‘Ham Radio for Arduino and Picaxe’ edited by Leigh L Klotz, WA5ZNU. I would rank a frequency readout as a useful add-on. Anyway it is my intention to use the radio on portable operations and try my hand at some slow morse contacts.

Ten Tec Rebel Model 506

Ten Tec Rebel Model 506

The radio is packed in a cardboard box after being shrink-wrapped to a piece of cardboard which is fitted to the bottom of the box. There is no foam. Indeed no additional packing at all is used. I was impressed. The radio is very small and no accessories are included in the package. You therefore need to add a speaker and make up a power cable, connect to the power source and attach a hand key and it is ready to work.  The radio is very small: about the size of two cigarette packs side by side! For anyone seeking more information I thoroughly recommend the You Tube videos from NG9D. I will say more about this radio as I get to use it more.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park, VKFF-782, 28th June 2015

On Sunday afternoon the sun was shining and I thought I would begin my VKFF activation of Mark Oliphant Conservation Park. While I have activated this Park twice previously that was for the South Australian National and Conservation Parks Award: SANPCPA. Here is a link to those activations.



The Mark Oliphant Conservation Park is the closest protected area nearest to my home. It is about two kilometres away as the Little Raven flies! I can see the Park from our house. It was named after Sir Mark Oliphant, nuclear physicist and Governor of South Australia.

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park on a Winter's day: from our place

Mark Oliphant Conservation Park on a Winter’s day: from our place

On this occasion I set up off Evans Drive rather than just inside the main entrance. Evans Drive dissects the Park but there was little vehicular traffic and a few people of foot, some of whom showed some interest in what I was doing.

Here is a list of my contacts.

I was on the air at 0411 on 40 metres and worked in order

VK4AAC/P5 Rob at Kelly Hill Conservation Park VKFF-810

VK2GAZ/P2, Garry at Scheyville National Park VKFF-444. I was delighted to get this contact having activated this Park last year. Here is a link to that activation.


See also Garry’s blog at







VK5PL ex VK5NQP Congratulations David on the new call and Advanced Licence

VK2IO/M Gerard





VK1NAM/P1 Andrew at Oakey Hill Nature Reserve VKFF-858



VK100ANZAC Operator Ken at Mt Evelyn


VK5ZRY/P5 Ramsay Conservation Park VKFF-815

VK5AAC/P5 Rob on 14.247  s 53 r 41 a short haul on 20 metres Kelly Hill CP VKFF-810

ZL3JAS  14.200 Jason at Christchurch s 58 r 44

VK4FTWO 7.090 Littabella National Park VKFF-290





and at 05:38


At this stage the sun moved behind the hill, the temperature dropped suddenly and I decided I would pack up and head home. I was happy to gain 27 contacts and I shall return and work a few others to gain the 44 needed for the VKFF program. Thanks to all who gave me a call.