According to the introduction in the manual, "Scout, Model 555, is a combination of modern microprocessor technology and simple, dependable circuitry to produce an inexpensive amateur transceiver. Single conversion architecture for transmitter and receiver, mono-band operation with plug-in modules for band change, and a minimum of controls increase dependability and lower cost. A large LED display is used for ease of viewing the operating frequency. An illuminated meter indicates receive signal strength, power output and SWR." The introduction goes on to describe band coverage, AF gain, IF bandwidth, Mic gain, RIT, and the VFO. In short, the Scout is a lot of rig for the money. The scope of this article is not to present the Scout in a way that only the modern Electro-Physicist can understand it. No QST lab reports or oscilloscope forms here, donít forget that I am a technodope! That stuff is both beyond my means and comprehension. The thing that most attracted me to the Scout was the price. No $2,000 price tag here. For a middle-of-the-road price you get a fine middle-of-the-features-list rig. When I began my research for this article a good friend offered the rig as a loan. I have since persuaded him to sell. Now, itís mine. Next to the price I liked the fact that I could work 50 watts PEP, CW and Single Sideband, on any of the HF amateur bands now available (10-160 meters). This was a big step up for me in the field and in the mobile. Although I love and use QRP, I like the option of QRO without the price tag to match. At first glance one can see simplicity incarnate. Large LEDís, Band Module, Mic plug, VFO, a couple of dials and some switches. Thatís it. You will also see a ¼ inch stereo jack for external audio. On the bottom is a lifting bale for ease of operations, if youíre so inclined. Prominent on the front panel is the signal strength/ RF output / SWR combination meter. Lighted, of course. I would estimate the learning curve for this rig at l minute 50 seconds, which includes the time to hook it up and connect the antenna. I also like that the main microprocessor has a keyer built into itís features list. For mobile and field use that is one less thing on the dash to worry about. The keyer, found on the rear panel, emulates a Curtis type B, iambic keyer adjustable from 5-25 WPM. It is really smooth at my speeds (19 WPM character speed), however, I didnít like that it resets to 25 WPM on power-up. A minor inconvenience. Another feature on this baby is the IF Bandwidth filter, missing from many QRP rigs. It is a continuously variable, nine pole "Jones" filter and tunes from approximately 500 Hz to about 2500 Hz. Turning this knob will narrow or widen the filter as needed. I have found that I leave the filter set at 10 oíclock for CW and 2 oíclock for the SSB. Works fer me. This filtration is not the best on the market but it does help somewhat. All articles of this genre add a bunch of "faults" or dislikes right about here, so her are mine: 1. The VFO is somewhat difficult to keep on freg. This is due to the error correction circuitry which overcomes the drifting problems of the past Scouts. Though minor, it is a bother. 2. I donít like the Ten Tec single lever paddles. They are super sensitive and offer no resistance to my some what meaty fingers. I have a real problem forming the CW characters with these paddles. 3. The rig has no voltage protection circuitry for over or under powering. Newer operators should take extra care with power supplies. 4. The three switches that work the power on/off, speed/RIT, and noise blanker/tune are hard for the fat fingered among us to use. I guess Iíll have to learn to deal with it. 5. I would like to see optional filtration offered for the Scout. 6. The BFO (part of the VFO) is very narrow and SSB voices are not easy to tune at first. Iíve gotten better with some practice. All things have a trade-off value. I think that Ten Tec made some good trade-offs all in all. The Scout is a fine rig for the money. It has enough of the right features to make it a viable choice for home, car and field. My Scout is the most versatile radio I own. I have looked long and hard for just such a mix of features and simplicity. Get yours today!