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Author Topic: TS-480SAT vs. FT-950  (Read 10219 times)
KF5KCA
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2011, 02:32:45 PM »

So, I think I am getting a good idea about the main differences (that were not as obvious to me). In all honesty, I think I will not take much advantage of the CW filters and features.

I have kind of made up my mind now and think I will be going for the TS-480. The form-factor and the price difference (minus filters) swayed the needle. I think I will actually be going for the SAT version, so that I have the opportunity (even if rarely) to take the rig to camping and use it with a buddipole and the internal antenna tuner.

For the home QTH, I still plan on springing the money for the Palstar as I just have heard so many good things about its build quality and so many bad things anout the MFJ's (I am sure that there are many out here that are happy with MFJ's--but still).

The reasoning behind wanting a solid tuner is that I expect to be antenna challenged because of my HOA restrictions, so there won't be "many" individual, resonant antenna options in my future. And since I will probably have to match some wet string, strung trough some large oak trees, I figure that skimping on the tuner will not help my cause. Besides, should I ever decide that I don't need a tuner anymore, the Palstar has some good resell value.

And, while the extra 100W sound good, I am also one that likes to do more with less, rather than just slap on the raw horsepower.So there is that.

Thank you all for your help and great comments!

73's

KF5KCA
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W8JX
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Posts: 6643




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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2011, 03:41:41 PM »

As a foot note, a CW filter is not only for CW in 480. The 500hz one also plays very nicely for digi modes. I prefer it over 270 in that it works better with RTTY and can work with Olivia and Domino too as well as PSK-31.
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NN4RH
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Posts: 335




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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2011, 08:41:05 PM »

So, you never really used a 480 properly configured for CW so your comparison is questionable.

What the heck are you talking about?   How do you know how I had the thing configured?   In fact I had both the 270 and 500 Hz filters in the thing. I said I used it for 3 or 4 years for a CW contest rig.

This is the second time in this thread you've made an ad-hominem statement about my judgement and operating practices.  Why is this so PERSONAL with you? It's like you're defensive about your choice of radio! Get over it! If you want to discuss the relative merits of the two rigs, that's one thing. But these ad-hominem, straw-man arguments directed at me are out of place.

 I've simply stated my opinion, based on my experience, having extensively used BOTH the TS-480 and the FT-950, both almost entirely CW, about 3 to 4 years each. In my opinion as I stated earlier they are both fine rigs, but in my opinion the FT-950 is the superior radio for CW, especially contesting. For reasons I've already cited. Even with the extra filters in the TS-480.

IF you have not used an FT-950, then your opinion as to whether or not it's better than a TS-480 is a questionable for objective reasons.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 09:27:37 PM by NN4RH » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 6643




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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2011, 09:51:14 PM »


What the heck are you talking about?   How do you know how I had the thing configured?   In fact I had both the 270 and 500 Hz filters in the thing. I said I used it for 3 or 4 years for a CW contest rig.


You made no mention of using CW filters in your original post and even mentioned using AF DSP to narrow stock bandwidth and not filters so which song you singing is true?Huh?
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You can embrace new computer/tablet technology and change with it or cling to old fall far behind....
NN4RH
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Posts: 335




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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2011, 05:32:37 AM »


You made no mention of using CW filters in your original post and even mentioned using AF DSP to narrow stock bandwidth and not filters so which song you singing is true?Huh?

 I said that I used the Kenwood for several years for CW and that to get decent CW filtering out of it you had to install an optional CW filter. Simple, direct, experience statement.  In fact I said it at least twice in two posts - The second time in response to your comment that the Kenwood has a "50 Hz" filter and I pointed out that it is an AF filter and that's not doing the same thing as an IF filter, since you either didn't seem to know the difference or neglected to mention it.  So what's the problem? 


The TS480 has a range of selectable AF filters. The only stock IF filiter is the SSB filter which is something like 2.3 kHz wide, and the CW and data modes all use that same barn-door wide IF filter. You can get usable behavior CW filtering out of the Kenwood by adding the 270 or 500 Hz optional filters. It's the IF filtering that does the heavy lifting. AF filters don't really do what good filtering should do.

Kenwood chose not to put decent, narrow filters in their TS-480.  You have to pay extra for that.  That keeps the price down for the phone-only users, and gives them a little more profit on CW and data mode users who chose to pay extra for the filters.

The FT-950 on the other hand has a range of selectable IF filters and other useful IF DSP features. The difference is HUGE.  And it has a lot of other features that make it more functional for CW contesting.  Yes it's a more expensive radio, of course, but based on my experience it is worth it.

If all you're going to do is yack on SSB (and you don't care that you hare to use a menu to adjust the RF gain) then a TS-480 is a fine radio. If you want to use it for CW, put a 500 Hz filter in it and it makes it somewhat usable. But if you want to do CW contests a lot, eventually you're going to want to upgrade to a radio that takes CW seriously. FT-950 does that.




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W8JX
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Posts: 6643




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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2011, 07:32:29 AM »

Again your first statement DID NOT include you using filters and you try to beat me up querying you on it.  Also your comment on "kenwood choose to not include narrow CW filters" while most radio manufactures "choose" same thing for radios that support them. It is not a big deal. You can buy them and install them. They are left out to keep list price lower. I never considered that lack of them being standard a problem. This way you can choose what rocks you want.
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You can embrace new computer/tablet technology and change with it or cling to old fall far behind....
W6GF
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Posts: 163




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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2011, 07:31:17 PM »

I have both radios.  I do not care what mode you operate, the FT-950 is a superior rig and worth the difference.

George, W6GF
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 6643




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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2011, 07:56:56 PM »

I have both radios.  I do not care what mode you operate, the FT-950 is a superior rig and worth the difference.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, it seems that that while rigs are close in reviews, that even on E-ham the 480 series radio has a slightly higher rating than 950 and that average is for a greater number of reviews too. I played with a 950 once and was not impressed (not a bad radio just not outstanding in my mind or to my ear to warrant further inspection). Also I never had any interest in a 480 either until I actually played with one in August of 09 and was impressed by its receiver to my ear anyway. Had one on my bench about 1 month after that and never regretted it.
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You can embrace new computer/tablet technology and change with it or cling to old fall far behind....
WA6DIL
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2011, 12:13:12 PM »

Something that has not been mentioned, and may not sway your decision in your present situation, but the TS-480 is a really excellent radio for remote operations.  The Remoterig.com system allows the TS-480 body to stay at your home station, and with the Remoterig (cost ~ $500 from HRO) and the Internet in between, the TS-480 head is remote with you. You plug your mike, speaker, and keyer paddle into the Remoterig.  A pretty elegant solution that does not require any computers for remote operations.  No VNC, Skype, PC's, etc.  The next best thing to being there.

One other thing, the tuner in the TS-480 is pretty good.  Using a G5RV you could probably do without the Palstar tuner and just use the internal one in the 480 (true also with the FT-950).  That would save you some money.

Have fun ! (and learn CW !!)
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