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Author Topic: Kenwood TS-480 for CW?  (Read 13299 times)
KP2Z
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 12:12:40 PM »

I have a question for all TS480 CW operators. I have the 200 watt version at the QTH and it is FB on SSB. Recently I wanted to get back to some CW and found that I was making lots of mistakes (seems to add extra dash) using the internal keyer with my Palm key. When I tried the key with my FT817 or IC706MII, no mistakes. Back on the 480 and lots of errors. On the Yahoo groups 480 forum it is talked about that the keyer in the 480 has some problem. But I have not heard on this thread any such comments. Are some of you using an external keyer, or straight key?
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2012, 02:51:31 PM »

There are 2 Iambic (squeeze) modes A and B. May be you are used to mode A and that trx is B. May be there is some menu item you can choose. Look in the manual. When it is B and that's it, you get used to it.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2012, 04:20:22 AM »

... found that I was making lots of mistakes (seems to add extra dash) using the internal keyer with my Palm key. When I tried the key with my FT817 or IC706MII, no mistakes. Back on the 480 and lots of errors.

That's one of the problems I had with my 480SAT when I tried to use it for a CW contest weekend.  The other problem I kept having was that the radio would abruptly shift frequency or even turn itself off.   I suspect I was getting RF into the radio via the control cable between the head and the body of the radio.  I tried putting a couple of chokes on the cable but it didn't help and I didn't spend any more time on the problem, I just got out another radio.  (This was using an external keyer and Bencher paddles.)

So this is just a guess, or a hunch, but I'd suspect RF on the control cable.  Try working on that and maybe you'll be able to control it!   And please let us know if you are able to fix or control the problem--I liked the 480 pretty well, and plan to put it in my next car instead of my old 706, but it would be nice to be able to use it for CW also.

(And as I said previously, I use the 950 for regular CW ops now and think it's *vastly* better for CW than the 480 without an optional filter.  JMHO.)
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PA0BLAH
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2012, 05:12:09 AM »

... found that I was making lots of mistakes (seems to add extra dash) using the internal keyer with my Palm key. When I tried the key with my FT817 or IC706MII, no mistakes. Back on the 480 and lots of errors.

That's one of the problems I had with my 480SAT when I tried to use it for a CW contest weekend.  The other problem I kept having was that the radio would abruptly shift frequency or even turn itself off.   I suspect I was getting RF into the radio via the control cable between the head and the body of the radio.  I tried putting a couple of chokes on the cable but it didn't help and I didn't spend any more time on the problem, I just got out another radio.  (This was using an external keyer and Bencher paddles.)

Amazing.

Put a shielded dummy load  via a coaxial cable on the transmitter. Put the output power down. When no difference it is no RF pick up. You don't have to try that with chokes on the cable.

Here is a link (one of the many)  to the manual
http://raibc.org.uk/assets/uploads/files/TS480_Manual.pdf

You better "buy" an external keyer, because this is crab.



Quote
So this is just a guess, or a hunch, but I'd suspect RF on the control cable.

73 Bob


« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 05:15:48 AM by PA0BLAH » Logged
K2TTM
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 07:13:48 AM »

Will the Kenwood PS-52 power supply be sufficient for a TS-480 or would I need a PS-53?
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99.9% of the time I'm on the air, I'll be on CW.
W8JX
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2012, 07:42:03 AM »

It will work fine, the difference between the two is purely cosmetic.
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K2TTM
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2012, 11:37:41 AM »

Thanks, that's what I was hoping for.
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99.9% of the time I'm on the air, I'll be on CW.
WB2WIK
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 02:32:52 PM »

The TS-850S is a superior performer by any measure, and has features not available in the TS-480S (including eight possible, selectable, mode-independent IF filters, four in each of the 2nd and 3rd IFs).  I have a TS-850SAT (since new in '90) and it has a built-in digital voice recorder, CW memory keyer, CW "REV" tuning capability, and all sorts of stuff the 480S doesn't have.  It was originally a much more expensive rig, though -- it's also bigger and heavier and not a good choice for mobile work at all.  But it's a better performer.

OTOH, you can buy a 480S "new" for about the price of a decently equipped 850S "used," and that's a powerful difference in terms of avoiding possible problems.  My 850S is now 22 years old!  Some are newer, but the newest ones are still about 15 years old or so.

The decision is: New and very likely trouble-free, or old and used but better performing?

I can't answer that. Wink
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W8JX
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2012, 02:56:29 PM »

850 was a great rig in its day but I would not place it way above a 480 by any means. the 850 era rig needed stacked filter because shape factor was not good and you need to stack them to get better skirts. the 480 has a cleaner receiver/mixer and handle and reduces noise better. It also has auto tune to for CW and lets to select desired pitch to auto tune too. THis is a nice feature because as you dial in tight audio filters on top of xtal CW filter you can reduce bandwidth to 100 hz or less and if you are not properly centered on freq you will loose signal when you tighten it up. Then, there is fact that a 850 is a old rig and can die tomorrow and run several years still. In the case of former it is getting harder to get them fixed. A 480 repair is not a problem if needed.

Point is if you have a nice 850 you do not need to scrap it but if you are spending new money for a rig you are better to get new or newer than old here.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2012, 09:42:28 AM »


http://raibc.org.uk/assets/uploads/files/TS480_Manual.pdf

You better "buy" an external keyer, because this is crab.

I've GOT the manual, Bob, paper and PDF.  As I said, I didn't take time to work on the problem--I wanted to work the contest instead.  And since then I've got a better CW radio anyway.  And I HAVE an external keyer.  And my wife often calls me a "crab," but that's probably better than being a wooden slipper stuffed with gouda.   Wink
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PA0BLAH
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2012, 10:41:54 AM »

And my wife often calls me a "crab," but that's probably better than being a wooden slipper stuffed with gouda.   Wink


ROFhi
You know a crab is a creature moving sideways to avoid encountering problems.  Or was that a lobster.
I am more an expert on insurances.

Have a nice day
Bob
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 05:09:13 PM »

850 was a great rig in its day but I would not place it way above a 480 by any means.

Different strokes, for sure.  I had a 480SAT for a year or so and had it side by side with the 850SAT dozens of times.  The 850 blows it away in every respect I could measure; but it's an apples and hand grenades comparison: My 850SAT with three extra filters was way over $2000 back in 1990 (about $3K today) and the 480SAT was less than half that in today's dollars.  Not a fair comparison.

The 850 is also heavier and takes up more space.  They're not very comparable.  But I sold the 480 and still have the 850. Wink
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KP2Z
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2012, 04:24:49 PM »

Thanks guys for taking the time to respond. The manual does not indicate that the keyer has A and B modes, and does not indicate if A or B is standard. With careful adjustment of the weight ratio, key speed, and key adjustment, mistakes are less frequent.

73,
de KP2Z

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K2TTM
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Posts: 52




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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2012, 09:23:11 PM »

Ok, I've pretty much decided on a TS-480.  Now I'm wondering if the internal tuner is sufficient alone or would I be better off getting something like the Kenwood AT-230 tuner to use with it? Overkill?

Thanks
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99.9% of the time I'm on the air, I'll be on CW.
W8JX
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Posts: 6476




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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2012, 09:38:57 PM »

Different strokes, for sure.  I had a 480SAT for a year or so and had it side by side with the 850SAT dozens of times.  The 850 blows it away in every respect I could measure; but it's an apples and hand grenades comparison: My 850SAT with three extra filters was way over $2000 back in 1990 (about $3K today) and the 480SAT was less than half that in today's dollars.  Not a fair comparison.

I owned a 850 once 15 years ago and was not that impressed with it and resold it. I suspect that your side by side did not include optional CW filter in 480. Nor does 850 have noise reduction/blanking options that 480 does either. As far as price, remember that technology cost less today that when 850 was built and you can do better for less.

Ok, I've pretty much decided on a TS-480.  Now I'm wondering if the internal tuner is sufficient alone or would I be better off getting something like the Kenwood AT-230 tuner to use with it? Overkill?

It is rated up to 3 to 1 but it will do a bit more.
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