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eHam Forums => Software Defined Radio => Topic started by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 05:23:27 AM



Title: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 05:23:27 AM
Does anyone know what frequency that Rob Sherwood typically performs his receiver test procedures at?  I assumed it was 14 MHz.  I only saw a couple of radios where he indicated either 20M or 17M (Kenwood TS-590s, for example).

For some radios, it might not make a difference in the test results, but in SDR radios that use a QSD, such as the Flex and the KX3, it is well known that the performance of the QSD degrades greatly above 20 MHz.  It would be interesting to see if the KX3 or Flex Radios hold their places on the list if the receiver testing was done on 10 meters.

Also, the KX3 uses a si570 as its local oscillator.  The phase noise of the si570 degrades the higher in frequency it is used at.  It would be interesting to see the phase noise measurement repeated on 10 meters.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: W4ZV on August 31, 2012, 05:33:41 AM
Does anyone know what frequency that Rob Sherwood typically performs his receiver test procedures at?  I assumed it was 14 MHz.  I only saw a couple of radios where he indicated either 20M or 17M (Kenwood TS-590s, for example).

For some radios, it might not make a difference in the test results, but in SDR radios that use a QSD, such as the Flex and the KX3, it is well known that the performance of the QSD degrades greatly above 20 MHz.  It would be interesting to see if the KX3 or Flex Radios hold their places on the list if the receiver testing was done on 10 meters.

Normally 20 meters only.  The reason Sherwood also included 17m is because the TS-580S uses an up-conversion scheme on 10m and all WARC bands (down-conversion on 15m and lower non-WARC bands).  He probably chose 17m since it's close to 20m.  ARRL also uses 20m for most published results, although it adds 80m for some key measurements (e.g. IMDDR3).  I've never seen any test results for 10m by any established testers (e.g. ARRL, RSGB or Sherwood).

73,  Bill


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 06:02:14 AM
Elcraft just released a beta patch for the KX3 that "I think" might be relevant to your question that allows adjustments by band now.  Some users were quoting radically improvements on other bands than 20M.

I"ll leave it to the experts to dig into it and see if it's relevant or not applicable to this conversation.


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 06:22:29 AM
Elcraft just released a beta patch for the KX3 that "I think" might be relevant to your question that allows adjustments by band now.  Some users were quoting radically improvements on other bands than 20M.

I"ll leave it to the experts to dig into it and see if it's relevant or not applicable to this conversation.

It does not appear to be relevant.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 06:53:16 AM
Interesting Rob Sherwood power point presentation:

http://www.sherweng.com/temp/NC0B-W9DXCC-3a.ppt (http://www.sherweng.com/temp/NC0B-W9DXCC-3a.ppt)

Particularly interesting is how BAD the K3 and Flex-5000a transmitters are! (both appear in the top 5 on the receiver list).

Pay attention to the discussion of the poor audio distortion performance in the K3.  This confirms my experience with the K3's crappy, tiring receive audio even with the factory fix.  It's also is the reason that I prefer to listen to my SDR receivers like the QS1R and Perseus, where I have measured the audio distortion at less than 0.1%.  The Flex-5000a also seems to do well as far as audio distortion (slide 52) - but like my SDR receivers, they use an audio DAC (sound card DAC) for audio output.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 07:27:13 AM
Doesn't the presentation indicate that the choke fix Elcraft made resolved the issue on the K3?

Here is what I was talking about above.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KX3/message/13893

This link here certainly helps make your argument for receive audio.

http://www.cliftonlaboratories.com/elecraft_k3_receive_audio.htm

For all the tests there is just real world usage and the variables they represent.  

So now at the base station my KX3 audio is coming through NAP3 and a 24bit 192K sampling and actually pulls out weaker signals than through the radios base audio hooked to speakers.  

A small informal test last night showed the same weak signal coming out of the KX3 headphone jack to speakers being less perceptible than the Flex 5k through Bose speakers hooked to the PC.  Then running the Kx3 through NAP3 and the sound card and the same Bose speakers the KX3 was much more perceptible than the flex.  The Panadaptors showed the signal about equal burried in the noise floor with maybe an edge to the flex with it looking a micro hair stronger.  I gather that Panadaptor displays like these are not exactly something you can really use to measure signals.

So which way do we want to look at a KX3, through it's direct audio or is SDR audio?  Do we want to go by test equipment or by our ear?

What I am finding is that radios are not nearly as bad as people make them out to be on paper.  It's substantiated by reviews and feedback from the actual users.  Labs are awesome, but the user, not just the lab test, is the end goal isn't it?

The problem with many arguments here is they totally discount the end users experience with their radios.  Lol despite all the damning lab results, they luuuuvvvv their radios.  

Funny isn't it?  How do you account for that?


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: K9IUQ on August 31, 2012, 08:20:25 AM

Particularly interesting is how BAD the K3 and Flex-5000a transmitters are! (both appear in the top 5 on the receiver list).

Pay attention to the discussion of the poor audio distortion performance in the K3.  This confirms my experience with the K3's crappy, tiring receive audio even with the factory fix.  
Gene

As noted in another thread I have considered the K-3 in my Shack several different times. The top 2 things that stopped me are the 2 items you just mentioned. The third thing is the poor ergonomics which is well publicized.

Even tho the K-3 is highly regarded by DXers and contesters  I am not going to buy a radio that is fatiquing to listen to. Also I have never heard a K-3 on the air with acceptable (IMO) SSB audio. In spite of W4ZV's spinning of the subject, My ears hear what they hear.

Before I bought the Flex 5K I had many email conversations with Sherwood. What he told me about various radios was eye opening. I was also very surprised when he told me what he owned personally, it was not any radio in his top 10 list.

Since then I pay little attention to RX spec ratings when I buy a radio. The most important factor to me is I have to like and enjoy operating the radio.

Stan K9IUQ




Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 08:53:30 AM
Doesn't the presentation indicate that the choke fix Elcraft made resolved the issue on the K3?

The choke fix did help the problem.  Unfortunately, not enough though.  There are other issues at play, like the AGC response and DSP artifacts that also make the K3 tiring to listen to.  If I was just a contester and only used my radio in contests, I'd probably have a K3.  However, I want to use my radio for other things than just contesting - one of my criteria for a radio is that it must have excellent general coverage receive, not just the Ham bands.  It must not be fatiguing to listen to for long periods of time.  It must not be frustrating to use for long periods of time - such as having almost every setting behind a inconvenient menu system that only a software engineer could appreciate.

Quote from: NI0Z
What I am finding is that radios are not nearly as bad as people make them out to be on paper.  It's substantiated by reviews and feedback from the actual users.  Labs are awesome, but the user, not just the lab test, is the end goal isn't it?

The problem with many arguments here is they totally discount the end users experience with their radios.  Lol despite all the damning lab results, they luuuuvvvv their radios.  

Funny isn't it?  How do you account for that?

Many people think that the radio they have spent their money on is the best, it is too much of a blow to the ego to admit otherwise.  eHam reviews are the last thing you want to base your purchasing decision on.  Actual operating experience with a particular radio, in they way you intend to use it, is the only real way of knowing for yourself.

What people do is use the Sherwood list to justify their purchase of a particular radio when that radio is towards the top of the list.  They feel it gives them bragging rights - after all Sherwood says my KX3, or K3, or whatever is the "best radio out there".  When their radio is not high on the list, they use other reasons to justify their purchase.   But what I have repeated many times on eHam is that the Sherwood tests do not tell you that a particular radio "is the best" like many guys think it does.  You have to take into account the whole operating experience - ergonomics, ease of use, price vs what comes standard on the radio, accessory costs, price to performance ratios, etc...  

There is not a day that goes by lately when I don't here some Hams on the air talking about how the KX3 is the best radio out there because it is on the top of the Sherwood list.  One OM actually said that he intended to sell his FTdx-5K and replace it with a KX3 when Elecraft comes out with the 100 Watt amplifier because the KX3 "is the best on the list"!   :o  All this OM does with his rig is rag chews to his buddies on 40 meters - no contesting, no Dx, no CW!

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 09:41:35 AM

Many people think that the radio they have spent their money on is the best, it is too much of a blow to the ego to admit otherwise.  eHam reviews are the last thing you want to base your purchasing decision on.

What people do is use the Sherwood list to justify their purchase of a particular radio when that radio is towards the top of the list.  They feel it gives them bragging rights - after all Sherwood says my KX3, or K3, or whatever is the "best radio out there".  When their radio is not high on the list, they use other reasons to justify their purchase.   But what I have repeated many times on eHam is that the Sherwood tests do not tell you that a particular radio "is the best" like many guys think it does.  You have to take into account the whole operating experience - ergonomics, ease of use, price vs what comes standard on the radio, accessory costs, price to performance ratios, etc...   There is not a day that goes by lately when I don't here some Hams on the air talking about how the KX3 is the best radio out there because it is on the top of the Sherwood list.  Once OM actually said that he intended to sell his FTdx-5K and replace it with a KX3 when Elecraft comes out with the 100 Watt amplifier because the KX3 "is the best on the list"!   :o

Gene


Gene, I do believe you have a point here, I saw it all the time with cameras on photography forums, I called it the specs wars.  The funny thing was it was easy to see who were really good photographers and who were really not as the cameras were all good enough that the camera was not making the difference.

I have to tell you though, I was amazed last night at how well I had the little KX3 running.  I almost have it fully integrated as a base station.  Pretty sweet having a nice Panadaptor display, high quality audio and then being able to reach over to the knobs on the radio itself and operate like any other radio with a full set of controls.

I get it, some people out there don't like Elecraft controls.. No need to tell me that.  But I am must be one of those software engineer types so your dislikes are not mine and they won't be for everyone else either.  240-260 watts out as well, no added 100 watt amp, just the one I already have.  It was a really nice operating experience for sure!  I plan on pushing forward integrating it the rest of the way as well.  Not bad for just a few hours of actual time I had available to play arou d with it.

These radios can be like having 3 radios if you look at it the way I do.  If I had a FT5000 though, I doubt I would sell it away for a KX3.  Time will tell if it can replace the flex.  It's such a small rig though and I still have some things to get used to in a mixed user interface paradigm.


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 10:17:51 AM
I get it, some people out there don't like Elecraft controls.. No need to tell me that.  But I am must be one of those software engineer types so your dislikes are not mine and they won't be for everyone else either.  240-260 watts out as well, no added 100 watt amp, just the one I already have.  It was a really nice operating experience for sure!  I plan on pushing forward integrating it the rest of the way as well.  Not bad for just a few hours of actual time I had available to play arou d with it.

How long have you had your KX3?  I am sure not long enough to get tired of the menu arrangement on the KX3.  It is OK for a portable radio, but no matter how much you might initially like the menu system, if you have to use it day in and day out, it gets irritating compared to a radio that has those same functions in a dedicated button on the front panel.

Gene



Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 10:27:17 AM
It is interesting to note that without the optional $129.95 roofing filter, the KX3's 2kHz narrow spaced dynamic range (the spec that puts it at the top of the list because Sherwood sorts on that item) is no better than the Flex5k and worse than the Perseus.  If you use the optional $129.95 roofing filter, your panadapter view becomes very narrow.

It is pretty clear that if Flex would have made it possible to have an option to add an I/Q roofing filter (like the KX3), the 2 kHz DR would be right up there with the KX3 at least.

The other thing is the Perseus beats the KX3 DR if the KX3 does not have the optional I/Q roofing filter added.  Putting a narrow tunable filter in front of the Perseus ADC would push the DR number up over the KX3, putting it at the top of the list.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 10:38:16 AM
 I did buy the roofing filter.  Works great!  The whole setup is quite amazing!  I will have update 3 on the blog later today.  Last night it all came together! 

I seriously don't get the menu thing though, what's in those menus that you would be going in so frequently that would be the bother?  Also, it's all in alphabetical order and a breeze to zip through?

I am pretty much a set it and go kind of guy, so other than band switching and basic filters which are on the front already, including notch, NB, NR, gain controls for AF/RF, filter width knobs, ect..  What am I missing Gene.. Seriously I am asking, I don't get it..  I hardly even use filters on the flex either, most times they don't help much.  I used the notch last night on the KX3, worked great.  What's in those menus that a user is going to access frequently while operating?


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 12:10:47 PM
I did buy the roofing filter.  Works great!  The whole setup is quite amazing!  I will have update 3 on the blog later today.  Last night it all came together!  

I seriously don't get the menu thing though, what's in those menus that you would be going in so frequently that would be the bother?  Also, it's all in alphabetical order and a breeze to zip through?

I am pretty much a set it and go kind of guy, so other than band switching and basic filters which are on the front already, including notch, NB, NR, gain controls for AF/RF, filter width knobs, ect..  What am I missing Gene.. Seriously I am asking, I don't get it..  I hardly even use filters on the flex either, most times they don't help much.  I used the notch last night on the KX3, worked great.  What's in those menus that a user is going to access frequently while operating?

CW settings, AGC settings, RX eq, AFX, plenty of others if you wish to pull out weak signals in a crowded, noisy band.  You will see as you get more experience operating.

While the menu system may be alphabetical, just having to enter the menu settings when you are trying to catch a weak signal to tweak the settings gets to be a PIA after a while.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 02:29:54 PM
Interesting, those all look like infrequently changed items to me.  Like setting up your CW paddle, turning manual AGC control on and or off so you can control it from the front panel, stereo on or off, ect.

I guess they will mean more to me later.

Thanks for answering the question.


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: N5RWJ on August 31, 2012, 02:43:47 PM
What's up with the speaker hum?


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 02:51:32 PM
I don't know, mine doesn't hum, buzz or do otherwise. 


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 03:14:43 PM
What's up with the speaker hum?

Phil AD5X reports:

------------------
SN1480 kit arrived yesterday (ordered the week after Dayton). Finished it up in
about 2.5-3 hours. I don't have any hardware stuck to the speaker, and I have
the required clearances around the speaker and the bottom cover. Unfortunately,
I have the audio distortion. It occurs around an audio setting of 20 or so.
Everything else appears to work great, but I was hoping that all the things
discovered so far would fix the speaker buzz. I know that some say to use
headphones and external speakers. I use headphones a lot. But the audio
distortion should not be there with the internal speaker.

Anyway, I've found that I can squeeze the upper clamshell right around the 4-pin
header that has the cutout below the SPOT button and the buzz completely goes
away. I think what I'm doing is separating the top and bottom covers a little.
I need to experiment a little more. I'm going to try inserting a piece of black
electrical tape between the clamshells and see if that does the trick.
Unfortunately, I'll be tied up on other things for the rest of the day, but just
wanted to pass this on FWIW.

Phil - AD5X
------------------

Mr. Elecraft writes:

---------------
The KX3 was designed from the beginning to optimize the use of DSP-
based stereo audio. If you use headphones or dual external (powered)
speakers, you'll be able to use:

- stereo receive (AFX = DELAY)
- pitch mapping: low pitch left, high pitch right (AFX = PITCH)
- dual watch (DUAL RX = ON)

These modes provide a much richer listening experience than mono, and
this is one of the most important differences between the KX3 (and K3)
and other rigs.

Using headphones will also reduce current drain on receive, which is a
consideration for battery power.

Like the KX1, the KX3 is a very small radio. The KX1 has no internal
speaker, but we wanted to put a small one in the KX3 if only for
occasional or emergency use. Our goal is to keep improving the utility
of the internal speaker, but meanwhile, I hope all KX3 owners will
take advantage of the KX3's stereo capabilities.


73,
Wayne
N6KR
-----------------

So basically, don't use the internal speaker regularly or unless it is an emergency.  Another downside of the "best radio".

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 03:59:01 PM
As I said, I don't have that issue.

This is silly stuff, I went and googled TS 590 issues and problems, apparently there are unresolved ALC issues, weak SSB power issues and poor paint and build issues.  Not good at all!

Review rating here on eHam is 4.6 with over 100 reviews.  There are more than 20 radios over it that fair better with more than 100 reviews.

I could go find ICOM, Yaesu, Flex, and a myriad of others all having issues.

It's my belief that the ratings average though says a lot! Especially when you get over 100 reviews.  That means hams like their rig and think highly of it and when we go over 100 we account for the lemon factor as well.

I think your problems are with the users of these radios,who seem to love them so much.  It's funny because you have these small American companies making products so good that their users become fanatically in love with them and we bash the radios rather than the people.  Isn't that ironic?  The company produced something so good we despise the buyer of the product and blame the manufacturer.  Now here is what is even more ironic, the users,of other products don't feel the love for their product and so they get angry and jealous and bash the product because their product apparently isn't as good.

Have fun guys!  Radio spec wars won't occupy my time here any more.  It's easy to see who has an axe to grind here and who doesn't.  Totally obvious!  And yes, it's easy to see the fan boys who attack other radios that the fan boys don't own.  Totally obvious!

http://www.google.com/search?q=waxumkenwood+TS590+problems&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#sclient=tablet-gws&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&q=kenwood+TS590s+issues&oq=kenwood+TS590s+issues&gs_l=tablet-gws.3...10610.10610.2.10806.1.1.0.0.0.0.166.166.0j1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1ac.qJM-VKUJqVo&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=d9e56c8a564e707b&biw=1024&bih=672

Enjoy your rigs, I know I am enjoying all of mine, one by ICOM, one by Yaesu, one by Flex, one by Elecraft and one by wouxun.  They all have their good and they all have their bad.  I have seen users hate all of them and love all of them...  I'd own a TS590 I'd I could as well, because I have hear good things along with the bad.  You can accuse me of many things but a fan boy you won't!  Lol. I will tell you the dirt on all these radios that I have found if you want.

You can google any radio for issues and see,the dirt!

They are just radios!  :). Consumer products..

And with that I will leave you alone Gene.  You can say whatever you want now and have the last word, no worries that I will respond.  Enjoy!

73


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: ZENKI on August 31, 2012, 05:00:26 PM
The real problem is that so many hams have become emotional brand worshiping delinquents. If the same effort was put into  reviewing a radio and legitimately  highlighting  its true  faults and weaknesses we would be all better informed consumers. There is only technically right and technically wrong in science, there is no room for voodoo, personal bias or hidden agendas.

The problems with radios like the TS590s and many others is that you cant discuss these problems on various reflectors and Yahoo groups without being censored, banned or being bullied. There is no free speech rights on these forums and most owners of these groups are emotional  brand worshiping groupies.  If a radio has a problem  you should  be able to say and be free to do so. If someone is clearly wrong or used incorrect measurement methods these people can have their methods queried or corrected, there is no need for censorship. Unfortunately hams cant handle this kind of open free spirited discussion and  thats why they always ask for a callsign, because its  easy to
offer a life ban  on comments that are related to your callsign. You wont find groups for high performance car, planes or medical discussion groups asking if you have a respective license. Hams cant seem to handle the concept of free speech or opinions without censorship.

The heated discussion here on Flexradios is a good example, and thats before we start talking about the TenTec and Elecraft reflectors which are  the most extreme forms of koolaid drinking and brand worshiping you can encounter.

The real problem is that  all this measured data needs to be understood and studied. Many hams dont have the technical  skills too interpret  this data in a meaningful way that makes them feel easy with their purchasing decisions. Ignorance is bliss. When confronted with technical facts, hams turn into soft marshmallows and start behaving and thinking emotionally throwing  science out of the window. Many are  behaving like dummy consumers who can only make decisions on emotional push buttons like brand names. You typically see this  with comments like "I am Icom man" what hope have you got of changing this sort to thinking to something like "I only buy the best technically performing radio"? 

As hams technical skills become poorer there is little chance of convincing manufacturers  that they should do their job better. If the ham industry was like the sport car industry which designs cars to be the best and the fastests in the world we would  not  have all these problems with radios. Even sports cars consumers can take the time to try and understand what makes a good fast car, why are hams so lazy that they cant be bothered trying to understand what they are buying?  Just join any car discussion group and  consumers on these groups will call it as they see it, they dont have brand worshipping moderators banning people because they think that a particular brand of car is crap and they say so. All we get on ham forums is censorship  and name calling, car enthusiasts will put their products to the test and put their money where there mouths are. Why cant hams handle technical performance measurements that says  a radio is a splattering piece of junk or has a poor receiver? This cultural ethic in our hobby is bizarre for supposedly technical hobbyists. 

Receiver and transmitter performance numbers are useless if the people who are reading them dont understand what they are saying exactly. Its the reason why we have deceptive advertising in ham magazines by big Japanese radio companies, they know that most hams dont understand what they are talking about so they make themselves look good by talking bullshit and playing phoney receiver number games. Unfortunately for them the truth can be established  and measured and thats great.

Issues like the TS590S is having with ALC and power shoot is a common problem on many radios, its so easy too measure yet you  would think that something that is so easy to measure would be reported in QST reviews. They can measure difficult things like phase noise and 3rd order intercept point but cant measure something as simple as ALC splatter and power overshoot. My feeling is that the ARRL does not want to be critical about any radio, everybody knows this. Its then no surprise that you get silly reviews telling other hams that this brand X radio is better than the other when reality they all have technical flaws.

Technical performance numbers for both receivers and transmitters is really a science, its just too bad that the likes of the ARRL cant handle the controversy that these true technical evaluations will cause for the manufacturers. The end result is  that we end up with crap equipment, this is the saddest part of this technical correct political behavior, it prevents us from using and owning better products.

As I said, I don't have that issue.

This is silly stuff, I went and googled TS 590 issues and problems, apparent their are unresolved ALC issues, weak SSB power issues and poor paint and build issues.  Not good at all!

Review rating here on eHam is 4.6 with over 100 reviews.  There are more than 20 radios over it that fair better with more than 100 reviews.

I could go find ICOM, Yaesu, Flex, and a myriad of others all having issues.

It's my belief that the ratings average though says a lot! Especially when you get over 100 reviews.  That means hams like their rig and think highly of it and when we go over 100 we account for the lemon factor as well.

Have fun guys!  Radio spec wars won't occupy my time here any more.  It's easy to see who has an axe to grind here and who doesn't.  Totally obvious!  And yes, it's easy to see the fan boys who attack other radios that the fan boys don't own.  Totally obvious!

http://www.google.com/search?q=waxumkenwood+TS590+problems&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#sclient=tablet-gws&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&q=kenwood+TS590s+issues&oq=kenwood+TS590s+issues&gs_l=tablet-gws.3...10610.10610.2.10806.1.1.0.0.0.0.166.166.0j1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1ac.qJM-VKUJqVo&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=d9e56c8a564e707b&biw=1024&bih=672

Enjoy your rigs, I know I am enjoying all of mine, one by ICOM, one by Yaesu, one by Flex, one by Elecraft and one by wouxun.  They all have their good and they all have their bad.  I have seen users hate all of them and love all of them...

You can google any radio for issues and see,the dirt!

They are just radios!  :). Consumer products..

73


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on August 31, 2012, 05:15:41 PM
As I said, I don't have that issue.

This is silly stuff, I went and googled TS 590 issues and problems, apparently there are unresolved ALC issues, weak SSB power issues and poor paint and build issues.  Not good at all!

Review rating here on eHam is 4.6 with over 100 reviews.  There are more than 20 radios over it that fair better with more than 100 reviews.

I could go find ICOM, Yaesu, Flex, and a myriad of others all having issues.

It's my belief that the ratings average though says a lot! Especially when you get over 100 reviews.  That means hams like their rig and think highly of it and when we go over 100 we account for the lemon factor as well.

I think your problems are with the users of these radios,who seem to love them so much.  It's funny because you have these small American companies making products so good that their users become fanatically in love with them and we bash the radios rather than the people.  Isn't that ironic?  The company produced something so good we despise the buyer of the product and blame the manufacturer.  Now here is what is even more ironic, the users,of other products don't feel the love for their product and so they get angry and jealous and bash the product because their product apparently isn't as good.

Have fun guys!  Radio spec wars won't occupy my time here any more.  It's easy to see who has an axe to grind here and who doesn't.  Totally obvious!  And yes, it's easy to see the fan boys who attack other radios that the fan boys don't own.  Totally obvious!

http://www.google.com/search?q=waxumkenwood+TS590+problems&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#sclient=tablet-gws&hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&q=kenwood+TS590s+issues&oq=kenwood+TS590s+issues&gs_l=tablet-gws.3...10610.10610.2.10806.1.1.0.0.0.0.166.166.0j1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1ac.qJM-VKUJqVo&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=d9e56c8a564e707b&biw=1024&bih=672

Enjoy your rigs, I know I am enjoying all of mine, one by ICOM, one by Yaesu, one by Flex, one by Elecraft and one by wouxun.  They all have their good and they all have their bad.  I have seen users hate all of them and love all of them...  I'd own a TS590 I'd I could as well, because I have hear good things along with the bad.  You can accuse me of many things but a fan boy you won't!  Lol. I will tell you the dirt on all these radios that I have found if you want.

You can google any radio for issues and see,the dirt!

They are just radios!  :). Consumer products..

And with that I will leave you alone Gene.  You can say whatever you want now and have the last word, no worries that I will respond.  Enjoy!

73

Are you done with your temper tantrum/rant?

See, this illustrates the problem with Hams like you, NI0Z.  When your favorite new toy is exposed to have problems, you have a fit and you pout.  Once you are done pouting, you get angry and go on the attack.  You think I have attacked your perfect radio so now you think you have to attack a radio you think that I am in love with.  I am aware of the various TS-590s downsides.  ALL RADIOS HAVE DOWNSIDES AND ARE NOT PERFECT.  You can spend the rest of your life telling me all the downsides of the equipment I own and, if they are real demonstrable problems or issues, I will agree with you and I certainly will not be offended.  THIS IS NOT A RELIGION.  So you have failed to injure me by your digging up of the dirt on the TS-590s.  

Unlike you, I don't pout, sulk, have a temper tantrum, or lash back angrily when problems are pointed out.  ::)  I discuss them rationally.  I also post links to the reported problems to back up what I am saying, unlike you, who just spits out a bunch of problems he sees on a google search but has not read or tried to understand first.  It just makes you look petty and uninformed.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 07:29:31 PM
The real problem is that so many hams have become emotional brand worshiping delinquents. If the same effort was put into  reviewing a radio and legitimately  highlighting  its true  faults and weaknesses we would be all better informed consumers. There is only technically right and technically wrong in science, there is no room for voodoo, personal bias or hidden agendas.

The problems with radios like the TS590s and many others is that you cant discuss these problems on various reflectors and Yahoo groups without being censored, banned or being bullied. There is no free speech rights on these forums and most owners of these groups are emotional  brand worshiping groupies.  If a radio has a problem  you should  be able to say and be free to do so. If someone is clearly wrong or used incorrect measurement methods these people can have their methods queried or corrected, there is no need for censorship. Unfortunately hams cant handle this kind of open free spirited discussion and  thats why they always ask for a callsign, because its  easy to
offer a life ban  on comments that are related to your callsign. You wont find groups for high performance car, planes or medical discussion groups asking if you have a respective license. Hams cant seem to handle the concept of free speech or opinions without censorship.

The heated discussion here on Flexradios is a good example, and thats before we start talking about the TenTec and Elecraft reflectors which are  the most extreme forms of koolaid drinking and brand worshiping you can encounter.

The real problem is that  all this measured data needs to be understood and studied. Many hams dont have the technical  skills too interpret  this data in a meaningful way that makes them feel easy with their purchasing decisions. Ignorance is bliss. When confronted with technical facts, hams turn into soft marshmallows and start behaving and thinking emotionally throwing  science out of the window. Many are  behaving like dummy consumers who can only make decisions on emotional push buttons like brand names. You typically see this  with comments like "I am Icom man" what hope have you got of changing this sort to thinking to something like "I only buy the best technically performing radio"? 

As hams technical skills become poorer there is little chance of convincing manufacturers  that they should do their job better. If the ham industry was like the sport car industry which designs cars to be the best and the fastests in the world we would  not  have all these problems with radios. Even sports cars consumers can take the time to try and understand what makes a good fast car, why are hams so lazy that they cant be bothered trying to understand what they are buying?  Just join any car discussion group and  consumers on these groups will call it as they see it, they dont have brand worshipping moderators banning people because they think that a particular brand of car is crap and they say so. All we get on ham forums is censorship  and name calling, car enthusiasts will put their products to the test and put their money where there mouths are. Why cant hams handle technical performance measurements that says  a radio is a splattering piece of junk or has a poor receiver? This cultural ethic in our hobby is bizarre for supposedly technical hobbyists. 

Receiver and transmitter performance numbers are useless if the people who are reading them dont understand what they are saying exactly. Its the reason why we have deceptive advertising in ham magazines by big Japanese radio companies, they know that most hams dont understand what they are talking about so they make themselves look good by talking bullshit and playing phoney receiver number games. Unfortunately for them the truth can be established  and measured and thats great.

Issues like the TS590S is having with ALC and power shoot is a common problem on many radios, its so easy too measure yet you  would think that something that is so easy to measure would be reported in QST reviews. They can measure difficult things like phase noise and 3rd order intercept point but cant measure something as simple as ALC splatter and power overshoot. My feeling is that the ARRL does not want to be critical about any radio, everybody knows this. Its then no surprise that you get silly reviews telling other hams that this brand X radio is better than the other when reality they all have technical flaws.

Technical performance numbers for both receivers and transmitters is really a science, its just too bad that the likes of the ARRL cant handle the controversy that these true technical evaluations will cause for the manufacturers. The end result is  that we end up with crap equipment, this is the saddest part of this technical correct political behavior, it prevents us from using and owning better products.

Alright, so if we go by the lab tests, go by eHam ratings then the KX3 is overall the best HF transceiver for base, best for QRP and the best SDR.

Let's see how many hams here can handle the just the facts.  note, I have not done a review and I did not do the test and I don't care if it's the best or not, so far I think the radio is fun, that's my opinion right now.

This will be a hoot!


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on August 31, 2012, 07:49:23 PM
TS590s

http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?331459-KENWOOD-TS-590s-ALC-Problem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBeO8zcX7yc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Review by GI0ZGB
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9266

Top three reviews
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9266?page=11

And then there is this, made by a K3 owner? Is this true?
http://elecraft.365791.n2.nabble.com/New-Kenwood-TS0-590-td5647134.html





Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: W4ZV on September 01, 2012, 03:21:18 AM

So basically, don't use the internal speaker regularly or unless it is an emergency.  Another downside of the "best radio".

Real DXers don't use speakers.  I learned that as a 12 year old nearly 56 years ago before making the first DXCC as a Novice.   ;)

73,  Bill


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on September 01, 2012, 05:18:58 AM

So basically, don't use the internal speaker regularly or unless it is an emergency.  Another downside of the "best radio".

Real DXers don't use speakers.  I learned that as a 12 year old nearly 56 years ago before making the first DXCC as a Novice.   ;)

73,  Bill

The designers of the KX3 must not be "Real DXers" like you.  ;) Otherwise, they would have not even bothered to give the KX3 an internal speaker.  :D  

However, the KX3 designers did provide the KX3 with an internal speaker, and like Phil AD5X says, it should at least work correctly without buzz or distortion.  Mr. Elecraft making excuses that the internal speaker should only be used in an emergency is kind of funny, don't you think?

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: W4ZV on September 01, 2012, 06:13:39 AM
The designers of the KX3 must not be "Real DXers" like you.   ;)  Otherwise, they would have not even bothered to give the KX3 an internal speaker.   :D   

Sounds good to me!  My ultralight QRP rig weighs 3 ounces including paddle, ear buds and LiPO battery:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4758

73,  Bill



Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on September 01, 2012, 06:18:53 AM
The designers of the KX3 must not be "Real DXers" like you.   ;)  Otherwise, they would have not even bothered to give the KX3 an internal speaker.   :D  

Sounds good to me!  My ultralight QRP rig weighs 3 ounces including paddle, ear buds and LiPO battery:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4758

73,  Bill

And it costs about 1/10th of what the KX3 does.  I bet it is a lot more fun to operate too!

Lot's of good stuff at: http://kd1jv.qrpradio.com/ (http://kd1jv.qrpradio.com/) and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AT_Sprint/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AT_Sprint/)

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: K9IUQ on September 01, 2012, 06:24:57 AM
Sounds good to me!  My ultralight QRP rig weighs 3 ounces including paddle, ear buds and LiPO battery:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/4758

73,  Bill
Nice,
Now that is what I think of when QRP comes to mind.  :D

I too use headphones a lot - but not all the time, especially ragchewing on SSB. My own opinion on the KX3 speaker is if they put one there, it should work acceptably. I also have a real problem with radios that do not provide an audio amp to drive an external speaker. My Flexradio 5K required powered speakers. Powered Speakers that are external to the radio provide a wonderful entry point for RFI. Not a problem with QRP but I definitely do not want external powered speakers with higher power rigs.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on September 01, 2012, 07:41:18 AM
KX3 speaker problems: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related)


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: ZENKI on September 10, 2012, 02:47:23 AM
The next round of problems on the KX3 will be those silly 3.5mm connectors. They are notoriously unreliable and the worst possible choice for a  connector that will be plugged in and out a lot.  They   will be source of constant intermittent connections over time. The cheap crap chinese packaged cords that come with the radio  are totally crap and will just fall apart with use. I have boxes full of these cords from PC and other audio devices that are faulty.

There is an abundance of decent quality multi pin miniature mil spec connectors that could have been used.  It would have been  far simpler to use a mil spec multi pin round connector and have a small breakout box for whatever you wanted. The standard mil MIC/handset connector H250U would have been a better connector and it would  have opened a new microphone handset source for the KX3. My  K2 has  this failed 3.5mm connector on the front panel which will be a PITA to remove. If the sockets fails you will have a  big job on your hands trying to unsolder it from the PCB.

Another better choice would have been one of  the shielded RJ45 ethernet connectors with a break out box. A breakout out  box with a small RJ45 pig tail cable would have worked. A cluster of 3.5mm connectors in the breakout box where they could be easily serviced would have been a better option

I wish the KX3 users good luck, they will certainly need it will all those cheesy 3.5mm connectors that will fail. The KX3 does not impressive me because of it lack of ruggedness which is really is a requirement for frequent portable operation.

KX3 speaker problems: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related)


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on September 10, 2012, 02:58:39 AM
The next round of problems on the KX3 will be those silly 3.5mm connectors. They are notoriously unreliable and the worst possible choice for a  connector that will be plugged in and out a lot.  They   will be source of constant intermittent connections over time. The cheap crap chinese packaged cords that come with the radio  are totally crap and will just fall apart with use. I have boxes full of these cords from PC and other audio devices that are faulty.

There is an abundance of decent quality multi pin miniature mil spec connectors that could have been used.  It would have been  far simpler to use a mil spec multi pin round connector and have a small breakout box for whatever you wanted. The standard mil MIC/handset connector H250U would have been a better connector and it would  have opened a new microphone handset source for the KX3. My  K2 has  this failed 3.5mm connector on the front panel which will be a PITA to remove. If the sockets fails you will have a  big job on your hands trying to unsolder it from the PCB.

Another better choice would have been one of  the shielded RJ45 ethernet connectors with a break out box. A breakout out  box with a small RJ45 pig tail cable would have worked. A cluster of 3.5mm connectors in the breakout box where they could be easily serviced would have been a better option

I wish the KX3 users good luck, they will certainly need it will all those cheesy 3.5mm connectors that will fail. The KX3 does not impressive me because of it lack of ruggedness which is really is a requirement for frequent portable operation.

KX3 speaker problems: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQRdj1LWjWM&feature=related)

Unfortunately to make it rugged like you want, the KX3 would cost a lot more than $1000.

Gene


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NR9R on September 12, 2012, 11:24:49 AM
A few comments have mentioned the tone or quality of the receiver (revering to the K3) as an important factor.  I never did try the K3 but after trying the latest transceivers from just about every brand I found that the tone/fidelity/ quality character of the receiver to be a greater factor than dynamic range alone.  This is subjective and more difficult to quantify but very important.  I am able to tolerate some IMD products every once in a while on a receiver that is a joy to listen to, but a receiver with painful audio characteristics will ruin the fun no matter how impenetrable the filters are.  With that said, the reality is that the average station will never experience the signal power density levels that would overload typical mid-priced transceivers.  If you have a single yagi for the high bands and use wire antennas for the low bands then you probably wont notice much improvement in transceivers with narrow 1st IF filters and can have the best of both worlds: great audio fidelity from wide 1st IF filters without many IMD issues.   


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: NI0Z on September 12, 2012, 03:56:03 PM
Might as well get some use out of the videos I made.

With very limited experience I rate the KX3 as having the best Audi of the transceivers I have owned.  I have had more time with this radio this week and the audio both in and out is quite nice.  Amazingly I have had nice QSOs with even 10watts SSB. 

There are other issues though with this radio they are working on that we have not talked about.  VFO drift is significant enough to cause issues running PSK.  I hadn't realize that the KX3 is advertised as only 1ppm, you can see it in PSK.  They are working on it and some people already have the VFO temperature controlled patch in hand.  Final performance is supposedly going to be .1-.2 ppm.

It's interesting to see just how many things Elecraft is able to change in the firmware to resolve issues like this.  There are going to be improvements in opposite side band suppression as well.

If you buy one of these your buying and unfinished radio in essence. 

Ayways, it did occur to me that when you sell a transceiver to hams today, you better have your specs and stuff together because hams are going to test the living tar out of it! :). Given that it's amazing that many radios still get the ratings they do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9oNxdqyH4&sns=em

Unfortunately the cell phone mic is the limiting factor here and the source of any distortion you here with the exception of my audio being played back which was not all that great to be honest.

I guess I haven't been a ham long enough to understand the reallity of audio fatigue if this radio in theory can cause it.  I even listend to some shortwave stations Monday and they sounded really good.


Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: ZENKI on September 13, 2012, 03:59:09 AM
It will be interesting to see what the INBAND audio IMD of the KX3 is.

There is nothing better than a smooth sounding low IMD receiver. The TS870S was such a radio, very low distortion on RX.

Direct conversion receivers like the  R2 from  Rick Campbell  also excels at producing excellent RX audio.

Lets hope that the RX audio is better than the K3's!

Might as well get some use out of the videos I made.

With very limited experience I rate the KX3 as having the best Audi of the transceivers I have owned.  I have had more time with this radio this week and the audio both in and out is quite nice.  Amazingly I have had nice QSOs with even 10watts SSB. 

There are other issues though with this radio they are working on that we have not talked about.  VFO drift is significant enough to cause issues running PSK.  I hadn't realize that the KX3 is advertised as only 1ppm, you can see it in PSK.  They are working on it and some people already have the VFO temperature controlled patch in hand.  Final performance is supposedly going to be .1-.2 ppm.

It's interesting to see just how many things Elecraft is able to change in the firmware to resolve issues like this.  There are going to be improvements in opposite side band suppression as well.

If you buy one of these your buying and unfinished radio in essence. 

Ayways, it did occur to me that when you sell a transceiver to hams today, you better have your specs and stuff together because hams are going to test the living tar out of it! :). Given that it's amazing that many radios still get the ratings they do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9oNxdqyH4&sns=em

Unfortunately the cell phone mic is the limiting factor here and the source of any distortion you here with the exception of my audio being played back which was not all that great to be honest.

I guess I haven't been a ham long enough to understand the reallity of audio fatigue if this radio in theory can cause it.  I even listend to some shortwave stations Monday and they sounded really good.



Title: RE: Sherwood Engineering Receiver Test Data
Post by: KE5JPP on September 13, 2012, 05:21:55 AM
There are other issues though with this radio they are working on that we have not talked about.  VFO drift is significant enough to cause issues running PSK.  I hadn't realize that the KX3 is advertised as only 1ppm, you can see it in PSK.  They are working on it and some people already have the VFO temperature controlled patch in hand.  Final performance is supposedly going to be .1-.2 ppm.
It's interesting to see just how many things Elecraft is able to change in the firmware to resolve issues like this.  There are going to be improvements in opposite side band suppression as well.

The problem is heating of the si570 during transmit.  This is not a firmware fix.  Neither is the opposite sideband suppression completely fixable by firmware.  They can mitigate the suppression issue somewhat by allowing an I/Q calibration table on a band by band basis instead of the fixed point calibration they are using now.  This can be done in the firmware.

Gene