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Author Topic: TS-440SAT Display Shows "Dots" Instead o  (Read 4081 times)
KE5HJO
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Posts: 207




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« on: December 31, 2006, 01:44:12 PM »

I'm looking at a variety of HF rigs to purchase as my first base station.  The TS-440SAT keeps coming up as a potential.  

I found a guy that has one for sell and he has sent me a photo of it.  The unit is powered up in the photo but instead of showing a frequency on the display is shows a row of dots.  The guy selling it is not a Ham and does not know what is going on.  Could the dots simply mean that no antenna is connected?

Thanks,

Mike
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N6DRA
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 01:52:21 PM »

The dots mean the synthesizer is out of lock, I believe.  In these rigs it can be an easy or a difficult problem to track down.  Many times it's bad connector/plug connections to the PC Boards, or broken solder to the PC Board connectors, or cold solder to ICs and pullup resistors.  

You roll the dice and take your chances or you look elsewhere.

'73

Tim  
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N3OX
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 02:01:00 PM »

My TS-440S developed the dots problem.  It happens with almost all of them, and can be fixed, but it does make the radio unuseable unless fixed.

I was able to mitigate mine by cleaning some rubber gunk (that absorbs humidity over time) out of one of the Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO) sections in the PLL board, and then leaving the radio on all of the time.  When it was warm, it would work.    

Now, as far as I know, I don't have any cold solder joints or the other problems; just the hygroscopic rubber thing in VCO5.  It used to be that I would open the thing up and run a hairdryer on the affected section to wake the radio up if I'd left it off for a long time.

However, the problem *can* be much worse than this, and I'd recommend, if you're interested in this radio, finding out the average price for a fix of the dots problem (probably $150-$200 from someone who has fixed many of them) and get the seller to knock off that much off of the asking price.  

It's possible that you could get the radio, turn it on for an hour, and have it work.  It's also possible that it could need a bunch of replacement parts and work.  Even if you do leave it on and the display comes back, TX and RX can be distorted by the VCO changing frequency.  My problems are particularly mild as far as this radio goes.

73,
Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WT0A
Member

Posts: 922




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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 02:36:39 PM »

Mike
if you are really stuck on Kenwood I suggest looking for a good used TS570dg or sd(with six meters). A lot nicer radio.
Glen
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N4CQR
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Posts: 566




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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 06:33:25 AM »

This is a common problem with the 440. The one person I knew, Cliff at AAvid, is no longer in the repair business but was one of the best on this problem.

Go with the previous poster's suggestion. Or, get something newer.

J C S
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K0RFD
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Posts: 1368




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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2007, 10:36:50 AM »

As OX said, the most common cause of PLL unlock in the 440 is the decay of the rubber potting compound.

If you're not going to try to fix it yourself, the cost of the rig plus the repair puts the 570 in the same price range.
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N4CQR
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2007, 03:35:28 PM »

Correction to my previous post. Clif at AVVid is back and available to render services in his new location.
See: http://www.avvid.com/

J C S
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K0RFD
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Posts: 1368




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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 05:41:06 PM »

Man, as a Kenwood owner, that's GREAT news.  His departure left a big hole in the Kenwood world.
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OBSERVER11
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Posts: 657




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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2007, 06:44:18 PM »

the dots problem is the VCO has come unlocked.

Kenwood used a potting material that absorbed moisture. The fix is very easy, but only if you are willing to take up the solder pencil.

First, you must open the radio, find the VCO section and litteraly remove all the parts in that section. The the board needs to be cleaned with a quality cleaning solution (Blue Shower, 1.1.1 trichlorotriflorthene[sic?], etc), then replace all the old parts with new ones if you cannot salvage the old.

All of this is found on the Kenwood Service Bulletin page.
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KE4MOB
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2007, 06:06:09 AM »

It's not a hard fix, just tedious.  Expect to spend an evening with a magnifying glass, set of dental picks and a VOM.
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W9SZ
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Posts: 66


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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2007, 08:43:50 AM »

Ah, the dreaded PLL unlock!

The problem, as was mentioned briefly already, is that Kenwood used a contact cement on the VCO board to hold certain components down.  The contact cement, after years of heating/cooling, etc., discolors and absorbs moisture.  It then detunes the circuits it has been used to coat.

I removed every part on my TS-440 VCO board that was coated with this stuff and cleaned it off.  It took me about a week in my "spare time" and I broke a couple of the components while trying to get them out.  Fortunately, replacement parts were easy to come by.

But the result was that my TS-440 has not once given me problems after the repair/realignment.

This problem BTW was also infamous in a line of RCA VCR's.  They put the same glue on a DC-DC converter circuit.  Someone even made a kit of the parts most likely needing replacement in that VCR.

If you go the route of repairing it yourself, be very careful with the glass diodes and the inductors when you remove them. Otherwise, it's pretty straightforward but tedious and time-consuming. I used trichlor (sold as "Carbo-Chlor" or "Carbo-Sol" to dissolve and remove the glue.  Use only in a well-ventilated area!

73, Zack W9SZ
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K5VAH
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 11:26:10 AM »

I have a TS-440SAT that has the BUG (Brown Ugly Glue) as well. It is working fine so far but after reading the reply's it brought to mind a thought. I must admit that the idea may seem silly and I am sure I will get spanked here but since it is a moisture issue what about using a Water Displacement solution on the BUG? Perhaps #40? Anyway, I see that tri-chlor seems to be effective for removing the BUG but is it possible to leave the board intact and just use the tri-chlor with a swap around the components? Guess I dread having to pull and replace the components if at all possibe as my arms are getting longer everyday. Hey, Einstein could'nt tie his shoes either.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 05:04:36 PM »

That "Brown Ugly Goo" is formally known by its true name, "Sonybond" adhesive.

It does deteriorate and crystallize over time, and has been known to render *many* consumer appliances inoperative. 

Funny thing about Sonybond adhesive.  It has been found (over years at our shop) stopping the show in every brand of consumer electronics BUT the Sony brand. 


73
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AG6WT
Member

Posts: 448




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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 09:38:50 PM »

I'd stay away from it. This is your first HF rig, right? Don't start off with a headache. Get one that works. Figure out your antenna situation. Make contacts. Then maybe later you can branch out into repairing tech specials.
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W8JX
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Posts: 5785




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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2012, 09:46:23 PM »

I'd stay away from it. This is your first HF rig, right? Don't start off with a headache. Get one that works. Figure out your antenna situation. Make contacts. Then maybe later you can branch out into repairing tech specials.

I agree, TS-440's are not only very trouble prone in this area but it is getting pretty old too and other problems could develop. I would suggest something newer. If you like Kenwood, consider a TS 450 which replaced it or the 570 that replaced 450. 
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