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Author Topic: Kenwood TS-590--Don't know where else to ask  (Read 4389 times)
KG0DB
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Posts: 138




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« on: January 01, 2012, 03:26:56 PM »

I was preparing to pull the trigger this coming week on a Kenwood 590.  Just recently I've read reviews that would suggest the transciever may have ALC problems, along with greatly reduced RF output.  Included in those discussions was information indicating the Kenwood was preparing to release a new radio that was intended to compete with the upper end Icoms and Yaseau radios.  I think someone even compared the new release to a 21 century version of a TS-950. 

Does anyone know anything about this "new" radio to be released by Kenwood?  If so, is it really an upgrade from the 590?
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 04:16:17 PM »

Talk is cheap I know but I live in Dayton and I talked to Kenwood reps at Hamfest and they confirmed that there is a 950 class rig due out no later than Dayton 2012.  It was supposed to be out this year but Tsunami pushed it back. MSRP is supposed to be about 5 grand and will have touch screens too. They would not tell me much more than that.  On 590. there is not design problems with 590. Like all new DSP based rigs it can have some glitches. Kenwood has been very good and addressing any issues with Firmware updates.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KG0DB
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 04:26:21 PM »

That makes for a tough decision.  Being an old guy, menu driven controls can be a challenge.  Touch screen makes me think it could be heavily menu driven, but the size argues opposite.  Hmmmmm.
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N4KZ
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 04:29:29 PM »

I will try to answer your questions to be best of my ability after several months of owning a TS-590. Yes, the rig has an ALC issue when on SSB. My external PEP-reading watt meter showed output of about 140 watts for a few fractions of a second at the beginning of a transmission. If you're operating barefoot at 100 watts, this is no issue. But if you're running an amp, it might be issue. Some tube amps could handle this brief amount of excessive drive while others cannot. It depends on which amp you're running. Kenwood issued a firmware upgrade which seemed to somewhat reduce the issue but did not cure it. That was my experience.

Regarding low output, I did not find that problem. My external PEP-reading watt meter always showed at least 100 watts out on all bands even though the TS-590's meter showed about 60 watts out when on SSB. It appeared to me that the rig's watt meter wasn't measuring PEP output. I don't know why but that's the way it worked. I always trust my external meter's accuracy over an built-in meter. To me, this is a non-issue perpetuated by some who don't understand the complexities of measuring peak envelope power on SSB.

Regarding Kenwood's next HF rig, you won't get any definitive accurate information because the people who know -- Kenwood executives and engineers -- aren't talking and those doing the talking are really speculating. I've heard quite a few interesting tidbits about features this rig will supposedly have and that it will rival the Yaesu FTdx-5000 in features and price.

We'll find out in a few months. The rumor mill now says it will be at the Dayton Hamvention in May. A Kenwood rep at the 2011 Hamvention told me that the original plans called for a photo of the new rig to have been displayed at Dayton 2011 but that the earthquake and tsunami delayed those plans.

I do think it can be safely said that the big rig will be better and have more features than the TS-590 but will carry a significantly higher price tag. In my opinion, the 590 is quite a rig for the money. But you do get what you pay for.

73, N4KZ
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N4NYY
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 04:32:27 PM »

Quote
Being an old guy, menu driven controls can be a challenge.  Touch screen makes me think it could be heavily menu driven, but the size argues opposite.

Not a problem. Get a computer control logger like HRD or DXlab. I have an Yaesu FT-950 which is menu driven. I heard so many complaints about this, that I had to laugh. Especially since RF power is in the menu. My HRD rig control take about 2 seconds to adjust the RF power.

Also, if you have eyesight problems, the computer LCD screen is a godsend for rig control.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 04:49:52 PM »

That makes for a tough decision.  Being an old guy, menu driven controls can be a challenge.  Touch screen makes me think it could be heavily menu driven, but the size argues opposite.  Hmmmmm.

You are not going to find any rig today that is not menu driven to some degree. A bigger radio may have more direct access feature via buttons bit it still will have menus. If you are holding out for a rig with less menus then it is going to have to be a older rig or a very simple newer rig


A Kenwood rep at the 2011 Hamvention told me that the original plans called for a photo of the new rig to have been displayed at Dayton 2011 but that the earthquake and tsunami delayed those plans.

Actually there was/is a prototype floating around. Original plans were to show prototype but Tsunami shelved that.

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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
VA7CPC
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Posts: 2805




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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 05:45:59 PM »

There's a very active TS-590 group here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KenwoodTS-590/

They might be prejudiced (as current TS-590 owners), but with 1,000 members, you'll get some worthwhile opinions.

         Charles
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