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Author Topic: Argonaut V vs. TS-480SAT  (Read 910 times)
AE0V
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Posts: 5




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« on: September 02, 2006, 02:28:15 PM »

Not sure if this is the best forum to ask for opiions.. but I would like to have any opions on (other than the difference in power) these two rigs stackup for CW in the shack.  

If I were getting the 480 I would install the 500hz cw filter.

I have had a number of ten tec and kenwood rigs in the past including the Omni 6+ and the TS-870.

Of course I am partial to the QSK and no relay in the ten tec.   Some reviews (plus people I have talked to) say they 480 with the amp relay disabled runs makes no noise.. others say there is still some noise.

I do use headphones on cw ... so maybe that isn't an issue.

So.... back to comparing... for just good basic CW fun... which will be the easier and more simple (and FUN) rig to use.

I work mainly 30 and 40 CW.   Might do a little 80 and 20.

Thanks for your opions.   I would especially be interested in opions of those of you that have actually used and compared BOTH these rigs.

thanks....   ae0v
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N3EF
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Posts: 247




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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2006, 04:50:16 PM »

  I have the TS-480-SAT that I use for mobile cw ops. It does use a relay for cw keying and you can hear it although it is very quiet and with the main unit installed under the back seat of my SUV I don't hear it while operating mobile. In the shack, it would depend on how far away the main unit is and how much other ambient noise is around. It is much  quieter than my FT-897 which is quite loud in my opinion. Iv'e only had this rig for a few weeks and the only thing I don't like about it so far is that it doesn't have a "spot" funtion for zero-beating. It has an auto-zero-beat function which only works well on clean strong signals. The rig does however, have two key inputs. One for a paddle and one for a straight key. So I use the SK input wired to a switch. I turn vox off and turn the switch on and I have my sidetone for zero-beating. Based on a picture of the Argonaut V I would say the TS-480 has a much nicer display. It has an LCD vice the LED of the Argonaut V. Hope this helps a little with your decision.

Eric N3EF
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AE0V
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006, 06:57:30 PM »

Thanks Eric.    Well, I'm just going back and forth between the two.   If I were to get the 480 it would be used only in the shack...  I have never operated mobile HF and have no plans to do so.   I'm a little concerned about the "face" and the "back" and cords running here and there... and of course the face unit and having to secure that in some way, whether it be velcro or some other method.   I seldom use SSB.. maybe 5% max...  so it's all about CW for me... of course then there will be that 5% when I want to use SSB and 20w most likely will make it somewhat difficult.   It's a difficult decision... the 480 has lots of features...  but I have a tuner .. so that isn't a priority.  The 500hz cw filter in the 480 would be an extra cost...  so in the end, the 480 would cost me about $250 more... another thing to think about.

You can only read so many reviews and articles and specs... after awhile the old mind starts to spin...

I know...  buy them both and then sell the one you like the least.   Smiley

thanks for you comments

rich   ae0v
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N3EF
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2006, 07:38:19 PM »

  Well, it comes with two bases. One for mobile installations and a base stand for fixed stations. For the base stand, you can glue it, screw it, clamp it or use dual-lock (a heavy duty velcro). The remote head can swivel on the mount so the base stand can be on a horizontal or vertical surface. Hope someone else chimes in with some info on the Argonaut V.

Eric N3EF
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AE0V
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2006, 08:56:53 PM »

In your first post you mentioned the relay and that you could hear it...  is that even when you have it turned OFF... and you can still hear it somewhat.

In other words, the purpose of the relay is when you are using an amp.. right?? and it clicks on and off or clatters or whatever you want to call it.

But if you actually turn the relay switch off and you are not using an amp, you are saying you can still hear the clicking somewhat ??

rich
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N3EF
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2006, 06:46:04 AM »

"In other words, the purpose of the relay is when you are using an amp.. right?? and it clicks on and off or clatters or whatever you want to call it."

  No. By default, the amp relay is turned off. This rig uses a relay to switch between xmt and rcv as opposed to pin diodes that some rigs use. The amp relay when turned on is much louder than the xmt/rcv relay. When I'm driving down the road, I don't hear the xmt/rcv relay at all. If just sitting with the engine off I can hear it but it is not bothersome as I am normally concentrating on hearing my own sidetone when sending cw and I don't really notice the relay unless I really concentrate on it. The relays are located in the main unit, not the remote head.

Eric N3EF
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AE0V
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2006, 07:35:58 AM »

Well, I've had the TS-870 in the past... guess the relay wasn't bad...  well, probably the only possible way to go for total silence in the Argonaut and just deal with the 20 watts.   I wish it had at least 50 watts, then my decision would be quite so difficult.

Well, other than the power difference, I'm still wondering how they would stack up.

rich
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AE0V
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2006, 05:59:34 PM »

Eric... I have a question for you (or anybody else that wants to jump in) ...  do you use the automatic keyer i the 480... and if you do, which mode is it for the iambic keying... mode A or mode B.

I believe mode A (correct me if I'm wrong) is when you use the squeeze method and the next character transmits once you let go... for example... squeeze both keys but hitting the "dit" first....  sends the letter "R".... because you get the dit and dah from the squeeze and then it does another dit.    Or reverse to get "K" you squeeze the paddles hitting the "dah" first so you get dah and dit the another day happens.

If I understand it correctly, in the B mode you don't get the extra character...  if you squeeze with the dit side first, you simply get "A" and visa versa an "N".

Am I thinking correctly here?   I use the first method of squeezing where the extra character happens at the end.

MY QUESTION....  someone reviewing the Argonaut V said the keyer is the A mode but this guy was a B mode sender.  

If the keyer in the Argonaut is in fact the A mode and I have my facts above correct, then that is what I would want.     I guess I should email ten tec or call them to verify but just thought I would ask you....followed by the question...  which mode is the keyer in the 480 ??   Or do you have the option to choose either way?  

thanks... rich
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AK2B
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Posts: 94




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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2006, 02:57:52 PM »

I don’t have the Argonaut V but I have had a TS-480 for over a year now. I installed the 500hz cw filter. To be totally honest, I rarely use it for cw and really think the receiver is on the noisy side. I guess it’s a matter of what you’re used to. I also have a K2 that I can A/B with the TS-480 at the flip of a switch. I can listen to the K2 all day long without fatigue. The 480 drives me nuts after a while. You will always know when other local hams are on the air with the 480 – with the K2, I don’t even know they are there until I’m almost on top of them. I use the 480 these days mostly for RTTY contests mainly because it can do FSK and I don’t have to listen to it. The tuner in the 480 is only really good for an swr of 3:1 or less. The QSK in the 480 is very good and I have never been bothered by the relay as it sits near me on the operating desk. I really like the remote head and mounted it right in front of me with some lightweight double sided tape. The rig can easily be operated over the internet as it comes out of the box. There are a lot of nice features on the TS-480 but in my opinion, you would be very wise, if possible, to listen to them both. Ten Tec makes excellent cw rigs and I know the receivers in the Omni series were quite good. I don’t know about the present Argonaut, however. I believe it relies on IF DSP. Some people don’t like the way heavily processed receivers sound. Most likely, you would be very happy if you still had your Omni. Otherwise, to get something better for cw these days you would need to get an Orion or a K2. Just my two cents.
Good luck!
Tom, AK2B
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N3EF
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Posts: 247




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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2006, 03:08:41 PM »

  You have it backwards. Mode A completes the element being sent when both paddles are released. Mode B sends an additional element opposite to the one being sent when the paddles are released. The TS-480 uses mode B and cannot be changed. I prefer mode A so I don't use "squeeze" keying when using the mobile.

Eric N3EF
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PETEMILLIS
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2006, 10:54:21 AM »

Wish I could comment on the Argonaut, but I don't have one. I do have a TS480SAT and use it every day mainly for CW, some SSB, not yet got round to digi.
Someone mentioned the receiver being noisy. Well, I love the receiver and find it really easy on the ears. The receiver has excellent equaliser and filter and you can really pull weak CW out from the noise by selecting different equaliser, NR and DNL settings.
I don't find the relay at all bothering, even with the main unit only a couple of feet away. The display is excellent - very clear. The controls are all easy to access and the menu system is easy to use.
Fantastic rig, fantastic value.
Pete M3KXZ
G-QRP 11767 QRP-ARCI 12560
Brighton UK
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