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Author Topic: Kenwood  (Read 8296 times)
KE4YOG
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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2012, 05:06:12 PM »

What we spend 1500.00 for today will worth 300 in a few years. What is 5000 today will be 1500 one day. Technology changes and the receiver with the newest, hottest, bestest will cost the most.

After I got out of college I worked at Radio Shack for 3 years. The first computer I sold was a hot computer for the day. It was a 486SX running at 33 MHZ. It had 4 meg of ram and a huge 100 meg hard drive. It was sold with a 15 inch CRT monitor and a 9 pin dot matrix computer. The system sold for around 3000.00 dollars. As technology advances prices go down.
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AB8MA
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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2012, 05:13:20 PM »


After I got out of college I worked at Radio Shack for 3 years. The first computer I sold was a hot computer for the day. It was a 486SX running at 33 MHZ. It had 4 meg of ram and a huge 100 meg hard drive. It was sold with a 15 inch CRT monitor and a 9 pin dot matrix computer. The system sold for around 3000.00 dollars. As technology advances prices go down.

In 1986, the company I worked for sold a major automotive company a 1 MegaWord memory upgrade for 1 million dollars.

(The Cray was a word (64 bit) addressable computer.)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 05:16:42 PM by AB8MA » Logged
W2IRT
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« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2012, 05:39:00 PM »

What we spend 1500.00 for today will worth 300 in a few years. What is 5000 today will be 1500 one day. Technology changes and the receiver with the newest, hottest, bestest will cost the most.

While it's true for computers I'm not so sure this will apply to amateur radio all that far down the road; at least the better-receiver part. The K3 is approaching the limits at which a human being can detect and discern a weak signal. The rest is just appearance and physical control. I really don't like the look/feel of the K3 but you sure can't fault its performance. Give the market another 5 years and I'm willing to bet you'll see comparable products at reasonable price points by other vendors. The "hot new transceiver" in 2025 will either be fully SDR or else a marginal improvement on what we're seeing now, with mostly the interface design having been improved upon.

The 990 is being released a day late and a dollar short. In my own opinion it's not being marketed as a radio for the performance-minded ham, but rather as a status symbol for the Kenwood lovers out there. It's huge! Even the FT-5000 is borderline too big; I certainly wouldn't want anything bigger!
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AF3Y
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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2012, 06:31:07 PM »

Well, I am still liking my Pro III, which is my "2nd" owned rig, the first being a Kenwood 950SD. Sold the Kenwood to a new ham back in S.C., and he still uses it with no problems.
I was in AES in Orlando last week and asked if they had any Pro IIIs traded in lately. The reply was a resounding no.  I would love to find another NEW one, still in the box, just to have for a spare.

73, Gene AF3Y
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K0RS
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« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2012, 08:33:53 PM »



The K3 is approaching the limits at which a human being can detect and discern a weak signal.


This statement makes no sense.  Humans can't detect signals, weak or strong.  Radios do that and then convert the signal into a form humans comprehend.  As technology improves, radios do it better.  I don't think the K3 is at any sort of technological limit.  Someone will design circuits that do it better next year.

I really don't like the look/feel of the K3 but you sure can't fault its performance.

Actually, I think  you can.  I don’t own one, so I won’t defend or denigrate the K3, but I have heard of a number of deficiencies, both in performance and HMI.  Apparently ergonomics are problematic, and ergos are a huge part of radio performance for a DXer or contester.


The 990 is being released a day late and a dollar short.
 

Well lots of hams would have liked to see Kenwood stay active in the high end market and were not pleased with the extended hiatus.  Officially, they were concentrating engineering resources in other (likely much more lucrative) areas.  What would have been more acceptable?  Would you have been pleased if Kenwood never re-entered the high end amateur market?  Maybe they should have quit building amateur radios altogether?  We could have lost yet another manufacturer.  Would this have been a good thing?

In my own opinion it's not being marketed as a radio for the performance-minded ham, but rather as a status symbol for the Kenwood lovers out there.

Spoken like a true Kenwood hater.  Let’s see, Icom has the IC-7800, Yaesu has the FT-9000 and FT-5000, but somehow Kenwood isn’t entitled to build their own premium class radio?  How do you know the 990 isn’t aimed at the peformance minded ham?  What ridiculous speculation!  No one on this list has had the opportunity to use one yet, and few have even seen it.  How do you presume to know what its capabilites are?

It's huge! Even the FT-5000 is borderline too big; I certainly wouldn't want anything bigger!

Isn’t one of the raps laid on the K3 that it’s too small to be ergonomically comfortable?  Lots of people have complained about small knobs on the Pro 3 as well.  Whether it’s too large or too small is subjective and highly dependant on the individual’s needs and expectations.

Opinions are fine Peter, but let's see what the radio is capable of, eh?
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W2IRT
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« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2012, 10:52:50 PM »


The K3 is approaching the limits at which a human being can detect and discern a weak signal.


This statement makes no sense.  Humans can't detect signals, weak or strong.  Radios do that and then convert the signal into a form humans comprehend.  As technology improves, radios do it better.  I don't think the K3 is at any sort of technological limit.  Someone will design circuits that do it better next year.


I was referring to the human ability to hear what is received. Getting lower MDS levels is great for a lab environment, but the practical limitation of human ears to pull out the weakest signal against the lowest receive noise is either here or very close to being here.

I really don't like the look/feel of the K3 but you sure can't fault its performance.

Actually, I think  you can.  I don’t own one, so I won’t defend or denigrate the K3, but I have heard of a number of deficiencies, both in performance and HMI.  Apparently ergonomics are problematic, and ergos are a huge part of radio performance for a DXer or contester.


The ergonomic issues are what I don't like about that radio. It just isn't a sleek, polished radio like the big-three. Its performance is superb. I've A/B'd it with my trusty Mark V and to me there's no denying the significant improvements.

The 990 is being released a day late and a dollar short.
 

Well lots of hams would have liked to see Kenwood stay active in the high end market and were not pleased with the extended hiatus.  Officially, they were concentrating engineering resources in other (likely much more lucrative) areas.  What would have been more acceptable?  Would you have been pleased if Kenwood never re-entered the high end amateur market?  Maybe they should have quit building amateur radios altogether?  We could have lost yet another manufacturer.  Would this have been a good thing?


I just think the 990 is a solution in search of a problem at this point. It's a radio that needed to have been released around the time of the IC-7800, and I believe Kenwood has fallen off the radar screen of a lot of the serious DXers/contesters. I personally don't care. They made some great radios in the past, I loved my 820 and my 570 when I owned them, but when I had ~$3000 to buy a new higher-performance radio Kenwood didn't have anything for me. Thus my Mark V came home after Dayton 2004 and I've been somewhat pleased by it ever since. I'm not married to any company's product; I want something that's cost-effective and that offers good performance. What I have is OK. A loaded K3 for $4500 would offer more. An FT-5000 is starting to get too spendy and the big-daddy 7800 and FT-9000 series are beyond what I'll ever be able to afford--or need for that matter. 326 all time entities, 2500 Challenge points, 195 out of 200 5B-WAZ zones and a number of top-10 or top-20 contest certificates within just a few years are proof that a $5-10k radio isn't needed to excel. Put that money in the stack of aluminum and you can squeeze an awful lot out of an inferior transceiver.

In my own opinion it's not being marketed as a radio for the performance-minded ham, but rather as a status symbol for the Kenwood lovers out there.

Spoken like a true Kenwood hater.  Let’s see, Icom has the IC-7800, Yaesu has the FT-9000 and FT-5000, but somehow Kenwood isn’t entitled to build their own premium class radio?  How do you know the 990 isn’t aimed at the peformance minded ham?  What ridiculous speculation!  No one on this list has had the opportunity to use one yet, and few have even seen it.  How do you presume to know what its capabilites are?


I'm far from a Kenwood hater. As I said, I've owned two and wanted a third in 2004. They're entitled to sell whatever they want but a massive, heavy knob-laden radio in the $7000-9000 range (from what was being bandied about at Dayton) is probably not going to appeal to those who are after performance over form factor. It's a Bently-vs-Ferrari situation. If they'd introduced this 10 years ago and improved upon it in the intervening years, I think it would be a firm player. Who knows, it may yet be, but I've talked at length to a number of big station owners who've opted for K3s, FT-5000s and various ICOMs in the interim, as roofing filters were introduced and became mainstream. These guys moved from 781s, FT-990s, TS-950s/SDXs, IC-756s and various permutations of the FT-1000 (D, MP, Mk. V) to these newer radios as they became proven reliable performers. I cannot see the big guns selling these relatively-young radios off to re-equip with a new, untested ultra-high-end Kenwood. At least not yet...and what could it possibly do that the newer generation of Icoms, Yaesus, Orions and K3s can't?

I would also add that SDR-based transceivers are still in their infancy and will offer even better performance for less money. These manufacturers will offer strong competition to Kenwood's TS-990 as well. That's what was meant by a day late and a dollar short. They needed to bring in a high-performance transceiver in the mid-2000s, even as late as about 2007. They let the prime market of high-end contest and DX stations pass them by. What's left for them now is the luxury end and the Kenwood-or-nothing owners, Hi-Fi audiophiles and the like. Sure, they'll sell a good number of 'em but I doubt they'll recoup their investment anytime soon, lemme put it that way.

It's huge! Even the FT-5000 is borderline too big; I certainly wouldn't want anything bigger!

Isn’t one of the raps laid on the K3 that it’s too small to be ergonomically comfortable?  Lots of people have complained about small knobs on the Pro 3 as well.  Whether it’s too large or too small is subjective and highly dependant on the individual’s needs and expectations.


I thought the Pro-3 was a well-designed radio and most of its controls were sized just right. Then again, I'm not 75 years old with pop-bottle glasses and big ham fists for hands. I'm also technically-savvy enough to understand multi-function controls. For my own tastes, the FT-9000, Hilberling and 7800 are too large and the K3, TS-2000 and IC-7000 are too small. The Pro-3, FT-1000 series and a few others in that range are just right. Big enough buttons for old fat fingers, one or two nicely weighted VFO knobs and single-function controls for major items like filters, RIT/XIT, manual notch, etc...but not so many that it becomes overwhelming. My Mk. V is too heavy to carry anywhere other than the other side of the room for shack maintenance. Again, that's just me, but I'll bet many others feel the same. The K3 has one huge thing going for it size/weight wise: it's the ideal radio for major DXpeditions. Ultra-high performance, light weight and portability. For shlepping off to rare locations what could be better. But that's a unique and specialized use, of course.

And remember, too, as more folks computerize their shacks, the physical layout of the radio will become increasingly irrelevant. In contests, I rarely touch a single control on my Mk. V; N1MM does it all for me with a simple keyboard or mouse command. Even in day-to-day operation, about the only controls I ever touch are the RX and TX pushbuttons for each VFO, the Notch toggle, RF output (for amp/barefoot/QRP), AF Gain, filter selection and IF Shift/width. That's it. All my band/mode selections, PTT/MTT and a lot more are done either via software or some other control input.
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K0RS
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« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2012, 12:39:28 AM »

Congratulations.  Your opinions sound much more logical when supported.  I don’t  agree with some of your points, but at least now you provided some reasoned arguments.

was referring to the human ability to hear what is received. Getting lower MDS levels is great for a lab environment, but the practical limitation of human ears to pull out the weakest signal against the lowest receive noise is either here or very close to being here.

Still makes no sense.  A great radio will provide output that is intelligible where an inferior one won’t.  The technology that allows this to happen continues to improve.  The radio is the limiting factor not the human ear.  Perhaps it's semantics.

The ergonomic issues are what I don't like about that radio. It just isn't a sleek, polished radio like the big-three. Its performance is superb. I've A/B'd it with my trusty Mark V and to me there's no denying the significant improvements.

No argument from me there.  As I said, the technology continues to improve.  Your ears are the same.  I have a Mark V as well and I surely don’t consider it a benchmark radio.  In fact, in most respects, it’s inferior to old my 1000D.  It does have some convenience features that are nice.  Unfortunately, I’m probably screwed if either one breaks, short of finding parts donors.

I just think the 990 is a solution in search of a problem at this point.

That remains to be seen.  I think to simply assume that is the case is premature.  Companies have sold lots of radios to people who didn’t know they had a problem until a manufacturer showed them there was room for improvement.

It's a radio that needed to have been released around the time of the IC-7800, and I believe Kenwood has fallen off the radar screen of a lot of the serious DXers/contesters.

Yes, that would have been nice.  Kenwood apparently feels they can reclaim some of that market.  The name isn’t exactly unknown and many hams have fond memories of when Kenwood dominated the market.  I think it’s not necessarily mandatory that Kenwood needed to building radios all that time (although that is what I would have preferred) in order to build a competitve radio.  They have the benefit of existing targets and the technology to match what’s out there.  And it would have been available much sooner if it hadn't been for the tsunami.

(Insert resume here)is proof that a $5-10k radio isn't needed to excel. Put that money in the stack of aluminum and you can squeeze an awful lot out of an inferior transceiver.

Every DXer worth his salt knows that.  There are lots of folks that can do both.  It isn’t an either/or proposition.  I cruise “ham hill” east of Denver and marvel at the number of hams that dump extravagant resources into their stations.  Hams with big stacks in the backyard seldom have old Drake TR-3s sitting on the desk.

I'm far from a Kenwood hater. ..but a massive, heavy knob-laden radio in the $7000-9000 range (from what was being bandied about at Dayton) is probably not going to appeal to those who are after performance over form factor. It's a Bently-vs-Ferrari situation.

Again, that’s premature.  Hams, if nothing else, are weird.  Look at the guys who bitch when a rig doesn’t have an analog S-meter, of all things.  Whether this box is a big, softly spring Bentley remains to be seen.  You may be right, but Kenwood is committing suicide in the market if it doesn’t play well.  It will be picked apart, guaranteed.  Anyway, hams like knobs.

If they'd introduced this 10 years ago and improved upon it in the intervening years, I think it would be a firm player. Who knows, it may yet be, but I've talked at length to a number of big station owners who've opted for K3s, FT-5000s and various ICOMs in the interim, as roofing filters were introduced and became mainstream. These guys moved from 781s, FT-990s, TS-950s/SDXs, IC-756s and various permutations of the FT-1000 (D, MP, Mk. V) to these newer radios as they became proven reliable performers. I cannot see the big guns selling these relatively-young radios off to re-equip with a new, untested ultra-high-end Kenwood. At least not yet...

I can.  All it takes is performance.  Elecraft did it with the K3.  Ten-Tec  did it with the O2.  You don’t think Kenwood has at least the resources of those companies?

and what could it possibly do that the newer generation of Icoms, Yaesus, Orions and K3s can't?

You’re saying, then, that it would be OK to have just one brand of radio, as long as worked well?

They needed to bring in a high-performance transceiver in the mid-2000s, even as late as about 2007. They let the prime market of high-end contest and DX stations pass them by. What's left for them now is the luxury end and the Kenwood-or-nothing owners, Hi-Fi audiophiles and the like.

Nonsense.  
Just looking at the 590 it should be obvious that Kenwood can still pull the rabbit out of the hat when they want to.

Sure, they'll sell a good number of 'em but I doubt they'll recoup their investment anytime soon…

They will never sell enough to be profitable.  That’s not what these flagship radios are all about.  They are for company image.  Any loss on the production will be amortized as advertising.

Enough.  It will will be available soon enough and we will know whether the cycnicism or optimism was warranted.  I won’t, contrary to K9IUQ’s advice, be in the market for one until they start showing up second hand.  Let someone else eat the depreciation!  By then we will know what the shortcomings or long suits are.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 02:26:57 AM by K0RS » Logged
PD2R
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2012, 05:10:10 AM »

Well spoken Larry.

Personally I think the TS 990 had a lot to offer.
Icom's 7700/7800 are nice and big with good ergonomics and a nice usefull bandscope but have up-conversion receivers. Therefore they don't offer the same performance as the newer down-conversion radio's.
 (I use these transceivers at the PI4DX contest station)

Elecraft transceivers (K2, K3, KX3) offer great performance but a lot of people feel they fall short in the ergonomics department. With the P3 you have a very good and usefull banscope. If you want you can also have the second receiver which offers the same performance as the main receiver.
(I own a K3)

Yaesu realised it had to do something because the FT 2000 wasn't up the par with it's rivals. Behold the FT-5000 with it down-conversion receiver. When they finished the FT-5000 the probably realized the had forgotten something, hense the optional (and marginal)  SM-5000.
There is a second receiver but it doesn't offer the same performance as the main receiver.
(I have used one for a couple of ours at the PI4DX station)

Ten Tec with the Orion's offer great performance but the looks are not for everybody. I never used an Orion or any other Ten Tec product for that matter so I can't realy comment on their products. The only thing I do know is that a lot of people Europe don't like the fact that you can only buy and service them in the US. Elecraft had the same problem but the fact that their products are either kit's or have a modular design and are very light weight, helps to overcome that problem.

If Kenwood is capable to combine all the good stuff and overcome the bad stuff from the other manufacturers and put that in one transceiver, I think the FT 990 can do very well.

Just my two cents...
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NI0Z
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« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2012, 08:14:27 PM »

You know Gene, I just looked at the 590 again and compared it with the K3, you are right, heck of a lot of Rig for ones buck!
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KF7DS
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« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2012, 10:26:41 PM »

You know Gene, I just looked at the 590 again and compared it with the K3, you are right, heck of a lot of Rig for ones buck!

Great value and love mine. Not pefect but for $1,500 it is close

Don KF7DS
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AH6RR
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« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2012, 12:22:08 AM »

Having used a K3 with most of the bells and whistles I find they have a very good receiver but they are not easy to operate and have way too confusing of menu settings. For me Kenwood has always had very good receivers and transmit audio right out of the box. I do own 2 TS-850S's that for me were the best radios Kenwood has ever built and when you add the Inrad roofing filter and the other filters they offer it is almost as good as the K3 but easier to use. I did help a blind friend set up his TS-590 and I found it to have a excellent receiver and easy to use. In fact I am saving my pennies for one for one now along with putting one of my 850's up for sale. I put my money in a good antenna a 3 element SteppIR well worth the investment as I bagged #283 & 284 DXCC Friday night. Now if there is anyone out there wanting to buy me a TS-990 I would be happy to take it Grin heck even a 590 would do.

Roland AH6RR 
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NI0Z
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« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2012, 07:31:53 AM »

Bummer, no good way for a fully functional panadaptor, I think that's what put me off it the first time.  Anyone know of a good way to get this with full functionality across all the bands that I have missed?
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KC4IWI
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« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2012, 07:48:10 AM »

I just bought a FTDX 5000. Frankly, I like my TS2000 so much I was holdng out to see what Kenwood does but got tired of waiting. I don't see what the new rig might offer, at a higher price, than the Yaesu jewel.
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K6UJ
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« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2012, 08:26:27 AM »

I just bought a FTDX 5000. Frankly, I like my TS2000 so much I was holdng out to see what Kenwood does but got tired of waiting. I don't see what the new rig might offer, at a higher price, than the Yaesu jewel.


Congrats on the FTDX-5000, that is a great radio!

Bob
K6UJ
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W6GX
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« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2012, 01:27:11 PM »

I just bought a FTDX 5000. Frankly, I like my TS2000 so much I was holdng out to see what Kenwood does but got tired of waiting. I don't see what the new rig might offer, at a higher price, than the Yaesu jewel.


Congrats on the FTDX-5000, that is a great radio!

Bob
K6UJ

Ditto.  I'm a satisfied user of the 5000.  I enjoy using it and it has never failed me.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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