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Author Topic: Kenwood TS-440s output power issues on CW  (Read 2700 times)
KK4CPH
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Posts: 154




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« on: October 27, 2012, 07:15:23 PM »

Hi all.  Hope I'm overlooking something obvious.  Here's my dilemma: I have a Kenwood TS-440s and an Eagle 1, 31' vertical. Using a MFJ-816 watt meter.  I have no problem on phone and digital modes, however when I tune up with my straight key, (rig in CW mode) my power output drops as I change bands.  On 10m it shows 100w, on 15m it's 50w, at 40m it's only showing 5w. But on 80m it's 20w.  At first I thought it might be the internal antenna tuner but since other modes aren't affected, I doubt that's it.  I've checked my coax connections.  Maybe a bad balun? Maybe the TS-440 isn't a good CW rig?  Huh  Any help appreciated.

Eric

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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 08:35:37 PM »

Quote
Maybe a bad balun? Maybe the TS-440 isn't a good CW rig?
Have you checked the CW output of your
rig on various band into a dummy load? Start
there before you look at the antenna and connections.

GL ES 73, Ken  AD6KA

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KB3HG
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Posts: 404




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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 10:29:37 PM »

Ken Nailed it first, Dummy load. if the rig is OK, can you attach the dummy load at the antenna end? Eliminate the coax? I had power problems on Field Day. Turns out the solder in the center pin of the  PL-259 at the antenna end gave out. Lousy craftsmanship, only lasted 29 years. I guess I have to pay more attention to my soldering.

Tom Kb3hg
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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 07:23:53 AM »

Well I'll have to buy a dummy load as I don't have one.  (Not much of a ham, am I?  Sad  )
However I did fire up the 'ol Swan 350 and hooked up my straight key.  Put it on 40m and have an output of 280w. (Manual says 320w on CW but hey, it's a 47 year old rig)  So with that difference, I'm thinking there's an issue with the Kenwood.  I bought the Kenwood used at hamfest last year.  Maybe that's one of the reasons they were selling it.

Eric

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AD6KA
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Posts: 2232




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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 12:10:50 PM »

Quote
Well I'll have to buy a dummy load as I don't have one

 Indeed, every shack should have a dummy load.
It's one of those boring purchases ya just gotta make.
I mean, when I go into the ham store with money in
my pocket , I usually want to buy someting cool.  Grin
But in some cases you just have to buy something boring but useful.

Good luck figuring out your TS-430
(and system) power dilemma!
73, Ken  AD6KA
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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 01:24:53 PM »

Quote
Well I'll have to buy a dummy load as I don't have one

 Indeed, every shack should have a dummy load.
It's one of those boring purchases ya just gotta make.
I mean, when I go into the ham store with money in
my pocket , I usually want to buy someting cool.  Grin
But in some cases you just have to buy something boring but useful.

Good luck figuring out your TS-430
(and system) power dilemma!
73, Ken  AD6KA

Ten Tec has them so I'll go over there and get it.  Problem with going there is that I end up looking at the rigs and contemplating getting rid of my Kenwood & Swan.  I really like that Jupiter!   Wink
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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 09:06:26 AM »

Got the dummy load.  Here's what I found: No change!  Power output is as I described in my first post. (all over the place)  and only on CW.  LSB/USB/AM/FM are all OK.  May be time to upgrade.  (Or make this my 10/12m rig  Roll Eyes  Those are the only 2 that seems to be "normal" on CW)
No issues with the Swan 350 on any band.  (Except it doesn't have side tone and I'd have to use the filter between my ears Cheesy )

Eric


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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13045




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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 10:29:06 AM »

I could always tell when I was working a Swan on CW:  there was a brief burst of
signal at a slightly different frequency as the mode switch was turned to TX.

What is the setting for the CARRIER level control?  This affects the output power
on CW.  You should get full power when it is fully clockwise, reducing power
as it is turned counterclockwise.  However, the output power is not constant from
one band to the next for a particular setting.  Just rotating the knob a bit may
show up an intermittent contact.

Otherwise there may be a dirty contact or poor ground connection on one of the
boards that is affecting the output power:  these are not uncommon, and easy
to fix.  Unplug the internal connectors and plug them back in a few times to wipe
the pins and clean off any corrosion, and tighten the ground screws on the
circuit boards (possibly adding a lock washer under the screw heads if there isn't
already one there.)

I haven't had a TS-440, but have used both the 430 and 450 on CW.  For someone
who was used to Ten-Tec QSK, the 430 was pretty clunky (though still usable) but
the 450 is pretty good.
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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 10:59:34 AM »

Carrier level is at 2. If I turn it up higher than 4, the display goes dim and there's a buzzing sound.  This is on 10-20m.  On 30-80m it doesn't make a difference if it's 2 or 10.  So I leave it at 2.   I'll make this weekend's project opening it up and cleaning the contacts. 
Thanks for the advice.

Eric
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 11:14:19 AM »

Hi all.  Hope I'm overlooking something obvious.  Here's my dilemma: I have a Kenwood TS-440s and an Eagle 1, 31' vertical. Using a MFJ-816 watt meter.  I have no problem on phone and digital modes, however when I tune up with my straight key, (rig in CW mode) my power output drops as I change bands.  On 10m it shows 100w, on 15m it's 50w, at 40m it's only showing 5w. But on 80m it's 20w.  At first I thought it might be the internal antenna tuner but since other modes aren't affected, I doubt that's it.  I've checked my coax connections.  Maybe a bad balun? Maybe the TS-440 isn't a good CW rig?  Huh  Any help appreciated.

Eric



Have you verified the wattmeter? What does the internal TS-440S wattmeter tell you? is it the same as the 816 meter? Looking thru the schematics for the TS-440S, there isn't really any band-mode specific circuitry in the rig except for fband pass filters in the finals area and those would affect ALL modes? I am just wondering if the problem may lie OUTSIDE the TS440S?

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
WB6BYU
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Posts: 13045




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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2012, 11:29:46 AM »

Quote from: KK4CPH

Carrier level is at 2. If I turn it up higher than 4, the display goes dim and there's a buzzing sound. 



That sounds like your actual problem.  Does it do this with the dummy load as well?
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3825




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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2012, 02:14:45 PM »

..........and that's a pretty good description of what the radio would do if the power supply puked & died because it couldn't manage 20 amps.

Hang a voltmeter across the DC input to see if the power supply is losing regulation. CW is a constant carrier mode with a 100% duty cycle @ dead key / tune. If the PS isn't up to snuff that's the mode where you'd most likely notice it.
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KK4CPH
Member

Posts: 154




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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2012, 05:58:38 PM »

Quote from: KK4CPH

Carrier level is at 2. If I turn it up higher than 4, the display goes dim and there's a buzzing sound. 



That sounds like your actual problem.  Does it do this with the dummy load as well?

Yes, it does it with the dummy load.

W5DQ:  Internal watt meter is close.  maybe 10w difference but very close.

AC5UP:  I'll check the power supply but still curious why I can get full power output on phone regardless what band but have all these issues only on CW.

Thanks everyone for your advice and help. Hopefully the problem is something simple... like operator error.  Embarrassed

Eric
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13045




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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2012, 07:09:46 PM »

Quote from: KK4CPH

...but still curious why I can get full power output on phone regardless what band but have all these issues only on CW.



The carrier control only affects the output level on CW, not on SSB.

Now the question is why you can't turn it up high enough to get full output.

Could be RF feedback, could be dirty or corroded contacts, etc.  Start with the
easy stuff, work on from there.
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WD8KNI
Member

Posts: 141




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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 09:17:22 PM »

Quote from: KK4CPH

...but still curious why I can get full power output on phone regardless what band but have all these issues only on CW.



The carrier control only affects the output level on CW, not on SSB.

Now the question is why you can't turn it up high enough to get full output.

Could be RF feedback, could be dirty or corroded contacts, etc.  Start with the
easy stuff, work on from there.

sure sounds like you need to fix the power supply.. Fred
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