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Author Topic: The Kenwood 990. A new HF operating paradigm  (Read 5290 times)
WA4D
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« on: February 02, 2013, 09:12:48 AM »

The Kenwood TS-990 Domestic US price is out as most know by now.  $7999.95 (HRO) --- they'll go to any length not to say the obvious. The radio costs $8000. Here in California that means the radio will cost about $8700. Of course no one will buy the radio in state when they can order from GigaParts/AES  (or others)  and not pay the Sales tax of near $700

Much online speculation and rancor about the price of the rig, took place prior to the price release.   A snap shot poll on Yahoo Groups suggested that most (80% of respondents) thought the 990  price would come in below $7000.  

That's all over now. The radio is VERY competitively priced in my view.

The Kenwood TS-990 fundamentally (and substantially) changes the operator experience. The features set are surely the most innovative  HF rig enhancements we've seen since the first spectrum scope was introduced in a "stand alone" xcvr.  The usability design will make it the default no brainer choice for contesters and DXers.   And the Touch based QSY on the Waterfall display has to be the most fun and creative operational adjustment since the  RIT/XIT ( What's that been? 30 years?)

The good news in all this is, Icom with it's elegant design philosophy and Yaesu's (every radio has to be a visual/linear  descendent of the KWM-2)  they will have to respond to the Kenwood TS-990's new operational paradigm.  One observer here on eHam has declared the 990 will be a "game changer".  I agree.

Kenwood TS-990 Brochure HERE:  http://www.hamradio.com/documents/TS-990%20Catalog.pdf
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 09:33:46 AM by WA4D » Logged
AC2EU
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 12:44:39 PM »

In the spirit of full disclosure, are you, or have you ever been affiliated with Kenwood or own stock in the company?   Grin
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 03:14:02 PM »

In the spirit of full disclosure, are you, or have you ever been affiliated with Kenwood or own stock in the company?   Grin

Why is it if someone promotes something that may indeed be a game changer, that they must have a financial interest in it.
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W2IBC
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 03:42:36 PM »

sorry but that is one ugly radio. I wouldnt give 2 dollars for it.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 04:19:06 PM »

I can see the family resemblence to some of the greatest contest/DX rigs in Kenwood's past lineups, plus those new features, it ought to be a hit with certain hams. 


73
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AC2EU
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 04:32:36 PM »

In the spirit of full disclosure, are you, or have you ever been affiliated with Kenwood or own stock in the company?   Grin

Why is it if someone promotes something that may indeed be a game changer, that they must have a financial interest in it.
I just thought the characterization was bit over the top.
Bells and whistles, yes, game changer, no.
Now if it was a radio that transmitted radio waves through the earth that were readable on the other side, THAT would be a game changer.   Grin  It's just a big fancy expensive (ugly) radio, subject to many of the the same limitations that other radios have.
The government throws money at problems all the time. How's that working out?   Huh Huh

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TANAKASAN
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 03:40:20 AM »

sorry but that is one ugly radio. I wouldn't give 2 dollars for it.

Agreed.

Tanakasan
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KE3WD
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2013, 09:18:32 AM »

...Now if it was a radio that transmitted radio waves through the earth that were readable on the other side, THAT would be a game changer.   Grin  It's just a big fancy expensive (ugly) radio, subject to many of the the same limitations that other radios have.
The government throws money at problems all the time. How's that working out?   Huh Huh



Radio waves through the earth that are "readable on the other side" have been in use for a long time, investigate the world below around 100khZ.  Google how our submarine fleet stays in communication. (And that fantastically long underground antenna system...)

You think that radio is ugly, I think she's rather good looking, answering the clamor for having knobs to do everything rather than menus may be part of the design criteria here. 

Don't know what the government has to do with this at all. 


73
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K0OD
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 10:27:40 AM »

Quote
Google how our submarine fleet stays in communication. (And that fantastically long underground antenna system...)

Any sub communications experts here?

Am I correct that ELF radio only penetrates a short distance underwater so submarines must approach the surface to communicate.  Also helps that those communications stations around 25 kHz run enormous power. They (stations in N.Dak and Maine) are quite loud at my QTH even using a sound card as a receiver.
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AC2EU
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 10:38:43 AM »

from 3wd:
Quote
Radio waves through the earth that are "readable on the other side" have been in use for a long time, investigate the world below around 100khZ.  Google how our submarine fleet stays in communication. (And that fantastically long underground antenna system...)

Yeah, there's that, but THIS radio can't do it. We're talking HF here , I assume.
You also mention one of the truly important ingredients for DX- ANTENNA. Without a good antenna ANY radio will perform badly. even the "game changer".

Menus are not so bad as long as they are not too many layers deep. Most of time once those sub functions are set, they can can be forgotten because there is some other FP function that activates/deactivates the overall function.
Many hams don't have a clue about what their radio can or can not do. Spending more money won't help if you don't read the owner's manual.
However, having too many function buttons is almost as bad as deep menus, IMO...it's like a Chinese typewriter!   Shocked

Now for government comment:
I have observed that the more expensive a solution for a given problem may be, governments seem to universally believe that that expense is directly proportional to results. I have also observed that this is not necessarily the case...   Grin



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KE4YOG
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2013, 10:43:43 AM »

Well if I had 8000 dollars to spend on a rig I would buy it right now. I will admit to be a Kenwood fan but I simply can not spend that much on a rig. I will keep my 480HX for a while longer. If I had 8000 dollars to spend it would go into antennas, towers, etc. Now if any one wants any ideas what to get me for Christmas...
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2013, 12:14:36 PM »

sorry but that is one ugly radio. I wouldnt give 2 dollars for it.
If someone has one for sale at $2.00 , I'd pony that much up in a heartbeat!!
 Grin

james
WD5GWY

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KE3WD
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 01:12:55 PM »

Quote
Google how our submarine fleet stays in communication. (And that fantastically long underground antenna system...)

Any sub communications experts here?

Am I correct that ELF radio only penetrates a short distance underwater so submarines must approach the surface to communicate.  Also helps that those communications stations around 25 kHz run enormous power. They (stations in N.Dak and Maine) are quite loud at my QTH even using a sound card as a receiver.

The time it took you to post your doubt may be longer than the time spent Googling up the real skinny on the subject. 

Here's a quote from the first return: 

Quote
Electromagnetic waves in the ELF frequency range (3–300 Hz) (see also SLF) can penetrate seawater to depths of hundreds of meters, allowing communication with submarines at their operating depths. Building an ELF transmitter is a formidable challenge, as they have to work at incredibly long wavelengths: The US Navy's system (called Seafarer) operated at 76 hertz,[1] the Soviet/Russian system (called ZEVS) at 82 hertz.[2] The latter corresponds to a wavelength of 3,658.5 kilometers. That is more than a quarter of the Earth's diameter. Obviously, the usual half-wavelength dipole antenna cannot be constructed, as it would spread across a large country.

source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication_with_submarines

Amateurs are now allowed some use in areas of this band. 

While you won't find the ELF band on just about any stock ham transceiver, one can construct or possibly even purchase a transverter at this point. 

If there proves to be enough interest in the thing, you might one day see LF and even VLF gear on the market. 

Our sub fleet has utlilized it well for a rather long time, this is nothing new and really doesn't require someone to have to be a "sub expert" to know this.  I'm certainly not a sub expert, though at one time I did design a few boards that were used on the boomers. 


73
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W2IBC
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 12:56:06 PM »

Well if I had 8000 dollars to spend on a rig I would buy it right now. I will admit to be a Kenwood fan but I simply can not spend that much on a rig. I will keep my 480HX for a while longer. If I had 8000 dollars to spend it would go into antennas, towers, etc. Now if any one wants any ideas what to get me for Christmas...


im a kenwood fan as well. but still. Id rather have a 950,940,930,870,850,690,450,440 then the 990.
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WB9YCJ
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 11:59:51 PM »

The Kenwood TS-590S is way more awesome in the value arena.
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