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Author Topic: New to HF - First Radio: TS-590 vs FTDX-1200?  (Read 34378 times)
HURRICAINE
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« Reply #60 on: December 31, 2013, 04:44:18 PM »

I have learned that on the internet any post that gets more then 5 replies usually turns into a peeing contest and has little validity.

I have had the Kenwood TS 590 for 2 years now and some change.

I have been in the Yaesu camp and the Icom camp and the K3 camp and the Flex and Ten Tec Orion gangs.

If the Kenwood TS 590 is too difficult for someone to operate, then they probably shouldn't be on the radio.
The Kenwood is the one radio that you can take out of the box, hook up the power, coax, speaker, adjust the microphone and the power output - since it is shipped on about 15 watts output.

Even if you do not read the manual, you can turn it on and just start talking.

It takes about 4 hours to read the manual.

Being in the ICOM camp for the Boy Scouts Jamboree On The Air, I can attest that I walked into camp with my 590, a old Christmas Tree stand, a Solorcon A99 and a hunk of coax and just hooked everything up and started making contacts on 10 / 15 and 17 meters and had good signal reports.  The audio was so enjoyable that the club turned off the two meters FM radio and we just used the Kenwood.

When I walked into the shack, they had two contest grade Icoms on the table - hooked to a fan dipole at 80' and another multiband dipole antenna and their performance was nothing like the Kenwood's when it came to the quality of the audio coming out of the speaker.   It made a lot of non believers - believers!

The K-3 in my opinion is a very chintzy radio that has some nice features, but the buttons are so cheap, they quickly wear out.
It is not the type of radio you would want to use continuously for a couple of years contesting in remote locations.  Eventually it would just wear out or fall apart. 

The 857D type radios are mobiles, unless you add a bunch of filters and stuff they aren't all that great.
The 480 isn't a bad radio, but it doesn't do much because it doesn't have many features.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #61 on: December 31, 2013, 06:19:06 PM »

I really have no idea how older Hams expect the hobby to continue if there is a constant beratement of new Hams!  Was this the case in the 1960's?  Did all the new Hams get treated like garbage by the old hams back then?  

When I got my license in 1960 it was a different world. Republicans and Democrats had disagreements but they did not hate each other like today. This is a direct result of TV stations like MSNBC and Fox News that constantly distort facts or outright lie and spread their hatred of the other side.

We have forgotten the fact that we are not Democrats or Republican - We are all Americans.

In 1960 we did not have the internet forums to constantly complain about all things Hamradio. Forums have spread hate and dissent among hams. We have forgotten that we are not Newbie Hams, CW ops, SSB ops, Digital ops. We are just all Ham ops that should be trying to help each enjoy hamradio instead of trying to humiliate hams that happen to have views different than yours.

In 1960 Hams had respect for the FCC. Everyone was fearful of breaking a FCC regulation and getting a ticket or a knock on the door. The FCC actually enforced Hamradio rules. I will never forget when I got a ARRL OO (Official Observer) report of me having harmonics out of band. For months I worried the OO had turned me into the FCC.

There was no swearing on the air like you hear today. No ridiculing Our President. We never talked about Religion, Sex, or Politics. Not because there were FCC rules against these subjects. We did it because we liked and respected each other. No one wanted to start an argument on the air.

Yes the times have changed. Society has changed dramatically as have Hams. It ain't the lack of the CW test that has changed us despite what many hams would have you believe. 

IMO hamradio is a dying Hobby. Few younger people are getting ham licenses. Can anyone blame them? Just look at the disrespect newbie hams get here on eham and other forums. Few hams encourage new hams. Instead older hams tell them they ain't really hams because the tests are too easy today or I am a 20 WPM Extra and the ham community went to hell because the FCC dropped CW requirements. Sound familiar? How many times have disgruntled Extra hams said that on eham? If you were a prospective or new ham how would that make feel reading this drivel? Welcome to the hobby? I think not.

In the 60's hams had Peer Pressure to worry about also. Have a bad signal or try to intentionally QRM and someone just might knock on your door. There is little Peer Pressure in todays ham world. Listen to 75 meters some night. It is a cesspool.

I will never forget when I first retired to S.IL 12 years ago. I was invited by a ham to join a 10 mtr local net. One of hams on  the net told me that he never talked to anyone he did not know and to get off his freq. I shut the radio off thinking what kind of hams do we have here? The next Day I got a telephone call from the Ham that did not talk to hams he did not know. He apologized profusely and invited me back to the net. I found out later he got a good reprimand by several local hams. Now that is Peer Pressure... Something that is very rare these days.

Stan K9IUQ


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K9IUQ
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« Reply #62 on: December 31, 2013, 06:25:33 PM »

I have learned that on the internet any post that gets more then 5 replies usually turns into a peeing contest and has little validity.

I have learned on the eham internet Forums that people who post with anonymous Names and not their real ham Call have little validity. Hams that are not proud of their posts or opinions always hide behind anonymous. At least you could learn how to spell Hurricane....  

Stan K9IUQ
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #63 on: December 31, 2013, 06:54:39 PM »

Stan you hit the nail on the head re CNBC and Fox and the general disintegration of society and just about everything else.
I have noticed that fear seems to be the motivation behind most of this and it comes in many forms, mainly a fear of change and being displaced from what people feel is their rightful place in the pecking order. Politicians and groups are just pushing this stuff to the limit and I wonder what they are going to do when the seeds they have sown come to maturity?

I often worry about my son and my nieces and nephews because this powder keg is going to blow and all those people who think that Guns and shelters are going to keep them safe and isolated have no clue what it's like. I went through it once in another country and we had all those things and it meant nothing in the end.  The Gas runs out the food runs out and you eventually have to depend on one another to survive.

I think every American should have to spend 1 month of their life in a third world country living with the people and seeing their ability to endure and smile when life has thrown them problems that are unimaginable to the rest of us.  If that was a ritual every person had to go through we would be so much kinder to one another and be so much calmer when we don't get what we want.  Just ask anybody who has had one of their children go off to help out an overseas charity group and they will tell you what a positive life changing impact it had on their child.

In response to your statement about Hams of the 1960's.  This hobby would probably have 2 times as many members if the environment was like that.  When I got into ham radio about 6 years ago I was given a 440S by my brother and he said just listen and see if you like it.  After about a week I told him that I was not interested because most of what I was hearing was really negative depressing stuff or mostly trash talk about newly licensed Hams. I think that the code being dropped was a hot topic at the time.  (BTW it turns out the Slinky Antenna he gave me could only really pick up a few rag chewing stations).

 My brother said to keep the radio and maybe you will change your mind.  Fast forward about 18 months and he literally begged me to put up a G5RV and take the Exam.  I went ahead with the G5RV and then the world opened up to me, I could hear the EU on a regular basis and I soon fell in love with the notion of becoming a DXer.  I soon got my ticket and away I went.  If I had not had someone pushing me I would never have become a Ham, even though as a Kid I was big into CB, dreamed about owning a Ham radio and was totally dedicated to electronics.
As an adult and having the cash in hand and a brother who was already a Ham I found  that what I hearing was such a turnoff that I almost missed getting into this great hobby.  I wonder how many other people have tuned in and heard the negative remarks about newly licensed hams and just packed up and left.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 07:52:31 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2014, 07:44:54 AM »

And why do they spread fear? For profit. Be it to get elected or to insight panic so gun sales go through roof. Politics. They art of controlly by fear or threat.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
AD0GI
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« Reply #65 on: January 01, 2014, 10:16:55 AM »

I agree with all the stories you have heard, once you own a radio with a Bandscope it's pretty hard to use anything else.

The are a few YouTube vids showing the TS-590s being used with SDR IQ which seems to work fairly well.

What other solutions are worth considering?
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #66 on: January 01, 2014, 10:46:01 AM »

And why do they spread fear? For profit. Be it to get elected or to insight panic so gun sales go through roof. Politics. They art of controlly by fear or threat.

Yes and the politicians get paid by all sides.  People think that oil companies only drop money on Republicans and that Hollywood only supports Dems.  Bunch of rubbish they all and I mean even the NRA hedges their money on both parties.  That's why even when you have had times when the Dems have had control of both houses they don't even bring up gun control issue or at times when the republicans have had control the gay marriage issue is never bought up.  Everything In between is just a show that they know will never go anywhere but it keeps the base motivated.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #67 on: January 01, 2014, 10:53:27 AM »

I agree with all the stories you have heard, once you own a radio with a Bandscope it's pretty hard to use anything else.

The are a few YouTube vids showing the TS-590s being used with SDR IQ which seems to work fairly well.

What other solutions are worth considering?

Just variations on the same theme, some better than others.  Telepost makes a nice unit and then some people use the elecraft P3 and the list goes on.
Keep in mind none of those will be as functional as a rig with one built in but they can display the same amount of spectrum and sometimes even more than some radio models with built in bandscopes.

Functionality includes things like markers, seeing traces for both Rx and Tx when working split and annotations on the screen.  Also different forms of tracking.  These are not killer features but I just wanted you to know.


BTW just editing my post because I see Stan response below.
Thats a nice system but it reminds me that you need to keep in mind that most systems involve a PC being used and a few like the P3 don't.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:21:23 AM by KD8MJR » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #68 on: January 01, 2014, 11:12:23 AM »

The are a few YouTube vids showing the TS-590s being used with SDR IQ which seems to work fairly well.

What other solutions are worth considering?

I use the QS1R sdr with my TS-590s. The QS1R is much better (and more $$) than a SDR-iQ. The QS1R has several advantages over a SDR-IQ.

1. It is a superior RX almost as good as the TS-590s RX and in some ways better.
2. Used with CW Skimmer Server software the QS1R will scan 7 different bands automatically and send the calls to any DX Cluster including a telnet logger cluster client residing on your computer. No other SDR can do this. This gives you the advantage of getting spots that are only received by your QS1R on your antenna.

I use the QS1R mostly as a panafall with HDSDR software. Sometimes I use the QS1R as a second RX used with the TS-590. I sync the QS1R and the TS-590 in both directions with Omni-Rig software. Everything works perfectly. I have been extremely happy with this setup.

For  more detailed information and pictures how to do all this go to: https://sdrzone.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86:zone-qs1r-review&catid=20:mosaics&Itemid=572

My setup is almost exactly as the above link. In fact after reading and studying this review I ended up buying the QS1R. I have had this setup for about 3 months and been thru several contests with legal limit power.

The above setup could be used with any Omni-Rig supported knobbed radio, no IF output needed.

Stan K9IUQ

« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:25:00 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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« Reply #69 on: January 01, 2014, 11:34:01 AM »

BTW just editing my post because I see Stan response below.
Thats a nice system but it reminds me that you need to keep in mind that most systems involve a PC being used and a few like the P3 don't.

Keep in mind that my setup allows use of the mouse on the Panafall. Point and click tuning on the QS1R and the TS-590s follows. Or tune with the TS-590s knob and the QS1R follows.Or click on a spot from your (logger)cluster client and  -both the QS1R and the 590 tune immediately to the DX freq. Also NO IF output needed from the knobbed radio. Really very versatile. also the added advantage of giving a single RX radio like the Ts-590s another complete RXer which can be very handy. I have found this setup every bit as good as my old Flexradio 5K

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 11:40:40 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
N0IU
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« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2014, 03:18:15 PM »

I have learned that on the internet any post that gets more then 5 replies usually turns into a peeing contest and has little validity.

But yet you jump in on this thread in the #60 position!
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #71 on: January 01, 2014, 04:14:37 PM »

IMO hamradio is a dying Hobby. Few younger people are getting ham licenses. Can anyone blame them? Just look at the disrespect newbie hams get here on eham and other forums.

Just a minor point, but ham radio licensing is increasing year on year now.  Lots of younger people are getting into the hobby, and learning the code has become quite popular as many younger people don't have 1.5 KW stations but still want to get some good DX.

When it comes to radios, I have been more impressed with each one I buy, but that may be a result of more research - figuring out what is important to me has allowed me to make more informed purchases.  People tend to research their purchases more these days, as the internet has allowed a greater range of choices and opportunities to hear from people who actually own the rigs.  No need to bellyache about it, and I especially don't think you should chide people for coming down hard on a radio or manufacturer that has burned them in the past! Shocked Shocked Wink Smiley

All in good fun and best wishes!
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #72 on: January 03, 2014, 12:39:19 PM »

Just a minor point, but ham radio licensing is increasing year on year now.  Lots of younger people are getting into the hobby, and learning the code has become quite popular as many younger people don't have 1.5 KW stations but still want to get some good DX.

I agree about there being more new Hams getting licensed, although I think what Stan was saying is that the number would be so much higher if they were not turned off from the get go.  I don't know about you but when I am thinking about getting into a new hobby the first thing I do is join a forum and try to find out what it takes to be in the hobby and get good equipment advice.  If that holds true for most people then It's easy to assume that many people have come and read the dysfunctional threads and the nasty comments about new hams and they have just left without ever spending a dime.

The part I am not sure I agree with is new hams getting into CW.  The few that I have known seemed to really be into Phone and PSK31 and showed no interest in CW.
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W1CBY
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« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2014, 08:12:49 PM »

Hi:   I was a new ham 3 years ago and the first radio I bought was a TS-590S. I got this even before a dual band HT.  (Though I did have a friend lend me an older Icom HT). Anyway, I have a OFC Windham (wire) antenna hooked up to this and I have had great results. In the first year earned WAS & WAC in the second year DXCC. I currently have about 145 enties with 134 confirmed.  I found the radio easy to set up and use right out of the box, and it has not left me wanting for something better.  I also have done some contesting and it does pretty good there as well. I missed a clean sweep last November in phone by one entity.

Since you are close to a couple of HRO stores, I recommend you go to the store on a quiet day with your headset and listen on the TS 590S and the FTDX-1200, the FT 3000, and the ICOM 7200.

I did that the same thing with the 590, FT 950, 2000, and Icom 7600, and I found the 590 dug out weak signal stations that I could not hear on the others.

Good Luck with your decision. I know which ever way you go you will be happy.  Make sure you post back here and let us know what you decide.

Cheers & 73, Peter
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AD9DX
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« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2014, 06:34:41 AM »

Those windom antennas are nice. I have 252 countries and WAS on 160m with mine  Grin

All done in the past two years.
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