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Author Topic: New to HF - First Radio: TS-590 vs FTDX-1200?  (Read 36425 times)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1827




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« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2013, 05:49:10 PM »

Interesting read, but in the bit over a year I've operated my Flex 3000 and the several months before that with the Flex 1500, I've not once had anyone come by to tell me I'm splattering or causing noise in their receiver.

This is the way hams are. Few will ever complain about your signal unless it is unreadable. Your signal could be crap and you would never know unless you had a friend give you an honest evaluation.

A ham with a panafall will know right away if your signal is substandard. I was in the CQWWCW contest last weekend and I was amazed at how many CW signals had key clicks. really bad clicks up to 4-5khz wide. There were at least 10-12 I saw that were very bad.

I have seen the same thing with the digital modes.  A while back I also did the CQWWRTTY contest. At least 20 or mores sigs were extremly wide because they were running AFSK with the gain too high.

I have seen SSB splatter up to 10khz wide.

I would venture to say that all these stations never had anyone tell them that their signal was crap.

So - just because a ham does not say your is signal is poor does NOT mean you have a clean signal.

Stan K9IUQ
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N1GMV
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Posts: 68




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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2013, 09:08:42 AM »

I was looking at IC-7410, FTDX1200, and the TS-590.

I thought all three were great rigs and all are far better than my existing gear.

So yesterday I went out and visited a couple friends got to operate their rigs. One was an Icom 7700 with an external monitor so I could decide if the scope is something I needed and the other had a FTDX1200 so I could see how quiet the noise floor was.

The sound of the Icom was simply amazing. No, it was not quiet but signals were very clear and distinguished making it easy to hear even weakest stations in the distance. The Noise blanker and other filters worked well but there was no significant line noise or plasma TVs nearby for me to blank out. On 17 meters it was sweet. He showed me how he can go to a band and see who is there in one quick look. We discussed how the static scopes may or may not show a station depending on if they were transmitting when the receiver passed it by. I liked his IC7700 but it was clearly too much of a radio for my casual use.

Then we went over to the other station and fired up his FTDX1200. First thing I noticed was it was quiet. Kind of like the sound of a room with wall to wall carpeting vs one with a hardwood floor. The bandwidths and notch filters worked pretty well and again, nothing for me to test the NR or NB capabilities. (I am so jealous that they have such a quiet neighborhood!). I REALLY DID like the Yaesu until I had to use some rather simple functions that required me to go into the menu. NB levels, etc. I started having a flashback of me fumbling with the menus in my FT100. Ah, I don't want to do that so I left with the impression that I liked the rig but was not wow'd like I was with the far more expensive Icom (of course).

After I left I decided it was going to be an ICOM in my hamshack, but which one.

After more research between the 7410, the 9100 and now looking at the 7600 and more discussions with fellow hams that said "I won't own a rig that doesn't have a bandscope" I decided to go with the 7600.

Right or wrong I don't know. I think I could be happy with any of these fine rigs but since I typically keep my equipment for such a long time I thought it might be best to go with the 7600 have the bandscope and find out later why it is so desireable amongst hams.




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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2359




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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2013, 11:37:54 AM »

I have owned several rigs and right now I have a 7600 and it's Fantastic!  Best bang for your buck in the High Mid end radio market.   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.  With the 7600 I can see the whole of 20M band in one glance, that's a real time saver an makes spotting stations so easy.  I can spot a pileup at a glance and easily find open spots in a spread out pileup to make my call.

You won't regret the 7600, it's a really good piece of gear.

73s
Robert
KD8MJR

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NZ4ZN
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2013, 07:47:27 PM »

Thanks to everyone for the great advice.  Today I played with some radios at HRO and have decided to go with the Kenwood TS-590S.  The FTDX-3000 was clearly better than the FTDX-1200, but the price is out of my budget.  I also looked at the IC-7410, which was the closest in the Icom range. 

Fine choice

Fine choice indeed. I'm very pleased with mine.

CZP, the free software to control the basic radio functions (ARCP 590) is available from Kenwood's site and makes it very easy to run through the menu items and optimize the functions for your use. It's also not too bad to operate the radio itself from a computer.

Hooked mine up with a USB printer cable from WalMart.

There is a visual scan mode available through ARCP 590 that gives you a simulated spectrum analyzer display that is useful in most bands
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2359




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« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2013, 10:11:43 AM »

Interesting read, but in the bit over a year I've operated my Flex 3000 and the several months before that with the Flex 1500, I've not once had anyone come by to tell me I'm splattering or causing noise in their receiver.

This is the way hams are. Few will ever complain about your signal unless it is unreadable. Your signal could be crap and you would never know unless you had a friend give you an honest evaluation.

Stan K9IUQ

Some people will totally disagree with that statement.  I have personally heard numerous Hams go out of their way to tell people that their audio has problems.  Hams for the most part have a Audio Fetish, which IMO can be a good thing because it keeps the QRM and annoyances to a minimum.  Also we know as hams that most of us would prefer to hear right away that we have an audio problem rather than keep broadcasting with audio issues.
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W8JX
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« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2013, 11:54:00 AM »

Interesting read, but in the bit over a year I've operated my Flex 3000 and the several months before that with the Flex 1500, I've not once had anyone come by to tell me I'm splattering or causing noise in their receiver.

This is the way hams are. Few will ever complain about your signal unless it is unreadable. Your signal could be crap and you would never know unless you had a friend give you an honest evaluation.

Stan K9IUQ

Some people will totally disagree with that statement.  I have personally heard numerous Hams go out of their way to tell people that their audio has problems.  Hams for the most part have a Audio Fetish, which IMO can be a good thing because it keeps the QRM and annoyances to a minimum.  Also we know as hams that most of us would prefer to hear right away that we have an audio problem rather than keep broadcasting with audio issues.


While I do agree that most hams have a audio fetish, the problem is in what some of them consider what good audio is. Some seem to be of the CB power mike mentality and they are deeply offended if you make a negative comment about their audio. I cannot help but chuckle sometimes when I read of someone buying a new mid range to upper end rig and wanting to hook up a audio equalizer/amp to it before they even learn rig and its own audio settings. They want to use 70's CB techniques with modern HF rigs.  Then their is the hifi flex audio that can sound impressive with a strong signal but very hard to copy under weak signal conditions. Many that push to spread the audio frequency response to the max fail to realize or understand that as you increase the width of audio spectrum, you decrease the relative strength of the signal as you power is spread out further like opening the beam or focus of a light. You cover more area but with less light brightness. Same with RF, this is way CW and narrow mode digi does well with low power. It is more focused. 
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2359




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« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2013, 05:49:21 PM »

Very true but the vast majority of hams know what good audio sounds like, you just have to make sure that you get an opinion from more than one source or make sure the source your using is someone who has really good audio with the kind of tone your looking for.
Case in point is trying to have a guy who is into ESSB helping you to tune up for DX work or vice versa.

Your point about the narrowing is very valid.  It's more penetration with the benefit of distance/intelligibility but gives the listener ear fatigue if your rag chewing  That's what's nice about the newer rigs with multiple audio profiles, you can select one at a press of a button.
 
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ZENKI
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Posts: 938




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« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2013, 03:08:24 AM »

The newer the ham the higher the mic gain knob and ALC!

These days it seems the newer the ham the more likely he or she is to have a audio rack with 10 microphones and unreadable bassy audio.
ESSB has produced the worst audio from hams in living memory. Its really audio stupidity. This is before we start talking about the constant
splatter from these knob twiddling LIDS who dont seem to want to appreciate the laws of physics.

Then we still have experienced hams who operate mobile who struggle working the DX. You hear them so frequently say "let me crank up the mic gain so you can hear me better" All we hear better is their horrible rotten splatter.

Its really hard taking the cb'er out of some hams. Its unfortunate when the mentality is so ignorant that these LIDS  are so poorly educated that they know what they knew on the CB band, that is turn everything to the right.

Then we get experience hams like a ZL2 I heard the other day telling all his fellow Icom 7700 owners to turn the drive on the IC7700 till the ALC goes to maximum. This ZL2 was supposedly a old timer who  could not even begin to understand his stupidity.

The most ignorant hams are those who still think that even a moderate amount of speech processing is a band thing.  You hear them boasting all the time " i never use speech processing" Then when you hear their signals go from S1 to S9 you clearly how steep in ignorance these stations are.

Quite frankly the hand mics delivered with most radios when adjusted according to the manufacturer with decent processing produces excellent audio. The only ones who sound bad are those hams who seem to have friends  who would make better enemies. How can you be someones friend if you  scared to tell your friend the truth. We find this attitude time and time again with stations who splatter. Their "friends" will always say you sound fine here. You not splattering and the fools are too dumb to even know that they have to tune off frequency.

I just dont bother answering stations with bassy ESSB audio anymore. Especially those with a G5RV or some other poor antenna when I can work a mobile station with a weaker signal that is clearer. That is  how  bad the ESSB stupidity has become when a mobile station with  a weaker signal and a 2 dollar hand mic sounds better.
I hear a lot of these nuisance ESSB bassy stations call me on 17 meters and they get offended when I give them a 3X9 report.  But thats a honest report when you cant understand what they are saying. I have perfect hearing  and I dont have SSB tuning problems. Anyone with a SDR can see the stupidity of their ways when you can clearly see the concentration of voice energy below 1khz and very little above  1khz. All  that these audiophools see is a VU peak meter swing in the audio time domain and they have no idea what  is going on in the RF domain. Thats how they can constantly maintain that they dont splatter. Monkey see no Evil on my knobs and meters!

Such a pleasure to work a station with a hand mic and well balanced audio. A shame that more stations dont realise that modern rigs are so good  and sound so great with a hand mic. There is really no need to have a crap sounding signals in this day and age, and the only people with unreadable audio are the audiophools ESSB people who think they know everything to know about audio yet sound so crap. What gets me is that when I look at broadcast stations on the AM and FM bands using a SDR receiver I can never find a broadcast station who has a audio profile like the ESSB audiophools. They clearly dont get it.
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WY4J
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #38 on: December 23, 2013, 03:23:55 AM »

Quote
You know, like ObamaCare!  Because the government knows best and the average American is just too dumb to know what features are best for their health care.  So they must take the gummint sponsored policy even though they were happy with what they had.

Oh wow the hatred of the angry old white male never ceases to amaze me. Now we must bring politics into a radio discussion. Well, here is the new K3 slogan; "buy a K3 the best radio a Facist can own, recommended for Facists by Facists."
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1827




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« Reply #39 on: December 23, 2013, 09:55:14 AM »

Some people will totally disagree with that statement.  I have personally heard numerous Hams go out of their way to tell people that their audio has problems.  

Some people have not been a ham as long as I have. I gave up trying to critique anyones signal long ago. I got too many hams getting upset that I had the audacity to tell them they had a poor signal. It is kinda like eham. I tell the truth here and constantly get flamed and dumped on. Hams do not want to hear that their signal could possibly be bad. Give them a 59+ and everyone is happy.

Tell em their signal is crap and most will tell you it is your RX or you don't know what you are talking about. Next time someone is splattering you from 10khz away, go tell them they have a wide signal. See if you get a thank you...  Wink Cheesy Cheesy

Yeah, go ahead and be a signal cop and watch everyone thank you........

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 09:58:08 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
W1JKA
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« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2013, 02:47:54 PM »

Has any body noticed the amount of bandwidth taken up and amount of resulting splatter caused by these hams is in direct proportion to the amount of real estate they have for their beam tower, the size of their amps, the upper end cost of their rigs and to their inability to operate their rigs properly?
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W8JX
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« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2013, 08:03:13 AM »

Has any body noticed the amount of bandwidth taken up and amount of resulting splatter caused by these hams is in direct proportion to the amount of real estate they have for their beam tower, the size of their amps, the upper end cost of their rigs and to their inability to operate their rigs properly?

There may be a link there but FCC is a bit to blame to because it allows the sale of amp that can greatly exceed legal limits and makes fasle asumption that ham will use them properly. So basically size of splatter is relate to size of pocket book. The down hill slide really started when they removed code requirement and turn ham radio into a bit of a legal high powered CB.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1827




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« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2013, 11:41:24 AM »

There may be a link there but FCC is a bit to blame to because it allows the sale of amp that can greatly exceed legal limits and makes fasle asumption that ham will use them properly.

What a load of crap. You can buy a car that greatly exceeds the speed limits. Who to blame? You can buy a gun that can kill someone. Who to blame?

The owner is responsible to use anything in a responsible and legal manner. Misuse can not be blamed on any regulatory agency. Take a look in the mirror - there is the blame.

The down hill slide really started when they removed code requirement and turn ham radio into a bit of a legal high powered CB.

Oh dear. This is even a bigger load of B.S. than your first statement. Blame the Morse code? Where do you get this kind of thinking?Huh

Stan K9IUQ
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ZENKI
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« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2013, 06:44:28 PM »

And the argument falls apart more with the lack of thinking like a real ham or engineer.

Are  they going to ban stacked yagi arrays?  Have you forgot about ERP(effective radiated power) Does anyone cry foul when a station comes on to the ham bands
running 100kw ERP? Whats the difference between running 100KW from a box and 100kw developed from 1500 watts into a stacked array? The answer is that there is no difference because the radiation exposure or volts per meter field strength assuming the same polarization is exactly the same.

Be very careful being righteous about ridiculous government rules and regulations. The USA like many other countries seems to want to develop stupid laws for reasons not based on science but based on silly emotional notions. Instead of whining about minor power violations that really dont matter or account for much  in the real world, think about the big picture. The big picture is outside your window its called the antenna system! They already banned antennas in CC&R communities whats next? are they going to make rules that possession of a HF amplifier in a community is against the rules? Be very careful what you think and wish for because it soon becomes a reality.

The last thing we need is amplifiers being controlled or being controlled because of some problem that does not exist.  But if you so convinced build  a 7kw YC156 amplifier and come back and tell us about how effective it was.  I am confident you will report that it was huge exercise in wasting a lot of time and effort. Its a good learning exercise
though. I drive a  high performance car and rarely do I use at its capabilities even though I can, there is just no need for such speed and power and amplifiers are exactly the same. If you need to run more than 1kw you need a new antenna system or a new hobby.

When you play around with big amplifiers and illegal power amplifiers you will soon realize how little  difference  power makes and it wont save your butt like you think it will.
But a lot of hams will waste their money buying big toys that are noisy, produce a lot of heat and realize that their crap antennas are really the problem and not big power.
I know of more big illegal power amps sitting in basements and garages because  off all the associated problems and the  very little gain that it buys.

I also know of many contest stations who run big amps who year after year still cant win a contest despite their illegal power. If you S9 with legal limit what does being 10 over S9 really buy you? Nothing really. But I suppose if Evil Communist China is jamming  your transmission, or plasma or switchmode power supplies  are jamming what you receive it might help.  But if you have constant S9 noise you should find another location!

The vast majority of so called legal limit bad boy amplifiers cant run enough to make even a noticeable difference because the difference is so small. Besides 99% of ham transceivers dont have a calibrated S-meter and you have hams running around like their ham receiver is a NIST calibrated S-meter. My S-meter says he is running illegal power I better put a report into the FCC, yes there are these joker hams who are hanging judges who dont even know what their S-meters are telling them yet want to making accusations about other hams. I was operating portable once with a manpack radio running 25 watts from a mountain top. A ham injected saying he was going to report me because I was pegging his S-meter. He had never seen his S-meter pegged by good propagation so he assumed I was running illegal power. This kind of moronic stupidity  seems to be slowing creeping into the ham radio service with new hams who have never encountered short skip  on the CB band like you encounter 20 and 40 meters. Yet the only thing that makes rational sense to these hams is the size of ones amplifier. Childish moronic stupidity at its best.

Many new hams have a unhealthy obsession with big amplifiers when the obsession should be  directed at installing h big antennas and towers and ultimately calculating effective radiated power. When you install a big beam on a big tower the calculations will quickly prove that you dont need a 10kw amplifier but that  the antenna will do that for you more effectively. Please dont ban my yagi and tower its radiating  10kw! Oh I forgot they already started banning antennas in the USA in CC&R communities. Just like gun registration will be the first step towards gun confiscation the last thing you want is registered amplifiers!

Has any body noticed the amount of bandwidth taken up and amount of resulting splatter caused by these hams is in direct proportion to the amount of real estate they have for their beam tower, the size of their amps, the upper end cost of their rigs and to their inability to operate their rigs properly?

There may be a link there but FCC is a bit to blame to because it allows the sale of amp that can greatly exceed legal limits and makes fasle asumption that ham will use them properly. So basically size of splatter is relate to size of pocket book. The down hill slide really started when they removed code requirement and turn ham radio into a bit of a legal high powered CB.
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NZ4ZN
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Posts: 33




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« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2013, 05:06:09 AM »

So OP, how do you like your TS-590 by now?

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