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Author Topic: FT2000 or TS590  (Read 7278 times)
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 402




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« on: February 20, 2014, 08:44:35 PM »

I have been hanging on to buy a TS590, there are rumours of factory mods to correct the overshoot.  Bu there does seem to be a fair amount of negativity from some hams about the TS590 and it doesnt do this n that.

On the other hand, have on offer a FT2000 supposed to be one the later units.

It will save me well over $1000, giving a bit of space to buy a narrow collins cw filter for it, and a dmu2000 or a rtl unit.

Any thoughts on which is the better option?

Operation 99% CW.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
KD8MJR
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 11:42:05 PM »

Tough choice!
590 is a better performer but if you like a more techy radio with more bells and whistles you might enjoy the 2000 more. Also if your not Into DXing the 2000 is a easier choice if not the 590 is a better choice
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ZL1BBW
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 12:24:38 AM »

Thanks for the input, I was hesitating on this one, a 6 - 7 year old radio, not overly forthcoming with some information I asked for.  Against a brand new radio for more bucks.

Anyway I hesitated long enough (couple of hours) and somebody else bought it, phew, that was close.

It used to be so much easier a good while ago, there was the pecking order, Collins S line, Drake line, then into the others, a CX11 if were a bit alternative, oh those were the days.

Thanks, going to get me a new TS590, ........... I think Undecided
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
WA9UAA
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 06:58:04 AM »

Hi BBW,
You might look at the Yaesu FTDX 1200. It doesn't have quite the receiver performance of the TS 590 but it does many other things very well.
73,
Rob
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K2QB
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 07:26:54 AM »

So based on one hams comment about "if you're not into dx'ing..." you are going to make a $1500 or more decision? I find that odd. When I was looking for a new rig to repalce my TS-940 I did a lot more research then just asking for one person's opinion. I went as far as finding local hams that had the rigs I was interested in and visiting them and playing with the radio for an hour or so. There are a ton or reviews on this site as well as others for both rigs. Both are fine radios and both have their pluses and minuses.

Personally I went with the FT-2000. And as far as the statement about dx'ing...I am an avid DX'er...being on the honor roll and also chasing DX on SSB, CW, RTTY, JT65 and JT9 and the FT-2000 in my opinion is a great radio. I also do a lot of contesting and did add the AC0C roofing filter mod to it and it improved the radio for sure. Is it the end all of end all as far as radios go? Probably not. But I am very pleased with my decision.
I would recommend you seek out a few more opinions and do a little more research based on the type of operating you do. Just my two cents.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 01:02:43 PM »

So based on one hams comment about "if you're not into dx'ing..." you are going to make a $1500 or more decision? I find that odd. When I was looking for a new rig to repalce my TS-940 I did a lot more research then just asking for one person's opinion. I went as far as finding local hams that had the rigs I was interested in and visiting them and playing with the radio for an hour or so. There are a ton or reviews on this site as well as others for both rigs. Both are fine radios and both have their pluses and minuses.

Personally I went with the FT-2000. And as far as the statement about dx'ing...I am an avid DX'er...being on the honor roll and also chasing DX on SSB, CW, RTTY, JT65 and JT9 and the FT-2000 in my opinion is a great radio. I also do a lot of contesting and did add the AC0C roofing filter mod to it and it improved the radio for sure. Is it the end all of end all as far as radios go? Probably not. But I am very pleased with my decision.
I would recommend you seek out a few more opinions and do a little more research based on the type of operating you do. Just my two cents.

Your main point about "one Person" may be valid but at the end of the day are you saying that I am wrong in saying the 590 is a better CW performer than the FT-2000?  Since he says 99% of what he does is CW I think I gave him 100% correct info, if you have contradicting information please let us know.
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PA1ZP
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 03:51:30 AM »

Hi ZL1BBW

I will give you some food for thought.

1 TS590 problem with ALC and powerspikes, mostly in SSB, but also in CW but that can be solved in making some settings in the rig lower as factory settings.
Has a very selective CW RX, much better as a FT2000 in CW.
The TS590 has a problem in CW RX IF DSP, it falls apart with some QRM of household electronics like plasma TV  or  cheap  switching PSU like router psu or christmas lightning psu.
Also I do find the audio in CW RX of the TS590 is far worse as a FT1000MP or FT920.
It is a noisy RX and I do not like the IF DSP  noise reduction and I find it sounding restless in CW. if you use filtering below 500 Hz. the audio in CW RX gets worse and at 300 Hz or even more narow it gets bad.

In those QRM environment it gets beaten big time by a FT857D with audio DSP, wich I also have as a field/mobile rig and spare rig.
If you live in a very low QRM environment without a lot of electronic junk in your surroundings, the TS590 has a good CW RX and an even greater SSB RX.
 
I also miss a very good yaesu feature in the TS590 rigs, if you switch from SSB to CW it automaticly corrects the frequency.
A my little FT857D and all other yaesu's I used had a wonderfull feature that alows to TX CW and RX SSB and it switches automaticly between SSB RX and CW TX and back.
The Keanwood doesn't have this very handy thing.
The Kenwood switches to CW on TX but doesn't switch back to SSB in RX.
Also the Yeasu's have a zero beat indicator in CW RX and in the TS590 I can not find this nice feature.     
The TS590 has an automatic zero beat tuning knob for CW, but I like the Yaesu's zero beat indicator much easyer in use.


2 FT2000 has a big problem in handeling large signals at close range.
Has to do with up-conversion design and filter in and output impedance faults in the design.

I would say buying a TS590 now will be stupid, Kenwood is working for an update for the powerspike problem, if you got one of the types without the coming update, you might be into problems getting your rig updated (is a hardware problem and not software problem) , so if you want a TS590 wait until you can buy one in a while that has the fault removed, it will save you the troubles of getting an older rig updated.

FT2000 has a not a good close in dynamic range , as you are 99% CW I know the diference in these rigs in cw , the TS590 stays alive in big signal environment in CW,  the FT2000 falls apart.
This FT2000 already has a succesor in a FTDX3000.
The FT3000 has a good reciever (it is quite a bit better as the FT2000) but still is not as good in handeling big signals as a TS590, but again the FTDX3000  has a lot of bells and whistles. 
The FT950 that actualy has a better reciever as a FT2000 , also has a succesor in the FTDX1200, that RX is not as good as the FT950 though it has more bells and whistles the RX didn't inprove a bit and laks behind with a FT3000 and far behind with a TS590 in CW RX.     

73 Jos
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ZL1BBW
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Posts: 402




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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 10:17:25 AM »

Thanks for the info Jos.

Where we live, there is not another house within 100 mtrs of us, then probably 3 or 4 within 800mtrs of us, so its pretty quiet here.

Yes, reckoned on the FT2000 performance problem when I read up on Sherwood list.

The overshoot, everyone seems to say it is a problem with solid state amps in the main, all my amps are valves, 4-400 and the new amp will be a 3cx so have plenty of headroom to handle a spike.

I understand the a fix is talked about being published in early March, so will hang on until after then before ordering.

The attraction of the FT2000 is that is was in NZ so there was no hassle with shipping.  The only dealer we have in NZ is Icom, otherwise things have to be brought in from VK or states, at a cost.

Thanks  Gavin
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
ZENKI
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 01:57:20 AM »

And at the end of the day  even if you had the worlds best receiver and a perfect radio, you will not be able to use such a radios ability. The simple fact is that SSB splatter
and keyclicks is the main limiting factor on the ability of a receiver to hear and to perform at its best.

While the current  poor state of amateur transmitter and amplifier  design  continues, you only kidding yourself thinking that you can use such excellent receiver performance.

The TS590S for example, even before its problems. Great receiver poor transmitter. Park a TS590S 5khz away from the worlds best receiver and the worlds best receiver is reduced to the worlds average receiver this is on SSB and CW. Those hams who continue to concentrate on receiver performance while ignore the poor ham transmitters that are being sold today, the idiots and LIDS splattering  and those using CB amplifiers on the ham bands really need to educate themselves technically. They should also contact the ARRL and the manufacturers and start complaining  about the poor transmitter IMD performance.

Bottom line even if you had the best transceiver in the world, its not going to do much for you while  we  have bad keyclicks splatter and noise spewing out of our ham transceivers. This is the reality we are facing on the ham bands. We dont need any more receiver performance we need transmitter performance. In this context if you buying a ic7800, FT2000, Hilberling or whatever,  in real terms even a lousy IC706 might be good enough because our transmitters are so poor.

The average active dynamic range of our transmitters is  like 25 to 35 db at 5khz. A good receiver can have a dynamic range of 100db at 5khz. We need to at least double the performance of our transmitters into the 70 to 80 db mark before we can start using our excellent receivers. Just tune down into the CW bands see how many FT1000MP's are on the air spewing out wide keying sidebands!  What good is your Elecraft K3 with its super receiver and narrow filter when  you cant block out the filthy key clicks.   Thats the real reality of the ham bands, its not our receivers caving in. Its the transmitters QRM'ing and jamming  the front end!  There are plenty of 8000 dollar plus radios with  transmitters that are no better than a CB radio. All the ignorant hams will say its not needed, unfortunately they  have no technical reasoning ability and simply dont understand the issue.

To answer your question, buy the radio that you like. The reality is with average antennas  receiver performance is not going to break your hamming career by overloading. You more likely to be jammed and QRM'ed by a new ham running a RM Italy amplifier and blocking your 10,000 dollar super radio that is useless against such sabotage.
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 09:29:23 AM »

Good old dependable Zenki, always there to put a ray of Sun Shine on any radio topic  Wink
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ZL1BBW
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 10:23:43 AM »

Zenki,  What you say about TX performance came home to me on Sunday.  It was Field Day in NZ over the weekend.

I was surprised to hear very bad clicks, as you say a few khz wide from a station on 80, not running a lot of power 100 watts, but the clicks led you down the freq to find the station.  They were using one the bits of gear that everyone raves on and on about.  The station was about 20km away from me as the RF flies.

Out of interest, how will/does my old T4XB compare for range?

I am sincerely beginning to wish I had never got rid of my TS530, that was s weet bit of gear with its CW filter.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
PA1ZP
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 11:38:46 PM »

Hi to you all

Ofcourse Zenki is absolute right.
I have to say that my little FT857D on 80 mtrs often gets blocked with stations 100KHz or more from RX freq.
My TS590 hasn't got this problem at all.

I sometimes listen in the kitchen to WebSDR radio on line.
In these waterfalls you can see the dreadfully bad TX signals of a lot of CW and SSB trancievers.

I think that a if a TS530 or Drake 4 type isn't driven to hard in SSB it beats a modern 12V TX big time with a much cleaner signal.

I also agree with Zenki that the ARRL should test more on the TX side of the TRX more, maybe it will be done in the future.
A comment in its testing report saying that the transmitter of the tested model is so bad it will destroy the good reciever it has would be clear to anyone wouldn't it.

73 Jos
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ZENKI
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 11:58:54 PM »

The TS530S, TS830S and FT102 had superbly clean transmitters. This was especially so if you minimized the use of ALC. The negative feedback when applied to 6146's has never been equaled by  any modern solid state rig. The same goes for the Collins 32S3. While many on these forums focus on 3rd order IMD results, what is more important is how  fast all the higher order IMD falls away further up the band. While you might get lucky finding a solid state transmitter that is as good as a old tube radio, you will find that that the vast majority of solid state radios have  higher order IMD products that plateau. On must tube transmitters  the IMD  products that most people hear disappear more rapidly and are suppressed to a higher standard.

The Drake T4X radios were not all that good. There were so many  mods and different implementations of speech processing/clippers that it made a true assessment very difficult. If you want clean transmitter get a Collins 32S3 or FT102 if tubes are your choice. Buying some expensive 10,000 dollar radio is not going to get you near the performance those great tube PA radios. Then again any of the TS520S and TS820S radios also had good PA's. The Kenwood TS930S, TS940S and TS950S  also had better than average IMD performance because their PA's  used linear RF  high voltage devices.

The only hope for improvement in this area will come from the SDR revolution in form of adaptive pre-distortion like that on the Anan radio. No other  ham transceiver company is taking this issue seriously enough.

Zenki,  What you say about TX performance came home to me on Sunday.  It was Field Day in NZ over the weekend.

I was surprised to hear very bad clicks, as you say a few khz wide from a station on 80, not running a lot of power 100 watts, but the clicks led you down the freq to find the station.  They were using one the bits of gear that everyone raves on and on about.  The station was about 20km away from me as the RF flies.

Out of interest, how will/does my old T4XB compare for range?

I am sincerely beginning to wish I had never got rid of my TS530, that was s weet bit of gear with its CW filter.
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W8JX
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 06:56:58 AM »

The only hope for improvement in this area will come from the SDR revolution in form of adaptive pre-distortion like that on the Anan radio. No other  ham transceiver company is taking this issue seriously enough.

Likely for two reasons too. One is cost and two is what is really gained in this market because this is not HiFi broadcasting.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 03:20:21 AM »

What has Hifi got to do with transmitters that cause splatter? We know just about all ESSB operators cause excessive IMD and use excessive bandwidth in a selfish manner. Adaptive pre-distortion is more about producing a cleaner signal that causes less splatter on the ham bands. The net result is that hamming becomes more enjoyable and makes more interference free room for more stations. It would also mean if most stations were using pre-distortion amplifiers say during a contest there would be less complaints about the splatter. However I agree with your sentiments about HiFi Audio,  we are not commercial radio stations and there are other modes like AM and digital that can produce  high quality  thats not  using selfish, technically poor and stupid practices.

Predistortion is about producing cleaner signals not about HiFi quality audio Ham transceivers companies dont take this issue seriously because they trying to make their products as cheap as possible maximising profits. Their concerns its not about the interference that their products cause.  You have a right to get on the ham bands without having to endure crud from a poorly designed transmitter. The ham service is not the CB bands where you can cause as much mayhem and splatter as you like. However these days with all the ESSB lids and stupid hams using CB amplifiers sometimes you wonder why we are sliding to the abyss with such poor transmitting equipment.

On the  other hand pre-distortion would not be required if suitable low IMD high voltage fets were used  in ham transceivers. A move away from 12 volt powered home station radios would be a wonderful step forward towards producing cleaner signals. There are design choices that can be made using old technology that will produce cleaner signals.

The only hope for improvement in this area will come from the SDR revolution in form of adaptive pre-distortion like that on the Anan radio. No other  ham transceiver company is taking this issue seriously enough.

Likely for two reasons too. One is cost and two is what is really gained in this market because this is not HiFi broadcasting.
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