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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kachina 505DSP Help


Reviews Summary for Kachina 505DSP
Kachina 505DSP Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $2,150.00
Description: Computer controlled 160-10M HF DSP Radio
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.kachina-az.com/Amateur.htm
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N9GUE Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2011 07:43 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this Kachina unit and put it into service 02/04/2011. There are many great features. I work mostly digital modes and find the no knobs to be to my liking. I have both the operating software for the rig and the program software on the screen. The software provides features that are not available on most rigs in the same or lower price range ( $2000 or lower ). Rx and TX are very good. All metering is on screen. For my use this set rates a 5 + rating. The one downside is the internal auto tuner will only tune 3 to 1. There have been a few for sale recently. I am lucky to have purchased one with hard wired updates and no problems. I have retired my faithful FT 847. Both of these rigs are the same age and still perform as new. If you think you need knobs don't buy this rig. I will not miss twisting knobs.
 
W2FBS Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2008 18:42 Send this review to a friend
Great Fun?Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Received my 505DSP from a good ham friend that had too many rigs and not enough time. It is a really nice transceiver with a great receiver and wonderful transmit audio on SSB.

The control software is dated and I wish there was some newer stuff out there, but for one of the first SDR's, this is a good transceiver. The receiver is very good and I am still learning about the DSP. I have a Pro 3 that I like better, but not that much better!

I am not yet used to the "no knobs" approach but still really enjoy using this fine radio. It makes me think long and hard about my next transceiver purchase-maybe it will be a SDR!

If you see one on EBay or in the classified listings for a good price, take a chance. You might like it!
 
OE2WEGNER Rating: 1/5 Jul 26, 2007 03:59 Send this review to a friend
they all gone bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i had this radio from new and less then 3 weeks
i send it back it had some issue the support was very poor , they sent it back 1 week later
i send them e-mail that i like to have my money back it was the same problem even my computer was test 100% ok so it was not my pc , 4 weeks later this company close no more they all gone ,
i think the next to be close will be the FlexRdio you need a lot of money to develop a sdr this days .
 
W6EOD Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2007 02:59 Send this review to a friend
Nice!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great radio! Tons of features that will keep you busy for a long time. The built in Smith Chart is pretty cool. Highly recommended!
 
W8AE Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2001 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Super Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had my Kachina for 3 plus years and it is the best transceiver I have owned. If you are an incessant knob twister then go buy a toy but if you want to operate for fun then this is the radio.

The receiver is equal to the best of the $4000 plus units. Although is lacks a noise blanker this is not a major problem.

Since money is not a limitation I compared the receiving quality to the Watkins Johnson WJ-8711/HF-1000 Series DSP HF Receiver and could not really improve signal quality much. I could not see any real gain in receive quality for HAM use. The Kachina sure beat out some of the other transceivers and only the Icom 756Pro came close except I spent most of my time trying to improve the signals twisting knobs and missed the contacts.

Would I buy another one, YES
 
4Z4UN Rating: 1/5 May 8, 2001 14:43 Send this review to a friend
so bad  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
after using this 505dsp for some time have all
option in i have to say that the tentec pegasus
is in a big way better radio im gonna sell the kachina now the tx is sound like 40 years old
tx and the rx is not and will never be as good
as the pegasus have a look at what im using in
my station money is not a problem to me im using on the 505 the heil mic but it sound very bad
well what can i say its new in my station and dont like
it at all my antenna is log periodic antenna
look and see me on qrz.com 4z4un
 
N5QZS Rating: 4/5 Jan 7, 2001 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Very, Very Good Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After using the Kachina 505DSP, I have to say that it is a very different and fascinating kind of ham radio. No doubt, Kachina has done a good job designing this rig, which is their first offering on the Amateur market, and to say the least, I am truly impressed with it in may respects. I think the 505DSP's receiver is excellent - probably up there in the top five receivers in ham radio. The DSP on this rig does an admirable job of boosting weaker signals and performs well overall.

My complaints are few, but I must voice them. First, the internal antenna tuner is inadequate. For example, the built in antenna tuner on the 505DSP had severe problems tuning a G5RV antenna on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. In fact, it couldn't tune these bands on the G5RV AT ALL! This was very disappointing since other antenna tuners on other rigs I have tuned the antenna on these bands without problems. What is a ham to do if he can only put up a wire? So, be aware that if you have a random wire antenna or a G5RV, the built in antenna tuner is going to give you grief and you'll only be able to use it for a few bands and mainly on 20 meters. On the other hand, if you have a good antenna system like a beam or trap vertical or perfectly resonant dipole, this does not apply to you. But in my opinion, the built in antenna tuner is nearly useless and is a BIG weakness in the radio.

I also feel that the 505DSP, for a $2000 radio with DSP, should offer a better noise blanker and should be better able to handle interference from strong signals close to the signal you are trying to work on the band. Other reviews on Eham have offered the same complaint. It's actually amazing to me that Kachina did not take this into consideration.

Overall, this is an very, very good radio and fascinating to use. I really like this radio a lot. But, because of the problems I mentioned, it is not, IMO, an elite class transceiver like the FT-1000D, FT-1000MP Mark V, TS-950SDX, or 756PRO. But it is an excellent radio and many hams out there would find that this "wave of the future" computer-controlled rig would meet all of their requirements and be a LOT OF FUN to use, as long as you have a decent antenna system or a great external antenna tuner.

73 and good DXing
N5QZS
 
HB9LGA Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2000 10:21 Send this review to a friend
Der genialste DSP Transceiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Ich habe den 505DSP für mehrere Wochen getested. Kurz zusammengefasst, das Genialste was ich an HF Transceivern bis heute erlebte. Für viele der Funk Kollegen sind die Empfängerdaten das einzig Wichtige, vergessen aber darueber wie wohl das Audio bei der Gegenstation ankommt. Oft moechte ich die QSO's lieber beenden, als schreckliche Audioqualitaet zu erleben. Bei allen und jedem QSO gefahren mit dem KACHINA erhielt ich "BBC Qualitaets" Praedikate. Was will man mehr als einen positiven Audio-Eindruck zu hinterlassen.

73 de
René
HB9LGA
www.qsl.net/hb9lga
 
WB6MMV Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2000 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Great general purpose rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my 505DSP for over three years now. During that time I have upgraded the unit with various upgade offerings from Kachina. The quality of the construction of the unit and its performance are excellent. This unit is easy to learn to use (assuming one is computer literate at the basic level) and,unlike many competitive units, has many features that are actually useful. I operate both SSB and PSK 31 and drive my radio with a laptop. I have yet to find a situation where the radio disappointed me. This is a radio that a casual operator can use and feel in control--unlike other radios that require reading the owners manual periodically to figure out how to use some feature of that radio.

One area that is most important is customer service. I have found that Kachina's service is excellent. They return phone calls, E-mails, and letters--all of which I have used to contact them. They are very helpful in answering questions and providing technical support when needed. I have returned the radio for an upgrade and found that they turned the radio around in days and kept me informed of the progress on the turnaround.

The one area that seems to be somewhat intimidating is the need for a personal computer to drive the radio. It shouldn't be, Kachina has made this radio very easy to set up and use. I have used other top end radios and found myself spending lots of time reading manuals rather than operating.

I recommend this radio highly--its backed by reliable customer service, performs better than most radios out there and is easy to use. I am delighted with my 505DSP.
 
AC0X Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2000 09:28 Send this review to a friend
Noise Reduction Notes!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
An "addendum" to my previous Kachina review. I had mentioned the noise reduction as one of the few "sour points" on an otherwise great rig. I had said it was "too aggressive" at narrow bandwidths. Well, with experimentation, I discovered I was mistaken. On first listen, it does seem to actually increase noise when turned on at narrow bandwidths. But what it's actually doing is increasing gain all around **AND** increasing the desired signal even more! So with a little adjusting of controls, the noise reduction on the rig really pulls those tough signals out of the mud. So, a *very* nice dnr on the rig. Again, all and all, a sweet rig. Get one.
 
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