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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-570D(G) Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-570D(G)
Kenwood TS-570D(G) Reviews: 183 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1,100
Description: A compact, affordable, full-featured HF transceiver.
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WH7DX Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2013 13:47 Send this review to a friend
Update Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
Update my review after a year+ and still as happy as ever.

Picked up an Amp and a Hex Beam and I'm working around the world. I love the audio, smooth dial, audio reports I get back with the MC-60 mic on VOX and simple controls.

I run about 75W out into the 811H and get about 600 or so total watts - which is usually plenty... so many other factors like location and antenna.

Perfect starter radio and I'm glad my Elmer WH6R recommended it.

KENWOODUSER Rating: 4/5 Sep 19, 2012 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a fantastic radio. The performance/price ratio is just awesome. I rated it a 4 out of 5 for one reason, which I will discuss in a moment. However, coming up from a TS-430s, I am very happy with the radio.

The reason I ended up with a TS-570d(g) was because I wanted to upgrade from a TS-430s, which worked flawlessly for me, and with which I made many hundreds of contacts.

The 570d(g) cost little more than I paid for my 430, but the 570 provided more and better features. So I am going to provide this review from the perspective of someone who likes and upgraded from a TS-430. In other words, if you have TS-430s and you are thinking of upgrading, this review might help you.

The TS-430s is one of the easiest to use radios one can find. It's easy to be up and operating in moments on the 430. I found it to be a reliable (yes, reliable), stable, and easy-to-use radio. I really liked it and made hundreds of DX contacts with it. Most contacts were CW but some were SSB as well. I never used it with an amp or with a computer.

Fast forward a thousand contacts or so and it became clear that I needed some additional features, mainly the ability to easily interface the radio to a computer for logging purposes. I spent a lot of time looking at similar radios, such as the TS-440s, etc, but didn't find any radios in the price range I was looking for which had the features I wanted. I tried several times to buy several 440s and others but was not successful. I then saw a 570d(g) semi-locally. I was not at all familiar with this radio but picked it up for $515, which included the mic, a very nice iambic CW paddle, and shipping. It came in the original box and looked like it had hardly been used.

I spent an hour or two in the manual and really haven't gone back to the manual since. I put it on the air and started experimenting and was amazed at how easy-to-use the radio was. I was making contacts immediately. After using it for awhile, I realized I didn't miss the TS-430 anymore.

Some things I really like:
0. Dynamic range. According to 2004 Sherwood Labs test data, on closely-spaced signals, the TS-570d is about equal to the TS-430s, maybe giving up 1db to the 430s. But on wide-spaced signals, dynamic range improves to 97db and blows away the TS-430s. Signals just jump right out and smack you. Strong signals sound wonderful on this radio, bar none. The 570d has around 19db of advantage over the 430s here and it is immediately noticeable. On widely-spaced signals, the 570d compares on paper to some other well-known radios. On paper, the TenTec Omni VI+, IC-746 and 756 Pro radios, the TS-870 and K2 have equivalent or very similar wide-spaced dynamic range. It's clear that the other nicer, more expensive radios are much better at handling closely spaced signals however. But make no mistake, this is not a K3. The argument I am making is in comparison to a TS-430s. The RX on this radio is equal to the RX of the TS-430 at worst and substantially and obviously better than the RX of the TS-430 at best. In
real-world comparisons, this radio has both better audio and better receive. In most cases, the difference is night and day.

1. I love the display. It is bright and easy to read from any angle. Brightness is adjustable. You can even change the color of the display with an aftermarket mod.

2. Ease of use regarding the controls. It takes barely any effort to activate the controls, buttons, knobs, etc.

3. Ergonomics. The front panel has a nice layout and most functions have an associated button. Essential features and functions are easily controllable via a button or knob. There are no loud clunky switches or knobs.

4. Menu system. Yes, this has an extremely easy to use menu system. There is a list of menu options and a single submenu for each given menu item. So if you want to change the CW sidetone frequency, toggle the menu, scroll to
the CW sidetone option, and then adjust the value up or down. It's that easy.

5. Auto-tuner. I have a spiderbeam, so not much tuning is neccessary, but it easily tunes that antenna. I also have a multiband dipole and it tunes that dipole on all bands except 160 and 30m IIRC. The tuner quickly makes the
adjustments. Another fantastic option is that the tuner can be set to tune in RX mode. You can tune anywhere anytime without causing interference. I turned this option on from the start.

6. Meter. I prefer analog meters but this rig has a multifunction meter that provideds SWR, power output, ALC level, and compression (if you activate compression while in voice mode). I use all meter functions when operating.

7. Preamp. As primarily a DX CW guy, I almost always turn on the preamp. It makes a huge, easily discernable difference when working DX. This feature alone makes this radio better than the TS-430s at working weak DX. if you are coming from a TS-430s, the preamp will amaze you.

8. DSP noise reduction. It took awhile getting used to such a quiet audio output. NR1 and NR2 really cut out the random noise and can also make the difference in your ability to make a contact. NR1 is generally used on voice modes and NR2 is generally used on CW modes. I use either but NR2 will amaze you if you are coming from a TS-430s.

There are times where DSP and NR2 make it possible for me to easily copy weak DX, even if they can't hear me TX.

9. Split operation. This is a joy on the 570. It's easy to load frequencies in VFO A and B and switch between them. Since the buttons are soft and easy to use, you can easily switch to VFO B and turn the tuning knob to find the DX split appropriate for TX, then hit the VFO button again to listen back to VFO A prior to transmitting. This can all be done with one hand on the radio and one on the CW key. On the TS-430s, you have to turn the VFO function knob instead of pushing a button. I think working split on the TS-570 is much easier and more effective.

The VFO function switch on my TS-430 began to grind a little as well, which made it less effective.

10. CW auto-tune. I use this some of the time but it works very well. This feature will automatically align your TX over the RX signal (auto-zero beat). If you have hearing trouble or tone differentiation trouble, this feature
will get heavy use. I use it sometimes for convenience and it works decent. I haven't ever been told to move my TX up or down since getting the TS-570 because I can always easily park right on the correct frequency and that's where
the radio transmits. I haven't ever had to use XIT or RIT because of the ease of zero-beating.

11. Filtering. I never got to use my TS-430s with a CW filter but I'll bet it would have worked as well as the TS-570 does with a CW filter (props to the 430). However, I have the 500hz CW filter installed in the 570 radio and
set the IF bandwidth menu option to accomodate the filter. After installing it, the difference between activating the filter or not is easily discerned. Simply park over a weak signal while strong signals are nearby. When the filter is not active, the adjacent strong signals will overpower the weak signal. The automatic ACG features on the radio will make it sound like the RX level is going up and down (pumping). FYI, ACG cannot be turned off on this radio (without a mod) but you can toggle it between fast and slow. However, the value of the filter is evident. In the same scenario (weak signal and adjacent strong signals), activate the CW filter. The adjacent signals disappear completely and no longer register on the S-meter. As a CW guy, it is incredible that I never used a CW filter on the 430 and it is incredible to see how effective the filter is when activated on the 530.

Filtering is incredibly useful when working weak signals and when contesting. You can lock onto a weak DX split station so well that you can almost completely filter out people who transmit on the DX station's TX frequency. I was able to obtain the Kenwood 500hz filter for $65 shipped. They are often on eBay in the $100 range.

12. Adjustable power settings. I tried to use the TS-430s in the field and had a hard time turning down the power output low enough to match the battery I was using. The 570 has adjustable power settings in 5w increments between 5w and 100w. The power setting is available at the touch of a single button.

13. DSP Slope function. This is amazing on SSB and makes it very easy to get the RX audio exactly how you want it to tailor your hearing tastes. Enhance or cut the lows or enhance or cut the highs.

14. VOX. VOX is better on the 570 than the 430. The relays seem to be both faster and quieter. During CW, this means better break-in than on the 430. I used the 430 in semi-break in mode at moderate speeds (the radio would
switch to RX between words). On the 570, the radio will switch to RX between characters. Although the relays are not silent and there is a slight delay, it seems to work much better overall by far than the 430. I find it amazing
how fast this radio can switch between TX and RX, even when working split.

15. Beat cancel. This works awesome when in voice mode when someone starts tuning up on you or nearby. I like that you can just push the button and it works; there is no need to adjust a filter.

16. CAT interface. With a DB9 straight cable, it is a simple process to connect the radio to a computer (serial port) for use with Ham Radio Deluxe or other software. You can use a Serial-to-USB adapter and use the rig with more modern computers as well. HRD works fantastic with this radio and I can control all of the radio functions from the computer. I can even RX in digital modes but in order to TX, you have to make or buy a cable that can activate VOX on the radio.

17. Multiple antenna jacks. I use them both for different purposes and occasionally switch antennas. Between this and the internal auto-tuner, I don't use an external MFJ tuner anymore.

18. Internal keyer. This, plus the internal tuner, just save desktop space.

19. Compact footprint. Small enough to use mobile but large enough for comfortable shack use.

20. When changing modes, the radio plays back audible CW characters to audibly let you know what mode you are in. This is just cool.

21. The radio says HELLO when you turn it on. I like it. I would like it more if this were customizable. I might program it with my callsign, or something like "Get some DX!"

22. Other. There are many other things that I like but all of the above are what I use most often, nearly every time I use the radio.

What I don't like:
1. The keyer. Yes, I like having an internal keyer in the radio, but this keyer has some problems. Like others have noticed, it DOES inject an additional dit here and there at times. It seems to happen more frequently the
faster the keyer setting. It also freezes and occasionally sticks in TX with one long dah as well. My older Heathkit HD-1410 never did this unless I had terrible and obvious RF in the shack. This was solved by relocating the keyer wiring. The HD-1410, while obviously clunky, seems to be a better keyer. There aren't any cables to relocate in regards to the internal TS-570 keyer. This seems to happen randomly no matter how well the antenna is matched. I think it's a software bug internal to the radio. I put up with it but it is embarassing sometimes when it sticks or throws in random characters. The quick fix is just to use another keyer. So while it does work - and I would say it works 99.9 percent of the time - it occasionally burps and it is very annoying when it does. Were it
not for this flaw, I would rate the radio 5 stars

2. Lack of alternate CAT interface options (for example, USB or CAT5). Just to keep up with modern computers.

3. Inability to easily upgrade radio firmware. Unless I am mistaken, you are stuck with the code that runs on the chips in your radio unless you send it back to Kenwood.

4. Inability to turn OFF ACG. You can mod the radio for this but there are times where you just want to turn off the ACG and you can't.

5. No dual receive. Not sure if this is the term for it but it would be nice when working split to be able to set up the radio so you are listening to VFO A and VFO B at the same time until you TX, when the radio switches to VFO
B. This would make it easier to work split and adjust your TX frequency to match where the DX is listening.

Overall, I feel like the value of this radio, when purchased at the right price, is tremendous. If you exclude shipping and the going price of the used iambic keyer that I got with this radio, I paid around $440 for it. I later added the CW filter for $65. I believe it is a 2006 model based on the serial number. I sold my TS-430s for $350, so I feel like I upgraded for about $165. For all of the improvements, ease of use, having a more modern
radio, and everything I mentioned I like about it, I think I came out on top.

I use the radio primarily barefoot with a home-brew Spiderbeam and in most cases, this setup is a point-and-shoot setup. It has definitely made radio fun again. Sure, it's not a K3. But I doubt you'll ever see a K3 go for $500 bucks, and both radios will bag the DX.

You can have a TS-570 and a really nice antenna (and maybe an amp) for the price of a K3. But can you obtain a K3 and a really nice antenna for the price of a TS-570?

If you are looking for a 570, make sure you get the (g) model. The (g) model comes with substantial and necessary improvements. Also look for the TS-570s(g) models because they come with 6 meter capability as well. The deals are
out there.
GM4EWM Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2012 12:59 Send this review to a friend
My last review 2/11/03 & I still have it.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've lived 10 years with my TS570DGE from new and still like it. The RX is as good as my new FT950 and has none of the I.F DSP crackles and pops of that rig.
NR1 is useless, NR2 works great on CW with or without the optional 500Hz filter. Backing off the RF gain reduces the AGC pumping greatly.
A mod is available to switch off the AGC in the SLOW position.
The only thing I missed was a tunable NOTCH.
My early fear was, that the lettering on the rubber buttons would rub off,this never happened.
The memory battery lasted ten years and the first sign, was a loss of SLOPE function.
Until this, the covers had never been removed.
I used the opportunity to broadband the TX. a straight forward job.
Now the bad bit...........Over time I noticed the power output was dropping off gradually. I found that the driver transistor emitter 1/4W SMD type resistors had fried. Two in parallel. The PA board has to be removed to replace them, as they are hidden on the underside. I used conventional replacements. I feel this is partly caused by the small gap between the board and the chassis and insufficient cooling, as the fan has never ever functioned on my rig.
I feel that this is a potential fault on all TS570's as the heat has to be excessive for the fan to operate.
Apart from this, I would still give it a 4/5 and recommend it as joy to own. GM4EWM
WH7DX Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2011 09:19 Send this review to a friend
Great Transceiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a great transceiver for the $$$. I bought a used one on ebay for about $500 and it works very well. Auto-tuner, Very Smooth, Easy Controls. I've been able to make contacts around the world with a dipole, 100W and a good location. Perhaps in the future I'll buy a fancy new radio but I'm in no rush.

W4KVW Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2011 19:08 Send this review to a friend
NOT BAD!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a pretty good little rig.The one I owned did NOT have any optional filters but still was better than I expected.Has GREAT transmit audio even with just the stock hand microphone.The built in antenna tuner worked great as well.It is NOT an ICOM 756 PROII or ICOM 746 PRO that I usually operate & it's NOT suppose to be but it is well worth what they are selling for on the used market.Pretty simple operation once the menu has been setup.Looks a lot like the NEWER KENWOOD 590 but has less features.
N5IVZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2011 11:05 Send this review to a friend
Value, Dependable and fun to use!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have owned this rig for over 3 years. It reminds me of a solid state TS 520s, which was my first rig. Very dependable and the antenna tuner loads up to anything.
Used it for a Mini "Island Dxpedition" at USCG Station South Padre Island, Texas. The rig was teamed up with my mini Buddipole on the mess deck. Had a great signal 200 yards away from the Gulf of Mexico!
This can be the perfect base or portable rig. I use it 99 per cent for CW.
K2VI Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2011 16:46 Send this review to a friend
well constructed  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have to give it a 3.5 due to bad blow by on crowded bands. If shift works but when strong 15-20 over signals are 2.5k away it collapses. Another issue is why did kenwood eliminate ALC fast med slow on this rig??? To bad. I feel if there was a slow on ssb this radio would be great. I compared it with my ft-450 and everything was quite equal with the exception of noise. The 570dg was noticably noiser. Even strong signals on ssb, A an b test showed the 570 had background hash and the ft450 was pure signal with no background hash. Im thinking the 450 with roofing filter is the reason for this. Also "IF" dsp makes for a much quieter receive. I still think the 570 is a good solid rig for casual ragchewing and can be found for 600.00 on qth classifieds.

tony k2vi
KD5UDE Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2011 11:57 Send this review to a friend
perfect perfect perfect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
wow this is a very well built radio and so easy to use i love it and will buy anouther one!! this is a awesome radio kenwood is the best!!!!!!!!
VO1XH Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2011 05:26 Send this review to a friend
Very Intuitive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I attended the June Field Day at Signal Hill here in St.John's NL and done a shift operating the TS570 and was impressed with how easy and intuitive it was to use. I was in the market for an HF rig and after that it was decided that the TS570 was the rig for me.I found one for sale from one of the locals for a good price and in December of 2008,I purchased the rig.It has given me some very enjoyable qso's and has been very reliable,although,I am going to order the ssb filter to round out the package.Love the rig,and it will be in the shack for many years to come.73,Don,VO1XH
KA9HJZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2010 12:32 Send this review to a friend
it does everything i need to do.  Time owned: more than 12 months
My only other kenwood was the 820, i own several rigs and like them all, but the 570DG is easy to operate, by that i mean it has a button or knob for every operation, not like some newer transceivers that one button has 3 different functions, i dont have to have the manual by my side everytime i use the 570. also i like being able to operate low power, u can run 5 watts, for apartment use its perfect, i have no tuner complaints. you dont need to add filters and accessories are still available. i'm not a contester,I'm 100% CW operator, its a good old folks rig.
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