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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-480HX Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-480HX
Kenwood TS-480HX Reviews: 126 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1499.95
Description: All mode AM/FM/SSB/CW, HF/VHF (six meters), 200 watts, detachable face, 13.8 VDC, DSP.
Product is in production.
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VE3FST Rating: 5/5 Nov 24, 2016 08:20 Send this review to a friend
Best One I Owned in 42 year !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine second hand , so please listen to my advice . I found the radio awesome on receive and transmit , always heard . Very strong receive wise with a very low noise floor. The filters take a bit to get use to , but they work well . Personally for the cash , I don't think you can buy a much nicer radio . Now what you have to be careful about is someone tapping into the service menu , which is hidden . To access you have a 2 pin jumper , stay away from attempting this ! Once you adjust the first 19 menu options , a Kenwood Service Tech will have to set it back up with a computer . Very few individuals can perform this at home . My radio had this done to it and I never even saw its full potential . The guy I bought it from , said he wasn't a ham at the time and didn't want to talk on the wrong bands by accident . I was told this after purchase and already making a trade for a Yaesu FT950 . Obviously I was not impressed . So if you buy used , check all bands out for full operation at key up . Also for full output power . Just a heads up to future buyers ! I will be buying another . I also have a dual band Kenwood TM-D700 which looks like a baby version of this radio . They make a nice pair .
VE7AGW Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2016 14:16 Send this review to a friend
Power house  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought my Kenwood TS-480HX for a mobile hf and I was very impressed with the punch the radio delivers. I've had an IC-706 and 706MKIIG as a mobile but the 480 out performed them with no effort at all. I paired this mobile up with a Tarheel 200A-HP screwdriver antenna and I was totally caught by surprise with the performance it actually delivered. I no more than got the face installed and the radio mounted and turned it all on 20 metres and heard a JA calling. So I went back to him not really expecting anything but he actually answered my call. I live in a bit of a raven about 30 feet deep which is where I was parked, it didn't seem to make any difference, but then the vertical Tarheel antenna out did it's self as well. This little radio has a lot of punch at 200 watts PEP, it delivers, but it also draws 41 amp on transmit, I plan to run a second battery just for the radio so I can operate even when the engine is shut off.
NW8Z Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2016 21:10 Send this review to a friend
Best Transceiver I have owned!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love the Kenwood TS480HX. Besides all of the roofing filters that you get, you can install filters for CW and SSB. Also the fact that the keys light up and you have the option of turning them off if you wish. I have the MB 480 Bracket which allows the Control panel and the rest of the Radio along with a Handle to be as one unit. I have also tapped into connector CN 152 for the I and Q so that I can use the Dongle attached to the Transceiver with an SMA connector on the end to the Dongle. I now have an excellent Pan Adapter that provides a spectrum display as well as waterfalls. The power out requires two power supplies, but also gives you 200 Watts. Needless to say, heard much better in pileups, than operators using 100 Watt rigs. The receiver is plain Awesome, and one of the best out of the many rigs that I have owned over the years, and I have owned the Icom Pro II and Kenwood TS590. Get one, you will not be sorry you did!!
N6UG Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2016 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Great mobile radio.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I run the TS-480HX in my Dodge RAM3500. The antenna is a HI-Q 6-160 Screw driver hooked into the middle of my rear bumper. This setup is excellent! People tell me they are surprised when I tell them I'm running mobile because it's so strong. I'm sure you will enjoy your TS-480HX.
EI2HPB Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2015 02:53 Send this review to a friend
200w does make a difference!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have just purchased a second 480HX, the first resides permanantly in my car and has provided flawless and excellent service over the past 4 years. I am purely an SSB phone operator and this radio ticks all the boxes in that regard, though in theory the extra 100w over the SAT version is only an extra 3db, it really feels like alot more in practice and my signal reports using a range of mobile antennae are always excellent with great TX audio reports. RX audio is also excellent, my rigs are stock and unmodded in any way. The second 480HX is my new backup radio at home however since I bought it a month ago I have rarely turned on my FT1000MKV. Recently I have been using the 480 with a cheap computer headset with an electret element and receiving fantastic audio comments with that too!! I looked at alot of the newer radios on the market before eventually deciding to stick with the 480HX as my new backup radio, for my application I could not find a better value or another radio in its size and price range offering 200w output... I did look very closely at the new TS590SG which is a beautiful radio but it costs more than twice the price of a new 480HX and only has 100w output and alot of features that would be wasted on me personally. To sum up the TS480HX is a soild and reliable performer with great TX and RX audio and covers 50MHZ as well as the main HF bands... if like me you only use SSB and dont want to spend over 3K for a larger 200w radio then the 480HX is a no brainer and one of the best values in ham radio!!
W7MCK Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2015 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Very Happy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a Yaesu FT857D for mobile and wanted something for base that had a little more power.
I didn't want to spend 5K on a higher end Radio just to get an extra 100 watts and I really didn't want to put out for a radio AND an amp.
I found this 480hx used and jumped on it.
I also added a Heil Gold Elite and an Astron SS-50. I'm using the MFJ-969 tuner.
OMG, this thing is awesome. I got a recording back from another Ham and sounded great.
I also compared my signal to my Yaesu 100 watts.
On my Yaesu from Reno to a Websdr receiver in Sedona Arizona I was S8.
With the 200 watt HX, I was S9 and the modulation was way better.
Yes, the radio is smaller than other base units, but the menus are easy to understand and very intuitive.
KJ4BAD Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2014 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Mobile and Base!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just received and set up a second TS-480HX for my base. I also run one mobile (2 years ago) and got a great deal at each purchase for just over $1050 new! In short each radio has performed well but as most new Kenwood radios you must add a little processing to get the transmitter to modulate PEP near ratings. I run about 35% on processing "in" and 50% processing out. I also run on the base 480 a specialized audio equalizer program set up from the FREE Kenwood operating software. I run the mobile using the "C" equalizer setting with same other processing settings. Unit modulates about 160-180 watts PEP. On FM the unit transmits full rated power. The receive is excellent with the simple and available DSP and with the IF shift one can eliminate or reduce close by frequency interference. The NB is equal to the best in business and the other reduction settings work as advertised. The radio is easy to use in both mobile and base applications. After equalizer adjustments and processer settings it will perform with the best. On the base I use a Heil HM-12 to give broader audio. Mounting in the mobile is a breeze if you have open room for the main unit. The head unit is larger and heavier (than say ICOM) than other separated brands so be ready to adapt for its placement. I use in the mobile a Tarheel II mini screwdriver with the longer whip and I get fabulous reports and easy contacts far and near. With a programmable screwdriver controller ease of operation is magnified and the TS-480-HX is the best mobile with extra power a Ham operator could ever want.
KD5NDU Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2014 06:54 Send this review to a friend
Got it Mobile in my truck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ham the TS-480hx for about 4 days now. Right now the radio is great. Right now I used it on 20 meters and 80 meters. And I been getting 5 by 7 and 5 by 9's. When I ask how the radio sounds. They tell me it is very clear and easy to under stand. I was running a ICOM 718 in the truck. But it took up a lot of room under the dash. And I wanted some thing with a separate face were I could put most of the radio in the different place. The ts-480hx did that.
Having the 200 watts does help a lot being mobile the radio does a lot for being so small in size. And like the equalizer on the RX and tx. And also able to write names to the memory CH's. I also add the ssb fiter it does help when band gets little noise. The NB filter for knock out engine noise. I had little bit of sparking sound from spark plugs and after rasing the NB up to 3 the sound was gone. The ICOM 718 I would have to run it about 60 to do same job.
About only thing I run into I had problem with so far was the extension cable I got for my external speaker. The one Kenwood gave me in the extension kit. The cable didn't look like it was shield and when I talk on mic with the 200watts it would come across the external speaker and make radio feed back. But once I ran speaker right to radio It stop the problem. But over all about the radio. I would buy it again.
KT0DD Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2014 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Update on new radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My earlier review was before operating my new 2nd 480HX. I set it up on field day and ran it on battery for several hours. No glitches or hiccups whatsoever. Great on air audio reports from my friends. I own a 2006 model and now a 2013 model and both have been great. I Bought mine thru Gigaparts. Sorry to hear the previous poster got a lemon but I guess that happens once in awhile. YMMV.

73. Todd - KT0DD
K6BF Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2014 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Best Mobile Rig for HF+6meters  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I owned numerous mobile rig's since late 80's and operate them mobile 100 percent,. this TS480HX has no comparison due to the extra 100watts that ICOM or YAESU mobile rigs does not come with especially working DX on 80-10 meters on pileups. I often get a 599 report running with HIQ 4-80 screw driver antenna. So far no let downs and issues with the TS480HX.
I highly recommend this radio to all that is planning to operate mobile.
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