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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-480HX Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-480HX
Kenwood TS-480HX Reviews: 122 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.
More info: http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Amateur_Radio/HF_Base_Mobile/TS-480HX-480SAT
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W8MPX Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2014 17:04 Send this review to a friend
one of the best mobil  Time owned: more than 12 months
this is my second ts 480hx used for base got it last week no problem here this is the best radio for the money. I have another ts 480 on the mobil for 2 years now. that's why this radio have 4.8 rate because is one good radio.
 
KE5UAW Rating: 0/5 Jun 16, 2014 14:16 Send this review to a friend
BEWARE of the NEW Kenwood TS 480HX Units  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this Radio about the last of April. And about two days after I first installed this unit. It started "Breaking Up on both receive and transmit" after about 10 to 15 minutes of QSO use. And after a couple of minutes then it was fine again. It started gradually get worse after time. Then I called the dealer and told him about the situation and he sent me a UPS label to send to the Warranty Repair Dept and then after a "VERY LONG Wait" there and after numerous phone calls. The Radio seemed to be misplaced..... Then finally they found the Radio then it was sent to the FTH Group that services Kenwood for the repair and diagnostic service. That was on June 10/2014.

The guys at the FTH Group claimed that they could not duplicate on the bench test and performed a running test and they claim they tested it several times. Any way, I received the unit back from them on Friday the 13 and that was also after "Numerous Phone Calls and Follow Ups" to get things moving. So I got my Unit back and installed it on Friday evening and sure enough. It starting "BREAKING UP" on both
Transmit and Receive. So I check both of my Power Cables with Voltage checks and they were both getting the 13.86 Volts with the Engine On and even re done my Power Cables to the Battery direct. And it still had the Issue of still Breaking up on Transmit and Receive.

So today (6-16-2014) I took the entire unit to Dave Smith KD5ZOIJ who is an Amateur Extra Class and is a 40 year bench Technician. So we hooked up this unit to his bench and keyed up with 200W CW and then he did some voice contact on SSB with a QSO with a local. And after about 10 minutes use, it started breaking up and distorting on the transmit.... We also took the unit out to his Vehicle which already had a TS480 HX and we used his power cables and his control head and microphone. And then with another QSO with another local. Then the Unit started BREAKING UP again on his Mobile setup. We know that his installation on his vehicle was "CORRECT" for the wiring, hookups,etc.

So then we took the unit back to his test bench again and hooked it up again. When Keying down on CW. We seemed to be getting Amp loss and the unit itself seemed to be heating up and then after another QSO for about 5 minutes the Unit just "QUIT" Keying up and the Audio just went blank. After it sets awhile then it will work again.......

Conclusion: This Radio has been one "HEAD-ACHE" and a "HUGH MAJOR FRUSTRATION" ever since I bought and invested into this Unit. And I am just speaking my feelings as a Customer honestly and fairly. I tried different antenna systems, different cable hook ups, And finally put the Unit into another vehicle that was pre wired for the TS 480HX with the dual power wire hook ups. And it still "MALFUNCTIONED BADLY".

So after all of this "LONG" period of time with this Unit tied up with Kenwood Warranty Repair. This Unit only does this after about 10 to 15 minutes of use or when it gets warmed up good. I also own the sister unit of this (TS 480 SAT) and this unit after 2 years has "NEVER" glitched or had any issued what so ever.

I sent this back to the vender today to have their technicians check out this unit and they assured me that they would make this right for me. Just hope so!!! I have been with out a mobile rig since the last of April. I think Kenwood could have made this situation a "LOT BETTER"!
Just "BEWARE"!!!! the New TS 480HX Units. I know of another operator that bought one of these recently and had to send it back for a full refund and pretty much left a BAD TASTE in his mouth for Kenwood.

Thanks
Dan KE5UAW
 
NY6P Rating: 3/5 Apr 23, 2014 21:29 Send this review to a friend
Gets the Job Done, but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my TS-480 for virtually all of my 9 years as a ham. I traded up from an old ts-180, and from the time I plugged in the 480, I wondered why I enjoyed playing with the 180 more.

The 480 was better on almost every score. Except, the receive audio was too clinical - it lacked 'warmth.' Also, as someone has mentioned the sidetone was too soft. And what a disappointment when the lauded dsp turned out to be a dud! Listening on the 1k bandwidth setting, everything was light and airy and signals floated in and out. Turn the setting down one notch to 600 hz, and you are suddenly transported to a wind tunnel!

I could never warm to this radio. I kept it for 9 years, because I didn't know what I could replace it with that would be better for my situation. But then my situation changed. I no longer could use the full power of the Kenwood, and it's sole reason for being in my shack vanished.

The ts-480 is a very good radio. It never gave me an ounce of trouble. It was reliable from day 1. However that constant roar on narrow CW was too much for me. I am hopeful the person I sold it to will appreciate it more than I did.
 
OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2014 03:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having had a TS-480SAT many years ago I was not too satisfied with the very low average SSB power output and the very limited range of the ATU I knew that if ever I would get a 480 again it will be the HX. I was lucky to buy a fully loaded HX for a very good price. The only thing missing was the VGS1. It get's its daily use in my stealth/low profile city shack in Vienna. The 200 Watts really often make a difference between being heard or not and I have to admit that I my IC-7600 is very often switched off now. Working digimodes with 150 Watts really makes fun. Together with the LDG AT-200proII this is a very simple yet effective setup. The receiver hears everything that my IC-7600 hears although the user-interface is not as comfortable of course. Average power output in SSB is still low with peaking 150 Watts but I am more of a CW/digimode OP so it does not bother me too much. I think it will be the radio to bring on my next holiday in DU.
 
N3IBX Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2014 23:40 Send this review to a friend
Real good all around HF+6M Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I consider myself hypercritical when it comes to reviewing different rigs so I'll be as brief as possible. I've owned my TS-480HX for two weeks now and have put it through all sorts of tests. The big question is the extra 100W of power does make a difference IMHO. 200W is supposed to be +3db over 100W, but if it is true that really makes a difference between being heard through a pileup and not being heard. With the processor on and the rig hooked up to a power supply of at least 41 amps you'll hot the 200W mark on most frequencies except 6M. Did I mention that the audio is superb on SSB and especially on AM? I love 6M AM as well as other modes and to me it sounds as good as a plate modulated rig. Nice,clean and crisp with some useful bass added to round things out. It is not a broadcast transmitter but sounds as good as a Yaecomwoods can get without being distorted.
I have all of the optional filters and voice module and like the way they work. There is no ringing in the ears like you get with some filters and the combo of IF shift, narrow ssb filter (1.8kc) and adjustement of the audio passbands and you can eliminate most "monkey chatter"/QRM within reason.
I have many rigs at my disposal at my main operating position. Bt remoting the head of the TS-480HX I was able to find room for it among the myriad of microphones I have at my operating desk, along with a Heil elemented MC-60. Yes, your old MC-60 will work with the TS-480 series, so there is no need to buy a new MC-60B for whatever $$$ it cost. The up and down buttons will work as well without any difficulty.
This is just a all around good rig and quite frankly, I was very surprised how much I like it. I traded a older rig that I liked a lot for it and was skeptical on how much I would like it. The combination of good ergonomics, small size, good audio and good receive make it a winner.

If you like to work 10M FM as I do, you'll have a 200W powerhouse when calling CQ or busting up pileups. Most other rigs will only do 100W.

The 6M performance is as good as any 6M rig I've tried and even though it only puts out 100W on that band it seems to get as many contacts as my other HF+6M rigs if not more. The receive preamp comes in handy when trying to hunt for low signal work and beacons without being overly distorted.

Bottom Line: Kenwood got it right when they built this rig!

Mod-U-later,
Joe Cro N3IBX
 
AA2AU Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2014 13:40 Send this review to a friend
top notch rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
got a ts 480 hx last october . been extra class ham near 30 years . played with my share of rigs . nuff said . got optional ssb and cw filters . waited about a week before installing them so i could better evaluate the rig . the filters are a must . after installing cw filter the rig became a beast . worked a few hundred guys in the past cw contest . i could slice and dice out who ever i wanted to work despite the madness . on ssb i always get great audio reports with stock mike and i dont ever ask for them . one thing . the default settings are terrible . most every setting must be looked at . both tx and rx equalizers must be set to your preference . { default is off } . cw side tone , pitch , key weight , dsp , compression , noise reduction amounts and more . the whole 9 yards needs attention . shame on you if you settle for good enough ! with some time and tlc that is easy to do within the menu you can truely make this rig your own . price ? for about 1400 bucks for a 200 watt rig { with optional filters } its a no brainer to take a very serious look at this rig . base or mobile it will do the job and dont be troubled with a smaller face or size . once its set up properly its your basic no touch rig like all the rest . simply a joy to use !
 
MM0XXW Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2014 04:14 Send this review to a friend
Super radio ....  Time owned: more than 12 months
If I'm honest I'd probably rate it about 4.8 but it deserves a high rating despite some of the issues already discussed.
Portable operation is a breeze with this radio and mounting the head unit anywhere you want is child's play.
For me the ease of use is paramount, set the menus to your desired range then forget them.

My only complaint would be the audio issue but it's well documented and an easy fix however having said that I've had no complaints while using the stock mic.
 
KT0DD Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2013 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Bought a 2nd one  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just bought a second TS480HX. My first one is still going strong as of last field day. I thought I'd better get a second one before Kenwood discontinues them but hopefully that won't happen for awhile.

Get excellent signal reports. The extra 3DB helps mobile. I just wish someone would make a 400 Watt mobile rig to eliminate the need for a separate amp.
 
W2YM Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2013 19:32 Send this review to a friend
One of the BEST  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this TS-480HX radio now for 3 years. All I can say is that when I key up people hear me. I just don't mean in US but all over the world. Now the big thing is that I am talking about in my pickup truck with my TarHeel 75A antenna. I use 180 watts and everyone hears me. WOW what a radio and antenna setup. All I can say is why can't they make a TS-3000 all band radio lilke the 2000 but have 200 watts. :0),,,, Mark W2YM 73's.
 
KB7MGA Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2013 19:25 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I debated over the 480SAT or HX models for a long period of time and finally selected the HX.

Just this last week alone I had several QSOs where 100W garnered poor signal reports which, when I turned up the power to 200W (without telling the contact first) the contacts asked what I did because the signal improved substantially; many reports improved from being just above the noise to a 5/9 report.

I know going from 100-200W should not make a big difference but all I can say is it has made a big difference many times when my signal is in the "weeds". 200W also makes a difference busting through pile ups.

I am glad I went with the HX version and would buy another HX over the SAT given the chance (for my setup and operation).

Besides this, the radio operation, transmit and receive are superb. It's a lot of radio. I had reservations on the detached head, but I really like this too.

Whether your needs are for an SAT or HX, you won't be disappointed.

Regards,
Matt
KB7MGA
 
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