- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

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

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-480HX
Kenwood TS-480HX Reviews: 121 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:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Kenwood TS-480HX.

<— Page 6 of 13 —>

K4SPS Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2010 07:55 Send this review to a friend
The Best Radio In My Shack  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The previous reviews are what finalized my decision to buy this rig. It is easy to run, powerful on transmit and a pleasure to operate, all the way around. I love the VSG-1 voice option and recommend it as well.

Paired with a 'new' Turner +3 mic, it has been a stellar performer. It is a marvel for the price I paid to Gigaparts - $999 delivered to my door.

The distant radio world is just a Yagi swing away. Talk every day to Europe on 20 meters, 'barefoot.'

Radio transceivers have come a long way since my original Drake TR7. This radio represents the very best in the evolution of small, powerful and intelligent amateur radios.

Like was said before: "Buy one - you won't regret it!"

Thanks Kenwood. K4SPS (soon to be N3VZ)
W5DMT Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2010 19:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio - Great Price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
When I was looking at options for a mobile HF installation, I looked at quite a few rigs. I considered the IC-7000, the FT-897 and even potentially using a FT-450.

I decided to go with the 480HX for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, was the extra 100 Watts while mobile. I know it only means an extra S-Unit or so, but that can be the difference between making it, and not.

I have it mounted in a Havis console in my Chevy Tahoe, with a Little Tarheel II antenna mounted on the hatch. The only complaint, is that it doesn't fit underneath the back bench where all of the other (4) radios are mounted along with the power harness. However, it does fit right behind the back seat nicely, with the cables running down into the power harness and the multi-coupler/audio amp that drives the shared speaker up front.

I've worked pretty much whatever I've heard, and I hear quite a bit while rolling down the road. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
G0VQW Rating: 3/5 Apr 10, 2010 14:37 Send this review to a friend
slightly better than ok  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have used the ts480hx for the last 8 months exlusivly on CW (4 to 15 qso's every day)
The DSP for CW is no good.Makes the sigs sound very watery.I don't even bother to use it.However when listening to the odd ssb signal the rx dsp does have some uses.The side tone is too soft.I have other rigs to compare it with.I think Kenwood need to look at the soft sidetone.There is no way of adjusting this.You can alter the volume and pitch but not the softness or hardness of the sidetone!The rig has a slightly noisier RX when compared to a K2 and Omni6.The rig also has 2 cooling fans.Even running 30 watts CW will have these fans whirring noisily after about 30 seconds into your over!
I have fitted a 270hz xtal filter.For serious CW operation you will need to fit a CW filter.I have read somewhere that the 500hz filter is the better option.Without one you get serious agc pumping so bad infact that you won't be able to hear weaker sigs!
The QSK is good however,but unfortunately they have used a small mechanical reed type relay and it feels like your punishing the rig to run at full break in!I have not compared this rig with others in it's field like the IC706 or IC7000 etc but feel it is a compromise.
It would be good if the big manufactures would built a rig which was purpose designed for CW operation only.Look how Elecraft built it's name on the K1 and K2!(and yes I do have a k1 and k2)Do I have anything good to say about it?
You get 200watts out!In my case 190watts infact,but I tend to run it at 80 watts most of the time.It's also a very convenient rig to use,being small.But so many cables.You have 2 heavy power leads.And two flying coaxial connectors.
If your a keen CW op you may want to think again!But for me the biggest issue is the sidetone!
The rig however is very stable,even from a cold start and reports always complimentary.
SM5HUA Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2010 23:17 Send this review to a friend
Sweet radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got my 480HX here about a month ago and as everyone else giving rewievs, I am very impressed by it. Have had lots Kenwoods here, like the 940, 850/DSP100, 870 and 2 x 950SDX - the 480HX easily compares even with the great SDX.

The rx is very good due to the quad mixer, with the 270Hz cw filter, its pure joy using it. One thing I have done to improve the audio DSP for cw is making the "U" filter peaked for cw reception with the ARCP-480 software. My sidetone is set at 750Hz so I made the BPF filter low 749Hz and high 751Hz then using 30db skirt attenuation. Now when using menu 18 set at "U", cw signals gets even easier to copy in difficult band conditions.

I also like the radio can be used at 200W without getting warm at all, excellent construction it is!

73s de Peter / SM5HUA
K9UHF Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2010 15:21 Send this review to a friend
A Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I looked at the ts-480hx for a long time.I today got it home and hooked it up to my dummy load I put a 500w slug in my coaxial Dynamics meter. On CW 200w I flipped the meter to peak and went to SSB WOW 250w. Very Happy with the radio.
KI6RJW Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2010 20:20 Send this review to a friend
Great radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I though long and hard about the radio set-up I wished to use in my truck, a 2007 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4, I wanted to to be fairly simple to use and easy to see while driving down the road, plus, with the truck being a manual, I needed to have a small footprint for where the control head would mount. I chose the Kenwood TS480HX, Scorpion SA680 antenna and the Turbo Tuner module so I could tune the antenna hands free. This radio has worked flawlessly so far in the truck, plus with 200 watts, if you do not make it with that, not worth it then in my opinion. My actual output has been a bit under 200 watts (about 175) not enough to worry about. Great filtering and DSP, easy to use functions and best feature of all, is direct frequency input!!! Awesome radio.
PA1PDM Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2009 23:27 Send this review to a friend
Very good rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had several "big" rigs.
But the TS-480HX beats them all.
I use the ts-480HX as a base station.
And i am very pleased with it!
Kenwood did a great job with the ts-480.
If you buy one you won't regret it.

WU7X Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2009 15:35 Send this review to a friend
Great DXer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this radio for several years now. Also had a 480SAT which I recently sold as it was redundant. The HX has two CW filters installed and it works beautifully with the AF DSP. In a little over 24 hours I just finished working K4M on 17, 20, 30, 40, & 75 M. Two phone contacts, three CW. All with 200 watts. It is very easy to switch between the A/B VFOs in order to find out where K4M was listening, then piggybacking the last Contact.

The radio is very easy to interface with various ham software packages like: Logic 8, HRD, MixW, MMtty, etc. So you can quickly move from computer control to pushing a button on the control head depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

The control head sits on a "Sticky Pad" directly under my LCD monitor. The body is mounted under the desk. I can't imagine going back to having a huge radio sitting on top of the desk taking up all that space.

My next task is to integrate the HX with WriteLog and MMtty and give digital contesting a try. Will report back on how well it works under those conditions.

Dale WU7X
W2OZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2009 08:52 Send this review to a friend
Great Mobile Station  Time owned: more than 12 months
Kenwood radios with the VGS-1 Voice Guide System, cover all menu items, not like other brands, this makes visually impaired operation a pleasure. Great audio, Great receiver and filtering with optional 1.8Khz ssb filter. 'PF' Preset Function key allows easy low power tun without changing the main transmitter mode or power level. Exact power setting in 5watt increments to 200watts, no annoying guesswork. Well designed front panel remoted via data cable, 5 wire RJ12 a little fragile and Kenwood exclusive with not enough strain relief and fragile locking ramps. The software for the 'PF' key would have been better if it supported a 2 function key ,,'tap' and a 'hold' so 2 functions could be assigned.This would prevent the constant reprogramming of the 'PF' key from #62 S meter to #67 Low power tune. An optional mic supports 4 additional 'PF' keys, but it is obsolete.
KH6DAN Rating: 4/5 Sep 20, 2009 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Nice to have the extra Punch  Time owned: more than 12 months

I have owned quite a few Kenwood HF rigs. I like them. I can not explain why (my vhf/uhf rigs are Icom for the same reason ... don't ask me why). I wanted to see if the extra power would make a difference (I do not dare to use an amp at my QTH - houses are almost touching).

The rig is much smaller than I'm used to (I'm used to a big boat anchor sitting in front of me. This rig would probably work well mobile because it's relatively small - but I haven't tried it mobile). There are all band mobile rigs that are smaller ... but not 200 watts.

At first I didn't like the fact that the head does not attach to the body. If you did use this mobile you will need to purchase the MB-480 portable mounting kit for $55.00 if you want the body and head to work as one unit. I do not have that issue when using it in my QTH.

I'm now used to the head being separate and it's not an issue. The extra 100 watts does make a difference. At least one S unit. I use a TS-2000 side by side for comparison (I like the audio of my TS-2000 better and wish the TS-2000 had the 200 watts). This may sound strange to the readers because I've read many of the reviews here on eham for both rigs and it seems that most folks like the audio better on the TS-480HX than the TS-2000.

Kenwood does offer a free download radio control program for the TS-480HX (need a DB9 cable and a computer). I do not use it to control the radio but it does work really well with the rig's DSP features. You can filter out the noise using some of their pre-sets, or create your own using the ARCP-480 software (free).

The TS-480HX gives up the built in auto tuner for the extra 100 watts (you get the auto tuner in the TS-480SAT 100 watt model).

You need to use 2 separate DC power cables (included). I also use two separate 25 amp power supplies (you need two with a minimum 20.5 amps each). You can run both power cables to the car battery when mobile, though.

I grown to really like the rig. I would give it a 5 except my particular rig (even with the DSP control features) does not sound as good to me as the TS-2000 (with its own anti noise features).

Back to the TS-480HX ... I am very happy with the 200 watts and I have been able to make contact and exchange signal reports with stations that could not copy my call sign with with the TS-2000. The signal reports are generally good as well.


Very compact HF-6 Meters rig
200 watts
Should be easy to use mobile
Free control software

Audio could be better
Need 2 separate power cables (included) for TX and RX.
The audio for 6 meters was a little off frequency right out of the box. Signal reports on 6 say I'm a tad off freq.

I would purchase again. Next QTH is going to be on an acre with no CCR and an amp for my TS-2000.

If you can not / do not want to use an amp - than this might be the way to go.


<— Page 6 of 13 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.