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Categories | Ham radio kits | HAMKITT TS-570 DISPLAY MOD & FIX Help

Show all reviews of the HAMKITT TS-570 DISPLAY MOD & FIX

You can write your own review of the HAMKITT TS-570 DISPLAY MOD & FIX.

AC6EG  Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 2013 14:52  Send this review to a friend!
Good Kit - Ugly Display!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
OK, maybe "ugly" is a little over the top, but no more of an exaggeration than "outstanding" or "cool blue" or "may increase the value of your rig." After reading all of these rave reviews, maybe I was expecting too much. After hours of tedious work I expected to really be wowed by the new look. I was not. My first impression was that the new display color wasn't blue at all but a dingy gray. Each of the six LEDs produced a large irregularly shaped bright white spot along the top of the top edge of the display and the backlighting was very splotchy and uneven. After living with the altered display for a while I began to see that it was indeed a pale blue color but because of the uneven backlighting looked very unprofessional. Before I installed this kit, only the two center OEM incandescent bulbs were still working, but you could barely tell where they were located and they managed to uniformly illuminate the entire display. I found the "spotlighting" effect of the LEDs so irritating that I later pulled them all out and replaced them with wide angled "flat top" LEDs that were modified by using a Dremel tool to scuff up the tops of the bulbs to disperse the light even more. This was done after a lot of experimenting with a multi-color assortment of the newly developed wide angled "flat-top" LEDs plugged into a Radio Shack Experimenter's board powered by an adjustable power supply. I chose to use green LEDs the 2nd time around and was richly rewarded with a perfectly uniform bright green display that rivals the look of the new TS-590s. The display is now so bright I usually leave it dimmed down two notches.

The "pale blue" LEDs that come with this kit are not really blue at all. Nobody makes a pale blue LED. These are actually white round top LEDs that look pale blue because they are the same color temperature as some cheap florescent lights I've seen that look bluish. I strongly urge anyone contemplating the installation of this kit to take the time to first do a little experimenting. Hook up the LED's to a power source and see for yourself how much light emanates from the top of the bulb as compared to the side of the bulb. Bright light coming out of the top of round top LED's produces the unattractive spotlighting effect and should be minimized as much as possible. After you have removed the OEM bulbs, power up an LED and poke it into a mounting hole while observing the LCD to find the best mounting depth. I mounted mine with the bottoms of the LED's flush with the back of the PC board. Of the two flavors included in the kit, the white LED's are probably the better choice because they emit at least a little light from the sides. It appeared to me that almost all of the light coming from the blue LEDís was focused into a narrow beam out of the top of the bulb. I also suspect that it would be a little harder to see the black characters on the LCD against a dark blue background. Be aware that if you use different LED's than the ones that come in the kit, you may also need to change the value of the series resistors.

The detailed instructions and photographs included in the kit are absolutely superb. Even if you are not interested in changing the color of the display but need to replace some burned out bulbs, you should buy this kit to find out how to safely disassemble your radio and make the repairs. Good luck on finding suitable replacement incandescent bulbs!

73

Gary
AC6EG
 
Product is in production.
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