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Author Topic: Split Conversion design of the new Kenwood TS-590SG?  (Read 62049 times)
KT0DD
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Posts: 451




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« on: October 25, 2014, 08:03:56 AM »

First, I hope the onboard TX Power meter on the new TS590SG has been upgraded to more accurately reflect SSB peak power so the issue of low SSB power output will be settled.

What I don't understand is the split down/up conversion design. Down Conversion on 160, 80-75, 40, 20 & 15 m, yet up converting on 17, 12 & 10m?

Would it really add that much more to the price to make it all down converting?

While I am not a contester and contesting isn't supposed to occur on 17 & 12m, these are small bands and with less operating room to begin with, I can see situations in DX chasing on small bands where close in signals on both sides of the DX spot frequency could occur making a contact more difficult. A better 2khz spacing DR would be beneficial here as well.

I currently own a Yaesu FT950, the first 950 that Jeff Blaine - AC0C installed the Network Sciences 3K roofing filter in. (It's my rig that he uses in his demonstration video.)

While the KNWD TS-590 sports better numbers in down conversion than My Yaesu FT-950 with the NS filter mod, I still get better 2k spaced DR numbers than the 590 in up-conversion mode. This is why I have hesitated in swapping my 950 to try a 590. (I really have to watch for number dyslexia here..Hi Hi)

Just Wondering if it's worth trying the 590. Thanks.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2014, 04:30:25 AM »

I had to go to a Flexradio to get better performance on SSB than the TS590. SDR is the only real way to see any notable improvement on SSB from any "non-mobile" radio nowadays.

If SSB is your thing then you'll not notice much of a difference until there's more than 10dB difference between two radios at 2kHz DR. It is because of this that I never really noticed and detriment between the up conversion and down conversion on the TS590 even though I do a lot of contesting on phone. You really couldn't tell. I did have an Icom 7000 and you could tell the difference between that and the TS590 in side by side testing with nearby strong signal handling. It was massively obvious.

I did have a FT950 and swapped to a TS590. My reason for changing was entirely down to the ergonomics as I couldn't get on with the FT950, just too many things irritated me.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 04:33:54 AM by M6GOM » Logged
KT0DD
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Posts: 451




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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2014, 06:16:17 AM »

Thanks for your info. I'm tech savvy just enough to be dangerous..Hi Hi.

I had a Ten Tec Orion II but had to downsize as I needed some cash so I sold it and bought the 950.
I really thought I was going to be taking a huge step down but found the 950 quite nice after the NS filter mod although I did miss the 2nd receiver.

I noticed a prior post on here about Transmitter Testing and see that Yaesu unfortunately has some of the dirtiest transmitters out there, and the Kenwood TS-590 actually rates pretty clean for its class. I'm now considering a change for that reason.

Thanks again.

Todd
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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2014, 09:34:57 AM »

I had to go to a Flexradio to get better performance on SSB than the TS590. SDR is the only real way to see any notable improvement on SSB from any "non-mobile" radio nowadays.

If SSB is your thing then you'll not notice much of a difference until there's more than 10dB difference between two radios at 2kHz DR. It is because of this that I never really noticed and detriment between the up conversion and down conversion on the TS590 even though I do a lot of contesting on phone. You really couldn't tell. I did have an Icom 7000 and you could tell the difference between that and the TS590 in side by side testing with nearby strong signal handling. It was massively obvious.

I did have a FT950 and swapped to a TS590. My reason for changing was entirely down to the ergonomics as I couldn't get on with the FT950, just too many things irritated me.

The only thing a Flex has is HiFi audio and that is of no real value because it is harder to copy in less than perfect conditions. You do not need a computer to have a good rig. The very dependence on one weakens the chain
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KT0DD
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Posts: 451




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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2014, 11:13:59 AM »

I don't have the "broadcasters" vocal tone to my voice, so hi fi SSB is a moot point for me. However I have heard that Hi-Fi SSB audio is an attention getter, so in good conditions, it may have some merit. However when trying to copy an S-3 or smaller signal, I'd rather have the Punchy Heil HC-4 style audio coming at me.
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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 05:31:42 AM »

I don't have the "broadcasters" vocal tone to my voice, so hi fi SSB is a moot point for me. However I have heard that Hi-Fi SSB audio is an attention getter, so in good conditions, it may have some merit. However when trying to copy an S-3 or smaller signal, I'd rather have the Punchy Heil HC-4 style audio coming at me.

I do not like to copy SSB HiFi audio. It also wastes/uses more of spectrum than normal SSB audio adding to QRM potential and as stated earlier is tuffer to copy under less than idea conditions and pretty much impossible to copy in marginal to poor conditions.   
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
KG4NEL
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Posts: 541




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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 08:36:00 AM »

I don't have the "broadcasters" vocal tone to my voice, so hi fi SSB is a moot point for me. However I have heard that Hi-Fi SSB audio is an attention getter, so in good conditions, it may have some merit. However when trying to copy an S-3 or smaller signal, I'd rather have the Punchy Heil HC-4 style audio coming at me.

I do not like to copy SSB HiFi audio. It also wastes/uses more of spectrum than normal SSB audio adding to QRM potential and as stated earlier is tuffer to copy under less than idea conditions and pretty much impossible to copy in marginal to poor conditions.   

I've never figured out the wide-bandwidth SSB thing either, personally. If you want to experiment with wider transmit B/Ws and broadcast gear, run ah-yem Smiley
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ZENKI
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Posts: 1636




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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 02:06:20 AM »

Maybe Kenwood will release the a  upgraded TS590SG in the same style and package as the TS850S in a all down conversion  design. This radio would include some of the best design features of the TS870S and the TS850S.

 Make the radio a 200 watt design with a super clean 50 volt or greater FET PA, built in power supply, IF out, OCXO option with standby and TCXO, removable remote panel  like the TS480 and a calibrated S-meter. This radio design would be a huge hit if Kenwood followed this design route.

 There are not many mid size radios on the market  with knobs that  would fill in the gap nicely between the TS590SG and the TS990S. If Kenwood included multiple USB/Serial control ports along with the switching that would allow slaving a SDR radio to this radio with full RX protection,  it would be even a bigger hit. You would then have the choice of  a second receiver or panadapter.

 There must be thousands of Kenwood TS930S, TS940S, TS950S, TS850S,  TS870S owners who are wanting to upgrade to something bigger without having to mortgage the house for a TS990S. The success of this new design is almost guaranteed based on the numbers of hams who still use these radio models. It would certainly be a popular contest radio that could take the place of the aging TS850S and FT1000MP series of radios that are so popular with contesters despite their age.

The TS590SG despite all its imperfections and design contradictions is getting  close to being the ideal general purpose high performance transceiver for the masses. Its a shame that Kenwood did not invest more time into the PA design and produce a super clean PA. Kenwood does know how to design a clean PA. The TS930S. TS940S., TS950S and even the lowly   12 volt TS450S  had and excellent PA design that had IMD performance 10's of DB higher than their later offerings like the TS870S that had a filthy PA design.

If Kenwood wanted to design a perfect radio they could have done that easily with  the TS590SG design, we just needed  more hams whining to them about their unfortunate design choice decisions like investing so much effort on improving a receiver that did not need improving while ignoring the  transmitter PA section completely.

The success of the new TS590SG will determine  if Kenwood takes the risk on a new mid size radio. Looking at some of the design changes of the TS590SG makes me feel that Kenwood is toying with the idea of a new middle market radio that fits between the TS590SG and the TS990SG. If things were slow and sales were so bad they would not be bothering with such incremental changes on the TS590S design in the form of the new TS590SG that would make the perfect platform for a new mid range radio...... Who knows?






First, I hope the onboard TX Power meter on the new TS590SG has been upgraded to more accurately reflect SSB peak power so the issue of low SSB power output will be settled.

What I don't understand is the split down/up conversion design. Down Conversion on 160, 80-75, 40, 20 & 15 m, yet up converting on 17, 12 & 10m?

Would it really add that much more to the price to make it all down converting?

While I am not a contester and contesting isn't supposed to occur on 17 & 12m, these are small bands and with less operating room to begin with, I can see situations in DX chasing on small bands where close in signals on both sides of the DX spot frequency could occur making a contact more difficult. A better 2khz spacing DR would be beneficial here as well.

I currently own a Yaesu FT950, the first 950 that Jeff Blaine - AC0C installed the Network Sciences 3K roofing filter in. (It's my rig that he uses in his demonstration video.)

While the KNWD TS-590 sports better numbers in down conversion than My Yaesu FT-950 with the NS filter mod, I still get better 2k spaced DR numbers than the 590 in up-conversion mode. This is why I have hesitated in swapping my 950 to try a 590. (I really have to watch for number dyslexia here..Hi Hi)

Just Wondering if it's worth trying the 590. Thanks.
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N7LK
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 04:15:42 PM »

I know that the TS-990S has a TS-590S as the second receiver.

Now that the TS-590SG is out, I wonder if the TS-590 section in TS-990S will be upgrades too?
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PA1ZP
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Posts: 688




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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2014, 01:20:12 AM »

Hi

Just a little remark about the "dirty" TX in the Yaesu.
The TX test that I have seen was done in CW, it might be that in SSB the TX test would have a total different outcome for all radios.

Listening at an SDR radio and seeing the produced signals in a bandscope, I have seen as many dirty sigs coming from an Icom as from a Yaesu as Kenwood.
Most of the realy bad sigs are produced in overdriven rigs.

For about up or down conversion, if you are running SSB most of the time I would not get to exited of down conversion.

I do have a FT857D and a TS590, 90% of the time they are a complete match.
What I hear on the TS590 I hear on the FT857D. 

Sometimes in great contests the FT857D gets overloaded in CW with big signals and is a pain in the but and gets beaten big time at these moments by the TS590.
Sometimes in strange QRM surroundings the TS590 IF DSP CW RX gets crazy and the FT857D is far far better.

Overall judgement is that I do need both radios, in extreme conditions.
Though the TX audio in SSB is far and far better in the TS590, also the CW TX is much better of the TS590 with the possibility to slope the edges of the CW signal.

The greatest problem in SSB today is not the quality of the RX but the bad TX that ruins the good RX in most radios.
In that I have to say to Zenki always talking about the bad TX'es he does have a good point in that.
i must hounostly say that some of his "solutions" would make the current HF radios on the market twice as heavy and twice as expencive, but he is right in his saying that after the big improvements of RX it is now time to improve the TX side.

Running lower compression levels and mike gain levels in SSB would be a good start.
Certainly for a lot of big gun contesters and DX-ers that produce an awfull wide signal running overdriven rigs and amplifiers and making terrible signals in SSB.

73 Jos

 
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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 04:36:58 AM »

Running lower compression levels and mike gain levels in SSB would be a good start.
Certainly for a lot of big gun contesters and DX-ers that produce an awfull wide signal running overdriven rigs and amplifiers and making terrible signals in SSB. 

Compression done properly is okay but I do agree that many try to squeak out that last watt by over driving amp and/or rig audio which degrades signal quality a lot.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
EA4TA
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Posts: 29




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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2014, 06:32:32 AM »

First, I hope the onboard TX Power meter on the new TS590SG has been upgraded to more accurately reflect SSB peak power so the issue of low SSB power output will be settled.

That's an easy fix. Just enter the advanced menu and change a value to max so the meter reads what you want.

However, you won't get the missing power on the air. The "issue" is real. And the TS590 won't be the 'average transmited power' champion of your shack.

BUT if it helps, I haven't EVER received usolicited audio compliments until I bought this radio. To the point that when i read about them, i thought they were a myth. And it now happens quite often with stock mic and very little menu tweaking, no less than once or twice a week, while only DXing. :/

Quote
What I don't understand is the split down/up conversion design. Down Conversion on 160, 80-75, 40, 20 & 15 m, yet up converting on 17, 12 & 10m?

Would it really add that much more to the price to make it all down converting?

Why should they?.
You want up conversion on 10 for sensitivity. Down on 80 for selectivity. And the bands in between have been cleverly chosen.
(But 15, maybe?).

What I'd rather prefer is an even narrower filter instead of the stock SSB one. I think it is 2.7, and i'd go 1.8/2.1 for contesting purposes. By the way, let me assure you that the 590 at the past WWDX has been a real pleasure to use. Not only for the clearly improved selectivity over older radios, but for it's non fatiguing audio for extended periods, and it's 3 simultaneous audio-inputs (Mic, USB, ACC2).

73, EA4TA
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KS2G
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Posts: 1069




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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2014, 01:30:16 PM »

I haven't EVER received unsolicited audio compliments until I bought this radio. To the point that when i read about them, I thought they were a myth.

Kenwood's reputation for high-quality HF transmit audio is well deserved.

I have used only Kenwood HF rigs for 35 years --TS-520S, TS-830S, TS-570D(G), TS-590S-- with a variety of microphones (stock hand-held, MC-50, Telex and Heil headsets) and received numerous unsolicited audio compliments on all of them.

And the numerous transmit-audio adjustments available in the '590 make it possible to match mic and voice characteristics to achieve EXACTLY the audio quality that's desired.
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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2014, 02:43:45 AM »

I haven't EVER received unsolicited audio compliments until I bought this radio. To the point that when i read about them, I thought they were a myth.

Kenwood's reputation for high-quality HF transmit audio is well deserved.

I have used only Kenwood HF rigs for 35 years --TS-520S, TS-830S, TS-570D(G), TS-590S-- with a variety of microphones (stock hand-held, MC-50, Telex and Heil headsets) and received numerous unsolicited audio compliments on all of them.

And the numerous transmit-audio adjustments available in the '590 make it possible to match mic and voice characteristics to achieve EXACTLY the audio quality that's desired.


Yes Kenwood has always been known for great transmit audio. If you get a bad report you have some operator error somewhere.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N4CR
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Posts: 1757




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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 11:19:35 PM »

I don't have the "broadcasters" vocal tone to my voice, so hi fi SSB is a moot point for me. However I have heard that Hi-Fi SSB audio is an attention getter, so in good conditions, it may have some merit.

Almost nobody will hear it. Most front ends are less than 3khz wide. I keep my TS-590S set to 2.7 most of the time. Less as needed, never wider.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
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