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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: 131 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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W3VT Rating: 4/5 Jul 11, 2019 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Needs the TXCO  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I really like this radio. It does the full 200w and I get unsolicited compliments on the audio with my Heil HM10 with the HC5 element. The stock hand mic sounded great too. The receiver is quite sensitive and although is a dual conversion superheterodyne versus a triple, I saw no discernable difference between it and my Yaesu FT-891 in a side by side comparison.

Overall a great radio. In a world of heavily menu driven radios, this 480 is well thought out, with controls that are easy to navigate and many one touch features. The dual antenna input is a nice touch also.

I give it 4 instead of 5 stars for two reasons: 1. It should have the TXCO standard. Without it, especially for mobile use where temperatures vary greatly, it would be off frequency and in need of vfo adjustment. This should not be on an $1100 radio. I bought and installed a Chinese TXCO (a very inexpensive and simple DIY mod), and it is dead on freq on all bands and does not move. Reason 2: No notch filter. There are great DSP filtering built in, but sometimes the notch filter is missed. Knowing that, In still highly recommend this radio. Kenwood put together a winner, which explains why they're still making these rigs.
SV2BWM Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2018 04:59 Send this review to a friend
Great radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It's a great radio!! Period...
N4TAD Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2018 19:38 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I thought I would never buy a rig other than an ICOM. I had the ICOM 740 and wanted something more up to date. I purchased the TS 480 HX off of eBay in nearly new condition. The TS 480 HX is a great rig. The comments I often receive during signal reports is that the audio is great. I have the Yaesu FL7000 amps. However I seldom turn it on now. The TS 480 HX's 200 watts output is more than adequate for most QSO's. Again, it is a great radio.
M0VPL Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2018 12:19 Send this review to a friend
theres nothing better for the price point  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd TS-480, the first being the 480sat.this time i went for the HX 200w version fully filtered with TCXO. For the price point and proven reliability its outstanding. yes the DSP shows its age but with filters it performs really well. feed it with 50amps and you have 200w on tap if you need it. no other radio in this class can say that. Hooked up for PSK and Ritty it performs every time. for mobile use its a breeze to use. you do sacrifice the ATU with the HX but use a properly tuned antenna or external smart tuner and your set to work the world. fantastic value for money.
K2IZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2017 20:52 Send this review to a friend
What a work horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 2nd review of the 480, I can honestly say I've owned this radio for over 10 years, it replaced my TS-530S. Over the years it was my primary radio, contests, DX and general use, I installed both CW filters with good results. When I joined MARS I made the modification for the MARS frequencies. So what I am doing with it today?, I use it for MARS voice and CW nets, MARS digital communications, FT8, PSK and any other type of digital communications using FLDIGI and a SignaLink USB. Over the years I've used a couple of different types of mics, the first one was a Heil but I was getting problems, I contacted Heil and they told me that up to a certain serial number they had wired the audio one way and then they switched to a different way, my serial number was in between the old and new way. I wanted to use a foot switch, W2ENY makes a nice plug for the mic and PTT that plugs into the 480, of course every time I change mics I have to go into the settings and set the audio up for the new mic. A few years back I decided to give the 480 a break, now for contesting and DX I use the TS-590.
I mentioned MARS CW nets, when I first got the 480 I was using the WinKeyer, since then I have gotten a 590 and use the WinKeyer with that radio, for the MARS nets I use the internal keyer for the 480, when I first got the 480 there were many discussions on getting the internal keyer set up correctly, I'm glad I noted down what changes people made to the options, the internal keyer works as good as the WinKeyer, I also use the 480 for straight key operation, that means I have a paddle and a straight key plugged into the ports.
As I mentioned it's been over 10 years since I put my 480 on the air, I guess I can say I've gotten my moneys worth out of this radio.
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!!
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