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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-480SAT Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-480SAT
Kenwood TS-480SAT Reviews: 216 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1499.99
Description: 100 watts HF & 6m allmode portable and mobile transceiver w/ built-in antenna tuner
Product is in production.
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SM2OTU Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2018 16:18 Send this review to a friend
Perfect for remote use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you are looking for a great rig for remote use you should read this. Most other reviews are probably written for "local usage" I bought the 480 solely for remote operation.

I have been using the TS480SAT solely accessing it remotely with Remoterig 1258MkII equipment. I cannot have any antennas where I live so my shack is 187 km from home. Tried to use the IC7300 with RSBA1 software and that was a big disappointment.

The 480 is easy to configure for remote op with Remoterig. I have the control head at home so I control the rig as if it were in my shack here in Lulea. (The TX-part of the 480 is in fact 187 km away from the control head) And as long as I do not need the rig for digital modes, I do not need any computer. The feeling of touching real buttons and a real VFO and at the same time looking at the rig's own display is worth a lot to me.
For digital modes I use CAT-control with WSJT X v2.0. Cable attached between radio Remoterig box and the TX-part of the 480 (remoterig offers using com-ports, just read the manual and visit their forum) The control Remoterig is connected to my PC with a USB cable from Remoterig and virtual com ports) If you are using CAT-control with the 480, you are likely to experience HAMLIB errors. But just download the freeware Omnirig from VE3NEA and all problems are solved. It is a small program you configure for the 480 and then select Omnirig in WSJT X as your rig.

So the final verdict for TS480SAT is that it is a great rig, AND a really great rig for remote usage with Remoterig, and a great rig for CW as long as you install the optional CW-filter(s). I have both the 500 hz and the 270kz.
It also works perfectly with digital modes as FT8. I have a Signalink USB. And I use a 4G (LTE) wireless router at my cabin to connect to my fixed Internet here in Lulea. I did not have any trouble with timing/delays etc in FT8 and ran default settings in my Remoterig. Have made more than 1000 QSOs in 2 months in CW and FT8. Works beyond my wildest expectations.
The thing I had most worries with, was CAT-control in WSJT X, but Mike K2GC had the recipe in Omnirig. Mike responded in the Facebook group "Kenwood TS-480 Operators". Not a very active group but help is usually offered fast.
Any questions, mail me at my address at my QRZ page.
SP2SWR Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2018 16:41 Send this review to a friend
I wish it have sepateted RF gain knob!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am quite wide experienced among ham radio HF transceivers (I have owned many Yaesu and Kenwood radios). From Icom it was only 706MKII and G version.
Now I running TS-590SG for a year or so. But as my backup I still keep TS-480SAT. The main issue with the TS-480SAT operation is lack of separated RF gain knob which could be also SQL knob as well. For example, YAESU FT-xx7 series understands if I select FM mode it will switch for SQL. Eventually one can set it otherwise by the menu. Here you have to long press number 5 button-for RF gain and for SQL you will have to another knob (right behind AF gain not bad).
Overall the radio performance as a whole (operation, received and transmitted audio) is in my opinion excellent.
SP9HZX Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2018 13:29 Send this review to a friend
Really good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very good radio.I have all filters installed.
Perfect receiver,very good ATU.
Nice design.I use it both in the car and at home
Really nothing to complain of.

WA5DSS Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2017 12:15 Send this review to a friend
Great mobile SSB rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a TS-480sat used off eBay about 3 years ago intending to experiment with remote operation between my apartment and a cabin with a large antenna. In checking it out from a single location I discovered it was a great, flexible, easy to use radio. To heck with remoting... I put it in my RAV4! I have used it on long vacation trips and in several QSO parties running mobile. Never have had a problem.

The features I find the most useful for mobile operation is the lighted buttons on front panel, the "click" tuning knob, the speaker in the control head, the noise blanker and the noise reduction filter. I also added the 1800 Hz if filter which is a must under noisy conditions.

On the negative side, I agree with some of the other reviewers about the CW keyer and antenna tuner. The keyer does not seem to support iambic B, so is difficult to use with fingers trained for that timing. The tuner has limited range compared to my other radios. I use neither of these features operating mobile, so they are not problems for my application.

Finally, I have been so happy with this radio, I recently purchased the "HX" model to get a stronger signal out during our present low sunspot cycle.
KA1BB Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2017 11:57 Send this review to a friend
Awesome radio in truck  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi I got a TS 480sat last Christmas I have it mounted in my Peterbilt semi truck . It's mounted in the rear sleeper and the main unit is under the bunk it's wired directly to the batteries and I'm using an Chameleon V2L antenna. I've gotten 5-9 reports radio is a charm to run when the bands are active. I'm in the process of trying some new antenna setups since I travel a lot in the truck it's hard TO get a good setup. I've been wanting a Tarheel maybe or with a budpole and telescoping mast when I'm parked now that would I cool.anyway I'll just take it day for day 73s.
W8MPX Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2016 20:36 Send this review to a friend
EXCELENT RADIO  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
LZ1ZJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2016 05:26 Send this review to a friend
Exellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Exellent transceiver for money!
Really very good RX one of the best I have heard with narrow 500 and 270 CW filters.
Great working with full power on RTTY after fan modification.Aded second fan.
KD6NXI Rating: 3/5 Jul 17, 2016 21:49 Send this review to a friend
Convoluted interface.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Don't like the front panel. Buttons around the tuning dial are hard to see and I hate multi function buttons in general. Confusing. Power output also a bit low.
K4NBC Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2016 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Great rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Love this kenwood ts480sat it has some great features and potentials as well
W3MSH Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2016 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Great specs for the money!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a used TS-480 and give it a solid 5+ for ease of use, quality of construction, great specs.

Multiple audio-passband shaping options on transmit have received positive reviews for clarity and fidelity and can be changed on the fly from casual "hi-fi" mode to more a aggressive and punchy response to take full advantage of running barefoot.

Use of the internal voice/CW recorder makes this a pleasure to use whether for simple automated CQ calling or hard-core contesting.

The ONE THING that definitely makes this a solid 5+ is a very simple modification to sample the 73 Mhz. IF to an inexpensive SDR dongle.
Using this setup and controlling with HDSDR I would consider this a quality "poor-man's Flex Radio"!
Total cost of simple modification is less than $50.00 and well worth the 45 minutes start to finish.

Features on the "free" HDSDR add additional functionality, especially on receive.

Get one, you will NOT be disappointed!

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