Kenwood TS-430S and digital modes?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by AE7RZ, Mar 26, 2012.

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  1. AE7RZ

    AE7RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am very interested in PSK31, RTTY, Olivia and other modes.
    What do I need for my TS-430S to do this?
  2. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I suggest first off that you do some Googling and have a read about the requirements. Its too involved in explaining all the details. Download some software like FLDigi, Digipan and Airlink Express and read the help instructions so that you can begin to understand the basics
  3. AE7RZ

    AE7RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have! What HARDWARE would you use with THIS radio?
  4. AD6KA

    AD6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, you can setup your digital modes with plain audio
    cables and use VOX and not have to use any hardware.
    But this sometimes leads to RFI and ground loop issues and
    constant fiddling with computer and rig audio drive and waterfall levels.

    I'd make life simpler and use an interface, at least to key the rig.
    You can get some schematics here, for very simple to more
    involved (using isolation transformers, etc)

    Or you can buy one of the dozens of off-the shelf sound card
    interfaces such as Rigblasters, Signalinks, Rascal, etc.
    Since many hams no longer are willing or able to make their
    own custom cables, most of the interface manufacturer's offer
    rig specific custom cables for their interfaces. I suggest, if possible,
    you buy the cable that connects to the ACC connector on the rear
    of your rig. (If it has one).
    These offer fixed level audio outputs,
    which eliminates one less variable in your configuration, and leaves
    the MIC input available. (If you chose an interface or cable that goes
    to the MIC Input, you will have to adjust both the mic level drive
    on the rig and the transmit level drive in the software.

    The Signalink (and a few others) have their own built in sound card,
    something a lot of hams appreciate, as it lets them run other sound card
    apps (MP3's, etc) while using Sound Card modes at the same time.

    Good luck es 73, Ken AD6KA
  5. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello Keith

    Here is a straight forward answer on what hardware you might look at. It was my first choice for digital modes and I still operate it. SignaLink USB by Tigertronics. Easy to set up, easy to use and mine has worked flawlessly since September 2007. I use it daily for JT65 and other digital modes.

    Software of my choice is DM780 which comes packaged in Ham Radio Deluxe. There is a very good logbook included with the software.

    That is about as straight forward as it gets :D
    73, Rick VE3FMC
  6. N5CEY

    N5CEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look at the KF5INZ Easy Digi thread in the Ham Made Gear forum.
  7. AE7RZ

    AE7RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you!
    VE3MC, I've decided to go with the SLUSB. Now I think I also want to do VHF digital with my FT7900. Of course not both at the same time. Do you think I should get two, one for each radio or just get one with adapters?

    N5CEY, I like the EASY DIGI but I decided on the external controls. Thank you.
  8. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well Keith I would just buy the jumpers that Tigertronics makes for the SignaLink. You simply pull one jumper board out and pop the other one in, then change the radio cables. Of course if money is no object why not buy two units. Then you can operate both radios at the same time. I do not do any VHF digital modes so that is not a problem for me. I had an Icom 7000 setup for digital for close to 6 months and never did any of those modes on VHF/UHF.

    As I said in my other post I have had my SignaLink USB for close to 5 years and have never had any issues with it. Good product IMO.

    Have fun, let me know when you get it. Oh, download the software for JT65, lots of hams use that mode and more are starting to use it.
  9. AE5SB

    AE5SB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You will need to be able to turn your power down on the 430 as digital modes 1. do not require as much power and 2. they 100% duty cycle. The 430 has no way to turn down the power except with mic gain, but wait there is a mod.

    And here is is:

    Variable power for TS430s

    This modification allows the squelch control to vary the power of the TS430s from a couple of watts to full power. The squelch control still operates on FM mode but is disabled on SSB. [ not very useful anyway.]

    Remove top cover of transceiver. The main board on show is the IF unit. Locate socket 26, with front of set towards you socket 26 is to the left of the board about midway back to front.
    Cut the wire to pin 6 leaving about 3cms wire on the plug. This wire is usually brown. The wire tail from the plug has to be connected to ground, This enables SSB receive, pin 4 is ground and can be used.
    The brown lead you have just cut comes from the small PCB behind the squelch control. It runs to pin 6, socket 6 on this board. It is the end pin to your right looking from the front of the set. Pull this brown wire free of the harness so that you have a free lead from the plug.

    Locate R211, a 1K resistor which connects the source of Q41 to ground. From the front of set.. right hand side, towards the front of the board. Cut the ground side of R211 leaving sufficient lead to solder to.
    The ground side should be the top end of the resistor, but check. Take the brown lead from the squelch board, suitably shortened, to the resistor. The squelch control , SSB section, is now in series with R211 and gives excellent control over the RF output level. Replace cover. Job done.

    In use, Maximum power is with the control fully anticlockwise.
    With the squelch pot set anticlockwise and the set in CW mode, Transmit a carrier [ you will need to short the key jack] and set the carrier control for full power. You can then vary power on all modes using the squelch control.
    Check the carrier control setting required for different bands, it will probably vary slightly between 160 and 10 metres. The protection circuits will still operate as before but if running low power the set will tolerate poor aerial matching without using the protection circuits.

    Enjoy.....See ya on the Waterfall

    De AE5SB
  10. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    He can control the output power on PSK31 or any other digital mode with the TX gain on the SignaLink USB.

    Far better to run the rig at 100 watts and control the output with the SignaLink. You get a cleaner signal that way.

    I always leave the output of the rig set at 100 watts and simply control the output with the SignaLink USB TX control.
  11. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I operated digital modes on my TS430S for several years. I used one of these interfaces.

    It's a typical transformer based isolator supplied as a kit.

    It worked well in the end but took some fiddling to get the levels right and there are a few other hassles to deal with which are no real fault of the SCI6.

    I took the audio out from the radio's accessory socket on the back. You need a somewhat uncommon DIN plug for that. They're available from Universal Radio. That's an output for a speaker which is not ideal because it is dependent on the AF gain control. Adding to that, the only input on my Sony Vaio laptop is the microphone input which is a huge mismatch in levels to a speaker output so I had to introduce some extra attenuation with something like a 100:1 resistive voltage divider on the cable.

    The TS430S accessory socket doesn't have a proper ground pin. The only ground is the outer metal shell. That caused me problems. Perhaps my socket was a bit corroded or something. I put a short ground wire from the accessory plug to the plug on my CW key next to it.

    For transmit, I used one channel of the A/V output of the laptop and the microphone input on the TS430S. The SCI6 has an adjustment for transmit level but not receive. I think I ended up changing a resistor value in the SCI6 to get the level down to something sensible. I think there is an audio input on the back of the TS430S intended for phone patch. Looking back now, I'm not sure why I didn't use that.

    After all that and careful fiddling with the Windows gain controls, I was able to get it working quite nicely. I didn't bother with T/R switching but used VOX which worked okay but you do need to be careful with unexpected sounds from the computer.

    I used the mic gain for transmit power control. I think that works okay unless you want to operate very low power. I usually ran at about 5 amps IC. That's about 60 watts input. I could transmit for a couple of minutes before the fan started. That was usually a sign that I had rambled on for too long and it was time to pass it back and let it cool down. You want to get the transmit audio level so that the mic gain is at a reasonable mid point for the desired output. Your levels need adjusting if you find that you need the mic gain near min or max.

    Trying to work a weak signal when another strong signal shows up in the receive passband can be difficult. I guess that's just how it is with an SSB width filter but I think lack of user control of the AGC tends to make it worse. The IF shift can be useful. If you have the 270 Hz CW filter then that can be good for receiving PSK and 250 Hz Olivia but it's not really much use because you need to be in USB mode to transmit.

    So... the TS430S isn't the ideal rig for digital modes but it's still quite usable and lots of fun.

    If I was starting again, I think I'd take the advice of others here and get a more fancy interface with its own sound card and easy level adjustment knobs.
  12. KN4OK

    KN4OK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use a rigblaster plus ($50) and mixw/wsjt software with my TS-430s. My setup works great for me and be sure to turn down the mic gain for lower power.

    GL and see you on the air!

    Dave, kn4ok
  13. K0SPN

    K0SPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or you could do as I did when I had a SLUSB and just set the jumpers for the radio you plan to use it with the most and get the pre-made cable for that setup (since it comes with one), then get a cable with a bare end and the proper connector for your other radio(s) and wire the connector as appropriate.
    Doing it that way you can always leave the cable plugged into the radio and just swop them on the SLUSB as needed.

    Swop in 10 seconds versus 5 minutes taking the unit apart; no futzing with jumpers, no little jumper wires to lose or jumper blocks to keep track of, and no wear and tear on the sockets changing the jumpers all the time.

    Saves you a good wad of cash too.
    If you use the TigerTronics cables and jumper blocks, it'll cost you $25-$30 for each radio.
    You can use a CAT5 cable for the SLUSB end and get the connectors from Mouser, Digikey, etc for a couple bucks each. Voila, cable for $5 or less.

    When I decided to get one and was pricing it out, I took one look at those jumpers and extra cables and thought 'wow, what a scam'.
  14. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

  15. AE7RZ

    AE7RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks EVERYONE! :)
    I went with the "Tigertronics USLB" with the appropriate cables for the Kenwood and the pre-wired jumper block. (mostly due to VE3FMC's recommendation)
    I've decided that for $89 or less it will be easier to get another USLB for VHF. But, not until next month. Still getting the hang of digital. I cannot get HRD to work at all. So far I've been toying with DXLabs WinWarbler with decent results.
    It is very simple to adjust the tx gain with the USB.
    See you on the air!
  16. NL7W

    NL7W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Roger that... leave the mic gain at its normal SSB setting, and control the audio input using the SLUSB's "TX" front panel potentiometer. When running digital modes, I'd turn the pot back to where any longer or extended digital carrier is no more than 30 to 40 Watts. In fact, I'd run the 430S at 10 to 20 Watts average carrier.

    TS-430S experience: I purchased new one in 1985 or 1986, and ran this nice rig for several years. It is a decent rig of that era... not bad at all.


  17. AE7RZ

    AE7RZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    What did you use as the replacement to this rig?
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