New to DXing, which Kenwood rig to get?

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by KC0BUS, May 9, 2012.

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  1. N5MOA

    N5MOA Subscriber QRZ Page

    Really? From 2008 to today:

    mixed 307 302 confirmed
    phone 294
    cw 290
    data 225

    160m 37
    80m 131
    40m 245
    30m 141
    20m 289
    17m 252
    15m 253
    12m 219
    10m 225


    Through May of 2010 was with wire antennas.

    Yep. The TS-480 sucks as a dx rig.:p

    Sometimes I wonder where your comments come from, Fred. The whiz bang radios are "nice", I suppose, but not necessary.
     
  2. KC0BUS

    KC0BUS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, I'm thinking $1,200 or less.
     
  3. WA4FNG

    WA4FNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let's see, I'm using a 25 year old Ten Tec Corsair II -- worked over 200 countries during past 6 months. Works pretty good for DX. Would like to have a new radio, but this one is doing OK for me.
    73, Milt
     
  4. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Ham Member QRZ Page

    TS-590s is current production a really nice radio. DX? I am adding another new entity regularly despite the naysayers who claim it falls short of rigs costing twice as much. It is a bit more than your price point. It's worth it.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  5. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Well let's put it this way so you can understand number 1 check all current radio reviews and see where it stands on the QST, Sherwood and several in Japan, VK, EU they all show the same. #2 I had my new TS-480HX in my bench on a 5 way Bird 74 coax switch all radios being fed to a Mosley Pro-67C3 10-40m and compare them. A FTDX-5000MP, IC-9100, IC-703 Plus with W4RT duel filter setup and a RFSPACE SDR with the TS-480HX and compare them on various weak signals using SSB and Digital modes mainly RTTY,PSK-31,JT65HF. All RTTY contacts were true FSK all Digital modes using a microHAM microKEYER II for comparison.

    As far as receivers the 480HX it did have both filters the SSB and CW was close to the bottom most of the time but in 2 instances it rose above the IC-703 Plus. This was something I do with every new radio I purchase to see if it's better than what I have. The TS-480HX is a great mobile radio as I stated I like it better than my IC-7000 plus another 100w larger buttons and easier for me to see. It was the very best radio for my purpose.

    Will it work as a base radio sure it will and make contacts any radio will and you can get away without an amp for while with 200w and a really good antenna the key for working any good DX. It can be purchased for $1025 is what I paid for mine a lot of bang for the buck for a HF/6m radio but in the same price range a FT-950 would be a better choice for a DX radio for the receiver only. I have nothing against the 480 I just stated the facts as I checked them out against other radios ranging from a 703 used for $500 up to a FTDX-5000MP at $6000 for the price a very good deal for a mobile.
     
  6. N5MOA

    N5MOA Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fred, I was just pointing out the lack of a second receiver doesn't "kill" a radio as a dx rig.

    More radios don't have one than do.
     
  7. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you can work DX with just about any radio. What you will have a bit more challenge doing is handling huge pile ups with lesser rigs for the really exotic ones.

    It won't matter though, if you don't have the very best antenna(s) you can possibly arrange for. You won't be able to compete no matter how great a radio you have.

    Old timers taught that for every $100 you spend on radio, $90 should go to the antenna(s), and $10 to the radio, actually $9 to receiving and $1 to transmitting. That is pretty close, I think.

    This assumes you have to be a true blue top of the Honor Roll DXer. If not, if you are content with working whatever you can in ordinary conditions, other than the huge pile-ups, you can still have a great deal of fun, wrack up lots of countries and enjoy it enormously, but you won't be able to crack the wall of RF every time.
     
  8. W1DQ

    W1DQ Logbook Administrator Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    By personal choice, I only work DX. While I happen to use a Kenwood TS-870, the rig is much less important than other matters when it comes to working DX. As to equipment, place your effort selecting good DX antennas (yagi, vertical, inverted-V, etc.). But in the end it is developing your DX operating skills that will eventually win that QSO.

    If you only rely on having a stronger signal with greater punch, there will always be competing stations that can drown you out. You need to avoid straight-on brute force matches.

    It is important to select the right band and the right time of the day. Either inspect the bands yourself or monitor the spots on a DX Cluster website. If there is no propagation you will not work DX, so you have to track it down.

    Next it is a matter of positioning yourself frequency-wise and timing your call. Look for stations calling CQ or those working another who are about to sign off. If more than just you are calling, try to time your call to “slip in between” the others or even after them. The DX station is more likely to respond to a call clearly heard than to remain listening to a pileup.

    If a DX station is working up, it becomes very important to posture yourself where it is listening or to anticipate where it might be listening should it be tuning higher or lower after each QSO.

    Finally, consider operating CW where the chances of being heard in a pileup are significantly greater than phone, due to bandwidth, and where the weakest of signals can make it through. Finally, up-grade to Extra to access frequencies that are restricted only for Extras.
     
  9. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a TS130S and for DX it stinks, RIT for offset just about kills DX efforts. Most DX works split. The CW filter and general receiver performance are ok. I use an IC746 at home and it is ok for split DX. Dual VFOs would be nice. Filters, noise blankers, DSP processing, etc enable you to optimize the signal. IT is pretty basic there but works.
     
  10. KE4KY

    KE4KY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    AGREED!! It is a very good radio!!

    While it is NOT my primary radio...the TS-480 is a GREAT radio with a fantastic receiver. I use mine every year for the CW station at our club's Field Day event in a multi-radio environment. With the two CW filters installed....rivals my "big" radio for its performance without missing a beat.

    Does not do everything like my FT-2K, but that should be obvious...especially when working split. If it was the only radio I owned....it would still be a keeper every day of the week.
     
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