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Visual zero beat indicators on some of the newer rigs

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by KC2SIZ, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does the Ten Tec Eagle have any kind of visual zero beat indicator? What about the Kenwood TS-590S?

    I haven't had a chance to use either rig and was just curious whether one or both of them included this feature.
  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not very responsive to your question but I would think the beat sound technique of zero-beating would be far more precise when done properly. The problem is some folks don't seem to know how.
  3. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm comfortable doing it either way, but like having a visual indicator as it is a little quicker in my experience. And the one on my FT-950 is very precise.
  4. WB3BEL

    WB3BEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    For rigs not having some visual zero beat indicator, you can always run a waterfall spectrum program on the receiver. Use whatever spectrum display program you like. Perhaps one you already use for digital modes. Merely adjust the tuning knob to put the received CW tone on the right frequency.
  5. K9XR

    K9XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also like the one in the FT-950. The problem with doing it the old way is that you can vary the transmit offset frequency in most of these new rigs and that opens up a whole new can of worms. With the narrow filters that everybody uses these days (especially in a DX pile up and in contests), it doesn't take much at all to be out of the other stations passband.

  6. VE6KAD

    VE6KAD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll second this method. I do have the FT-950 but for me, I find using the waterfall a lot faster since I usually have dm780 already running for the digi modes. Most of the time I just click on the signal in the waterfall then click the green C in dm780 to center it for me, don't have to touch the tuning knob at all that way. I don't think it gets faster than that.

  7. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I actually like touching the tuning knob. I spend just about all of my work day in front of a computer display and so I try not to use one when I'm in the shack....I just gotta give my tired eyes a rest.
  8. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could you elaborate?

    Tuning the dial is required in both instances unless you are computer controlling the rig and offset. Having done it both ways, I don't understand how using two or more controls is easier than one (your ears). I'm of course discounting the pitch offset as that is a self-inflicted complication. Am I missing something?
  9. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, honestly, a visual indicator might not be easier for you. I find it which I guess I really mean "quicker" use a visual indicator because, if I'm working with my ears only, it usually takes me a little while to tell when the tones are in zero beat. I have to really focus on the tones and not on anything else I may be hearing in the background (static crashes, etc.). Not a big deal. In fact, I don't mind doing it by ear at all to tell you the truth. But I'm a little quicker when I use a visual indicator. But I wouldn't necessarily expect what's easier for me to be easier for others in this area.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Rigs do this in different ways, and I think the visual indicator is pretty slick. My little FT-857D mobile rig has one, it's just an LED up on the top of the front panel.

    Ten Tec rigs have a SPOT button on the front panel. You tune someone in, then hit SPOT and turn the dial until the tones match (zero beat) and release the button. That works very well and can get you within a few Hz very easily, but it takes two hands to push the button and turn the knob.

    In a "rapid fire" situation like a contest, I don't bother using that. I just set the IF filter to 150 Hz, which is pretty narrow, and tune the station in to a peak; when I transmit, I'm within several Hz of that frequency, which is close enough. That only takes one hand.:p
  11. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The TS-590S has a CW-T button that will automatically tune the incoming signal to the tone frequency you have selected. Just push the button and done. Another way is the display I get on a spectrum where I can move the tuning up or down to get very close to exactly on. There are times when the TS-590S goes off in a tangent. Mostly though it works even on weak signals in the noise.
    Don't really know how TenTec does theirs. Might be better.
    Have fun and go to the nearest Amateur Radio shop and try it out.
  12. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hummm, a zero beat app?


    I got one between my ears that has worked out pretty darn good for me over the years.

    The old saying close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades should also include tuning in your shortwave signals.
  13. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you can't tell without an indicator, why would you need the indicator anyway?
  14. KI6J

    KI6J Ham Member QRZ Page

  15. KC2SIZ

    KC2SIZ Ham Member QRZ Page

  16. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator QRZ Page

    I go one step farther.

    Using FLDigi, I've centered (in Config) CW to my transceiver's audio freguency offset, which in my case is 800Hz. At a glance, I can tell if I'm high or low. And correct it almost instantly.

    Sometimes, being spot-on is the difference between making the contact and not.


  17. G4OTU

    G4OTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use the Mk.1 ear'ole ...seems to have worked well for several decades.
  18. N4IAG

    N4IAG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do the same thing.

    I envy you guys with perfect hearing. I suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) of varying intensity, and sometimes have trouble zero beating. My ears just aren't reliable. Most of the CW reader apps show the received tone frequency, and I use one to quickly tune the incoming signal to my 600 Hz setting. I try to be within 10 Hz, but without help I can easily be off 50-100 Hz and not know it.

    And another zero beat kit:
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