G'day, I am considering buying a Kenwood TS-480SAT mobile HF radio and would appreciate any pros and cons that you as an owner of one can share with me.
Tom / WA5DX
Update: Thanks to everyone for some really good views about this radio. Now, I must go buy one.....
thanks again, Tom
I use mine as a base station. I added a 300Hz and 1800Hz optional IF filters. I like it a lot and the price is reasonable for what you get. I like having two antenna connectors. The internal tuner works well provided SWR is less than about 3:1. I like being able to turn off the AGC.
Chief complaints are (1) I would prefer a front-panel knob for the RF gain instead of having to push and hold a button then turn a knob that only clicks in increments. (2) It would have made a lot more sense (to me, at least) to have the microphone & keys plug into the control head where you need them, not the main body of the rig which I'd like to tuck out of the way somewhere. (3) The control head is kind of light and the stand provided is kind of small. If you're planning to use it loose as a base station setup, i.e. on a desk or shelf, you'll want to velcro or screw it to some kind of base. (4) The S-meter doesn't work if the RF gain is turned down and/or the AGC is turned off, which is how I usually operate. So I just ignore the S-meter.
Most S-meters work off the AGC and act that way.
Originally Posted by [b
I use the 480-SAT for mobile and like it very much. I only operate cw so can't speak for SSB operation. In fact, Iv'e never even plugged the mic into it. It has a nice big display but the overall size of the remote head isn't too large. I prefer having the cw key jack on the main unit as opposed to the remote unit. Less wires hanging around. The speaker is aimed to the rear of the remote unit and works very well for me but it may depend on how you have it installed. Changing the receive gain is a quick push and brief hold of a key and then a dial control is used that reads out a scale of 0 to 100 and changes at a rate of 2 per click of the control. Works fine for me although the detents in the switch could be a little "lighter". I use an external auto-tuner to an 8' whip on the rear bumper of my Trailblazer so can't speak for the internal tuner. Iv'e had it for about a year and haven't had any problems with it.
I used my 480SAT mobile for about a year on CW and loved it. I have the 500Hz filter installed. It's a great rig. The salesman in the radio store (a regular poster here) sold me on it over the Yaesu 857 for the size of the readout alone.
Now I use it at home since I no longer drive and it works just fine. I agree about the RF gain but it's not the end of the world. And I rarely use the internal tuner but the times I have, it's worked as advertised.
I cannot recommend against it and given what I know of it, I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
Have a quick shuffty on e-ham and you will be able to read all the reports from those who have purchased one.