I decided it was time to check some of my TS-590S actions and what they can do (that means I'm going to play). That got me wondering what the capability of the Automatic Antenna Tuner in the 590 and what it can and cannot do. The results were really surprising. I found that I could tune easily at 3:1 just like any other rig with an ATU. So I took it farther and the point where the ATU gives up is above 10:1 SWR. That's a lot more then you get with some of the other offerings out there.
Keep in mind an antenna at 10:1 may not be the best thing to use but in a pinch the 590 can cover it. What got me really interested in finding out was a short bit that mentioned the 590 would always have problems with a SWR above 10:1. That's true, but hey, 10:1 isn't bad by todays standards.
Just thought I would toss that out there for others thinking about a new rig.
Last edited by KO6WB; 06-10-2012 at 10:38 PM.
I have a Heil PR-781 mic into this radio, so I probably should dial the mic level back from the out-of-the-box setting of 50. Try some processing too. Maybe that'll work. Fiddled with the antenna a bit today as well. Will play around a bit tonight. I will say one thing, the RX on this radio is awesome and the DSP is very cool!
I am thinking I need to default this radio back to the factory settings and start from scratch. I have watched a few You Tube videos from people setting up their new TS-590S radios and it seems that the ALC and mic gain settings have more than a few hams stumped. As much as this radio is simple to use, it appears that this particular area of operation is confusing to a large number of experienced and newbie operators. I am still not convinced that I am putting out 100 watts. I made more contacts on my old TS-450S at 25 and 50 watts then I have made on this radio. Actually, so far, I have not had one decent signal report. I must be doing something wrong.
"From the factory they set it so the DX station you want to work is actually putting the signal out through your TS-590S."
Say what? I re-read that sentance half a dozen times, and I still can't make heads or tails out of it.
The internal tuner will match 10:1.
Originally Posted by KJ6VWX
Sorry, thats wrong. There is a known misprint in the Kenwood manual. It will actually match 10:1, not 3:1. The reason that parts of the manual state 3:1 or 16.7 to 150 Ohm is because some lazy git in Japan copied and pasted a lot of the TS480 manual.
Originally Posted by KJ4VTH
I have tested it with a narrow band dipole and it will match 10:1.
My experience would agree with ~10:1 for the internal tuner. I have a KT-100 as well, works great with the TS-590S when wider range is needed..
Originally Posted by M0GVZ
Of cours, realize that while the "transmitter" portion of the radio may well put out rated 100 Watts, with a 10:1 SWR into the tuner, much of the power will be dissipated into heat by the tuner. Whether the tuner components are rated for extended operation at a 10:1 SWR with the associated power dissipation is a question only Kenwood can answer. For some modes (such as SSB or CW) the tuner MAY be able to cope, but unless the tuner circuitry is rated for continuous operation, modes such as RTTY,,FSK, etc. could exceed the power handling capability of the internal tuner.
Originally Posted by W6CD
I've worked a lot of guys on the air with TS-590's and there does seem to be a lot of confusion about setting them up to actually modulate properly.
Possibly their instructions suck, or people just take them too literally. (I never read such instructions, I just adjust stuff until it's working right.)
But they certainly can sound fine, and "punchy" and all good, without any outboard equalizers or accessories.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw
One common mistake is setting the mic gain too high; many operators want and insist upon maximum ALC operation when setting the "mic" gain. GUARANTEED to cause distortion in most cases. ALC should only bump up on scale during voice peaks.
Originally Posted by WB2WIK
Another common error is to use too much compression. One audio expert told our club that more than 6 dB of compression will actually DOWNGRADE the intelligibility of a signal, so operators should use little if any compression. (Set up the radio for normal operation and normal audio FIRST, and then add a bit of compression, if absolutely necessarily.) Too much compression (aside from causing unnecessary distortion) can also pick up noises as far away as the next room.