Anybody has both TS-590S(G) and TS-480?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N2IW, Aug 30, 2019.

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  1. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have both, and TS-480SAT's antenna port connected to 590SG's DRV port as sub-receiver. I found that the same signal would show a couple S stronger on 480, also sounded a bit louder and clearer. I expected they should sound and displayed basically the same, and was surprised by the result.

    Anybody has both of them, and can tell me your experience? I've sent an email to Kenwood, but would like to know your experience also. Thanks!

    Ming, N2IW
  2. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I mated my TS480SAT with the TS590SG some time ago.

    I can't say that I remember the signal and/or the audio level being different from one another. I know the audio sounded the same but I really did not focus on the S meter.
    Make sure the ATU in the 480 is in the bypass position, ATT is off and check the RF gain. I think I have high boost on. Make sure your's is not in the FLAT position.

    As for the 590, make sure the pre amp is off. You can't have the pre amp on in the 590 and off in the 480 and then expect them to be the same.

    I do remember, I was impressed with the linking of the 480 as a sub receiver with the 590. I have a TS990S so I had no need to keep the two radios paired.

    Barry, KU3X
    KE0EYJ, N2IW and KA0HCP like this.
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great demo Barry! I don't recall anyone showing this configuration. Thanks. b.
  4. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad you like it. It sure is a lot cheaper than getting a TS990S ! You could buy two each TS590SG's and still be less than a TS990S would cost you.
  5. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Barry! Your video is one of the reasons that I bought TS-590SG instead of IC-7300, because I have a TS-480SAT and I really like to have a sub-receiver! I did a little more than what you showed in your video, I connected 590 and 480 with a null-modem RS-232 cable, and now I can transfer frequencies between the two radios! I usually use 590 to listen to pileup and 480 listen to DX. When I find a DX on 590, I press Q-M.IN button, then 480 is set to the DX's frequency, then I use 590 to find last station the DX worked and I'm ready to transmit! Or I can set 590 to split mode, and listen to DX. Use 480 to find last station the DX worked, then press QMI button and set 590's VFO B to that station and I'm ready to transmit!

    Back to my original question, I did some more testing last night, and found out that if I set 480 and 590's filter both to 1000Hz wide, then the S meter read the same, and sounded same also! Further testing showed that when filter on 480 is set to 600Hz and lower, S meter read a couple of S higher, and the signal sounded louder also. BTW. I have an optional 500Hz CW filter installed on 480. I guess that 480's designed that when the 500Hz filter is online, it increase the IF gain a little (maybe to compensate insertion loss of the filter?) . But 590 seems doesn't do that, and result is signal sounded louder and the S-meter read higher.

    I was totally satisfied with my TS-590SG, but the 480 is definitely still a very good radio! I'll keep it until I buy a TS-890S, then use 590 as a sub-receiver. At the same time, I'm trying to make SDRPlay work as a panadapter for 590 on my Mac, it worked fine on Windows machine, but I prefer Mac. I'm using a Y cable from DRV port to both 480 and SDRPlay, it works but I wonder should I add a antenna switch there? After all I don't think I'll use sub-receiver and pandapter at the same time.

  6. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Definitely! A TS-890S + a TS-590SG would be a better combination and still much cheaper than TS-990S and TS-890S has a better receiver!
  7. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would use a splitter for using both the SDR and the 480 on the same antenna. It may be ok to do it how you are doing it, but I'd feel better using a splitter. That is, if you want to use them both at the same time. I don't know if they sell splitters, I make my own. We've use a splitter when we share beverage antennas with two radios.
  8. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've said this before in another thread...

    Recently sold my Icom 7300 for an FTDX3000. I have also since picked-up a used 480SAT.

    In direct A/B comparison between the 480SAT and the FTDX3000, I find the 480SAT is same or a smidge better than the FTDX3000 on many signals (because I can very quickly zip through the Kenwood RX profiles, which do the tweaking for you), until I get into the menus on the FTDX3000, where I can tweak a very faint DX signal more, using about +10 Contour at +11 bandwidth, Shift, some width adjustment, and lastly, USB or LSB Carrier adjustment. After all of that, I can THEN FINALLY get a better DX signal out of my FTDX3000, which surpasses the 480SAT. But for 98% of signals, I can quickly zip through the Kenwood RX sound profiles, and pop signals out really well.

    So yes, my FTDX3000 will out-perform my 480SAT, but after a lot of work and tweaking. Two different markets for these radios, but I found the comparison interesting. If only the 480SAT had a panadapter....

    The 480SAT has a smooth RX sound, and is a pleasure to listen to long-term (my 7300 made my ears tired, and long-term, was hard on my ears through headphones). I really love the 480, and wonder how it would do on close-in signals with the additional filters... I am not a big contest guy, and the bands aren't exactly filled with much for adjacent signals these days, anyway. That's where the 3000 and moreso a 590SG will pull ahead.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  9. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    BTW- TS-480 is discontinued. Only remaining stocks at Ham stores are left.
  10. N2IW

    N2IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe there will be a new Kenwood mobile HF radio coming?

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