How "Dated" Is The Kenwood TS 850 ?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KA7NIQ, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess time marches on ? The Kenwood TS 850 had that honor, at one time. Of course, the 850 does not have all the bells and whistles of the FTDX 5000. I started out with the old Kenwood 520, then went to a Yaesu 301. That kind of 'cured' me from Yaesu. I have had no problems with the TS 850, in all these years.
  2. KD1MA

    KD1MA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would spend the money on a DSP100 (asssuming you have already have a good antenna system). The 850/DSP100 combo is hard to beat!
  3. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I have been told that the TS 850 with the DSP 100 is great for ESSB ? I have mixed feelings about ESSB, honestly. I am a rabid audiophile, very much into pleasing sounds, but it is my feelings a FEW of these ESSB Lids carry it too far! Now, don't get me wrong, there are several ESSB Guys who care about splatter, operating on BOTH sidebands, etc, etc. But a FEW of them I consider no better than glorified CB'ers with Echo Boxes. The old timers had a device called the "wouff houng" that was carefully applied to the Lids of their day. Unfortunately, many of the old timers are long forgotten silent keys. Thus, you see Liddish behavior flourshing on our bands more often. Take 75 meters on any evening for instance ? You see people already 15 to 20 over S9 with 100 watts, operating well over legal limit amplifiers, and openly bragging about it. God help us all if ESSB catches on with these Lids. It is my understanding that with the DSP 100, you can run a little more transmit bandwidth on SSB with the TS 850 because of the steeper digital filter slopes. Is that correct ? Kind of like having your cake, and eating it too ? I am all for a better sounding transmit sound, just as long as it does not cause any interference to my fellow Hams.
  4. NL7W

    NL7W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, a few top rigs today can best it. Yet, this 20-year old rig is STILL competitive. A pair of INRAD 400 Hz filters do fine on CW. For SSB'ers, a matched pair of 2.1 KHz filters are also FB. This remains an awesome rig -- even by today's standards.

    Besides, the transmit and receive audio it generates is outstanding, and can be listened to for hours and hours. Arguably, this is the best analog-era Kenwood ham transceiver.

    I won't let anyone pry my mint TS-850Sat away from me! :)

  5. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Seems to me that if you are a real audio buff then you would enjoy AM a great deal. Nothing sounds better than a 100 percent plate modulated AM transmitter. It take a bit more doing than with SSB to get a reasonably powered rig but it is well worth the effort.
  6. W7ARX

    W7ARX Guest

    Still a great performer and for $100's less then the 590 or K3. You have to determine your needs and go from there...
  7. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    LOL, I am NOT "proud" of this, but as a CB'er I once ran an old Johnson Desktop Kilowatt on CB, LOL It was LOUD with that plate modulated AM. I have heard the Kenwood 850 can be made to work ok on AM ? Of course, there is no substitute for plate modulation!
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, there is. Modern DSP rigs can generate full, very well modulated and very good fidelity AM. Problem is they do this at greatly reduced power, usually 25% of the power they can run on CW.

    My TS-850SAT with the DSP100 sounds wonderful on AM -- nobody ever asks if it's an SSB rig; actually, most people ask what kind of old "boat anchor" plate modulated rig it is. You have to set the carrier level to 25W to accomplish this. The only advantage to plate modulated rigs is they can run more power.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfortunately, there are no current manufacture (to my knowledge) 6 and 2 Meter multi-mode radios.(I sure wish there were!)
    The TS-850 is a fine radio, and I would have grabbed one (used) in an instance if it had 6 Meter capability. Instead I bought one of the last TS-570(S)G radios available, as it had full power on HF AND 6 Meters. (I have the TS-790, which gives me the 2 M, 70 cm, and 23 cm multi-mode capability.)
    If you are looking for a "DC-to-daylight" radio in a box (HF + VHF, or HF+ VHF+UHF) you will likely compromise performance in all aspects, and not have the excellent receive performance of the TS-850 on ANY band.
    You might consider high quality transverters for the VHF bands to use in conjunction with the TS-850.
  10. KA7NIQ

    KA7NIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, I am sold! How much will a DSP 100 set me back, and are they to be found anymore ?
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