The TS-890S Is Here

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KA4DPO, Aug 6, 2018.

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  1. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Funny, I find this exciting and if I were going to buy one, from what I know so far, it would top the list ahead of the new Yaesu and the Icom 9610 (all subject to change once the Kenwood and Yaesu hit the streets and we get some real world evaluation, of course.)

    You seem to be stuck just on the fact it's not SDR.
  2. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    SDR will no doubt be the end game for most companies. Why? Because it's a whole lot cheaper for a company to make a single software package and duplicate it a thousand times for a thousand black boxes than to make a thousand physical front ends for a thousand traditional radios.

    Need to fix a problem? Just modify the software and provide downloads. No shipping. No replacing parts

    Also, the less parts a rig has the less physical problems that the company must fix under warranty. Every knob, switch, meter, button and lever represents a potential financial liability when they break, fall off, wear out, etc.

    I'm not saying it will end up being better. I'm just saying it will end up costing the companies less and that's really all that matters to most companies.
    WF7A and NL7W like this.
  3. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think you're right. :cool:
  4. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    SDR is DSP by definition, but DSP is not necessarily SDR.

    The major difference between the performance attainable between IF-DSP and direct sampling SDR is that the close-in sideband performance becomes much better, as the tuneable first LO synthesiser is not needed at all.

    A DDS architecture usually gives superior LO sideband noise performance compared to the PLL synthesiser, but when you for some reason need a dynamic range in excess of 120 dB, the discrete spurious suppression of DDS will not be good enough, which is directly related to the truncation errors due to its finite word length.

    For these reasons, many LO synthesisers use hybrid designs, where the DDS controls a PLL or "clean-up loop", but then the close-in noise suppression issue surfaces again.

    Looking into the total performance issues, even medium-grade ADC components and clock sources are capable of creating SDR-based transceivers that are sufficiently good for maybe 90 or 95% of the amateur radio usage profiles, at a cost that is significantly lower than any other architecture.

    When the Chinese finally learn to build power amplifier chains in the 100 W class with consistent quality and performance, the day of the $300-350 SDR HF transceiver may be here.

    Then all other manufacturers have to watch out...

  5. KA5DOB

    KA5DOB Ham Member QRZ Page

    More TS-890S information.

    Here below is, Universal Radio saying, the FCC approved the new 890 recently. No doubt this is going to be a great radio to own. My 590SG uses one 32-decimal float point processor, the TS-890 uses two of them.

    [​IMG] 08/05/18
    This device has been approved by the F.C.C. We will post additional photos, more technical information, availability and pricing as soon as it is released.

    The 890 radios are being built starting last week in the 990 factory in Japan. They should be shipping over the month of September. Keep a eye out on your favorite dealers 890 page. They should post the price and delivery dates when the information comes from Kenwood. That should happen later this month or early next month.

    Here below I found the full operator's manual on the new TS-890. You can download one pdf and go though it or do all four and see the whole manual. Be sure to enlarge each pdf to full screen making is easier to read.


    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There is another element to the SDR thing, at least when it comes to "pure" ones like the Flex - some of us spend enough darned time in front of a PC anyway. That's one reason, though not the only one, that I do film photography and darkroom work. Digital finally surpassed it in possible quality of output and it's even relatively affordable. It's just that I do photography (or did, and will again, just not so much now) as a hobby and I work with computers all the time and also use them as purely utilitarian tools all the time. The last thing I want is for computers to invade my creative hobby (photography) as well, and to a lesser extent radio.

    Yes I know about the Maestro. So buy another box to make the very expensive computer that will do radio stuff actually work like a radio.*

    Finally got my FT-990 fixed and working again so I think it's way past time I set up the AM station of the DX-100 and Mohawk I bought a while back. Need to get it on the air before I need the extra heat for the shack this fall and winter. :D

    *In the words of Foghorn, that was a joke, I say, a joke son! (Mostly.)
    WZ7U and N2EY like this.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe. But....that sort of cost thing is one BIG reason SSB transceivers took over the AM voice market!

    Here's proof: In the late 1950s, you could buy a Heathkit Mohawk/Apache combo for about $600 when you include the shipping, a speaker, etc. What you got was a 100-watt-class AM/CW setup that could not transceive but was otherwise pretty good.

    Fast forward to the mid-1960s, and you could buy a Heathkit SB-101/SB-200/HP-23 setup for about the same $600 (adjusted for inflation). What you got was a 100 watt SSB/CW setup, with CW filter - and a 1200 watt PEP amplifier. The whole package was smaller and lighter, and you could take the SB-101 mobile or portable.

    Perhaps the same thing will happen with SDRs.

    There's a catch with PC-based or PC-connected SDRs, though: PCs become obsolete much faster.
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think they ultimately will.

    However as recently as only a couple of years ago I still found them going from "design to production" by removing parts until equipment stopped working, and then putting the last removed part back in. You probably know what I mean by that.

    We tried using a contract manufacturer (very large one! - but without the kind of controls imposed like Apple has) in China and it was amusing: We gave them 50 kits of parts, all pre-kitted so they only had to use what we supplied; along with drawings, diagrams, models, a fully assembled functional sample, and parts lists detailing every single part used, down to paint and screws. What we did not do, which I'm sure very big companies (like Apple) do is send people over there to watch what they did.

    They assembled the 50 units very quickly. Actually we had them back here in the States only about a week after we shipped the kits.

    We inspected the 50 assembled units. They did not use our hardware, they changed it to something else. They didn't even use our 120mm cooling fans (which we supplied!), they changed those to cheaper Chinese ones. Incredibly, they didn't even use the nylon tie-wraps we provided, and changed those also to ones that looked similar but not what we provided. We supplied all stainless-steel machine screws, lockwashers and nuts and they changed them to something else.

    I could hardly believe it. They went into their "cost-saving mode" even when we supplied all the parts!

    I'm sure they don't do that with iPhones. But they did it with us, and we couldn't trust them to not degrade the quality of the product so we canceled the agreement and continued manufacturing here.
    N2EY, WA9UAA and KD2ACO like this.
  9. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you QRZ editor for deleting my comment.

    But to repeat...$4K is out of reach for some of us. Maybe I'll start a Go Fund Me
  10. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quality control is the key to success in demanding markets, and lack of quality control may spell doom over otherwise good products.

    I got to witness this in the late 90s when a company where a friend of mine was a board member, first outsourced their production to Estonia, and then to China, all to please the bean-counters. The Estonian operations had decent quality, but were deemed too expensive when the wages there increased, but the Chinese had quite bad quality control.

    This caused the company to get dissatisfied customers, lose a world-leading position in cellular basestation antenna combining and signal distribution systems, and finally go bankrupt. (As a digression, I had put some faith in the company and invested the inheritance from my mother in their stocks. Fortunately, I sold the stock to buy our present house in 1993.)

    So, not following up contract manufacturers may lead to disaster.

    It remains to be seen how a Chinese budget SDR HF radio will "look and feel".
    A very likely outcome might be a "bare-bones" functional equivalent to the IC-7300 which has proven to be a "winning concept".

    However, the biggest challenge would be to estimate the size of the potential market.
    How large market share could a very low-oriced HF product take, with the present ageing amateur population and the difficulties of attracting younger people accounted for?.


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