Would you rather: TS-2000 vs IC-9100 with or without 23cm addons

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by K3RW, Jul 14, 2018.


TS-2000 or IC-9100 (for both, with or without modules)

  1. TS-2000 without native 23cm module (use GPS lockable transverter)

    1 vote(s)
  2. TS-2000 with native 23cm module (it is GPS lockable and/or its good enough)

    6 vote(s)
  3. IC-9100 without native 23cm module (use GPS lockable transverter)

    2 vote(s)
  4. IC-9100 with native 23cm module (it is GPS lockable and/or its good enough)

    20 vote(s)
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  1. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been seeing a lot of TS-2000s for sale lately. I see IC-9100s occasionally.

    Both seem to have qualities I like, VHF/UHF built in, satellite full duplex capability, etc. From what I can tell, the TS-2000 still needs a USB sound card interface, but the 9100 doesn't (can anyone verify either of that?). I have a SignaLink USB box, wired for ICOM, but should only be a cable change if it were necessary for the TS-2000.

    So here goes.

    TS-2000x = no affordium. And likewise, a 9100 with the 23cm module = no affordium (I have no use for D-Star most of the time)

    But I can find both rigs without it, and despite what the internet says, there are instructions to load the 23cm module into the TS-2000 and 'make it' a TS-2000x. I would definitely have this done professionally, aligned, etc. But the modules are out there.

    Same is true for the IC-9100, though maybe it doesn't require as much pro-level work to get it in there. But I'd send either unit off to have it aligned and installed, and keep the techs in business.

    What I don't know about either rig, is if the 23cm add on could be GPS lockable. If not, I'd be better off getting a SG Labs transverter for around $230 that IS GPS lockable. Downside is, theirs is around 2w out. Both the Kenwood and ICOM ones claim 1-10w out (though if they are drifty, that isn't good).

    So to summarize, looking for advice:

    • Get the ICOM or get the Kenwood? and why?
    • Do I need a sound card interface with either rig? (only my 706s use it, all the others plug right in)
    • Are the ICOM or Kenwoods GPS-lockable 23cm modules?
    • Do both units do full duplex (I think they do)?
    The 9700 looks great, assuming it works as intended, but its price point will likely be sky high. Don't want to wait that long, and would like something on 23cm NOW.

    And for fun, I put a poll on this thread. Just curious what you'd use if you were in my choice. If ALL else were equal, Kenwood looks to be slightly cheaper. But I'd like 'it works better'. Only thing I heard about the TS-2000x a while back was a guy saying about his friends rig 'it needs a pre-amp to the pre-amp, its so deaf on 23cm'. Of course that could mean the guy was running 100ft of RG-58, so that's the only thing I've heard about it.

    Not that this would be my future EME rig, but I would like to at least have that 'ability' in the future. EME capable, I guess. And I'd like to have the rig drive 23cm into the higher end transverters 10-24 GHz, for example. I'll go SDR for some of that, but would be nice to play with some of it now.
  2. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you won't need to gps lock unless you are playing around with cutting edge weak signal eme/tropo.

    Even then it's hard to imagine a mode where a txco isn't good enough.

    K3RW likes this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^I agree. It's easy to be stable at 23cm.

    The frequency locking methods are more common on the microwave bands. Almost everyone on 10.3 GHz uses them, otherwise it's easy to be a few kHz off frequency; but on 1296 MHz I've never had that problem.
  4. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, if I wanted it to be an EME-capable setup, I'd want it less drifty at 23cm. Would like to grid hunt and do tropo at some ponit. I could either find the way to make the modules that go into these rigs GPS lockable, or just get a transverter that already is.

    It is definitely cheaper by far to just get the rigs without the modules, and get a SG Labs transverter, and GPS lock that. I'd only give up 8w. But then I could afford an amplifier :cool:

    I could always drive the 10G transverters and lock it there on 10G, rather than try to lock it at 23cm and multiply it up. But if I did ONLY 23cm EME at some point, I'd want it rock stable.
  5. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are either of the modules essentially multiplier boards (and basically transverters themselves)? If so, then their noise figures, etc., probably are less great than the SG Labs/DEMI/etc.?

    If so, I'd probably be better off to get a better quality 23cm transverter and lock it myself. Avoid multiplication errors when I drive higher modules I suppose.
  6. KD4UPL

    KD4UPL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd get the Icom. Someone donated a TS-2000 to our club. It had no RF output on any band except 70cm so it went to Kenwood for repair. Shortly after the "multi" knob that selects just about everything got really flaky and made it almost impossible to adjust the menu settings. It went to Kenwood for repair. The microphone quit working. A club member repaired it. The "multi" knob is still squirrely and really ought to be repaired again.
    This experience has been typical of my experience with Kenwood radios.
    K3RW likes this.
  7. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I purchased a KW TS 2000 8 years ago and have zero problems.
    The second receiver Tunes the 222 band as well as up to 500 mhz.
    The radio RX all the way down to 30 khz and covers the two new long wave bands.
    I can monitor both HF and vhf/uhf at the same time and TX off the second RX at the touch of a button.
    Do splits on the same band or cross band.
    I built a 222 all mode transverter driven add on station with the ability to run 190 watts.
    The TV is a DEMI with fan cooling on the fins. It's very stable for the use it gets. It pays to add a frequency counter with good stability and calibration so you know where your at and can make calibration and corrections for a small amount of drift. the first thing to do is put the 2000 on frequency, calibrate the TV or the final F will be in question..
    A menu function allows the Digital readout to be keyed in direct to full time readout on the band in use. This is when a good counter is necessary.
    I find that the other stations are not stable or know where they are at when you try to meet them on an agreed frequency then they leave to soon and miss the contact because they are to much in a hurry..
    As far as the 2000 goes, it's about the oldest design still marketed but performs quite well.
    Has a ton of functions if one learns how to use them. For instance it is one of the few that takes the FM receiver narrow band along with the transmit. This greatly increases the sensitivity.
    The 60m band is easy to open up and place the 5 channels in memory so you don't have to dial them in and possibly be off frequency.
    I can even put 222 FM repeaters in memory. What really happens is the 10m band RX/TX is what goes in memory that drives the Transverter.
    And lots more.
    Btw there is a lot of manual operation set up when doing repeater splits with TV so you have to pay attention to what your doing for setup, unlike more automated systems.
    I have no need to change radios for any reason.
    Very few would be an upgrade for me.
    And by the way, my 2000 is not Rx deaf on good antenna systems.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
    K3RW likes this.
  8. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info.

    As far as running digital modes, do you need to run a soundcard interface, like a SignaLink USB? ICOM 9100 has a USB out, but looking at the TS-2000 I don't know if there is a serial cable or special thingee.

    Two quick questions...
    1) how did you hookup the transverter (in the rear panels), did it display the right frequency on the dial in transverter mode?
    2) do the Kenwoods have the equivalent of the PBT tuning that ICOM has, the passband tuning knobs where you can blank out left and right of a waterfall easily
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  9. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is there an equivalent Yaesu I should also consider?
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a TS-790, and it was NOT cheap! But it took longer to remove the screws, than to actually add the 126 MHz module All in all, it took less than an hour. I suspect both the TS2000 and IC-9100 are similar.Given the choice, I'd go with the IC-9100, and maybe add the 1296 module at a later time. The IC-9100 is newer, and (IMHO, at least) is a better performer.

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