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notes on using a ts-2000

 

 

This is a short series of notes I made shortly after obtaining a used TS-2000X in 2005. The first serious use of this transceiver was in the RSGB December 2m contest.

 

These notes were hosted by G1OGY on his web pages for several years, www.g1ogy.com - for which many thanks.

 

5th December 2005

 

Early observations

 

Some of you will know that I recently bought a TS-2000, which gives me the

ability to compare in a non-technical manner three competing rigs - the

others being the FT-847 and the IC-746. I've used the latter two rigs

extensively in the past, so yesterday it was the turn of the Kenwood, in the

144AFS contest. It's a 100w output on 2m, so no great need for an amplifier,

bearing in mind that other Colchester members need to make some qso's as

well.

 

The TS-2000 came loaded with the optional "parrot" (Voice Keyer).

It's easy to use and can record three short messages. The message is

re-played with one front panel button push. The button is small and the

front panel is quite crowded. I used a further facility which is accessed

from the menus, to have the message repeat with a user defined gap for

callers. There seems to be no end to the number of repeats it will do!

A "clear" button must be used to stop the recycling message. It too is

small and I missed it a few times. Answering a caller does not defeat the

parrot - this is poor design.

 

Audio levels from the parrot and the live microphone seem to be different,

but maybe I just haven't learnt how to drive it properly. I tried a Heil

headset, but was not satisfied with the results on the monitor, again more

investigation is needed.

 

Average levels of the ssb transmission are quite low compared to maximum

carrier level - unable to "talk it up", unlike the 847.

 

It does not interface directly with the SSB Electronics preamp (unlike the

847 the Kenwood does not provide DC up the coax as an option). I used the DCW sequencer without difficulty. Without preamp the TS-2000 is surprisingly

sensitive, but it's certainly not "lively".

 

With a number of locals on the band I was prepared for the receiver to "fall

over", bearing in mind I had 2x 12 eles up at around 50ft, with preamp. There

was no suggestion of overload, and only one problem signal was observed,

and I'm pretty sure that was a transmitter problem. However, some of the

bigger suspects like G4PIQ were not qrv. All the usual clicks, burbles,

wobblers and interference which I've noted in the past on the FT1000/LT2S

combination were clearly in evidence on the TS-2000, so I guess they're

really there.

 

PTT connections for amplifiers are available on an 8 pin DIN; fiddly to wire

up. The audio connections for Packet or WSJT are on a 13 pin DIN; really tedious!

 

The TS-2000 does not have a fan running all the time, so there's no annoying

whine like the 847. During extended transmission the fan comes on slow and

runs at higher speed when necessary. The heatsink never got more than warm. Output power is controlled from 5 to 100 watts in 5w increments, or 1w

increments via a further menu change; it's nice to be able to adjust drive

levels with some confidence, for an amplifier for example. Slow switching is

available for those amplifiers which must not see any RF before the ptt goes

over.

 

I did some non-technical measurements on received signal widths, by pointing

at the Wrotham beacon, and tuning the rigs through the signal, approaching

the signal from "outside" in each direction to the point where I just became

aware that I could either hear a high pitch whistle, or phase noise or

similar. This was quite enlightening, although it's only one (clean?)

signal, and it's only 9 + 20 here. These are the results of the Norwegian

jury:-

 

FT1000mp + LT2S     3.2kHz

TS-2000             3.1kHz

FT-847             5.1kHz

IC-746             3.8kHz

 

Notes:- The FT847 was observed by ear to have significant phase noise

problems. It also had slight breakthrough on the lower sideband which is the

main reason for the width observed.

 

All in all, a good debut for the Kenwood and I won't be selling it yet. I'm

told it's not good for WSJT because the audio out (or in?) is a poor

response, I've yet to play with this. (Note, this anecdotal evidence turned out to be false, the Kenwood is fine for digital modes).

 

As for the contest, well ! For several previous years I've used 25w to a

single yagi. This year with 100w to 2 x 12 eles my score was a little down,

although qso numbers were a little bit up. Maybe that's just conditions but

there was certainly no real dx. Missed GM and GI despite trying that way

quite often. Used ON4KST to try and drum up activity, without actually

saying "beam at JO01 on 144.293". There aren't really enough users within

range to make this effective outside a major contest. I tried using cw, and

2 of the 4 replies were at less than 50km, very frustrating. Activity north

of IO93 etc was almost non-existent, which seems normal these days.

 


 

Web resources

 

http://www.ham.dmz.ro/kenwood/ts-2000.php

 

Wow, lots of info there. I've already joined the yahoooo reflector for

TS-2000 - it's pretty busy too.

 


10th December 2005

 

23 Centimetre coverage

 

I have found out, after purchase, that early (first four years of

production!) versions of the 23cms module have a problem on tx. There is

insufficient bias on the driver and output modules (good old M57762). It's

around 6.8v, instead of 9v. Clearly marked as such in the service manual

and I confirmed it with measurements yesterday on mine. The effect ranges

from scratchy audio to almost unreadable, depending on the tolerance of each

particular module.

 

The modification requires component changes and reprogramming of some

firmware, not something for the kitchen table enthusiast to tackle. So, as a

first step, accepting that sooner or later I might well actually use it on

23, I need to get an antenna up and have some local reports to see how bad

my particular rig is.

 

Crikey, I'd have been well impressed if I'd bought this new (although that

would have given me a better path to a free repair).

 

 

 

 


10th December 2005

 

Coping with the small controls - CQ Caller

 

Firstly a little update on the TS2000: I reported after the 2m contest that

the use of the digital parrot was a bit fiddly with the small front panel

buttons. That's been sorted, by getting an optional hand mic. It has four

programmable buttons, which I've configured for messages 1, 2 and 3, plus

"clear". Now that I can see how it's implemented, I can make a "break-out"

box to do the same thing and plumb it into the Heil adaptor lead. It will

become very similar to the Yaesu parrot.

 

More calls to add to my "heard on eme" list today: ZL3TY on FSK, plus OK1MS

and IK3MAC on CW (unless tropo was much better than I believe it was).

 


22 May 2006

 

CQ Caller (Digital Recording Unit)

 

My first notes on the TS-2000 on 5th December referred to possible

difficulties in running WSJT (experienced by others), and I also made some

comments about the digital recording unit. Here's a small update:-

 

I now have a good number of JT65 2m EME qso's completed, using the TS-2000 driving a valve amplifier. Contrary to views by others, I've had no problem at all in obtaining the correct levels and frequency response. No

modifications were needed. My interface is by G3LIV. It's necessary to make

several connections onto a 13pin DIN - I struggled but got there with

patience.

 

The digital recording unit has been the source of many emails lately on the

Yahoo TS-2000 reflector. It seems I am not the only one to think it could

work better. Problem 1: The level from the DRU is not the same as the level

from the microphone. Problem 2: There is a hum or buzz on the recorded

signal. It doesn't affect readability at a distance, but it doesn't sound

nice locally. After much discussion I'm not sure that there's been a

consensus on how to sort this.

 

Lastly I've changed the nasty SO239 2m antenna socket for an N type. This

has been on my "to do" list for a while. It would have been sorted earlier

but I needed a source of 2 hole N Types at a sensible price. Ended up

importing some from RF Parts.

 

 

24 November 2007

Kenwood have a modification board that can be added to the 23cms unit to

correct the tx bias volts on the M57762. I have recently had this fitted by Kenwood UK and I've confirmed the bias is now correct. I can also confirm that it does not look like a job most of us could do at home.