Notes on owning a Kenwood TS-2000

Email to the group: Monday 5th December 2005

Early observations

Hi all

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

The TS-2000 came loaded with the optional "parrot" (Voice Keyer [Ed]).
It's easy to use and can record three short messages. The message is
replayed 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 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 it 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 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
were no suggestions 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 PIQ 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 a 8 pin DIN; fiddly to wire
up. The audio connections for Packet or WSJT are on a 13 pin DIN; what a

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

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

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.

As for the contest, well ! For several previous years I've used 25w to a
single yagi. This year with 100w to 2 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.

You did not solicit this extensive report, but I've sent it anyway, while
waiting for the heating service man to turn up.

CU de John

Email to the group: Monday 5th December 2005

Web resources

Wow, lots of info there. I've already joined the yahoooo reflector for
TS-2000 - it's pretty busy too.

Email to the group: Saturday 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).


(added 24 November 2007 [Ed])
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 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.

Email to the group: Saturday 10th December 2005

Coping with the small controls - CQ Caller

Evening all

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).



Email to the group: Monday 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 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

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.



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