Well, the time has come to buy a new HF rig. The old TS850s has succumbed to the dreaded Carrier Board ASIC failures. The word was that it was the power supply bypass electrolytic caps that did them in. So, I changed them long ago. But, now it starts having some distortion on receive on first one band then another as operating time goes on. Then the distortion affects the transmit signal. It gets worse as time passes.
There are no replacement ASICs out there. There is a 3rd party board with a different design but done such that it is a drop in replacement. But is it worthwhile to mess with any longer? I don't really think so as I see there are a few other minor issues to be corrected now that I have the rig on the test bench. The VCO is a bit drifty as it needs a new trimmer cap - I went to retune it and it went nuts. The ALC is varying in AM mode (which I don't use and so didn't see this on SSB or CW). I think that's from a DC-DC converter. There's a bit too much noise with the high gain RX path, but I usually use AIP and didn't notice how bad it is on the air with all those other noises.
All is fixable with a little bench time. So I might keep an eye out for a newer serial number unit at hamfests. One that would have the new ASICs one can't get these days. Otherwise, it can live on my Shelves of Obsolete Electronics until one day when it goes to recycle. That happens to a lot of things. Keep for a while and then either sell it off for parts or just recycle it.
So, what to do? I still want to have a new Hybrid design rig. The lowest cost of those is the Kenwood TS590SG. And KW has some B stock available right now. $1149 from Main Trading Company in Paris, TX. So that's what I ordered yesterday. Winter is always my low cash time of year yet also when I'm on the air the most often. In the meantime, my once again repaired TS430s is back on the air as the main radio. I do miss having my diversity receive though. The new rig will be here within a week, though.
Stan - w2ck
Congratulations!! New Rig Day!
I have a friend who has the 590SG and he LOVES it. Like you, he's been a Kenwood guy for a long time. I've never had a KW HF radio but I'll run my D710's till they can't be repaired anymore. That's a great price you scored it for.
I'll be honest, I'm a bit spoiled by the spectrum analyzers on modern HF radios.
You are going to have a fun rest of the winter playing with a new radio! Enjoy!