Kenwood TS-520

Kenwood TS-520 front

Kenwood TS-520
SSB transceiver

I own this one and have enjoyed many hours of listening to this hybrid tube/solid state transceiver.  I have an astatic d-104 microphone and although I don’t transmit on it, I had a person transmit on it and they got great voice reports.

The TS-520 is the grandfather of the Kenwood hybrid line, and it was the most advanced transceiver of its day. 35 years later it still holds its own since it has the features most demanded by serious amateurs: 100 watts output for CW with a bit more for SSB; a very stable VFO or selectable fixed frequency crystals; an analog frequency dial accurate to 1 kHz in conjunction with a 25 kHz crystal calibrator; receiver incremental tuning useful in receiving a station slightly off frequency; an effective impulse-noise blanker; and VOX with semi-break-in CW. While the SSB crystal filter is satisfactory for CW operation, an optional 500 Hz wide crystal filter can be installed for excellent CW selectivity. Provision is made for installing a kit to drive Kenwood’s external DG-5 digital frequency display. The combination of solid state and vacuum tube technologies provides an architecture best described as simple but elegant, and it produces the fine audio quality for which the Kenwood hybrids are noted. It is easy to operate, and tuning the power output stage when changing bands can be accomplished in half a minute or less. Frequently used functions are readily accessible from the front panel. It can be powered by 120 or 240 Volt AC mains as well as 13.8 Volts DC, which makes it ideal for mobile, portable and emergency use.


IC-9100 Front panelIcom IC-9100
Features that make most hams smile with delight. I will be adding one to my shack if possible! (they are not for sale yet, FCC thing). This really is an impressive and feature rich radio.  I can not wait to see one in action!

Multiple-band, multiple-mode
HF to 1200MHz Mutli-band in one transceiver
The IC-9100 fully covers the HF/50, 144, 430/440 amateur bands in multiple modes. By installing the optional UX-9100 1200MHz band unit, you can be operational on the 1200MHz band immediately.

Independent dual receivers
The IC-9100 has two independent receivers in one radio and receives two different bands simultaneously. In addition, the main and sub-band audio can be controlled with independent volume and squelch knobs, and received audio can be heard separately when external speakers are connected.

Satellite mode operation
The satellite mode synchronizes the uplink (transmitting) and downlink (receiving) frequencies, and tracks the frequencies in the same tuning step. This function matches both normal and reverse mode satellites. Compensation of the Doppler effect can be performed easily. 20 alphanumeric satellite memory channels store frequencies, mode and tone settings for quick set-up.

■Built-in voice synthesizer announces operating frequency, mode and S-meter level
■User programmable band edge beep (can be disabled)
■VSC (Voice Squelch Control) function
■AFC function (FM/DV mode)
■RF speech compressor
■Microphone equalizer and adjustable transmit bandwidth
■Two preamplifier types for HF/50MHz bands: Preamp 1: Increases low level signal improving intermodulation characteristics, Preamp 2: High gain preamplifier
■20dB built-in attenuator
■CTCSS and DTCS tone encoder and decoderic-9100 bandscope
■Triple band stacking register
■Quick split function and frequency lock function
■RIT and ΔTx variable up to ±9.999kHz
■Audio equalizer function
■SSB/CW synchronous tuning automatically shifts the carrier point when switching between CW and LSB/USB modes
■1Hz pitch tuning and display
■Program scan, memory scan, select memory scan, mode select scan and Δf scan
■Automatic tuning steps
■9600bps data socket
■AH-4 control circuit
■Automatic repeater function* and one-touch repeater function.
ic-9100 satellite mode display

ic-9100 rear panel

Solar Power for Amateur Radio

Solar Power for Amateur Radio
Powering radio communications equipment using solar energy.

1. Are there any special considerations when using amateur radio gear on solar power?

Yes, there are some issues. Many solar charger controllers actually will generate RF noise when charging. This is most common with pulse width modulated (microprocessor controlled) charge controllers. Sometimes this can be controlled with wire shielding and/or good grounding/DC filtering. RF noise output may vary depending upon battery state of charge (usually less when batteries are near full, depending upon the charger PWM protocol).

2. What are the advantages of solar power for radio communications?

Solar power is ideal for radio communications as the DC power does not introduce line noise or 60 cycle hum. Isolation from the grid (in most installations) also will assure relative immunity from grid power surges. Using solar energy as a power source actually fulfills a prime mission of amateur radio: reliable emergency communications. Solar powered communications will function when everything else is off[line. Solar power can also keep a standby battery bank constantly topped-off and ready to use in the event of a power failure. UPS inverters are also available that switch power over to solar power upon a quarter-cycle failure of the 110VAC grid.

3. What kind of installation will I need to power my home amateur radio station using solar power?

This certainly depends upon the loads you intend to support. Most radio communications needs are used for a limited timeframe daily and the duty cycle (time in transmit) is usually low. Therefore a solar installation with around 200W of panels and 300 to 500 Amp-hours of battery capacity will usually be sufficient (your mileage may vary).

4.How about remote base or repeater operations?

We can set you up with the right panel sizing as well as the charge controller, metering and advice on setting your system up for long reliable service. The average amateur or commercial remote base will do fine with between 100 and 300 watts of panels and around 200 to 400AH of batteries. Actual sizing depends upon the duty cycle of use and load sizing. Any remote base needs low voltage disconnect and temperature compensation at a minimum. Good grounding and lightning suppression is also important.


Icom ic-v8000I use this radio on a daily basis… It really puts out the watts when your in a hole… Hit high power and hole no more!  It is a strong addition to my mobile arsenal for keeping in touch! Check out some of the key features that sold me on the Icom ic-V8000.

75W of output power
The combination of Icom’s one piece, die-cast aluminum chassis and 75W of transmit power gives you the most powerful 2m mobile transceiver in its class! Your communications will get through.

HM-133V, remote control microphone
The backlit HM-133V*, gives you control of your IC-V8000 in the palm of your hand. The Icom exclusive “Hot keys” (F1/F2) memorize the transceiver full settings. As if switching between two separate radios, all operating frequencies, tone settings as well as the display color, fan speed, and set mode settings are memorized.
* Optional for some versions.

Dynamic Memory Scan (DMS)
With 200 alphanumeric memory channels, Icom’s exclusive DMS system gives you flexibility over your scanning lists never offered before in a 2m mobile, fully customizable into 10 banks.

CTCSS and DTCS operation standard
50 CTCSS and 104×2 DTCS encode/decode plus tone scan functions for various communication applications. The “pocket beep” feature gives you an audible and visual indicator of an incoming call.