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Kenwood TS-590S Performance on AM

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Author Topic: Kenwood TS-590S Performance on AM  (Read 7517 times)
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Posts: 1464

Apache Labs SDR

« on: December 05, 2012, 03:24:51 PM »

There’s not much that has to be done to an out-of-the-box Kenwood TS-590S to get decent results on AM. As with most current multi-mode rigs the DSP limits the total transmitted bandwidth to 6 KHz on AM, however, the receiver allows you to listen with a bandwidth of 10 KHz. A very nice feature of the receiver is that you can make direct recordings to software such as Audacity or Adobe Audition on your computer by utilizing a USB cable and the Kenwood audio codec that is present after you install the free drivers and software from the Kenwood web site. The sound quality of the recordings is excellent.

When transmitting with the AM mode I found it was necessary to increase the MIC gain level to 75 to reach 100% modulation. This is a substantial increase over the nominal level of 30 that I use with sideband. It was also necessary to reduce the carrier level setting to 15 to restrain the ALC from its tendency to clip peaks. Both of these settings are accessed from the front panel by either a short press (mic level) or a long press (carrier level) of the MIC button. Note that adjusting the carrier level setting for AM will also affect your power output with the CW mode, so after running AM you will want to raise it back to around 20 to assure that you can reach full output when transmitting with CW. My settings for running AM are listed below:

On the front panel:
MIC level – 75
CAR level – 15
PWR level – 25 (maximum)

In the user menu:
Menu item 25 – set to 10
Menu item 26 – set to 3000

The above settings resulted in an RF power output level of 12 watts carrier with peaks reaching just over 50 watts when fully modulated, as measured with a Nye RF Power Monitor.

I made a video/audio recording of the TS-590S using the above settings to provide an idea of how it sounds when running AM. The recording was made with a Flex 5000A running PowerSDR (version 2.2.4) set for a bandwidth of 8 KHz in the synchronous AM mode. You can see how the TS-590S looks in the panadapter and hear the audio as well. The microphone used with the TS-590S is a cheap electret element plugged into the front panel mic connector. I used an EQ transmit profile that I created with the free Kenwood ARCP-590 software that drops the low end response by –9 dB and raises the upper mid-range audio areas by 4 dB to attain audio that is fairly natural.


The MP3 file that is attached is a sample from the AM broadcast band of ESPN radio recorded with Adobe Audition through the USB cable connected between the TS-590S and my computer. The bandwidth of the TS-590S was set to its maximum value of 5000 which equates to 10 KHz in the AM mode.

Running AM with a stock TS-590S is not a tragic experience and most of the reports I get from stations on the other end are good. It would be interesting to see if someone can figure out how to modulate the power control FET to bypass the restrictions imposed by the DSP when transmitting AM. With such a nice sounding receiver, that would be a deluxe development!


* TS-590S audio codec direct recording into Adobe Audition.mp3 (900 KB - downloaded 325 times.)

* kenwood 590s audio codec.jpg (37.92 KB, 642x334 - viewed 948 times.)

* kenwood 590s tx eq.jpg (46.99 KB, 776x351 - viewed 924 times.)

One thing I'm certain of is that there is too much certainty in the world.

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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 11:53:47 PM »

I've been waiting for the same thing... I can't find any way to defeat the DSP for broader transmit bandwidth on AM...
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