Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

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Mattylad
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Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by Mattylad »

HI folks.

I am soon to be the owner of a well looked after(but not modified) Kenwood TS-680S.

I'd like to use it with HRD, packet, echolink etc.

I understand it needs a IF-10C interface to change the TTL levels and then another interface to convert it to 232/USB.
Or there are interfaces I can build that use the mic socket and a computer sound card.

Has anyone got one of these (or similar) radios can explain better what I can do with the radio and how?

(apart from use it for ordinary talking lol).

Cheers.

P.S. - yes I am licensed.
GeeFull
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Re: Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by GeeFull »

Hi Matt, I have a TS680S and got an aftermarket IF-10C interface board from these guys, they were a lot cheaper when I got mine, several years ago!
Like everything else, they seem to have crept up!

http://www.piexx.com/index.php?main_pag ... +interface

And here is a link to an article to build your own USB interface, it requires the IF10C interface to be in place, but then converts all the levels suitable for external USB operation.
I think there is a link to a shematic of the IF10-X series boards as well, if I remember right! (Should you fancy building one yourself)

http://people.wallawalla.edu/~Rob.Frohn ... ement.html

I have never used external digital mode interfaces, via audio connections, except for a little bit of 1200 BAUD packet radio once, using an external Tiny 2 terminal unit, and occasionaly straight forward AFSK RTTY, using a PC based RTTY program, Hamcomm if I remember right, just using the sound card connections.
The main reason I fitted the IF10-C was to utelise an external frequency control keyboard I was given, that has direct entry, and numerous memory allocations built into it, it would only connect via the IF10-C!
One tip when you get it, ask if the memory battery has ever been changed!
If not, drop the covers off, its on the lower board, and check for signs of leakage or corrosion, and measure the voltage!
They do last forever, and people forget about them, mine lasted over 20 years!, and having forgotten all about it, one day when having the covers off I noticed it had started to weep!
Fotunately, as it hangs "upsidedown", it had only dripped into the lid, doing little or no damage!
They are easy to change, and once done will probably easily last whats left of its shelf life! :D
GeeFull
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Re: Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by GeeFull »

As a follow up Matt, and please don't let any of this put you off aquiring and using this great little radio, after owning one here from brand new, here are some other things to look out for on your new aquisition!
Firstly the small slider controls, pwr, rf gain etc. can go a little scratchy, they are fiddly at the best of times, and if they go scratchy they become a pain to set!
If you carefully disassemble the front panel, they are the skeleton open type sliders, wipe the tracks clean of any dirt with isopropyl on a cotton bud, then smear the surface of the track with another cotton bud soaked in a bit of good quality switch cleaner!
Don't just spray them, if you wash the grease off the plastic slider parts they go as stiff as hell! :D
Same goes for the rotary encoder, used for crude frequency steps, or memory selection, it can get dirty and occasionaly jump etc.
A small amount of switch cleaner into its internals usualy sorts that out!
General pot noise.....as above!
IF shift not centred.......check with the IF shift at 12 oclock, no antenna connected, switching from usb to lsb, there should be no discernable audio white noise tone shift! If one sounds overly bassy, the other hissy trebly, the IF shift centre point needs re-calibrating....look in manual maintenance section for how to do this!
Sticky S meter syndrome......the S meter has springy arm rubber sleeved "stops" at each end, to stop excessive travel.
Over time this rubber can deteriorate and become "sticky" to the touch.
What you notice is, if you have the AGC on fast, where attack and decay of the needle is quick, sometimes the needle swinging hard back to zero causing it to "stick" to the rubber stop, next time there is a received signal, there appears a "delay" before the needle swings upwards to the right reading, if it gets really bad, sometimes you have to tap the top of the radio to get it to move!
Cure, remove meter, remove meter plastic facia, re-sleeve the springy arms with some new rubber tubing! Sounds harder than it is!
S meter lamp fixing point...... its a bulb from new, and it can bake the area around it, seen by yellow discolouration, if lamp ever fails, be very careful how you remove old one, or you may end up with a crumbled larger than you require hole!
Replace it with a diffused, white LED and suitable resistor........never a problem again!
In general it is a good all rounder radio of that vintage, and quite easy to work on, don't let the above put you off in any way!
Compared to some radios of that era, its long term possibe faults are minimal! :thumbup:
One other point, by virtue of the way they derive the FM "S" meter signal, when in FM mode. ie 10 meters, or 6 meters, recieved signals may seem a little on the generous side!
If this annoys you.......it did me, then FM "S" meter can be re-calibrated, from its own internal pot......but its personal choice of course!
Hope any of this helps you! :thumbup:
Mattylad
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Re: Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by Mattylad »

Thank you very much for your advice, the fig may not have the board in as the guy I am getting it from says he has never done anything like that with it.

Not to worry, I have the parts to make a new one at hand - the IC's are easily found - the PCB - well lets just say thats a doddle as PCB layout is my day job lol.
So if both boards cost me more than £20 I'll be upset with myself. :)

Those little maintenance tasks sound easy enough - I'm not put off with anything like that - the only problem being that I haven't seen much of my stuff for this in over a decade. :)

I cant wait to get it, but I have some tidying up to do first :)

I am currently bidding on aerials and ATU's, looking for an auto but if I dont get one now I'll use the manual one I built 20 years ago until I can get a decent one.
Mattylad
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Re: Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by Mattylad »

looking on the bay I wonder if one of these can be used?
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251191098477? ... EBIDX%3AIT
gfirth
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Re: Has anyone got a Kenwood TS-680S/TS-140?

Post by gfirth »

Hi,
I also have the TS-680S and installed the Piexx Serial port interface.
Downloaded Ham Radio Deluxe and when I connect, I am getting an error - Failed to read Frequency.
Wondered if anyone had experience this before?

I am direct into a RS-232 port built into the PC.
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