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Old 01-09-2014, 09:46   #1
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Kenwood TS 930s

Have any of you ever used one of these onboard. I have found a used one listed for 650 or best offer. Want to use for ssb nets weather and email. I am a new ham, I have a 2 meter radio but with the ssb I am way out of my league. Unsure of serial number or mfg date. I have read there were some problems with the earlier models. Any input is appreciated. Thanks guys. John

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Old 01-09-2014, 17:55   #2
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

John,
Short and direct answer here...
This is NOT a viable rig for you on-board...

It is NOT a 12vdc radio, but rather a 120vac/240vac radio, and uses a lot of power....

It is a rather old radio, manufactured in the early to mid 1980's...
And, even if it was a 12vdc radio (which it isn't), the reliability of such an older ham rig would be questionable....


Just curious if it is budget that keeps you from buying a new Icom M-802 at $1800....???
If so, you can find an used Icom M-700Pro for less than the $650 quoted for the TS-930....and the M-700Pro is a very good marine radio that will also serve you well for casual ham operating on-board...


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 01-09-2014, 23:15   #3
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

It is budget concerns that had me looking. That's for your input!!!


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Old 03-09-2014, 02:57   #4
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

You should be able to find a used yaesu FT-897D, Icom IC7000 or Kenwood TS-480 SAT or your budget! Thise are off course HAM mobile rigs not marine SSB rigs but all 3 are good versatile rigs with small footprint! The FT-897D's receiver is prone to overload but the rig is very sturdy. The Icom has a very small footprint and a good receiver with IF-DSP noise reduction. I have never used the Ken TS-480 SAT but it has a good reputation and has an automatic antenna tuner onboard (not to tune end-fed random wire antenna's rather to match VSWR 3:1 deviations. It has a TS-480 brother with 200Watts PEP output power but no atu.
The FT-897 and Icom IC7000 have the benefit of having also VHF so they would be a backup for your marine VHF.

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Old 03-09-2014, 09:28   #5
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

Thanks for the additional options. I really appreciate all the help


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Old 03-09-2014, 13:01   #6
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

Throw in the ICOM 718 Ham radio. Simple robust design, easy to use with no multi depth menus that will keep you buried in a manual to figure out. Larger footprint than the FT 897 or 7000 but way cheaper and easy to mount with optional bracket if you don't have a shelf to put it on. Easily modified to send on Marine HF freq's. Yeah, I know it's not legal to use except in an emergency but who wants to talk on those limited freq's, anyway. Got mine used for $425 6 years ago and it's still working fine.

AFAIK, all HF radios run on DC as do most electronics. Many require separate power supplies to convert AC to DC for running on house current. Others may have built in power supplies but it all comes down to DC that makes them work.
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Old 03-09-2014, 14:13   #7
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Re: HF Radio recommendations for small sailboat

John,
At first I was a bit puzzled by Jan's recommendations, and then I saw an important piece of info that I had not noticed...
That you were on a small 25' Catalina....


And, in my haste to answer you about the TS-930, I overlooked some other important words of yours....sorry about that!!
So, with the 25' Catalina, combined with you being a new ham, and your stated desires, gives us some surprising but useful ideas...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhnhll View Post
I have found a used one listed for 650 or best offer. Want to use for ssb nets weather and email. I am a new ham...
First off, we need to know WHERE you are planning on cruising/sailing, and as much other info you can provide, such as what you desire e-mail access for, time-of-year, future plans, etc. before we can give you any accurate / specific recommendations...
So please, let us know...

Until then, here are some recommendations/ideas/thoughts...


Let's address your 3 stated uses one-at-a-time...

1) Weather....this is easy....
Just about any working HF ham radio or marine radio will fulfill this requirement...
Have a look at this thread, where you find out how/where to get as much weather info/forecasts as you'll need...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts



2) E-mail...most find that neither HF radio nor sat phone necessary for e-mail....(and those on a budget find they save a LOT of $$$ here...)

Most cruiser's find e-mail (and internet) access via Wi-Fi and cellular to be all that they need....as most have no need for e-mail access during the few days (week or two) at a time that they may be away from shoreside infrastructure (Wi-Fi / cellular)....

So, a good external Wi-Fi system (such as a Ubiquiti Bullet based system), and/or an unlocked multi-band cellphone/data-dongle, is the choice of most for equipping their boats for easy/cheap e-mail (and internet) access...

$250 will get you an excellent Wi-Fi system...
Marine WiFi Systems

Not sure where you're planning on cruising, but in most of the popular cruising areas, there are Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular coverage in populous areas, so, with Wi-Fi, cellular, wireless data plans, etc. available, your e-mail needs can be met fairly easily and inexpensively....


If you have specific needs for reasonable speed, reliable e-mail access in far remote areas and/or when offshore, on passage, then you will need to budget for either a PACTOR modem (~ $1500) and Sailmail, or a satellite terminal / satphone/ext antenna/datakit (~ $1500+)...




3) "SSB Nets"....
SSB Nets = Maritime HF Nets = use a Marine HF radio, not a ham radio...

Ham radio nets = use either a ham HF radio or a Marine HF radio...


HF Radio Recommendations:

a) As a new ham (and someone new to HF radio operating and radiowave propagation), my advice is always to buy/use a simple, basic radio first....never try a "fancy" rig, filled with too many bell 'n whistles....

b) As a new ham, I almost always recommend buying a NEW radio, rather than used....unless you buy a relatively new (current production) used radio from a local ham / one that can show you the radio working properly, or from a ham radio store that can also show it working (or at least provide you a "money-back warranty") buying NEW is the best way to go...

c) As a new ham, on a sailboat, I always recommend a radio without lots of menu-driven features/settings....meaning a rig with knobs and buttons that have one function that is well labeled / understood...


--- Now, if you combine the above criteria together, the list is pretty short....
But, that doesn't mean that you must buy only from the rigs on the list, but I'd recommend trying....

--- My first recommend would be a used M-700Pro (a high-quality HF marine radio that will work well on the ham radio bands, for both normal/casual operating as well as nets, etc.)....purchased from a reputable seller, at $500...(you can still find a few new-old-stock, for about $900 - $1000)

--- Next would be a used M-710 (a high-quality HF marine radio that will work "acceptable" on the ham radio bands, and for "net" activity will work fine...)....purchased from a reputable seller, at $500 - $700...(you can still find a few new-old-stock, for about $1000 - $1100)

--- Next would be a used M-802 (a high-quality, versatile, HF marine radio that will work very well on the ham radio bands, for both normal/casual operating as well as nets, etc.)....difficult to find on the used market, but sometimes available for around $1000 - $1200....
You can buy it new for around $1800....
IC-M802 HF Marine Transceiver - Features - Icom America

Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components


--- Next would be ham-only radios...
- Icom IC-718....new = $600 - $650....(used = $400 - $450..)
IC-718 HF All Band Transceiver - Features - Icom America

ICOM IC-718 Product Reviews

ICOM IC-718 HF All Band Transceivers IC-718 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering
Icom IC-718, Icom 718 Amateur Transceiver


- Kenwood TS-480....(a bit more complex than the other rigs above, but reliable and reasonably easy to learn how-to use...)
New = ~ $950....(used = ~ $600)
Kenwood - ts-480hx-480sat

Kenwood TS-480SAT and TS-480HX Transceivers TS480

Kenwood TS-480SAT Product Reviews
Kenwood TS-480HX Product Reviews



The Icom M-700pro and M-710 are BIG bulky, heavy rigs that might prove to be a pain to find a good spot to mount/install on a 25-footer...
The M-802 (and the TS-480) have separate control heads, allowing you to mount the "radio" out-of-the-way (in a dry area) but still have the control head where you need/desire it to be to allow you easy use of the radio...

The IC-718 isn't a "miniature" radio, but it's relatively compact and you should be able to find a spot for it...


Well, those are my recommends for you, from $400 - $1800....(and with the added info that you probably won't need any external PACTOR modem or sat phone, so that budget can be added to the radio budget...)




4) Please read over these threads to give you a better understanding of HF radio (and sat phones, weather, etc.) for sailors/cruisers...
Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)

satellite phones

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call
(many of these videos are very helpful to all HF radio users...especially video #4...as well as #5, #6, and #9...)

SSB Receiver Only? Is it practical?



I thought maybe posting a couple of the videos here would be helpful??










I hope this helps....
Please advise us WHERE you're planning on cruising, and what you specific needs are for e-mail, etc...as well as any other communications needs/desires, and we can be more specific...



Fair winds..

John
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Old 03-09-2014, 14:26   #8
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

Just saw Peter's posting....and just wanted to clarify a bit...
Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
AFAIK, all HF radios run on DC as do most electronics. Many require separate power supplies to convert AC to DC for running on house current. Others may have built in power supplies but it all comes down to DC that makes them work.
Almost all HF radios that we speak of here are 12vdc radios....with some (mostly the higher power/commercial maritime) are 24vdc...

But, there are many HF ham rigs that are designed to be 110vac/220vac ONLY radios, with either built-in or external power supplies....most of these are using 50 vdc PA's (a few had 28vdc PA's and some have even used some rather weird internal voltages...)
The Kenwood TS-930 falls into this group...

There are many choices out there for HF radios on-board (see some of my recommends for John, above), but the TS-930 is not really a good choice...



Fair winds...

John
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Old 03-09-2014, 17:54   #9
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

You guys are awesome. I have upgraded to a Cheoy Lee 33 ketch. I have been using my cell phone to get on and did not realize it still shows my 25. Will log on with my computer and change that.

Wanting to head down to Utila Honduras first of next year.

Again. Thanks so much for all the info. Will begin trying to digest it all now.


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Old 03-09-2014, 18:00   #10
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

On a tight budget a clean Kenwood Ts450s would be a great choice. Great reception, relatively easy to use and bulletproof. Great for e mail too. Probably $300-$500. They are getting old, but one that's sat in a house all it's life will likely go forever.
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Old 03-09-2014, 18:11   #11
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

How much difference is there between the 440 and the 450
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Old 03-09-2014, 18:47   #12
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

not alot as I remember, but you will want to find out if the 430 or 440 will do data/email as well....
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Old 04-09-2014, 18:11   #13
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

A lot of good advice here.

One very important one is missing: the antenna, ground, and operator are far more critical than the radio. A crappy radio with a good antenna, a solid ground, and a good operator can work the world...

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Old 04-09-2014, 18:29   #14
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

The TS-930S(AT) is a robust radio. It's the radio that sits on my desk at home. Here on the boat, I use a TS-440SAT. I'm happy with both my radios. I don't think the 930 will be a good fit on your boat and I certainly wouldn't be paying $650 for it...LL
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Old 04-09-2014, 20:17   #15
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Re: Kenwood TS 930s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosemiester View Post
A lot of good advice here.

One very important one is missing: the antenna, ground, and operator are far more critical than the radio. A crappy radio with a good antenna, a solid ground, and a good operator can work the world...

73 de W8VCK
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actually, some crappy radios don't do the email thing well though! Been there done that! Same boat, same tuner same antenna same location,... SGC radio terrible, Kenwood TS 450S wonderful!
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