[CQ-Contest] A portable rig that would serve well for contesting too?

Eric Hilding dx35 at hilding.com
Mon Oct 3 01:19:46 EDT 2005

Kris, TF3KX, inquired:

 > Do you have any comments on these or others as contesting rigs?  Performance
 > under strenuous operation, ease of use (not requiring too much menu browsing
 > for common functions), contest functionality (such as a button for listening
 > on the TX freq).

I didn't see the Kenwood TS-480S (or HX version) on your list.  Others 
might find this info useful, so am posting here.

IMHO, this is the *** coolest *** rig for portable contesting, and I plan 
to buy a 2nd one for SO2R portable.  The separate control head and display 
are absolutely fantastic...easy to reposition to any angle as 
needed.  Here's how I had it positioned in the CQP operating portable in a 
5x8 trailer in San Benito County this weekend:


Sometimes I will set the control head on the front of my notebook 
computer...directly in front of me, just behind my external mini-keyboard 
and X-Keys banks.  Unfortunately, in the rush to get packed up after the 
CQP, I pulled on some cables and yanked the control head off the table by 
mistake and it crashed on the floor ;-(   It will be interesting to see if 
it still works!

Yes, there are actually two button you an push to listen to the TX 
frequency in 'split' mode.  A tech guru friend of mine modified my TS-870S 
rigs to be able to also do this function with a foot switch (Kenwood 
claimed this was "impossible"), and plan to have him try to this with the 
TS-480S as well when I get around to it.

My only complaints about the TS-480S is that the CW sidetone is a bit 
'wimpy' sounding, and the internal keyer is 'squirrelly' compared to the 
one in the TS-870S.  But using a contest logger keying the rig, the latter 
is a moot issue.

I absolutely love the TS-480S, OM, and it may turn out to have set a new 
CQP "County Record" for me this weekend :-)

FYI & 73...

Rick, K6VVA

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