K4QKY's last station


 Station COMPONENTS and equipment layout

Kenwood TS-590SG atop Kenwood TS-870S.  

Acom 1010 linear amplifier atop DBX 286S microphone processor at left.   One of two Behringer near field digital monitors atop Palstar AT1500BAL balanced line antenna tuner at right.


 ... a great value in an HF transceiver!  Perhaps you're thinking you might opt for a 590SG yourself.  

It should be noted that this page is purposely aimed at Hams who desire to utilize their 590s or 590SG for virtual audio handling as described elsewhere in this article.  

■ An even higher performance receiver with superior adjacent dynamic range.
■ Advanced AGC control through digital signal processing from the IF stage.
■ Highly reliable TX outputs high-quality TX signal.
■ New morse code decoder. Scroll display on the 13-segment display unit.
Characters are shown in a dedicated window on ARCP-590G.
■ MULTI/CH knob (with push-switch) and RIT/XIT/CL key also configurable in
addition to existing PF A and PF B programmable functions.
■ New Split function (TS-990S-style) enabling quick configuration added in addition to the existing Split setting.
■ Transceiver equalizer configurable by mode.
■ FIL A/B configurable independently with VFO A/B (convenient during Split operation).
■ Front or rear PTT selectable for Data PTT.
■ Switching from HI CUT/LO CUT to WIDTH/SHIFT is possible for reception bandwidth changing in SSB mode.
■  Large display with superior visibility.  LED backlight color tone configurable in 10 steps from amber to green.
■ The speech processor is independently configurable for microphone transmission and voice message transmission.
■ 20-step expansion of settings ranges including TX monitor and CW sidetone, etc.

New 590SG owners are urged to first study the operator's manual.  Also, you may want to become a member of the 590's user group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/KenwoodTS-590/info as well as a frequent visitor to the 590 family resources website at http://www.g3nrw.net/TS-590/.  

Here are K$QKY's suggested TS-590SG menu configuration if handling virtual tx audio via  the USB cable:  Other default settings as per pages 15 – 19 of the instruction manual except as noted below:

Menu number Description Default Current
27 Auto mode Off On
31/33 TX filter ssb/am low cut 300 100
32/34 TX filter ssb/am high cut 2700 2900
35 Speech processor effect (see note below) hard soft
36 TX equalizer (see note below) off Off
59 HF linear amp control relay (if applicable) off 3
67 & 68 Com speed 9600 115200
 69 Audio input line for data ACC2 USB
70 Audio source of send/ptt front rear
71 USB input audio level 4 3
 76 Data VOX off on
77 VOX delay 50 15

MIC -  Level 12 when routing outboard hardware processed analog audio to the 590SG.   This control is not applicable when handling virtual audio via the USB connection. 

Menus 36 and 37 are not applicable when using outboard processed transmit audio techniques to the rig as compression and EQing are integral to most outboard processing schemes.  

Hams who prefer using the 590SG's built-in TX EQ should install Kenwood's control software as discussed at http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/ts_590g/arcp590g_e.html which facilitates setting up this functionality.  

Use a type AB USB cable for hookup to the 590SG.   Windows should automatically install the necessary silicon labs driver.   Check Windows Device Manager to determine which port is designated for the UART and make certain that the 590 and ARCP-590 software is set up to reflect the correct port, baud rate (preferably 115200). 

Quick and easy pan adaptor hookup!

For hams wanting to integrate a pan adapter with their 590SG, a DRV connector on the back panel is switchable to the antenna output function.  This new capability is perhaps the single most significant advancement over the original 590S!    K4QKY has uaws SDRplay's RSP1A  entry-level SDR receiver together with the companion software SDRuno (see screenshot below) and Omnirig for control.  More about this at https://www.sdrplay.com/.

 K4QKY's 40 meter full wave delta loop antenna is a great performer!

The station's delta loop antenna is fed with a 450-ohm ladder line running into the ham shack to a Palstar AT1500BAL balanced line antenna tuner in the shack. The above graphic depicts the overall layout of this loop cut to one full wavelength (141 ft) on the lowest operating frequency (40 meters).  The mean height of the loop above ground is about 50 ft. 

Loop suspension attachment points consist of nylon pulleys attached to dacron halyards to maintain equal tension on all three sides of the loop.  

Note:  Hams employ various techniques for placing the halyards over the tops of trees.  Many even "over-engineer" the process by adding spring tension devices, etc.  K4QKY prefers to keep it simple by the use of 6lb colored (for best visibility) stranded fishing line, a hefty sinker, and a slingshot.   Once the line has been launched over the tree, pull over a lightweight nylon cord.   Finally, attach the cord to the halyard and pull it over the tree.    Alternatively, adjust each halyard to achieve the desired tension in the loop.    

Why feed a loop with a balanced feed line?

If you doubt the viability of feeding wire antennas like loops and dipoles with open wire line, read the following explanation courtesy of K5UA "Charles":

There are two kinds of line loss, the matched line loss, and the mismatch line loss.  Matched line loss is measured at different frequencies in db per 100 feet when the line is terminated into a load that is identical to the characteristic impedance of the line. The loss increases as the frequency increases.  Mismatched line loss is an additional attenuation of the signal because the line is terminated into a load that is different than the characteristic impedance of the line. This loss increases with frequency, but it also increases with the magnitude of the mismatch. Needless to say, lossy lines like the small coax have higher mismatched line loss numbers for the same amount of mismatch than the lower loss, large coax lines.

Matched line loss is unavoidable, but mismatched line loss is avoidable if the load can be matched to the line at the load end of the line. An example of this would be a gamma match at the yagi terminals to transform the 16-ohm impedance of the antenna to the 50-ohm characteristic impedance of the coax. Another example would be to use a 4:1 balun at the antenna terminals to bring the 16 ohms closer to 50 ohms.

The match can also occur at the transmitter end of the line, but the mismatched line loss would be there. The transmitter would be happy looking into a 50-ohm load, but the mismatched line loss would still be present because the load is not matched.

The beauty of an open-wire line is that the matched line loss is virtually zero. Even with large line/load mismatches, like 10:1 or 15:1, the additional mismatched line loss is very low. As long as the user has a conjugate match on the transmitter end of the line using an antenna-matching network, virtually ALL power is radiated by the antenna. Power can not disappear, it is either radiated or lost in the line by attenuation of the dielectric material between the transmission line wires. This is why a random wire of reasonable length may radiate MORE power when fed
by open-wire line through a tuner, then a perfectly matched half-wave dipole fed with small coax, assuming the feed line length of each is over 100 feet.

The net effect of this is that you can put up a random length dipole (or a loop as discussed here) and use it on all bands with very little line loss and not have to worry about a bunch of resonant dipoles interfering with each other.

K5UA, in another email, goes on to say:

The probability that any single-element antenna is going to have a feed point impedance of 50 +/- j0 ohms is virtually ZERO.

Likewise, when I hear of someone bragging about their quad or yagi that is 50 ohms at resonance, I always ask them how much gain and front to back they have to sacrifice to get that 50-ohm feed point impedance. Apparently, when God was designing the universe and the laws of physics, he did not realize that the tail (50-ohm coax) was going to wag the dog (gain/front-to-back/multi-band operation) in the antenna world.

The concept of resonance also appears to baffle most amateurs because they do not know or understand the three components of impedance (resistance, inductive reactance, and capacitive reactance). A lot of amateurs believe that resonance occurs only when the antenna impedance has the same 50-ohm resistive component as the coax impedance. Actually, resonance is simply defined as the absence of the reactive component of impedance, or in other words, a purely resistive load. If the impedance of a resonant dipole is 80 ohms and you're using a 50-ohm coax, the best SWR you can achieve is 1.6 to 1.

SWR messes with the ham mind, especially with beam antennas where the SWR curve is hardly ever centered on the resonant frequency of the antenna because the feed point impedance at resonance is rarely 50 ohms. The SWR curve is, therefore, skewed to one side or the other of resonance and non-symmetrical. The worse the mismatch of the coax and the antenna at resonance, the greater the skewing effect and asymmetry of the
SWR curve.

Note:  K4QKY has typically used ladder line-fed full-wave loops at previous QTHs.  He has also experimented with a two-element Delta loop array antenna fed with  300-ohm ladder line.  More about the design and construction of this array at https://donandpat.com/files/parasitic delta loop array.pdf.