Kenwood TS-570D HF Transceiver
Product Review Column from QST Magazine
Reviewed by Larry Wolfgang, WR1B
Senior Assistant Technical Editor
The TS-570D could turn out to be Kenwood’s 50th anniversary present to itself. Following last year’s introduction of the TS-870S, Kenwood has taken a different tack to marketing its mid-priced TS-570D, which combines traditional IF filters with audio DSP. Instead of just introducing the radio to a gathering of dealers—as it did with the TS-870S—Kenwood took the TS-570D on the road, demonstrating the new radio to groups of both dealers and prospective customers at nine locations across the US.
We attended one of these dog-and-pony shows in the Hartford, Connecticut, area.
The TS-570D was produced primarily with US amateurs in mind, according to Paul Middleton, KD6NUH, Kenwood’s national sales manager. Middleton told our gathering that Kenwood polled hams across the country to learn what they’d like to see in a radio before Kenwood began producing the TS-570D (which almost ended up being called the TS-460). In any case, the ’570D will replace the TS-450SAT in Kenwood’s transceiver lineup as part of what Middleton called “a whole new design series.” (Middleton also let it be known at the October presentation that Kenwood would discontinue its very popular TS-850S “within the next nine to twelve months.”)
The Kenwood presentation featured Toshio Torii, JA6QXW, the engineer from Yokohama who designed both the TS-850 and the TS-570D, as well as built the prototype for the TS-50S. During the evening, Kenwood spent a lot of time comparing the relative merits of the TS-570D to the TS-450SAT. Of course, the ’570D has DSP at audio, not IF (to keep production costs down), while the TS-450SAT has no DSP. Kenwood called its implementation “near-IF DSP,” whatever that means. But the presenters were very up front that the DSP implementation in the ’570D is not as sophisticated as that in their higher-end TS-870S (see “Product Review,” QST, Feb 1996). While the DSP notch filter in the TS-570D will zap a heterodyne, the S meter will continue to display the carrier that caused it.
Like its bigger sibling, the TS-570D can be controlled via a PC. The Radio Control Program Ver 2 (RCP2) software, not yet ready at the time of Kenwood’s demonstration, should now be available for downloading from the Kenwood Web site, http://www.kenwood.net/. The radio does not need an external computer interface; it offers RS-232 on the rear apron. The TS-570D’s built-in antenna tuner can be made active in the receive mode, unlike the one in the TS-450SAT. (Kenwood says this can reduce QRM from strong local BC stations when using 160 and 80 meters.)
The antenna tuner also uses only relays, no motors. It was an impressive demonstration (among other things, Mr. Torii demonstrated the DSP system and showed how you can tailor your transmitted audio), and Kenwood even stayed around after the formal remarks to take questions—and some flak—from those on hand. One op hammered Kenwood for once again failing to make provisions for a separate receive antenna (such as a Beverage). Others wondered aloud whether the lettering on the rubber buttons that populate the front-panel would hold up. A few wanted to see the insides, and Kenwood obliged. But most seemed favorably impressed by the radio and seemed to appreciate Kenwood’s willingness to conduct a show-and-tell on the prospective customer’s home turf—with free refreshments, no less. Kenwood hopes it will prove to be a very effective approach —Rick Lindquist, N1RL
READ FULL ARTICLE Copyright © 1996 by the American Radio Relay League Inc. All rights reserved.
TS-570D Expanded Test-Result ARRL Laboratory
Expanded Test-Result Report