The Kenwood TS-2000 All-Mode Multiband Transceiver
Reviewed by Robert Schetgen, KU7G Senior Assistant Technical Editor - foto by W2XC -
The TS-2000 is the closest thing yet to a complete ham station between a single set of covers. Highlights include multimode transceive on up to 13 ham bands, a full range of VHF/UHF FM repeater and satellite operating features, and a built-in packet TNC.
The TS-2000 is Kenwood's long-anticipated reentry into an "arms race" that's been raging among amateur equipment manufacturers for several years now. The rivalry was touched off when 6-meter coverage started appearing as "standard equipment" in a few of the mid-level HF tabletop and mobile transceivers. Kenwood was no innocent bystander here; their HF plus 6-meter TS-680S was one of the rigs that may have started this whole thing in the first place.
Kenwood then seemed content to stand back while the competition progressively upped the ante. HF/6-meter rigs were followed by HF/6-meter/2-meter rigs, and then HF/6-meter/2-meter/70-cm rigs. Yaesu—with their FT-847—escalated the stakes further by rolling in full-duplex satellite capabilities.
A little over a year ago, Kenwood unveiled a mockup of the Amateur Radio equivalent of the 2-lb version of the Swiss Army knife. At that time, they still hadn't come up with a title for their proposed creation (among the general ham population, it temporarily held the nom de plume "Kenwood's Radio with No Name"). The premiere edition of the glossy sales brochure that outlined its capabilities and band coverage—handed out at Dayton Hamvention 2000—read like an inventory of a spoiled ham's toy box. Coverage on all of the current HF bands with general coverage receive?—check; 2 meters, 6 meters and 70 cm?—but of course ; 1.2 GHz (optional or standard)?—why not?; DSP filtering?—you bet!; satellite capabilities?—yup (welcome to the new millennium, Bunky!); a built-in TNC for VHF and UHF (with DX packet cluster display and "go to" features)?—got that. Toss in an automatic antenna tuner; a CW memory keyer; Kenwood's exclusive CW "Auto-tune" feature; a TCXO; an integrated RS-232 level converter; a separate receive antenna jack; and—well—yada yada yada.
This rig is heftier than the current crop of multiband subcompacts, though. What if you're in the market for a mobile transceiver?—No problem! An optional compact mobile control head (the RC-2000) will plug right in for back seat or trunk mounted chassis setups. You can even buy a less expensive "silver box" version of the rig (the TS-B2000) and operate it using the mobile head.
Kenwood recently released a TS-2000X version. The 'X includes the 1.2 GHz module as standard equipment. And any of the versions—with or without the front panel display, buttons and knobs—can be fully controlled using a personal computer and Kenwood's optional ARCP-2000 PC software.
We purchased the "standard" TS-2000 tested in this review several months ago, intending to add the 1.2 GHz option as soon as it became available. We had initially hoped to include data and comments on 1.2 GHz performance in this review. The module—the UT-20— just recently became available, and the installation requires a trip to Kenwood's service facility for installation. Consequently, we'll save the 1.2 GHz information for a future column.
The base-model TS-2000 covers 12 ham bands from 1.8 through 450 MHz. Transmit capabilities on the 222-MHz band are not provided, but the radio is capable of receiving signals there—and a healthy chunk of the LF, HF, VHF and UHF spectrums as well (see Table 1).
The main receiver covers MF/HF from 0.03 to 60 MHz with IFs at 69.085 or 75.925 MHz, 10.695 MHz, 455 kHz and 12 kHz. The DSP-based filtering is in the 12 kHz IF. For reception of 118 to 512 MHz, the first IF is at 41.895 MHz. UT-20-equipped models also tune 1240 to 1300 MHz with a first IF of 135.495 MHz. Transmitter output is adjustable from 5 to 100 W on the ham bands between 1.8 and 148 MHz and 5 to 50 W on 70 cm (1 to 10 W on 23 cm when the UT-20 is installed). The maximum AM-mode output is 25 W from 1.8 to 144 MHz and 12.5 W on 70 cm (2.5 W on 23 cm).
The transceiver has a sub-receiver that functions on the AM and FM modes only (including packet) from 118 to 174 MHz and 220 to 512 MHz, with IFs at 58.525 MHz and 455 kHz.
Product Review & Short Takes Columns from QST Magazine
July 2001 Kenwood TS-2000