Sadly, I became very frustrated and disappointed with the TS-480SAT. Despite being a superb sideband radio, it had terrible and widely-known crystal oscillator drift. For some utterly ridiculous reason, Kenwood shipped the 480 with a wobbly oscillator that made it, if not unusable, then certainly an embarrassment on digital modes. Drifts of +/- 4Hz were typical for my rig.
The 480 then variously saw service for a couple of years as a mobile sideband rig, and then as a manpack unit.
Last week, I decided the 480 should see more use, so I bought an SO-3 clone TCXO from this guy on E-bay.
I thought the unit might come from the US, but it was delivered from China. It didn't take too long to arrive, and today, in just a few minutes, I installed it into the 480. Nervously, I soldered the crystal in and switched back on.
|Look! No drift!|
To say I was amazed by the performance improvement is this year's understatement! With this £15 TCXO installed - a saving of about £80 on a Kenwood unit - the wildly-varying standard oscillator has gone, with zero drift, even when the fan comes on mid-transmit cycle. From a quick look, it doesn't even lok as though I have to trim the crystal any.
It's a pity I didn't grab one of these TCXOs earlier. Don't hesitate to get one yourself if you're unhappy with yours.