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Thread: The TS-530/830 mod and upgrade thread

  1. #31
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Rewire the 530 Antenna relay

    In the TS-530 series, the Antenna Relay's Receive (NC) contact is routed straight to the front-panel Attenuator control through a length of Miniax cable. The '830 intercepts this line at the X.VTER connector and provides a means to switch the RX input to an external signal source.

    Shown is a portion of the '830 schematic. An additional run of Miniax (sourced from a discarded wiring harness, or from an electronic supply house) is added to the '530's Antenna relay after the existing connection at its NC (RX) terminal is de-soldered:

    RL1-Rewire.jpg

    Modifications to the socket connections of RL1 in the PA Compartment are shown. Once it's de-soldered, pull the line from the RF ATT connection out of the PA Compartment wiring and route it to the area between the EXT VFO and REMOTE connectors...where the new Xverter connector will be installed. Measure a length of Miniax to run between RL1 and the spot for the X.VTER connector - allowing an inch or two excess - then dress and prep the ends (braid and shield) per Kenwood practice. Connect center and shield to the points indicated on RL1's socket, then - following the original cable routing path - pull the Miniax through the chassis cutouts, along the rear wiring harness and to the X.VTER connector spot. Make sure none of the cables can come into contact with the final tubes or any moving parts (such as the band switch).

    PA-RL1-Details.jpg

    The surplus harnesses I obtained had a couple of runs of exactly the right length.
    Last edited by N8YX; 08-01-2018 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Additional info, formatting
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  2. #32
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    Wire the Screen Grid switch

    As previously noted, the TS-530 Screen Grid switch was wired directly into the Screen Grid supply. This component has been removed and the rest of the modifications to allow for remote switching of Screen Grid voltage will be covered.

    A look at the '830 implementation is shown. In the "OFF" position, the "SGS" terminal on the Rectifier Unit is grounded - thereby allowing Rectifier Unit relay RL1 (not shown) to energize and supply a negative voltage to the PA tube screen grids. When the SG switch is set to "ON" (and the relay de-energized), positive voltage from the 210V supply is routed to the Rectifier Unit PD2 terminal, and from there to the screen grids of the PA tubes. Should an attached transverter bring Pin 4 of the X.VTER connector to ground, the relay will also energize, apply negative screen voltage and prevent the PA tubes from amplifying.

    SG-Switch.jpg

    Remove the wires currently on the Screen Grid switch and add a 12" length of yellow, orange and black solid-conductor #20 wire (salvaged from a junked wiring harness or supplied from your junk box) to the switch as shown:

    New-Wires.jpg

    Kenwood's convention is to tie both poles of the switch together with these wires, so dress and solder them accordingly. Mount the switch so that the black wire is farthest away from the main power transformer. Next, route the black wire to the chassis ground nearest the main transformer...it has a pair of disc capacitors from the primary windings attached to it. Solder the wire to the ground point:

    SG-Ground.jpg

    Route the yellow wire along the back of the chassis and to the blank area where the X.VTER connector will be installed. Route the orange wire along the bundle which goes to the Rectifier Unit, trim and dress it then wire-wrap it to the "SGS" terminal (indicated by the orange and black arrow). I added a bit of solder to ensure a secure connection:

    SG-Wiring-2.jpg

    Lastly, connect a wire from the "12" terminal (yellow and black arrow) to a source of +12v. I chose to route the wire to Pin 8 of the EXT VFO connector. In the TS-530 series there's a white/red stripe wire attached to this terminal, which is itself right next to switch "S21" - an integral part of the connector.
    Last edited by N8YX; 08-01-2018 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  3. #33
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Check the "PD2" terminal output and wire the Screen Grid circuit

    After all switch and Rectifier Unit modifications are complete and the assemblies fastened to the chassis, it's time to check the operation of the Screen Grid voltage supply. Ensure that the PA tube plate caps and suppressors cannot come in contact with any part of the chassis, then temporarily install the PA Compartment shield. Ensure that no loose wiring in the (future) X.VTER receptacle area can contact the chassis or other circuit components. Connect a DC voltmeter to the "PD2" pin (indicated by yellow arrow below), plug the rig into AC power and turn the Screen Grid (SG) and Power switches ON.

    PD2-Check.jpg

    In all modes besides TUNE, you should measure ~210VDC. Rotate the Mode switch to TUNE; the reading should be 100 to 110VDC. Next, turn the SG Switch OFF and observe the voltmeter: ~ -110VDC in all modes except TUNE and -50 to -65VDC while in TUNE.

    If all checks out, turn the Power switch OFF then unplug the rig and allow the MV/HV supplies to bleed down. Short the "PD2" terminal to ground to ensure the filter capacitors have discharged. Obtain and connect a length of #18 solid conductor wire between terminal "PD2" on the Rectifier Unit and terminal "SG" on the PA Unit board. Kenwood's convention for this conductor in the TS-830 series was white w/ violet stripe; given that none of the scrap harnesses I had on-hand bore a suitable piece of that color scheme, I used what was available:

    SG-Wiring-3.jpg
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  4. #34
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    Wire the '530's new X.VTER Connector

    Reference the marked-up Service Manual screen shot and picture below for details on how to wire the connector. The one I attained surplus had the Miniax line to the RF Unit intact (including the TD plug), and the various wire jumpers (indicated on the screen shot) were also present. These will serve as a guide in making the rest of the connections.

    The easiest way to wire the connector is to do so with it outside the chassis, with the exception of the wire which runs between Pin 2 and Pin 2 of the EXT VFO connector. Make all other connections first, attach the X.VTER connector to the rear bulkhead with its two small screws then make the Pin 2 - Pin 2 connection.

    XVTER-Jack-Wiring.jpg

    XVTER-Jack-Wiring-2.jpg

    Once everything is secure, test the receiver function - making sure that the RX signal path (now run through the X.VTER switch) is complete and allows HF reception when no plug is inserted in the X.VTER connector.

    The TS-830S User Manual has details of the function of each X.VTER connector pin...but the "X-verter ON-OFF control" description is a bit vague. Bringing this line to ground (when powering up an attached transverter, as an example) will activate RL1 on the Rectifier Unit, thereby removing Screen Grid voltage from the PA tubes. The Driver tube will still provide 10M drive energy, but the rig's PA won't amplify.

    Note: There is no filtering on the "Transverter Output" line - either in the stock '830 or the modified '530. It's strongly suggested that a suitable low-pass filter be constructed and placed somewhere between RF Unit J10 and the transverter drive input point.

    Assuming all checks out...unplug the rig, discharge the plate choke then replace the PA tubes in their sockets and attach their plate caps. Other PA circuit mods and neutralization plus balanced modulator adjustment to follow.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  5. #35
    The Fluid of Spock KD8TUT's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this... it's a great read.
    --
    So there I was, totally naked. With only a rubber hose and a stuffed animal...

  6. #36
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD8TUT View Post
    Thanks for posting this... it's a great read.
    Lots more to come!

    I got word from the Kenwood Hybrids Reflector that Ken (K4EAA) has some health problems, and his wife Barb and son are filling parts orders as they get them. They thank everyone for the continuing patronage. I'm going to order more shaft couplers and 1N6263s in the next few days.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  7. #37
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    Tip #9 - PA Tube longevity, performance improvements

    Another bit from the AG6K 'Circuit Improvements' page. Rationale is that the 6146s are being run at a slightly high filament voltage, and over time the (overheated) cathodes lose their barium coating...which sticks to the screen grids and causes secondary emissions when a load is put on the tubes. This has the effect of reducing power output as the key is held down.

    The fix is simple. A pack of 3-position, end-lug terminal strips were obtained from an online vendor - as were several 0.51 ohm, 2w metal film resistors. The mounting lug was flattened and this allows the strip to be attached to one of the existing Final Unit mounting screws. The resistor was then mounted in the two lug-attachment crimp holes after having its leads bent for adequate clearance.

    Kenwood ran a wire from the Heater switch to the "H" terminal of the Final Unit, and a wire which supplies filament voltage to the RF Unit's Driver Tube is also connected to this point. Both were removed and attached to the input side of the resistor. Next, a bit of the solder mask surrounding the "H" pin was scraped away and extra solder flowed onto the area - giving additional mechanical support for the pin. A wire is run from this pin and attached to the output side of the resistor, and the strip then fastened into place using the existing screw. The yellow/white 'IPM' (metering) wire was routed to clear the resistor:

    PA-Fil-Power-Mod.jpg

    I left the Driver Tube filament power as-is and installed new PA tubes plus a new Driver Tube in the course of this project. Although long key-down operations aren't anticipated (except in the case of the AM conversions which will follow), the Driver Tube performance will be monitored over time and the filament power wire re-routed if needed. One of the other rigs I'm working with will have its Driver Tube filament power dropped through the resistor as a control test.

    A note about the asterisk: Always tidy up after yourself. In the case of these modifications, you're going to do a lot of tie-wrap cutting to get at various conductors in the stock wiring harnesses...and you'll need to add new wires into the bundles. Those harnesses need securing - via ties - when done. The correct (OEM) size is a 1.8mm wide tie; most commonly available ones are 2.5mm or larger. An eBay store had a 1000-ct bag of Huada brand 1.8x60mm ties for $10 - more than enough to do every hybrid in one's collection. A new tie is shown in the picture, after the new 'XAL' wire from the AF Unit joined the bundle.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  8. #38
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    Tool Tip #1

    At some point in time, Kenwood went with an Antenna Connector retention nut which is a pin - rather than a hex - type. This is the same style of nut used on practically every 8-pin microphone connector in existence. Unable to find a suitable OEM tool several years ago, I built one for purposes of taking microphone jacks out of front panels or tightening them up after repairs are complete. Luckily, the improvised tool works great for the random, loose Kenwood Antenna Connector nut.

    Start by taking the brass retaining shell off a junk PL-259 connector assembly. Use a machinist's combination square w/ center head or similar measuring device to make 4 marks at 90 degree intervals on the non-threaded end. Secure the threaded end in a vise then use a flat-edged file to remove material from between the marks to a depth of 3/32" or so....occasionally test-fitting with a nut as you go. For finish work, use a flat rectangular needle file to square and neaten everything up. You want the pins to be loose in the nut engagement slots, but not overly so.

    Spanner-Tool.jpg

    Engaged in the Antenna Connector nut of the project TS-530SP:

    Ant-Connector.jpg

    If anyone reading this knows of a commercially available tool, PM me with details and I'll add them to the thread.
    Last edited by N8YX; 08-19-2018 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  9. #39
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Tip #10 - Improve the TS-530 power supply filtering

    This one's so simple it leaves a person scratching their head as to why it wasn't implemented from the factory. In the TS-830S, a Pi (capacitor-choke) filter is used on the input of the 12V regulator circuit, which is shown here:

    830-12V-Regulator.jpg

    For comparison purposes, the TS-530 schematic. I was tipped off to the omission via a discussion on another ham radio forum:

    530-12V-Reg.jpg

    Note "J36". There's a spot on the AF Unit board for the choke, but the bean counters evidently decided their "Cents-ational!" member of the x30 line didn't need it...so a wire jumper was used instead.

    Looking at the AF Unit, one sees the space for the choke - and the jumper used in its place:

    Stock-530-Regulator-Input.jpg

    I decided to do some investigation and see if the part was actually required. A scope was attached to the AF Unit "12" pin (12V output), set to AC coupling and the rig powered on. What was observed was a veritable cornucopia of noise and ripple, some of it reaching into the HF spectrum and exceeding 100mV in amplitude. One wonders if the condition was caught during the rig's QA or engineering eval phases...

    The choke used in the '830 line (and a number of other Kenwood rigs) in P/N L15-0016-05. No data appears about this part online, though it's available to order from PacParts. I dug into my junk box and found a few chokes of the same form factor; these had been salvaged from CB sets over the years. Using the LCR bridge with a 120Hz test signal, I inspected the lot. Of them, I selected an 8mHy part; it had a measured Q of 3.6. The windings look to be good for 2-3A, which jives with an SSB CB's power requirements.

    The AF Unit was removed from the rig, J36 was removed, the solder pads cleaned and the choke installed:

    530-Regulator-Choke.jpg

    Repeating the test with the scope showed ALL higher-frequency garbage gone, and the residual (AF) superimposed ripple on the 12V line was <10mV at full audio output. As a bonus, receiver noise dropped by at least an S-unit...though sensitivity didn't change.

    Afterwards, the 9V and 3.2V regulated supplies were checked and set. I let the radio run for an extended period of time in its normal (right-side-up) position and periodically checked the choke temperature. It never increased to a level higher than "rig ambient".
    Last edited by N8YX; 08-20-2018 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  10. #40
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    General '530 Alignment notes, tips

    Once everything is back in place and all wires are secured it's time to perform an alignment of the RF Unit and Final Unit (PA tube neutralizing) and check carrier suppression. The Driver Tube is an integral part of the RF Unit's tuned circuits, and the Ant/Mix and Drive coils for all bands should be re-peaked whenever the tube is changed - especially between brands.

    Following the Kenwood Service Manual, I did the neutralization procedure first. Afterwards, the RF Unit coils were adjusted in sequence. That is, the Ant/Mix coils for a given band were peaked (using the internal Calibrator output as a signal source) followed by the Drive coil adjustment. One uses an external wattmeter for this procedure, tuning the Plate and Load control for max indication then peaking the band's Drive coil. The Mode switch is kept in Tune for the procedure, and (very important!) the Drive control is kept at 12 o'clock throughout.

    Once the RF Unit adjustment is complete, tune the rig up on 14MHz (per the Service Manual), remove the dummy load and connect a 15MHz B/W or higher oscilloscope to the Antenna Connector. With the Mode switch in either USB or LSB and the Mic Gain fully CCW, flip the Send/Rec switch to Send and alternatively adjust TC1 and VR4 for minimum carrier on the scope. Select the opposite sideband and check the carrier level, adjusting TC1 and VR4 to equalize the readings between sidebands.

    With the new (1N6263) diodes in place in the balanced modulator, I was able to get the carrier level down into the noise on both sidebands - 3-4mV max.

    Depending on condition and past ownership, a full alignment of the rig may be in order. Follow the Service Manual procedure throughout, starting with the 9V and 3.2V regulator adjustments. The former determines overall VFO stability. I've seen the x30-series rigs take a bad rap for drift, but the one currently on my bench has stayed put after warmup.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

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