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

  1. #21
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    RF Unit modifications and TS-530 Transverter connection

    Next step is to install the new coils at L101, L102 and L103, along with the previously mentioned capacitor at C103. (I just got a bunch of 2pF, 500V silver mica caps and am going to try one with a 4-turn L103 next time I have an RF Unit out of one of the radios.)

    There are a few more things to do to the board before reassembly can take place. One corrects an AGC overshoot condition and is detailed on AG6K's Circuit Improvements page. It's applicable to both 530 and 830 series rigs.

    R12 (highlighted; near J4 and J5 at the lower left side of the board) is changed from 1 megohm to 10-51k, 1/4w. I used a 39k:

    R12-Mod.jpg

    Next, the components for the TS-530 Transverter Output signal are added. The Taiko Denki TL25-series header was salvaged from a junked TS-930 Signal Board, as were many other parts used in this project series. Skip this step if working with a TS-830 RF Unit, as the components are already installed:

    XVTR-RF-Board.jpg

    C38 (circled) is a 10pF, 100v NP0 ceramic disc capacitor and R8 (also circled) is an 82 ohm, 1/4w unit.

    The last modification - assuming one wants the rig to transmit on the new band, and thus be useful in transverter service - is to locate R45, a 2.2K, 1/4w resistor which runs from J1, Pin 1 to Gnd. Clip or remove it. Better still, remove the resistor and install a 2-pin keyed header. This will be used to take "Aux Band" +9v to band-control logic which we'll build later.

    R45 - if present - serves to limit output by means of the ALC circuit...but that's only one piece of the puzzle.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  2. #22
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    PA Compartment Mods and RF Unit replacement (530 and 830)

    While the 6146s are removed, it's time to make some needed changes in the PA Compartment. All are indicated by colored arrows in the attachment.

    1) Improved Bandswitch coupler - ordered from K4EAA, along with many other parts used for this project series. If the old (nylon) OEM unit is still in place, remove it and install the brass one in its place. Take note of the two flats on the PA Bandswitch shaft; the coupler goes on with its setscrews aligned with the flats. Don't tighten them just yet.

    2) Replace the Plate Choke bypass capacitor - a .01uF, 3KV disc. So far, both rigs I've had on the bench for this thread have had cracked capacitors and I don't doubt the third will. These were also obtained from K4EAA in a "Final Compartment Repair Kit". Your junkbox will also work as a supply for this part - but mine was fresh out of anything with a working voltage above 1KV. Note: Remove the part before completing Step 3 then install the new component after. This gives more access to the switch contacts.

    3) Add a connection to the 'Aux' Bandswitch position contact (indicated by the red arrow) - necessary for the unit to develop full rated power on a new band. For 25MHz and up, simply install a jumper between the Aux contact and the adjacent 28/29MHz contacts (which are themselves bridged). This is just doable with a very long tipped soldering iron, a set of very long electronics-sized needlenose pliers, a cuticle stick or similar wood tool (to position and hold a pre-formed jumper) and a long length of solder. For bands that require a tap to any other coil positions it's better to remove the PA Compartment as an assembly, where you can get access to the entire switch deck without fear of damaging anything.

    Also advisable is the use of an iron whose tip can be temperature controlled. I used 800 degrees F to ensure rapid heating and proper fluxing of the joint.

    PA-Compartment-updates.jpg

    Once the PA Compartment updates are finished, reinstall the RF Unit. You'll position it in place then re-solder the two (530) or three (830) wires which were un-soldered to permit its extraction. Next, thread the Main Bandswitch Shaft through the front panel, into the various wafers (all of which should still line up with each other with respect to band contact wiper position) and then into the new PA Bandswitch Coupler. (Note that the Bandswitch Knob should be indicating '10MHz', and there should be a ~1/16" or so gap between the shaft skirt and the front panel.)

    Center the coupler on the PA Bandswitch and Main Bandswitch shafts then gently snug up the first set of Allen screws (2mm hex driver). Next, rotate the Band knob to 1.8MHz and tighten the other two screws...then rotate the Band knob all the way to 'Aux' and back to 10MHz, ensuring that the knob skirt doesn't contact the front panel at any point of its travel. If all looks good, tighten the first two "snugged" screws then rotate the Band knob to 1.8MHz and verify the tightness of the second set of screws.

    After the coupler is tightened, gently align the RF Unit to the chassis so its attachment holes line up with those in the radio's chassis. Replace 7 screws, noting that both long ones go into the holes equipped with standoff bushings. When this is done, rotate the Band knob though its range and ensure there's no binding. If everything checks out, replace the three tension springs you removed from the Main Bandswitch shaft during the disassembly process.

    The rest of the assembly process is the reverse of the disassembly procedure - including the installation of all removed shafts, couplers and the Counter Unit. Alignment will be covered next. Note that with a '530 there's nothing to plug into the new "XV Out" connector (yet); the addition of the transverter interface and all supporting circuit changes will be covered elsewhere in the thread.
    Last edited by N8YX; 07-11-2018 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  3. #23
    La Rata Del Desierto K7SGJ's Avatar
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    Fred, you have done a very professional job of documenting the Kenwood 530/830 mods and upgrades. The photos are very clear and help to make installation of these improvements very easy and minimize the chances of (as Grandma use to say) fuck ups. I have an entire 530 station that I purchased new many years ago. I also have the ancillary equipment like the panadapter, antenna tuner, monitor, mic, speaker, etc. In all the time I've had it, I have had to change tubes once, and replace something else that I don't recall what it was. I am at a point where I have to sell off a lot of my stuff, and sadly, that will have to go. It was my only rig for several years, and it has always been on the bench ready to go.

    Anyway, nice job.
    A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory

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  4. #24
    Volcano Tamer suddenseer's Avatar
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    As an engineer with fat, clumsy fingers I stayed away from that small, cramped Japanese mini compartment sleepers. Working around commercial broadcast gear maybe intended for people with bigis digitus. a cousin of a Roman solder. I am impressed. I need clamps, microscopes, with bright LED to solder them surface mount dust specks. Then a steady hand. I have not even tried to solder a PL 259 connector for some time. I have seen your component level work, you should teach a tech class.

    cul de n8tb
    "Sadly, it always takes a few martyrs to get the ball rolling." Colonel Tim Boldman 2001
    "There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference."--William James
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  5. #25
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    More about coils and hardware hacking in general

    Thanks Eddie and Tim for the vote of confidence...I'll try not to blow too many components up as I work through all this.

    One piece of lab equipment I have been missing for a while is an LCR meter. I got a used Leader LCR-745 from the 'Bay, and after repairing some damage caused by a piss-poor packing job on the part of the seller it was time to measure some of the components used for this project.

    (Note: If you're going to make sub-microhenry inductance measurements in the course of tinkering, make sure you get an instrument which is capable of measuring components with an applied frequency of 10KHz or higher. The Leader unit uses 120Hz or 1KHz...just usable for a 1uH inductor. Another "Mods" thread will feature the design and construction of a range extender - if I don't bite the bullet and buy an HP 4200-series unit before then.)

    In reply #18 of this thread, a link to a "Toko winding calculator" was given. I took the stock Kenwood 10M coil and measured it with the LCR-745 on 1KHz range, obtaining a value of 1.1uH. I next measured the 6-turn coil I wound on the 7mm form. Playing with the formula on that page:

    uH = (AL x turns^2 )/1000

    gives an AL value of 45 for an indicated inductance of 1.6uH. One could probably order a stock 1.2-1.7uH part from Lodestone and get it to work, or one could find a Toko engineer's design assortment of variable inductors and do same. Or bare forms can be ordered, and armed with the needed value and AL number a person can wind their own.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  6. #26
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    Alignment of the Aux Band

    Once all components are back in places (including the tubes and the PA cover shield), it's time to align the new coils and test for power output. Rotate the Band selector to Aux, center the Drive control (12 o'clock) and turn the rig's VFO so that .250 is displayed on the readout. Turn the Calibrator on (or use an RF signal generator connected to the rig's ANT jack) and receive a signal of ~1KHz beat while in either LSB or USB. Peak L101 and L102 for maximum S meter indication. Do each several times, alternating between them. I can easily get .01uV minimum-signal sensitivity when connected to the generator and there's very little internal noise. Just what we want as an intermediate stage for VHF/UHF weak-signal work.

    Next, follow the Drive Coil Adjustment procedure in the Service Manual to adjust L103 for maximum power out. Don't touch the Drive control while performing this step.

    Finally, tune the rig up while on a dummy load and verify full output power can be obtained. Both the '530SP and '830S I've worked with will put out in excess of 100w, the former with a new set of tubes.

    If you have a '530: Turn the rig off, unplug it and remove the PA cover shield. Then, short the Plate Choke to ground, remove the tubes and store them in a safe place. The addition of a transverter hookup is next.
    Last edited by N8YX; 07-13-2018 at 08:42 AM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  7. #27
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    Adding a Transverter interface to a TS-530S

    Kenwood really did us a few favors here by using the same chassis, PA Assembly, Rectifier unit and ancillary circuits in both TS-830. and TS-530. All needed holes are present, and some minor rework to the existing boards is required. The major areas to focus on are the Rectifier Unit and the Antenna Relay, though a few other modifications must be done to the rig to make it the functional equivalent of an '830 when it comes to connecting a transverter.

    In order of execution:

    -Modify the RF Unit with the indicated parts (previously covered)
    -Procure an OEM Kenwood TS-830 Transverter connector
    -Disconnect the Screen Grid switch from its wiring
    -Modify the AF Unit for Transverter ALC connection
    -Modify the Rectifier Unit for relay control of screen voltage
    -Rewire the Antenna Relay
    -Wire the Screen Grid switch for the new control scheme and test the Screen Grid output terminal voltage
    -Wire and install the Transverter connector

    Walter (KD7DNY), a new Island member provided me with the connector, and KE5FTF sent a scrap wiring harness from which a few runs of miniature coax were sourced. The other parts were obtained from the scrapped TS-930 Signal Board or my junk box.
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  8. #28
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    TS-530 Screen Grid switch, AF Unit modifications

    The rear panel Screen Grid switch must be rewired to switch a +12VDC signal to the Rectifier Unit, following the TS-830's circuit. Easiest way to do this is to unscrew the unit from the chassis then trace each lead (two to the Rectifier Unit; one to the PA Unit PCB) and remove them from their attachment points. Next, de-solder the wires from the switch and set it aside.

    Other than form factor and ancillary circuits, there's very little difference between the Audio Units of the TS-530 and TS-830 series. Examining the ALC portion of the assembly, the sole missing connection is the "XAL" (Transverter ALC) line. This is easily fixed. First, remove the AF Unit and locate J10 - a 2 pin TL25-series header. De-solder it and source a 3-pin version, then use a dental burr in a pin vise to drill a hole for the 3rd pin. Following Kenwood's connector positioning practice, install the header and solder two pins in place at the existing foil pads.

    XAL-Connector-2.jpg

    Next, source a VO6B (1A; 600PRV) diode or 1N4000-series equivalent. An existing, non-drilled solder pad (indicated by the orange arrow in the picture below) was evidently meant to accommodate the needed diode but somewhere along the line the parts (along with the artwork for the connection to the header) weren't included. Trim the leads short and install as shown; cathode to the empty header pin:

    XAL-Connector-1.jpg

    Lastly, source a 3-pin TL25-series plug and a suitable wire with installed crimp terminal. I followed Kenwood's color scheme and used a white/green striped wire - the one from this connector position in the '830. Remove the connectors one at a time from the 2-pin plug and install them in the 3-pin unit, keeping their positions the same. Finally, insert the terminal with the "XAL" lead into the plug, plug the connector into the header and route the XAL lead along the rear part of the chassis to the area where the Xverter connector will be installed.

    XAL-Connector-3.jpg

    Install the AF Unit and connect any plugs which were removed.

    ETA: See Tip #10 (post #39) for another AF Unit modification. I'd advise also doing this one while the board is out of the rig.
    Last edited by N8YX; 07-24-2018 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Additional info, grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  9. #29
    Administrator N8YX's Avatar
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    Modifying the TS-530 Rectifier Unit - Part 1

    To accommodate a transverter, the Screen Grid voltage must be made negative - so the PA tubes will not amplify while the radio is in Transmit mode. In the TS-830 series, this is accomplished via a relay on the Rectifier Unit. Said relay is controlled by the rear-panel Screen Grid switch (by bringing one side of its coil to ground) or via an attached transverter (which brings a line on the Xverter connector to ground on power-up). The 530's Rectifier Unit is missing some key components; fortunately, these are easy to add. The PCBs are identical except for the part numbering.

    Comparing the '830 Rectifier Unit schematic

    830-Rectifier-Unit.jpg

    to that of the '530

    530-Rectifier-Unit.jpg

    it becomes apparent that Kenwood cost-cut the latter while keeping the higher-voltage sections the same. Missing is the relay and its external control circuitry. Kenwood opted to run Screen Grid voltage directly through the 'SG' switch and reworked the area involving the -C, AC100 and SGS terminal. This is simple to reverse.
    Last edited by N8YX; 07-20-2018 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Grammar
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

  10. #30
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    Modifying the TS-530 Rectifier Unit - Part 2


    In the picture below, a stock Rectifier Unit is shown. Yellow arrows indicate components which must be removed:

    Rectifier-Unit-1.jpg

    while red arrows show places where components must be added.

    Begin by removing the Rectifier Unit from the radio chassis, then de-solder and remove the jumper and R17 (100k) which are inside the rectangular artwork area. Also clean out any solder from the pads which will be used to mount RL1.

    Next, install D12 (1N4148, 1N914 or similar silicon switching diode), C7 (.01uF, 100WVDC ceramic disc) and RL1 (Omron G2E; 12V coil). The latter two parts were obtained from the junker TS-930S Signal Board and one can get several of the required relays from it.

    Lastly, install a wire-wrap post at location "SGS". I used a pin from a Molex 'KK' series header (.156" C-C pin spacing) though one could be obtained from various junked Kenwood hybrid boards.

    Note that R12-R13 along with wire-wrap post "STB" are not used in this transceiver...but they're present in the TS-830S, ostensibly to supply blocking voltage for the keying circuits.

    The modified board is shown here; newly installed components indicated by yellow arrows:

    Rectifier-Unit-2.jpg

    The orange wire on the "SGS" terminal will be installed later. Note the "12" terminal immediately underneath the "SGS" terminal. In the stock TS-530, this is used to connect screen grid voltage to the Mode switch. If the wire hasn't been previously removed in the Screen Grid Switch step (above), do so before proceeding. It will be attached elsewhere on the Rectifier Unit after testing.
    Last edited by N8YX; 07-24-2018 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Additional info
    "Everyone wants to be an AM Gangsta until it's time to start doing AM Gangsta shit."

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