A Word Of Warning, this fairly modern radio uses some extremely small components that require very delicate soldering skills. Please do not attempt this procedure unless you are absolutely sure you are competent to do so.
This very simple and inexpensive mod requiring no soldering which may possibly save you frying an expensive radio should your power supply go bad and send too high voltage to the rig.
All that is required for this mod is a Littelfuse 1.5KE15A Transient Suppressor Diode. Basically this diode acts like a zener diode in that it will pass allow a reverse voltage to flow once it’s designed voltage has been reached. This very high current 15-volt zener diode can handle a peak current of over 70 amps, plenty to blow a suitably rated fuse.
A SignaLink is a small unit manufactured by Tigertronics which functions as an interface between a computer and transceiver to enable the use of digimodes. The latest version of the SignaLink connects to the computer using a standard USB cable.
The connection to the transceiver is made by a RJ45 (ethernet) socket on the rear of the unit. The other end of the RJ45 cable is terminated to suit the radio. Wire jumpers inside the unit allow the SignaLink to be used with any radio. Tigertronics also supply pre terminated RJ45 cables and pre-configured jumper blocks.
Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer
The 802 audio mixer from Behringer is a basic and compact unit designed primarily for home/hobby use. While all the basic needed features are included, it does lack some of the extras found on larger mixers. A really useful function of any mixer is the ability to send the audio signal out of the mixer to an effects unit and then have the signal return to the mixer for level adjustment.
There are two versions of this send/return system, firstly, the “AUX Send” or AUX, and secondly, the FX Send. The Aux version may also be called an insert channel. What’s the difference? The Aux is normally exited from the mixer pre-fader, meaning the level of the channel fader makes no difference to the signal level sent to the external unit. While the FX is normally post fader, typically used for reverb effects etc and the output level is controlled by the channel fader so the effect level tracks with the signal level.
The MC-60 desk microphone by Kenwood is a high quality item. This microphone also has a built in pre amplifier which can be powered either by batteries, or by power fed from the radio.
When the preamp is being run from the radio power supply you may leave the preamp permanently turned on. Of course, when using batteries, although the current drain is quite small, the batteries will last longer if you turn the preamp off when you have finished using the microphone. The switch for the preamp is located (not so conveniently) on the base of the microphone.
Low receive sensitivity and low, or no RF output power as the frequency increases can often be attributed to a fault on the RF board within the Kenwood TS-850S.
Quite often the problem is more noticeable at frequencies of 14MHz and above, usually with the RF output power dropping to only a watt at 30MHz.