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6 Meters HAM on Kenwood TK-690?

9Track

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Hope I'm not wearing out my welcome with all the questions! Did Kenwood have a model of the TK-690 that covered the 6 meter ham spread? If not, was there another model that covered 6 meters?

Thanks.
 

9Track

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Okay. Is it harmful to the radio to use it out of it's intended frequency range? Also, does it cause problems with the transmission?

Thanks again.
 

mmckenna

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Okay. Is it harmful to the radio to use it out of it's intended frequency range? Also, does it cause problems with the transmission?

Thanks again.
They can usually be taken a bit out of their designed range, but due to component variances, the Voltage Controlled Oscillator will unlock at some point above its design frequency. If you have the right test equipment (service monitor) you can retune the radio to keep VCO lock up towards 54MHz.

You may find that the filters will get in the way as you go up in frequency, and that may require retuning the radio.

Doesn't hurt to give it a try, it's just that once you get far enough outside it's design, it's not going to work well. This is where a service monitor can come in handy, retuning the radio to work better will restore performance.
 

mrweather

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WA1NVC posted instructions many years ago on how to bring a Type 3 TK-690H (40-50 MHz split) up to 6m. Beware, the mod won't work on any other TK-690H type.

I've done it and it was pretty straightforward. You'll have to manually edit the codeplug because the programming software won't allow you to input frequencies above 50 MHz (even though it'll happily read the modified data file and write it to the radio).
 

9Track

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WA1NVC posted instructions many years ago on how to bring a Type 3 TK-690H (40-50 MHz split) up to 6m. Beware, the mod won't work on any other TK-690H type.

I've done it and it was pretty straightforward. You'll have to manually edit the codeplug because the programming software won't allow you to input frequencies above 50 MHz (even though it'll happily read the modified data file and write it to the radio).
I found the modification on repeater-builder.com. Just a cursory scan of the article looked like the process is a bit beyond my capabilities. I don't have any alignment equipment and don't know how to use it if I did. I have multimeters, but no other radio diagnostic equipment. I suppose I'll just look at a different option for a 6 meter transceiver if I find there is activity where I live.

Thanks much for the info.
 

9Track

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Sep 29, 2020
Messages
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They can usually be taken a bit out of their designed range, but due to component variances, the Voltage Controlled Oscillator will unlock at some point above its design frequency. If you have the right test equipment (service monitor) you can retune the radio to keep VCO lock up towards 54MHz.

You may find that the filters will get in the way as you go up in frequency, and that may require retuning the radio.

Doesn't hurt to give it a try, it's just that once you get far enough outside it's design, it's not going to work well. This is where a service monitor can come in handy, retuning the radio to work better will restore performance.
I think I've decided to skip this project. I would probably end up with a poor radio when I finished with it. Thanks.
 

mmckenna

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I think I've decided to skip this project. I would probably end up with a poor radio when I finished with it. Thanks.
Yes, check your local activity, first. No point in going through all this if there's no one to talk to. There are 6 meter repeaters around my area, but they don't get a lot of activity. Your location may be different.
Also, you need to consider your antenna. Like all low band VHF, you've gotta have a decent antenna if you want to play.
A ham specific 6 meter radio may be a better idea for your application. Even better, look for a radio that will do SSB, then you can play with DX. I used to have a 6 meter SSB radio and had some fun with it with 250+ mile contacts at 10 watts.
 

k7ng

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9Track, There are still 6M FM-only ham radios made (Alinco DR-06T for one) and CCR's for a little more than half the price of the Alinco, should 6M FM be of particular interest. During contests (3 or 4 a year) 6M FM simplex can get active. Most all-mode HF ham radios come with 6M these days.
mmckennna is right on though. With 6M FM only, you might go a long time without talking to anyone, even if there is a 6M repeater near you. If I were you (and my opinions are worth about 2 grams of cat hair or equivalent) I'd think about more than FM (and maybe more than just 6M).
 

9Track

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9Track, There are still 6M FM-only ham radios made (Alinco DR-06T for one) and CCR's for a little more than half the price of the Alinco, should 6M FM be of particular interest. During contests (3 or 4 a year) 6M FM simplex can get active. Most all-mode HF ham radios come with 6M these days.
mmckennna is right on though. With 6M FM only, you might go a long time without talking to anyone, even if there is a 6M repeater near you. If I were you (and my opinions are worth about 2 grams of cat hair or equivalent) I'd think about more than FM (and maybe more than just 6M).
Thanks for the feedback. I agree on skipping a dedicated 6m radio. At some point, I would like to look at getting a Kenwood TS-590gs. I believe those cover 6 meters, but will have to check for sure. 6m was kind of a passing interest. Interestingly, I hear very little 2m and 70cm activity where I live, so 6m would probably be even less.

I've heard a gentleman on GMRS discuss 6m and 220 MHz a few times and it sounded like there is someone in my area using those, so will have to ask him.

Thanks again.
 

k7ng

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222 MHz can be pretty busy in some areas, but those areas are major metropolitan areas, mostly. I had great fun in the 1980's with 222 FM in the San Francisco bay area, but I have since lived in some places that were vast 222 MHz vacuum. And it isn't the 1980's any more either, I just noticed. It sounds like you want pretty much a DC to daylight radio, and those are few. I used to have an IC-9100 which was HF / 6M / 2M / UHF - a pretty good rig (no 222 though) but donated it to a VHF contest club of which I am Member #2 of 2. I still say hello to it during VHF contests.
Don't get impatient if you're looking for something like that. They're out there.
 
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