The final setup (or DXLab Suite, HDSDR, RTL-SDR, TS-590 How-To)


So this is my current setup. Step by step:

  1. Hook up CN303 of the TS-590 to the antenna input of the RTL-SDR.
  2. Hook up the TS-590 to the laptop for CAT control. In my case i am using COM3.
  3. Configure DXLabSuite to use COM3 for CAT control.
  4. Install VSP Manager and configure a COM pair. These are two virtual COM ports connected to each other. I use COM4 and COM5.
  5. Configure DXLabSuite to use COM4 as second CAT interface using the Kenwood protocol.
  6. Install Omni-Rig and configure Rig1 to use COM5 (remember that this is the one connected to DXLab) for the TS-590.
  7. Install HDSDR and add the correct RTL-SDR drivers. How-to can be found on the HDSDR website.
  8. Configure HDSDR to use the RTL-SDR USB.
  9. Configure HDSDR to use Omni-Rig and select Rig1.
  10. Switch everything on and enjoy.


SDR puzzle

20-Oct-14 11-10-15 AM

Just starting with SDR, so forgive my ignorance. Here is a HDSDR puzzle:

I installed HDSDR and hooked the RTL-SDR adapter up to my TS-590 on the tune connector CN303 (1st IF on RX-2, 73.095MHz). Cable is a normal coax cable with on the center a 100pF cap (don’t know what it’s for, but they told me to put that in). Final objective is to use HDSDR to see the spectrum and to tune the radio.

At first i thought things were not working because i didn’t hear anything on the SDR. Then i tuned in between 70 and 75MHz. Turns out that i hear my TS-590 when i tune the SDR on or around 75.550MHz. First question, why is that? Why is it not 73.095MHz?

Ok, so now i hear my radio. Let’s tune to a frequency where i have good reception and where there is always traffic, 28.120MHz, the PSK31 frequency on 10 meters. Nothing. I do hear my PLC, so i suspect that the frequency i am listening to is far below 28.120MHz. Dialing up i hear truckers on 28.230MHz. They tend to be on the CB band, so that confirms my suspicion that i am listening to 1Mhz below what my radio tells me.

I looked for a strong station on the 10m band and noted down frequencies. This is what i found:

  • Real frequency where station is transmitting: 28.465MHz
  • Frequency displayed on the radio: 31.350MHz
  • HDSDR LO is set to 75.550MHz
  • HDSDR Tuned frequency is 75.1275MHz

Now i need to understand what is happening and calculate the various offsets you can set in HDSDR.

To be continued…



Don’t know what i did, but i seems to have it working.

Here are the settings:

20-Oct-14 3-22-02 PM


And then this is what it looks like:


Two new projects in the pipeline

tcxoOne is the installation of a chinese TCXO unit. The original Kenwood SO-3 TCXO units are around 150 euros and i never saw the purpose for it. But now people on the Kenwood TS-590 Yahoo group bought and tested a chinese SO-3 replacement. They seem to work as good as the Kenwood ones but they are a lot cheaper. I got mine from eBay and payed 17 euros for it. The come including a small board so you don’t have to solder them unit in. So, even if i will never see the need for the TCXO unit, for 17 euros i upped the value of the radio with a 100 bucks.

Second project is hooking up the TS-590 to an RTL-SDR receiver and being able to look at the whole band using SDR software. From what i understand from this video the “only” thing i need to do is hook up a wire to CN303 on the board and get that wire into the antenna in of the RTL-SDR. Let’s see if i can get this to work. Any hints, corrections, potential risks, etc up front would be appreciated.