Kenwood TS-480

Being delighted with my new TS480HX, I have spent time finding out all I could about it. This involved sourcing information on the web, as well as collecting all the documentation I could find.
This information was all over the place, or hidden away somewhere on the Kenwood website. The objective of this page is to bring together in one place all the information a TS480 user may need; i.e. links to the various web pages and copies of documents for download.
As new information is sourced, it will be added to this page, to keep it a comprehensive and up-to-date TS-480 resource. If you have a contribution, please email me.

User feedback is here, at the bottom of this page.
On the Web
  • Kenwood product brochure and specifications here. (Kenwood Site)
  • How to check the firmware version of your transceiver here. (Kenwood Site)
  • How to update your firmware here. (Kenwood Site)
  • A history of Firmware versions from 1.0 to date (1.06 at Sept 2012) and download the latest version here. (Kenwood Site)
  • Details of ARPC480 Radio Control Program and download it here. (Kenwood Site)
  • The Kenwood link to the ARPC480 Radio Control Program software was reported broken (30 July 2015). You can download a copy of the software here.
  • As standard your radio transmits only in the amateur bands, excluding 5MHz. A simple modification allows transmission anywhere from 1.7 - 30MHz and 49 - 54 MHz. Thanks go to KB2LJJ. As his website is not currently functioning, you can download the modification in fully illustrated document form at 'Transmit Unlock by KB2LJJ' below or here.
  • Remote control your radio over the Internet or your LAN with the Kenwood Network Command System, details and software ARHP-10 and ARVP-10 download here. (Kenwood Site)
  • The ARVP-10 software links your TX and RX audio between your PC and your remote TS-480, but it is a very basic VoIP programme. After trying several alternatives, including Skype, I settled on a great open source VoIP programme called 'Mumble', because of its low latency, high quality and configurability, details here.
  • I sourced the optional filters (CW and SSB narrow) and voice unit VGS-1 from Hiro, JA0BFZ, of the Nagano Ham Center in Japan at very good prices and quick delivery via his eBay shop. He helpfully completes the customs declaration in a way that seems to avoid unwanted attention. See below!
  • The TCXO temperature compensated oscilator SO-3 came from Rakuten in Japan at a huge discount to UK and European prices. Unfortunately my package caught the eye of Spanish customs, so after paying tax the discount was not that great. Be warned. Since my purchase, Rakuten have reduced the price by a further 14%, so it would still be a reasonable buy despite the tax.
    Update 1: It was brought to my attention in August 2014 that Rakuten no longer lists the Kenwood SO-3.
    Update 2: As at December 2014, the Kenwood SO-3 was available at a very good price from the Nagano Ham Center, mentioned above and here.
  • My USB to female DB9 connector to connect the Radio to the PC came from TechnoFix UK. It works great with Windows 7 64 bit, where a lot of cheap USB-serial adapters don't!
  • TS-480 Yahoo! Group here.
  • Want a spare or replacement control panel? Learn about the RC-480 KIT.
  • Add a first IF output for a pan adapter from FY8PE.
  • Ready made pan adapter from KA9MOT.
  • A first IF buffer amplifier is recommended for use with a pan adapter. A suitable one is available from Clifton Laboratories.
  • A detailed experience of adding a pan adapter here.

    Documents and Manuals for Downloading
    These are in .pdf format and require Adobe Reader, available for free download here if you dont already have it.

    Click on any of the descriptions below to download the document/manual. Some manuals are sizeable so may take a few moments to download.

    User Manual - The one that comes in the box.     6.2 MB download.
    Update for User Manual above, updating and/or correcting pages 71 & 79 (Crossband Repeater) & page 91 (7MHz EU band spec).
    Advanced User Manual 'In-Depth Manual'.     2.3 MB download.
    Transmit Unlock Removes the 'Amateur Band Only' transmitter restriction. Gives coverage of versions for different (geographical) markets.
    Transmit Unlock by KB2LJJ Downloadable version of a simple modification, with comprehensive instructions and illustrations, to allow transmission anywhere from 1.7 - 30MHz and 49 - 54 MHz.
    Transmit Unlock by K0ZL and DJ6TJ. As above, but with additional info for users of the European versions of the TS-480.
    Standard SSB filter modification This chap (Mr Anonymous) has got to be completely barking to do this to a fine radio. However, for the sake of completeness, I include the article here.
    Radcom Review The original review by Peter Hart in the March 2004 edition of Radcom.
    Firmware Updating Procedure.
    TS-480 PC Control Command Reference Manual.
    Kenwood Network Command System Manual Provides information to configure a remote control system via a home LAN or the Internet.
    TS-480 Service Manual Full service manual. High quality PDF, not a poor quality scan!     6.5 MB download.
    Improved AM broadcast reception Simple adjustment to improve AM Broadcast Band sensitivity.
    Power Level Mod Circuit modification to increase the power output level on SSB only. Tread carefully!
    Power Increase Modification This is an adjustment, rather than a circuit modification, is done with the set in 'service mode' and is easily reversed.
    Power Meter Problem After adjusting the power output using 'service adjustment mode' (as in the above mod), your power output meter may not work correctly. Here's the cure.
    MC-60A Microphone User Manual The Kenwood MC-60A Desktop Microphone is the ideal companion for your TS-480 base station. Make sure you turn off the built in pre-amp and set the impedance switch to 500 Ohms.
    MC-90 Microphone User Manual I've added a Kenwood MC-90 Desktop Microphone to my TS-480 base station. It is even better than the MC-60A.
    Kenwood Serial Numbers The serial number of your TS-480 can tell you the date of manufacture. This information is also good for some other models of Kenwood.
    PC Control Interface Circuit diagram of an isolating computer interface from YL3BU.
    User Feedback
    A report has been received of a fault, read it here.
    A question answered about how CW is generated here.
    A request for clarification of the 'Improved AM broadcast reception' adjustment here.
    A question about providing power for a first IF buffer amplifier for use with a pan-adapter here.

    E-mail: G4GCP/EA7JXH          Go back to the previous page.           Return to top of page.

    Last Update: April 2015.