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Kenwood / Trio - Kenwood Communications, Tokyo

R - 600

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überarbeitet am 21.10.2010

Three years after the introduction of the first shortwave receiver equipped with a digital frequency display, Kenwood presented two succeeding sets to the market: the simpler R-600 and the more luxurious R-2000. With the simpler set, Kenwood did make some savings on goodies that have no direct influence on the reception quality, but has used some very high quality components in the critical parts of the circuitry. Kenwood did keep the triple conversion design and left away all these features giving You only headaches, when You try to remember how to operate the sleep timer...
Triple conversion, IFs 40.455, 10.455 and 455 kHz

Digital frequency display, dial accuracy 1 kHz, coverage 150 kHz - 30 MHz

AM, CW, USB/ LSB

Sensitivity SSB < 0.5 uV

Selectivity -6 dB
6/ 2,7 kHz

S Meter, Noise Blanker, ATT

The Kenwood R-600 is a PLL synthesizer controlled triple conversion communications receiver covering frequencies up to 30 MHz. It can be operated from different mains voltages and also from 13,8 V DC for mobile operation from a car battery.

The small desktop cabinet receiver has similar dimensions (300 x 110 x 200 mm) and weight (4.5 kg) as the R-1000 receiver. To carry it to Your holiday cottage, it has a carrying handle on the side.

The left third of the front panel is taken by the speaker grille, just below, You find the jacks for headphones and a cassette recorder.
In the middle of the front panel, You find the signal strength meter calibrated in S units, below the pushbuttons for mains power, Noise blanker and an Attenuator, and the rotary controls for AF gain / volume and the tone control.
At the right, below the green LED frequency display the big main tuning knob, and righthand the MODEs switch, You can select two AM bandwidths, for USB and LSB reception, the narrow bandwidth filter is switched automatically. In the right lower corner, You find a rotary switch for the thirty 1 MHz segments - that's it, all controls.

At the rear of the set, the socket for the mains cable, the set can be operated from 100 to 240 V AC and a connector for 13,8 V DC operation. The set has a koaxial SO-239 antenna socket, connectors for a long wire antenna, earth and muting of the set and a jack to connect an external speaker.

Operating the R-600 is a no-thrills task: connect a long wire antenna or a random wire length (I use 25 m of long wire connected to a Yaesu FRT-7700 antenna tuner) to the antenna socket, press the power button and adjust the AF gain / volume control for a slight noise. Turn the band segment control to 6 (for the MHz digit), and adjust to 1 5 5 with the main tuning knob - now You should be tuned to the news coming from Vienna. In case of an interfering signal, set the modes switch to AM-NARROW.
You don't have to bother about the few other controls. You can try activating the Noise Blanker for Noise coming from motor ignitions, You can press the attenuator button when a nearby station causes overload effects and appears on different parts of the dial as mixing product, or when You have very high noise level tuning in the 49 m band in a winter evening and the receiver's front end has to deal with a lot of very strong signals from European Broadcasters.

With the minor drawback, that the R-600 has no frequency memories, and has no capabilities of processing the HF signal with passband tuning or Notch filter, the R-600 is still an above average shortwave receiver meeting most DXers demands.

further literature:
d/e: R-600 at www.radiomuseum.org
d: R-600 Das Bedienungswunder, kurier 14 / 1983
e: Trio - Kenwood R-600, Larry Magne, WRTH 1983

© Martin Bösch 8.8.04