I’ve been watching with some amusement as the news continues to break about the newest entry into the ham gear market…Kenwood’s TS-990S. It dovetails nicely with other big roll-outs such as Elecraft’s KX-3. As soon as the ad for the 990 appeared on the back of last month’s QST and CQ with word that a prototype would be shown at Dayton, the message boards have exploded with speculation about what kind of rig it would be, what features it would have, how much it would cost, and more. And there were the immediate negative comments, too.
“Who needs another ($4000, $5000, $10,000, $Trillion…take your pick) ham rig?”
“Why don’t they do a QRP rig instead of another (IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, FT-5000, FT-9000…take your pick) clone transceiver?”
“Will it have a band scope?” “Will it have (one, two, three, sixteen…take your pick) USB ports?” “It’s bigger than the TS-850. I don’t want it.” It’s smaller than the TS-850. I don’t want it.”
There have even been many who denigrate Kenwood for their lack of marketing acumen on so many scores you would actually think those posters actually knew anything at all about the top-secret radio. Or assume they know more about marketing ham gear than Kenwood–who has been doing it for many, many years now.
Then things really went bonkers this week with the publication of an ad on the back page of the June QST: