Kenwood TS-990S Voice Guides


   Voice guidance is a standard feature of the new Kenwood TS-990S transceiver. No accessory voice synthesizer is required.

   Compared to previous Kenwood models, the TS-990S greatly expands the amount of information (about the radio status and settings) that is accessible for blind and vision-impaired hams. Chapter 14 in the TS-990S Instruction Manual, which is available from the Kenwood Web site, describes the Voice Guide options.

Voice Guidance

   There are four types of voice guidance in the TS-990S. With default programmable key assignments, here is what they do:

Voice 1.  During normal operation, pressing the [Voice] (M) key triggers Voice 1 to announce the frequency and operating status of the main receiver. A typical announcment is "Auto 14.235 MHz, " where "Auto" indicates that the radio selected the upper sideband mode for this frequency.

   A separate [Voice] (S) key is for the sub-receiver in the TS-990S.

   Voice 1 also can inform you about the configuration of the radio controls and menus. When you press a key that opens a new screen or selects an option, you can press the [Voice] (M) or [Voice] (S) key to hear a report.

   For example, when you change a configuration value in a menu and press [Voice] (M), the selected value is announced.

   Or, if you toggle the AGC setting (Fast/Mid/Slow) using the AGC key, pressing the [Voice] (M) key announces the setting plus the numerical value of the AGC speed you have previously configured for that setting.

   To give you an idea of how much information is accessible via the two [Voice] keys, the table of Voice 1 announcements in the Instruction Manual is six pages long.

Voice 2.  The programmable function key [PF A] activates Voice 2 by default. Pressing this key announces the S meter reading in receive mode and the power meter reading during transmission.

Voice 3.  The programmable function key [PF B] activates Voice 3 by default. Pressing this key announces the value for other multi-meter readings.

   Voice 2 and Voice 3 are described in more detail in the Multi-Meter section below.

Auto Announce.  When this feature is enabled, announcements of some operations and changes are made automatically without pressing a [Voice] key. For example, the frequency is announced each time you change it.

   Tables of the operations that can trigger automatic announcements are in the instruction manual.

Programmable Function Keys

   The four front panel keys with programmable functions are mentioned in the preceding section:  [PF A], [PF B], and the two [Voice] keys. The [Voice] (M) key is located in a group of keys for the main receiver, and the [Voice] (S) key is in a separate group of keys for the second receiver in the TS-990S.

   Additional functions can be assigned to PF keys on some microphones and to keys on a home-built selector circuit described in the Instruction Manual.


   The TS-990S multi-meter is a graphic on the main screen. You can select a meter type from three options: digital (bargraphs) and two analog displays.

   In receive mode, the multi-meter is an S-meter. Pressing the key assigned to Voice 2, which is the [PF A] key by default, announces the S-level.

   In transmit mode, Voice 2 announces the transmitted power.

   A table in the Instruction Manual (page 14-10) lists the announcement for each measurement. For example, an S-level of 33-36 is read as "S9," and a power level of 49-54 is read as "P 175."

   When the TS-990S is in transmit mode, pressing the [Meter] key changes what the transmit meter monitors:  With each key-press the meter function steps through a list that depends on the type of meter display you chose (digital or analog). Besides power, the transmit meter can display SWR, COMP, ALC, temperature, drain current in the final amplifier, or drain voltage.

   Pressing the key assigned to Voice 3, which is [PF B] by default, announces the meter reading. Tables in the manual (page 14-11) list the announcement for each measurement.

Author Information

   Peter DeNeef, AE7PD, is an Extra Class amateur radio operator in the U.S. This Web site has no ads or conflicts of interest.
Email: HamRadioAndVision "at" gmail "dot" com.

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