CHANGING COLOURS
A page dedicated to changing the colour of your Radio's Display
(and all your accessories too)

Please realise this modification will VOID your Warranty

I operate a Kenwood TS-2000X
A well known HF-VHF-UHF-SHF Multimode Base Station allowing operation on all amateur bands
from 1.8Mhz (Top band) to 1296Mhz (23cm).

It isn't a low cost rig.. but by today's pricing standards its a very sound investment for what you get.

Designed sometime in the late 1990's the "2000" has a few "quirks" like most modern rigs.
I'm sure the majority of Amateurs out there would change at least one thing about their rig...
My first grumble after the sensitivity response of the 2m receiver (more about this later)
was the colour of the main LCD display of the TS-2000.... see below

Earlier this year I decided to do something about the awful colour and spent a few hours searching the web.
I found a few ideas involving changing the 6 BULBS used in the TS-2000 to LED's... all of which seemed
to point to an American Amateur who was selling kits of parts to DIY the change.
Only US$30 + pp for the kit, but it does involve overseas orders etc
and can just as easily be accomplished using std off the shelf parts available here in the UK.
The US article can be found at
http://www.n2zdb.com/n2zdb courtesy of Michael N2ZDB .
Other Mods pages can be found on GOOGLE...  here is one that deals with how to take your TS-2000 apart..
http://www.k2txb.com/changing.htm

and another
http://www.n1eq.com/tech/page_04.html

After a bit of circuit bashing I found what I consider to be the best method of changing the display colour
without breaking the bank using standard off the shelf components and a little bit of self control
not to mention steady hands and courage to take your TS-2000 apart.

The Result after around one Hour....

 

The above picture has been adjusted to match as closely as possibly the exact colour of my TS-2000's display
after the modification.. in reality, the display is now a subtle Blue.. much more relaxing to the eye and giving a much
greater contrast than the standard Amber colour allowing much more relaxed operation....
a colour very similar to the Famous and now no longer in production FT-847 from Yaesu.

The Modification consists of replacing 6 bulbs and 3 surface mount resistors.. but does involve removing the front panel along with
the control knobs to gain access to the LCD display board.

The work isn't too fiddly but you must be used to handling SMALL components .. tweezers required !!!
and be able to handle a small point low wattage soldering iron with CONFIDENCE !

 

I'm not going to duplicate Michael N2ZDB's already excellent pictures here...
check the link above and download his excellent PDF file covering the modification....


BUT I am going to add a few bits of information I think will help you modify your TS-2000

Follow the instructions on N2ZDB's site... but be prepared to remove the whole plastic front panel... pull off ALL the rotary knobs
and place them in a safe place.
THEN remove the front panel totally from the main chassis by REMOVING the 4 screws... two are each side of the front panel.
(two screws are used to Hinge the front panel the other two lock the panel into position)
CAREFULLY pull out the only ribbon cable connecting the front panel to the Main rig along with the cable connecting
the headphone socket and mic socket to the main rig chassis.

You will now be able to CAREFULLY lift each of the plastic lugs holding the plastic front panel to the front panel chassis
CAREFULLY removing the front panel allowing access to the circuitry.

THEN unscrew the 5 cross head screws holding the circuit board to the front panel assembly.

You can now proceed CAREFULLY to remove the 3 x 56ohm surface mount resistors that supply the bulbs...
You can now CAREFULLY remove the 6 bulbs.
use a pointed craft knife to pry the leads from the solder pads if you wish..   a pair of fine point tweezers
comes in really handy here.

OK.. now for the Mod...and the soldering bit !!!!

Replace the 3 56ohm surface mount resistors with 3 x 330ohm 1/4watt standard resistors or if you really want to keep
everything "as is" use 3 x 330ohm surface mount resistors of 2010 pattern (note: these are not readily available)

Replace the 6 Bulbs with 6 x 3mm UltraBrite LEDS of your choice...

I used 3mm dia UltraWhite LED's of 10,000mcd rating making sure the Anode of each LED (the LONG LEAD) is always facing
to the resistor as shown in N2ZDB's instructions.

You can use any colour of LED you prefer... and there are loads available out there...
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Amber, Pink, Violet.. but after I tried a load of 'em I decided to use White !!
(Please note that RED, YELLOW and Most GREEN LED's require a resistor of 470ohms or 560ohms)

Once complete, you now simply re-assemble your TS-2000 and switch on !!!

The modified TS-2000 now uses 6 UltraBrite White LED's consuming less than 10mA a pair.. 30mA total at max brightness
The original Bulbs consumed 35mA EACH and were an inherent problem repeatedly blowing if used on max brightness
for any length of time.

For the technically minded:
The TS-2000 uses a 10V DC regulated supply to supply the display illumination.
Display brightness is controlled by changing the bias of a separate regulator transistor from the Menu.
From calculations and experimentation the optimum resistance to use with the LED's is 330ohms 1/4w
(Two LED's each operating at 3.5V in series = 7v Therefore a resistor is required to drop an additional 3v
330ohm was found to be optimum after experimentation resulting in an operating current for each LED pair
of less than 10mA. Power rating... from Ohms law.. P=IE  Power = 0.01x3 = 3/100 watt!
If you source your own LED's make sure you know the operating voltage they are designed for.
Then calculate the required resistor value to drop the required voltage to allow safe operation of the LED's.


 

After such a successful modification I decided to Modify some other equipment in my shack.

Below you will find pictures of my Alan KW520 SWR Meter (aka Ameritron, Watson and others )
and Yaesu G-5500 Az-El Rotator...

BEFORE and AFTER replacing the standard Bulbs with 5mm Ultra Brite BLUE LEDS.

30 Minutes for BOTH pieces of equipment to be modified...  

The Result... a Nice looking Shack with uniform colour displays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this page shows what can be done with a little thought, and prompts you to
get the soldering iron warmed up !

Don't forget.. these Modifications WILL void your warranty..  best to wait until it's expired if you are unsure...
BUT, you can transform the way your shack looks at very low cost.

As I mentioned earlier, the choice of available colours is enormous..  the look is limited only by your imagination .

All you have to do is identify the voltage powering the bulbs in your equipment....check the schematic or use a multimeter...
then....calculate the resistors you need and replace the bulbs with LED's of your choice.

Note: the Alan SWR meter used 2 x 12v "pea" bulbs in parallel from a 12v DC supply
the Yaesu Rotator used 2 x 9v wire ended bulbs in series from a 15v AC supply.
BOTH the above were modified by fitting 2 x UltraBrite Blue LED's in series with a single 560ohm 1/4w resistor.
LED's being Diodes do not need a separate rectified supply.. they work as well on AC as DC supplies !

 

OK... Now for the Advertising Bit...
If you want to purchase 6 UltraBrite LED's together with the resistors you will need
you can always visit www.anchorsupplies.com

I used to work there...and have arranged to supply all you will need for 10 incl UK pp.
So if you don't have the parts available and want to get some from us then visit the web site.

 

 

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