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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TS-600 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-600
Kenwood TS-600 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: All-mode 50 MHz base station transceiver.
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NT9M Rating: 4/5 Feb 15, 2006 18:36 Send this review to a friend
I'm satisfied  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For awhile now I'd been thinking a dedicated 6 meter rig would be a nice addition to the shack and allow my TS 2000 to do other things instead of sitting on 6 meters listening for an opening.

When I saw a TS600 show up on the used equipment list at one of the ham stores I started doing a little research on them and liked what I saw. The front panel layout is very similar in appearance to another 70s vintage radio I'd restored (Tempo 2020) and I thought I could make that little corner of the room "That 70's Shack". But by the time I called the store to inquire about the rig, they said it was sold already. Bummer.

Well when Christmas morning rolled around, what do you suppose was under the tree? My XYL had bought it right under my nose. The outside was dirty and the inside was absolutely filthy, but I plugged it in and she played just fine. There was an opening on 6 that day and my first contact was from Indiana to Texas...not bad with my measely 10 watts (and a 5 element yagi at 50 feet).

Of course it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of my TS 2000, but it serves its purpose well. It sits there faithfully listening to the call frequency with the volume backed down to where background noise is barely noticeable. And when signals do arrive, they jump out of the speaker and instantly catch my attention.

The built-in calibration seems to be right on the money. Of course with the analog tuning dial I still do a little fine tuning when the signals come along. RIT works fine, and the Noise Blanker is very effective. I use it mostly in SSB mode, but I did connect a keyer and verify that CW is working. Also works FB for FM simplex work.

Now for comparison, let me say that the receiver is every bit as sensitive as my TS 2000...and to my ears, maybe even more sensitive. This is purely anecdotal and not verified by test equipment. I have the rigs set up on an antenna switch, and in three months of operating, I have yet to find a signal on the TS 2000 (with preamp on) that I could not hear on the TS 600. Of course S meters vary widely, but the signals read stronger and sound stronger to me on the TS 600. That's good enough for me.

My rig did not come with the original hand mike, which I've read isn't all that great. It's got a Kenwood mike similar in appearnace to the TS 2000 hand mike, and my audio reports have all been good.

Bottom line here is I'm very satisfied. There is some advantage, I think, in a mono band receiver over the multi-band receivers in today's modern rigs. In just four years of ham radio, I've owned maybe ten new rigs, but in the last year I've had more fun with these 70s vintage radios. If you want all the bells and whistles, buy something newer. If you appreciate the operating experience of older radios, the TS 600 is a nice addition to the shack.

KA4KOE Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2005 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Old Radio Iron  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Everyone is complaining, "it doesn't do this or that like the new stuff will", therefore it is junk.

I beg to differ for the following reasons-

It has real METAL skirts on the knobs.
Its small and kinda neat.
Strictly analog design
Plus, its 30 years old and an ANTIQUE for crying out loud.

If you aren't into old radios then by all means don't buy one....leave that for us collectors who enjoy vintage electronics.

Appears to be sensitive enough. Now gotta put up a beam and wait for an Es opening on 6 meters.

W4LOS Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2003 14:37 Send this review to a friend
GREAT VINTAGE 6MTR RIG  Time owned: more than 12 months
Kenwood did a great job on this rig exclusively designed for 6 mtr work. I have worked many stations this last summer when the band opened up on 50 on 12 watts!! I love the solid DESIGN Kenwood put into these rigs. You don't have PL for repeaters ,but you can install a tone board for that purpose if you want. Fixed channels for repeater work as well. I have worked mostly SSB on this rig and have always gotten great results in audio quality. The rig has built in Mic ,CW side tone compression/gain for breaking thru the pile up with power.

Glad I bought it when I finally found one! Not too many around for sale. I will be keeping this Vintage 6mtr rig!
KD5NMI Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2001 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Great 6 meter Base!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Unlike the previous Reviews, I do not rate the TS-600 by comparing it to "newer" rigs. If I had wanted to work 6m repeaters I would have bought a different rig. I am rating it a 5 because it does everything it was mint to do, and it does it Very Well!!
With just 10 watts PEP and a 1/4 wave Mag-mount, I have worked over 70 stations in the last 3 days from CA to FL to Mexico to the Canary Islands. If I could hear them, 95% could hear me, and would come back to me.
This is one Amazing Base rig, and does EXACTLY what it was designed to do. By the way most of my contacts were on SSB, but also made a few on AM and FM (DX).
Can't wait to get up my Base Antenna, and the Mirage Amp for 6 meters.
NE0P Rating: 3/5 Jul 20, 2000 18:57 Send this review to a friend
Good 6 m monobander  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first 6 meter rig, and I had a blast using it. I got VUCC on 6 using it to an indoor dipole, but did have a 100 watt tube amp to help. Still it is a rock solid 6 meter rig, with good audio and a decent receiver. The main problem with it was that it did not have automatic TR switching for CW. You had to flip the transmit/receive switch. This worked on casual contacts, but made contest cqing difficult. THe rig did not have the offset for 6 meter repeaters, which was another drawback. However, it did have AM, which other 6 meter radios-and my FT736R-did not include. IT also had a nice large S-meter, and several fixed crystal positions. It was similar in appearance to the TS700, which was the 2 meter version and much more common. Overall, it is a good, but kind of dated, monobander. If I had the money, I would buy another, just because it was a joy to operate. I also ran it mobile a few times with good results. IT did have to sit on the passanger seat, though. Also had a built in AC supply which is a real bonus If you don't currently have a supply. That is worth a few bucks right there.
WM5R Rating: 3/5 Jul 20, 2000 16:20 Send this review to a friend
Analog dial makes it cool  Time owned: more than 12 months
This 50 MHz transceiver just predates the introduction of digital dials. It always amuses me when people tell me I'm a few hundred hertz off frequency because I'm not calling CQ exactly on a 5 kHz interval! It covers 50 to 54 MHz in 1 MHz chunks. It does CW, SSB, AM, and FM, although on FM it does not have any features for working repeaters split-frequency. You can toggle up or down 1 MHz at a time using the "MHz" knob, which happens to be the normal 50 MHz repeater split, but that's it.

On SSB/CW, where I've used it almost exclusively, it performs well enough not to get rid of it just yet. There's not really much one can do to enhance receiver performance - there are no filters or passband shaping features, for instance. The mic gain control is hidden under a panel on top of the rig, so if you have the radio under a shelf, it may be impossible to reach.

This radio does not do VOX or semi-break-in CW keying by itself. There is a Kenwood VOX-3 accessory that was sold separately. The unit connects with a cable that has frankly wierd connectors -they look like 8-pin tube sockets and tube bases. This accessory is semi-rare.

When the backlighting bulbs for the front panel burn out, it is hard to get to them for replacement. Given how much these go for used, I'd be inclined instead to invest the same amount of money into a newer all-band mobile rig instead.

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