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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-130s Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-130s
Kenwood TS-130s Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $700
Description: HR transceiver. 100 watt, WARC, SSB/CW, noise blanker,and speech processor
Product is not in production.
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G6SNL Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2003 09:39 Send this review to a friend
Excellent easy to use rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first HF rig, still have it, as it is ideal for portable or mobile. only ever had minor problems such as meter bulb replacment, and band switch being a bit unreliable, this turned out to be a loose grub screw on the internal shaft ! If anyone offers you one of these.......BUY IT. Audio reports are are good on TX with standard mic.
W2UIS Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2003 09:45 Send this review to a friend
Great Buy  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased mine from another ham on E-Bay for $265 without a power cord or manual. Was able to purchase both and spent a grand total of $335 on this transciver.

After 6 months with this rig on the air I am very happy with my decision to go for a used older piece of equipment. I was lucky that the origional owner took good care of the radio. This unit was manufactured about 20 years ago.

Easy to operate and a great rag chew station on ssb.
I can work everything I hear using a Hustler 5BTV vertical. If you can get one of these gems go for it.

Remember this is a CW/SSB transciver only and no general receive coverage.
KA4KOE Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2003 08:50 Send this review to a friend
Good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one of these gems in the 80's and listened to the Grenada invasion on it. My ONLY gripe was that the radio did not have 160m. If it did, I'd probably get another one today for portable.

You also need to make sure all the chassis grounding screws are nice and tight, as the rig can do funny things if they are not.

Don't really know why I sold this radio. Of course I was a kid then anyway.

PA3ZRK Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2003 07:18 Send this review to a friend
TOP !!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two TS-130 and the are working great. I have done a lot of DX with this radio. I have also a 847 from yaesu and think about to sell it. Go back to the roots.

One critical point of the 130, the output power is not on all frequencies 100W (ofcourse tested on a good professional meter.

After all GREAT
WD4BRU Rating: 4/5 Oct 3, 2002 00:04 Send this review to a friend
Good little rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used from a dealer in 1986 for $330. It's great for backup or portable use, and would also make a good first HF rig for a new ham. In the 16 years I've owned mine, I've experienced only minor problems which were easily fixed, mostly by cleaning or reseating contacts. Mine even has the original dial light.

I've found this rig works fine on CW and mine has the optional narrow filters for both CW and SSB. The audio is crisp, either with the internal speaker or an external one. The selectivity is excellent as well. I use it nowadays mostly for portable operation, and it travels well. I've had good audio reports on SSB using a simple Radio Shack hand microphone.

I've made many CW and SSB QSOs, both DX and domestic, with my TS-130s. I've also owned an Icom IC-745 for the same number of years and I've found that the TS-130s slightly outperforms it for CW receive audio.

The only quirk I've noticed with my TS-130s is that adjusting the carrier power knob results in either full power or minimum power, with no variable control in between, but I suspect this is a adjustment issue with my particular rig.

I have no plans to let go of my TS-130 anytime soon. Service manuals can still be found and these rigs are fairly serviceable -- I'd expect they will be around for a long time to come.
K7SBK Rating: 4/5 Jul 27, 2002 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Good Digital Mode Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my TS-130s now for about a year. Used 90% of the time for PSK31, MFSK and MT63. Once you get by the first 5 minutes of warmup, frequency drift is low and the transceiver is stable enough for the digital modes of communication. Consistantly generates 35w of output on 20 meter psk31.
This is a tough little rig and a great bargain at the current price.
SSB operation has been without a hitch and I echo the comments about CW operation, full break in would have been a nice feature but with the narrow cw filter in place it's satisfactory for occasional CW use.
AE6FI Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2002 11:08 Send this review to a friend
A very nice radio, indeed!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi: I started out with the TS-130 in my shack, as my 1st HF rig. I love that radio, because it is so easy to use, has the WARC bands, also. It is the "work horse" in my shack. The only thing I've had a problem with is, the selector is intermittent between band changes, which I solve with spraying the contacts, until it does it again. Maybe I'll try tightening the nuts, like another ham did, which might help. That's what is good, about reading these reviews, to find out what other hams do, for the same problems! I sure do enjoy! 73's
K6SDW Rating: 4/5 Jul 27, 2002 06:41 Send this review to a friend
Solid rig for its time  Time owned: more than 12 months
I echo the other reviews with my only complaint, mine drifted a bit too much during warm up and as a CW rig it was okay, but much better as a SSB rig....73
KD6LM Rating: 4/5 Mar 1, 2002 20:56 Send this review to a friend
A good rig for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using my TS-130S for about 3 years now. I bought it used after it had been on a cruising sailboat since the rig was new. Note that I have not experienced any problems with my rig. It has both crystal filters installed, the 1.8 for SSB and the 280 HZ for CW. I find it to be a very nice rig to use, and a good value for the money, but it is not without it faults, which is why I rate it a 4 out of 5.

On the upside, it has truely excellent sensitivity, and it is very simple and straightforward to use. Plus, it looks great, and the buttons and knobs have a great feel to them. This makes it fun to use. Though easy to use, it does have the stuff you need like passband tuning, VOX, and as mentioned in other reviews, an effective voice processor, and excellent noise blanker. It is also very forgiving of SWR mismatches, and works well off 12 volt battery power. The above features, and its compact size and moderate weight of about 18 pounds, make it a decent rig for field day or portable use.

The only real downsides are that for a CW operator you do not have real QSK. This is because when using CW the switch between TX and RX is done through the built in VOX. Also, the relay chatter between TX and RX can be a bit distracting during a CW QSO. Also, it does not have AM, or a general coverage receiver, but then, AM operators are mostly into heavy metal anyway. Plus a serious SWL operator is probably better off getting a rig built for that purpose, rather than a dual purpose ham rig. Finally, though it does not have the receiver specs to be a good rig for a serious contestor or DXer, it is certainly more than up to the task of ragchewing or casual DXing.

Finally, for those of you who are wondering about the difference between the TS-130S and the TS-130SE I called Kenwood and asked them. They said that the SE had cooling fans and the S didn't. However, my S model does have cooling fans, so what the real difference is continues to be a mystery for me. Thus, if anyone knows what the difference is, I would appreciate it if you would drop me a line, my e-mail address is on my e-ham profile.

AA8EK Rating: 4/5 Mar 1, 2002 18:12 Send this review to a friend
A happy owner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my TS130S in June of 2001, I have been on the air with it almost everyday putting loads of hours on the radio. It has preformed flawlessly for me racking up lots of DX. I have an amplified D-104 microphone on it and the audio is awesome. It also works well on 12, 17 and 30 meters. It is a great CW rig too. I highly recommend this old solid state radio to those who don't have a lot of money to spend on a rig. I bought mine for 372 dollars incuding a D-104 mic which did not have a amp in it. Look for me on 28.400MHz, enjoying my old TS130S.
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