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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-130s Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-130s
Kenwood TS-130s Reviews: 35 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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WX4O Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2006 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Simple to use. Nice audio out. Needs CW filter.
Nice size, and makes a great Field Day rig.
Got mine on eBay for $235 with some scratches on
the case, but it works perfectly. Had one of these 23 years ago and should have kept it.
K3AN Rating: 4/5 Apr 18, 2006 09:46 Send this review to a friend
Old Reliable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a used one a while back. It was quite dirty and the case scratches suggest it was used in a mobile environment. I had to enable tranmission on the WARC bands (unplug a jumper) which suggests it's an older unit. Finally, the sender didn't pack it well at all. But it worked and continues to work just fine, so I'd say it's a pretty robust and reliable radio.

Also on the positive side, it is very easy to use, has good transmit audio, clear audio through the built-in speaker, and it operates properly even when the supply voltage drops down to just 12 Volts (I haven't tested it lower than that). On the negative side, it's relatively large for a mobile radio, and the tuning rate is a bit too fast.

I'm looking forward to some boat mobile operation with it, beginning later this spring.
KB1LTC Rating: 4/5 Sep 28, 2005 21:48 Send this review to a friend
What a Beauty!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a fun little radio! Well, not that itís that little, itís just small enough for going portable, camping, etc. Which is exactly why I bought one.

Itís fun and super easy to operate (for phone anyway). Iím not a CW kind of guy so it really hasnít been used in that mode except to transmit a carrier to adjust my tuner. The knobs and controls on the right side are a little cramped for my thick fingers (especially the concentric ones), but not unmanageable by any means.

The receive audio sounds impressive even with the internal speaker!
I was going to pick up a SSB filter for it but the I.F. Shift works well enough that I donít really think itís needed (unless of course you use it on Field Day, then the narrow band SSB filter would be worthwhile investment).

Like the others have said, the receiver is so nice and quiet!
I really hate to say this, butÖ I think the receiver in the TS-130s is actually better than my TS-2000 (I did a side-by-side comparison)! Itís fairly stable too. Did I mention that this is a fun radio to operate?

Itís got that typical Kenwood transmit audio as well (which is why I love Kenwood).
The internal mic processor actually works rather well and gives quite a bit of punch to your audio to get through the noise, as well as being pleasant to listen to on the other end during Rag Chew sessions.

The Mic gain and Carrier controls arenít very linear, but so what?
I gave it a 4 out of 5 because just because of the whole controls thing.
Other than that, so far I have no complaints!

I think itís a perfect radio for beginners or those who want something a bit more transportable for camping and such.

I purchased mine off of eBay for $245 in really great condition with a hand mike (not Kenwood), DC power cable and a good photocopy of the manual. Therefore, Iíd say if you could get one for close to the same price, GET IT! I really donít think youíll be sorry!

-John, KB1LTC
WO7T Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2004 00:00 Send this review to a friend
Small but Big Performer  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio is a pleasure mobile, and is one of few with a NB that actually truly tames the ignition and engine noise in my NOISY 2000 Silverado pickup.

After mobile installation, first DX contact was with Christmas Island sitting in the driveway.

Only thing I'd want, and am going to add from is the Super Picokeyer so I can easily use paddles for CW contacts.

Kenwood quality shines through on this 20 year old piece of technology.

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.
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