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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-820S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-820S
Kenwood TS-820S Reviews: 53 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $5000.00
Description: 160 meter through 10 meter HF radio
Product is not in production.
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AB7UW-MONTANA Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2003 12:38 Send this review to a friend
fantastic radio!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my first hf rig back in 1997. I now have a 930 s/at sitting next to the 820s. I operate CW only and sometimes have a tough desision of which rig to use! Granted the 820s is missing some of the filtering that came standard on the 930 s but the rig works so well that I dont think Ill ever part with it. Overall a masterpiece from Kenwood that will never lose its usefullness nor beauty.Vaughn-AB7UW
W2RQD Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2003 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Still a super great unit.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this unit since purchasing in 1976 and other than a PLL unlock occassionally, and two sets of drivers and finals, this has served me very well. The matching AT-200 tuner and MC-50 mic also accompanies it's space.I recently got back on the air after a few years of silence and the rig still functions like a pro. Never did a thing to it other then adding the digital display in '76 and the tube replacement (knock-on-wood!) Probably needs some ground stud mount tightening, or whatever to cure the occassional unlock problem. Great overall transceiver.
WB6MYL Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2003 23:48 Send this review to a friend
good memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
After a hiatus from ham radio for ten years, I bought a used 820S back in 1990 and kept it for three years; yes, some of my glee was a result of getting back into a hobby that "I had never really left", but I remember this xcvr as very user friendly and a sensitive receiver; those 6146 finals took an extra few seconds to tune (no AT) but it was very forgiving as far an antenna loads and reports were usually very good with the MC-60 mic. Ergonomics were just excellent with that spinner tuning knob. Thanx for reading and the bandwidth. Phillip W. Harris, PhD.P.C.
G4IJL Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2003 19:30 Send this review to a friend
OK used since new  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my tranciever since new, this is getting about 25 years now ( 1978 from dealer? ). I have the folowing extras...
DG-1 digital display....clean those pcb connectors
YG-88c CW filter
DS-1A 12 volt psu adaptor

External bits
SM-220 monitor 'scope fitted with BS-8 panadaptor
VFO-520S (electrically the same as the VFO-820)
SP-820 speaker with passive audio filters
AT-200 tuning unit, (mod fitted dial lights the meter is same as TS820S meter differing decal)
In short all the matching kit and manuals, including the TS-820S service manual.

Troubles...connections in digital readout, pull it apart and re-assemble, it wipes the connectors clean. Meltdown of PA tubes, replaced, conectors again???

My modifications.
1. Fitted crystals in FIX CH great for mobile, but "rock-bound" (could not QSY).
2. Changed transverter PTT switching to normally open for another make of transverter. Made up copy of TV-502 switching circuit to change TS-820 into trannsverter driver at flick of switch as with TV-502/TV-506. Works great, shame output to transverter such low level, clipped resistor across 10 meter coil in coil pack to give more transverter drive.

Replacements. Loads of dial lamps, 4 sets of PA tubes 6146B, about 20+ 12BY7A drivwer tubes. I used it hard so tube life short. AF/RF gain pot (still on Kenwood stock!). Oil the PA fan from time to time (runs faster).

Found a CD-ROM with TS-820 mods, repairs, comments from Kenwood, useful.

Another fault is damp colleting on the IF board causing the "S" meter to clime hard over and receiver goes deaf. Dry the radio under the automobile heater when camping! Possibly use the XYL's hair dryer, if generator powerful enough!

Other options..MC-50 microphone, HS-5 headphones.
Keyer is a Kantronics KAMPlus and computer or old brass key. (60volts on that key watch it!!!)

N3JJT Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2003 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Great operating rig, very strong with great audio reports.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased an 820S from a local club. This rig used to be their primary station rig. Looks and operates as new, along with the 820 came a SP520 and MC-50. I love this radio and will never sell it. It takes only minutes to tune up, and ur ready to go. This is the first radio since I sold my TS440 over 7 years ago, in which I also loved that radio too, however this radio is a treat to operate.
K5OS Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2001 12:50 Send this review to a friend
A great rig then and now  Time owned: more than 12 months
Time and time again, this rig performs like no other. My rig was off the air for more than 20 years, packed away in various attics, hot and humid in the summer and cold and damp in the winter. When I unpacked it, it wouldn't work. A little "Deoxy" from Radio Shack, on the switches and it has worked like new ever since. I have worked almost 100 countries since October 2000 and typically get great reports, such as "You have great audio." or "What a nice signal." I'm a firm believer that the vacuum finals make a difference. I do recommend the MC-50 microphone, VFO-820, for working splits and the SP-820 speaker because of the filters it includes. All of the pieces appear to be available from various sources at what appear to be resonable prices. If you don't mind tuning up to transmit and enjoy vintage radio you might want to think about the 820 series. I will never get rid of mine.
WB5KHB Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2001 16:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig - Even by today's standards.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a used Kenwood TS-820S in September of 1979. It is still my primary rig today. The reason I have not replaced it is simply that it still does everything I need to do with it. In the over 20 years of service the only problems I've had were the usual ones with faulty connections in the digital display unit. I am currently using the rig on PSK31 and other digital modes...not bad for an almost 25 year old.
This is quite simply one of the best transceivers ever produced in my today's prices it would be a steal for the new ham in particular.
I would also add that I have not had to change the finals the entire time that I've owned it, so I wouldn't fret too much about having to replace expensive tubes...they last a long time if you treat them right.
NA9Q Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2000 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio even today  Time owned: more than 12 months
Reluctantly, after 21 years, I recently sold my trusty 820S. I felt the urge to upgrade to something with the WARC bands and to a radio the XYL could use without tune-up (another Kenwood natually, the 940SAT). In all the years I had the 820S, it gave me few problems, the most frustrating the intermittent power connector for the digital display. I finally replaced it with a quality unit with gold plated pins and that problem was permanently cured. All in all a good rig; sensitive receiver, solid transmitter with the typical great Kenwood audio, fine VOX action, very forgiving tube output. Solid controls and the quality feel when tuning are also Kenwood trademarks. It is now operating well for a friend in Qatar and with a little care will be there for years to come. I would say that this would be a good backup rig or a great first radio for a new ham. --- Mike, NA9Q
WM3O Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2000 23:48 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio for the money!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Kenwood TS-820S is a fantastic radio. I've owned a number of HF radios and by far this one has the best receiver of any of them, including a Kenwood TS-440SAT. The few draw backs of this radio should not stop someone looking for a first radio or a back up rig. It is a 160 through 10 meter (no WARC bands) radio capable of 200+ watts output. The receiver sensitivity is .25 uV which puts it equal to many radios of today (The Kenwood TS-570S has a sensitivity of .4 uV making it much less sensitive than the 820S). The main problem with this radio seems to be an intermittent digital display. This is easily fixed if one takes the time. Simply open up the top of the radio, pull the flat white plug that runs from the display to the electronics. Clean the pins with an emory cloth and apply a light coating of No-Ox (anti-oxidation compound) and put it back together. Once done, I've found my digital display as solid as a rock. The output audio is also great. For the money, don't pass this one up.
K6LO Rating: 4/5 Jul 10, 2000 23:58 Send this review to a friend
Nice back-up rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a TS-820s as a backup radio. With the Inrad 250 hz CW filter installed it is just great for 10/15 meters. The receiver is very sensitive and quiet, but, like a lot of older preamp/preselector rigs, dies on a band full of big signals. The earlier Kenwoods used phenolic circut boards and tin plated connecotrs. Expect to have some minor oxidation related failures. My digital display is a constant pest. Nice radio at today's used prices, but I think an old FT-901 might hold up better with age, since Yaesu had the forethought to use glass epoxy boards and gold plated connectors/
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