- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TS790 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS790
Kenwood TS790 Reviews: 32 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1500
Description: VHF/UHF (SHF) all mode tranceiver
Product is not in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Kenwood TS790.

Page 1 of 4 —>

KR4JY Rating: 4/5 Sep 20, 2017 17:15 Send this review to a friend
No Tone Squelch  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great radio, but it is too bad that the Tone Squelch is optional. I have to admit it is an older radio. Hard to keep meter and sub-band lights in it. Otherwise, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
G4TRA Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2017 11:38 Send this review to a friend
Great weak signal DX performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you are serious about weak signal VHF/UHF DXing and haven't shed loads of money, then the TS790E is a fantastic base station radio. Introduced as a top of the range tri-band base station about 1988 at over 1,500, this radio is still regarded very highly and at around 400 today you cant go wrong.

Of course it doesn't have the bells and whistles of today's shack in a box, but it was designed specifically for VHF/UHF weak signal performance and it shows. With GaAsFET front ends the receiver is hot and well tempered too in the company of strong in and out of band signals. The super stable transmitter on 2m puts out 45w, but I guess most all will connect a high power amplifier to exploit the receive capability and don't forget weak signal DXing on the VHF/UHF bands is about QRO. That in mind there are separate PTT outputs for each band to control the amplifiers.

There is no coloured spectrum scope, but for a few quid you can fit a buffered IF output and feed that into your favourite cheapo SDR rx for SpE and EME band monitoring. The are no menus, every button does its own job and all the controls including the aluminum weighty tuning control have an air of quality about them

There's no USB port either, so for digital I use a simple USB dongle connected to the rear Accessory socket which works fine.

Physically the radio is big enough so that unlike some of the modern shack in a box it doesn't follow you around the desk as soon as you pick up the mic. Mechanically the TS790E is very well made and be sure this purposeful radio will certainly enhance any shack.

So how well does it work? I guess the best way is not to advise specifications and performance figures, for those are all available elsewhere, so how about results on the air as a weak signal 144MHz DXer.

On 144MHx alone in the last three years using a simple, small, single 11 element Tonna plus an SSB Electronics SP200 LNA and HLV1000 LDMOS amplifier I have worked 58 DXCCs, 451 QRA squares and 145 initials off the moon on EME. Not bad for a 30 year old radio worth a few hundred quid!
EA4AZZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2015 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Back to back  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The best vhf-uhf I ever had.
I have had a IC910HX+1,2ghz unit and never had a problem but the 790 is from other world.
The receiver is very sensitive and the best ever heard.
I found my unit with the 1,2Ghz unit and in general the rx in better than IC910HX.
The output power is smaller than the 910 but not problem if you have PA amplifiers.
With the TS830S , TS950SDX the TS790 is one of the best Kenwood transceiver ever made.
HG5AZR Rating: 4/5 Nov 7, 2015 03:01 Send this review to a friend
old radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
-hard to rotate VFO
-VFO knob is not plastic
-if I change from memory to other memory very noisy
-on 2m band in CW mode had only 1-30W(CW-N and FM normal)
-lot of small smd,difficult to repair
-power output is only 40W on 2m and 30W on 70cm in SSB
-10 minutes TX continously in FM mode very hot on back side
-very heavy and very big transceiver

G0TOV Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2013 14:17 Send this review to a friend
CTCSS Tone Encoder  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This may help other owners - My 790E was lacking a tone encoder and then I came across G8WAL who makes a generic unit which he fitted to my radio - absolutely first class guy and the unit is exceptional value. The unit is available on Ebay and works superb. I met with Paul (G8WAL) at his home, left the radio for a day whilst he fitted it for me - exceptional service.
SM5SRR Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2011 00:48 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Sure, it's not the newest product available on the market but this radio is surprisingly sensitive and performs like a charm. Computercontrolled and with the mods performed on it, this is a radio which still stands its ground. This is the second one I own (sold the first one a couple of years ago) and this time, I'll hang on to it.
LA2MOA Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2010 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Second to none!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had my TS-790E for a little less than a week now. I have just been playing with satellites so far using my small satellite array with X-yagis for 2m and 70cm. Regarding sensibility and receiver prestanda, this rig beats anything that I have used so far (including classic rigs as FT-726R, FT-736R, IC-275, FT-225 + MuTek and FT-221 + MuTek). The TS-790E(A) beats them all, hands down! Period.

TX audio in both SSB and FM is beautyful (as with most other Kenwood rigs from this era) and RX audio is likewise excellent. For satellite operation, the built in tracking system with doppler compensation is a bit cumbersome to use, but what the heck, I prefer to run full duplex and manual tracking. Works just as good and also gives me the feeling of full control, hi!

I just can't wait until I get up my small EME arrays for 144 and 432. I'm really curious about what this baby can do in hardcore weak signal mode, running JT65 and a really good LNA!

A pity Kenwood didn't design a 6M module option, as well as the 23cm option, but you can't have it all, now can you?

I would recommend this radio to anyone who is serious about working the VHF/UHF-bands. Like I said, it beats anyhing that I have used before. If you can find a TS-790A/E - Go get it!
N8TJC Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2009 12:45 Send this review to a friend
A Keeper!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this Kenwood TS-790A for almost 18 months. I purchased it thinking or should I say planning that this was the next step up to my goal of purchasing a new Icom 910H. After learning how to use the Kenwood, I have decided that I can save the $1350+ a new 910 would cost. The Kenwood is a keeper. I get very good reports on FM and on SSB. I intend to take the money I would have spent on the 910 Icom and instead buy a nice 2 meter beam antenna.
W8OSP Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2008 22:04 Send this review to a friend
Best there is!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this rig over a year and I have had many many rigs and this one is just the best there is. Excellent RX/TX and mods to make it even better. If you find one in good shape, jump all over it.
EB5AGV Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2008 00:29 Send this review to a friend
A real Classic !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this unit as a working one but, as sometimes happens, it had several small and not so small problems. I was able to sort through them (you can read the full story in my BLOG at ) and now the rig is working flawlessly.

Even with these initial faults, I think this rig is a keeper and performs really fine. Some good things of it are the high power output, 1.2GHz option, good ergonomics, nice audio and real dual receiver.

Definitely, it is a keeper in my shack.
Page 1 of 4 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.