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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Kenwood TS-930S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-930S
Kenwood TS-930S Reviews: 70 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1,499.00
Description: Classical Masterpiece
Product is not in production.
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K4FY Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2013 13:30 Send this review to a friend
Cool Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I donít generally jump the gun with only a few days of experience with a rig. However, since this radio is thirty years old, I donít think reliability is a problem except for the well known multimeter lamps being dead and a sometimes nefarious power supply. My thought (and Iím sticking to it Ė HI) is if it hasnít failed by now it probably wonít.

Anyway, Iím new to the TS-930, but I sure ainít new. This is my ďnewĒ radio. My old one is a Collins KWM-2; 30 and 45 years old respectively. Iím not a big fan of the latest ďshack-in-a-boxĒ stuff that looks like something inspired by Dr. Strangelove.

This Kenwood is an impressive rig. It easily puts 125 watts DC through a Collins watt meter into a dummy load. I suspect the SSB peaks will be similarly impressive. What surprised me most (other than its back breaking 40 lbs.) is its ability to cull out CW or SSB signals from some horrid conditions.

My TS-930 doesnít have a 500 Hz filter and I have a hard time imagining why a competent CW Op would need one. The CW VBT works well and the AF tune on the audio section is just amazing. Iím listening to a DX station on 14010 and just using the AF tune function and it has transformed some nasty QRN and QRM to arm chair copy. The signal just jumps out of the noise.

Switching the AF tune in and out gets wows! all around. The SSB slope Tune is also impressive in selectively eliminating QRN/QRM on the high or low side of the passband. The split functions on the VCO are just fine for DXing. I would like a few more memories and the CW break in really isnít, but the rest works fine for me.

Donít follow Kenwoodís recommendation on setting the power using the ALC reading. Use the power scale. Tuning up to 50% ALC in the tune mode is WAY too much.

Itís a cool rig.
G0AYD Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2012 10:50 Send this review to a friend
lovely old lady  Time owned: more than 12 months
ive had my 930 sat now for 5 years plus and its a corker got the inrad 400 hz cw filter and piexx board fitted.the old girl is used every day despite my other radios i prefer the ease and facilities of what i class as the queen of radios.
N4JHY Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2012 13:37 Send this review to a friend
FUN RADIO!!!!!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
-I tend to buy radios broken and fix myself. This is part of the hobby for me.
-Have had two TS940s in a row, and have sold them both.
-Just bought a high serial number TS930s (7 million)and have decided to keep this one. A small adjust to the master oscillator and everything on this radio works perfect.
-Has the best speech processor
-and a great receiver.
-voices just sound so natural
-Again, will keep this one
-Prefer the 930 to the 940
-Thanks for reading
Bruce N4JHY
W9OSI Rating: 5/5 Aug 28, 2011 22:36 Send this review to a friend
Great reciever  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got a 930 and wow the recieve is as good as the reviews. I own an 830 also(great rig) but the 930 is great and the slope tune works wonders. I'm very happy with this rig and I'm sure, like my 830 it will never leave!!!
DB4UP Rating: 3/5 Mar 11, 2011 19:39 Send this review to a friend
Ageing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own a TS-930S with automatical antenna tuner and PIEXX - board. Bought it reconditioned and new adjusted a couple of years ago. I'm certainly not a "heavy user". Never used it for fielddays, just the "eyecatcher" in my living room.
Nevertheless I went through almost every failure this radio can have.

First of all: The power supply ! I think it is not the question IF it will fail, it is just the question WHEN.

Next failiure was the driver unit for the finals.

Now it went deaf. Probably the PIN - diodes...I don't know. Didn't take a closer look to the problem, yet. I bought a FT-900 inbetween, because I'm rather interested in using a radio, than permanently repairing it.

Not to mention the "normal" problems that appear, when amateur radio equipment gets old. Loose contacts, scratchy potentiometers, weakening servomotors in the antenna tuner section (which is also not of the quickest), and so on...

The TS-930 certainly was a fine piece of engineering when it came out in the late eighties. Today one may find better radios for the same price, or rather reliable radios.

Electronic parts are subject of ageing and many of them are hard to get after years. So if you think about buying one, you should also think about the time and / or money you will certainly spend on repairs.

Would I buy it again ? No. Not today. My FT-900 is not that good looking, but it works !
IZ7VHF Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2011 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Very nice old radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
First and foremost, excuse me for my not perfect written english and for the errors this may produce.
I bought a KENWOOD TS-930S with built-in automatic antenna tuner and two CW/SSB optional filter just included in September 2010 on ebay Germany for Euro 400 plus Euro 50 for shipping to Italy. I considered it a very cheap price for this milestone Kenwood rig.
This is my first HF rig, so I sincerely cannot compare it with other one, and I can only tell you something about it, probably not determinats in order to make you a better clear idea about this rig. This is simply my experience, and I think it can be helpful to write here.
I have played with this rig for five months. The performances, considering it is 22 years old rig (build in 1989), are very impressive. I use for voice QSO, CW and digital modes (PSK-31, RTTY), with a homemade digital interface.
I'm very proud to perceived by intuition that I can begin this beautiful hobby without spending a fortune buying an emblazoned recent rig.
I use an home made "inverted V" wired dipole for 40, 20 and 15 meters band. I use all 80-90 Watts output initially, feeling fear not to reach the OMs in the other side of Europe/World! But after many QSOs I began to use only 5-10 Watts, no one more, in order to follow my QRP rising interest.
The audio is very clear, the digital waterfall is very clear too on my display, and I made several QSO with all the world. When I use filters in Narrow-mode, the reception quality is very amazing, very clear without any little bit interference even if signals come from thousand miles away. My personal record is PSK-31 QSO from New Zealand, more than 18000 Km far from my radio shack. You can find my QSO on a Google Map on wich I remarks all power out transmissions (

Best wishes to all to enjoy your hamradio hobby!

Roberto Pietrafesa, italian aerospace engineer.
JP1DJV Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2010 20:49 Send this review to a friend
Good as TS-590  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a TS-590 last month, have played with it for a month. Comparing them, The performance in and out is not quite different from 930. So I can tell that TS-590 is not a dream maker and that TS-930 still works well.Though 930 is a 30 years old rig and sometimes needs fixing and adjustment , but it's still be worth doing that.
W4IDW Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2010 08:57 Send this review to a friend
New 930 owner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
had the 940 back in the day, & traded it off (big mistake). been thinking about getting another 940 for a while now, but recently ran across a 930. got it last week, WHAT A GREAT RADIO!!! Mine has the CW filter, and no tuner. I'm a big SWLer in addition to hamming, and the 930 is a dream Short wave listening rig. on CW I've compared it side by side to my Ten Tec OMNI VI+, and the ten tec beats it, but not by much!. This is gorgeous rig, looks great in the shack and has great sounding audio. but most of all, the CW VBT tuning, and the SSB Slope tuning make this rig a pleasure to operate.
G4DYO Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2009 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I went QRT in the mid-90s and packed my TS-930S away. In 2003 I was QRV again but not longer after, the TS-930 went badly wrong. The Rx stopped working, the digital readout went haywire and there were various other problems. No dealer or repair shop in the UK would touch it, although several said I should purchase a PIEXX board "which will fix all your problems". I was reluctant to do this in case there were other problems too.

A few months ago I purchased a PIEXX board on Ebay, but when I installed it the rig wouldn't even switch on so I returned it for a refund and put the '930 away.

Recently I became re-acquainted with an old work buddy, also a ham, who offered to look at the '930. He spent several days working through it and eventually found a dry joint in the VCO board. Once that was fixed with a dab of solder the rig worked perfectly so I am well pleased that I didn't spend money on a replacement digital board.

The rig works like a charm and it will become my primary CW transceiver.

It's great to have it back!
PA2VC Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2009 00:03 Send this review to a friend
Masterpiece conversion  Time owned: more than 12 months
This Kenwood TS-930SAT is a very nice rig! It was the highlight of the mid 80ís and it is still great! I use these transceivers for several years now.

I already repaired a few TS-930SATís by replacing the one and only weakness of this design: the power supply. By overloading or prolonged use, the power supply fails, blowing up and delivers over 40 Volts to the rig instead of 28,5 Volts DC.
In this case also the two Motorola driver transistors (MRF 485) in the RF power amplifier are unfortunately blown up and expensive to replace. The two Motorola final power transistors can handle this 40 Volts, so they will survive the attack. To replace the Motorola driver transistors please check your Kenwood dealer. Some series of the MRF 485 transistors do have a too high gain (hFE).

I used a high quality Phoenix Contact, industrial switching power supply, type QUINT, 24 VDC - 28,5 VDC adjustable, delivers output current 10 Amps and 15 Amps boost. Code manufacturer: 2938604, EAN code: 4017918890537 and is available worldwide. In the Netherlands available at Phoenix Contact B.V. and Technische Unie Netherlands.
This power unit fits exactly on the place of the present power transformer, after removing the unnecessary parts in the new situation.

So here is an opportunity to repair or improve your Kenwood TS-930SAT by replacing the power suppy.

Conversion of the power supply TS-930SAT in short steps.
Disconnect and removal from top side: power transformer with primary and secondary wiring, regulator circuit board X43-1430-00 (desolder on this circuit board L1 and L2 to use in new situation), case with large capacitors' s, power transistors on heat sink, resistor (supply to RF power amplifier) on heat sink (to use in new situation) and temperature sensor (resistor) on heat sink (no use in new situation).

Disconnect and removal from bottom side: circuit board with miniature relay with primary wiring from the euro plug 230 Volts AC to the voltage selector switch and wiring to the power switch of the set.

Installation of the Phoenix switched power module: this power module is suitable for DIN rail mounting, but I removed this DIN rail clip. Mount the power supply to the original Kenwood heat sink by drilling holes in the heat sink, primary wiring from the euro plug 230 Volts AC by applying the present fuse holder and the power switch to enter the set.
The voltage selector switch is not used in the new situation (AC input between 85 Volts and 264 Volts), but remain it for the external shielding. Desolder the red and orange wire (28 Volts DC) from the main power switch in the front of the Kenwood, connect them together by soldering the two wires and isolate them, it 's not necessary to switch the secondary 28.5 Volts DC. Connect primary wires (phase and zero) to the front of the Kenwood, double-pole main switch and to the new power module.

The red and yellow wires in the area of the power supply are +28.5 Volts DC, this red and yellow wire both I have separately provided with fuse holders. The red wire is +28 Volts DC to RF power amplifier (10 Amps car fuse) and the yellow wire is approximately 2 Amps (glass fuse) to the electronic circuit boards. Check the connectings and wiring of the coils L1 and L2 and write it down on paper, because it is important to connect the proper wire to the proper coil. Coil L1 and L2 are not the same value!
Remove coils L1 and L2 from the regulator circuit board X43-1430-00 of the power supply, they are used for measuring voltage and current measurement on the meter in the set, the wires are white and brown (coils L1 and L2). Coils L1 and L2 can be directly connected and soldered to the resistor (+28 Volts DC to RF power amplifier), which previously was mounted on the heat sink.
This resistor can be placed on the base between the digital unit and automatic antenna tuner, also can be placed on the side of the automatic antenna tuner case. Isolate all connections to this resistor and coils.

After performing the work, please check all connections to the power supply, the wiring to the RF power amplifier, resistor, coils and electronic circuit boards. I have the power supply adjusted at 28.0 Volt (but it is adjustable to 28,5 Volts) and the output RF power is about 120 Watts. I did not connect the fan on the heat sink, the new power supply stays pretty cool, because it has a very high efficiency.

If you need to replace the Motorola driver transistors MRF 485, be sure you got a low hFE gain. If a green, blue or other high rank hFE is used the MRF 485 may become faulty after one hour of continuous transmission. Check the bias current after replace. Transmit for about one hour without modulating SSB or heat the heat sink with a hairdryer and ensure that the bias current does not exceed 300 mA. If the bias current exceeds 300 mA in the original radio, change R16 from 1.2K to 2.2K. The bias should be set to 70 mA.

If you have any questions about this replacement, need schematics or the Service Manual, don't hesitate to contact me. I like to hear improvements!
I also can mail you the pictures that I have made in the new situation.
This Kenwood rig is worth to repair!
I wish you very much fun with this masterpiece!


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