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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-940SAT Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-940SAT
Kenwood TS-940SAT Reviews: 120 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2000US/1984
Description: Evolutionary Classic
Product is not in production.
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KD0RUR Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2013 18:09 Send this review to a friend
Perfect for me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have to admit that when I got this rig it was with the intention of selling it to fund more purchases for my 80's vintage Kenwood collection but then I actually used itů Wow!

It gets used every day for several hours on SSB and CW and I've never had even 1 issue. Even just running a small inverted V dipole I get great signal reports from the nets I check into as well as my rag chewing buddies.

I was really lucky to have found one loaded with options and maybe my experience with it would be different if it were a stripped down rig, I don't know. But I do know I love using this rig with it's lack of menus and solid performance.

If you find a nice one I'd say get it!
W3PYF Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2012 20:15 Send this review to a friend
Better than I could have guessed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I inherited my 940 from the "original" W3PYF, my dad Clarence, in 2005. Even before I got it on the air, I filed for and received dad's call - so it has never been used except as "W3PYF." Dad was largely on 3999 until he went into an independent living facility about 2 years before he died. So it sat for 3 years before I inherited it and got in on the air into a Cushcraft R5 vertical.

A few weeks after I fired it up, the digital display began flashing, and the VFO clearly wasn't locking. A call to Hal Guretzky at Land Air Mobile in Brooklyn quickly diagnosed the problem. Hal noted there were several issues in the 940S he knew well - so I drove it from CT to Brooklyn. Hal fixed them all, and 6 years later, it has been solid.

I now live in a small suburban lot, where - living alone - I ran it into a Butternut vertical with several above-ground tuned radials. I quickly discovered that a vertical and barefoot 940S is no way to work much SSB - which is just fine for me, since I work only CW, and have little time fot ham radio, as I am self employed.

A few weeks ago, I finally put up a K1JEK Cobra Ultralight, about 15 feet up at the apex, and with feedline wrapped around the yard. WOW - suddenly, SSB came alive! Great reports on 75, 40 SSB. Now, I could really appreciate what a great rig it is.

The bandpass adjustments on both CW and SSB are really a pleasure. It enables you to slice through almost any QRM to pick out a weak DX signal. I bought the CW filter here on eHam classified, and it made a real difference in killing adjacent-frequency QRM. I had discovered a Radio Shack DSP unit in my late dad's shack, and one day about a year ago, put in on the 940S for CW. WOW again - really made signals pop out of the background.

I'm sure I don't use a fraction of the capability of this oldie. It's a real joy. It's a heavy box, but with a great deal of flexibility. Not the most current design, for sure - but for basic CW and occasional SSB, you could not want a better rug
N6AB Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2012 11:35 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm the original owner of a TS940SAT, which I've had since 1985. I echo the sentiments of others who really like this radio. My previous radio was a Heathkit SB102, so naturally there is a night and day difference in performance. I don't miss the days of 6146's and the lack of a noise blanker for reducing power line noise. The TS940 has just about everything I need and more (with the sole exception of a really fast autotuner). The receiver sensitivity and audio quality are amazing, as well as the transmitter performance and capability. I have very few complaints.

I have performed all TS940 maintenance myself, including 3 unexpected repairs. One was the result of an improper connector assembly on a PCB, one was due to a bad connector solder joint, and one was due to an internal coax cable bending too tightly, resulting in an intermittent short. Since I've owned this radio for 27 years, that's an average of one problem every 9 years. That's not bad! I wish I could say the same for other radios that I've owned.

Since my SN is relatively low, I have performed most of the Kenwood service bulletins. I especially liked the 'talk power improvement' which produced a very noticeable change in SSB peak power. I also updated Q101 and Q102 on the AVR to avoid future issues with the +28V supply, and lowered the fan turn-on temperature as suggested by others.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this radio. I have no regrets about purchasing it in 1985. I feel no compelling need to upgrade to the latest DSP enhanced technology. I also own a Timewave DSP599ZX digital noise filter for the audio, which I rarely use. There might be some other reasons to upgrade, but for now, the TS940S does what I need very well.
VE3TMT Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2012 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Follow up to earlier review  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Since picking up the radio back in late spring, had a couple of battery issues but after new batteries the radio is working great. I have installed the Piexx board and the computer control is a big plus. Makes logging the QSO's so much easier. I installed two PC fans on the back, one for the final amp, one for the power supply and the radio runs quite cool. Using a Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice mic ($24.99) and get great audio reports. I do miss a dual VFO display but it's a minor inconvenience. All in all a great radio.
K4ZMI Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2012 16:24 Send this review to a friend
Great old radio, but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The radio has the 500hz cw filter installed. Can be used on ssb, but when switching to cw, there's s meter action but no audio.
NW0LF Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2012 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Great older radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have mine for about 10 years. It's down on power (55-60 watts), but with my Cushcraft R5, I still get into Eastern Europe from Florida. After the MC-60 mic quit working, I bought the $30 headset boom mic from Warren Gregoire, a Rat Shack foot pedal and I get unsolicited good audio reports. I may get the power problem fixed if/when I have some extra pennies, but it works FB just the way it is.

73 and good DX, Wolfie, K9WLF
K7NG Rating: 4/5 Feb 29, 2012 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Good, when it's working  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned one of these since 2006. I used it until 2008. I still have it but it is gathering dust in a closet until I have a huge amount of time to work on it and get it running again.

I really, really like the 'feel' of operating the TS-940. It is a smooth, solid piece of 'heavy metal'. I usually got good audio reports, and good sounding CW out of it, and I thought the receive sounded great too. When it was working.

Mainly due to the age of the radio, it may be (and mine was) a challenge to keep in operation. Things go wrong a lot. There are well-documented from-the-factory problems in some production runs of this radio, and the user / prospective user would be well advised to do a lot of research on what work is/will be needed for the particular serial number of interest. Even though I thought I would never get rid of my FT-900/AT, I traded it for this particular TS-940, of 6M serial number vintage.

After removing some of the 'mods' put in by the previous owner (using, it appears, pruning shears, vise-grips, worn-out #2 Philips screwdriver and a propane torch for soldering), and addressing the applicable Kenwood factory mods plus the well-known soldering issues & VCO 'black foam', I tried to put my 'new' TS-940 on the air. Worked for a couple of weeks, developed a hum and 'gargling' sound in TX. Tore it down, replaced all the caps on the AVR, checked other functions, reassembled, back on the air. Good for a week, then display went dim. Fixed that, then got ALC problems...

I like working on ham gear, but I also like operating it. I got more of the 'working on' than 'operating' part, and I just haven't the time to put into the TS-940 that I need to make it reliable.

It's a nice piece of radio gear, deserves lots of respect for its performance, if you have the time, ability, and desire to work on it a lot. Sorta like a classic car, eh?
WB1CQW Rating: 3/5 Jan 5, 2012 11:25 Send this review to a friend
caveat emptor  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a Kenwood TS-940S brand new in 1990 for about $2000. By 1996 it had become essentially unrepairable. By this I mean it developed intermittent transmit problems. My friend, who owned an authorized Kenwood repair shop, explained that the problem was due to solder connections that had begun to fail due to oxidation during the soldering process. Once the problem starts, it's impossible to tell when it will happen again. He said that this soldering defect was a pattern, not a one-off problem in my particular unit but in general across all the Kenwood TS-940's. For this reason after repairing my unit, he would no longer consider repairing this model. My solution: to swap the 940 with a friend even dollars for a TS-50 he had new in the box. I am still using the far smaller and simpler to use TS-50 that had originally listed for 1/2 the price of the 940 and get consistent praise for its audio. I now have a radio that costs $50 round trip to ship if it ever needs maintenance vs $150 for the heavy Kenwood TS-940S that can never be made "right." By the way this problem of soldering failing over time is evident in manufacturers other than Kenwood in this time period, according to the tech, though especially evident in this model.
ZL1CDP Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2011 01:45 Send this review to a friend
A wonderful rig... when working  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I happened to pick up a non-working TS-940s recently where the rig didn't do anything when turned on - no display, nothing.

Faulty cap and bad soldering joints on the AVR unit got the rig working, bad IC in one of the PLL's got the PLL to lock (almost) and changed one cap in the VCO circuit then VOILA... rig has been absolutely SOLID since.

Wonderful radio now - GREAT RX and TX audio - excellent filtering.

Recommended if you can either a) find a good working one, or b) know how to repair one.

Chris, ZL1CDP
K9CTB Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2011 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Addendum  Time owned: more than 12 months
Seems I misspoke on my previous review, although it does not affect my 5-star rating. I have come to find out that the Piexx RS-232 board for the TS-940S, as well as the original Kenwood interface, does NOT support PTT at all. As Chris from Piexx told me, Kenwood never included a PTT command in the library of commands used by the original IF232/IF10 interface. This just means that you need to either use VOX (which is what I do) or build a transistor interface to use another com port on your PC to control the PTT line.

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