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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Kenwood TL-922A Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TL-922A
Kenwood TL-922A Reviews: 53 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $1200
Description: 160-10M 2K PEP- cct resembles SB220, with 2 x 3-500Z tubes
Product is not in production.
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QRPNEW Rating: 2/5 Nov 21, 2009 16:53 Send this review to a friend
Outdated Design  Time owned: more than 12 months
This amplifier seems to have a cult following. Theres no doubt that its physically well built, however electrically its an marginal amplifier.

The prices that people are asking for these amplifiers borders on insanity for such a old weak amplifier design.

The many faults include

Poor RF design
Poorly rated RF parts
Poor or NO protection circuits
Lots of trouble with parasitic problems
No spare parts available
Tubes that are getting expensive

If you ran this amp in a contest you will probably burn it out.

If the bandswitch or power switch goes you in deep trouble. If you have a grid filament short you could be in for some real trouble. None of the spare parts are available.

The load C spacing is marginal, if you even try and tune it into a moderate 2:1VSWR you will ARC this crappy capacitor.

The relay switching is slow and will damage newer model radios. No inrush limiting and many other design failings.

Just do a google on the TL922 and you will come across several pages on "mods" to try and correct its many design failings.

I like buying blown up TL922's and converting them to 6 meters. However on HF I would only recommend the TL922 to my worst enemy. If you have one keep it, however I would not invest money in such a marginal amplifier.

Today if I was looking for a 1 kilowatt to 1300 watt amplifier I would be looking at one of the new solid state designs like the SPE or Ameritron.
If you need a real 1500 watt amplifier get the AL1500.

Bottom line is that I hate using equipment that makes me nervous every time I turn it on or use it. The TL922 is such a beast, its better to look at than USE!
EA1XF Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2009 16:21 Send this review to a friend
Nice Amp and working better and better  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine in 1999 and it has been running flawlessly until a couple of months ago when a choke burnt out, so I thought it was time to send it for a complete overhauling. Every little part, board and values were checked in order to have it as the very first day when came out from factory. Input swr was re-adjusted and some components were replaced for new ones, like the zener bias diode, capacitors and even the final tubes, although there was no need to replace them yet, now has a new pair of matched Amperex 3-500 ZG and I am keeping the old ones as spare.

It loads and tunes very smooth and I always tune mine by the “Plate – Load – Plate procedure” to maximum power output, with the meter switch on the RF position. When the amp is perfectly aligned, this method will make the Ip automatically dip to the minimum. With the transformer set in the 240 volts position, these are the readings I get on 14.200 MHz, on the SSB position and on my PowerMaster meter:

Input 86 w ---- 1.185 w (output) 130 mA (IG), 0.55 mA (IP)
Input 108 w --- 1.429 w (output) 175 mA (IG), 0.62 mA (IP)

(Note that the IG and IP readings do not exceed the ones given by the manufacturer)

With 120 watts from my TS-830S, I saw 1500 watts coming out from the TL-922. Not bad, isn´t it?. I wonder how much power will put out if connected to 220 volts, but I will not make the experiment, hi,hi.

The only thing I dislike is the loud relay. It was not worth to change it for a quiet one because it works perfect and is quite solid.

I enjoy very much working with it and I am sure that if we keep the
recommendations suggested by the manufacturer, this amp will last for ever. It is built like a tank and makes a nice looking piece of gear on the shack.

73, Carlos
ON4UQ Rating: 4/5 Jun 24, 2009 01:21 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use, compact, nice to see...  Time owned: more than 12 months
My former amp was the 1200 Watts made by AMP UK. I had been too badly surprised about what I had seen when opening the case...

I purchased the TL-922 second-hand from a CB-fanatic.
Of course, I knew the tubes were poured down to the last eV (...!) but I also knew the most strategic part (= the bandswitch!) was brand new because it had never been turned!

What I saw in it was amazing: dual shielding, tank coils made of silver-plated copper pipe, redundant anti-idiot proof circuit and interlock.
The way this amplifier was built was just the same as the professionnal transmitters I operated while sailing as a radio officer in the Belgian Merchant Navy...

This amp is easy and accurate to tune, nice to see, built as a german WW2 bunker. Sixty years later, most of them don't anymore exist, but for sure the big loud switching relay will survive the next war...

Another point to mention is that the upper cover never becomes warm: it simply means the cooling is efficient.
My 3 cats loved to sleep on the case of the AMP-UK after I switched it off; they don't put any interest in the TL-922 sleeping place..

It gives about 900 W out in CW, but where is the difference between 900 and 1000 W out? Less than 1 dB.

The only negative point is that the HV transformer is a little bit short. The "protective clixon avoiding the transfo to overheat" is not a protection circuit, but simply proves that the transfo overheats because the iron is too small and the secundary wire too thin for giving the full input power during a long transmitting time. That's why I only gave 4 instead of 5...
The "Latour" voltage doubler gives a sufficient HV regulation but this can be improved by using new (bigger value in same dimensions)electrolytic capacitors, but anyway, if you want a table-mount but not too bulky amp, you have to make some compromises...
K5LG Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2008 06:44 Send this review to a friend
good amp but noisy relay  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 922 is a good solid amp that I have used since 1988 . It will put out about 1200w-1300w with new graphite tubes. It is a well constructed amp and I have never done any mods to it.

I recommend it highly
MW0KIK Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2007 04:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had this amp for a couple of years and used on various bands. Never had a problem with this linear and found it simple to use and tune with various radios including the yaesu ft2000 and the icom 7800.

Will be selling this shortly as I need the cash to put towards the pw1 to match the 7800.

Bottom line is its a reliable and easy to use linear with easy to replace and cheap to aquire tubes!


G0PZA Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2006 16:49 Send this review to a friend
Looks and feels Fantastic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi all,

Forgive me for cheating a little. I just acquired a BRAND NEW TL922 which is about 12 years old. Yes. Never used except on a dummy load. But It has some problems, and I need some parts which I cannot easily get in the uk:

The parts required for the linear are:

L7 470uH RF choke ( Fits from Grid to ground)
L8 470uH RF choke as L7
D2 Zener diode 7.5 Volts ( fits in cathode circuit to provide bias)

The manual does not give more detail than that. However looking at the circuit for the zener diode, it appears to dissipate about 5 Watts in normal use. That suggests a suitable replacement should be rated at double this. So 7.5V at 10W is probably the minimum specification for D2.

Can anyone help with any suggestions?

Best 73,

W8JN Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2006 22:44 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful Artwork  Time owned: more than 12 months
This amp is a thing of beauty. Quite a sculpture ! Runs flawlessly and built like a tank. Tornados ripped through here last week and I tied the house to this beast and survived the wind! Mine is mint with factory box. Fantastic!
AC7PN Rating: 5/5 Sep 22, 2006 23:05 Send this review to a friend
Just retubed  Time owned: more than 12 months
My TL-922A had a 3-500ZG that started to arc internally so I ordered a new matched pair of Chinese (PRC) tubes from RF Parts. They are a bit expensive. It's back on the air tonight. I love the looks of this Kenwood unit. It really is a thing of beauty. I wish I had it running last weekend for the WA Salmon Run.

The old tubes were not a matched pair and I was hoping I'd get a little more power out with the new parts but I think its just about the same. My MFJ meter on the antenna tuner says about 900 Watts CW on 20 Meters. Who knows if it's correct? The plates get the same color of red so the matching must be pretty good.
KD5UVV Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2006 14:22 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Amp, Now!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TL-922A is a very good amp as-is, but lets face it, no QSK, loud relays, no step/start and some reported problems with stability can be a problem for some.

But with the Rich Measures mods done to this amp, it really makes it an excellent amplifier. To me, it’s one of the best looking desktop amplifiers out today, even being an older design. And it is built like a tank.

It’s a good amplifier but it can be made so much better with the mods done to it. I had the modifications done by Don Kessler, KI6SZ of Kessler Engineering (see review) and now this amplifier is truly a pleasure to use, rock solid 10 thru 160 meters, including 12/17

This amplifier was never designed to be a legal limit amplifier. This is a good solid 1000+ watt amplifier. The 4 rating is because of the mods that it needs to bring it up-to-date.

Dale – kd5uvv
K6YE Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2006 07:51 Send this review to a friend
GREAT AMP!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This amp (TL-922 which has 10 meters factory installed) is superb for a manual-tune 160 through 10 piece of gear. It does not need to be driven hard to achieve the "full-gallon" rating. Installing Rich Measure's mods will enhance and add longetivity. I like the fact that the fan stays on to cool the 3-500Zs even after power is switched off. If you can find one (typically $750 to $1000) in good condition, grab it. You will not be sorry and should never have to repair it.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
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