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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | Kenwood TS-440S/AT Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-440S/AT
Kenwood TS-440S/AT Reviews: 90 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $1200 price class
Description: 160-10 Meter HF Transceiver/Auto Tune
Product is not in production.
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NW8Z Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2013 07:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Transceiver now with BHI DSP  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the Kenwood TS440S Transceiver on Ebay for $386.99 Shipped. So for under $400.00.

It developed the Dot problem two days later. So looking up how to fix the problem, I took it apart and cleaned the glue out of VCO 5. That fixed the problem, and now it's dot free. So that's now a permanent fix.

It came with both an SSB Filter which is the SN version (Narrow) and a CW Filter already installed on the IF board.

It also came with the VS-1 Voice unit installed, and the IC-10 Chip set installed. The Memory battery is new as well.

It looks as though it was hardly ever used as both inside and outside it looks factory new.

I just replaced all of the case screws with new ones, just because I wanted to and I had the metric screws on hand to do so.

The Frequency display mod for 10Hz has been done.

The full receive and Transmit on all frequencies 1.8 to 30Mhz has been done.

I ordered a QSY'er and built the QSY'er kit to use with the Kenwood, since it has the IC-10 Chips installed. Now the QSY'er can remotely control frequency entry, Mode, change from VFO A to VFO B, run threw memory channels and other commands.

The best single improvement or install into the unit has been the BHI NEDSP1061-KBD DSP (Digital Signal Processing) Unit with 4 Level and 8 Level Modes.

This allows the Kenwood TS440S to have DSP, like the more modern rigs do.

I have posted several videos of this on youtube if you wish to upgrade your Kenwood TS440S with the BHI DSP Unit.

I call it the Kenwood TS440S/DSP now.

It's so great how quite all the bands are from 160 Meters to 12 Meters. The DSP unit on Level 4 blocks ALL static, Hiss and noise on the band.

The DSP works for all bands and all frequencies, LSB, USB even AM, CW and FM.

In AM it will take just the voice portion and allow that though, whilst blocking all other noise, such as Music.
Good for wanting to hear a broadcast like Australia on 9.580Mhz in the Morning here in the States, but blocking all music so that you can hear just the announcers. You can always turn it off to hear the announcers and all other sounds in the background.

I love this Kenwood TS440S/DSP and for the price you can't go wrong.



OH2BT Rating: 4/5 Jan 11, 2013 13:27 Send this review to a friend
Nice to have a DIY repairable rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am a DIY-ham but decided to have also a factory made transceiver on my desk and to my camper car.

Second hand TS440S seemed to be a good economic solution for me. It is constructed using mostly discrete components so DIY repair, upgrades and modifications seemed to be possible.
Not yet SMD components in TS440S

Some advantages of TS440S without super-dupers:
TX gain can be reduced for QRP/QRPp.
Computer control is possible. (HRD works nicely)
Can be operated in camper from 12V carbattery.
Built in accssory ATU (saves PA in nonideal SWR cases).
Fan is silent and very seldom operates
Enough memory channels for favourite band/frequency selections and modes.
Doesn't suffer birdys.
Doesn't suffer images.
Lots of repair hints in net. You need not to invent the wheel once more.
Reasonable price in second hand market.
Accessory filters are widely available in ebay
Scanned user and service manuals are available in net for free.

Disadvantages of TS440S:
CW is not possible with lsb SSB station.
ATU doesn't work in 1.8 MHz.
PCB material is vinyl.
Available manuals have poor print resolution.
Manipulating phaselock oscillator nr 5 circuit sooner or later becomes mandatory.
Not very easy to reach front panel potentiometers for necessary contact spraying.

My conclusion.
I don't swap this KW work horse to some $e3 or $e4 rig at least in the near future.

73 Risto
K5VAH Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2012 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Good Transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had 3 of these over the years. 1st one developed the DOT problem and after performing a reset it went away. The 2nd one also had the DOT problem as time went but I had to remove the glue in both VCO1 & VCO5 to fix it. As others have removed most of the components on these boards I decided to use tri-clor and gently rince away the old now conductive glue with good success and it works great now. The 3rd has not had any issues as of yet. For the price I feel that the TS-440S is a good buy and it performs with the best of them. I believe that it's features are plenty adequate for most operations. The TS-440 is approximately 26 years old but still ticks with the best of them out today. If you can get a good working one on todays market for under $400 then you can be proud.
W5VK Rating: 2/5 Jul 4, 2012 10:05 Send this review to a friend
I had problems!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I started using Kenwoods back in the 60s when they were Trio-Kenwood tube rigs. Loved my 520 and have owned three TS 120s.... all fine rigs. I bought the 440SAT but started having problems with the PLL circuit. The third time I took it in for repair I said "That's it". Traded it off and got a 570... OK radio. Now I use Icom. According to the other reviews I was just unlucky with the 440SAT.
KC7NYI Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2012 21:23 Send this review to a friend
good old unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
receive my radio today, e bay.. radio is in great shape. great receiver. cant believe someone took this good of care. good buy!!!this is my third, first costed a lot more.
K8WRS Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2012 20:30 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Granted, I have not had the dot problem.
Although the Auto Tuner has now failed the overall performance of the rig has been great.
That failure may sound bad but consider the age.
What makes it great is the receiver when used with a quality speaker is of very high quality.
I have owned many newer Kenwoods and they do not stack up well to the low background noise of this radio.
Don't listen to the internal speaker to judge as it as most is quite tiney.

Though most have not had the pleasure of using the old TS-530 or TS-830 which were and still are the best rated Kenwoods of all time, the TS-440 comes closest to that receive quality.
And as all Kenwoods the trans. audio always gets great reports.
Maybe I got an unusual one but I would not give it up.
Bought it used in the original double box at a hamfest.
KC9UER Rating: 4/5 Jan 20, 2012 19:49 Send this review to a friend
It's a work horse  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First off, let me say, yes it has the dots problem sometimes. Now, dots problems aside. I have a 440S/AT. This radio works, functions, and performs very very good.

I have not used it on any digital modes, or CW mode although I will in the future. The xmit reports I get back are always great. The recieve is also great.

I have not experienced the mode key bump jumps as some have experienced. Even though I have the internal tuner on this rig, I run a MFJ-962C Versa Tuner III. No problems at all tuning through the bands on a dipole cut for 80M.

I can honestly say, if you can find one of these rigs for under $350.00 get it. Make sure though if you do, find out if it has Dots on Display. If it does, and you are good with cleaning the goop and a soldering iron, you will have a heck of a rig that performs as good or better than some of the new stuff coming out.

Of course this is my honest opinion and my PERSONAL opinion from my own experience. Please if you consider gitting one of these rigs or are looking for one of these rigs,either make sure, 1. you research Dots on Display. 2. Understand this is a 80's rig. 3. A great working TS-440 will not leave you stranded. JMHO

73, Dennis
K8JAG Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2012 08:33 Send this review to a friend
A great first rig for a new General  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a new General Class ham. I upgraded on November 3, 2011. Keep that in mind when you read this review.

This is my first HF rig. Being new to HF, I started looking at all of the new radios available to me. To say I was overwhelmed is a understatement.

A dear friend and Elmer gave me this radio to use and to call my own. As soon as I saw it I fell in love with the sheer simplicity of this radio, (compared to today's High dollar radios). Also due to the fact that my first Elmer WD8U (SK) had the TS-430 which he let me use on occasion.

When I set this radio up, it took very little time to do. The hardest part in fact was dealing with the mess of wires my new shack has under the operating table. Before long I was on the air making contacts. I was impressed with the ease of use, and the decent receiver, and I also was getting good remarks on my audio.

The radio came with the autotuner installed, and I also have a MFJ Versa-Tuner feeding a G5RV. Tuning first with the MFJ and then using the autotuner it didn't take long for me to get a good match on that antenna. It must have been good, I have logged DX to Germany, Belgim, and the Cannary Islands just to name a few.

I also have purchased a SignaLink USB to use with the radio using mainly PSK31 and RTTY. The radio handles the digital modes flawlessly as far as I can tell.

Does this partiular rig have any issues at all, well yes, it does have the key bounce issue, but since I very rarely use direct frequency input I really don't notice this problem all to often. I also plan on working arround that shortcomming by installing the IC-10 and ACC2 to USB cable to control the radio with HRD.

Are today's radios better then this radio, well they have features the TS-440 doesn't have. The one I wish I had the most was DSP, but I have learned to work without it. Can a ham, new or old get many hours of enjoyment from this radio, absolutetely!! It is very dependable radio, very easy to use, and very easy to upgrade and use today's modern digital modes and computer control with minimal fuss.

I have a feeling this great old radio will be spending many years in my shack and will be used on a daily basis. I have never used any Kenwood equipment except for this TS-440SAT, but if their modern radios are half as good as this radio is, well, Kenwood must make great equipment.
WK1N Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2011 20:31 Send this review to a friend
It has been great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine new in 1989 and have never had a single problem with it. It even sat around for 10 or more years while I did other hobbies, but now that I am back on the air I am thrilled with it's ability to get out as well as receive. I have been on the air with a G5RV for about two months and have worked 85 countries. Quite a few are new ones as I did get a DXCC mixed back in 1990. I am now just beginning to look into RTTY or the newer PSK modes. I don't think I will ever change.
JP1DJV Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2011 00:17 Send this review to a friend
Still Good enough  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had many sorts of HF rigs, from TS-520 to IC-7700. We can recently buy a TS-440S/AT at very low price. But it still has fairly good performance. You may think the audio in and out are a little bit hard. You may face PLL unlocked problems time to time. You may feel a necessity of more functional features. That is TS-440. But it will surely tell you what you need AT LEAST. I'm satisfied with mine.
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