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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-850 Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-850
Kenwood TS-850 Reviews: 117 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1,999.99
Description: High Performance HF Transceiver with full coverage receiver
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.qsl.net/sm7vhs/radio/kenwood/ts850/ts-850.htm
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<— Page 2 of 12 —>

VA7GP Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2011 14:12 Send this review to a friend
20 years and still a competent performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
My TS-850 is still going strong, now at 20yrs old. Over time, I've added a TCVCXO, both 500Hz filters and the 250Hz INRAD filter. I've used this radio extensively on RTTY (and now PSK-31), in both casual operation and contest situations: it's awesome to be able to select any filter, in any mode - so, RTTY can use AFSK on USB and benefit from the 250Hz bandwidth. In addition, the '850 runs full-power, continuously, in these data-modes.

The computer-controllable features are overshadowed by newer rigs, but the '850 is still OK in this regard (especially for automated logging). Computer control works fine under Linux. Weaknesses are the computer-control-inaccessibility of some features like RIT, and the leisurely 4800-baud serial port - I cannot realistically perform continuous-tuning via PC at this baud-rate, although frequency-jumping (to a new freq) works fine, as do small nudges (slow tweaks) to your operating frequency.

The built-in tuner (in my '850S/AT) works nicely; I try to make reasonable requests of it (ie a large, or nearly-matched antenna), and it very-rarely cannot find a match.

I've never used the direct-FSK RTTY mode, nor have I used FM or AM modes. CW is great, especially after you perform the CW adjustable-sidetone-level mod (from the factory, the sidetone level is fixed :-( ). USB and LSB operation on the '850 have cemented Kenwood's reputation for audio quality, and the availability of IF-filter high- and low-cut edge tuning really helps carve the desired signal out from QRM.

My '850 has a 4-million serial number, and seems to have escaped leaking batteries and capacitors.

In summary: I remain quite happy with my purchase, and I remain happy with this highly competent rig's performance.
 
N3ZRX Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 18:06 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My very first HF Rig was a Kenwood TS 850SAT and wanting to see what other items on the market i sold it after a year or so. That was twelve years ago and today at the Warminster Hamfest I bought my second one . It works like new ,with a pair of 500 hertz filters installed this rig is sweet . And the price less than 600.00 with the autotuner and a mc60 Not much else to say as we all know by now how well the 850 works. So if you come across one at a hamfest or ?? do not pass it up..
Ted
 
N3YV Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2010 13:34 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC & AMAZING!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had many radios thru out time,always looking for the new thing,but sometimes new do not mean the best from,,, Icom to Yaesu I try them new and old,,kenwood in the other hand I never care for ,until I meet my new friend Mr.TS850S and what can I say,,,is the best Damm audio I ever hear,,The easiest radio to get that imposible QSO without wasting time trying to figure out how to operate the rig,,,every pile up just 100w in the first call they come back,,always and the audio reports from those stations are always super,,,i dont know why i didnt get one of these a long time ago,,is amazing and I'm super happy with it,,,I mean whats better a young wine or an award wining vintage wine,,,73's
 
HL2KXT Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2010 17:34 Send this review to a friend
great rig.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Current ts-850s limited 1 대, ts-850s 1 대 using the same equipment, two vehicles 10 years, including how to adjust the sound or after the analog very heart ever be satisfied.
ts-870 use, but had pleasure in part out of the sound quality and output. After the transfer of 870 and ts-850s and two are used. Is very good equipment. hl2kxt
 
W4HWD Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2009 17:17 Send this review to a friend
Caveat Emptor!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review about my 16+ year experience with the Kenwood 850, and I stand by it. I still have the rig, it's still running like new (only I can't find much time to get on it lately!) and all of that, but remember if you find a used one on eBay or anyhwere else these rigs 1) are easily 16 years old and 2) have been out of production for 16 years. Don't complain if you buy one, it breaks and you can't get support for it. Just sayin'...I ain't trying to start a feud but the fact is these rigs are now dated and if they quit working they quit working...same goes for any old classic that's no longer supported and long out of production.

I wouldn't part with my 850 for anything but I understand one day it will die. After serving me for 16+ years I won't feel bad. My other rig (Ten-Tec Jupiter) I think is as good but once the 850 says "73" for the last time I'll honor it by purchasing the only rig on the market I would be willing to spend my money on nowadays - a Ten-Tec Omni VII.

Enjoy your 850 but remember if you didn't buy it new like I did don't expect it to be around 16 years from now.
 
ARRLBOOSTER Rating: 3/5 Oct 5, 2009 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Can't trust anymore  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased one new in the 80's. Loved it. I sold it after the display went out. I bought a used one about a two years ago. After three months-the display went out on that one. After reading some of the very fine web articles describing replacement of the troublesome caps, I took that repair on. I replaced two caps and also repaired the trace that had corroded. It worked for another six months and the display died, again. I guess I would recommend as a back up rig, if you have the desire to bench it as it will fail.
 
26JLH Rating: 1/5 Oct 5, 2009 09:04 Send this review to a friend
went terminal in 2 weeks lemon  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
had this 2 weeks it gone wonky 2 boards gone ive been told its beyond economic repair..jeff..
ps stay away from the ts 950 to as this is also a crap one too..
 
W5WAA Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2009 05:22 Send this review to a friend
First impression, WOW  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I couldn't possibly add anything to the glowing reviews already posted, just want to reinforce the fact that if you have less than $1,000 for a rig, I don't think you'll find a better one. I feel like a kid with a new toy, just got to tell someone how exciting this radio is. WOW is the only way I can describe it. A real keeper.
 
K4WU Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2009 12:56 Send this review to a friend
A ham radio classic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my 850 since the 1990s (bought it new) and have had some mods performed on it. It is a great CW rig and it is very simple to use. The automatic antenna tuner is fantastic and the matching Kenwood speaker has a great sound. I will never part with my TS-850.
 
YO3IBW Rating: 5/5 May 6, 2009 04:44 Send this review to a friend
Oldies but goldies  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm a proud owner of a Kenwood TS850s AT unfortunately without DSP100. What can I say, it's just a wonderful transceiver,the receiver is great, good quality on transmit,the Slope Tune it's a great feature,the noise blanker it's OK after the classic mod.
There are still some problems with the electrolytic capacitors on the carrier board, on the display board, some of them near the audio section and the battery that has to be changed.
Don't wait for those components to leak! Change them before they ruin your rig.
About the first DDS chips and they're failure. I don't know if the chips are the problem or the bad SMD electrolytic capacitors.
The first thing after I got this rig was to take off the cover and see if there something wrong and what do you think? On the carrier board near a capacitor there was electrolytic juice. He didn't do any damage yet but was close.
Once again, if you didn't change those parts and you rig is still working, DON'T WAIT for the problems to happen.

Ah by the way,this rig function great on 14V.If you experience the classic ALC problem check the voltage on the power supply and on the rig, near the connector. Don't let it drop under those 14V.

All the best from my side! 73's YO3IBW Dan.
 
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