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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-120S Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-120S
Kenwood TS-120S Reviews: 36 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $700.00
Description: 100-120 watt HF SSB/CW rig (no WARC.) Solid state, 1980 vintage
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamhf/ts120s.html
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ZS6PMS Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2008 04:28 Send this review to a friend
A Real Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I guess everyone writes within his own frame of reference. So do I, after 42 years of ham radio. It is about this rig can do, not what it cannot. I picked up one of these in 2002 for R 1,000 ($130). Of coarse, you don't need a spectrum analyser to show the phase noise of the VFO. One can hear it. It even sounds charming. It is part of the technology of the past. The rig is not as sensitive and selective as its big brother the TS180S stocked with two cascaded 8830 kc fiters I also got, but it is a charming little boy. It puts out 120+ Watts and I get fine audio reports. It is in my Land Rover 4x4 serving me mobile every time I take the vehicle on (and off) the road. Maybe a bit too big for a car, but for sure nice in a camper. We talk 1978 vintage. Guess what the performance of an FT 857D and other flimsy stuff will be in 2038!
In all a real radio
 
W4VFZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2008 16:48 Send this review to a friend
Compact, simple, reliable, well built.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Since licensed in 1952 I've used radios with vacuum tubes, hybrid (tubes and semiconductors) and semiconductors. The TS-120S was given to me as a "basket case" as someone (apparently with a 300 watt roofing soldering iron) had "worked" on it. I got it running (and am still "fine tuning" it), and it has proven to be one of the best, simple yet fully functional, radios I've used to date. I have other HF rigs with memory and all the "bells and whistles", but the ease of operating and repair of Kenwood transceivers (I have 3) surpasses other "name" brand radios. When I've finally finished refurbishing it, it goes in my motor coach as part of my mobile emergency GA ARES equipment. I love Kenwood equipment (my Hi Fi amplifier is over 20 years old, with NO problems!).
 
KD0AFM Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2008 10:18 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My wife bought the radio for me for Christmas from ebay. Well taken care of rig. Paid $200. Works great. Easy to operate and always get great signal and audio reports. I'm a relatively new Tech (April 07) so I don't have much basis to compare this to other rigs (my former rig was an HT10). However, I can say the performance on 10 meters (when the e-skip is up) has been great. I did quite a bit of research and decided on this rig as the best compromise of performance and budget for me. I have not been disappointed.
 
W7SPK Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2007 00:37 Send this review to a friend
TS-120s, VFO-120, & SP-120  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Yeah, I've got all three!!!

I got my TS-120s a month ago ($250 on ebay) and fell in love. It's my first HF rig so I really have nothing to compare it to, but it's still a really fun radio. In the two weekends I've had my antenna up (a G5RV dipole made by MFJ) I've already worked 6 states on 20 meters.

I got a little carried away and bought the matching external speaker (SP-120) for $70 (also on ebay) which really improved the audio quality. Then I found a guy selling the matching external VFO (VFO-120) that he only used a couple times back in 1988 and was sitting in its original box all these years. Got that for $80.
Yeah I know I could have spent that same money and got something cooler, but this is still a great starter rig and looks cool with all the original accessories. I'm using a Pyramid power supply now but down the road I'm gunna have to get the PS-30 to match too. :-)

Sean Kelly W7SPK
 
W4INF Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2007 01:57 Send this review to a friend
What a great first rig!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Sold the rig to help pay for a new 718... Kinda wish I still had it! I ran CW and PSK with it, no problems. Limited without the WARC bands but hey, for $250 I had my first HF rig!

Always had good reports with it, never a problem one, sold 100W output. I did adjust the display to reflect freq but that was a minor issue.

I miss my TS-120S!

W4INF
 
WB4FZT Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2007 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Powerful and simple  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Yeah..yeah..I know you can buy a lot of rigs better than this one....BUT if you want a great rig that is easy to set-up and run this is it. You can pick these up for less than $250. This rig always get "great audio" reports unsolicited from fellow hams. Mine still puts out 190 watts on HF. It is a shame they are not built any more. I gave it a 5 rating for ease of use,high power and fun to operate!
 
N8MRC Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2007 19:56 Send this review to a friend
Nice Starter Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nice starter radio. First radio when I got upgraded, great tx and rx audio. Nice starter radio, don't have any bells and whisles but who cares, it gets u on HF.
 
KI4PGS Rating: 3/5 Jan 18, 2007 14:44 Send this review to a friend
fine for SSB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
if you just want a SSB rig, it's fine, but if you want a CW rig, go with something else. you have to turn on VOX to get the CW to work, and when you do that, the VOX delay kicks in, and runs it all into one solid transmission.
 
W5VK Rating: 4/5 Mar 3, 2006 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Nice Little Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned two. Enjoyed using them both. After I sold the first, I decided to buy another and have kept it for over 15 years. I just can't let it go. I drag it out every few months and have fun working some SSB on 75 or CW on 40 with a straight key. Only problem was loose screws on printed circuit board. Easily fixed. I've used this rig for field day. It's great! Super simple for anyone to use. Nice Little Rig.
 
LW8DJI Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2005 13:18 Send this review to a friend
good good a++++  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
hola a todos,realmente me sorprendio este viejo transceptor,hace unos meses compre un ts 120 usado pero en perfecto estado y lo puse aa prueba con equipos de similares caracteristicas pero de modelos mas nuevo y no solo salio airoso sino que en algunos casos salio vencedor,cuando pruebo la calidad de un transceptor siempre centro las pruebas en el punto flaco de estos que suele ser por supuesto el receptor,puesto que es muy facil hacer un transmisor de calidad pero no asi un receptor ,que representa el mayor costo del transceptor en si mismo,y es alli donde muestran sus falencias los equipos de baja calidad,precisamente el receptor del ts 120 es su punto fuerte obviamente no pretendamos compararlo con un 756 pro sino comparado con equipos de similar o me atrevo a decir de mayor precio,este simple conversion es super silencioso y muy sensible tal vez no es lo suficiente selectivo en condiciones muy desfavorables comparado con equipos de costo mucho mayor ,la parte transmisora anda muy bien y con unos pocos toques es capaz de entregar unos 150 w medidos en mi bird 43 elmanejo es facil no como mi querido movil ic 706 para el cual icom deberia lanzar un curso de manejo por separado porque es complicasimo de usar,el 120 en cambio es totalmente amigable para los operadores como yo que solo pretendemos comunicar y no nos interesan las lucecitas de colores en sintesis es un equipo excelente para los principiantes y para los no tan principiantes lo recomiendo ademas se consigue por muy poco dinero usado en los hamfest es una buena opcion.creo que en su gama de precio es una interesante opcion ,eso si, tiene que estar en buen estado y no desajustado sino no sera valida la prueba que hagan y pensaran que es un mal equipo, 73 lw8dji
THIS IS TRANSLATED WITH BABEL FISH ALTAVISTA hello to all, really me sorprendio this old transceiver, for months it has been buying ts 120 used but in perfect state and I put aa test with equipment of similar new and nonsingle characteristics but of models but salio windy but that in some cases salio winning, when I always prove the quality of a transceiver center the tests in the skinny point of which usually it is of course the receiver, since asi is very facil to make a transmitter of quality but not a receiver, that represents the greater cost of the transceiver in if same, and is alli where they show to its falencias the equipment of ES TRADUCIDO CON EL BABEL FISH ALTAVISTA hola a todos, realmente me sorprendio este viejo transceptor, hace unos meses compre un ts 120 usado pero en perfecto estado y lo puse aa prueba con equipos de similares caracteristicas pero de modelos mas nuevo y no solo salio airoso sino que en algunos casos salio vencedor, cuando pruebo la calidad de un transceptor siempre centro las pruebas en el punto flaco de estos que suele ser por supuesto el receptor, puesto que es muy facil hacer un transmisor de calidad pero no asi un receptor, que representa el mayor costo del transceptor en si mismo, y es alli donde muestran sus falencias los equipos de baja calidad, precisamente el receptor del ts 120 es su punto hard obvious we do not try to compare it with 756 pro but compared with similar equipment or I dare to say of greater price, this simple conversion is super quiet perhaps and very sensible transmitting part is not sufficient the selective thing in very unfavorable conditions compared with equipment of much greater cost,la walks very well and with few I touch is able to give about 150 w measured in my bird 43 elmanejo is facil not like my movil beloved IC 706 for who icom deberia to send a handling course separately because he is complicasimo to use, the 120 however is totally friendly for the operators like I which single we try to communicate and not us obviamente no pretendamos compararlo con un 756 pro sino comparado con equipos de similar o me atrevo a decir de mayor precio, este simple conversion es super silencioso y muy sensible tal vez no es lo suficiente selectivo en condiciones muy desfavorables comparado con equipos de costo mucho mayor,la parte transmisora anda muy bien y con unos pocos toques es capaz de entregar unos 150 w medidos en mi bird 43 elmanejo es facil no como mi querido movil ic 706 para el cual icom deberia lanzar un curso de manejo por separado porque es complicasimo de usar, el 120 en cambio es totalmente amigable para los operadores como yo que solo pretendemos comunicar y no nos interesan las lucecitas of colors in sintesis it is an excellent equipment for the nascent ones and for the not so nascent ones I recommend ademas obtains by very little money used in hamfest it is a good opcion.creo that in its range of price is an interesting option, that if, must be in good nonsera state and not misadjusted but been worth the test that does and thought that it is badly an equipment, 73 lw8dji
 
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