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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-660 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-660
Kenwood TS-660 Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Early '80s "All Mode Quad Bander" - 10W on 6, 10, 12, and 15 m
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KC4IH Rating: 5/5 Jun 24, 2005 17:30 Send this review to a friend
Just bought a TS-660  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just bought a TS-660 off Ebay and am very satisfied. The rx seems very sensitive and the tx is in spec. The radio looks brand new and the price was right. There are not many mods for the radio on the net and am wondering if anyone has an idea hom much current it takes to hold the memorys??? Also what voltage? And is there a tone encoder board made for this thing?? I have searched around and seems that when it was made hardly anyone had to run tone boards but thanks to tons of RF from pagers and all the other trashy RF signals that are cluttering up every frequency known to man they are a "must have" these days... Ah, the good ol' days!
I don't really intend to us the FM mode much but it would still be nice to work a repeater if the desire hit.
I really got a steal on Ebay and to find the radio in this condition amazed me. Thanks to the seller for not being a ham and not knowing anything about marketing! Even the 12 meter jumper had never been pulled... learned when testing the output. So I tore it open and sure enough the jumper was still plugged in.

If anyone has any ideas on backing up the memories permantly (battery, not wall wart) or adding CTCSS to it I would appreciate it. KC4IH
N0TONE Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2004 14:14 Send this review to a friend
Neat rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Two notable drawbacks and a couple of minor ones..

It's USB only (no LSB). That turned out to be a big deal for my application. I was trying to use the rig to transvert to the microwave bands and some of the transverters invert the sideband, so you want an LSB IF rig.

The other notable drawback is that the receiver has a birdie right on the 6 meter calling frequency of 50.110 MHz. It's weak, and a mast-mounted preamp overcomes it.

Minor points - no VOX, which isn't a big deal on phone, but for CW, it's funny to have to manually push the "xmit" button. No repeater offset, but you handle that by entering the TX/RX frequencies in separate memory locations. Also, no built-in PL, but that can be added.

It was the first rig I ever used mobile - not many other rigs were built this small at the time, and had so many bands. If they added 20 meters, then it would cover all of the most useful mobile bands!

Service manual available for free at!

KG4MUW Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2002 21:48 Send this review to a friend
TS-660 User Product Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my TS-660 about 1 year ago for $285. I've lately seen them for $400. It was used, of course, but in excellent condition. Complete with original box, documentation, and receipt. I also have the MB100 mount for the radio. I have used it mobile, portable, sitting on a box while camping, and riding on the seat of a rental car with a mag mount.

There is no question, this is an excellent radio. I have several HF/6M radios, most of which I would sell or trade when the price is right. However, I do not believe I would part with my 660. I have worked the prior owner on this rig and the SSB quality is excellent. The AM is not bad, but you will not get any award winning reports on this rig in AM mode. It sounds as good as any rig in 6m FM mode. Although I rarely use FM.

The mic freq control makes it a reasonably safe HF mobile radio, but you do have to use the lock to keep it from switching freq when you hit a bump in the road. A feature badly needed in the old TS-120S. The noise blanker is very effective, and will adequately eliminate most ignition noise.

The speaker is less than adequate, but a good external speaker resolves the problem. The audio output is fine to drive my old Motorola mobile speaker to full volume.

I have never touched the ref osc, and it is dead on freq. The prior owner turned up the output and ran it with about 15 watts for about a year. He turned it back down before I purchased it, but it still makes 11-12 watts on SSB.

I am about to put it back into my truck to run the 6M summer season again.

I would definitely buy another one.
KU4QD Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2002 23:35 Send this review to a friend
I just rediscovered what a pleasure this rig is  Time owned: more than 12 months
Two years after I wrote my original rview, in which I lamented selling my TS-660, I have one again. I have once again discovered that this rig is simply a pleasure on the air. It's simple, straightforward, and just plain works well in every respect.

I'm on a tight budget nowadays, and this is one relatively inexpensive rig that just keeps going and providing lots of pleasure on the air.
W8VKD Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2002 15:20 Send this review to a friend
Wish I still had mine  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TS-660 was one of my first HF rigs. It was a solid performer on all bands. Good receiver on 6mtrs. Like the previous review, it was simple to operate, all solid state and good lookin to boot. As I get along in this hobby (22 years now) I find that all my old Kenwood rigs were good solid performers. Which is why I recently bought the TS-B2000. It's got to be the best radio value I've bought yet. Super performance all the way through.
REMOVED_W0AKR_EHAM Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2002 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio for the $$  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a TS-660 some time ago, used and I love the pure functionality of the radio.
Easy to use, easy to figure out, no complications. Mine didn't have 6 meters working even
though the seller told me it worked. Found a defective relay driver on 6. Fixed and works FB now.

What I like is you can play around on 15, 12 or 10 and then pop over to 6 to listen to the activity or jump in and work something. The 10W output shouldn't scare you. Most 6 meter amsp use 10 Watts input. For HF DX work, it works fine.

This is kinds of an oddity or rare radio, not sure how to classify it. But it is a fun radio on the same line as the TS-130, another cult following !

V73GOD Rating: 4/5 Nov 25, 2001 06:48 Send this review to a friend
Sure and Fun  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TS-660 is now my travel radio for touring the Pacific Region. I have used it from Kwajalein as a QRP rig and now I have it for travelling to islands in the region. The receiver is pretty good for it's age and the audio is always clean and clear. With 3-4 watts it's a kick when 6 / 10 meters are open. Using an HV7A antenna in the sand on a beach in an exotic location with battery power is what communications are all about. It's not as small as others but to me this radio is the golden age of Kenwood. It's a niche radio and has a small but faithful cult following, as does it's cousin the 130V. Bert
VE3EFJ Rating: 4/5 Sep 10, 2001 00:44 Send this review to a friend
A Pleasure to own  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio stands the test of time. At the time it was marketed (mid 1980's, est) this radio was (in retrospect) ahead of its time. It really exhibits no bad manners at all. On 6M, it is *very* sensitive and quiet. It is well thought out, easy to operate and is considerably underrated for power output. The market hasn't decided whether its an odd-ball or a bit of a collectors item. If you are interested in operating 15M to 6M with something a little different, I'd suggest giving this radio a try. Kenwood did good!
VE3HG Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2000 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Love it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When my IC-756 wouldn't xmit on the eve of the CQWWDX contest (2000), sent rig to doctor and picked up TS-660 at fleamarket for $300 (Cnd. - about $150 - $175 US.)Fired up on 10 meters and worked 200 plus contacts at 5 watts including Marshal Is., Greece, VK, ZL...using a TA-33 Jr beam up 50 feet. Front end not bad for little rig made in 1980s. Noise blanker very good. Okay, not as good as DSP but $2,500 difference in cost to non-working 756. Dual vfos and 5 memories. Excellent audio reports including two way FM simplex to England with 20db signals both ways. Need to find cheap cw and am filter and desk mic. Love to find accessory VOX unit. ( Highly recommend for backup rig despite no coverage below 15 MHz. 73 - Peter
N7QF Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2000 16:39 Send this review to a friend
I have one.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I agree with KU4QD on everything he commented on. I use one for my base and take it on hilltopping with a quad loop and a deep cycle batt. I love it for its purpose.
Has nearly all the features of a TS-130 except is only low pwr, (mine puts out
about 15 W max on six as measured with a Bird WM). I bought it for $350
used last year locally. The only draw back I have is as was stated, the high
current draw as compared to others. But for me it's a keeper. I've worked
lots of grids with it and into VE and XE recently. All with just a single quad
73, John N7QF Utah
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