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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-130SE Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-130SE
Kenwood TS-130SE Reviews: 29 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
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K2LGO Rating: 5/5 Jul 6, 2010 06:57 Send this review to a friend
SOLID, SOLID RADIO  Time owned: more than 12 months
I feel it is redundant to say the same thing that has been said 19 times, but I just want to pay tribute to a radio that I do believe has given me as much pleasure as any I have owned...The receiver is adequate, the transmitter works fine every time, and I like the way you can QSY across a band very quickly... Good looking radio, well built, and still repairable...In the spirit of the 830, the 130 will be around for quite awhile...
NU0R Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2009 16:38 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this rig to be used for portable operations because of its size and ease of operations. It has set on my bench unused for the last 2 years. Our local ham club is having an outing this weekend so I dug out the 130 SE. I did not have a mic so I wired a Yaesu FT101 mic to fit the Knwd. Both are 500 ohm systems. I listened in a bit on the bands and saw that I needed to do some pot and band switch cleaning. I did that last night. I fired it up today to do some on the air tests. WOW, was I ever pleased.
I love the simplicity of operations. No menus whatsoever. It does 140 watts on every band but 10 where it does 100 watts. I am getting very ggod audio reports with my substitute mic.
The receive audio quality is fantastic. It would rival any of my new rigs. It has all of the filters and they are very effective. The IF shift is marvelous. I have not seen a better IF shift in any other rig.
If I had known that this rig was as good as it is I would have been using it all along. Oh well, better late than never!!!
Find a good used one and you will have a winner!
KE6YX Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2009 19:38 Send this review to a friend
A great solid rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am giving this rig a five because while it is not a five compared to some of the modern rigs, for the period when it was built and sold, it is a strong five.

I now have my second TS-130SE. The first one I purchased new in the 80s along with the PS-30 power supply, remote VFO, mobile rack, all the filters, and a matching speaker. About 3 years ago in a moment of brain fade I sold it just after purchasing a used Ten Tec Corsair II.

After awhile I realized what a dumb decision that was, and started thinking about finding another one to replace it. Well fast forward to 2009, and I just bought another TS-130SE off I also acquired a 500 Hz CW filter, and now I am a happy camper.

It does not have the selectivity or QSK like my Ten Tec, but it is a very simple rig to operate, and with the 500 Hz filter CW contacts are easy. It also makes a very stable platform for PSK-31 using a SignalLink USB, and Digipan software.

If you are looking for a good backup or a first time rig, or maybe you do not want to spend a lot of money for your primary rig, the TS-130SE should be on your short list as long as everything works.

I am having a lot of fun with mine.
VE2ITZ Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2008 08:16 Send this review to a friend
Exellent solid simple rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Simple to use. with the KISS concept in mind.

In the Early 80's when i was a teenager i drooled over one of these.

And then one day i found one in very good condition on e-bay.

It perform very good. Many people have commented on the good audio. I run it barefoot and most of the time i get 5/9 reports no problem.

The 2 things that is are bit of a hassle is the frequency drift that takes place when the rig is not warm enough. Also it does not operate split frequencies. You have to get an external vfo.
Otherwise i would give it a 5!

This radio is exellent for a novice ham who wants to get their feet wet in the hf bands! Plus it can transmit on the WARC bands as well.

It feels like a solid rig. I really like it as a base station since it is a middle sized radio. I know these days mobile rigs are smaller but if something goes wrong how can you see the components?

I am a happy camper and think about keeping it.
W5VAN Rating: 4/5 Aug 31, 2007 20:14 Send this review to a friend
A Fun Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first HF radio. I set up a G5RV antenna the same day I got it. Right away I was able to make contacts all over the country. The radio is protected against high SWR, just in case there is a problem. The controls are simple, but effective. They layout is easy to understand.I was able to use it without opening the manual, but I found a few tips in it.
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2006 11:37 Send this review to a friend
lots of radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Iv had my 130SE for over 10 years
friend found it for me at Dayton $350
my first all solid state JA rice box
0 to 5 is realy too crude a scale
i give it a 4.6
use it on cw and fone

its a very good little radio
with no real vices
solid cast iron kick around radio
I like the analog/digital dial read out

does not have all the bs extras
you do not realy need in a hf xceiver

one flaw
for a few years kenwood had probs with
cold solder joints
TS120/130 it most often happened at the feed through grommets, easy to fix

de mac w8znx

M0DSZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2005 00:36 Send this review to a friend
Near-perfect  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
With all the filters fitted I can't see any need for another rig.
PROS: This set tolerates nearby VERY strong signals and high SWR.
Good filter choice, tuneable IF useful.
Audio compression works well.
Easy to dismantle, I recommend replacing both the lamps with LEDs once one has failed. Removing the VFO entirely facilitates this.
CONS:The lack of 160m could be for saving space with the PA and other coils. It means retaining another transceiver for this band.
The VFO does drift a little to start.
Split VFO could be useful but then you can always use an external one if that's what you want.
PY3KT Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2005 12:31 Send this review to a friend
Great old radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
My Kenwood TS130SE is a backup radio. I use it sometimes, one or times a week. Its working fine in all bands availabe, but I prefer QSOs on 80m and 40m SSB. Very nice RX e good TX (signal and audio). The speech processor is used only in bad propagation conditions.
KG4TWX Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2004 13:13 Send this review to a friend
Good and simple  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig is my one-and-only Hf rig. It is rock solid, sounds great and is simple to operate. I have been in the hobby for 3 years and have been around it all my life an I have seen some pretty nice rigs but when I make a contact 59 and the next fellow to call in to the dx station was running full legal limit and he was never heard because of audio distortion. The only rig that I think really overshadows the '130 is the ts-520 and considering that rig is still unmatched today, well that should tell you something.
NE0P Rating: 4/5 Feb 20, 2004 03:10 Send this review to a friend
Good simple rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had one of these transceivers back in 1985, and it was alot of fun to use. It was great going to solid state after having a FT101B which required tuning when going from band to band.

The TS130SE is very easy to operate, with just the basic functions. It was a small mobile rig back then, but is kind of large by today's mobile standards. It came with a speech processor, IF shift, and narrow/wide options for each mode. It did not have general receive coverage, but modding it to work on the WARC bands was simple, just unplug a wire. Much better than the remove tiny diodes we have to do today. I really miss the "cut the green wire" mods that rigs used to have. The 130 was also simple enough to operate that you never really needed to open the manual.

I gave it a 4 for 2 reasons. One is lack of 160 meter coverage. That is a fun band if you have the space. I am guessing that they left it off because it was intended to be a mobile rig. The second reason is that it only contained the 1 VFO. Made it next to impossible to run splits, although you see the external VFOs from time to time.

I have seen some good prices on these recently, and they are solid rigs, but I would recommend an Icom 730 over this if you can find one for the same price. That way you get dual VFOs.

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