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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood TS-130SE Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-130SE
Kenwood TS-130SE Reviews: 25 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
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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. Itīs 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.

AG4RC Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2003 22:58 Send this review to a friend
Rock Solid Rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Licensed Amateur-Extra in April 2002 and worked only 10-meter band with a President HR-2510 until I bought my first HF rig (Kenwood TS-130SE) in Feb 2003.

I bought it from an older HAM in Orlando FL (area) for $260.00 cash! He announced the rig in the local Traders Net on 2-meter band. Thanks for the reviews on eham web site and such to help make my decision!

One disappointment, at first, was no AM or FM mode - However who really needs FM and also learned quick by tuning down to the side-band of an AM transmission (Short-wave signal and such) reception is 100% readable - Shift the IF adjustment a bit and it sounds fantastic!

So as it stands the only "negative" is a slight degradation of RF output on 28 MHz on up - Perhaps the finals are getting old?

Other than that I've worked all bands (80 through 10) including WARC barefoot through an MFJ-941E tuner into a homebrew dipole center feed with 450-ohm ladder line. Nine-out-of-ten times if I hear a station they can hear me equally well with fantastic audio reports!

For phone transmissions I user a Turner Plus 3 desk mic and occasionally a D104.

For digital transmissions I use my homebrew audio interface between the rig and my computer. I've worked the world on CW, PSK31, RTTY, and SSTV.

I'll soon be receiving a used Autek QF-1A audio filter. Again thanks to eham for the great reviews of this product - Saved a few bucks instead of buying a used crystal filter. The audio filter (should) help with QRM and narrowing down that weak SSB / CW signal.

Bottom line the Kenwood TS-130SE is a great basic rock-solid rig and I don't anticipate replacing it any time in the near future.
K4JT Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2003 07:45 Send this review to a friend
Amazing 30 yr old rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got the 130SE from net advertisement. Been a ham for 52 years and used almost everything. I bought it for peanuts to use on PSK for it is happy key down for extended periods.

Got on 75 last night. These guys are very picky about audio. They said it sounded great. Even liked the compression quality. On with a group of rednecks for 2 hours and never touched the dial.

Has the CW filter and it is excellent. What a buy in the $200.00 range. I wondered who I could work with a 3 kilobuck rig that I can't with this. Answer: almost no one!

Do you get the impression that it exceeded my unreasonable expectations?
N7RD Rating: 4/5 Dec 8, 2002 16:12 Send this review to a friend
Solid Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my TS-130SE for almost 2 years now. I operate strictly CW and first thing you need to do is get the narrow CW filter. Once that is installed this is a great rig, reciever is very good. If I can hear it I can work it with 100 watts no matter. Even makes it well into the pile ups or I wouldn't have 300 countries confirmed with no amp. For the money a very good investment for us small dxers.
W0AKR Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2002 08:49 Send this review to a friend
A great radio for its age!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the TS-130SE with matching VFO-120 for some time. It really performs. For the cost you can expect to pay for one of these little work horses (around $300 or so), you won't be disappointed. It is easy to operate and easy to work with. Small enough for possible mobile, although I wouldn't recommend it.

This radio to me came from a time when Kenwood knew what they were doing. They kept that tradition alive up through the TS-850 and TS-870 and seem to have lost sight since.

I can't explain it, perhaps it is the simplicity of the radio's operation, the lack of extraneous bells and whistles, but when you start using it, it really takes hold of you and you will find yourself having a ball with it. A little bit of a hog on receive current draw to be considered QRP even if you crank it down.

This little gem will stay with me for a long time I hope. I love playing with it and using it. Straight forward operation, hook up and no need for a manual (unless you enjoy reading). Right out of the box and onto the desk. This puppy has a cult following like no other !
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