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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-140/680 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-140/680
Kenwood TS-140/680 Reviews: 51 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1,190.00
Description: 100w, 160-10m HF SSB/AM/FM/CW rig
Product is not in production.
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G7RHF Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2011 15:28 Send this review to a friend
solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have this little radio for a number of years now ,no frill does what it says on the tin rig ,easy to use the slider can be fiddlery but u get used to them ,good audio on phono very good nb switching that works a treat ,ive taken the rig with me to john o groats in my glove box work brilantly on the road trip ,working 80 and 40 mobile ,curently it is doing psk and rtty and sstv on hf ,its the only orignal radio i still have ,most proberly last longer than me ,switch on use ,no faffing simplys .........see one grab it
WE2E Rating: 4/5 Jan 6, 2011 03:53 Send this review to a friend
Nice rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you are a ragchewer, remove the CFJ455K14 Murata filter and install a CFJ455K12. I tried this swap on my 680s and it really improved the transmit and recieve audio. My buddy swapped the Murata out on his 140S and it also sounds great. The filters are still out there, I advertised for one and got multiple responses, paid $40.00 shipped for the last one. I also changed to an led bulb for the signal strength meter, and I would highly recommend that also.
I run mine with an unamplified d104 with a source follower and it sounds amazing. For $200.00 to $350.00 on the used market the rig is a steal, with a minor change it can sound and recieve like a "big" rig.
WA0ZZG Rating: 4/5 Oct 23, 2010 20:09 Send this review to a friend
Good Standby  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased a defective TS-140S very inexpensively. The transmitter was dead. Original owner commented about letting the smoke out. Found the rig very clean inside and out. Easy to open up. Folds out like a book. Downloaded the service manual and started in the PA. I found some loose hardware, several cold solder connections, way too much heat sink compound in some places, none in others. Eventually found one of the PA transistors was very leaky. Nearly shorted. Ordered a matched pair from RF parts and cleaned and inspected the board. Got the new transistors installed and reset all the PA biases. Transmitter came back up to 110W. Started checking the rest of the radio. Receiver sounds noisy. I think this is bacause of the cheap MuRata SSB filter and too much IF gain. Works better if the 20db pad is left in, on the lower bands. Found the speech processor distorted because of a cold solder connection. I found that a lot of the slide controls will have the most affect in just a small portion of their travel. Makes them touchy. Digital display is right on frequency via WWV. No drift noticed. The wide filter gives it good audio, but there's also some blow-by. Haven't yet decided if I'm going to keep it or try something else. I do like the MC-50 Mic.
AUSHAMUSER Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2010 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Great radio for the price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned this rig for a while now and couldn’t be happier, easy to use and does the job it was intended to do. As for the slider controls, like anything different it will get criticism but once you get used to it you won’t even notice, great rig for the beginner or expert.
M0WZM Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2010 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a TS-140S from a local Scout Group. As a new Ham it does everything I need. Immediate QSOs up to 2,000 miles on a Mickey Mouse aerial with 50W (sort of inverted V). The IF shift is useful and the scan works very well.
I also like the ability to switch between Ham bands and general coverage if using as a receiver.
Built like a tank too - great for a rig nearly 20 years old.
KB4WEC Rating: 5/5 Oct 13, 2009 06:29 Send this review to a friend
A Real Keeper  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought it used back in 1988, the only issue I have had was a loose display cable that was fixed by Kenwood East in two day's.
Great rig , that I feel was ahead of it's time. Yes a lot of people have issues with the slid pods, you really don't need to move them that much, except the out put power one for tuning the ant.
I have always received great auto reports, and you can really adjust the power to get down to QRP levels if you want, work 10 meter F.M. and the little rig is great on A.M.
I run it with a D104, adjust the key down output to 40 watts and adjust the mike gain to get a swing in output to 80 watts, and the old guy's on 80 meter 3885 CAN NOT tell it apart for a high level A.M. rig.
Just a great little rig, I will NEVER get rig of !!
WS4B Rating: 4/5 Feb 17, 2009 15:00 Send this review to a friend
Great starter rig !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using a TS-140S off an on since the late 1980's, so I feel I have some expierience with this little rig. It is now the back up rig to my Kenwood TS-950SDX. That radio is getting work done to it, so I dusted off the TS-140S and I'm using it full time for a while. Here are my thoughts......

If you are new to this wonderful hobby, by all means purchase this rig if you can find one at a good/fair price (I would say $400 or under). This is one of the easier rigs you will ever operate and it will give you a good hands on feel to the world of HF. I know that's what it did for me. The radio is what it is, and I don't feel its fair to compare this radio to the newer rigs of today with all the filters and other bells and whistles.

The reason why I am rating this radio as a "4" instead of a "5" is because I feel there are better back up rigs out there now if you are a seasoned HAM. I feel the later Kenwood models would better suffice in that department. We all know about the 140's sliders, and the reception on this radio is not as good as other available used radios that cost some few hundred dollars more. Those radios are a little harder to operate, making this the perfect starter rig for someone breaking into HF.

73 de W4BJM
K3HKR Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2008 19:04 Send this review to a friend
TS-140 Mobile...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought the 140 under 300.00 at a hamfest. Put it in my F150...could not do any better if I paid 1000 dollars more......Plays great !!
VE7DTR Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2008 22:22 Send this review to a friend
A Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this radio in Jan 1990 (18 years ago) shortly after getting my ticket. at that time it was the recommended rig in its price class at
$1199.00 CAN.

The choice was between the TS140s, ICOM's IC726 and the Yaesu FT 747 GX. After all the research, talking to local hams, playing with all 3 in the local ham store, etc. the choice for me was clearly the TS140S. The slider pots are a slight annoyance, big deal! This rig works well! is built like a tank, and still looks (I think) really good after 18 years.

I have the optional computer I/F and have used several control programs and even written one myself. I see a third party company has produced a drop in computer interface for those who may not have one. it's available on the Internet.

The only real issue, is no additional narrower SSB IF filter option. I am currently using an outboard audio filter and this makes an incredible difference to the sometimes noisy receive audio. The fidelity has always been awesome, and no distortion, just the bandwidth is a bit too wide.

FM was also an attraction I have worked 10M repeaters DX and even a Japan simplex contact at full quieting during solar cycle peak.

I gave it a five based on the class (Entry level), the features it offered against the competition in its class, overall ease of use, and the fact that I feel it still holds its own today. A great little entry level rig and not totally bare bones either.

K1WTX Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2008 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Still a goodie  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The TS-140 was my first hf rig and I had little to go on, other than comments from other hams, as well as the reviews here. Yes, the receiver seemed noisy compared to those of friends radios and yes, those blasted slide controls were a pain for sure. But with experience, I learned how to work around the shortcomings. But the real surprise has come after having since used a few of the newer rigs that seem to get all the notice nowadays. To me, other than taking most of the needed features on a radio and burying them in menus and a few other niceties like DSP and extra memories, how far have we really come? If you have a need for spectrum displays and 100 memories, that's fine. But the final say comes when a dx contact gives me a 5/9 report and comments on the great audio without yet knowing what radio I am using. For a beginning ham, isn't that what really matters? This old relic has been working without fail for me every day since I've had it and in my opinion, it's had a bum rap from many over minor issues. It's bulletproof and dependable and I am pretty sure if you drag one to a field day and work beside some of the compact gee-whiz new rigs, you'll smile when all is said and done. Eventually, I want bigger and better like we all do but rest assured, when that time comes, this old girl will remain on the shelf as a backup rig, rather than be sold off. If you find one without issues, don't be afraid to buy it. 73, Jerry-K1WTX
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