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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Tempo (Uniden) 2020 Help

Reviews Summary for Tempo (Uniden) 2020
Tempo (Uniden) 2020 Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $2800
Description: Vintage Japanese HF radio from mid-seventies era
Product is not in production.
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KC7MF Rating: 3/5 May 29, 2016 07:14 Send this review to a friend
It is OK. Decent Audio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had one of these for a few months. Let's face it. Compared to the feature set common on more modern rigs it comes up short. I like hybrids for the nostalgia and will never be without a TS-830s. That said. This radio is getting very old and it is not easy for the average person to fix. Lose the power cord and you are in for the hassle of your life. You can almost buy a used HF radio for what a set of power cords will cost for this rig, if you can find them. The tuning mechanism is needlessly complicated and you will just love punching the band segment switches. This is a radio for the patient. It is not user friendly.

It does have pleasant receive audio but not especially sensitive receive. Audio reports depended on the Mic I used. (Of course.) As good as the Pro III? Not by a long shot.

If you read between the lines on the other reviews here there is a great deal of talk about repair and restoration. Expect to do both.

If you are a new ham or someone who is daunted by component level repair give this radio a pass. If you are comfortable working on radios, don't mind tuning a hybrid, and into some nostalgia then this might be a reasonable choice.

Note: "5" means great. This is NOT a "great" radio. Few are. View my score accordingly.
N5XJT Rating: 5/5 Sep 11, 2015 08:03 Send this review to a friend
A Hybrid Classic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have owned 2 Tempo 2020's over the last 20-25 years and can honestly say it is one of the best. The receive audio is excellent, two audio input controls make it easy, the noise blanker is one of the best and it has a unique audio sound that makes it enjoyable to listen to. Transmit audio quality is excellent even using the stock hand mic. It is a great "pile up" buster and will give you around 130 watts SSB with "punch" consistently. You will have some problems from time to time but the Tempo 2020 user group on Yahoo is outstanding help. Get one rig to operate and one for a parts rig, you will enjoy this radio for years and often choose to operate it over your modern rig.
W3SQE Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2013 07:06 Send this review to a friend
Winner, winner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This thing is a real treat. It was given to me by its original owner with the manual, both AC & DC power cords and a dust cover. It is in excellent shape. I had no experience with hybrids until several months ago when I bought a TS-520 that had been reworked and had new tubes. I had always wanted a hybrid.

I learned to tune the 520 and operate it and built a cable to connect my Heil>W2IHY 8Band setup as a mic and got great reports with it.

A month later I get the Tempo which is untouched with original tubes and the original hand mic. I get the same reports perhaps better with the Tempo.

The Tempo has the advantages over the 520 of AM receive and transmission and has two controls for RF receive not just RF gain but one called RF attenuation for greater flexibility.

The receive audio is crazy good too. It has a marker tone to calibrate the dial every 25kc and I always use a hi-fi speaker on my rigs. When you use the cal tone you get great LF when doing this. Sounds like a little sub.

The hybrid dial is neat and this unit is just fun to use. I am grateful to have it. Thanks Dave!

Yahoo Groups has a Tempo 2020 owners forum too
PA3BSV Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2010 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Revived after 10+ years out of service  Time owned: more than 12 months
After having not been active for more than 10 years, I decided to retrieve my Uniden 2020 from its mothball storage. After a bit of cleaning and lubricating, my good ol' days with this rig revived. Its excellent performance, in particular CW, had not noticeably changed over the years and the familiar sound of CW was again music to my ears. Its SSB performance is average, but that doesn't matter to me (CW only).
I guess the rig may benefit from realigning, but so far everything seems to be OK. I acquired this rig in 1981 and it will be with me forever.
KG6YV Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2010 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Excellent 70's Hybrid  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
These radios have a robust "cult" following and now I know why. Designed by Yaesu, built by Uniden this was a very "high-end" hybrid in the 70's.

1. Construction along the lines of the Yaesu FT-901DM (plug-in cards)with the addition of separate/independent receive front end and transmit driver circuits. The heterodyne oscillator has separate transistors for each band. Its heavy and rugged in its construction.
2. Interesting PLL implementation with a 100khz VFO span and vertically rotating dial drum to improve the analog dial linearity. The Digital readout for MHZ/100KHz segment it cool too. No noticeable drift on mine after 5 minutes warm up. The remote VFO which I have doesn't drift at all.
3. An extremely quiet/sensitive/selective receiver. Its better than my TS-520S/820S on the higher bands.
4. Front panel continuously adjustable RF attenuator in the receiver front end doe NOT cause the S-Meter to float up with added attenuation. The RF gain control is separate.
5. Dual range RIT, one narrow (~1khz) one wider(~5khz).
6. Noise blanker that is highly effective.
7. Solid power supply feeding a pair of 6146B's for 120W on 75M and 90-100W on 10M.
8. Reports indicate the transmit audio is smooth clean and punchy.

All in all, this is the "spiffy-est" hybrid I have ever owned, its fun to use with competitive performance even today even though it lacks the obvious DSP and other modern features.
K0AWD Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2010 14:58 Send this review to a friend
Great vintage radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am happy to say that I am the proud owner of a Tempo 2020. I was lucky enough to get this from someone who didn't really know what they had. It took a little work to get it on the air but that's half the fun.
The radio is solid-state receive but has tube finals and driver. Love it. The radio gets the best audio reports of any rig I have ever used. This old girl gets into the log jambs and carries me DXing all around the world on her 100 watts.
I have two other HF rigs, but the 2020 is the first one on and is used more than both the others together. If you can find one, grab it.
JA1ML Rating: 4/5 Oct 16, 2006 18:22 Send this review to a friend
Great old rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
In Japan this rig was sold as the Uniden 2020 with the matching uniden VFO 8010. We have users group please visit

NT9M Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2005 05:28 Send this review to a friend
Fun radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Mine did not transmit when I first got it, but restoring this radio has been half the fun! Different segments of the transceiver have their own plug-in board, making it easy to work on.

The combination LED and analog drum display make the tuning of this transceiver unique.

There was no microphone when I got it. The original is a hand mic. I'm getting great audio reports using a 70's vintage Radio Shack high impedence microphone.

Probably the thing I like most about the 2020 is the receiver audio. The bandwidth on SSB make it susceptible to QRM in crowded conditions, but interestingly I've found that I can hear the state traffic net better on the Tempo than I can on my TS 2000 with its filters narrowed down. The signals are easier to understand without that noise generated by the DSP. I have the matching Tempo speaker and the audio sounds great. The CW filtering is very effective, with very little filter blow by.

Having to retune every time you change band segments makes quick switches problematic if you are contesting, and there is no computer interface for logging, so I won't be giving up my TS2000. But for checking into a net or general rag chewing I find myself sitting in the other chair in front of the Tempo more often now. There's something about the smell, the glowing of the tubes and large s-meter, the bright red tuning drum display, all those large knobs to turn, and most of all the sweet sounds coming from the speaker that make this radio great fun. And for me, that's what it's all about.
RV3APM Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2005 12:29 Send this review to a friend
Old but very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have one and enjoy.
Really good and quality job .
Quiet RX . Compare with modern rig in BDR, MDR but with rich audio.
WD5BCL Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2005 18:57 Send this review to a friend
Old Faithful  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a senior moment a short time back, and sold my Uniden 2020 to a novice working toward his general. He has recently agreed to sell it back to me--what a relief! I missed the excellent audio reports, rock-solid performance, and fun of tuning up a rig with tube finals. Everything written in previous reviews holds true in my experience, and I haven't ever had a minute's trouble with mine. Oh, sure, it takes longer to QSY, compared with the new solid-state rigs, but I don't care. In my book, tuning to get the absolute best out of a rig is more than half the fun in ham radio.
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