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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood ts-450 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood ts-450
Kenwood ts-450 Reviews: 93 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $1,639.00
Description: HF Radio
Product is not in production.
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KW6JIM Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2012 14:05 Send this review to a friend
She has brought me the world!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a TS-450s, TS-60 mic, and a KIO 5 band hexbeam. I occasionally add more power - up to 1kw.

It's a winning combo that has brought me great signal reports from all over the world. As mentioned before, this radio doesn't have all the modern bells and whistles, but it certainly gets the job done in spades. I highly recommend it!
W0CKI Rating: 3/5 Oct 25, 2012 19:12 Send this review to a friend
OK at best  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had one, traded it after 4 months. Lousy CW rig and not so hot on SSB. Upgraded to a FT2000D, better, but next radio will be an Elecraft K3.
K5VJH Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2012 14:27 Send this review to a friend
AWESOME RADIO!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Kenwood TS-450SAT is an outstanding radio when set-up correctly. The addition of an MC-60 microphone really makes this radio transmit well. I use Belden 9913F coax and a G5RV antenna and I receive great signal reports. I am very pleased with its performance. I seriously considered purchasing the Yaesu FT-450, which I am sure is a good radio, but I am very glad I purchased the 450 instead. The eHam ratings for this radio really impressed me. My best friend has the TS-850SAT and loves it, but his first HF radio was a 450SAT and he wishes he still had it. The internal tuner works great. Overall, this radio is a legend. Kenwood has an outstanding reputation concerning transmitting capabilities. Add an external speaker, and you will have a nice set-up. If you find a good working 450SAT, buy it! This radio is great for beginners as well as Elmer’s.
N0FPE Rating: 4/5 Aug 31, 2012 10:22 Send this review to a friend
Pretty good  Time owned: more than 12 months
had one back in the day. worked pretty good. I started with the TS-430 and then the 440 and then the 450! Never had any problems with it. I moved on to the 570.

The 450 didnt have all the bells and whistles of todays radios but it is solid and works day i nad day out.
K0BNL Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2012 08:08 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely great HAM radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had 2 of these TS-450s radios with and without the antenna tuner installed. The internal tuner works very well too.

This radio looks great and works great. The control labels are very easy to read compared to my new TS-2000. The layout has similarities but the better labeling on the older TS-450 makes the ease of operation much better. The digital display is very good too. The frequency tunning dial/knob has a great feel to it. Overall the radio is easy to use, works very well and looks great too!
N1UMJ Rating: 4/5 Jul 8, 2012 09:27 Send this review to a friend
decent radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a TS-450 as my first HF radio, got something else and let it go due to needing the funds. Well, my backup radio gave up on me this winter and someone offered me a TS-450 in trade. I took it, in fact I'm not 100% sure it's not my old one back. It's not pretty looking anymore I think it must have been used mobile but it still works, if you want to get in contests or crowded bands, or use it on CW, it will need optional filters and I'm still looking for them at a decent price but for what I do with it, I'm not in a huge hurry and it works great as is. Receiver seems good, no complaints on transmit, as I recall the tuner was pretty good though my current setup I don't need a tuner so I can't say for sure, for what it is, it's a good radio and I sure wouldn't tell anyone not to get one. These days the price is often right on them and it's an easy radio to use.
AA4MB Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2012 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Great HF transceiver, not as well known as the 440  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used, right after they were introduced. I had a TS-440, but the fact that the 450 had every feature that the TS-440 did *and* had a channel knob that I could use to skate around the band quickly, 5 - 10 KHz at a time, sold me. I never looked back. To me, it's a much more usable radio than the 440, just as reliable and the same size. It truly beats me why these do not sell for more than they do on eBay. I worked great on QSK (no, it's not as good as a Ten-Tec) and the receiver was plenty selective (no, not as good as my DSP equipped TS-870S). It was missing the nasty problem of front-end overload like I had on my TS-140 - even when listening to AM broadcast literally right under the antenna of a 50Kw station.

I've wanted to part with it and use the money for something else for about 5 years now - and it's such a good, solid radio that I can't bring myself to do it ... particularly for the tiny prices they seem to consistently bring on eBay. It's a keeper, for all the reasons described above.
WZ7E Rating: 4/5 Mar 15, 2012 14:53 Send this review to a friend
Has live BUGS!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm a long time owner...bought new about 1992.
Worked well except for one weird exception: an alien scum ate up the inside of my display.
Yes, this really happened. Took about 2 years.
A bacteria culture or something slowly devoured the gel coating on inside of the display untill it was completely unreadable. Like watching a sci-fi movie.
A replacement display has worked fine with no problems for last several 5 now. Wonder if anyone has experienced anything similar?
PD2JPD Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2011 08:33 Send this review to a friend
It's a keeper.!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's an older transceiver, but still very fine as well, good sensetive, great tx and rx audio reports and with the xtra filters, it's a keeper. I've you get buy one, just do it.
KI4EKL Rating: 4/5 Jul 23, 2011 13:15 Send this review to a friend
A super value  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am at least the third owner a TS-450SAT, having purchased it in 2007 for $400. Although the rig is probably at least a decade and a half old, it has a modern appearance and works fine. This is a fine primary rig for a new comer or someone who is more experienced and just wants an HF rig where all the controls are right on the front panel.

For operating CW, I found the passband too wide for contest operating and added a YK88CN1 filter (270Hz, IF), which made a huge difference. Despite the narrowness of the filter, it does not ring and I tend to leave it on when in CW mode. In fact, when trying to pull out weak psk31 signals from neighboring strong signals, it's also handy.

The rig is stable enough for every digimode I've tried so far, including WSPR. There is a CAT port on the side of the radio, which allows computer control via an IC-232 or equivalent cable. This is not quite an RS-232 since on the radio end, TTL voltages are expected. I purchased an interface built by ZLP Electronics in the UK, and it works fine. I have successfully plugged that interface into either a computer serial port or a USB/serial adapter, both worked okay. Via the CAT cable, the rig can be controlled from HRD, MixW, N1MM, etc. (note: you can't key the rig for CW via the CAT or by triggering closing the PTT). The radio has an accessory port on the back and you can also take audio from there.

The rig has a built-in three inch or so speaker, which does quite well, but for a permanent installation, I'd suggest an external speaker or headphones.

The radio does not have modern DSP features (although an external DSP unit, the DSP-100 was marketed), but in terms of reception, you can do a lot with the RF gain and IF shift. The noise blanker does not seem very effective, and there is no other noise reduction, although the AIP seems to help in this regard at times.

The rig operates from 160m to 10m, and can be modified to permit operation on 60 meters. The internal antenna tuner will not tune 160m, but does a reasonable job on 80 through 10. The tuner can manage about 3:1 swr, beyond that, I'd suggest an external tuner. The tuner seems robust in the face of mismatches, and quickly folds back power.

Last year, my TS450 was damaged by a nearby lightning strike, which tripped some of the circuit breakers in the house, took out the TS450's ability to receive, cooked the voltage regulator chip in my astron power supply, and fried my laptop's power supply board and its LCD screen's power inverter. The pulse blew the glass surge protector just inside the antenna connector and damaged the low pass board, the front end of the RF board and the Audio PA on IF board. I felt that the radio was worth enough to me to ship off for professional repairs to LPC Wireless, KI4NR, who did a spectacular job, and shipped back a better radio than I had sent out. Everything is now repaired and back in business (and I don't have to worry about changing the backup battery for another decade or so!)

I had a chance to compare the TS-2000 versus this radio side by side into the same antennas, and I can't say there is much difference in apparent sensitivity between the two. The NR and variable bandwidth on the TS-2000 did make a difference under some circumstances. For CW operation, I actually preferred the TS450.

This radio does most of what a top end rig would do and is easy to operate. Nonetheless, technology has improved since the time this radio was manufactured, and I can't put it in the current top tier, so it gets a 4/5 in absolute terms. In terms of value, though, it's first rate. If you are trying to put together a station for under $1000, all you need is this rig, a power supply and some wire - and you'll still have funds left over for snacks.
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