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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Vintage Hybrid Transceivers

James Benedict (N8FVJ) on July 16, 2016
View comments about this article!

This article reviews vintage hybrid transceivers. A hybrid design uses a solid-state receiver and a tube type transmitter.

Kenwood TS-520S
The Kenwood TS-520S series is likely the most reliable transceiver ever designed. Inside it looks of a commercial design vs amateur electronics. The TS-520S uses a pair of 6146 transmit tubes for 100 watts output on 75 meters, slightly less on 10 meters. The receiver with analog display is of slightly above average design for the era providing a MDS of -139dB, 100kHz Blocking of 116dB (QST states 104dB) and an IMDDR of 69dB at 3 kHz. This performance is slightly better than a Collins 75-S3 receiver (not the 75-S3B series). The noise blanker is as good as it gets. Almost a miracle for the era and holds up well today. It is a good performer in most band conditions.

Kenwood TS-530S
The Kenwood TS-530S is a step up in receiver performance vs the TS-520S. It includes the WARC bands. It has a digital display. The TS-530S uses a pair of 6146 transmitter tubes for 100 watts out on 75 meters and slightly less on 10 meters. The receiver provides a MDS of -136dB, 100kHz Blocking of 120dB and an IMDDR of 90dB. This is significant performance over the TS-520S. The TS-530SP includes a notch filter.

Kenwood TS-820S
The Kenwood TS-820S includes a small digital display. It also uses a pair of 6146 transmitter tubes. Same as all Kenwood tube transmitters it provides 100 watts output on 75 meters and slightly less on 10 meters. The TS-820S is an older transceiver vs the TS-530S, but a serious upgrade to the TS-520S. The receiver provides a MDS of -137dB, a 100kHz Blocking of 115dB and an IMDDR of 85dB. Close in signal separation will be far superior to the TS-520S. The same TS-520S noise blanker is included.

Kenwood TS-830S
This highly collectable receiver is a dual conversion design using a pair of 6146 transmitter tubes. 100 watts output on 75 meters, slightly less on 10 meters. It includes the WARC bands. The receiver provides a MDS of -136dB, 100kHz Blocking of 129dB and an IMDDR of 83dB. Note the TS-820S is slightly better, but noticeable. Like all Kenwood transceivers the receiver audio is superior and the TS-830S is exceptional. It provides a quiet receive that is non-fatiguing.

All the Kenwood transceivers are a good choice. Due to digital display issues that are few, the TS-520S is the most reliable. The 6146 tubes (6146W) are available in NOS for $22 each from vacuumtubes.net. The high voltage capacitors are getting very old and should be replaced now. However, not a lot of failures are noted yet.

Yaesu FT-101 Series
Many series were produced and perform differently from one another. The last series was the FT101ZD Mark II. One significant difference is unlike the Kenwood transceivers the Yaesu includes AM with SSB and CW. Some Yaesu owners check into the 75 meter AM nets and sound good.

Yaesu FT-101
The original Yaesu FT101 does not have any receiver test data, but is less of a performer vs the FT-101E or F series plus does not include 160 meters. The first FT-101 units arrived in the US in 1970. They were subject to receiver intermod issues and transmitter spurs. Some had received kits to upgrade performance. The FT-101 series include B, E, EE, EX, F, Z and ZD. The rare F series is the last of the analog type dial design. The FT-101 (non Z or ZD) uses a pair of 6SJ6C tubes in the transmitter for 130 watts PEP on 75 metes ad slightly less on 10 meters at about 100 watts PEP. As mentioned receiver specifications are unknown. It is overall less of a performer vs the Kenwood TS-520S, but slightly more sensitive with a MDS of about -139dB. Unless you are a collector of early Yaesu radios I would start with the FT-101E series. Each series had upgrades and the noise blanker was not much of a performer in the pre E series. It is not as good as the Kenwood TS-520S either, but a noise blanker is not normally needed on SSB.

Yaesu FT-101E
This series includes the FT-101E, FT-101EE and FT-101EX. The FT101EE stands for economy and does not include a speech processor. The EX stands for extreme economy and also lacks a 160 meter crystal & DC power supply. I recommend the FT101E or later F series with all the upgrades of the previous series. The F series has the best speech processor. The receiver MDS is -141dB, 100kHz Blacking is 108dB and an IMMDR of 81dB. The first E series was available in 1976. This transceiver is, of course an analog display & lacking WARC. The higher sensitivity can make a difference in weak and clear channel reception vs the Kenwood TS-520S.

Yaesu FT-101Z & ZD thru Mark II
The FT101Z series changed to 6146 transmitter tubes and AM was an option. Power output is 100 watts PEP on 75 meters, slightly less on 10 meters. I do not consider the ^SJ6C tube to be inferior to the 6146 tubes. The Z model is an analog display, the ZD with a digital display and the Mark II included the WARC bands. The ZD series is as expensive as the Kenwood TS-830S. Receiver performance is the same as the FT101E series.

Yaesu FT-901DM & FT-902DM
The FT-901DM is a departure from the FT101E or Z series. It uses a pair of 6146 transmitter tubes like the Z series. However, the receiver s redesigned. MDS is -137dB, 100kHz Blocking is 124dB and an IMDDR is 90dB. The FT902DM includes WARC.

Yaesu FT-102
The Yaesu FT-102 uses three 6146 tubes for 150 watts output. (My Johnson Valiant also uses three 6146 tubes). The receiver is redesigned again from the FT-901DM/FT-902DM. The receiver provides a MDS of -127dB, 100kHz blocking of approximately 124dB and an IMMDR of 98dB. This transceiver is subject to dirty relay contacts and should be replaced. I understand it is a significant job as many exist.

The hybrid designs from Kenwood & Yaesu changed amateur radio forever. Companies such as Atlas, Drake, Hallicrafters, Swan and others lost market demand and went out of business. To this day Kenwood, Yaesu plus others control the amateur market place.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K9MHZ on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Yaesu wasn't a noble company only concerned with putting out gear with amateurs in mind. They did a very good business with the CB shops of the era, and the rigs were designed for convenient insertion of funny crystals for complete coverage of 11 meters. Everyone knew the game, and they played dumb like a fox. They even doubled down by making the Tempo One, which was a ridiculous radio, but cheap and with some eye appeal for good buddies everywhere.

Good rundown of those rigs. Completely agree with your assessment of the Kenwood 520 line. That was also the beginning of the end of the Heathkit line. They just couldn't match the quality and performance of the Kenwoods especially.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by G3ZPS on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Of all the vintage gear I own..The FT902DM is my 'go to' rig. Its still in the top 30 on Sherwoods list of receivers by close spaced Dynamic Range and a really quiet receiver (-137). Just have a look at the gear below it in the table. I have never noticed a single shortcoming for general HF operation, just needs a bit of time to tune up. Its companion Dig VFO is stable enough for WSPR !. Steve G3ZPS London
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KB1GMX on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Your forgot the Henry radio Tempo-One (aka ft200).

Not many transistors but still an early hybrid and a decent radio. Many still around and still working.

I keep one because it works and it was fun to work on.

Allison
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KA4AQM on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Bought my TS-830S from Ham Radio Center in St Louis (Olive Blvd) on May 3, 1983. Still has (knock on wood) the original 6146B finals. Glenn, N4MJ, came over to my apt when I got it and showed me how to tune and transmit. (Thanks Glenn) Today is Jul 16th, 2016, if I am in your log, then I talked to you on this radio. It is still the main rig today. So, 33 years later...still ticking. And no, it is not for sale. Not gonna have the same regrets I read in various forums about people who have sold their hybrid. I might supplement the -830S, but it is not for sale. And it is not going anywhere soon!
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KB3WGE on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My kid brother back in 1979 had a Kenwood TS820S withe the digital LED readout...I tried to talk him out of spending the extra I think $200.00 just for the readout,It worked right for a couple of months after he bought it,then after the txcvr. warmed up it just started schizin out like a pinball machine withe Tommy the pinball wizard playing it ,Hi Hi . Should have bought the TS520 instead!!!'Ol radios r cool heck the Yaesu FT857D I used to own I consider almost vintage,that model's been out for over a decade.My FT450D works much better on HF because the dsp is in the if not the af parts of the dsp processing.Can't turn back time still a lot of vintage stuff out there,Respectfully submitted KB3WGE a.k.a. Jimi p.s. 73's ALL !!!
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by ONAIR on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
There are still LOADS of those old 101s around today with the CB and Freeband crowd. It's one of their favorites, along with the Uniden HR 2510s and 2600s, as well as those RCI "export" radios.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The FT901 and FT902 series also had a built in keyer, and a built in FM unit, both of which were very uncommon as built in accessories at the time. The M option for these added a memory channel, so you could do split frequency operation without an external VFO, also very rare at that time.

The last of the FT101ZD series was actually the MKIII, which could take an optional FM unit as well. There have been WARC band kits for the FT101 series to add them to the pre-FT101ZD MKII models.

There was also a FT101FE and FT101FX models, but they are extremely rare. I have seen an FE for sale at a hamfest once, never have seen an FX in person.

My first real radio was a Yaesu FT101B and I used the heck out of it and really enjoyed it. Would love to find a Yaesu FT101F sometime.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W6CAW on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I just purchased 4 101's. Having fun cleaning them up and putting them on the air. I believe the ZD ended up with the Mark III.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K9MHZ on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"There are still LOADS of those old 101s around today with the CB and Freeband crowd. It's one of their favorites"

Yeah, of the big three, Yaesu was definitely the company that knew where the sweet spot of extra sales resided. IMO, that was the reason for all of the flavors of the "E" 101-series rigs....CBers didn't care at all about 160 meters, filtering, etc. They just wanted a big VFO radio with lots of smash and that's it.

Of course today the point is moot since rigs from all manufacturers have just a diode or two which keeps a rig from opening up.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by ONAIR on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
That's the problem! Anyone who wants to buy a ham HF rig can order one online, and easily search for (and find) the modifications to open them up onto CB or Freeband frequencies. They can also order all the "export" radios they want either online, and/or directly from overseas vendors.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 16, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"Your forgot the Henry radio Tempo-One (aka ft200).

Not many transistors but still an early hybrid and a decent radio. Many still around and still working."

I don't think the Tempo One would quality as a hybred. My understanding was that a Hybred was an all solid state rig except for the driver and final tubes. I think the Tempo 2020 might have been a true hybred.

John AF5CC
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by G3RZP on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The FT102 relay problem is easily fixed with a few resistors, capacitors and a miniature RF choke. I did this to mine in 1986 and the original relays are still good. Details can be found in the 'Files' section of the Yahoo FT102 group pages.

Much harder to find was the cause of an external (as opposed to internal whistle) spurious response when on the bottom end of 80, where a strong signal on 3500 or so would blast through getting weaker as one tuned above about 3505. A real killer for 80m CW DX working. The cause was the 6 MHz that mixes the VFO to get the drive from the frequency counter: this leaks across from the mosfet gate 2 onto the VFO line. The easy answer was to change to a double balanced IC mixer, which fixed it. Key clicks were also a fixable problem - needed a couple of extra capacitors.

The really bad problem is the RF power spike, even on CW, and running with ALC as Yaesu recommends upsets some modern well protected amplifiers, and probably doesn't do a lot of good for older, not so well protected ones. I haven't got a good fix for that yet.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AD4U on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have a few newer rigs and about 40 boat anchors that I restored to as close to mint condition as possible. I agree that the Kenwood TS830S (mine has cascaded SSB and CW filters from INRAD) will hold its own against any of the newer rigs. Of course 95% of the success is due to the operator, not the rig.

Dick AD4U
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K9MHZ on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"I don't think the Tempo One would quality as a hybred. My understanding was that a Hybred was an all solid state rig except for the driver and final tubes."

Very true. It was a curious product, especially the later black-face rigs. The true hybrids were well underway, so the only conclusion was that it was a cost-containing move for that time. It didn't even have a fan for the hot sweep tube finals. It was a joke, but CBers didn't care.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by WS4E on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Good source of a parts kit to freshen up the finals HV caps etc is here:
http://www.hybridrestore.com/parts/#hvcap
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by WS4E on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
HV caps replacement kit also available from here:
http://www.k4eaa.com/parts.htm

K4EAA also has great instructions on how to replace them:
http://k4eaa.com/hv-150b.html


I have done this on my TS530SP and it was not all that difficult.

You might also want to consider this modification while you are in there.

http://www.wb4hfn.com/KENWOOD/Articles/Technical_EX-004.pdf

It adds a HV protection circuit for the screen/grid section. I also did this last time I was in there working.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KF4HR on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Good rundown.

Unfortunately from an operational longevity standpoint, owning any of these rigs does take on a certain level of risk. As good as they are, nothing lasts forever and certain components are no longer available, especially specialized items such as their digital displays, certain IC's, etc. I suspect the non-digital display hybrid models will outlast the digital display models.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W2RS on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The FT-102 puts out very good quality AM, especially if you have the AM/FM board. There is a mod to do this without the board, which can be found via Google. Yaesu and Inrad made 6 kHz receive filters for it, which produce reasonable quality AM sound. I never installed one, because my filter slots were taken up by narrowband CW filters. Instead, I use an external receiver (a Collins 75S-1) which sounds even better.

As Peter, G3RZP, says, be very careful about driving an amplifier with the FT-102. I normally run mine barefoot on AM, putting out 40-50 watts carrier.

73 Ray W2RS
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by G3RZP on July 17, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
KF4HR makes a very good point. A spare set of integrated circuits and maybe the display is a must, although quite likely a display from available parts can be cobbled together if necessary. With the increasing use of surface mount, through hole transistors are another spare worth having.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KB2DHG on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I loved these radios, To me they were the best sounding and dependable radios ever produced. I have A Yaesu FT-101EE that has been performing great all these years and I still love using it today.

There is just something REAL about these radio's that just can't be matched today... Yes, today's rigs have much more advances and bells and whistles. but I just like the sounds of the hybrid radios better
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by G3RZP on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
These old rigs are still capable of working DX - you do not need the latest in rigs to work DX. My father bought the FT102 in November 1983 and went SK in April 1984. It's now much modified, my main rig and has got me from 140 countries worked to top of the DXCC Honor Roll.....

Although there are 'design' features which were done to be 'value engineered', where for me, as a 'one off' modification, it is worth me changing to get an improvement. Whether it would have been worth the extra cost for Yaesu is another matter, especially considering that a manufacturer really doesn't want a ham rig to still be in use 30+ years later....

From their point of view, it would be better for profitability to have all amateur rigs mandated to self destruct after 3 or 4 years....
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W2RS on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Even old vacuum-tube rigs can work DX. I made the DXCC Honor Roll in 1982 with a Collins KWM-2. I bought it new in 1962 and it still works. Will today's rigs still work after 50 years?
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by ONAIR on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The transistorized rigs seem to last quite a while! I have equipment from the '70s and '80s that still works like new!
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N4HRA on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I had a Tempo 2020 that I ran mobile and as a base, it worked great, did a lot of contacts including DX
had to sell it (lack of room) with I won a TS-2000
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AD4U on July 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have posted this in other places on this site. I started hamming in the 1960's. Over that time I have used many different rigs. After working ALL countries (and I do mean ALL of them) that have been activate since the 1960's plus 9BDXCC (needing 19 countries on 6M to make it 10BDXCC) etc etc I wanted a new challenge. There were times when years went by without a "new" for me country to be activate.

Several years ago I put my 1963 vintage Drake 2B receiver an the Drake 2NT transmitter on the desk. The Drake 2NT runs a maximum of 60 watts. In the past four years operating ONLY 40M CW I have worked 293 countries.

Getting tired of that last winter I removed the Drakes and put a 55 year old Heathkit HR-10B receiver and a 50 watt Heathkit DX60 transmitter on the desk. Now this is a challenge. The Heathkit HR-10B receiver is a "dog" compared to the Drake 2B. So far in very casual operating I have managed to work 54 countries with it on 40M CW only.

Dick AD4U
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by ZS1ZC on July 19, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Great article. The hybrid era was a major change in amateur radio technology in so many ways. I have an 830S lineup, a 101E, 101ZD and an almost all-tube TR4C (FET-based PTO). They are robust and intuitive to use, and invite good internal maintenance.

For me the TS-830S is the pinnacle of 1980ís hybrid design, they simply donít get better, and this one has style as well as functionality. Not a sexy movie star like the FT-901DM and FT-101ZD, but a demure screen beauty with real class. Somehow Kenwood got the balance exactly right between form and function and produced a lineup thatís both beautiful and well engineered. The 830S lineup is without doubt my favourite rig.

I reckon one non-hybrid from the time that deserves mention is the Drake TR-7. It sounds like Drake decided to avoid the hybrid war and tried instead to leapfrog straight into all-semiconductor design. If you haven't driven one, it's a beauty (given the time it comes from). It really isn't a fancy piece of kit, but it represents an epoch change in the design of amateur equipment. Firstly, it's all semiconductor, one of the first non-tube rigs on the market. And the Sherwood figures really aren't bad for the era, it's up there with the big names of the time in performance. The look of it is almost homebrew, there's no moulded front panel like the Kenwoods used, it's all metal sheet and extrusions, nothing sophisticated. But the performance for the technology is brilliant. Somehow those guys in Ohio really thought this one through and produced a game-changer that has a functional balance that designers have followed for years since.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K9MHZ on July 19, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"Getting tired of that last winter I removed the Drakes and put a 55 year old Heathkit HR-10B receiver and a 50 watt Heathkit DX60 transmitter on the desk. Now this is a challenge. The Heathkit HR-10B receiver is a "dog" compared to the Drake 2B. So far in very casual operating I have managed to work 54 countries with it on 40M CW only.
Dick AD4U"

LOL! Come on Dick, doesn't that HR-10B "take you back to a magical time years ago," like the eHam reviews of that thing claim? I think if you gut that thing and put a crystal set inside, it would be an improvement. Nothing wrong at all with using something else along side your DX-60, been there. Glad the Drake worked out for you.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AA4LR on July 19, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Ah, yes. Those vintage hybrid transceivers....

There's a lot to be said for the old FT-101 series and their dual (AC and DC) power supplies. Made them very versatile for their day.

Back in the late 80s, I did run into a problem with these hybrid transceivers at Field Day. Seems someone brought their Kenwood Ts-530S to be the 10m station, and we needed to change bands.

The guys operating it didn't know how to re-tune the final. They had to hunt someone down (me) who wasn't afraid.

You know, from the same era, there are also a few all solid-state transceivers. Like the Kenwood TS-120S and TS-130S -- the latter having added the WARC bands.

Friend of mine had a TS-130S in his car back in the 80s. I had a lot of fun playing radio while riding with him.

I never did see the appeal of these hybrid rigs, though. Probably cheaper for one brief time before going all solid state by the mid-80s. I held out for an all solid-state rig (a Kenwood TS-430S) in 1985. I still own and use that rig....
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AJ4SN on July 19, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The SBE 33 was a highbred transceiver that covered 80, 40, 20, and 15 meters. It was transistorized except for the driver and finals. The final tubes were also used as television horizontal output amplifier tubes. My elmer, W4ELP, loaned me one to use when I first became a general. It worked out well for me considering my skill level and the depth of my pockets! I don't know how it would compare with a modern transceiver.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K2IZ on July 19, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I had a TS-530S for many years, it was a most forgiving radio. I would tune it up into my Heathkit Cantenna and then find out when I tuned it up into the antenna the setting were very far off, turns out the center conductor of the Cantenna was open!
I ran that 530S into a lot of different antennas, end feds, zepps, trap dipoles and beams, between the PI network and a good external tuner I was able to get on all bands, CW, SSB, PSK were the most used modes.
It sat idle for close to 7 years because of work and family commitments but when I finally got back on the air it worked fine.
After 20 years something finally broke, I shipped it down to Ken, K4EEA, and he was able to fix it.
I eventually bought the CW filter for it, along with the remote VFO, I had no regrets with the 530 but after almost 25 years I finally broke down and bought the TS-480 and then the TS-590.
I tried to take the best care of the 530S as I could but when I tried to sell it, along with the CW filter and the remote VFO, the only offers I got were for well under $100, you know the type, get the price as low as possible and then they turn around on the chat pages and brag how they got such a great deal on a great radio, including accessories. I ended up donating it to the local radio club to raffle off, as far as I know it is still on the air.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KH6VP on July 20, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Doesn't the eham editor ever ask submitters to improve their articles before accepting them? My editor used to!

This article is only on the Yaesu AND Kenwood radios. Doesn't the writer know about all those companies who created hybrid radios, way before Yaesu and Kenwood?

Like the SBE SB-33 (1963) and SB-34 (1964), the Hallicrafters FPM-300, the Gonset GC-102, the SB-103 [transistor VFO], Drake TR-4C, Swan 350C and many more than have been forgotten over the years.

Most of these were trailblazers at the time. The SB-33 and SB-34 were so called bilateral transceivers because signals went both ways to handle TX and RX.

 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K3SSB on July 20, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
How can we overlook the fine line of transceivers from National Radio.

NCX3 Tri-bander
NCX5 Five bander

Both exemplified the excellent engineering and mechanical craftsmanship that National was known for.

Rounding out the product line was thre venerable HRO500 receiver and the hurculean NCL2000.

I regret selling my examples.

Tom G, Sr.
K3SSB

 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N8FVJ on July 20, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
SBE are uncommon, thus did not include. I only listed all solid state receivers. A transistor VFO is not a true hybrid.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N8FVJ on July 20, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
NCX-3 & NCX-5 are tube receives, not hybrid.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 20, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Other than the Yaesu and Kenwood models mentioned, and the Tempo 2020, where their many other hybred models?

I did have a set of Kenwood 599 twins, and that was a great setup. Solid state receiver and 3 tubes in the transmitter, so it was a hybred of sorts. I think there was a Kenwood TS900 that was like those in 1 box, so that might have been a hybred rig, but is probably pretty rare.

John AF5CC
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KJ4DGE on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Don't leave out the Yaesu FT-560 an 570 both hybrids with 6Kd6 finals. Both great rigs.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by NE2O on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Thank You James, for the time you took for this post.

As usual, There is always someone offended because their favorite old radio didn't make the list for obvious reasons (if they took the time to read what your post was about).

I own and repair many of the Kenwood Hybrids. You hit the nail on the head about the reliability of the 520-s which I operated for 30+ Years. Never Failed!
I also own 2 Full Filtered TS-830's.
The 830s Receiver with both overlapping filters is a CW lovers dream. The receiver in this radio is still as good or better than any of the multi thousand dollar rigs of today. I have yet to hear a signal on a Multi Thousand dollar radio that the 830 cannot pull in as good or better.

That is an amazing legacy for a 35 Year old hybrid.

Keep Writing!

Chuck
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Don't the Yaesu FT560 and FT570 have more than 3 tubes in them? If so, then they aren't hybreds.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KB9EZL on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I got an old TS-520S years ago at a Hamfest in Peoria, Illinois real cheap the only problem was a CBer had the
rig and botched up changing it over to the CB band. I managed to get it going and put it in storage for a few
years and dug it out a few years back and had problems with the VFO which I fixed since the conductive grease
had dried out on it. Then I had a HV filter capacitor go bad and disconnected the HV to them and ran it for a
receiver for awhile. The TS-520s were good radios and I suppose I will get it back out of storage and put
new filters in it one of these days. I've also have a TS-930S that I need to get fixed which has a PA problem
and it has a real good receiver in it. The power supply in those radios were a problem. It's hard to beat those
old boat-anchor radios and at least a fella can work on them versus the new SM equipment.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I loved going to the Peoria hamfest, a really nice flea market there. That is one of the things I miss the most since moving to Oklahoma.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W6EIJ on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
". . . put a 55 year old Heathkit HR-10B receiver and a 50 watt Heathkit DX60 transmitter on the desk. Now this is a challenge. The Heathkit HR-10B receiver is a "dog" compared to the Drake 2B. So far in very casual operating I have managed to work 54 countries with it on 40M CW only."

While not technically a transceiver, the HW-16 was a "novice" transceiver, allowing crystal control and later when I got my general (1971) I could use the outboard vfo. It was an alternative to the DX60/HR10B, and while it covered fewer bands (80-40-15) and was CW only, what it did, it did much better, including a 500hz crystal filter and a much more accurate dial. I spent many many hours with that radio. Tom W2CRN
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 21, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The HW16 was the first radio I ever used. Our club at my Junior High school had one. We had several crystals for the 40m novice band, and that was it. Used it with a 40 meter dipole.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by ZENKI on July 22, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Most of the radios listed have transmitters which are much cleaner than their modern counterparts.

Amazing that today we cant buy a radio which costs many times more that what these vintage transceiver cost, yet the modern day transmitters have worst transmitter IMD performance.

We have gone forwards with receiver performance and backwards with transmitter performance on current model radios.

Vintage radios like the TS830S and FT102 in many ways in both receiver and transmitter performance are far from being "Vintage"

 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W6EIJ on July 22, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
My FT-102 is sure clean on transmit, but it would have been nice to have had dsp to deal with the 40 meter shortwave stations. I remember some nights where I couldn't find a clear spot.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KB9EZL on July 22, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I bet not many of you fella Hams have ever had a National NCX-500? I had a brandnew one and a friend of mine wanted it more
than I did so I sold it to him. The transceiver was a hybrid with a serious PA that idled at 3200 vdc. The pre-driver used
the good ole 12BY7A which drove a 8122 ceramic. I'm sure some of the fellas heard about the NCL-2000? The transceiver can
be classified as a real boat-anchor just by weight! Still, my favorites were the TS-520s which were good sounding on receive
and transmit plus very reliable.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by AF5CC on July 22, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"My FT-102 is sure clean on transmit, but it would have been nice to have had dsp to deal with the 40 meter shortwave stations. I remember some nights where I couldn't find a clear spot."

It has a notch filter on it, that should take care of the heterodynes from AM. What more about have DSP done?

73 John AF5CC
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KI4VEO on July 24, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I own two, FT-102's (one in service and one as a back-up). It may be "old tech" by today's standards, but I will never sell either one. Both have been "Malcolmized."

Many HAM's have owned an FT-102, some are still in use and some have been sold. However, many HAM's that have sold theirs, and moved on to something that is, "new and improved", wish they had their old 102's back.

73

Howard Walker
KI4VEO
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KI4VEO on July 24, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I own two, FT-102's (one in service and one as a back-up). It may be "old tech" by today's standards, but I will never sell either one. Both have been "Malcolmized."

Many HAM's have owned an FT-102, some are still in use and some have been sold. However, many HAM's that have sold theirs, and moved on to something that is, "new and improved", wish they had their old 102's back.

73

Howard Walker
KI4VEO
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K5FM on July 25, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
"I think there was a Kenwood TS900 that was like those in 1 box, so that might have been a hybred rig, but is probably pretty rare.

John AF5CC "

The Kenwood TS900 was on the market in 1973/74, no idea how many were made, it was very expensive, had Teflon wiring and G10 epoxy PC boards in a mainframe arrangement, it was a hybrid with 6LQ6 finals. I bought one used in 1975 after getting my general ticket, and used it for about 10 years.There was another version not sold in the U.S. and very rare, the TS900S. It had a 4cx250 B in the final, and the front panel was gold anodized. These rigs had the most beautiful and smooth tuning analog dial mechanism I have ever seen. I still have the full TS900 station with ultra rare remote VFO900. The TS900 was preceded by the also lessor known TS511.

Will K5FM
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by W8QZ on July 26, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
As a teenager with a one-time chunk of money to spend, I bought a brand-new (gotta love the smell of that new paint and plastic) TS-520 (before the S or the SE was available). It was a big step up from what I had been using, an SW-717 receiver and an HX-20 transmitter. It worked pretty well - but, I wouldn't trade it for what I have now (Flex 5000a). As I recall, the TS-520 receiver wasn't all that hot - seemed rather weak on 15M and 10M.
------
However, the original had a built-in 12VDC supply, something that was omitted from the later versions. I ran that thing mobile (a huge lump in the front seat!), and also from a battery setup for field day.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by G3RZP on July 30, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I own one FT102. My father bought in 1983, 6 months before he went SK. There are multiple design problems with it, many of which I have ironed out (such as relays and receive spurious responses and key clicks)and some I haven't - especially the power spike when going to transmit. But as far as RF performance is concerned, it is as good as can be used in an 'ITU rural' location for noise floor and better than needed for the signal levels received here when it comes to phase noise and intermodulation. I have never in thirty years used all the memories on the remote VFO....

One thing does show up is that the designers very obviously had never seriously operated on Morse - the switching of filters shows that. But that's a common problem, and I suspect is even more so now.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KE4ZHN on August 1, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
What about the Tempo 2020? I believe Uniden made these for Tempo, not Yaesu. A pretty rare animal. I never had one so I have no idea if they were any good, but it is a hybrid worth mentioning.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K9MHZ on August 7, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
There was no "Tempo" brand. Henry Radio slapped the name Tempo One on the low-end FT-200 radio Yaesu produced for the U.S. market. Some hams went for it, but CBers loved it. "Sommerkamp" and other ridiculous names were given to the radio in other markets worldwide. Yaesu already had a good thing going with the FT-101 line, so there wasn't going to be much value added in slapping their name on the Tempo One piece of crap.

Yes, Uniden later did a similar deal with Henry for the 2020. Very small numbers and low interest in that one, so probably the reason not much gets posted about it here.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by KA4DPO on August 10, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I have a TS-520S that I got 30 years ago. It still has the original S2001A finals in it and still puts out 100 watts on 15 meters and 90 watts on 10 meters.

The TS-520 line is probably the sturdiest radio ever built. The design is simple and elegant with easily obtainable components should they ever be needed. The most significant thing about the Kenwood hybrids vs. others was the use of 6146 transmitting tubes instead of sweep tubes. That and an over built power supply made them practically indestructible.

I still use mine and have paired it with an outboard audio DSP module. With the DSP engaged it becomes a very different radio that can hold it's own in the most crowded conditions on CW or phone.

Of note, the original TS-520 is also an excellent radio and anyone considering a hybrid should not pass one up as long as you don't need 160 meters.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N5XJT on August 18, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I note the minimal comments regarding the Tempo 2020 transceiver built by Uniden around 1975 and sold and branded by Henry Radio as a Tempo 2020. This radio was also marketed by Uniden direct as a Uniden 2020. It is a hybrid with a solid state receiver and tube finals using a 12BY7A driver and two 6146B finals. It was an excellent radio for its time and still performs well in today's ham radio environment. Count on it for 130 watts+ output and very good receive. The noise blanker is one of the best ever put in a hybrid. The matching VFO and external speaker are also excellent. I frequently choose to use mine over newer solid state rigs and enjoy it very much.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N2EY on August 22, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The Tempo One/FT-200/FT-250 wasn't a bad rig at all. Nor was it top-of-the-line!

Its design predates the FT-101 and is clearly intended to provide maximum value at minimum price. Note that both Yaesus use 6JS6 sweep tubes in the final and similar VFOs.

The T1 has a solid-state VFO, solid-state heterodyne and audio oscillators, and of course SS power supply. Some of the later models had a solid state balanced modulator, too.

All the rest was tubes, so the T1 can't really be called a hybrid in the same sense that a TS-520 or FT-101E could be.

IMHO
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N0NB on September 2, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
The TS-520 line should be expanded a bit.

The original TS-520 (no S!) covered 80-10m and featured an inbuilt 12 VDC converter for powering the finals.

The TS-520S added 160m coverage and, as I understand it, allowed for an optional CW filter and included the circuitry and jacks for the DG-5 display. A kit was available to retrofit the TS-520 for use with the DG-5. The internal circuitry was changed quite a bit from the original '520.

The TS-520SE (Economy) removed the 12 VDC converter and replaced the heater switch for the finals with a Wide/Narrow switch to allow for switching out the CW filter if desired. The heaters for the finals are on at all times. To my knowledge, this is the only hybrid model that Kenwood (Trio) did that.

Cosmetically, the big difference between the '520 and S/SE versions is that the '520 has a white panel above the VFO dial while on the S/SE it is black.

My understanding is that a TS-520SV was also produced that was a QRP version, perhaps available only outside north America?

All variations are fine radios. I now have a TS-520SE along with an MC-50 microphone and a recently acquired DG-5 digital display. It is the station I drooled over in the "Tune in the World With Ham Radio" book I bought in early 1981. But I went a different way a couple of years later when I obtained my Novice license.

I have previously owned a TS-830S and TS-820S.
 
RE: Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by K2BEW on September 2, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I love my TS-520! I went back to one from an ICOM IC-7100, so much more fun to use.
Here are some great presentations that cover all the history of the Kenwood Hybrids;
http://www.wb4hfn.com/KENWOOD/Hamvention_Forums.htm
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by IW5CI on September 7, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
I own quite all of the hybrids described:

TS-520SE, TS-820, TS-530, TS-830M, FT-101E, FT-101ZD, FT-902DM, FT-102.

It's difficult to say which is better and i love them all.

Maybe the TS-520Se is one of my favorite, it's really heavy and bouild like a battleship and without any digital display has the taste of a real vintage radio.
The receiver is really outstanding for it's class and better of the FT-101E receiver which instead has 20-30w of more power and a real RF processor (the 520 has a BF speech processor).

I also love 101ZD it's look is wonderful and performance great.

But i really love all of hybrids and so i collect them all with accessories.
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N1BEC on September 14, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Good article, but I would have to disagree with you on the 520's/820's, etc. vs. 6JS6C powered '101's.
Sweep tubes need a certain amount of care: If you hammer them hard, they are GONE in no time!
6146's take a lot more effort to kill (yes, I know two people that flattened a pair in a couple of weeks. This is an IMPRESSIVE feat of stupidity! When they asked me for another pair, I referred them to commercial suppliers at $20 per tube, and that ended the carelessness).
Compare price and availability: 6146's are ubiquitous and cheap (under $25 each), vs. about $75 for a pair of 6JS6's, IF you can find them.
The Kenwoods and later 101's with 6146's simply make more sense, and will still be operating long after 6JS6's become Unobtanium.

73, -Tom
 
Vintage Hybrid Transceivers  
by N1BEC on September 14, 2016 Mail this to a friend!
Good article, but I would have to disagree with you on the 520's/820's, etc. vs. 6JS6C powered '101's.
Sweep tubes need a certain amount of care: If you hammer them hard, they are GONE in no time!
6146's take a lot more effort to kill (yes, I know two people that flattened a pair in a couple of weeks. This is an IMPRESSIVE feat of stupidity! When they asked me for another pair, I referred them to commercial suppliers at $20 per tube, and that ended the carelessness).
Compare price and availability: 6146's are ubiquitous and cheap (under $25 each), vs. about $75 for a pair of 6JS6's, IF you can find them.
The Kenwoods and later 101's with 6146's simply make more sense, and will still be operating long after 6JS6's become Unobtanium.

73, -Tom
 
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