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Author Topic: TS-520S date of manufacture?  (Read 24467 times)
KD0FX
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Posts: 27




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« on: March 28, 2011, 10:26:29 AM »

Is there a place to find my date of manufacture from the s/n?
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AC5UP
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Posts: 4546




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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 10:44:50 AM »

Next time you have the covers off look for 8 and 14 pin chips. I'm pretty sure the radio has a few, but I could be mistaken. Anyway, the idea is to read the date code from the chip(s). Look for numbers like "1279" (12th week of 1979) or "7715" (15th week of 1977).

This won't be as exact as a S/N cross reference, but assume the chips were about six months old when they were installed and you should be in the ballpark for the radio.
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KD0FX
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 12:53:09 PM »

Roger that.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21837




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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 02:44:17 PM »

Is there a place to find my date of manufacture from the s/n?

What S/N are you trying to research?

Kenwood for many years used the XYYZZZZZ S/N format:

X-2 = last # of the year of manufacture
YY = month of manufacture
ZZZZZ = this specific rig's S/N in that year and month
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KG6YV
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Posts: 593




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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2011, 04:18:35 PM »

Kenwood's date driven serial numbers did NOT start until the introduction of the TS-930.  All hybrids before the all-solid state rigs have no rhyme or reason to their numbers.  Chip dates are your best bet to put your rig in an approximate time slot.

FYI,

Greg
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K6RMR
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 10:37:54 PM »

The TS520" were made from 1972 till 1979. The First ones were the TS520S the Last were the
TS520SE.
              Stan K6RMR
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N2EY
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Posts: 5085




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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 05:24:01 AM »

The TS520" were made from 1972 till 1979. The First ones were the TS520S the Last were the
TS520SE.
              Stan K6RMR

Not exactly.

The first ones were TS-520. They lacked a few things such as 160 meters.

The most common is the TS-520S, which was the second model.

The last ones were TS-520SE, with the E for "economy". These lack a few things such as the socket for the DC adapter.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AD4U
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Posts: 2541




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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 05:31:15 AM »

The first of the Kenwood TS-520 series transceivers was the TS-520.  This radio first came out in the early 70's.  This was a hybrid radio with tube driver and final tubes.  It covered 80-10 meters (no WARC back then) and had the 12VDC PS module included.  It was designed to compete directly with the Yaesu FT-101, which came out first - at least in the USA.

Then came the TS- 520S.  This radio covered 160-10 meters (no WARC).  The 12VDC PS module was an option.

The TS-520SE was offered along with the TS-520S.  The "E" designator meant ECONOMY.  Several features offered at standard equipment on the TS-520S were left off the TS-520SE to reduce its cost.  Basically the TS-520SE is a stripped down version of the TS-520S.

The TS-820 series of transceivers eventually replaced the TS-520's.

Dick  AD4U
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N2EY
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Posts: 5085




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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 05:58:24 AM »

The TS-820 series of transceivers eventually replaced the TS-520's.

Not exactly IIRC.

The TS-820S and TS-520S were offered at the same time. The '820 had more features, and cost more. Both were hybrids with tube driver and final.

When WARC-1979 created the 30, 17 and 12 meter bands, both the TS-820 and TS-520 families were discontinued and replaced by the TS-830S and TS-530S, which were also hybrid designs and had the new bands.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
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AD4U
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 04:52:02 PM »

The TS-520S and the TS-820S did overlap on the US market for a while.  The TS-820S was basically a TS-520S with a very small blue / white digital readout and a few other enhancements.  After a rather short time, the TS-520S was discontinued and the TS-820S was the only option.  

The TS-830S came later and was VERY MUCH improved (IMO) and a much better rig than the TS-820S, although the two rigs shared much of the same circuitry.  The TS-830S was (I think) the first HAM transceiver that had two cascaded SSB and two cascaded CW filters as an option.  The two filters used a pass band control that electrically moved the pass band of one filter with respect to the second filter.  This gave a variable pass band and in theory an infinite variable filter bandwidth.  The TS-830S also came with the WARC bands.

I am not a Kenwood historian, but back then I owned all three rigs.  I still have the TS-520S and the TS-830S.

Many HAMs think the TS-830S is still one of the best sounding and best performing rigs around.  It is also one of the "cleanest" - no synthesizer . My TS-830S has the cascaded INRAD SSB and CW filters.  On CW receive it is the very best sounding rig I have ever used - period.  There is no "ringing" at all.

Dick  AD4U
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 01:34:00 PM by AD4U » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 5085




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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 03:08:53 AM »

Here's the history, from QST ads and Product Reviews:

The TS-520 (no S) appeared in mid-1975, judging by the earliest ad I could find. It is an "all-analog" (no synthesizers) double-conversion design with tunable first IF and 3.395 MHz second IF.  

The TS-520S followed in July 1977. Biggest changes were adding 160 and the optional external digital display.

A review of the TS-520S appeared in QST for May 1978.

The first ad for the TS-520SE appeared in August 1979. the "economy" version removed a few things that most hams didn't use (transverter connection, DC power adapter connection).

The TS-530S ad appeared in July 1981 and was reviewed in March 1982. Although the '530S appeared to be a '520S with WARC bands added, inside it was very different. '530S used a single-conversion circuit very similar to the 820S/830S.

The TS-820 (no S) appeared in May 1976, in an ad promising limited quantities by July of that year. It used a PLL and analog VFO system and a single-conversion design with IF shift, very different from the TS-520. The internal digital display was an extra-cost option.  

The TS-820S followed in August 1977. The internal digital display became a factory-installed feature, rather than an option.

A review of the TS-820 appeared in QST for September 1976.

The TS-830S appeared in May 1980 and was reviewed in QST for May 1981. It used a PLL and analog VFO system and a single-conversion design with IF shift.

The TS-530S and TS-830S were the last hybrid (tube-final-and-driver) HF rigs made by Kenwood.

While the TS-520 came earlier, versions of both rigs were on the market from mid-1976 to at least late 1979. Both were discontinued at the same time because of the addition of the WARC bands, not because the 820 was intended to replace the 520.

The TS-830S appeared before the TS-530S, probably because adding WARC to the TS-820S single-conversion PLL-based circuit was simpler. The TS-530S circuit is very different from the TS-520S; it is essentially a simplified economy version of the TS-830S, not a conversion of the TS-520S.

I was a bit surprised to see how short a time the 520 and 820 were available - less than 5 years. They were extremely popular and changed amateur radio in a big way. They're all pretty good rigs, even today, if fixed up and equipped with good filters.

73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 06:14:23 AM by N2EY » Logged
KG6YV
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Posts: 593




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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 11:35:21 AM »

The "vanilla" TS-520 came out earlier than 1975.  A college friend of mine had on in mid 1973.  We "oogled and Awed" over it for a whole day, opened it up and marveled at the beautiful construction.... Why not, we were all EE's.

Greg



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N2EY
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Posts: 5085




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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 11:52:06 AM »

The "vanilla" TS-520 came out earlier than 1975.  A college friend of mine had on in mid 1973. 

I'll check earlier QSTs for ads. I probably didn't look back far enough.

Of course the rig could have been available before it was widely advertised, particularly on the west coast or near a big city.

There was also the TS-511, a mostly-tube predecessor to the TS-520, and the T-599/R-599 tx/rx pair. The TS-520/S/SE and T-599/R-599 used the same heterodyne scheme as the Heath SB series and HW-100/101.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K2BEW
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Posts: 22


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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2015, 07:04:36 PM »

An old thread I know But I thought I would add a little from what I know of the TS-520, Which I have.
First, I contacted Kenwood with my serial number and they have no records on them, and cannot date them.
Second, there were people  suggesting you read date codes off of the IC's, there are none in the TS-520, Just transistors, caps, resistors, coils etc... No date codes that I can find on anything. Maybe there were on the later Hybirds, I don't know since I don't own one, but I can say for sure there are no IC's or date codes in the 520, I have searched through mine, believe me.

Finally, there is a newer project that is trying to collect the serial numbers from hybrid owners that have known purchase dates so that they can be all added to a list and hopefully help others date theirs.
They do seem to be sequential. My TS-520 has a lower number and is likely 1973-74.
Someone mentioned they came out in 1975, The TS-520 was introduced in November 1973 on the US market. See this excellent presentation on the Hybrids from Dayton 2014 that outlines when they all came to market and in what order;
http://www.wb4hfn.com/KENWOOD/Presentations/KENWOOD_FORUM_2014.pdf

And this is the list of serial numbers;

http://www.wb4hfn.com/KENWOOD/Articles/Serial%20Number%20DB.pdf

If you own one and know the date when it was purchased new, please do everyone a favor and contact Ken, the owner of the list, and add your rig!
We (hybrid owners)  would all appreciate it. His email is listed on his website below to contact him;
http://www.wb4hfn.com/KENWOOD/KenwoodHomePage.htm

73, Tom K2BEW
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 07:07:08 PM by K2BEW » Logged
W4SFG
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2015, 03:21:06 PM »

K2BEW Tom whatever happened to the numbers list please. I was trying to find about when my unit was Mfg.. Thanks a ton

KJ4IKB
Craig
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