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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Kenwood R820 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood R820
Kenwood R820 Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,100 (1979)
Description: HF receiver, hamradio bands and more 3 SW bands (one of those reaches 17 mtr), 0.25 uV sensivity, good selectivity better than the transceiver TS820, a deluxe receiver even now on our days!
Product is not in production.
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KZ5I Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2007 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a true vintage receiver. The audio quality is typical Kenwood mellow audio. I personally prefer audio that is a bit on the bass side but that is just MHO.

N8YX is correct in that the receiver does drift but after an hour or so it is fine. The receiver is not general coverage but does offer 4 SWL bands. My receiver did come with the TX/RX cable connector and I plan to hold on to it for dear life (Hi Hi).

All in all it is a beautiful addition to my shack and a definite keeper.
N8YX Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2006 19:15 Send this review to a friend
A timeless receiver that holds its own  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two; one bought many years ago and one more recently. Both work great, and are a pleasure to use. The interference-fighting features which these radios incorporate make weak-signal CW and SSB work an easy task.

Two minor drawbacks: They drift, though very little after a warmup of an hour or so. And they're not general coverage, though they do offer 4 SWBC bands in addition to their ham-band coverage.

As delivered from Kenwood, the rig covers one WARC 'band' (actually, 17.700-18.200) via the SWBC selector switch. I modded mine to cover 12M, adding the band to the 'AUX' band position. This involves winding and installing a few RF transformers, adding a crystal to the PLL unit and doing a bit of RF/IF strip tuning.

QST ran a WARC-band modification article for this rig and its companion TS-820S in the early 80's. The magazine also featured an article on adapting the 'twins' for full QSK; I recommend the sidetone mod if one uses the TS-820S/R-820 combo on CW.

The hard-to-find TX/RX cable connector is the same one used on the TS-520/TS-820 series for connection to the TV50x- series of transverters. It was made by Hirose; perhaps someone can find a supplier for these?

A great piece of equipment, and one that will stay in my shack.
K1TL Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2005 17:09 Send this review to a friend
Great with the TS820  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just made the modifications necessary for the TS820/R820 and what a remarkable pair. I would say the front-end is almost as good as my TS830S. I got the R820 on e-Bay for about $300 and added the 500Hz cw filter. The mods are not complicated except for the connector for the R820. I was fortunate to acquire one from another ham. One could possibly change it out with a DB-25 connector. Have had these in operation now for about a month and really enjoy the rx in the R820. Any one who picks this up and has a TS820, should make the mods...worth it.
KD2E Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2003 09:40 Send this review to a friend
amazing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree with the previous review. This receiver is amazing. It is similar in appearance to the TS820 transceiver, but as far as performance, is right up there with the Drake R4C, and my 1000D.
No auto notch or DSP. Mine is fully loaded with filters, and is one of the best receivers I have used. The only problem? If you want to use it to transceive with the TS820, it is not plug 'n play. There are some wiring changes required to the TS820, and a cable with connectors that are hard to find.
This receiver sold for over a grand back in the mid? 80's!!
CT1DDW Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2003 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Superb reception in HF  Time owned: more than 12 months
I get these ununsual gear on a sale from a SK OM in Coimbra, first impression very good and similar to the TS820 transceiver that i owned some years a go. In operation 5 over 5, steady operation after 15 min. warmup, good and clean audio, only for the audio quality it realy pays the many spended!
It is a classic receiver but anyway a eficient and clean peace of electronic tech., and dont have the spare filters even so i prefer rather hear the Hams on it that on the modern transceivers.

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