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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-180S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-180S
Kenwood TS-180S Reviews: 25 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1250.80 USD
Description: An all solid state transciever.
Product is not in production.
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W3GAS Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2014 23:43 Send this review to a friend
A must for collectors...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been through several of these gems. I found a pristine unit a few months back and I use it in my shop along with a Loudenboomer.
There is so much good to be said about this radio.
Many of them out there have blown finals and you can pick them up cheap. These great radios can be converted to QRP (10 watt) transceivers and will continue on and on for years to come. If the radio still delivers 120 watts out, there are ways to increase the longevity.
If you have never seen or heard one of these, you are in for a real treat. The first all solid-state transceiver that had bells and whistles like you can't find today. The BACK to BACK sideband filters, the AUTO-ATT (attenuation), MEMORIES and SPLITS from an analog VFO...and an LPF board that uses a band switch in place of pin diodes and relays. The LPF will last a lifetime!!
The 180 is an absolute diamond in the ruff.
If you find one...don't hesitate.
PA9H Rating: 4/5 Feb 19, 2013 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Three years ago I adopted it more or less from a friend who didn't want to invest many hours to repair the old lady.
Never the less we both worked on it for a first start, ending up getting it fixed. Numerous leached solderings were resoldered.
TX relay was replaced beause very faulty switching, VFO- and meterlite were replaced by LED and at last the transistor for switching the filters gave up life and had to be replaced as well. After all the TS-180 was back at the front. Performing very well and receiving outstanding reports.
What more could I wish for? It's my HF workhorse ever since.
K0ZN Rating: 4/5 Nov 4, 2012 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Very decent rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree, in general, with the positive comments about the TS-180. I operated one for quite a few years and and it was an effective radio. Like the others, I wish I had it back.

While good, it was not perfect. One of the weak points was the final transistors. You MUST be "nice" to them; they will not withstand abuse and antenna errors like the new rigs. They CAN be damaged. The 180 is a single conversion receiver....there are pro's and con's to that. No question that a 180 in good shape is still a very useable radio. At the time, Kenwood engineers did a good job.

73, K0ZN
N6YDP Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2012 06:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Old RIG!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Picked up one of these gems 3 months ago and came with 180 VFO, both SSB filters and CW as well. I love my FT-920 with the DSP and all the new stuff, but have to say the 180s RX is just as good ( If not better on SSB )and with the 2nd SSB filter and MC-50 mic can run up to 30db COMP and I get outstanding audio reports. I have several newer rigs but find the 180s such a pleasure to operate and only use to others when running 12&17M. Unlike most new toys,I didn't think this one will ever leave the shack. Best $250 I've ever spent on radio gear!!!
W7KEY Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2011 20:11 Send this review to a friend
Classic radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my first TS180s in 1977 along with all the accessories. Upgraded it with the WARC kit and multiple modifications, including filters, etc. Unfortunately, it smoked on day...literally. I placed it aside and purchased a TS870s. But I missed the TS180s. Found one on craigslist and it now is my second station - and works great. Side by side comparison, if I use a Timewave 599 places it nearly on par with the best.
VE3MCX Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2011 18:56 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this rig and the PS-30 power supply new in 1980 when I was first licensed. Paid a whopping too much for it then, compared to what you can pick one up for today. I believe it was Kenwoodís top of the line rig back in 1980 and the first all solid state base rig. I had a good first year operating CW with the rig and got my advanced license one year later. I was in college at the time and have not been on the air since then. Itís still in mint condition and packed away in the box, but Iím finally starting to get back into ham radio and will be using it soon. I installed the WARC band kit about 6 months after I bought the rig. Iíve since acquired the SP-180, VFO-180- AT-180 and SM-220 scope on ebay so the station is complete.

About two years ago, I picked up the SSB and CW filters for 50 bucks, installed them, powered up the rig, and got about 15 to 20 watts output (about 6 amps current draw). Last time I used the rig, about 30 years ago, it was definitely putting out 100 watts. I left it for a few weeks while I thought about it. Finally, I decided the only thing different was the filters, so I placed the SSB filter switch and jumper wire back in their original positions, powered up the rig and it was back to 100 watts. After examining the solder points, with a magnifying glass, where I soldered the filters to the circuit board, I noticed a couple of cold solder joints. I touched them up, reversed the SSB switch and jumper positions, fired up the rig, and it was back up to 100 Watts output

The 180S has enough knobs for my liking and no menus. Itís simple to operate and easy to tune up (yes, itís solid state, but still needs tuning Ė just the ďDriveĒ control knob). Power is variable from QRP all the way up to 100 watts. Receiver is very quiet and IF shift works well. Iíve used the rig QRP quite often on CW and always had great results. Iím planning on keeping it for a long time even if I finally get one of those DSP rigs.

For the price you can find them for today, $200 to $350, they are worth every penny.
KB3RJH Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2009 06:57 Send this review to a friend
Great rig! Great performance  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am giving this rig an all around 5 for it's performance and simplicity. I have played around with several other rigs over the last year or so and none of them really compare to the singal tx/rx of this rig and the simplistic operation imho. Yes, there are better radios but, I like this one! I always get great signal reports. I use this rig mostly for digital modes with my Donner interface and once I got it set up, haven't had to touch the setting since.

The VFO does drifts a bit but, there seems to be a fix for it that I have seen from time to time. That will be next on the project plate along with finding the ssb/cw filters to install. I have the MC-50 mic, matching sp-30 p/s, and the sp-180 external speaker. What a great radio, i'm glad I bought it!
PU4ASL Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2009 13:47 Send this review to a friend
An excellent equipment  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a full line of the TS-180s to 7 years, I always keep it original and well maintained.
Recently he made a movement in the display, the Q20 is conclude that TMC-1000, not found for purchase, a friend has one for me.
It is an old equipment but of excellent quality in TX and RX.
I do not have the WARC KIT (CK-18) with new bands, there's no one Why do not we have information, who know us know.
I have the TS-180s + VFO-180 + SP-180 + PS-30 + MC-35S + YK-88s optional cristal filter.
Visit the site dedicated to Line in "Trio Kenwood Yahoo Group".
Lovers of the TS-180s, help us to maintain this precious lives, especially those living in the U.S.A. and has access to what is left of this line of equipment.
KG4IZO Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2009 20:09 Send this review to a friend
One of kenwood's best!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a ts-180 off of ebay in mint condition.I hooked this baby up an was blown away by the quality tx/rx on this old timer.The radio drifted a bit until i performed a simple mod on the vfo and now she's solid as a rock!!I paid 385.00 for this rig and let me say it's worth more than that to me..This radio has the best noise blanker of ANY HF RIG i have ever owned and believe me i have owned my share..I now have the complete 180 station.The vfo speaker and tuner..One nice old rig..I recently set it side by side with a kenwood ts-2000 and on 10 meter i could hear stations on the 180 that i could not even copy on the ts 2000 due to the high noise floor!!Like i said this is the best kept secret i have ever found..If you can find one in good condition you will not regret it buy it and the sweet sound of analog will bring you back..Forget dsp as this one in my book tops them all!!
W5WAA Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2009 09:42 Send this review to a friend
Best buy out there  Time owned: more than 12 months
The best $350 I ever spent on ham equipment. Solid state, old school design that you can work on if need be, solid reliable 100 watt output. Lots of knobs and adjustment for everything. With a G5RV antenna and a cheap mike most people accuse me of running an amp. Reports say it sounds as good as any radio on the air. If you can hear 'em you can work 'em. Excellent receiver. Unless you like programming and lots of menus, I don't know what else you need. Unless it gets hit by lightning this is the last HF transceiver I plan to own. The only minor ussue is the fact that it drifts a tiny bit for the first 20 minutes or so, but it predictable and does not detract from the day to day operation. If you find one and you want to get back to basics, get one.
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