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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-430S Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-430S
Kenwood TS-430S Reviews: 81 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $400.00 without filters or PS
Description: Kenwood TS-430S all Mode ,all Band HF transciever
Product is not in production.
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VK3PDG Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2019 13:23 Send this review to a friend
An Outstanding Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my Kenwood TS-430s since I bought it new in 1983. It has served me faithfully in mobile & home stations ever since. Simple to operate, intuitive and ultra-reliable, I am very, very fond of this faultless little gem. If ever a rig deserved the title of "classic", it's this particular example of Kenwood brilliance. Not once in it's 36 year life has it let me down. From the dusty coalfields of Victoria's Latrobe Valley, to the roughest and most remote corners of Australia's outback regions, my TS-430s has taken all in it's stride. It's survived a car smash, 3 floods and 2 bushfires, without so much as a hiccough. It's tempting to think I got lucky, but hearing so many other hams rave about their 430s, I must conclude that they represented a signal moment in the development of HF transceivers. The sound quality of received signals is excellent, though a good quality external speaker will improve this even more. It's general coverage receiver works very well across all HF bands. I fitted the AM and FM boards. AM broadcast signals are of very good quality and the FM option used along with VFO splits or the Channel 8 memory split function, allows use of 10 metre repeaters. Apart from a few faint birdies, rx is a dream from top to bottom. Recently, I bought a battered old TS-43X cheap at our local hamfest. (The TS-43X is a TS-430s with minor frequency-limiting to meet Aussie laws.) The rig was in miserable condition, but I decided to see if it might still have some life left in it. I was in for a real surprise.After some minor adjustments and a little TLC, it came back to life and performed like new. It's now my back-up 430! So, if you get the chance to own one, do it. If you already have one, keep it. I doubt we will ever see it's pedigree again. Mark. VK3PDG
SWLCHRIS Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2018 02:08 Send this review to a friend
Great rig to start with or to keep  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had awhile now to use the radio and have come to some surprising conclusions.
I have had a chance to use the radio for about a year now on all three amateur radio class bandplans from 10 meters to 80 meters.I have not tried 160 meters since my antenna doesn't go that long.
On the higher bands it has performed about as well as can be expected. Those sporadic 10 meter openings can be taken advantage of.On 15,17,and 20 meters the output goes about 115 watts on SSB.
The signal reports state clean audio and according to conditions signal strength reports vary from s9+ to s5 or whatever the crappiest band conditions permit.
On lower bands 40 and 80 meters the radio puts out about 120 watts or so.I got these readings using a Daiwa NS-660PA on peak hold settings.

The radio really shows what it can do on receive . Using tools on the radio such as a narrow SSB filter ,RF gain, a decent noise blanker,and IF shift I can separate a signal to work some stations under rough conditions.The radio is sensitive enough to hear and work stations with a S1 to an S2 sometimes not even that due to the audio. I have worked ZL2SDX with a RST of 52 and been able to clearly understand the station.Some stations I have heard and the s meter is dead still and I can just make out the station in Hawaii or New Zealand on 20 meters without a nudge of the meter.
Is this a new DSP rig? NO.
Is this a new SDR rig? NO.
What it is ,is a radio from the past that was built very well and had a few controls put in that can make the difference between not hearing them and working them.The audio is not fatiguing and the transmitted audio using the Kenwood MC60A is getting good reports without my asking.
I can't ask for a better first rig at a reduced rate.
SWLCHRIS Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2018 08:39 Send this review to a friend
Corrected review  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After consideration of the recent circumstances with my radio , I have to update my review to more accurately reflect the performance of this TS430.
My previous review rated the the receiver pretty good in it's receive performance and transmit abilities.
However, after having some issues with the radio starting with the meter light and running into some problems during the attempted repair once the radio started having more issues than originally found, I had to send it off to be repaired.I sent it to Midwest Technical Services which is reviewed elsewhere on the site.
Upon return of the radio in it's repaired state, the difference was nothing but phenomenal.
Lets start with receive.
Tim replaced a bad capacitor in the receive section which was introducing noise. I believe this improved my receive greatly because now I don't have the problems with hearing low signal stations way down in the crud now.I thought my signal meter was stingy before the repair, now I realise it was just not receiving signals as it should have. My hearing other stations report a DX contact as S9+ whatever and my meter was sitting on 5 or 6 was not uncommon. Now signal reports of 30 over S9 are not uncommmon on the receiver. My friend down the road in PA now has a signal of s9 plus 10 to 20 on 20 meters and we are on groundwave.So with the filters installed , the receive on this rig I now upgrade the rating to exemplary.
The greatest improvement I have to say is on the transmit after the repair.
My reception reports are much better now, with calls being heard and returned on the first try to a dx station.F8CFU Fabien was calling cq on 40 meters and came back to me on my first attempt right out of the box from the repair shop with a 5 by 7 rst.That weekend I had my radio back I worked so many DX stations in such a short time I thought I was seeing things.Compared to before it was nothing short of amazing to put my call out there when I heard a station and have them come back to me with the first attempt I made in most cases. I have to revise my rating on the transmit side of this review to simply amazing. It's like a brand new radio.
Overall I have to say I am really impressed with the performance of this older rig and I look forward to working many more stations with my setup.
W0BKR Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2016 04:16 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio and a Great Performer!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a number of 430's over the years and periodically, come back to owning one. Why? They look good and perform really well! Very sensitive and selective receiver, full of capabilities and functions and pretty much a full HF radio in a box for a beginner on HF.

Easy to repair or get repaired and lots of users out there.
WB0OKA Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2014 10:18 Send this review to a friend
Oldie but Still a Genuine Goodie  Time owned: more than 12 months
I call the rig an "oldie" only because time flies when it comes to amateur radios and equipment. Despite its age, it is to me, one of the finest all solid state rigs built. I have two that I use on a regular basis, one at my home and one at my portable location at my work. I picked up a very good one, cosmetically and operationally, as part of a package deal on ebay- the transceiver, the power supply, the speaker, and the matching antenna tuner for a song ($450) all in original boxes. Another I purchased has some small issues with it, but as a previous reviewer mentioned, the radio is easy to work on so rectifying the problems took little time. It is back on the air working flawlessly. The third I purchased was from a CB operator that realized it did not work well for that, so dirty, dented, and full of cock roaches, it ended up in my hands. With little work, it was back on the air too.

Long story short, I think they are darn good, reliable radios and if you are looking for a solid state, WARC-option rig for whatever reason, grab it.

Incidentally, I have not read about the 430 having the "dots" problem like the 440 and 450, but perhaps other reviewers can dispute that. Of the three I have described, none have developed that issue.
KB9MRK Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2013 10:35 Send this review to a friend
A Great old rig!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Ts430s is really a great rig. The one thing that I like about it is the fact it is easy to work on. Most of the problems with these rigs are very easy to fix and usually are loose connectors. If you get one in good shape they have very good receive and transmit. They are simple to operate and very solid. I installed the A.M and SSB filter in mine, also I got an F.M board installed as well. The AM filter is really worth it if you like to listen to Shortwave and such...Makes a huge difference. This rig is under-rated in my opinion, it does have some short-comings, but really for an old rig they are simple fixes and so much info on the internet is available. For the price... Well you cant go wrong, and is most likely the best bang for the buck for a used old rig.
GM8GIQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2013 09:30 Send this review to a friend
SUPERB OLD RIG  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
One of the best rigs I have used.
Great receiver and excellent transmit audio.
Easy to use, must be getting old but prefer to use this than my 897D because of lack of menus.
Everything you want at the press of a button.
Bargain buy if you can get one buy one you will not be sorry.
KB2BAF Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2012 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig for it's age  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've got to tell you, I bought my 430 in 1986 and it has worked flawlessly ever since. After 26 years, it still has full output. The alignment is still right on the money and all functions work. Yes, it's a simple rig and doesn't have the bells and whistles that other rigs have but it has that great Kenwood audio. I use a Sennheiser MD421 mic with it and I always get great audio reports. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the AGC speed, which tends to be a little slow. It's only really noticeable after unkeying with the amplifier on. Bear in mind it's not adjustable on this rig. It takes about 2 seconds for the level to come back up to normal. Under normal recieving conditions it's fine, though. Other than that, I can't complain about a thing with it. After all these years, to never have a problem and still be well aligned is amazing. I will use it as long as it works or if I die first. If you are looking for a good, solid starter rig and can find one that is working well, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
STAYVERTICAL Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2012 23:19 Send this review to a friend
Ideal nostalgia rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have not been a fan of Kenwood since some bad experiences with their early equipment.
But, having seen a forlorn looking TS430S at a hamfest which no one seemed to want, I decided to adopt it.
It had not been used for six years, was obviously used mobile for many years, and looked and smelled like a camels armpit.

For the price, I thought I would try to restore it to working condition, or junk it for spares.
Well, when I powered it up, it worked fine, and has continued to do so for the last six months.

Now cleaned up and de-odorized it has performed really well for such an abused rig.
I have been very impressed with its performance and ease of use, and it is actually fun to use.
It is also small and someone has put the wideband transmit on, so it is ready for any new WARC bands as well.

If you are looking for a starter vintage rig, or a nostalgia rig, with a small footprint, this is a great little rig.

Oh - and after using this rig, Kenwood has been redeemed in my eyes.
If they have continued the legacy of this rig in their new offerings, I will put them on my short list for my next new rig.

73 - Rob
WB1AAL Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2012 06:30 Send this review to a friend
Great Old Time Radio--They Just Knew How To Build Them!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've generally been happy with just about every Kenwood product that I've purchased. This includes several different Kenwood stereo products and a two-meter mobile. So when I saw a pristine Kenwood TS-430S, fully loaded and with power supply, in the used equipment section at Universal Radio--well, it was love at first sight.

Have you ever had a radio call your name and ask to come home with you? That's what the TS-430S did. (Yes, I am an otherwise sane individual.) I had even left the store and gotten into my car to drive home when the rig called me back inside.

Let's face it, they just knew how to build decent radios in the 1980s. True, they lack the bells and whistles of today's rigs. But sometimes that's a good thing. I love my modern Alinco and Yaesu gear, but the user manual is a necessity especially for those less often used but never-the-less important features. I always keep the Alinco and Yaesu PDFs of the user manuals nearby and handy on my iPad for these two state-of-the-art rigs.

Not so with rigs of the same generation as the TS-430S. They somehow were more intuitive to operate. They managed to get the job done in a much more simple and straightforward manner. Frankly, there is just something pleasing about that. As other reviewers have said on eHam, you can operate this rig in just a few minutes and the manual is optional.

Once at my home and connected up in the shack, the TS-430S did not disappoint. Neither did the signal or audio reports from the other hams who I QSOed with on CW and SSB. The receiver is sensitive, selective and sweet sounding. The transmitter is rock steady with a solid measured output of 110 watts on all bands except for 10 meters where it runs 95 watts.

I am saving the link to the eHam reviews of the Kenwood TS-430S. I will use it to re-read my review and the other eHam reviews of this marvelous rig. Should I ever be tempted to do so, the link will serve as a reminder never to sell this rig. It's too much of a sweetheart and a winner!
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