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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Kenwood TS-140/680 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TS-140/680
Kenwood TS-140/680 Reviews: 53 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1,190.00
Description: 100w, 160-10m HF SSB/AM/FM/CW rig
Product is not in production.
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VE7DTR Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2008 22:22 Send this review to a friend
A Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this radio in Jan 1990 (18 years ago) shortly after getting my ticket. at that time it was the recommended rig in its price class at
$1199.00 CAN.

The choice was between the TS140s, ICOM's IC726 and the Yaesu FT 747 GX. After all the research, talking to local hams, playing with all 3 in the local ham store, etc. the choice for me was clearly the TS140S. The slider pots are a slight annoyance, big deal! This rig works well! is built like a tank, and still looks (I think) really good after 18 years.

I have the optional computer I/F and have used several control programs and even written one myself. I see a third party company has produced a drop in computer interface for those who may not have one. it's available on the Internet.

The only real issue, is no additional narrower SSB IF filter option. I am currently using an outboard audio filter and this makes an incredible difference to the sometimes noisy receive audio. The fidelity has always been awesome, and no distortion, just the bandwidth is a bit too wide.

FM was also an attraction I have worked 10M repeaters DX and even a Japan simplex contact at full quieting during solar cycle peak.

I gave it a five based on the class (Entry level), the features it offered against the competition in its class, overall ease of use, and the fact that I feel it still holds its own today. A great little entry level rig and not totally bare bones either.

K1WTX Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2008 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Still a goodie  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The TS-140 was my first hf rig and I had little to go on, other than comments from other hams, as well as the reviews here. Yes, the receiver seemed noisy compared to those of friends radios and yes, those blasted slide controls were a pain for sure. But with experience, I learned how to work around the shortcomings. But the real surprise has come after having since used a few of the newer rigs that seem to get all the notice nowadays. To me, other than taking most of the needed features on a radio and burying them in menus and a few other niceties like DSP and extra memories, how far have we really come? If you have a need for spectrum displays and 100 memories, that's fine. But the final say comes when a dx contact gives me a 5/9 report and comments on the great audio without yet knowing what radio I am using. For a beginning ham, isn't that what really matters? This old relic has been working without fail for me every day since I've had it and in my opinion, it's had a bum rap from many over minor issues. It's bulletproof and dependable and I am pretty sure if you drag one to a field day and work beside some of the compact gee-whiz new rigs, you'll smile when all is said and done. Eventually, I want bigger and better like we all do but rest assured, when that time comes, this old girl will remain on the shelf as a backup rig, rather than be sold off. If you find one without issues, don't be afraid to buy it. 73, Jerry-K1WTX
YY1MFF Rating: 4/5 Nov 27, 2007 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Built like a tank  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a good transceiver, its solid construction as a military tank. his reception is good but somewhat noisy. his transmission very good and powerful. The temperature of this rig is always cold, even driving 100 watts of continuous power. I have been the owner for more of two years,and I have not found no problems and good Dxs reports ...
K4ZJ Rating: 3/5 Sep 21, 2007 03:01 Send this review to a friend
Average Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought a TS-140S and kept for about 10 years. Was a good basic radio with no bells and whistles. The frequency step/memory switch became intermittent in the first couple of years. The sliders were also an early problem. Toward the end, the main dial optical encoder started to fail. So, I sold it at a hamfest and bought an IC-706MKIIG. I would highly recommend checking out a used rig thoroughly before buying. I owned several Kenwoods, but they are way behind the other manufacturers today.
IW0GEQ Rating: 4/5 Aug 13, 2007 23:17 Send this review to a friend
good rtx !  Time owned: months
hello, I have kenwood ts 140 give approximately 1 year. According to me the radius has a best transmission and a discreet reception, better of several 706 847. .etc etc. The NB works well if it is regulated in the just way. Dynamics of the receiver is good, and the modulation sure between the best ones of the category. Relationship quality excellent price!
73 Mark.
W8TOG Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2007 19:22 Send this review to a friend
very easy to operate  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my 140 since 1989.
It is now my second rig.
I use it on MARS.
For the price today you can't beat it for new hf ops.
Used it on cw,ssb,rtty,fm. Never had a bad report or a problem.
N4MWY Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2006 09:57 Send this review to a friend
fine rig for the money  Time owned: months
Bought mine used and have it as a backup rig.

It has enough features to make it useful.

It is not difficult to learn as some of the newer menu driven rigs are.

K2PGB Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2006 19:00 Send this review to a friend
60 Meters  Time owned: more than 12 months
As previously noted I have both units and think they are great.
I neglected to mention how simple the modification is for 60 meters. Cut a single diode that is very easy to find. It took 7 mins for the entire conversion.
K2PGB Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2006 08:23 Send this review to a friend
Both Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned both since they came out and they remain my main radios. Also have a FT-897 and FT-817 but the menu based radios will drive you crazy. Since cw is my main mode I use MFJ audio filters on their output. These along with the 500 cycle filters in the radios make cw very easy.
NY4D Rating: 4/5 Nov 4, 2005 09:05 Send this review to a friend
Good for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am a long time Kenwood guy and have owned both the 140s (several) and the 680s. It is not one of my favorite Kenwood rigs, but I think many of the previous reviews missed the mark on it. The price point when new put it into the entry level rig category.

For what a good used 140 goes for you get a lot of features. All the negatives have been beaten to death in the previous reviews. I found the sliders the main pain, but some tuner cleaner fixes that.

I am an hf guy, and think the 680 goes for an unrealistic premium because it includes 6 meters. I think the lack of vox in the 680 cancels out the benefit of low power 6 meter access.

Either the 680 or 140 have enough memory channels to be useful, decent audio, and enough features to be a useful radio.

A plus for me is the ease of access to important adjustments inside the radio. Chassis opens book style and most major adjustment points are easy to access. Also easy to install an optional (plug in) cw filter when open. But maybe if you're not comfortable doing adjustments you don't need a used radio.

Add a dsp box to this and it might be all the radio you'll need.

For the price it goes for used it easily rates a 4.

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