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Reviews For: Kenwood TS-130SE

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TS-130SE
Reviews: 30MSRP:
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W0BKR Rating: 2022-09-26
Great Radio even today! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Not much more can be said other than for around 300 or so, you can get a full 80-10 meter radio with the WARC Bands, and with the basic features needed. Wasn't built back with a dual VFO so no complaints. For mobile, built like a tank. Easy to use and easy to understand. Great little radio, good receiver, cost effective and fun to use. What more could you ask for??? Not many options other than a filter or two, Fan kit which is really never required with the hefty heat sink (not sure why the made that option), etc. Good radio, great performer even in todays environment.
N7WR Rating: 2021-08-15
Nostalgia Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Worked DXCC barefoot mobile on 10 meters with this rig back in the mid 70's. Did it on one weekend using a hamstick antenna. Fast forward to today. The rig is still my mobile HF since I drive a full size pickup and there is room for it. Still using hamsticks. In between HF radios for my shack so I brought this one in the house to play with. Amazing what it does on the yagi. If you can find one in good condition for under $300 grab it. Great backup or vacation cabin rig
HB9IRF Rating: 2021-06-20
Still going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was the first HF rig that I bought. Keept it all the time. Still in use from time to time, e.g. at straight key day / party. I like the chattering of the relais in CW mode :-)
KK4NWW Rating: 2017-05-03
Wow What a Brick! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Hello Guys today it's a great day, after 3 month hunting a TS-130 i found an SE version.

After reading bunch of positives review and being a Vintage rigs Lover i got one. It's here. Came to me and tooke apart putting every single knob, button, front panel into hot soapy water, reassembly everything and Boom.

Came to Life... My first impression was about audio, WOW for a compact single conversion rig whatta mellow sound...

Built like a tank, maiden to last good quality faders and pots, excellent knobs super heavy, bulletproof.

After just 5 hours on it i LOVE IT.

TX audio very decent with an old TURNER hand mic.

TX Power, an impressive peaks reaching 150+ watts. Really?

last week i found a anice AT 130 to match this baby Flintstone.

Very happy with my oldie but Goodie Kenwood. Looking forward to have a 530s or 830s.

N8FVJ Rating: 2015-08-27
Better Deals Out There Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The TS-130SE is a 80-10M HF mobile radio. Features are a digital display, IF shift and an excellent noise blanker. The receiver is quiet and hears well with weak signals. For the most part this rig has proven reliable over the years.

Operating splits is limited due to only one VFO on board. Operating splits requires a rare & expensive auxiliary VFO. Lacking a general receiver, the new 60M band cannot be installed.

I read the other reviews and I believe the '5' ratings is due to this radio does nothing wrong. The TS-130SE sells for $250 to $350.

However, for around the same price range the Kenwood TS-140S provides dual VFOs and a general coverage receiver for 60M transmit plus SWLing. For a beginners transceiver I rated the TS-130SE a 3 of 5 due to the full featured TS-140S at the same price.
CT1DDW Rating: 2015-04-02
Finaly i got one, working good! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Solid transceiver and a pleasure for human ear! Even single conversion heterodine has a lot of features, in spite of 50-60 W PEP i run ZL,VKs,PJ,OD,HZ,etc. With only Cobweb antenna, always good and consistent reports, the Processor works better than most of TRXs, real blocking power for noise and QSB, not to gready in consume Amps, CB simple mods bonus, good looking and a bridge betwen the old analog and the digital, good dissipation block with fan, a iron radio with no fancy menus and pots. If you find one get it, i got my chance thanks to ON7WP.73s
AI4WC Rating: 2013-12-02
It's a CLASSIC! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I last reviewed this radio in 2009 and my comments still apply. I have since obtained a Yaesu FT-950 and FT-817 and my love of this radio increases. Teamed up with my Kenwood TS-130 antenna tuner (another CLASSIC - I have two) and a well-tuned Hamstick dipole, my TS-130 is simple, quiet and rock-solid. If you can find a good one, have it checked by Clif at AAVID and you will love it. Mine is NOT for sale. It's a wonderful classic performer from the good old days of simple ham radio. Don't let this classic go by the wayside!
G4IKP Rating: 2013-02-19
Spirit Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just below, K2LGO sums this radio up very nicely when he says " In The Spirit Of The TS-830s".

That is about as good a compliment anyone can give to a radio.

You won't find a bigger fan of the TS-830s than myself - however it cannot be operated on 12 volts which for portable operation is somewhat a major drawback.

The TS130s or SE ( I dont know the difference ) was introduced by Trio/Kenwood well over 30 years ago. well before it became the fashion to clutter up a radio with Muppet features like menues and flashing lights, that are more likely to give you an epileptic fit than improve your operating enjoyment.

The radio has a perfect front panel layout, I can hear and work everything I need to on this radio without ever having to dive into a cyber control interface.

Digital frequency displays are a must, but Radios are also much better if they also have analog frequency displays and conventional moving coil meters. The TS-130 has all of these features.

Don't get me wrong - when I fall off the perch, its still the TS-830s that I will carry along with me into the next world, but just in case they don't have mains power I will have the TS-130s nicely tucked away under the other arm.

After all if you have both a TS-830s and the "Spirit of one" - you will not require a "Seance" to communicate back to this world.

Ian - G4IKP.

AI4HO Rating: 2012-10-14
First Impressions Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First impressions..I believe that first impression play a strong role in our every day lives. When you meet someone for the first time, how he/she presents themselves, what your first impression is of that person. Also take first impressions in the ham radio hobby..who we meet, our first impression of that old timer your first impression of your local radio club, do they welcome you with open arms say thanks for coming, tells us about yourself.
First impressions hold true with amateur radio gear as well. Take the Kenwood TS-130SE as a prime example. I bought this rig at the Melbourne, Fl. ham fest yesterday for a really good price. I just recently sold off an entire amateur radio station piecemeal. First there was the Yaesu FT-450AT, nice rig, for its price range had enough bells and whistles for the average ham. Then the Ameritron AL-811H amp, 800 watts out, nice tube amp, damn near bullet proof. Then.. my pride and joy, saved a long time to get my Palstat AT2K roller inductor antenna tuner. Its all gone, which kiknda left me in a bit of a pickle. What happens if god forbid mt Icom IC-756 ProIII has a problem and needs to be sent in for repair? No back up rig to speak of. Yea, there is my Yaesu FT-817ND QRP rig, but I needed something capabke of at least 100 watts, due to the fact that I am net control for the Treasure Coasters net on 7.153MHZ. Every Wednesday I have the honor to host the net drom my station here in Vero Beach, Fl. To that end I was looking, but I wasn't looking for a decent back up rig.
I knew I wanted something solid state, I didn't need ALL the bells and whistles, but it needed to be in decent condition, be a basic 100 watt transceiver, most of had to be inexpensive.

Walking through the aisle at the hamfest yesterday, I found what I was looking for. One of my first choices was an Icom IC-745, nice rig, but it did have some issues, while not expensive cures, would have been time consuming as it would have to have been sent in for the repairs. I did see a itlot of Kenwood TS-440's,450's,in the $350-$450 price range. A bit on the high side for me, then at a table not from our own club's table, set back away from the other stuff was this Kenwood TS-130SE, at a price I could'nt believe! Well below the $250 I was prepared to shell out for my new back up rig. We talked and haggled a bit, and that was it, I walked away 5 minutes after spying this rig, with it under my arm, and out to my truck I go.

Now then..I give it a 4 only because I just got the damn thing. I just wanted to get my first impression of this rig down after getting it on the air. Receive on this rig is great..WOW for a 30+ year old rig to have this kind of receive on it is definitely a plus. I can hear station on this TS-130SE that my Pro III doesn't..I was floored over that. I haven't transmitted on it..yet..I will, I just want to listen for now. It does drift..but again, that is in the manual, plus what I have read here on eham, the drift is well within specs. I can see this rig being used not just as my back up rig, but for field day and other portable ops. I want to see how well this rig preforms using my Buddipole system..that..will definitely be an experience I can't wait to try. Any way folks..I will amend my review in a couple of months, let you know how I am making out with what appears as my first impression on this rig has definitely turned out to be the right one.

73 de Mark
26JLH Rating: 2012-05-10
sold mine what a pillock Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
got one of these 3 years ago many rigs later i can say the others were a load of dog droppings.
i now have the 120 but i would like another ts-130
trouble is most of these good radios are sold off as parts on the net even if they work,what a pity.

thanks mr pillock 2e0glu