Over the years I have received and answered many thousands of technical questions from Ham Radio Operators. At this juncture, I suspect I have answered every Kenwood question that is possible to ask at least once - And several, many, many times. While it takes a fair amount of time to add to the FAQ, with pictures and diagrams and the like, the email questions can be copied and pasted reasonably quickly. That is what I have done here.
I will be adding to these as time permits, as I have over four years worth, after all! You can either read through the emails page-by-page (like a novel!), or search the site for keywords which will lead you directly to your area of interest. ENJOY! Ken, K4EAA
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I just purchased a TS-830s (ser #2080xxx). I am a very new Ham and hope you can help me out. I checked out the insid for any obvious problems-the only ones I would catch, blew out some dust and turned it on. Everything seems fine, (I only has a 6’ piece of copper wire for an antenna (the receive/send switch never left receive and the mode is at tune) except when tuning the VFO there is a whine on every band between the 5 and 6 o’clock position. I did receive one or two stations station at about 9.963 The whine or whistle pushes the rf meter to about a 5 to 7 depending on the band. Is it the jeez I want to see if this works antenna or is it the VFO? Or maybe something else. I know these are probably stupid questions without enough information to answer, but I want this radio to work and I will send it to you unless you can give me some other help. I would be willing to call you if that would be of any help.
Is that your calibrator signal you're referring to? If it is ON (MIC gain full CCW) you should hear a signal every 25 KHz. You use it to calibrate your VFO dial on the band segment of interest.
Hope this helps,
That was it-Thanks soooooo much for indulging a fairly ignorant newby-everyone I’ve met so far has bent over backwards to help me. I’m sure someday this radio will be coming to you when it needs serious work. Jack.
I have been wondering. In the back of both of my 520's there is a transvertor output and input jack for sometime of convertor
that Kenwood didn't make. I assume maybe for 6 meters or so. Have you ever checked to see what the output is?
I am getting curious. I wonder if it would be useable with a mixer and frequency counter to give me a freq. read out on the old
520. I have a DG-5 going on the other 520SE. Just wondered if you ever checked this.
That jack is for the 6 and 2 Meter transverter units that Kenwood sold for the 520. The DG-5 hooks to the 520 via a DK-520 adapter that is hard to find these days. Gordon, N6WK makes those adapters, and has a set of plans on his web site:
I hope this helps,
My questions are: 1) With regard to refinishing the case, what do you think of powder coating? 2) The radio is missing the EX VFO jumper plug. Are they still available or can I make one? 3) The foam piece on the back of the side panel access cover had disintegrated so I removed the residue. What is the purpose of the foam and should I replace it with a similar material? 4) I would like to tighten the small assist knob on the large tuning knob. How do you remove the large knob and am I asking for trouble by doing so? 5) My radio came with a three wire power cord and would like to take your advise and use a two wire cord. Does it make any difference which of the two lugs on the Jones plug is attached to the lead to the wide plug blade? That covers about everything. I'm sure you are quite busy and apologize for such a long email. Hope to hear from you when you have a moment.
1) With regard to refinishing the case, what do you think of powder coating? Powder coating is a durable way of finishing cases, but paint is less expensive and can be very lasting as well. I have my local Sherwin Williams auto paint dealer mix up batches matching the color and gloss and it is about $20/qt. A fellow on eBay sells cans of spray paint matching Kenwood colors of the era for $12.95.
2) The radio is missing the EX VFO jumper plug. Are they still available or can I make one? I have remote VFO plugs available on my Parts Page. I make them from converted tube socket extenders.
3) The foam piece on the back of the side panel access cover had disintegrated so I removed the residue. What is the purpose of the foam and should I replace it with a similar material? I have no idea - I think it was put there to give us something to clean up when it decomposes! I usually just clean it all off.
4) I would like to tighten the small assist knob on the large tuning knob. How do you remove the large knob and am I asking for trouble by doing so? I do not know what you are referring to as the "small assist knob." I can generally disassemble the entire VFO dial assembly on the 820's and reassemble them without much difficulty, as when one of the split spring loaded gears pops apart. The knob just has a setscrew - Go for it! Wait - if you mean the finger spinner, yes, it is easy to attend to.
5) My radio came with a three wire power cord and would like to take your advise and use a two wire cord. Does it make any difference which of the two lugs on the Jones plug is attached to the lead to the wide plug blade? No, as the originals never even had a polarized plug.
Thanks for writing and
I wonder if this is a stock problem?
RX very deaf, output tuned circuits of Q1 peak nicely, but input tuned circuits very broad "peak" at maximum inductance.....seems as if all need extra capacitance in parallel. all voltages around Q1 (RF preamp) OK, replaced Q1, no change. VCO voltage seems OK (1 V)
I wonder if you have come across this before Ken. I understand you are a busy guy and I dont want to use up your time getting bogged down in lengthy email exchanges, but would appreciate your comments if you have seen this fault before.
Thanking you in advance.
Click on my "FAQ" link below and scroll down to the bottom - It sounds like it's L41, your antenna input transformer.
Hope this helps,
Thanks very much for your quick reply..........I don't know how I managed to miss your FAQ pages when I visited your site........this really is the ultimate sin! Sorry.
Yes, your info was spot on. I had suspected this area, and had even tested the transformer for DC continuity.....of course this didn't show the short in the winding.
I have rewound the transformer with the thinnest wire I have (42 swg, which has a diameter of 7 thou with its enamel) all sits nicely on the former.
This did the trick and is now all tuned up and ready to go! -Steve
I know you are deluged with questions that provide no income to you. So I will completely understand if you have no time to answer.
Here's my problem.
TS-830S - puts out full power, works fine as far as making contacts, good audio, good working condition.
Except, I get no reading at all from ALC when speaking into the microphone (MC-50). Like I said, everything is working fine but no reading. Signal sounds fine on the air and using the monitor. I adjust microphone gain by guesstimate with no help from meter.
ALC meter works correctly (if a bit over optimistic, grin) on receive. It also works fine on all other positions other than ALC on both receive and transmit. It only refuses to move when used to adjust microphone gain.
Is there any obvious thing to check? Again, feel free not to answer and don't for a moment think that would make me feel as if you should have answered. You are in business and this is a freebie.
In any case, I plan to send you the radio at some point for restoration -- I'm retired and have to sort of schedule my cash outlays but at some point - question answered, question not answered - I will contact you about that.
Many times I find that the meter switch needs cleaning and lubing with a contact cleaner spray. The way to nail whether there is really strong ALC and the problem is in the metering only is as follows:
1) Tune up in TUNE position as best you can. Stay in TUNE for the next step.
2) While monitoring output power (You can use the RF position of the meter), turn the CAR fully CCW. Flip to SEND and start advancing the CAR control. If ALC is actually working, the power out should rise to 20W (or whatever your normal TUNE power is) quickly (perhaps at the 10 O'clock position, depending on band, etc.), and then stay nailed there with no change as you continue to advance the CAR control. This would indicate normal ALC operation, and you would then know the problem is in the metering.
If power goes up slowly and is highest at full CW, then your drive is low and needs a driver tube, alignment, or something to get it up higher. Most rigs will get to full power output just before the meter even registers at all. Some Hams with low emission driver tubes continue to operate 10M for example, with no ALC, they just tune for max plate current!
Hope this helps, Best 73's,
The S-meter on my 830 is acting up. When I power up the rig, the s meter pegs then slowly falls back.
The meter operates as it should after power up. I have it adjusted for 2/3 into a dummy load.
Any ideas ?
That's normal - All of them do that. Turn your AGC to FAST and it will drop faster!
Hope this helps,
I picked up a TS-820S pretty cheap. It had something spilled in it. I got it to power up. All lights are working, fan comes on, heaters light up, and high voltage comes on. I pulled all connectors and cleaned them. Nothing looks or smells burned. No mods.
But it does not receive and has no audio output. Both speaker and headphones. The relay was soaked at some time and I get all kinds of erratic readings through the contacts. I suspect the relay is bad. It does pull in Ok, so the coil is good.
Also no meter reading, or display readout. This is probably a basket case for you, but I am going to tinker with it.
Do you have or know where I can get a relay?
Also any ideas where to start?
It sounds like you are missing the Remote VFO plug. It must be installed (or the appropriate 2 pins shorted) for the radio to work at all. Check that first.
That relay can usually be cleaned and adjusted - It is large enough to work on. So is the antenna relay. For relay adjustment, look at my AL-3 - That's the kind of tool that will let you easily adjust the contacts if needed. The contacts should be burnished with #1500 wet/dry, using some contact cleaner.
Hope this helps,
Hi Ken, I have a TS 530SP that has started to give me trouble keying the amp. It is intermediate, sometimes it will
and sometimes it will not and is getting worse. Will a new RL1 fix my problem?
The contacts for keying the linear are actually on the antenna relay - That one is below the final cage. Talk about tough to get at, and it too is soldered in! If you can remove it from the radio, you might be able to clean and adjust the contacts on it. It is a larger relay than RL-1. Take off the fan and remove the finals, and you can see the bottom of the board that the antenna relay is soldered onto. I remove that board to get at the relay. I don't think any drop-in replacements for that relay are commonly available, so treat it gently!
Hope this helps,
What tuner cleaner do you recommend? And do you have a can for sale or
can you put me on the right direction?
I live in a town of 800 people and I can't just run down to the corner
store to pick up a can.
If you have a Radio Shack within striking distance, they carry Caig products. A small kit of DeOxit and ProGold sells for about $15. Home Depot also sells separate contact cleaner and lubricant in their electrical department, it also works pretty good. If you have to order it online, Google "contact cleaner" and you'll have a bunch to choose from.
Hope this helps,
Update: I really like "De-Ox-Id" (note the "-Id" not "-It") these days, and recommend it if you can find it.