A site of endless curiosity

Blast from the past – Our Kenwood Hybrid Collection

with 48 comments

Kenwood Hybrid Radios

For the past month of so a series of Kenwood Hybrid radios have shown up here. Most of them are from e-bay.  I have had good luck with e-bay so far.   But before you purchase on e-bay do your due diligence.  Some sellers on e-bay have no clue abut amateur radio equipment, what the really have, if it works or not, or how to test it.  To some sellers, if it “lights up” when they plug it in – it works.  We know that a “working radio” is much more than this.

eBay Nation

Hybrids in general – variations on a theme

The Kenwood models made from the mid to late 1970s to the early 1980s and designated TS-520, TS-530, TS-820, and TS-830 were know as Hybrids They were Hybrids because they were a combination of semiconductors and tubes.

The Hybrids were mostly semiconductor with only the driver and final unit being tubes. All hybrids used the same basic tube lineup – a 12BY7 for the driver and two 6146s for the finals. Output of these radios was about 100 watts. The 6146 tubes were very popular in ham radios.  All the Kenwood hybrids used them as did the Heathkit SB-101, SB-102, HW-100 and HW101.  You can find a  very extensive article on the very popular 6146s in the resource section at the end of this article.

The 6146 valve was used in many popular Ham radios and they are still plentiful and cheap. A set (two) of 6146Ws, the military version of the 6146, which can be used in all models of Kenwood Hybrids can still be obtained for about $30.

Like driving a stick shift car, Hybrids having tube finals requires tune-up before you transmit. It’s not just set the VFO and go. Tune-up is really adjusting inductance and capacitance to resonate a tank circuit (inductors and capacitors) that provides the right impedance match simultaneously on a plate circuit and the antenna 50 ohm load.

All the Hybrids have the same cookbook approach to tune-up. All Kenwood Hybrids have the same set of 3 knobs labeled Load, Plate, and Drive that are used to resonate the tank and load circuits for the particular frequency on which you want to transmit. Change the freq and you need to touch up the tuning. No quick QSYs on these radios. Once you understand the operational tune-up process and execute it a few times you can get tune-up in about 10 seconds.

You will also note a Heater switch on all these radios. Again, the valves are only used to develop the final output on transmit. The valves are not needed for receive. There is no sense in lightning them up is all you want to do is tune around and listen. Kenwood gives you the option of not running the tube filaments even if the radio is powered up.  The older radios that used tube finals did not have this feature.  The final tubes were glowing all the time.

Another distinguishing feature of these radios is that they used functional component boards that were connected together with wire-wrap. That is, they represented a departure from point-to-point wiring. Take a look at the inside of an older Drake Ham radio like a TR-3 or TR-4. Looks nice and neat from the top. Especially those with the gleaming copper plated chassis on the TR-3 – real classy.

But then look underneath that TR 3/4 chassis and you will find a rat’s nest of wiring. Kenwood Hybrids don’t have that. They are built out of functional component boards that can be diagnosed and swapped as a unit. For example, in the TS-520S you will find a carrier board, generator board, IF board, NB board, AF board, VFO board, and so on. All nice and neat and connected together with edge connectors, wire-wrap, and wiring harness. Pretty neat and a major deviation from point-to-point wiring radios seen in the 1960s and earlier radios.

Hybrids – direct and to the point…

These radios are simple, direct, to the point, and not pretentious in any way. There are no menus, no memories, no CPUs, no DSPs, and there is nothing the radio does, that you need in the course of operating, that you can’t control from the front panel.

If you have messed with a ICOM 706IIG or similar tiny radio you know how frustrating it can be to do simple things which require you to access the elaborate memory system and the multi-function buttons. All dials and knobs on the Kenwood Hybrids have one function, clearly labeled, and at your fingertips. It’s not the modern radios are not fine pieces of ham radio gear – it’s just that sometimes simpler is better, less is more, and you just need to take a rest and enjoy yesterdays technology. This is why we have collected a few Kenwood Hybrids here at Southern Command.

TS-520S – First of the Kenwood Hybrids

The TS-520 was the first of the Kenwood Hybrids. It’s a very basic radio. It covers the Ham Radio bands minus WARC. It has VOX, a noise blanker, ACG fast/slow, RIT, RF gain, and Mic gain & compression. It has no digital display. You need some 2nd grade math to figure out the VFO frequency. Its simple. Add the number on the band switch to the numbers on the dial and that about where you are. The neat thing about the 520 is that the VFO has three sections that spin at three different rates of speed. Just add the value on the band switch plus two sets of numbers on the VFO dial and there you go – digital displays are for sissies.

I bought the TS-520S sight unseen from Universal Radio for $265 not including shipping. Universal told me that a technician had checked the radio, it was up to spec, fully functional, all knobs, switches, lamps were working. Universal also provided a 60-day return policy. The radio when arrived was in mint cosmetic condition. Great audio on receive and 100 watts out on 20m; slightly down on the higher bands. Very good purchase. I paid market price based on what these radios are going for on eBay.

TS-820S – My favorite

The TS-820S is a couple of increments of functionally and improvements over the TS-520S. This is my favorite radio of the Hybrids by far. The TS-820S has all the basic features of the TS-520S and adds: IF Shift; an FSK mode (in addition to CW/LSB/USB); and a Monitor function so you can listen to your transmitted audio. The big addition in the TS-820S is a digital display. You could actually read the full frequency off the radio without second grade math.

The big improvement – the digital display – is also the most common problem with the TS-820S. The digital display is really a separate frequency counter that is integrated into the case. It connects to the VFO and counts the frequency. The common problem is the “9s problem”. Every now and then, without warning, the display shows a number 9 in one of the positions. It comes and goes. There are various remedies posted to news groups on this problem. There is no quick fix. But the good news is that the counter and the VFO are separate and so the fact the frequency counter cant count does not affect the VFO or any other part of the radio. You can see the problem above.

The fact that the counter cant count the VFO frequency gives you all the more reason to play with analog dial. The analog dial is one up on the TS-520S now having 4 dials rotating at different rates of speeds. You have to take the VFO knob apart and fail to properly reassemble it to really appreciate how this works.

Take a close look at the picture below. Note the dial indicators of 460 and 450. That is really two dials intersecting – one dial that shows a “4” and another that shows “60” and “50” respectively. (The number 4 is showing through a window in the outer dial.) As you spin the VFO knob one dial progresses a small increment to a 2, 3, 4 and so on as the VFO dial is rotated at a higher rate. In all, 4 wheels are spinning at different rates of speed to produce the VFO number to be added to the band switch setting. In the pictures above the band switch is set to 3.5 MHz. The analog dial reads 455. So the freq is 3.5 + 455 = 3.955 which is what the digital display reads – unless you happen to have the “9”s problem at the moment. The saga of why the VFO had to be disassembled is below.

I bought the TS-820S off of a seller on eBay. The seller was a ham of many years, heavy contributor to the Kenwood Hybrid newsgroups, and an electrical engineer by profession. After some e-mail exchanges about the radio and an exchange on the “straight dope” on the condition of the radio, we put in a low-ball bid. I lost the auction. But, got a eBay “second chance” from the seller as the high bidder was not a licensed ham and the seller refused to complete the sale with a non-ham bidder. I got the radio plus a MC-50 Desk Mic for $341. MC-50s are going for about $40-$60. So the price of the radio was about $300. The seller included the “9s problem” at no extra cost and fully informed us of this.

TS-830S – The Best and end of an era…

The TS-830S was the last and the most sophisticated of Kenwood Hybrids. To the TS-820S features, the TS-830s adds: audio compression level indication to the meter system; XIT Transmit Incremental Tuning; WARC bands; audio Tone control; Notch filter; and VBT (Variable Bandwidth Tuning). The IF shift and VBT in combination allows one to not only shift the pass band but also squeeze it at the same time. For digging signals out of a crowded band IF Shift + VBT is a great feature. The TS-830S solved the “9s” problem and the digital frequency readouts on these radios function without endemic problems.

I bought the TS-830S off of a seller on eBay. The seller was really a storefront for someone who had their hands on a lot of military radio equipment and test equipment. This person also had some unusual (and expensive) equipment from Cubic Corporation which, when I did some research on the equipment, found the use “classified”. After some e-mail exchanges with the seller and the “straight dope” on the TS-830S I purchased the radio “buy it now”. I paid more than market price for the radio based on its condition, the technical knowledge of the seller, and the fact the that seller had the test equipment and the knowledge to fully check out the radio. Market price for a TS-830S is $400-$550. The radio arrived as described in absolute mint condition. The seller included the original manual and Kenwood box. The manufacture date of the radio was 1981. So, in 2006 the radio is 25 yers old.

Buying Ham Radios (and esp. Hybrids) on eBay

Here are a few purchasing hints if you choose to buy one of these radios.

  1. Plentiful and a ready market. If you check eBay, you will find that the Hybrids are plentiful. This indicates a few things. a) The Hybrids have physically stood the test of time after almost 30 years. b) The radio is still popular and in use after 30 years. c) Best of all, there is an active market for these radios which means that when you are finished playing with the radio you can put it back up for sale and have a ready marketplace and ready buyers.
  2. All sellers are not equal. When you are looking for a radio like the Kenwood Hybrids you will find that there are folks selling these radios that have no clue as to what they are, how to use them, or how to test them. Some folks are regular people selling these Hybrids as if they are at a flea market and there is no difference between a ham radio and a lamp. Some folks are CBers that bought these radio’s thinking they could use them “as is” on 11 meters. That is not going to happen. Some sellers are CBers that tried to modify the radio for 11m, failed, and messed it up. Buy from any of these folks at your doom.
  3. Proper packing is essential. Kenwood hybrids weigh about 40 pounds. That is a lot a weight that you are placing in a box. Make sure the seller knows how to pack a radio that weights 40 pounds – double boxed, lots of crush space, peanuts, and bubble wrap. All of the radios I received were packed in a professional manner – but the shipper had plans for our radios.

Mentioned above was the fact that I had to disassemble the VFO knob and dials on the TS-820S. The fact is, the radio took at hit in shipping and pushed the VFO knob into the dials upsetting the delicate spacing. Disassembly of three levels of dials and adjusting the positioning of each was necessary to get the VFO to spin freely without binding.

Did the shipper (FedEx) treat the TS-830S any better? No. This seller had the most elaborate packing of the three Hybrids purchased. The box arrived with a large puncture hole on the side. Upon inspection, the puncture hole went through the outside box, 6 inches of void filled with peanuts, the inner Kenwood box, and through one layer of 4 layers of bubble wrap. The radio was undamaged.


The conclusion is simple. Radio history is valuable. You can buy a piece of radio history for only a few hundred dollars. Best of all this piece of history can be fully functional and used every day. It’s not history that sits on your self; it”s not history to look at; its history to use. A Kenwood Hybrid is close to a modern radio and they are plentiful. For the price of a contemporary radio such as a Kenwood TS-2000 or an ICOM 7000 ($1500) you can buy 5 older radios. Or, put differently, a Hybrid is 1/5 the price. Any way you slice it, Kenwood Hybrids are a great deal for the price and a piece of ham radio history. And when you want to sell them off – if ever – you have a ready market on eBay of willing buyers.

Resources  (Vintage Kenwood repair, schematics, parts, and an overall great site for Kenwood Hybrid information)

Click on any of the thumbnails below to see hi-resolution images of these radios.

The family of 6146 Tubes


Written by frrl

August 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm

48 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. First off I would like to say great blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your
    thoughts prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Cheers!

    Find Your Twin Flame?

    March 23, 2017 at 12:45 am

  2. I’ve got the Hybrid bug BAD also. I own 7 and have just purchased the last part, TL 922, to complete my FULLY COMPLETE TS 520S station. Some of my gear can be seen on QRZ.COM



    December 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

  3. I have 2 twins that I would like to find homes for, one a set of Kenwood twins and a set of trio Twins. I got them from a lady whose husband had passed and need to get rid of them. If you know anyone who would like to make an offer please contact KC3EH, Melvin Bennett or call 570 279 1021

    Melvin Bennett

    March 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

  4. Najdete tady sexy partnery z Prahy, kteří touží po tom, splnit všechna
    ѵaše prání – pokud jim tօ dovolítе. Zaregistrujte
    se, vyzkoušejte našі službu a rozhodněte se, zda jsou tito singles
    z Brna neco pro vás. Již dálе nečekejte, žhavé schůzky
    se sexy partnery jsou na dosah ruky.

  5. Hi exceptional blog! Does running a blog such as this require a great deal of work?
    I’ve no knowledge of coding however I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near
    future. Anyhow, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog
    owners please share. I know this is off subject but I simply wanted
    to ask. Thank you!

    vanity number

    September 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm

  6. Hi there to every body, it’s my first go to see of this website; this blog contains amazing and really excellent stuff designed for visitors.


    July 20, 2014 at 4:26 am

  7. Its not my first time to go to see this site, i
    am browsing this web page dailly and obtain good information from here daily.

    July 14, 2014 at 6:49 am

  8. Hi, tu simply wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post transport medyczny.
    It was practical link. Continue posting!


    April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

  9. Wow, wonderful weblog layout! How long have you been running a blog for?
    you make blogging glance easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, let alone the content material!

    tv headphones

    January 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm

  10. The one downside of this though is that dark chocolate is quite bitter without the sugar content, and so one variation to this recipe if you do choose to go down this route is that you should also add
    in two tablespoons of a sugar free substitute into the main ingredients of the
    Sugar Free Chocolate Smoothie in order for it to taste good.
    Be careful not to burn out your blender by making your smoothie too thick.

    Smoothies are made of fresh fruit and veggies which are full of
    diverse vitamin and minerals.

  11. Neutral colors of senegence lipsense will go with the whole thing while
    a average color will craft your lips give the impression of being bigger.

    The Crusade message, “Wear It to End It,” is imprinted on the inside collar.
    if ordered before noon will be shipped on the same day to be available to you on same day
    or in a day or two depending on the distance.

    Senegence review

    January 2, 2014 at 3:47 am

  12. The Kenwood radios are very good. I have a TS 520 S that I have had since new. I got the remote VFO, the auxiliary speaker, and the accessory digital display. The digital display no longer works. If you know someone who can work on them I’d appreciate the info.

    When I lived in Alaska I was able – twice – to QSO with KC4AAA at the geographic south pole. Not bad for barefoot and a 3-element triband antenna.

    The auxiliary speaker makes the audio much more legible. Just about any 8 ohm speaker will work. The little speaker in the 520S is a good one but voices sound much better when you fill in the bass notes.


    December 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

  13. A nice tribute to a great series of radios of yesteryears. My shack is all Kenwood equipment both hybrid and somewhat more modern but the hybrids are the most fun to use like my TS 830. Hope to talk to ya all out there sometime. A great hobby that can be enjoyed without leaving the house. Cold and snowy today. Robert KD6TWC

    Robert Hadley

    December 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm

  14. I was thinking the same thing as you when you mentioned you could buy a piece of history and 5 for the price of a single new rig. I purchased all 5. The 520,520s,530,820,830. I have the MFJ 989 Tuner at $300 and an sb200 Heathkit amp. All purchased working off Ebay. and two G5RV’s. One 40 and one up to 80m. I have worked Italy, England, Argentina, and ALMOST got Hawaii the other night. My grand total IMVESTMENT including the licence is around $2400. I used Ebay’s Paypal service and took advantage of the 6 months no interest each time I’d buy a radio I would pay it off at 0 interest and then buy the next. At any rate I have my shack completed in short time and now can sit back and use whichever I choose. I’m about to take the general and put the SB200 to use very soon. Guess the way I look at it is you could stop going to the bars for one year and the $ saved buy an entire shack like I did. now I sit back sipping coffee in the morning before work and let the tubes glow. Very satisfying INVESTMENT hobby. And as mentioned I could easily get my $ back anytime just by puting all of it back on Ebay. The best thing?…getting those greast audio reports on hams running a single $5000 piece of equipment!


    October 17, 2013 at 4:19 am

  15. Just saw your page here and am very impressed! I bought my Uncle’s TS-820 with the digital display 4 months ago when he had to go into a nursing home, and I got my Tech license in June. In July I got my General license, and I’ve been having a great time with my 820 ever since! It took a little while to figure out the tuning process, but now it’s second nature, and with just regular wire antennas I’m working all over Europe and the US. Looking forward to many more contacts!

    Barry B

    September 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm

  16. I comment each time I especially enjoy a post on a blog or I have
    something to contribute to the conversation. It is a result of the passion communicated in the article I read.
    And after this article Blast from the past – Our Kenwood Hybrid Collection | http:
    // I was moved enough to create a commenta response :
    -) I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or does it look like like a few of the responses look as if they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other places, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you make a list every one of all your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  17. Geat site! I’m also a TS-820S owner. Purchased it last year, complete with VFO-820, AT-200, SP-820, SM-220 and TV-506. I’ve completely refurbished the 820 with all new caps etc. as per Ken, K4EAA site. A very long and tedious process to do it right, but worth it in the end. Thought about buying an 830 but decided to look for the R-820 instead to complete the setup. Fantastic radio, just a joy to use and prefer it over the newer menu driven radios.

    73… Nick VE3EIB


    March 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm

  18. Can you elaborate or direct me to details on dismantling the mechanical ring of the inner KHz dial on the TS-820S?

    I have the Service and Operators manuals and neither have much detail. Basic main knob and VFO removal, but very little on the specific gearing or mechanics/alignment of inner “fine” dial. Nothing found on line or in Yahoo Groups.

    I am not sure if a small framed picture, falling off the wall, hit the dial knob/shaft, or if my problem had just gone unnoticed, but the VFO/ main dial is getting jammed at the point in rotation where the “hundreds” unit- that changes in the the square window- seems to be having alignment problems. That “hundreds” digit also seems to skip a digit or be out of sequence. The “slip- Clutch” adjustment dial also does not feel correct. (NB: The dial shaft does not appear to be bent from a possible “whack” from a falling picture frame, but it did likely hit the radio “somewhere” )

    Using the dial alignment slip clutch ring does not bring it in to proper alignment. I seems to hit a point where the whole mechanism “skips” or advances the complete number assembly (i.e behind the dial and responsible for the “hundreds” digit-in the square window”)

    I see in the manual’s one exploded shaft diagram, that it looks like a Swiss watch, with many washers, bushing, spacers and springs. I have excellent mechanical aptitude but fear a small uncontrolled explosion…from me when I discover it’s worse after reassembly!

    Any detail or links would be appreciated!

    TNX es 73

    J white

    June 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  19. Very informative site. Thank you so much for sharing. I just got a mint TS-830S Gold Edition. But there is a cracked original VFO tuning knob. It is about to split. The rest of the radio is like new condition. Works perfectly. By the way. Does anybody have a spare tuning knob for this radio? I would be very thankful. I know there are a lot of proud owners of KB-1 knobs out there. Where are all the original knobs nowadays? Please contact me if possible. My deepest appreciation, apologies and thankfulness to the site owner for allowing me to post my comments and feelings over hybrid Kenwoods here. I can assure this is going for a good Kenwood collector’s cause. I now have a mint TS-820, new in box TS-530SP, mint SM-220, mint in box AT-230 and the 830S G.E., that is suffering from the knob defect. Believe it or not I use white cotton gloves when using my hybrids to avoid brightening the paint or leaving grease and dirt from the skin. They even smell like new. I enjoy letting others know what am I using when I get unsolicited compliments from my signal. I once used the TS-530SP while rag chewing with two other friends, one was using a Yaesu FT-DX 5000 and the other one an Icom IC-7600, suddenly a third party joined the conversation and without knowing what my friends were using he told me I had the best sounding signal. And I was the only one using a cheap but finely tuned 20m inverted V dipole! My friends use kilowatt level RF power and directional beams. This person was really surprised to find out about it. Geographically speaking he was in an imaginary center of a triangle among us. So, fair comparison, not a scientific one but from someone with a good ear for nice clean signals. I wouldn’t change my hybrids for anything. Some friends of mine ask me why I keep investing in old radios instead of buying a new one. Well, they are just as new as when they left the factory. I replied. And there is a vintage feeling of using them, just like driving a vintage car for the weekend and getting the pleasure of the wooden steering wheel and the smell of antique leather interiors. Chrome and solid construction is equivalent to the sturdy all metal chassis and dependable electronics of the hybrids. Besides, it is easier to tune up a naturally aspirated engine with a carburator vs a computer controlled, fuel injected engine with no possibility of knowing what is under the hood without a computer assisting in the diagnosis of the problems. With the hybrids, a burnt resistor smells and show up. You do not need fancy diagnostic equipment or the latest tools for working around surface mounted components. These radios are fantastic! Period! Again my most sincere best wishes for the site owner and all of you “boat anchor” lovers.

    73 de XE1XUS
    Edgardo Molina

    Edgardo Molina

    September 3, 2011 at 5:52 am




    August 14, 2010 at 2:04 am

  21. Just bought a ts-820, what a nice rig. The seller offered me a 520 for $150 or the 820s for $200. He had resoldered to fix the 9 problem, and sold me a MC-50 mike to go with it and a 5bvt antenna for another $100 so I am in the total rig for $300


    July 14, 2010 at 7:34 am

    • Sounds like you got a good deal. If you have a ongoing display problem the K4EAA guy fixes them for a fixed price – since it’s such a common problem with these radios. (see site link below)

      I would have picked up the 520 for $150 as well – if was in good working condition. Those will go for $200-$250 on ebay or more.

      Nothing like operating HF with a 45 pound radio and no CPU and other computer nonsense in there 🙂


      July 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

  22. I own an absolute mint TS-530s that I picked up on a trip to the US. What an amazing feel. Silky smooth.

    Now I am in the process of restoring my old TS-820S. I have got the receiver aligned and works great.

    I am very fortunate to have at least a couple more hybrids, this time Yaesu twins, the highly respected FT-101ZD and the analog display version 101Z. Fantastic receiver and great transmit audio with built in RF speech processor.

    You have a great site. Very informative. Congrats.



    May 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

  23. Just found your website while trying to track down
    a problem with my TS-820S. Its nice to see I’m not
    the only one that appreciate these radios! Fell
    in love with the TS-520 when they first came out
    and have recently started collecting and restoring
    the hybrid Kenwood radios. The only one I’m missing
    is the TS-530S. Thnaks for taking the time to
    put up your website!

    Steve W6SSP

    April 4, 2010 at 2:02 am

    • If you need help with any of your bybrids check out the forum in yahoo groups.

      There is a guy in there named “Walt” who knows just about everything. Also, that group has retired Kenwood engineers what repaired those radion.

      The folks in that group helped me out a lot. You are in good hands at

      BTW – One of the biggest problems with the 820 is the digital display acting erratic or going out. In that group there is a least one person who is repairng those displays for a fixed price. You send him your broken one and he will send you a working one in exchange for yours plus a fee.


      April 4, 2010 at 7:20 am

  24. I got my TS-520SE last week from Denmark. A very nice radio that looks like new. It was purchased new sep. 29 1980.. I also own a TS-515, a TS-900S, a pair of 599 Twins and a R-1000 receiver. My website is only in norwegian I’m afraid but you will find some pictures of my equipment there…


    March 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    • Good Day,

      You are one of the few persons that I have found who has a Kenwood/Trio TS-900s. Do you have a service or operating manual for this radio that is not printed in Japanese. I operate a TS-900 and the Trio TS-900S. The 900S was never imported into the US, and manuals do not seem to exist on the internet for the Trio model.

      I would appreciate any information.


      Russell Nilson

      Russell Nilson

      December 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      • I’m so sorry, but I don’t have the hard to find TS-900S manuals. I’m looking for one myself…


        April 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      • Got an english TS900 service manual here – grew up on a TS510, now got one for semi-restoration (probably going to convert to recv only, already got the 930s & 120v/TL120 so plenty of TXs!!). The rig is long gone, but open to offers on the manual. 73s Max de ZL2BEN

        Max Fretter

        July 15, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      • Max, is this manual for the TS-900 only or is it for the TS-900S? There is a big difference in the PA. The 900 use a pair of 6LQ6’s and the 900S use a single 4X150A..


        October 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  25. Many thanks for the page. I enjoyed reading it all. It was with great regret that I sold my TS530s when I moved QTH 10 years ago. I sorely miss it now, even though I have a very simple ICOM 718, it cannot beat the 530s especially for CW when the kenwood had the filter fitted.


    March 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

  26. Looking for a TS820S flip lever for the tune switch,,,any Ideas. by the way nice website

    Thomas dies

    February 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    • My solution was to buy a few of these radios. You can usually find a “tech special” or a donor hybrid radio on ebay for $100 – $200. A donor radio can give you about every hard-to-find part you will ever need.

      Or, try this guy for parts – – nice web site with lots of info on Hybrids


      March 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  27. I am getting my Kenwood TS 520SE in Friday!!! Many thanks for all info at this website. I am looking now for DG-5 frequency counter and then the rest 🙂


    February 15, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    • Well, congrat. If you want to share your experiences with the TS-520SE with others – you can post here. Or, if you have a larger article or want to post pictures of your radio, let me know, and I will put them up for you on this site – if you don’t have a site of your own.


      February 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

  28. For your info, the TS-520 was not the first hybrid radio from Trio/Kenwood. The TS-500, TS-510, TS-511, TS-515 came out before the TS-520. Nice radios anyway…!


    February 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  29. Hello, please, I wont to say the difference from Kenwood TS 520 and model 520S.Tank you, my best whishes, Marcello ORVIETO Italy


    January 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    • the 520s had 160 meters and thw ts 520 didnt and that was about the only difference. hope this helps. and 73’s


      March 5, 2012 at 2:43 am

      • The 520 has a 12V DC converter on the back as standard.
        The 520S did not have this as a standard but pretty sure you could add it as an option.


        March 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm

  30. this is great web page. All I can say is that my TS-820S is GREAT radio. I did not have a possibility to work on 520s but I believe it’s similar great experience. I never had the radio with such great selectivity. I can hear weak stations near by strong kw stations. The best thing is that I have bought this rig by accident:))
    Best regards – Adam sq8jii


    October 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    • Glad you like the page. I got into ham radio after the tube era – so I went back to discover the past.

      For HF, I would rather use my Kenwood Hybrids than any of my modern radios ( ICOM 706 MKIIG, FT-847, Kenwood TS-950, etc)

      Keep ’em glowing. The inside of the TS-520S is nothing short of a work of art – transistors in sockets – who would have thought.


      October 5, 2009 at 12:24 am

  31. I’ve got two 830S’s and had a 820S which I sold. I love the TS-830S and find it has become my favorite rig to operate. No DSP ( not really needed ,cuz the radio’s reciever is so capable ) no SPLIT feature. Just a solid, big knobbed radio, with great listening audio and great transmit capability. I use both the MC-50 and a Electro-Voice 630 on my two. Keep the microphone level set so that the ALC bounces up on initial peaks but then drops back to O and you’ll get good audio reports . BACK OFF ON MIC GAIN WITH ANY MIC AND ANY RIG!!

    A Silky smooth LARGE VFO and an accurate and useful combo meter. The radio is built like a tank and is superb in construction. Always replace the inexpensive driver tube on a used rig. I’d also replace the high voltage caps with kits sold by Ken Kenski ( do a Google search for ” KENWOOD HYBRIDS “. Clean the antenna relay and the transmit relay ( carefully!) These rigs are 30 years old and just need a little love to bring them up to snuff.


    June 7, 2009 at 5:18 am

    • What I like about these radios is that they are simple and to the point – and you can work on them.

      I like my TS-520S the best. The engineering inside is a work of art. Tansistors in sockets – imagine that. Everything very nicely laid out.

      All very well made – as you observe.


      June 8, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      • Now I’m gonna cry! I wish like anything I still had my TS-520SE. WHAT A RADIO! Not a super receiver, but a bomb-proof rig. I would trade my 756 Pro for a new 520SE!!


        June 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm

  32. thanks for show your web page, I think that they are an very beautiful ham radios.



    June 3, 2009 at 5:38 am

Leave a Reply to MARCELLO Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: