An Advert from 'Practical Wireless', December, 1981
In 1981, you could buy the TS-830s for 694.83 GB Pounds. At that time my weekly wage was about 68 Pounds a week, so in 'Todays Money' the transceiver would cost over 3,000 Pounds (4,500 US Dollars) !!! Today you can buy one of these highly sought after transceivers for 250 - 300 Pounds (A weeks wages!). In the early 1980s, I couldn't afford such an expensive transceiver. (Please see the web page devoted to present station equipment).... Click HERE When I had bought the complete station, it cost less than 1,000 GB Pounds (1,500 US Dollars), and it still outperforms the majority of new transceivers on the market today !!
PURE GOLD !!!
Kenwood TS-830S 'Gold Label' Transceiver
A variant of the TS-830S is the "Gold" version. These units were introduced in late production and sold at a higher price since they included both optional CW filters but were otherwise identical to the "non-Gold" model. Sadly, many "Gold" units have had the CW filters removed and sold separately, so that the gold medallion alone is not sufficient to determine if they are still present. Alhough these Kenwood TS-830S transceivers are now (in 2014) almost 35 years old, they out-perform most of the Transceivers currently on sale, with a really nice transmitted Audio sound, that can only be made with Valves (Tubes), and a sensitive receive with a low noise floor with Pass Band Tuning, continuously Variable IF Shift and Notch Filter. The audio out is also of the best quality. The leading UK private repair shop owner, rates the TS-830, as the best transceiver ever made. .... What a compliment for these venerable old ladies !!!
Those amateurs who are privileged to have one of these transceivers, don't own them - they are the custodians and carers of them, for the next 30 years of their lives, and it is their duty to the Amateur Radio Hobby to lavish them with Tender Loving Care for future generations of Radio Amateurs to keep and appreciate what a fantastic radio these are.
Surprisingly, these Transceivers in spite of their 17 Kg Weight, have a carrying handle on the side... I can assure you, if that is for carrying one, you won't get very far. I am reliably informed that as these radio's are 'Keepers' for most people who have them, and they intend to keep them until they die..... The handle on the case is so that they can be carried through the pearly gates into heaven.
My Kenwood TS-830S 'Gold Label Transceiver
Kenwood TS-830S Features
Excellent Transmit Audio–The Kenwood TS-830S is unique, in that it sounds so good on the air, that it is the only radio I have ever owned which gets unsolicited compliments regarding how good the audio sounds. I matched the radio with the matching MC-50 microphone, and that combination really does sound good. Because the radio has two SSB IF filters, Kenwood has included the facilities for RF speech processing, which can be used to significantly increase the average power level on transmit, without making the signal any wider. Used judiciously, the RF speech processing can make the difference between getting through and not being heard during difficult conditions. The transmitted signal is also very clean, with low 3rd and 5th order IMD products, in part because Kenwood have included negative feedback in the RF amplifiers. All in all, the transmitted signals from the TS-830S are top-notch.
Excellent SSB Receive – The Kenwood TS-830S has better sounding receive audio than the majority of ham radio receivers I have heard. I do not know why this is so, but the audio is very listenable, and makes the human voice sound quite real. Furthermore, the SSB receive bandwidth could be easily narrowed and tailored to band conditions by use of the VBT (Variable Bandwidth Tuning) and shift controls, essentially allowing a continuously variable bandwidth and arbitrary carrier offset, which allows the operator to more easily reject adjacent-channel interference. With the added International Radio filters, the skirts are very narrow, with a high enough ultimate rejection to make the band seem quieter than it is. For being designed in the mid-1970s, the Kenwood TS-830S is a remarkable piece of engineering, and one which is hard to beat even today.
Excellent CW Receive – The Kenwood TS-830S, when equipped with both 1st and 2nd IF 400 Hz filters from International Radio, works wonderfully for CW receive. The filter combination, when adjusted with the VBT and Shift controls, provides a continuously adjustable receive bandwidth from a nominal 400 Hz maximum down to less that 50 Hz. For selecting a single signal out of a crowded band, this is just about optimal. Furthermore, the feature is easy to use, involving mostly just the turning of the VBT knob. Even at the narrowest bandwidths, there is little “ringing” to deal with. All of this is achieved without any Digital Signal Processing (DSP). The CW receive facilities are as good as or better than any other ham radio receiver .
Understandable Controls – The design of the front panel of the Kenwood TS-830S is intuitive to use. For those of us who have used any of the other hybrid (solid-state except for valved driver final amplifier) transceivers, no manual is required to use it. Everything is clearly marked with labels which make sense.
Hybrid radio with Valved Driver and Finals – This was Kenwood's last transceiver to be of the Hybrid type. It was all sold state, with the exception of the 12BY7 driver and two 6146B final amplifier valves. This design saved the buyer some money at the time, because in the 1970s the solid state amplifiers in the 100 watt output category, combined with the large 12-volt power supplies, cost more than the vacuum tube designs. Furthermore, the design which Kenwood chose was a very mature one, and produced very clean output signals. The disadvantages of the vacuum tubes were primarliy that they required a substantial amount of filament power all the time, and that the high voltages required guaranteed that it would not be possible to power the valves directly from a battery. Kenwood chose to make the TS-830S work only with AC mains power (unlike the older TS-520 which had an inverter built in to provide the ability to power it from 12 Volt batteries). For a base station, this is no problem.
Built-In AC Power Supply – Some radios which require an external power supply in order to operate from AC mains, and most Ops have preferred to have a built-in power supply for base station equipment. It reduces the number of cables running around, and it reduces the number of things which can be forgotten when taking the station portable. The Kenwood TS-830S has a built in power supply for running from AC mains, and can be set up to operate from any 50-60 Hz source of from 100-250 VAC.
Extremely Well Built –The Kenwood TS-830S has a very well fitted steel case, with a die cast front panel. It is ruggedly built and well suited to portable operation, or transport. It even has a stout carrying handle on one side to make it easier to carry. All of the knobs are made from appropriate materials, and are both well shaped for their use, and also tough enough to not show marks after extensive use.
Amateur Radio Bands Only – The Kenwood TS-830S can only operate on ham bands, and has no provision for general reception or transmission. Furthermore, it is not particularly easy to make it work on any band not already designed into the radio. This allowed Kenwood to optimize some signal characteristics without adding to the costs. On the other hand, this implies that if there are more ham bands made available, or if the operator needs to use it for some other purpose (as the IF for a transverter arrangement, for instance) it will not necessarily be easy to do so. It works very well on all of the current HF ham bands, with the exception of the new 5 MHz allocations, for which it cannot be used at all.
Accessories for a Real System – Kenwood designed to TS-830S to be part of a series of very well matched accessories, which can be used as the basis of a very functional and good-looking base station system. A VFO-230 remote VFO, and an SP-230 external speaker with built-in audio filters. The VFO-230 allowed split-frequency operation, where the receiver and transmitter are operating on different frequencies within a ham band, such as would be required for some DX situations. All of the accessories work together properly, and everything looks and feel like it was an integral part of the system. The entire system is well-thought-out, and well executed.
The Kenwood TS-830S is one of the finest pieces of ham radio equipment ever built, and deserves a special place in the hall of fame of great golden oldies. Thirty-five years after its design, it can still hold its own against much more modern and much more expensive radios. Three cheers!
An Essential Addition to the Kenwood TS-830 The DFC-230 External Digital VFO
This external unit simply plugs into the 8-Pin DIN VFO socket on the rear of the TS-830 and then provides superb frequency stability and fine tuning, which enables the transceiver to be used on modern digital modes, which require drift-free frequency control
The DFC-230 External VFO
Advertisement in the QST Magazine, March, 1981
The Internal 'works' of the Kenwood TS-830S
(Built Like a Brick Sh**house and twice as heavy !!)
Review of the TS-830S in ' 73' Magazine ~ May, 1981
The Kenwood Hybrid Range. The Kenwood / Trio 520S
In 1976 this radio was the first Transceiver to become a Hybrid, or 'Bridge' model, with transistors and ICs all the way to the 12BY7 Driver Valve and then the two 6146B PA Valves - It became the 'bottom of the range' transceiver, but like its later incarnations the TS 530S (with Digital Read Out), the TS 820 and the last Hybrid, the TS-830S, they are all today still highly regarded on Rx and Tx Audio, as well as receiver sensitivity - and now almost 40 years old !!
They don't make them like that any more !!! _________________________________________________
Review of the TS-530S in the QST Magazine, March 1982
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Review of the TS-830S by W8BTH 2012 Click HERE ----------------------------------------------------------- Kenwood Hybrid Restoration - Info on ALL Models Click HERE ----------------------------------------------------------- TS-830S Circuit Improvements and Maintenance Click HERE ------------------------------------------------------ TS-830S Survival Guide and other good information ClickHERE ------------------------------------------------------------ Kenwood Manuals - All Models Click HERE ------------------------------------------------------------ To return to the top of the page, and the navigation Menu, please click the Button below......