Entries from October 2011 ↓

Kenwood TS-120

This is a very old, very basic, and very reliable transceiver. All solid state covers 80, 40, 20, 15, 10 meters. Ham band only transmit and receive. Does SSB and CW. 100 watts output. No QSK on CW. Marginal sidetone but the internal sidetone of a keyer takes care of that It does have VOX and it needs an antenna/feedline of less that 2:1 SWR. It does not have an antenna tuner.

I have had three problems with it. The digital display would sometimes go blank. You can simulate this by pushing in the ‘FIX’ push button. If you do this and don’t have any crystals installed in the crystal option, you will lose the signal to the counter and end up with a blank display. In my case I could make the display come back by thumping the rig. Thumping is done by raising the rig up off its front feet, about two inches and letting fall.

After cleaning and treating the connectors and cables with DeOxit the problem disappearwed.

The second problem was burned out pilot lights. I replaced them with high intensity white LEDs.

The third problem was hum in the transmit audio. Decoupling caps and ferrite beads on the mic cable solved that problem.

A clean, working TS-120 AND power supply is worth about $150. If you can find one at that price buy it. It makes a good backup rig. It also works better with an antenna tuner.

I use mine with a multiband antenna on 80, 40, and 20. Mainly on SSB and use it to monitor those bands while working PSK31 with the TS-850 on 20, 17, 15, 12, and 10 meters.