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One of the best ways for the technically-inclined individual to save money is to buy old things that were good when they were new. For ham radio operators, the Kenwood TS-930S transceiver is no exception. I own two of them.
Blame it on Goose, W8AV. On the way to a Mad River Radio Club K8MR/K8AZ “Christmas Party” (really a late New Years’ party) I told him I was thinking of buying an FT-1000MP or an Omni VI. He dissuaded me, suggesting the TS-930S. Later, I operated CQ WW CW from his station and learned first-hand what a great radio it was. He owns at least six of them.
The following Spring, I had the good fortune to find a well-appointed one nearby my (then girlfriend’s) wife’s parents’ place in southwest Ohio. I bought it for what the seller asked, $650, which sounds like a lot for the radio. But, it came with the MC-60 desk microphone (sold it for $50) and I didn’t pay shipping. Plus, it came with four IF filters and the PIEXX digital board upgrade. And, it has a 5-million serial number, which meant that many modifications had been made to fragile portions of the circuitry. The radio was a veteran of thousands of air and sea miles, not to mention QSOs, as the DXpedition radio of K8RF. Coming to K8GU is like going to the retirement village after that kind of life.
The first thing I did when I got the radio home was install the W6NL power supply modifications. These affect the various control voltages and not the main transmitter power supply. If you have not read this excellent document, do that before reading my discussions.
The radio performed flawlessly for a few years until I tried to match a really bad antenna with the internal tuner and the transmitter drivers popped. Along with the drivers went the power supply. And, thus my journey to keep TS-930′s alive began…
My notes on replacing the TS-930S PA drivers (MRF-485) with NTE-236.
My early notes on repairing the TS-930S power supply.
TS-930S PA/PS Postscript: A follow-up to the next post down.
TS-930S Repair Notes: Power supply and power amplifier.