View Full Version : Kenwood TS 50

06-19-2003, 04:28 PM
I have an old TS520 which works great. However, I like the portability [size] of a TS50 and would solicit opinions from TS50 owners as to how well they function.



06-19-2003, 05:47 PM
I have a TS-50 and it works well for a small rig. I had one major problem with the rig acting intermittently at first, until it finally quit transmitting altogether. There was a small choke in the finals section that fell out - had never been soldered in place. It was under warranty, so I sent it back, Kenwood replaced the choke and finals at no charge and it has worked well ever since.

As far as comparisons, it is not meant to replace a full sized rig. My IC-735 and TS-850SAT are better, but they are also much larger. I also have an FT-100D that I prefer, since it is slightly smaller and comes standard with a builtin keyer and narrow CW filter, audio DSP and covers 6m, 2m and 70cm. The TS-50 is, as are most rigs, essentially unusable for serious CW without the additional narrow filter.

I find the RX on the TS-50 is slightly better under high QRN conditions than the FT-100D and is somewhat better for listening to SWBC. On the air reports tell me the FT-100D has a little more punch in the audio on SSB, but I've never had a complaint about the TS-50's audio. I find the lack of an intermediate tuning step on the front panel to be annoying. You either jump band to band or 1 MHz with the UP/DOWN buttons or use the tuning knob, which is somewhat tedious when you want to go from, say the CW to SSB frequencies on 15 or 75/80 meters.

If I were buying new, I'd put my money on one of the more modern small rigs, like the FT-100D or Icom's equivalent. But the TS-50 has been around for quite a while, is proven and certainly is a viable small rig if the price is right.


06-22-2003, 08:40 AM
TS 50 Great little rig,I have had no problems at all with mine.

06-29-2003, 04:43 AM
I'd have to recommend the TS-50 in general, but there IS a few things you should consider. It's a compact mobile HF rig and there's a lot of other nice radios in it's class and for a few more bucks you could get a lot more features. The obvious example is the Icom 706MkIIG. It has 6 meters with a full 100 watts, 2 meters and 440, it operates all modes on all bands, and has DSP which is nice to use everywhere. The icom has a bandscope, and these days a 706 can be found for a little more than 700 with the remote kit. This includes a mounting bracket for the radio, one for the face, and a 13-foor cable for connecting the two. The microphone, although it's an rj-45 connector :-( can be connected to either the radio or the control face. As for the TS-50, the menu systems gives you a lot of control, it's a nice durable reliable radio. It has an amplifier relay plug and has receive audio that is pleasing to the ear. I think the ts-50 has been on the market for almost ten years now and that's for good reason. Both radios have feet and the 706 has a prop bar for base operation.

08-02-2003, 04:31 AM
I had TS-50 in last 5 yaers and I had so good result. (Confirmed 290 countries.) Go get that. Best miniature radio for DX.

08-24-2003, 04:12 PM
I have a TS 50 that I have used with good results for the past 6 or 7 years. I have had some problems that required sending the rig in for repair. The rig is now on the shelf and I am using an Icom 706 MK II G which beats the TS50 hands down for not a lot more money. I have been a staunch Kenwood fan for years but their support Stateside is currently in the toilet. Parts are being handled by an independent distributor and they haven't a clue as to what they are doing. It took me three tries to get a simple flat cable for the TS 50 even though I had all the correct part numbers and nomenclature. I might also add the 706 is smaller and has a detachable head remotable head. Icom also has stateside support out of Bellevue, WA.

73 Bob W4NIM

08-10-2004, 09:57 PM
I am in the market for a TS-50 and am currently comparing the smaller mobile rigs. #But here's my question, Why are so many IC-706's being sold and the majority of them have either 2 Meter or 6 Meter portions out? #I like the simplicity of the Kenwood TS-50 Really don't need all the bells and whistles of the 706. Also in my opion it's still buyer beware on any Yaesu product. #I sent in a FT2400 Yaesu for repair and they said it wsa beyond repair. #All it needed was the display bulbs replaced and they said the control head was bad from being dropped. #I owned that radio for 10 years and it never was off my bench until it went to the service center. #I suspect it was dropped in thier shop and they don't want to own up to it. #Then they immediately tried to sell me an FT8100. #Which I didn't want. #Needless to say I'll never own another yaesu product. #I'd own an Alinco first. 73's Jeff AL7QQ

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