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21 June 2008

Amateur radio transceivers

Kenwood has offered distinct lines of HF, VHF/UHF, and portable amateur radio models.
Among the product lines, the "TS" series of HF transceivers can be said to be among Kenwood's flagship products. These radios cover the HF ("high frequency") bands, from 1.8 to 30 MHz, and can easily let the user communicate around the world, via voice, CW (Morse), PSK31 or RTTY (digital modes of communication), with output power of around 50-100 Watts. These included:
TS-800 series -- From the late 1970s, the TS-820 was one of the first Kenwood transceivers to gain widespread acceptance in the Amateur Radio community. The original model included a single VFO (variable frequency oscillator), although a second VFO could be purchased as a stand-alone option; a matching receiver, the R-820, was also available, which permitted split frequency operation. A digital display was another option, available to be retrofit to the original device. With the digital display installed, a TS-820 could be named a "TS-820S": all future Kenwood HF transceivers have used the "S" designation to signify presence of a digital display, though the feature has long since become standard equipment.
TS-900 series -- From the mid-1980s, the TS-930S and, to a greater extent, the TS-940S represented a step-up in features, size, and cost from the 800-series models. Introduced around 1986, the TS-940S was considered a classic of its time which was later succeeded by the TS-950. It was Kenwood's first model to permit the HF transceiver to be fully controlled by a personal computer (via RS-232 cable and an aftermarket interface, the IF-232). In later years, this became standard equipment on almost all serious HF radios, and some radios would drop the human interface features entirely, being controlled entirely by a remote computer.
TS-400 series -- with models including the TS-430S, TS-440S, TS-450 and TS-480, these units featured a smaller size, were operated on 12 Volts -- meaning batteries could be used -- and were suitable for use as a portable base station, such as during Amateur Radio Field Day.
TS-600 series -- These models were mainly identical to their 400 series counterparts but offered the 6 Meters band as an addition. For example the TS-450S and the TS-690S have the same exterior and mostly the same specifications on the 1.8-30 MHz HF bands, but adding the 6 Meters band.
Other series include the 100, 500, and the new 2000 series. The TS-2000 is Kenwood's current top of the line model. It includes all-mode operation on HF, 6 meters, 2 meters, 70 centimeters (420 - 450 MHz), and in the "X" model the 23 centimeters band (1.24 - 1.30 GHz). Kenwood also offers a "B" model which is a transceiver without display or controls and is completely controlled by a remote computer or a separate control unit. This allows using it as a mobile transceiver where the main unit is placed in the trunk or an area that provides enough room to house it, possibly closer to the antenna, and have a control unit in the front of the car. A setup like this allows the control unit to be placed closer to the driver and the transceiver closer to the antenna which shortens the cable, reducing possible interference.