After I got the HQ-110 going, I did some decluttering on my shack and workbench. In the process of using a couple of coax switches to get various rigs and antennas easily selectable, I fired up my TS-520. I hadn’t had it on in several months, and I checked it out.

I bought it new in 1975 at the Hamburg Hamfest from Amateur Electronic Supply. I had sold my HW-101 earlier that morning in the flea market. Unfortunately they didn’t have any left at the hamfest, so it had to be shipped. Not sure why, but I was home the day it arrived by UPS. I still remember the anticipation of the UPS truck to arrive.

It was my main rig for 21.5 years, until I purchased a Yaesu FT-920 in 1997. It got some steady use for a couple years, then very sporadic or little use until it was replaced. I never sold it, as I have always had regret selling equipment, which is why I keep my rigs a long time.

It was not a high-end radio, pretty much a basic, just above entry level. It has zero QRM reduction features. That came with the TS-820 a year or two later. But it was reliable. It is all sold state except for the transmitter driver and finals, which are a 12BY7 and two 6146s.

I bought a matching external speaker for it, probably shortly after. I also bought a used external VFO at a hamfest some years later, though it was a newer S-version, but works fine and matches. I always wanted the six and two meter transverters, but never got around to it, until the early 2000s, when I bought a used one locally. It was not as nice cosmetically, and found out after I got it home that it has some mods. I never have fully tested it out.

It is now 47 years old, and I’ve never taken any precautions when turning it on, which is probably not very bright, especially after my HQ-110 nearly melted down. But it still works fine as far as I can tell so far, but I might be pushing my luck.

So I’ve looked around a bit online, and there are a couple places offering various repair kits, including ALL electrolytic capacitors. There are around 50 in the radio, and I think the kit is $48. I believe you can also buy just the high voltage ones in the power supply and transmitter section. Probably something I should seriously think about.

Now I have to think about where this fits in the project queue.

Kenwood TS-520
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