Kenwood Refurb Project

My first HF rig: a Kenwood TS-530S which came to me through a club connection.  This is a 160M-10M HF Transceiver of hybrid design – that is, mostly transistor circuits but also with a few tubes, namely one 12BY7 driver stage tube and two 6146B beam power tubes for the final RF amplification stage.

While testing this with some club veterans we got signal reports of scratchy, buzzy audio.  The usual cause for this type of audio noise is bad filter caps  Since this rig is of older vintage,  my Elmers recommended replacing the final stage electrolytic filter capacitors anyway – good advice for any old rig!


This is a look at what was involved.  Actually,  just little bit of soldering after I removed the caps from the holder clamps on the other (top) side of the main chassis. The new caps were the same diameter but half the height, reflecting the advances made in components in the past 20-30 years.

I got a replacement kit on eBay from VE3PVS, Peter Rogers.   He was great to deal with and has complete recap kits for various Kenwood models, which come with complete instructions and include new replacement bleed resistors and disk caps to replace the ones shown in the photo above.

You can also get a filter recap kit from Ken, K4EAA.  He has a large supply of hard to find Kenwood hybrid parts.  Visit his excellent Kenwood site which features a comprehensive FAQ at

I’m getting excellent signal reports now and will complete recapping with the rest of the boards, one at a time as Peter suggests.


2 thoughts on “Kenwood Refurb Project

  1. Chuck, I had a TS-830 Hybrid that I gave to my son. It had a lot of corrosion from storing it in the basement for about five years. My questions is what major difference was there between the 530 and the 830. I really like the rig. It still worked when I gave it away though it drifted slightly until warmed up for an hour.

    Ron / N1JXQ

    • The 830S spec sheet shows 220W nominal SSB output, a bit over twice that advertised for the 530S. The front panels and features are essentially the same. One spec sheet online says the 830S has only two 6146s – the same as the 530S – which if true would have required pushing those two tubes way past ICAS per tube limits of 61 watts PEP for continuous Class AB1 SSB. So to me it’s doubtful there were only two 6146s inside. Look at some of the other links I have posted to see if you can chase this down, Ron. tnx for posting!

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