Services

Restoration and Repair Services

We specialize in bringing back original performance to the Kenwood Hybrid transceivers.  We do a complete go-through, which includes cleaning, lubrication, repairs, and alignment back to original specs. We can also do a complete recap, in which we change out all the electrolytic capacitors. We recommend this to greatly extend the life of these units, especially the ones that are already over 3o years old.

We provide this restoration at reasonable rates, and reasonable turn around times. We have a queue for repairs and will schedule your repair and then work on units in the order they arrive. Please do not send your unit without first contacting us. Please submit a request for service through email on our Queue For Service page first. Also if your radio is modified,  missing parts, hasn’t worked in years, or is a TS-820s, please see our guidelines on the What’s Acceptable For Repair page.

  At this point, September ’13,  we are going to have to quit working on the TS820S model.  Sorry to have to do this, but this unit just has too many problems, and has a tendency to not stay fixed.  It seems that most of the units that get sent to us have been sitting in a closet or basement for 10 or more years, and they just require too much time to bring up to spec.  The display unit is completely random, and cannot be fixed, and stay fixed with any sort of predictability.  Sorry about this. I hate to do it, as the 820 (along with the 530SP) is my favorite hybrid.

  We have now added a page that discusses everything we know, tricks and tips, that might help with this model if you work on it yourself.  Go here.

  If you have an 820S that has been in regular service and something goes wrong, or you want to have such a unit gone through and aligned, recapped, etc, contact us and we can discuss it.  I will not close the door completely on these, we just cannot continue with the way it’s been.  When we get behind, it usually is because of one or two 820S models that will not cooperate.

Service Guarantee: All of our work is guaranteed for 90 days after you’ve received it. This guarantee is extended to 6 mos. if your unit is serviced with both the Basic Repair/Restore and the Complete Recap. For more information on our guarantee please read our Service Guidelines.

Basic Repair and Restore
This entails a thorough cleaning, repair, and alignment.  Unless your unit has been modified or has some fatal failure, such as a PC board burned up, or other serious meltdown,  we will repair it using parts from our parts page, at listed prices. We do a complete alignment of the RF and IF sections, centering of functions such as VBT, If shift, slope tuning, SSB passband, and so on.  All audio functions such as ALC and speech processing are calibrated and brought back on spec.  We thoroughly clean and lubricate all critical electromechanical parts in the unit, such as, variable capacitors, switches, pots, etc.  Parts such as screen grid resistors, crucial tank circuit parts, and power supply caps, are some of the most often replaced parts. Go here to see a description of the steps we go through when working on a Hybrid.
$350

 

Complete Recap
These Hybrids are mostly 25-35 (the earliest ones are now 40) years old, depending on the model, and the original electrolytic caps are approaching the end of their useful life. Most hams do not realize that electrolytics are usually spec’d for 2000 hrs of use at rated temperature, or 15 years (in use or not), whichever comes first. Due to derating of temperature, that useful life is greatly extended, but the actual lifespan before failure rates rise precipitously is around 30 years or so. Capacitance value and ESR are significantly degraded by this point. Vintage electronic equipment failure or reduced performance is often due to electrolytic capacitors. Here’s a good explanation of this from Elna, the OEM for electrolytic caps in the Kenwoods.  For my own real world explanation go here.

Kenwood used quality capacitors, which is why these things are still going at 30 years. Such things as deteriorating audio quality, spurious oscillations, hums and noises, can all come from electrolytics that are no longer in spec. If you have this done in conjunction with the Basic Repair and Restore, we will extend our Service Guarantee to 1 year and charge you less for the recap, since we are already disassembling the radio. The difference in prices between models is because the 830S has 104 caps, and the 520S has 50.

  Model No. Labor Parts Total
Recap with Basic Repair and Restore 830S, 530S $175 $58.75 $233.75
  820, 820S $175 $48.25 $223.25
  520, 520S $175 $46.00 $221.00
         
Without Basic Repair and Restore: add   $75    

 

Detailing Cosmetics
We spend an extra couple hours doing everything we can to make your rig look like the day it was manufactured. If we can’t make your rig look like a million bucks, we will refund that part of your charge. You’d be surprised what a difference this can make. We touch up scratches, micro clean all the knobs, and polish the plastic dial and meter.
$49

 

Submit a request for service through email on our Queue For Service page.

 

Service Guidelines

We require customer to pay full shipping and insurance in both directions. We do not charge a handling charge.

Most repairs go through without problems. If we have unanticipated, difficult problems that might require extra labor and/or expensive parts, we will contact you and give you an estimate. At this point you can decline the repairs if you so choose, and all you will be charged is our one hour checkout fee of $45.

Radios that have been unprofessionally repaired before us, or hacked up, or modified, may be rejected for repair. We just can’t afford to work on gear like this, as one thing always seems to lead to another and many many hours get burned up for not much gain. For more information on this please read our What’s Acceptable For Repair page. If we do reject your radio, there will be no charge, you merely pay return shipping. Please look over your radio carefully, and fill out the Packing Slip as thoroughly as you can before sending it in.

Service Guarantee: If you experience any problems with any of the work we have done within your Service Guarantee time, you may ship the unit back to us and we will repair it for free. You must pay to ship the unit to us. After receiving your unit we will fix it and pay the return shipping back to you. Free repair service does not apply if any bad tubes are the cause of the problem(s) or to any unusual mistreatment of the radio, such as dropping it, or getting it wet.

Here’s our main RF workbench. Bottom shelf: Tektronix 2467 350 mhz scope with freq counter option, HP8640B RF Signal Generator, on top–HP5314A Freq counter, Agilant (HP) 8924C RF Test Set, HP654A Test Oscillator, on top–B&K 5 mhz function gen, Velleman PC controlled function gen, Leader LBO514A 15 mhz scope. Middle shelf: Protek B-818 freq counter, Pyramid 13.8v power supply, MFJ roller inductor SWR-wattmeter-tuner, HP334A Distortion Analyzer, SWTP 215/A audio amp, Heathkit Stereo FM Generator. Top Shelf: MFJ tuner, Hallicrafters S53A, Kenwood TS430, Eico 315 (tube) Signal Generator.  On the bench, in the corner, a 1KVA variac.

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