Sunday, November 9, 2014

The new blog, and refurbishing the Kenwood TS-520


I love reading other Ham's personal websites and decided to start a blog about my own amateur radio activities. So, since I already have a Google account, and they are linked to blogger, this was my quick and easy solution.

I am currently refurbishing the TS-520 that you can see on my QRZ page below, and is in my shack picture that is set as my blogs background image.

I have stripped and primed the cabinet and ordered the matching Kenwood  paint color from eBay.

While I had it opened I went all through it and cleaned and lubricated everything, including pulling the VFO and cleaning and lubricating the VFO gears and shaft.

It had been hanging every couple times I turned the knob and felt like it had a flat spot where if I let go of the knob it would move slightly off frequency as soon as I took my hand off the knob. I have heard of others having the same problem with the 520, and some people on the Kenwood Hybrid Yahoo reflector suggested the shaft was bent, I found that was not the case. I found the old grease that lubricated the VFO shaft and gears had gotten thick with age and dirt and was binding up the post. With a cleaning and re-lubrication it is silky smooth now and does not hang at all.

I also just bought an old Heathkit Mohawk / Apache tuning knob for it. They are made from solid aluminium and nice and heavy. I will add an Elecraft Finger Dimple to make it  complete, here is a picture of the knob and the FingerDimple that will be applied;

Next I want to go through the radio electrically following the Service manual and align it and adjust everything to original specs. I found when I opened it that it looks like a previous owner has replaced the ceramic caps and resistors in the high voltage cage, and under the finals.

I don't have a picture under the High voltage caps, but it looks like they may have changed the high voltage electrolytics, since the solder joints look new on the stubs underneath, and there are pliers marks on the wires. I can't see the actual high voltage caps to see if they are new, because they are in cans.

However, I still think I am going to buy a full recap kit from
and recap it myself. Then I will know I changed them and will feel better about it. I also noticed when I was going through it that none of the other electrolytics in the radio were ever changed and are all original. So, they will all need to be changed too, and the re-cap kit has all the caps needed in it.

Well, that is all the updates for now. I do have more ideas of what to post in the future, including my progress on the Kenwood. I will post the cabinet pictures too, and let you see how well the paint matched the original.

73 for now,
Tom, K2BEW

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