“Hello, my name is Tim and I have BRD”

Black Radio Disease…

I couldn’t help myself.

I could say that it runs in the family…

W9KKX/SK with his TS-520 station (approx. 1980)

W9KKX/SK with his TS-520 station (approx. 1980)

My great Uncle Bob, W9KKX/SK (yellow shirt in the picture) got a TS-520 and all the station bits when it was brand new in the early 1970’s (albeit Kenwoods were gray instead of black back then.)

TS-520 station ad

TS-520 station ad

It was his primary radio for a long time. As a kid he would let me sit at his radio desk and spin that silky VFO knob and listen to that wonderful Kenwood audio. I ask you, did I even have a chance? In the picture with uncle Bob is my other great Uncle, Paul W9SIZ. He was and is a Collins man. He’s in his early ’90s now and still operates his KWM-2 station every day. Every family gathering in those days had the sound of SSB and CW as the mood music. Their social interaction was different from others which led to the inevitable retreat to these men’s shacks. Early on I was encouraged to tag along. This pattern, which was well established years ago continues to this day. I speak with perfect strangers on the radio a lot and apparently enjoy it enough to spend a fair amount of time and money to do it. I wouldn’t call that anti-social.

This early exposure to Kenwood Hybrids led me to my own complete TS-830S station, though it was many years after initial exposure as I couldn’t afford them when I was young.

Kenwood TS-830S station

My Kenwood TS-830S station

TS-830S Station

TS-830S Station

As much as I like my TS-830S station and it is filled with memories of times past and will always be a part of my station it was time for an update to my primary station radio. I know that ICOM 7300’s are selling like hotcakes but I’ve got Kenwoods deep in my bones. That and I like as many knobs and buttons as I can afford. This thing is an absolute pleasure to operate. I told my XYL that it’s the last radio I’ll ever need. I’m not sure that she believed me but at least I made the effort. I think that the TS-590S/SG will stand the test of time just as the TS-830S and the entire line of Kenwood Hybrids have. This radio will occupy a space next to my TS-830S as long as I am operating a station. It may well be the last HF radio I ever need.

PS – My older son has Uncle Bob’s call now, W9KKX.



2 responses to ““Hello, my name is Tim and I have BRD”

  1. What a good blog post! Nice BR Tim. Terrific family connections with radio amateurs and the Kenwood brand.
    Andrew VK1AD

    • Thanks Andrew. The story would be better if W9SIZ or I would have W9KKX/SK’s TS-520 station though sadly when he passed away his wife (W9SIZ’s sister) sold most all of his equipment before W9SIZ could get down to North Carolina where W9KKX/SK moved after retirement. I do have his Kenwood TR-2500 and all the accessories (and it works.) I remember when he got it. It was always on his belt. Those were the days when 2m FM repeaters were a much bigger deal than they are today. Probably didn’t help his wife’s attitude towards Amateur Radio! HI HI. W9SIZ has the homebrew tuner on the desk below the TS-520 in the picture and it will in turn be mine. W9KKX/SK built it some time in the 1960’s. 73, Tim KA9EAK

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