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Author Topic: Kenwood and their DFK-3D kit  (Read 12327 times)
KM5ART
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« on: July 06, 2011, 06:27:04 PM »

Kenwood and their DFK-3D kit
I recently acquired a new desk and this of course presents challengs on where to place my Radio. I currently have a Kenwood TM-V71 and I had it mounted on my old desk just fine.

On this one, I thought that I'd mount the unit underneath and just buy Kenwood's DFK-3D seperation Kit and would just leave the control head and mic up top. Well, I waited for my package to get here, opened it up and   Angry No mic extension cord.

Why would Kenwood not include this with the seperation kit? Since they have the mic plug directly into the unit and not the control head (very much unlike my Yaesu FT-7900, which by the way, had their seperation kit included for FREE!!!)

I am beyond angry at this. The radio costs over $300, then the this kit costs $42.

I wrote to Kenwood and was basically told tough luck, you can buy the cable as a package (PG-5F) or alone from Pacific Coast Parts for $32.

I have to say Kenwood has quite a racket going on here.

The sad thing is I really like this radio, but if I had it to do over again, I'd buy the yaesu FT-8800R because it too includes the seperation kit for FREE!!!

I've been saving up to buy a Kenwood TS-2000 and I'm not sure if I want to bother giving them any more of my money. Yes that's a great radio, but how much are they going to try to stiff me for in accesories?!?!

Thanks for reading my rant, Maybe I'll feel beter after I calm down some.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 07:56:52 PM »

Quote
I have to say Kenwood has quite a racket going on here.
Hi Shane:
Sorry you had to learn this the hard way, but almost ALL ham manufacturers have a racket on accessories. Some are just worse than others. The markup is huge, far, far exceeding the rig markup, which is actually quite small.  Check out the HT accessory prices for the “Big Three”. $70 LiO batteries, $40 programming cables, $35 “AA cell” holders,  $30 HT antennas, etc, etc

On the HF side matching speakers for rigs are outrageous, as are matching power supplies.
(which hardly anyone ever buys). You also have the crystal filters, TCXO's, (and in the olden days RS232 level converters).
Ken  AD6KA
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VA3WXM
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 05:57:21 AM »

Yes, accessories are where the manufacturers make their money.  Margins on the actual gear are pretty thin.

It's unfortunate that you felt you "got taken" but, with all due respect, a bit more research would have told you that the DFK-3D kit is simply for removing the control head from radio.  The PG-5F is the true extension kit, including cables for both the control head and microphone, snap-on ferrites and heavy gauge power cable.  It lays it out pretty clearly in the V71A owner's manual.
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K2OWK
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 02:03:35 PM »

Ham radio manufactures charge a lot for there accessories. I by most of mine on EBay from China manufactures and have yet to be disappointed. I know most Hams hate EBay, but there are many good buys on ham accessories from China, Computer interface cables, microphones, Power supplies etc. Even some enterprizing hams. I bought a main tuner spinner knob and a front bail arm for my FT-450AT from a fellow on EBay and it was better quality then the original part. Just check around before spending your hard earned money on something that can be bought for less elseware. Don't think that only the manufacturer of your radio makes accessories for it. There is a lot of competition out there for your dollar. Just watch what you buy.

73s
K2OWK
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K1CJS
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 04:38:17 AM »

Most of the time--if the connectors aren't proprietary, that is--you can home brew your own extension cables.  If the mic has the (more or less standard now) RJ-45 connector, a satisfactory extension can be had far cheaper than what is being charged by manufacturers.

Because of the complexity of the rigs these days, with all the bells and whistles and the super small surface mount components, most of us are hurting when we want to work on our own rigs.  It's nice to know that some things can still be home brewed--even if it is just a connector cord.
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VA3WXM
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 08:36:59 AM »

A lot of times you can homebrew your accessories.  I made up my own extension cable for my FT-8900 when Yaesu (at the time) wanted $100 for their extension kit.

However, with respect to the TM-V71A the extension cables have a shielded mic wire to prevent external noise from infiltrating the mic audio signal.  Some users have complained of a "helicopter" noise on their transmitted audio when using homebrew CAT-5 extension cables that went away when they switched to the "proper" ones.  Others haven't had any issues with their homebrew cables.  YMMV I guess.
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KM5ART
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 02:41:53 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  I just had to vent and this seemed a good place.  I decided to not even bother trying.  I'll keep the seperation kit since the money's been spent.  I'm just going to try to figure something else out.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 09:25:23 PM »

K1CJS:
Quote
Most of the time--if the connectors aren't proprietary, that is--you can home brew your own extension cables
VA3WXM:
Quote
A lot of times you can homebrew your accessories.

Amen, brothers! Amen. This is a technical hobby, and there are just certain things hams should be able to do.....or LEARN by doing Like solder most if not all of their cables. Why pay $30 on EBay for a Rig to Amp PTT/ALC cable? Or an Audio In/Audio Out/ PTT cable to the rigs ACC DIN connector.  
I mean, DUH, the pinouts AND the connections are in the manuals.
As are the instructions on soldering a PL-259 to coax, at least in my ProII's manual...

Ken, AD6KA
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 09:28:22 PM by AD6KA » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2011, 07:00:55 AM »

A lot of times you can homebrew your accessories.  I made up my own extension cable for my FT-8900 when Yaesu (at the time) wanted $100 for their extension kit.

However, with respect to the TM-V71A the extension cables have a shielded mic wire to prevent external noise from infiltrating the mic audio signal.  Some users have complained of a "helicopter" noise on their transmitted audio when using homebrew CAT-5 extension cables that went away when they switched to the "proper" ones.  Others haven't had any issues with their homebrew cables.  YMMV I guess.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but what is wrong with buying a set of crimpers, some connectors, wire and shielded cable and making the cable up yourself?  It may come out to about the same cost, but then you would have the parts and the tools to do it over and over again.  And that way you can make the cable as long as you want it and customize it to YOUR specs.  I did say homebrew it, not just get an computer cable and a connector block!   Grin  73!
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VA3ACZ
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 07:55:07 PM »

I have tried cat5e (shielded) and cat6 cables (10 feet) and both caused noise on transmit audio but not enough to make me pay kenwood price for extension.
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AK2F
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011, 03:18:28 AM »

In my mobile, I usually place the rig on the floor and just need to place the control head where I can see it.
Built my own remote head cable with 4 conductor telephone cable, RJ-11, RJ-45 connectors.
Crimp the connectors on, following original wiring of short jumper.
Grind down the sides of the connectors until it fits Kenwood's proprietary ones.
I used a Dremel with grinding stone and sandpaper attachments, but a file would work too.
The RJ-45 (8 pin) only took a bit off the sides.  The RJ-11 pin took a bit more shaping.
Works fine for $2 worth of parts!
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011, 05:50:50 AM »

Kenwood and their DFK-3D kit
I recently acquired a new desk and this of course presents challengs on where to place my Radio. I currently have a Kenwood TM-V71 and I had it mounted on my old desk just fine.

On this one, I thought that I'd mount the unit underneath and just buy Kenwood's DFK-3D seperation Kit and would just leave the control head and mic up top. Well, I waited for my package to get here, opened it up and   Angry No mic extension cord.

Why would Kenwood not include this with the seperation kit? Since they have the mic plug directly into the unit and not the control head (very much unlike my Yaesu FT-7900, which by the way, had their seperation kit included for FREE!!!)

Nothing is free. You pay for it in one way or another. Kenwood could raise price of rig and include cables but a lot of people never use cables and would prefer lower price without them.

The sad thing is I really like this radio, but if I had it to do over again, I'd buy the yaesu FT-8800R because it too includes the seperation kit for FREE!!!

Again nothing is truly free here.

I've been saving up to buy a Kenwood TS-2000 and I'm not sure if I want to bother giving them any more of my money. Yes that's a great radio, but how much are they going to try to stiff me for in accesories?!?!

Saving up to buy a TS-2000 today is not a wise move. I am a Kenwood guy (I have 4 of their HF rigs) and I would not by one. Transmitter on them sound fine but receiver is lacking because it is based on early and very primitive IF DSP designed in late 90's. Just like PC's have come a long way since then so has IF DSP. The 2000 look good on paper but lacks in performance. Unlike a analog IF rig designed in 90's (which was mature is design and still very viable) the 2000 is very immature and easily bested by modern DSP rigs and even analog rigs with only AF DSP. 
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K0KAD
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 12:48:00 PM »

I will never again buy a Kenwood rig, I was totally flabbergasted when I opened the box to the separation kit and found no mic cable.  Then to find they want $70 for the separation cables that are needed to extend the microphone gimme a break!!  I am going to return the radio and the separation kit immediately and buy a Yaesu FT-8800
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KA5IPF
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 04:58:02 PM »

RTFM    (read the FINE manual)

Page 91-92 shows what is in the 2 different extension kits. A little reading would have enlightened you and you could have made a correct choice on the  kit.

Clif
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W9KDX
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 08:02:24 PM »

My "favorite" Icom rip off, I spotted it and passed on the radio, was a battery pack for one of their new DSTAR HT units.  $50 for the battery pack, and I don't mean the Li-Ion battery pack, I mean the empty 99 cents worth of plastic, AA cell battery pack.
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Sam
W9KDX
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