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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TH-D7A(G) Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TH-D7A(G)
Kenwood TH-D7A(G) Reviews: 66 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $459
Description: Dual band VHF/UHF hand held transceiver.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Kenwood TH-D7A(G).

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KF5OK Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2006 20:40 Send this review to a friend
Real Good But  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Donít get me wrong the radio is a keeper if it fits your needs. If I could give it a 4.5 I would but Kenwood made some serious omissions with this rig. NiCad battery! And a Dummy load of an OE antenna. So count on adding another 80-90 bucks to the cost for a good battery and antenna to make a really good portable. I knew this before I purchased it. Also there is no Charge indicator. That really POíd me.

If you donít want APRS, Sky Command, TNC and want a really good rugged/usable HT out of the box I can only say vx-7r witch I have. If you donít need the weather resistance/ruggedness of the vx get the th-f6 Kenwood witch I have also.
VE4NSA Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2006 19:13 Send this review to a friend
A great solid radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have been using the radio for some time.

Reliable, well designed and great with the packet and APRS. Runs beautiful with my little GPS mouse and satellite work is fun.

Easy to operate and solid TX and RX
AF4KK Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2006 05:14 Send this review to a friend
This rig runs 24/7!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Wow, whatta' rig! I've been using my TH-D7A(g) to run APRS since 2000 and it's been running almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without a problem! Kenwood has done a great job building this innovative radio (along with the D-700) and they should be applauded! Kenwood has made APRS accessable for the average HAM!
K0JEG Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2006 11:04 Send this review to a friend
tranciever hits ground, survives  Time owned: more than 12 months
The other week, I was out on a bike ride on a trail that needs some work. I failed to lock down the TH-D7 properly and, after hitting a big crack in the trail, it went sailing to the ground. The initial impact must have been on the antenna, which broke the SMA connector, but the radio otherwise survived with just a scratch or two on the grey parts of the case. Replacing the SMA conector was a very easy process, just remove 4 screws on the case, take off the volume and encoder knobs and you're in. Then just desolder the antenna connector, remove the 2 screws and replace. Took less than 10 minutes and works like a champ.

I haven't seen any difference in performance since the accident. The replacement part was bought at East Coast Transistor ( Cost was $8.24+shipping, a bit much, but I didn't feel like I was getting ripped off, either.

I'm sure that I just got lucky, but I'm relieved to know that my radio is made a little better than I expected. When I think rugged radios, I think Motorola (I've seen them fall from 24' ladders and bucket trucks without any damage), and ham radios are generally built for gadget factor, not for pounding nails, but it is nice that it exceeded my expectations.
N2YTF Rating: 1/5 Dec 14, 2005 21:40 Send this review to a friend
The tone problem remains  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well its been a year since my older review of this radio, and not only has Kenwood not repaired or replaced my rig, but I have yet to lay my hands on a copy of this rig that is not affected by the tone problem on 440. Tap your rig while you transmit on 440 with tone encoder on (as per the test described in my earlier review), or go through your touch tones on 440 with your tone encoder on while a second radio listens to you with tone squelch set (preferably the second radio should be a modern one with a reliable tone squelch) and you will drop out every now and then on some tones. You will also drop out while talking but not as often. Oddly the problem does not occur if you are transmitting into a dummy load. You must be on 440 to experience the problem. If you are dropping out of the local 440 repeater (if it has tone squelch) during ragchews (esp. while you are walking-vibration seems to aggravate it), it is possible this is the reason.

I was motivated to write again as today I went to a local ham store and tested a new th-d7a(g) (I figured by now they had fixed the problem and I like the rig otherwise). I was shocked to find that this new rig had the problem to the same extent as my now 2 year old (approx.) rig. The store manager felt the problem was some sort of microphonics issue, but that was only his guess. He said some hts in the past from other manufactures have had similar problems, but I have owned and played with several and have never had this problem or anything similar. I have been hamming for a bit over 10 years.
Had the d7 rig in the store worked properly I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

At least one ham I know in the UK got Kenwood to give him a working replacement rig, but aparently these rigs are not being sold in the US (if todays visit to the ham store is any indication).

I guess I will try again in a year and see if Kenwood bothered to put in a fix. Again, if 440 repeater use is important to you and if the 440 repeaters you intend on using have tone squelch, you will still have to stay away from this rig.

I would also venture to guess if you have the rig and cannot replicate the problem, then you do not understand the problem. I dont mean to sound insulting, but I have now tested about 10 rigs (4 display radios at Dayton over 2 years (YES KENWOODS DISPLAY RADIOS HAD THE PROBLEM incredible..I demonstrated it to the Kenwood reps who acknowledged it), 2 from hams walking around Hamvention, 2 from club members at home, one rig today at the local ham store, and my own. This does not include the hams who have emailed me saying they also had the problem with their rigs. The hams in my club (we run a 440 repeater with tone squelch) with the ht are unable to carry on a conversation on our repeater with it just as I am.

73 de Tom
VE6FRC Rating: 4/5 Nov 22, 2005 09:04 Send this review to a friend
Good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Has work well for Aprs and local repeater work so thats why it gets a 4.The big issue with this HT is the battery life with the stock battery.I would rate it a big 0.Totally unacceptable for a new HT.Get a PB-39H from Batteries America if you want to use this HT for more than monitoring a couple of hours a day.
AE6QG Rating: 3/5 Aug 20, 2005 19:59 Send this review to a friend
A decent HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I first got licensed, I borrowed this HT for a couple of months before buying a Yaesu VX-150. During that time, I mostly used it to hit repeaters that were 20-50 miles away. I never used the APRS or TNC functionality, but I bet it would be cool to use if I had the capability.

I'm giving the TH-D7A(G) a 3 because of its transmit ability, at least on 2m. I used to check in on multiple nets per week held on a particular repeater about 20+ miles away from me. It was hit and miss. Sometimes I'd make it, and sometimes I'd have to repeat my call multiple times before the Net control would get it, and sometimes he'd have to say "sorry OM, maybe next time". It was kind of embarrasing. I know it's just an HT, but this repeater had pretty good coverage, and I never knew if I'd be able to hit it. This was on high power.

When I got my VX-150, I had no problems consistently hitting this same repeater "full quieting" on half power (2W) with the stock rubber duck, every single time, and didn't matter which room I was in my apartment. It Just Worked(tm). So for this reason, in comparison with the VX-150, the TH-D7A(G) seems to do pretty poorly at hitting 2m repeaters 20+ miles away. I cannot rate the 440 transmit since I didn't find any repeaters to test it out on.

Also, this eats through batteries pretty quick, and I don't know if there's a way to find the battery voltage, so I didn't have any warning when it's about to die.

I do like the display, though. And the AM aircraft band receive is a real plus. Also, if I were to find APRS and the TNC useful, I'd probably rate it heigher on average, so if you're into that sort of thing, I'm sure this radio would fit the bill.
K8DXX Rating: 3/5 Aug 16, 2005 19:27 Send this review to a friend
Just OK  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
At Dayton '05, I picked up a Kenwood TH D7A/G dual band "data radio," mainly for it's ability to do "Sky Command" with my 3 year old TS-2000. However, being just a one-HT guy, I expected the radio to serve as my standard HT, as well. My first few walks around the neighborhood were very disappointing. Using the stock antenna, I was "in and out" of repeaters that my old Icom IC2H Sport ($75 AA powered 6 watt HT + stock antenna) had no problem getting into.

Since Dayton, I've made two investments in the THD7A/G:

(1) A Diamond SRH320A aftermarket antenna. In a simple TX test over 1.5 miles and running 150 MW (EL power), I was not readable using the stock antenna. With the Diamond, my signal went up to S-6 (+/- 36 db?). Less scientific repeater tests/chats while walking our dog had me in and out of area repeaters I had no problems with using an ICOM TH2H Sport ($75 2 meter HT powered by 8 AA NiMH cells). The aftermarket antenna has almost made up the difference.

(2) Batteries America 9.6 volt, 1450 Ma/H battery. Even casual use revealed a pretty short life for the supplied 600 Ma/H NiCd pack. On the heftier battery (same size and similar weight) the radio just runs and runs, even in Sky Command with the TNC activated.

Other casual observations I'd make are:
- Transmitted audio reports are exceptionally positive, even on Sky Command.
- Receive audio is just adequate.
- I am satisfied with the Kenwood soft case. Mine seems to be nicely made, functional and durable particularly for only $15.
- The receiver appears to be a step up from the IC2H Sport. My very simplistic test was to transmit on the one radio and listen to it through a local repeater (TH D7 vs IC2H Sport). Keying the Kenwood appeared to desense and create noise in the Icom. The Kenwood's receiver didn't seem to mind the Icom transmitting within 600 KHz and 3 feet away. Guess that's what you expect between $75 and $300 radios!
- Menus are OK but hard to remember. I guess they're packing a lot of functionality into a simple user interface and that's what happens.

Oh yeah... Sky Command is fun. I have not been able to get it to remotely tune the TS-2000. Both TS-2000 and TH D7 manuals are incomplete. It would appear that you do need a computer connected to the TS-2000 to reset the TNC prior to entering the "Transporter" mode. The most helpful piece of documentation I have found thus far is called "TS-2000TransporterTH-D7ACommander[1]" (txt) and is buried in the Kenwood ham radio site. Finally, whereas the 2 meter transmit link to the HT identifies you when it is established, there is the potential for you to retransmit for more than 10 minutes without a station ID. The operator's voice (and control data) goes over UHF and obviously contains your callsign when spoken.

Would I buy another? Were it not for the specialized data capabilities, NO. It depends on what you want the radio to do. As a general purpose HT, it would appear that there are less costly, more rugged units out there. For data applications, it is obviously unique.

73 de Bill / K8DXX
N2QGV Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2005 06:32 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using one for over five years. Currently on my second one. Both have worked as advertised from day one.
For the previous reviewer, the D7 will only show 'My Position' when it hears another station digi your position packet. No heard digi, no 'My Position' on display. Also, if you have B band doing what you describe, you must have that band selected for the display to show a battery indication. If you have A selected and B transmits, you only get the right most red LED to light. Hope this helps, and saves you some cash and time by not sending back a perfectly working HT.
Oh, I am currently using a Garmin GPSmap 60C with the HT. Great combination.
K0JEG Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2005 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Works great, minor complaints  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The good - seems to get out all over, easy compact APRS beacon. I use it with a Garmin e-trex vista on the bicycle, and with a foretrex when hiking/skiing. It passes position data back to the GPS, which then displays them as a waypoint. Very cool when going handheld. Full duplex operation makes it possible to work LEO sats such as AO-51 easily (get an Arrow antenna). Good transmit and receive audio. Easy set up of the TNC and fewer wires necessary.
The bad - The encoder knob at the top. This, in my opinion, is unnecessary for most applications, since you can use the joypad and directly enter frequencies/memory channels/menu items using the keypad (I'm sure that I am the exception). I think the main reason I don't like it is because of the volume control being on the lower/outside ring of the control. It is very hard to feel the volume control when the radio is in the back pocket of my jersey. The stock antenna, as others have pointed out, is a stock antenna. I haven't owned any HT that had an exceptional stock antenna. Plan on getting something else. I use a Diamond SRH815 for clandestine work, and an MFJ-1715S when on the bicycle. I haven't had any issues with the battery life, but I would like to see an option for a thin battery, even if it would mean a tradeoff in TX power or life (again, I'm sure I'm the exception).
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