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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TM-541A Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TM-541A
Kenwood TM-541A Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $450
Description: 1.2 GHz FM Transceiver<br>Covers 1240-1300 MHz
Product is not in production.
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K7IHC Rating: 4/5 Dec 14, 2003 23:42 Send this review to a friend
Very good 1.2 gig radio, but dated  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I mainly use this radio as a mobile, with a Diamond NR2000NA tri-band antenna fed through a (now discontinued) Diamond MX-37N duplexer. This enables me to use the 541A and my dual-band TM-G707A with one antenna.
My rating is more like a 4+, but the 541A really needs an update after a decade. The performance is great, and most of the features are good, but the radio could use more than 20 channel memories. The fixed *odd split* channels are somewhat strange, in that none of the 20+ repeaters I use in my area are odd split. It just makes programming a regular split freq pair in those channels more difficult. An dual alpha/freq display or a switchable alpha-freq display would be very helpful to those of use in areas where there are many 1.2 gig repeaters to keep in memory channels. It would also be nice to have a built-in CTCSS/DCS encoder AND decoder. I chose to add on the TSU-6 CTCSS decoder, and DCS is beginning to see more use in ham radio.
All in all, the 541A performs well, but it could use a reworking to be on par with most of the other newer Kenwood VHF/UHF mobiles.
AH6RH Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2002 00:02 Send this review to a friend
Right on!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The rig is sensitive and resistant to intermod. It's compact, light weight with a large heat sink in the back to dissipate heat.

It has only ten memory channels, and the microphone PTT switch is stiff -- requiring quite a bit finger pressure to key compared to the usual microswitches. However, it's still very adequate on the finger.

Combine it with a loop yagi (36 inches of boom length with a gain of 14 dB!), WIMO panel antenna or other directional antenna, and it makes an outstanding rig for simplex and passive repeater use. It's especially practical for emergency communications with outstanding coverage in metro areas bouncing off of man-made and natural objects. As presented at the Dayton 2002 forum, I routinely use the compact and portable setup for line-of-sight DX'ing well over 100 miles, and passive repeater applications with S9 sigs well over 150 miles. Just make sure you watch where you point the antenna!

I concur that it's a fine rig for 1296 MHz FM, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one.
K3PHL Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2001 09:33 Send this review to a friend
Great RX, 1200 Standard  Time owned: more than 12 months
After almost 10 years, the Kenwood TM-541 is still in production (Summer '01) and looks to be the standard for 1200 MHz FM mobiles. I picked one up to use as my repeater receiver. The 'ALT' function works great to center drifting signals from other stations which is a must for 1200 repeaters. Receive sesitivity is the best of any rig I have tested on the band. I was also able to track down the ALT and RX level voltages from the rig and run them through the repeater controller so users can see how far off frequency they are and adjust if they have a VXO. Overall a great radio for it's unfortunate steep price. If you are a 1200 repeater owner and/or user as I am, this is the only choice out there.

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