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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TH-F6A Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TH-F6A
Kenwood TH-F6A Reviews: 263 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $425.00
Description: Compact triband H.T. (144/220/440) with dual receive, wideband receiver (Longwave through 1.3 Ghz), SSB/CW rcv. Bar antenna for A.M. broadcast reception. 5 watts all bands.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.kenwood.net/ama_page.cfm
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SMAUG Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2013 11:41 Send this review to a friend
Flexible, high quality, long-lived.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received this walkie-talkie yesterday, and spent a few quality hours with the manual programming it up. Just now, I got in from a lunchtime walk around the work property, where I made my first contacts with the radio. Please consider this review to be first impressions from a new owner, but not a new ham. (I'm a "re-tread" ;-) )


The manual is a pleasure to read. It was obviously written by someone whose first language is English. That, or an English major went over it with a fine-toothed comb. Everything is well laid-out and easy to find by a simple scan through the Table of Contents. It used to be this was normal; these days, it is not to be taken for granted.


For your info, here are my previous walkie-talkies:

- Realistic HTX-202: A solid radio, but not user friendly or compact.
- Yaesu FT-50R: My first dual-bander. This was a good radio too.
- Icom IC-V80 Sport: A GREAT, simple, affordable 2m walkie talkie. Very rugged and a high performance talkie all-around. The manual is not as good as the Kenwood's, nor the display. No DC input jack is a drawback, but AWESOME audio from the built-in speaker. Almost on par with the Motorola HTs from the 80s and 90s.


Back to the subject radio, in case anyone is still reading, after 24 pages of reviews...


Programming "by hand" is easy, and after doing a couple, it becomes pretty quick and easy to remember. The radio has 400 memories, but Kenwood has put some thoughtful features in to make them quick to navigate. Firstly, one can directly enter a memory number, and jump right there. Secondly, one can hold down the light button (right below the PTT/transmit button) and turn the knob on top. Each click then goes to the first memory in the next group of 50. So one can jump 50 memories at a time. The radio scans memories in these groups of 50 too, so one can really have a good plan for laying them out. For example, my first 50 are local repeaters. (I've got 20 so far) The next 50 will probably be repeaters near my Mom's house. Next, by my dad's house. Next, by my ex's house. Next, by daycare. Next, broadcast AM/FM stations. Next, CB. Etc. That way, I can scan by area. This doesn't even take into account shortwave stations. VFO B can receive in all modes: LSB, USB, FM, FMW, AM


The radio has a built-in ferrite rod antenna for receiving in frequencies below VHF.


It is a full duplex tribander too. VFO A is only for the three ham bands it can transmit in. VFO B can go to any band the radio will receive. So one thing I like to do is monitor a favorite local repeater on VFO A, while listening to National Public Radio on VFO B. There aren't many ham walkie talkies that allow this. Most of them don't receive broadcast FM.


My F6A was already well-used when I got it. It is the old one with the 1400 mAh battery pack and the linear plug-in wall charger. I'm told these have been in production for about a dozen years now. During my lunchtime walk-talk, I encountered 3 other hams in my local club who either have or have had this WT! Wow! I think only the Yaesu FT-60R and Realistic/Radio Shack HTX-202 can compete with this widespread level of acceptance.


This radio is just on the borderline of being too small. It fills the palm of the hand, but doesn't protrude out the top or bottom. The keypad buttons are small and kind of close together. One has to be deliberate when pushing them, but it is not annoying or anything. I wouldn't want a walkie-talkie any smaller than this.


More later, as I get more accustomed to it. For now, it gets a 5, for quality, intuitiveness, flexibility, and longevity.
 
N7GH Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2013 08:18 Send this review to a friend
4.5/5 great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since they don't have a 4.5 I'll give it a 5. This is one of about a dozen HT's that I've had. I picked up one that was about a year old in a trade and it had very light use. It is by far the easiest radio I've ever programmed--straight forward manual programming entries and easily seen keypad and if you want to use the computer to program it, you can download the software from Kenwood for free. I bought a nice aftermarket antenna for it from diamond and it worked very well. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an HT. I eneded up selling it though because I have a Yaesu VX-7r that I like a lot better (the 7r has better signal reach on transmit and receive, the 7r fits into my hand better, and the 7r is waterproof).
 
W2WP Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2013 11:46 Send this review to a friend
My 10+ Year Review - Great then, Great now.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TH-F6A was one of my first HT's when I was licensed. I actually went back because I thought I did a review but I didn't. I would have given it a 5/5 then and after recently picking up a new one I still say 5/5.

Listen, there'a a reason that this radio is still in production after what, 12 years?

Need I say more?
 
BASSMAN12350 Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2013 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding HT - Purchase price $295 - New.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As a recent purchase, within the last three weeks, I could not be more satisfied with this little radio. It is very small - - the buttons can be difficult to press, even with the very small hands I possess, so if you have a pair of "meathooks" for hands, I would probably shy away from this radio. That being said, it is an amazing feat of technology which fits in the palm of one's hand. RF output is well within specs and its sensitivity is simply outstanding. This radio is capable of receiving signals where my trusted Icom will not. Audio is crisp and clear, even from such a small speaker (1"). The audio circuit has enough output to drive an external speaker with no problem - - this is a great plus when operating in one's car. I have not had any particular problems with the antenna as some have mentioned, though I have noticed that holding the radio vertically when talking or receiving may not be the best position. The antenna seems to be highly sensitive to polarization. There are more than enough memories for your favorite channels - - over 400, in fact. And above all, this radio will not crimp your budget. While this is the first Kenwood radio I have purchased in many years, I am still pleased with the quality of construction and look forward to getting many years of enjoyment and QSOs from this radio.
 
KB8DNS Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2013 01:02 Send this review to a friend
Super HT, Dayton treasure!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I always wanted one of these but the price was a bit too much.... Then came Dayton 2013! Saturday morning the flea market opened and as the gate was overran, I cut across the lines of booths and came out just in front of where this HAM was looking at this Kenwood TH-F6A. He put it down and I picked it up. The box said 80 dollars and buyer assumes all risks. I offered 70 dollars and he said ok, I then started to take it down to put it into the box and he said "I'll go as low as 60"! I said sold!
It seemed to work but I had to give it a sharp rap to make it so.... Monday when I was home I took it apart to find the red speaker wire pinched, then tried it.... it works but back to the low output. Apart even deeper I found the screws of the PA to be loose! Back together and it works!
Great transmit audio! Hits the repeaters even on extra low power! HF all mode receive! Five watts on 220!
For all it went through it held up fine and I guess it was apart many times to try and find the faults! Looks like almost new and I saved 240 bucks!
It is what all have said, it is a great little rig even more so at the price I found!
73 Rod KB8DNS
 
KC2FYA Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2013 07:41 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my TH F6A for three years and I have no complaints. I have the version with the 2000Mah battery, and fortunately most of the repeaters I access are so close and high that the EL setting does great (50Mw). I purchased the SMC-34 mic at a hamfest and it works well with HT.
Mind you, I have NOT replaced the supplied rubber duck antenna, I do better than I expected with it, even on simplex. As stated in previous reviews, the unit is rugged ( do not use in the tub either). I program my memories by hand, do not need that "cheat sheet" too much any more. This is a great rig, has many features, even odd-split repeaters are easy enough when I practiced via the menu. I wish it had a WX Alert feature. That is all. I welcome input: kc2fya@outlook.com
 
KB7CSX Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2013 17:47 Send this review to a friend
1st HT owned...lovin it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got this HT about a week ago. So far, I'm loving everything it does! Have not found a con about it yet. It's small which is good for me, and with the Diamond SRh-320A antenna I bought to go along with it, it works great!
I have never owned an HT before, I wanted something dual band/dual receive, smaller and light weight but durable, and most important, something user friendly. Well this Kenwood cuts the cake on them all, user friendly as all get out! I figured out how to program the memory, change the welcome message, and get the proper CTCSS tone for my local repeater, how to change freqs on both bands, and how to listen to the LSB/AM/FM/CW bands without even opening the operators manual. Everything was very simple to figure out, and I love the backlit keypad also.
Haven't had it very long, but I can tell already that this lil radio is going to be by my side for a long time! The audio quality is great, and so far all of my received reports have been great as well.
My father has been a ham for almost 30 years, he's looking into getting his first HT as well, I think I might surprise him and just order another one of the TH-F6As for him! He seems to like mine just as much as I do!
Happy hamming!!
JoDee J.
KB7CSX
 
KC9GZU Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2013 07:17 Send this review to a friend
This is the one you want!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought one in 2005 and its still the best out there. Full power on 2M/220/440. I use them all. Be sure to use the Diamond SRH320A antenna and you will not regret it. It gets warm without a case but it has not failed in 8 years. I like it so much I bought another 2009. Both work great no problems at all!!! The batteries last pretty long but since I use it so much I let one charge while I use the other.
 
KB8SOE Rating: 3/5 Jan 24, 2013 09:14 Send this review to a friend
Controls a big drawback  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've just gotten this HT so I can only give my opinion in terms of initial usability.

Pros
- Smallest HT that I own.
- Full 5W on all three bands
- 2000mAh battery
- Free programming software from Kenwood (not great software but at least it is something)
- Large expanded receive

Cons
- Due to the small size of the radio, I find that the front buttons and joystick are quite difficult to reliably activate
- I have also found that the small inner volume ring is quite difficult to adjust. I would speculate that it would be nearly impossible with any gloves on.

This is a nice radio with a great many interesting features but I think that the controls usability would end up causing me to shelve it after a while in the field.
 
AI4HO Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2012 10:04 Send this review to a friend
First impressions  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have this thing for HT's, if I find one that has all the features I am looking for, it works well, looks good, and doesn't take up a lot of space. Such was the case with my last "good" HT, an Icom T7H, one that was built back in the early 2000's. While not compact, it did look and work very well, especially when connected to a 12 volt power supply..I would get 6 watts out. While a 1 watt increase isn't much, sometimes that was all I needed to get into that distant repeater, or get an extra mile on simplex. However, all good things must come to an end, such was the case with my 8 year old T7H..I lost it!

How does one replace such an integral part of my every day usage. By looking, and looking, comparing what features you need over price, over compatibility & memory management,etc. So, when I saw a gentleman in Tx. wanting to part with his new TH-F6A, I had to inquire as to what was wrong, what came with it, and how much. He had 2 of them, and only needed or wanted 1 of them, what came with it..well if you had to purchase all the extras separately..you would have shelled out enough to purchase another TH-F6A. Price..was incredible..sent the funds via Paypal, and a few days later I had my very first Kenwood HT.

I must say, fit and finish is quite good, took me a few minutes of playing with the "joystick" on the front of the unit, found that this is a feature more HT's should have. This is a nice feature and gets used as needed. As for transmit and receive, it does very well. I did read in the reviews here that the standard rubber duck antenna isn't the best..agreed, it isn't the best. Yes, it does work, and can be used if needed, I read where a lot of you like the Diamond replacement, I went with the Jetstream JTH2, which for my needs works exceptionally well. Even on the "EL" power setting, I am easily hitting our county repeater which is approximately 10 miles from my house.
Only having this about 3-4 weeks now, I am still playing around with the various main and secondary functions of this compact, full featured HT. I am not a bit surprised at the size of this little power house, as my first "new" HT, when I reentered the hobby in 2003 was a Yaesu VX-5, what does surprise me a tad bit is the ability to be able to monitor HF frequencies. I knew the technology was there, I knew the radios were out there, what I didn't realize was, that when connected to a decent external HF antenna..reception was quite good. I have been able to monitor several QSO on 40 & 20 meters when connected to my GAP Challenger vertical antenna. So far I have only monitored 40 & 20 meters, as that was all I had time for that day, and then I had other obligations, then Thanksgiving, I hope to be able to play around a bit more with this on the low bands. This just may turn into a poor man's SWL rig..we shall see, we shall see. i received the software and the programming cable with this rig as well as the Kenwood SMC-34 speaker mic, which is the equal, and in some ways better than the Icom HM75A speaker mic I had for my T7H. I haven't even begun to install the software onto my laptop for memory management, something I need to do, before too much longer.

This being my first Kenwood HT, and I really wanted to get my first impressions down. I can honestly say that this will not be my last Kenwood HT. I recently have begun to delve into the world of APRS, by acquiring a Kenwood TM-D700A, about 2-3 weeks ago, about a week after I got the TH-F6A. So..sometime in the near future, I will be on the lookout for either a TH-D7A or the latest and greatest TH-D72A. For first impressions, the TH-F6A is quite the HT, one that I feel will be a great successor to my IC-T7H.


73 de Mark
AI4HO
 
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