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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | KDK FM-7033 Help

Reviews Summary for KDK FM-7033
KDK FM-7033 Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 70cm FM mobile transceiver
Product is not in production.
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KU4QD Rating: 4/5 Sep 11, 2002 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Reliable, durable, but single channel PL doesn't cut it on 70cm  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had two FM-7033s over the years, as well as the FM-4033 (222 MHz version) and three FM-2033s (2m version). The rigs were the latest and greatest when I first became a ham in 1984. I was looking for an inexpensive way to get back on the local UHF repeaters and the FM-7033 was still a natural choice except that in our area it seems every repeater is requires a different PL tone for access. The FM-7033 only allowed for a single tone which doesn't cut it in today's world. I did pick one up, but it's modified with a rotary switch added for tone selection. That, or an external ComSpec box, are about essential unless you are just monitoring a couple of repeaters.

KDK did a very good job with the FM-7033 in a number of important ways. It was ruggedly built and very, very reliable, even after many years in a mobile environment. Transmit and receive audio are excellent. It had 11 memories and offset could be programmed for each memory. The memories are broken into two banks, and you can scan either or both. You could also set up an odd split repeater between an "A" and a "B" memory.

The single tone PL board didn't seem too serious in the mid '80s when most repeaters were carrier access. Worse still, if you have an unmodified rig, is that the PL frequency was set with a pot, not with dipswitches. The way the board mounted in the rig the pot was face down when the board was installed, so there was no way to adjust the PL frequency with the radio powered, and no way to tell what frequency the board was set to when removed unless you could power it externally and measure the tone frequency with a separate counter. The counters in most ham shacks won't measure subaudible tones, will they? So... changing the tone is a pain at best and impossible at worst.

If the repeaters you use are all carrier access, or you know the tone is set to something useful to you, the KDK FM-7033 is a very good rig which you can pick up very cheaply indeed on the used market. For those who really need PL, or at least the ability to change the PL tone frequency, look instead for the model that replaced this one: the FM-740, or be prepared to modify the rig.

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