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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TR-2500 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TR-2500
Kenwood TR-2500 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $NZ379.00
Description: 2 metre FM handheld transceiver, LCD readout, 10 channel memory, memory scan, programmable band scan, extended frequency coverage (143.900 - 148.995), RF output HI=2.5W, LOW=0.3W.
Product is in production.
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KE8BDQ Rating: 4/5 Jul 1, 2015 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Fragile LCD and no DC input  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My Elmer gave me one of these, but unfortunately the LCD is broken, making it nearly impossible to set frequency, or maybe the set is just plain broken since it does not pull in anything besides static. All it takes is one good hit in the right place and it becomes a paperweight. Newer radios have a much thicker piece of plastic or glass covering the LCD. So if you pick one of these up, be very careful with it.
N8DWN Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2012 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio for its time  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my TR-2500 new in the 1980's and at the time I decided to go all out, so I also purchased the base charger, an extra battery, the car adapter, External battery pack adapter, external Mic, TU-1 add on tone generator and pocket pen style Kenwood 1/4 wave collapsable whip antenna. The radio worked great, was ahead of its time and to this day is still functioning in my shack with all the accessories.

The tone generator fits between the bottom of the radio and the battery pack and has been very handy as of late, as most repeaters in the area have some form of tone on them these days. There is an 8-switch dip style switch pack at the rear and you use a chart to switch tone frequencies...the little generator still works and is a lot easier to use when changing frequencies.

I have used the car mount adapter , which is a little cup holder type tray that the radio drops into and it works well, charging the radio when not in use. I came with a cigarette lighter adapter cord that pluged right in the dashboard and had a green indicator light running across the entire front for a power light.

The little (actually long with the TU-1) radio has done me well over the years and I replaced the lithium battery once, but it needs replaced again. I still use it for base use, but purchased a new Kenwood THK20A handheld for my portable use. The TR-2500 was a great radio in its day and over the past 25+ years, it continues to serve me well. I saw a couple at the 2012 Dayton hamvention and may pick up a spare next year some time, just in case.
AB7KT Rating: 3/5 May 17, 2010 16:56 Send this review to a friend
Oldie but Goodie  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased one at Dayton (2010). A guy had a whole bin full of old HTs and said they all worked. I bought a Yaesu 207R and the Kenwood 2500.
I walked inside and easily purchased new batteries for both radios from Batteries America. I bought a 8.4 Volt/1600 mAh nickel metal hydride battery pack as well as a set of replacement nicads for the original pack.
The more modern ham gear I buy, the more I like the old stuff. It is a trip down memory lane. And, if you happen to live in a place that doesn't use PL, this old stuff works just as well in 2010 as it did in 1980. My mother lives in just such a place. Only one local machine uses PL. I spend a lot of time visiting her and am leaving the Kenwood TR-2500 at her house.
I can't honestly rate this as an outstanding radio. Even for it's day I think it has a cheap feel. But, I am going to enjoy owning it because it brings back fond memories of my early ham days when I couldn't afford stuff like this as a high school kid.
KC9MAV Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2008 12:10 Send this review to a friend
Got It For Free  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I was new to ham radio a couple years ago, I had the wonderful IC-2200H. I went on the local tech net and I was asking about 2m hts with pl's because I have a ic-2at.

Long story short W9FRT gave me the TR-2500!

I can hit the local repeater W9ANL but I want a new ht that can hit farther repeaters like the ic-v8!

Also the ic-718 still works have WAS but not confirmed, I would have WAC but its hard to get to oceania!

W3GW0NNB Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2007 10:57 Send this review to a friend
Great little handie that's stood the test of time  Time owned: more than 12 months
Stood not just the test of time, but being used and abused all around the world. It's been dropped, knocked, had things dropped on it, and it still works.

There's a place called W + W Manufacturing in NYC that sells replacement, better than stock, battery stuffers, but you have to replace them yourself - which is an easy task. The battery case pops open and you drop the new batteries in and solder the 2 connections and you're done.

(Kenwood battery was 400 mAh and the replacement from W+W is 600 mAh)

The only thing is I want to replace the lithium battery and can't figure out how to open the case!
NE0P Rating: 3/5 Jan 27, 2006 11:38 Send this review to a friend
OK for the time  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had a couple of these in the past. They were good HTs at the time as they were one of the first HTs to come with PL as standard-even if it was only 1 tone. Big by todays standards, and has 10 memories, and only 2.5 watts output. One of mine had the same problem as the previous reviewers with the lithum battery dying. I wouldn't pay more than $30 for one of these, as there are much better selections out there.
NA9U Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2005 13:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
My TR-2500 is now 22 years old. I also do not have a lithium battery in it and have to reprogram it frequently (a 1 minute task). This unit has an on-board tone generator on it but has to be set with an frequency counter, I use my newer rig which reads tones. There was also a TU-1 tone unit for it. I still get great reports with it and the single tone is not a problem as most repeaters in a local area use the same tone. I also have a leather holster made by Bianchi (the holster folks) which makes it distincive when I carry it around at hamfests.

Great rig that stood the test of time.

John - NA9U
ZL2UFI Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2002 14:53 Send this review to a friend
Classic 1980's 2M Handie  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Kenwood TR-2500 was released in the early to mid 1980's. Unlike ICOM, who only had the IC-2A, this rig was just simply the best... with LCD readout, memories, 2.5W output and scanning, no other rig at the time even came close.

I purchased this rig new, after passing my licence back in 1985. I also brought the SMC-25 speaker mic and the soft case. The case didn't last pass the first 5 years before it was thrown out, as it didn't stand up well to usage. (They where coloured a navy blue colour)

During the 1990-2000 years I had a family so Ham radio was put off. I had packed the Kenwood away for use later on when I had more time. During this time, I took it out from time to time to run the rig and battery. The battery finally died in 1995 and I was
able to re-pack it with a third party NI-CAD pack. After this it was packed away again until this year 2002. I fund that after becoming active again, the radio was stuffed - the battery had leaked, the lithium battery needed replacing, and I was unsuccessful in getting it to go at all, even after resetting the CPU several times. I sold the rig for a good price for parts to another ham.

I was surprised then about a month later to see another one for sale locally. This one also had the speaker mic, and the ST-2 base stand. The base stand doubles as a power supply and charger. The battery on this new "old" rig was also stuffed and unable to hold a charge any more, but as a base station rig with the base stand it is great. This rig also needs the lithium battery replaced. Inside the rig the battery is a BR-2325 lithium, and has fly leads off it etc... the replacement for this is the CR-2032 (same as computer motherboard batteries), but these don't have the fly leads etc. I have decided not to replace the lithium battery at this point. The lithium battery just stores the memories,
and last frequency used, this are dropped if the battery fails. Sometimes the rig when turned on will not display a frequency, however a simply push of the CPU reset
button with a paper clip (from the back of the rig) resets the CPU, this also clears the memories, but at least the rig will then operate. Solution to the lithium battery was don't turn the rig off!

Replacement parts for these rigs are no longer available. As for batteries I have looked all over the world, and came across a couple of battery suppliers in the USA who would re-pack the battery pack, the only issue was, they needed the battery pack sent to them for re-packing. I have decided again not to bother. The cost was OK, but if I never got the battery pack the rig was of no use to me as the ST-2 powers the rig via connectors on the bottom of the battery pack.

The next model on from the TR-2500 was the TR-2600. Both shared the same accessories as well which was good at the time, especially the battery packs. I also owned a TR-2600 later on, but preferred the TR-2500. The sister to the TR-2500 was the TR-3500 70cm rig. I have only ever seen one of these over the years, and that was in the store when I brought the original TR-2500. They looked same expect for the frequencies and power output. Back then the 70cm wasn't as popular as 2 metres, so I suppose the demand wasn't as great.

Below are some of the specs of this classic '80's rig:

General Specs:

Extended Frequency coverage:
Region 1 = 143.900 - 148.995
Region 2 & 3 = 144.000 - 147.995
Memory Channels: 10
Power requirements: 8.4V DC
Battery Pack: 8.4DC 400 mAH (Ni-Cd)
Lithium Battery backup of memories
Weight with battery pack 540g (1.2 lbs)


RF output HI=2.5W, LOW=0.3W


Double Conversion Superheterodyne
1st IF = 10.7 MHz
2nd IF = 455 kHz
Audio output power: 400 mW

Optional Accessories:

ST-2 base stand
MS-1 mobile stand
VB-2530 2m FM power amplifier (25W output)
SMC-25 speaker mic
BT-1 AA manganese/alkaline battery case
PB-25 Ni-Cd battery pack
LH-2 Deluxe leather case
SC-4 soft case
DC-25 DC-DC converter for 12V operation
RA-2 rubber flex antenna
RA-3 Telescoping antenna

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