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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TM-271A Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TM-271A
Kenwood TM-271A Reviews: 102 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $189.95
Description: 2meter mobile
Product is not in production.
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W6YNS Rating: 3/5 Jan 31, 2014 11:21 Send this review to a friend
Decent Audio or Power  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the radio thinking it was a simple single band transceiver to program. It has good audio and plenty of power when needed for reaching distant repeaters. The disadvantage is that I found it difficult to program any frequencies on the radio. The only way I was able to program the rig was to purchase the programming cable and download the programming software from Kenwood. I bought the cable off E bay and it made a big difference.
N4FPA Rating: 1/5 Apr 4, 2013 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Poor durability  Time owned: more than 12 months
4/04/2013 - Purchased the TM-271A in 2010, used mainly on low power as base station several times per week and same for packet radio. At random intervals, unit began powering off then back on immediately upon transmitting regardless of power setting, and would exhibit same at times during various transmission durations. Checked all external connections, coax, antenna, and swr, no problem. Used another, older replacement radio and did not experience any problems that the Kenwood is exhibiting. Very disappointed with the Kenwood 2mtr radio.
VE5PSL Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2012 15:31 Send this review to a friend
very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
this radio is great. i live in an area far from repeaters and i need the higher power to get into them. i often find myself using 60w to get to where i want to be and this radio does a superb job. i run it as my mobile and base rig. i use a homebrew mag mount for mobile and a copper J pole for base. it works great! i would highly recommend this rig to anyone who lives far away from repeaters.
K4SDW Rating: 4/5 Jan 1, 2012 15:21 Send this review to a friend
All in All Good Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 2 of these radios for over a year now.
The things I do not like about this radio is the High/Low power setting only. I wish it would let me reduce power down to 5 watts. I don't like having to go into the menu to set the squelch.
Those are the only things I would change if I could. I do like the radio over all and would buy it again. I have gotten very good audio reports and even had a few ask me what kind of rig I was running they liked it so well.
KA3YVS Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2011 16:16 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Commercial Quality Mobile.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 5 of these rigs. I am active in Emergency Management and we use one at the EOC, in each of my 3 vehicles and in my home. My wife and sister each have amateur licenses as well. We live in a rural area with limited cell service so power output, reliability and rugged features are essential. I have used these rigs since 2007 and none of them have given me any problems. I use the MCP-1A programming software which works well. My only con was the cost of the programming cable. $69.95 from HRO was pretty steep. I highly recommend this radio.
KE4RWS Rating: 4/5 Oct 2, 2011 13:44 Send this review to a friend
Love this radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
It’s hard to rate a radio “perfect” because there’s always *something* that keeps it from being a “5”. However, I love the TM-271a and I personally find it easy to use. Although it does differ in design from the typical Kenwood amateur 2-meter mobile, it appears to be based more on the commercial design than the usual amateur architecture, hence the 25/60 watt RF output vs. the typical amateur based 5/10/50 watt output (among other similiarities).

I have owned my 271 for at least two years now and it is a pleasure to use and sounds great on the air. The newest style microphone is a big improvement in my opinion and has a solid, commercial feel in the hand. The buttons are adequately backlit and of good size, as are the controls and lighting on the radio itself. The radio display is also of adequate size and is easy to read, and does not suffer from “washout” from direct sunlight unlike other models of the past. Like most every other radio made today, backlighting is accomplished using LED’s, which should never burn out or require replacement

Some have claimed the 271 isn’t as “sensitive” as typical amateur radio models; however I have never noticed the 271 being less sensitive over my other older Kenwood models. It's clear people sometimes say things like this merely because of their own perceptions about a product vs. real experience or data. The 271 does utilize a typical menu system that takes practice, not to mention getting used to. I don’t know what to tell someone who claims this is too hard for them to navigate because I’ve owned most every radio made for the last 18 years and although different, the TM-271a is among the easiest to program *if* you decide to just learn it and not use older radio models as an excuse to deem the 271 as “too difficult”.

T radio gets very hot using the high power setting if used for even moderate conversations. Although there is no factory cooling fan attached, I use an old CPU fan salvaged from a computer if used mobile, or a small desk fan if used as a base installation. This helps tremendously to cool the heat sink and allows you continuous talk time without the worry of burning your radio up.

The 271 has pads clearly marked on the circuit board for adding a data cable for attaching a TNC for packet, APRS, or whatever data you happen to fancy. Some other brands actually included either a pigtail or a data jack in the event this feature was utilized (the Yaesu FT-2600R comes to mind). Although Kenwood opted not to include a data port, I’m happy they at least provided the ability for people to easily add one if desired. Unfortunately, they did NOT do this for the TM-281 :(

I noticed there is a Narrow FM setting in the menu setup, which makes me wonder if the 271a is narrow band compliant. I know the radio is capable of 2.5 KHz resolution for receive, which gives you the required 7.5 KHz tuning resolution for receive. But the narrow band transmit selection makes me think it may be truly narrow band complaint. I heard Kenwood introduced the TM-281 to have a narrow band compliant 2-meter mobile on the market, which implies the 271 is not. Who knows . . .

I love the 271a and see no reason or need to trade-up for the new 281, as they both seem to have the same features, or at least none that would give cause to change out any time soon. From what I can tell the 281 is pretty much the same radio with an amber backlight (I’m sure there are differences though).
W8MPX Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2011 16:40 Send this review to a friend
very good rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
W4DRH Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2011 20:53 Send this review to a friend
Very Pleased  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought 2 at about $140 apiece. I see they now have to know the difference. I have had good luck with them so far. For the price I could not resist.
NQ5F Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2011 20:50 Send this review to a friend
It's a winner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this rig several weeks ago to go in my new truck. I am extremely happy with it and with 60 watts into my 5/8 wave can work repeaters all over that I couldn't before. I like the display color and alpha tagging, but wish it had more channels (200) with alpha tags. When you name the memories you can only have 100. The mic is great and is lighted so you can find it when you drop it on the floor at night. I got it for $100 (used).
KG4LOV Rating: 5/5 May 15, 2011 14:43 Send this review to a friend
Nice simple radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only had this radio a couple of weeks, but really love it. It replaces an Alinco DR-605 that I never really cared for. The 271 is much simpler to use and program, and the audio is good and clear and the tx reports are also good.
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