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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TH-28A Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TH-28A
Kenwood TH-28A Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $320.00
Description: 144Mhz TX / 440Mhz RX 3W (20mW-5W) Hand Held
Product is in production.
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KA6FJR Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2008 10:12 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs Up!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The price of this radio was right for me. A non-ham friend of mine had two large bins of radios that he did not want to store. He had purchased all of this gear from Jun's in L.A. to use on FRS/GMRS or the old VHF and UHF mobile phone system. This one had been modified to extend its range to 174 MHz. I needed a radio for our town's CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) operation that I am a member of. I'm able to program 24 ham frequencies and the program of our 16 channel P.D. issued CERT radios.

This radio outperforms my two TH-F6A radios on VHF High. I thought this may have resulted because of the stock triple band antenna I use on the TH-F6A, but when I placed the TH-28A's 2m antenna on the 6 it still could not key up the distant repeaters the 28 could. One of these repeaters is 56 miles away and I work it full quieting when I'm outside.

When I hooked the 28 up to my watt meter an output of 9 watts was shown on 146 MHz and only 3 watts at 173.9875, and lower than 5 watts on 136 watts. As my CERT work can involve duty on federal wildland fire incidents, I appreciate being able to transmit on the 162-174 federal VHF band. I haven't determined if the radio transmits on the aircraft band yet. It is a bit less straight forward to change the 28 to operate in that band, so I haven't tried that yet. VHF-AM air might be useful on S & R operations.

The radio is very easy to program in the field and is also capable of a alphanumeric display. I choose not to use this feature as it reduces the channel capacity. Programming "split" TX/RX channels, those found on the VHF public safety band, is straight forward.

The case is more rugged than the 6. Mine came with a AAA battery case, a 12V charger, wall wart, and a desktop charger. The batteries included are high capacity Ni Cd's and almost double the height of the radio. I have a couple lower capacity Ni Cd's that do not increase the height of the radio. With the lower capacity batteries the 28 is not that much large than the 6, except in depth, a little more than twice that of the 6. After market NiMH's are sold by a number of outlets. I'm able to use the Kenwood SMC-33 and SMC-34 mikes, that are used with the 6, on the 28. These mikes have three buttons on top that allow you to remotely "press" most of the keyboard buttons. Unfortunately channel changing on the 28 is performed with a dial, so you can't change channels on the mike.

Channel spacing options include 5 and 12.5 kHz. I'm not sure if it is capable of "narrow band" (6.25 kHz from center) operation in accordance to the 1/05 specs. the federal government is using and those to be used in the remainder of the LMR in 2013.

I really like this radio and it fit a need of mine that I had not expected to fill. In 2013, if the radio cannot meet narrow band specs., I will still have a great ham handheld with many years of use in it.
KE5LNF Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2007 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Great first HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a new ham, and I bought this HT used for $85 as a first HT. It works great! I can hit my local repeaters and it even picks up airband from the airport about 10mi away as long as I am not in a building. The stock Duck is coming apart and I just ordered a Comet BNC-24 for it. I will post what happens then.
KE5FJG Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2006 08:31 Send this review to a friend
A little quirky but very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was at a hamfest yesterday and found this radio in the original box with most of the ancillary pieces still in their original plastic bags. It was complete with manual and also has an extra antenna, speaker mic and car charger cable with it. I bought it for $50.

It seems to be very well made. It has a solid feel to it with no part of it appearing cheap or flimsy like some of the plasticy radios. It has enough weight to it to feel substantial in your hand. I'm sure some would consider that a drawback but to me it adds to the feel of quality in the same way it does on my W32A.

The buttons are a little bit small but that's expected based on the overall size of the radio. The vol/sq and tuning knobs should have been reversed. That would make it much easier to get to the dual knobs of vol/sq. Kenwood isn't the only manufacturer who fails in this regard though.

The manual isn't as clear as some I've read. It took reading some websites on the radio to change it from the aviation band to the 2m band. Now that I know how it works it's ok but that's one of the quirks I guess.

I'm sure I'm going to really like it once I get it working. Unfortunately it is mute. I can't get any sound out of it at all. It also doesn't light the on air light when I press the PTT switch. I believe someone attempted the mod to open it up and made it go mute. I guess I should have figured there was a problem with it going for only $50.

I'm giving it a 4 anyway because I can tell from examining it that it's well made and will be a good radio. It's not Kenwood's fault someone messed it up so it doesn't deserve a low rating because of that. I'll probably watch for another one and pick it up and have this for spare parts. I got my money's worth just in the mic, antenna and car charger anyway.
KD5ZPW Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2004 23:15 Send this review to a friend
Rescue from pawn shop  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I visited a local pawn shop the other day looking for old Nintendo NES games with my step son. While we didn't find any games, I noticed this sweet little radio in the midst of some FRS radios and other scanners. I took a look at it and then went home to do some research. I went back the next day, haggled a bit and walked out with a new toy for $85+tax.

It still has the stock antenna (BNC), which is rather scratched up, but it works great. From my apartment I can hit most of the good repeaters with 500mW.

To my surprise and joy, it had already had the freeband mod done on it, which came in handy today when we went to the D-Day Museum in New Orleans (We used it on the MURS frequencies along with my VX-7R while trying to find parking). I've been rather impressed with my new "beater" (although it's really in excellent condition).

One of the other buying points for me was the fact that I can use 6xAA batteries in the BT-8 battery case and it puts out 3W! All my other HT's can only do 200-300mW on AA (although they only have room for two AA batteries). I'm also ordering the ME-1 memory expansion unit via eBay. It extends the memory capabilities from 40 channels to 200! Not bad for an extra ~$15-20.

All in all, it's a cute little radio that should satisfy anyone!

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