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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TM-V708a Dual-band Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TM-V708a Dual-band
Kenwood TM-V708a Dual-band Reviews: 29 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $399.95
Description: Take the APRS/TNC out of a 'D700, and - viola! - you have a TM-V708a!
Product is not in production.
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KB9CQZ Rating: 2/5 Feb 10, 2007 17:09 Send this review to a friend
had problem  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Sent mine back for repair after 6 days. Receive on side "A" was either half that of "b" or non-existant.
Was just learning the menu system and getting it programmed. I did like the radio before the problem. Hopefully the problem gets fixed and does not happen again. Would like to see computer programing option but an live with out.
 
W5LZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 12, 2007 01:33 Send this review to a friend
Easy to use/understand  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The only reason I don't rate the '708 as "great" is that it doesn't do everything. But then, I knew that going into it, right? I've owned it about a month, had (still have) a Yaesu '7800R in the truck, the '708 in the house. Of the two I like the '708 best. Primary reason is that Kenwood's programing methods seem to make more sense to me than Yaesu's, more intuitive, if that makes sense. Can't honestly tell much difference between the two, other than the programing methods.
As for the head not mounting to the main part of the radio, and the mic not connecting to the head, it opens all kinds of possibilities for mounting. On the visor for one.
Would I do some things differently if I were designing it? Of course I would. But I'd have to say that about any radio I've ever owned :). Would I buy another? Yes! I'm happy with the '708, confortable with it.
Paul / W5LZ
 
KC2PJL Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2006 12:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I earned my Technician ticket in March of 2006. My first mobile rig was a Yaseu FT-7800R. That is a nice radio but I had issues with a poorly written instruction manual, including several programming and operation steps that were completely wrong. I also didn't care for the 'heavy'-looking display that contained minimal information.

A friend of mine who got licensed at the same time I did also bought the same Yaesu rig but within several months upgraded to the TM-V708A. He raved about the radio so I spent some time hanging out in his car and I definitely agree with him...it's a great radio.

The pluses:

1) It's very easy to program (which is good since there is no software), as well as being very easy to operate.

2) An excellent display. Not busy-looking to my eye. I also appreciate the 8-character alpha-tags vs. the 6-character tags available on the Yaesu. Sounds like a minor point but it does make ID'ing your repeaters or scanner frequencies a little easier.

3) The dual-receive capability. I didn't think I'd want that in a radio. I've been a public safety dispatcher for years and have always had a scanner in the car. When I got my ham ticket I replaced the scanner with the Yaesu and it was either monitor the repeaters or the public safety frequencies, but not both. It didn't bother me....until I played with my friend's 708A. It's a very nice feature.

4) Hand-in-hand with the dual-receive is the dual speaker jacks. This truly makes the dual-receive worthwhile. I have my 708A set up for the audio from the Band A side of the radio to go through an MFJ-281 speaker and the Band B side of the radio to go through the radio's built-in speaker. Turn on the 'Mute' function and Band B mutes whenever my local repeater is active, either TX or RX. Very nice......

There are a few negatives:

1) Lack of programming software. While it is very easy to program my last several scanners and two Yaesu rigs all have programming software. I don't change things all that often but it is nice to be able to sit at the computer, update or start a new file, and then just download it into the radio.

2) The microphone is large. It's not uncomfortable and I adapted to it quite quickly but the Yaesu mobile mic is more hand-friendly. I also don't care for the metal hoop that screws to the back of the mic to be used with the mic hanger. I prefer the traditional post with slider clip that most public safety radios, CB's, and most other ham radios come with. Again it's just a minor point.

3) I would prefer the capability of mounting the head to the main body of the radio. It just allows that much more flexibility in mounting the unit.

I got my 708A about a month ago now....my friend decided to upgrade to the Kenwood TM-D700A. I bought his 708A, which wasn't even 3 months old.

It's a great radio.....highly recommended.
 
KB9TMP Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2006 20:47 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm also an owner of two TM-V708's I bought one new for the house and used a TM-V7a for mobile. Since I couldn't see the 'cool blue' display I swapped them. Still not seeing the V7's display I bought a used 708a on 'that' online auction service. These are great radios but they do have some quirks that might bug you. Number one 'sometimes' when transmitting the radio will beep like you have pushed a button. I don't worry about that since my V7a and my TM-G707s did it also. Another quirk is when you have the mic set up to control the radio and you put it into crossband if you have both 'sides' in PTT & sub-band control (frequency digits the same size on both sides) the radio goes into 'locked' band repeat. If you have just one side as the main and the other side not in control mode (smaller size frequency digits than the PTT side) then the radio goes into full crossband repeat. That just seems backwards of all other radios to me, and the manual says nothing about it. To the fellow who can't make it scan from the up/down buttons if you turn on the microphone control (menu # 1-8-5) then you can just push and hold for 1 second the MR or VFO buttons on the mic, then it will go into scan mode. The 'sides' of the display will confuse you at first since you can scan all the VHF and UHF frequencies on either or both sides. (instead of VHF on the left and UHF on the right) Just pretend you have two TM-G707a radios side by side hooked to the same antenna. After a while you'll catch on and start to enjoy the flexibility. Programming the radio isn't bad if you use both hands. The remote head helps on this because you can hold it like a video game controller. It really goes pretty quickly. Bottom line the TM-V708a is not a perfect radio but it's a good one. Would I buy another one? Yes without hesitation!
 
WC3O Rating: 4/5 Jul 4, 2006 13:08 Send this review to a friend
Good radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine at Dayton 2006. I do like the radio except for some minor aspects. First off, I love the display and larger buttons. (I never thought I would hear myself say that! Must be getting old�) Some don�t like that the Mic only plugs into the body of the radio. I think that adds flexibility. It works out great for my install. I have the rig mounted under the seat and the head mounted on a home-made bracket above the rear-view mirror. No Mic cord hanging. If I mounted it otherwise I would just mount a double female RJ connector where it would work. See, no big deal. Everyone makes a big deal about no computer programming? How many times do you re-program your radio??? Setting it up was easy and I only needed the manual once or twice. Nice rig, nice features.

Now for the stuff I don�t like:

You can�t tell the radio to scan from the Mic up-down buttons? You can make it go up and down in freq or channel but you can�t make it go into scan by holding the up-down buttons. Why? I don�t know. You have to hit and hold a button on the radio head. One button if you are in memory mode or another if you are in VFO mode. It only scans up unless you twist the VFO knob to the left. But it always starts out scanning up. If you don�t scan much, this wouldn�t bother you. It bugs me.

When the squelch drops out, you would expect to hear a little thhump coming from the speaker as the signal drops out. On this radio you hear a chrrrsckt! I have a Motorola external speaker on it and it really brings that out. I guess I can get used to it? Chrrrsct!

Coming from owning YAESUs for many years I really haven�t warmed up to the memory and band system yet, but that�s just from using another brand radio for many years. They are all different.

So anyways, don�t get me wrong. I really like the radio and plan on keeping it. Works great other than some details that I would change. If you buy one, you will like it too.

That�s what I think anyway!

73 DE WC3O
 
N6ZUC Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2006 20:50 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT RIG...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I NOW OWN 2 OF THESE RIGS. ONE IN THE SHACK, AND ONE IN A MOBILE. I AM SERIOUSLY THINKING OF REPLACING THE 732 IN MY VAN WITH ONE OF THESE ALSO. I WAS SURPRISED BY THE REVIEWS THAT SAID THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO FIND MUCH INFORMATION ON THIS RIG BEFORE THEY BOUGHT IT, BOUGHT IT ANYWAY, AND THEN COMPLAINED ABOUT WHAT IT WON'T DO. I HAD NO SUCH PROBLEM FINDING THE INFORMATION I NEEDED TO MAKE THE DECISION TO BUY. I LIKE THE BIG DISPLAY, AND ALL THE INFO IT SHOWS. I BRING UP THE CROSS BAND REPEAT AND AM ABLE TO CARRY MY MICRO HANDHELD AROUND THE HOUSE AND YARD. I LIKE THE SCAN FEATURES, AND THE ABILITY TO SCAN FOR TONES AND DIGITAL CODES. AS ONE REVIEWER NOTED THE SPEAKER IS A BIT WEAK, BUT I'VE NEVER FOUND A RIG YET THAT WASN'T IMPROVED WITH AN EXTERNAL SPEAKER. IT WAS STRANGE AT FIRST THAT ALL THE MEMORIES WERE LINEARLY STACKED, AND THAT ANY PROGRAMMED CHANNEL CAN BE SET ON EITHER RECIEVER. I NOW FIND THIS VERY HANDY AS I OFTEN LISTEN IN ON 2 FREQ'S ON THE SAME BAND, AND ALL I HAVE TO DO IS PUSH THE VOLUME KNOB FOR THE CHANNEL I WANT TO TALK ON. LIKE ALL MODERN RIGS, THERE IS A LEARNING CURVE, YOU NEED TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE MANUAL, BUT AFTER THAT, YOU WILL FIND THAT IT REALLY IS PRETTY EASY.
 
KI4LIV Rating: 4/5 Feb 20, 2006 08:10 Send this review to a friend
Overall a good radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I traded in my Yaesu FT-7800R for the TM-V708A because of how much information was available on the display, plus the ability to monitor two frequencies at once.

I quickly found out that the ability to monitor 2 frequencies at once was a novelty.. I turned the audio of the 2nd frequency all the day except on a few rare occasions.

The information available on the display - the more you want displayed, the more you have to program.. Yes, I realized that there was no ability to computer program this radio when I bought it, but wow, what a pain it became!

I recently bought a new vehicle and while waiting for my antenna and mount to be delivered, I realized that for remote mounting, you had to run an a cable for both the head AND mic - needless to say, this wasn't acceptable to me since the FT-7800R required only one cable as the mic plugged into the head unit.

Overall, I liked the radio - enough to give it a decent review, but I wouldn't want to have to program it ever again. I took it back to AES and downgraded back to a FT-7800R again..

First, I'll list the pros of this radio:

** Display - LOTS of information
** Visual Scan Mode - EXTREMELY helpful when you're in an area that you don't have programmed or know of frequencies in use.
** Mic - has a weight in it, doesn't feel like a toy.
** Cross-band repeat (which I used a whopping ONE TIME)

And now the cons:
X Not as sensitive as my old FT-7800R
X Mic doesn't plug into the head, requiring 2 cables for remote mounting.
X Audio was very tinny - I had to open up the hole in the mic's circuit board to allow more sound to get to the mic element.
X Audio from the radio was severely lacking without an external speaker.
 
WI2Q Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2005 15:32 Send this review to a friend
Replaced my last 741-Great Radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Without going into great detail, I wanted to point out that this radio does everything my TM741 or TM742 did. I had to get TWO new radios to get three bands in the car, but this one more than fills the bill for 2 and 440. Alpha tags are great cause you can see the frequency AND the alpha tag at the same time. Audio reports are great and it is very easy to program (even if I had to do it over again). 200 memories is more than enough and the extended receive frequencies are a bonus.

I like it alot. It works fine and for the money you won't beat it.
 
K6LCS Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2005 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Performs as Advertised  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
>>...Bottom line is this radio does not the same features and will not ever be close to being the D700...

Nor should anyone expect it to be. Yes, I was a little surprised when I discovered - BEFORE I BOUGHT ONE - that it was not PC programmable. But I knew that going in to it...

This is a solid 2M/440 dual-receive unit. Once you see the display of a Kenwood '708 or a D-700, everything else looks miniature in comparison. For my failing eyes, NOT having to read little button labels is wonderful: The commands for the buttons are IN the Kenwood's displays - well lit and easy to read.

Line up your freqs first and program 'em ... then go back and do the alphanumerics. Another reviewer wrote that he expects his CPU to become corrupted, thus losing all memories. Personally, I don't purchase electronics items like this anticipating major failures. Kenwood's warranty is as good as any amateur manufacturers, and there is no widespread problem with the '708 the past 10 months since it was introduced.

BOTTOM LINE: Solid 2M/440 dual-receive unit, separated head, huge display.

 
G4HFG Rating: 2/5 Oct 22, 2005 13:09 Send this review to a friend
A backward step Kenwood  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you had bought a new car at a similar price to your last one, but found that it had less functions, would you be happy? It is not without precedence that a manufacturer makes an error. In my opinion Kenwood certainly have with this model. If you didn't buy the previous model then you probably will not have a complaint. But the 708....no PC control...no clone? Good luck to those who program all those memories with alpha, manually. And when the micro crashes and you have to do it all again and again!! Of course, you can always buy the 700 - a much older model at a greater price, but do you really want APRS? Kenwood, Oct 2005 with two mobile models, one not PC programmable and one on it's way out. Shape up Kenwood, you can do much better than this.
-Graham G4HFG / W4HFG
 
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