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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TH 21AT Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TH 21AT
Kenwood TH 21AT Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Hand held
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You can write your own review of the Kenwood TH 21AT.

KE8BDQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2015 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Cute little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really like the retro freq. setting switches. There is no fragile LCD to break and render you SOL on the frequency adjustment like there is on the TR-2500. If there was a DC input jack, PTT and mic inputs, it wood bee prefect, but alas there is no such thing as the perfect radio. I may pop the covers off yet and try a RasPi APRS tracker or some such nonsense, or maybe just eBay. It looks like they may have entombed it in solder and RF shielding.
W1MRQ Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2014 02:33 Send this review to a friend
Great handheld for the price of a cup of Dunks  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Neat basic radio for walking around fleas or contest sites on simplex (no tones). have all 3 but no antenna for 220 MHz model, bunches of dead batteries, which I easily and quickly rebuilt for $12/pack. The TH-21 was a $5 with 3 batteries and charger; the 220 Mhz was $15 on ePay, and another 2 meter unit and the 440 unit was $21 with drop in charger, DC-DC converter, manuals
Simple to use. Even the small battery lasts a long time when you use LO power setting of 150 mW, fits in your pocket. Even if I lose it, drive over it, soak in in beer, whatever, I am only out a few bucks!

Downside is the antenna, being a threaded RCA jack, but adapters are readily available
KD0IER Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2009 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding simple rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Picked this little beauty up on ebay as a first rig for a cool 20 bucks. After rebuilding the battery pack with brand new NiMH cells I found out what a brilliant little radio this really is. The audio quality is superb! Very crisp and strong. Also, with 1300 MaH cells I can go weeks without a recharge. The body is relatively tough and chunky and all the switches are crisp and durable. The rig has no bells or whistles, but this is what makes it great. The only gripes I have with it are it's cheesy battery holder (part of the lower slide has broken off), and the antenna is crummy. Even so, this radio, to me, would be worth 3 or 4 times what I paid for it.
K7VO Rating: 4/5 Mar 24, 2006 01:47 Send this review to a friend
Durable, simple handhelds that can be had for next to nothing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I currently own a TH-21AT (2m), TH-31AT (222), TH-41AT (440), and TH-41BT (also 440). I had this series of radios when they were new and a couple of years ago, when finances were tight, I turned to them again. Why? They are incredibly durable, reliable radios that survive all sorts of abuse. They also cost next to nothing. Each of the above radios came with a slew of accessores and batteries and the most I paid for any of them was $36 for the TH-31AT with the TU-6 CTCSS (PL) encoder installed. It's pretty easy to find these for $20-25 for the 2m or 70cm versions. I also found a desk charger (model BC-6) on eBay. The minimum bid was $5. Nobody bid against me. Shipping ($8) was more than the cost of the charger. Oh, and yes, they all work just fine and sound good on the air.

While I did get four good batteries with the abovementioned radios I also got some bad ones. Replacement battery inserts are available from a number of vendors and the packs are easy to rebuild. I paid $12 per insert at Dayton last year and the price has since gone down to $10.50. Inserts for the larger PB-21H pack cost $16. Considering that with fresh cells the packs will last for years I felt it was a good investment.

The radios are very simple with thumbwheel frequency selection like the old IC-2AT. The TH-xxBT models have dipswitches on the front of the radios for PL tone selection. That may not be the most convenient programming method but if you live in an area where most repeaters use a common tone or mainly stay on one repeater you'll rarely have to reprogram anyway. The BT models are the ones to get.

The TH-xxAT models have no tone encoder standard and the TU-6 has become very hard to find. Worse, it's programmed by soldering tiny little jumpers. OTOH, if you can set and forget that may be acceptable. If you need to change tones it's not.

Accessories include a soft case (model SC-8), a DC-DC converter for mobile use (model DC-21), a speaker/mic. (model SMC-30).

As others have pointed out the antenna connector is weird -- like an RCA jack. The good news is that I've found antenna adapters for this jack at hamfests for a couple of bucks. No problem at all.

All in all for what you will pay for them these radios are well worth it and a great, inexpensive way for a ham on a budget to add 222MHz or 440MHz. The BT models truly rate a 5. The AT models rate a 3 and make sure you get those with the TU-6 installed.
NE0P Rating: 2/5 Jan 27, 2006 11:32 Send this review to a friend
TH-31 review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the TH31, which was the 222mhz version of this HT. Used it for awhile for VHF contesting to give me another band for points and multipliers. I remember when these HTs came out-they were really miniture at that time, but are kind of large by today's standards. Simple to operate-but only put out 1 watts. The battery case uses AAA cells, although I think a C cell case was also an option. That would make this HT HUGE! Also, there is some weird antenna connector on the THx1 series that you will need to find an adaptor for. Looks like of like a phono plug. This was Kenwood's answer to the Icom 2AT, with its thumbwheel frequency selection.

I wouldn't really recommend the TH21 for a 2 meter HT unless you can get it for less than $20. There are much better choices out there.
KC0QFP Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2003 22:18 Send this review to a friend
Great no frills rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was the first handheld that I ever owned (own the BT version). Actually purchased many years before I had a license. The only drawbacks that I have found for this radio was the antenna connector and the front panel switches for the PL operation. Solid rig with a solid performance.
VE4AMN Rating: 4/5 Oct 9, 2002 22:56 Send this review to a friend
Solid and simple  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an easy radio to use. Compared to my Yaesu 5XR and a previous Icom tribander, it has no intermod. I have mine in the car, hooked to an exterior antenna and hit all the local repeaters reliably with good rx and tx audio. A weak point is the battery attachment and the antenna bracket (a none standard phono/screw job.) It can be converted to a BNC which is a preferred approach. It is worth getting one used as a backup, or as your main rig. I certinaly use it a lot more than my much fancier Yaesu tribander.
WD9HIK Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2001 12:06 Send this review to a friend
Best Basic Radio Ever !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very simple to use. Works when needed. I have gotten several and they are very easy to repair for such a small radio. I have yet figured out how people "break" them. Battery attachment system is their weak spot, but I have developed a bracket that cures that problem for ever.
K8DXX Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2000 09:13 Send this review to a friend
They work forever!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TH21AT is a relatively basic 2 meter handheld. It features 1 watt (hi) and .15 watt (low) power output, thumbwheel control of frequency, standard offset (-600/simplex/+600) selection via a back panel switch, plus optional TTP and internally (dip switch) adjustable CTSS encoder (both of which mine had). Battery life is reasonable, especially if you use the .15 watt output power. On squelched receive, one charge would last more than an 8 hour day!

All features worked reliably over the 12 years or so I had the radio. I never experienced intermod problems on receive. Transmit audio was equivalent to a conventional transceiver/mic combination. I did find that using an AEA HotRod half wave whip antenna helped make up for the relatively low output. On several occasions, I connected the radio to a 160 MHz marine antenna (top of sailboat mast). Transmitter worked fine despite the likely mismatch.

Wanting a more full featured radio, I placed my TH21AT on an auction site. I was greatly surprised to eventually receive $125 for the radio (leather case, 2 fairly new ni-cads and AEA whip). One ham explained it this way, "Some people collect them. Others just like them because they work forever." I can believe both theories.

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