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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TMV71A Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TMV71A
Kenwood TMV71A Reviews: 81 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $399.00
Description: The advanced Kenwood TM-V71A dual bander provides sophisticated, high-powered performance on 2 meters and 440 MHz. Power levels are 5/10/50 watts on both bands. The large radio display clearly conveys the status of the radio and can be set to green or amber.
Product is in production.
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W7STS Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2014 05:00 Send this review to a friend
Great audio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Gave it a "4" rating because of the cost of the remote mounting kits, and that Kenwood forces you to buy 2 kits if you need to extend the Mic.

As I was doing my research on this rig, I learned that the separation kit is not only expensive, but is also in humble opinion incomplete. Let me explain, the kit includes mounting brackets for the control head as well as an extension cable for the head, but no extension for the microphone which unlike the Icom offerings plugs into the side of the radio instead of the control head. To get that extension cable you get to spend even more money on another kit with some other cables and the mic cable.

In reading the reviews, I saw where people on this list had issues extending the head and mic with CAT cables. I decided to see if an over the shelf CAT 6a cable would work, and I am happy to report that it does. Now the Kenwood kit included a snap on toroid that is placed near the main unit to keep the RF out, and I bough a "noise filter" from Fry's electronics sized to fit the Ethernet cable and it worked great on both the control head and the mic cables.

So, your mileage may vary, but in my install, CAT 6a worked just fine.

The reports of my audio were excellent, and the radio is easy to program (software is available too).

All in all, this is a very nice radio and you CAN make your own extension kits if you want to!!

N4ZBO Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2014 20:35 Send this review to a friend
great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having had two of the Kenwood tm 732 rigs of witch I steal own one of them. the biggest reason I bought the tm v71a was the fact that the other two were so good and gave a long serves.. over the last 20 years I owned them. now for the radio it seems to be made as good as the ones of the seems to have a lot more menus than the older ones with a few extra up dates the only thing I wish is that they would have made it four power seting in sted only 3 shoul have been 4 50/20/10/5. but it only has three 50/10/5. the price is not bad at 359.00 doiiars shipped to me...
if you are in need of a good 2meter/440 rig get one of these you won't go wrong... have a good day hope this in you desiding what to get.. 73,s
KJ7G Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2014 07:57 Send this review to a friend
Best Crossbander  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is an awesome piece of equipment. I use it with an X-510 base antenna with a 40' feed point. With 14.8 volts in, it puts out 60 watts on high, both bands. It's very sensitive and I can hear and talk to hams all over central AZ. I am usually crossbanding 146.52, using 70 cm between HT and base. Around here 146.52 is heavily used by many long winded hams and on some days it is transmitting 5 watts on 70 cm for hours and hours on end and it's going on 8 months of this very hard use, so I'm already happy. Even on long rag chews while running 60 watts on 2 meters it never gets hot.

The fact that it can be remotely controlled (crossband on/ off, change frequencies, power levels, etc.) from any DTMF equipped rig, allows me to crossband from my mobile rig, meaning I can drive all around my area of town and talk to everyone on 2 meter simplex, while having the ability to be in full control of the rig at all times. I can shut down the crossband, and jump out of the car, get back in, and turn it back on. I'm never out of touch. How cool is that?

I considered giving it four stars since it does have some intermod issues, but they are minor on 2 meters and though worse on 70 cm, this is after all a MOBILE radio with a very high gain 17' antenna atop a 40' mast. Considering those facts, I feel it still deserves five stars. It really doesn't have any competition (with all these features) in the dual band mobile category. I've already gotten my money's worth out of it, so if it blew up tonight, I wouldn't hesitate to go out tomorrow and buy another one. It's that good of a radio.

K9YC Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2014 15:35 Send this review to a friend
Fine VHF/UHF FM Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been using VHF and UHF repeaters for nearly 40 years, so I understand which features and performance criteria matter and which don't. I'm very pleased with this radio -- it's at least as good as any of the dozen or so FM rigs I've owned over the years. I like the user interface, and it does everything I need on 2M and 440 FM.

I bought a Yaesu 8800 a few years ago, and have regretted it ever since. The user interface, especially programming it, is something that the programmer's mother could not even love. And there are some important things the 8800 cannot do, like use different PLs for for encode and decode.

I've owned and loved a Kenwood TH-F6A for close to ten years, and was very pleased to find that the UI of the TMV71A matches it.

I do, however, have a few nits to pick. Like another reviewer, I would like a power out setting in the 25-30W range to drive a brick amp. I would like to be able to store power output settings for each memorized channel. And I find the manual poorly organized and lacking information that should be there. For example, definitions are missing for many of the functions that can be assigned to the PF keys, and the manual also fails to tell you that both TX and RX PL frequencies must be set individually -- that is, if you want to set the CT mode so that the RX only unmutes when PL is received, you must set the TX PL with the T mode (TX PL only), then turn on CT and set it again. Being able to set them differently is quite useful, and a function I need, but if I hadn't discovered it by accident, I wouldn't know it was there.

I can't comment on the strong signal handling ability of the RX -- I live in the boonies, and don't get into cities with the rig.

73, Jim K9YC

VE3LNU Rating: 3/5 Dec 5, 2013 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Great radio BUT...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought a second-hand TMV71A because I needed a higher-quality dual-receive rig in my mobile. I am very impressed with the radio, from the microphone that feels very good in the hand (like the older and larger mics) to the list of impressive features for IRLP and Echolink. I have also gotten great audio reports. Unfortunately, there is always a BUT with any radio, so here goes.

Why on earth would Kenwood design and produce a high-quality mobile radio capable of 50 watts on both bands but a mid-range power level of only 10 watts? This is just plain senseless in my humble opinion. There isn't a significant gain in going from low power at 5 watts to mid power at 10 watts. Why is this a problem? It means that if your signal into a repeater is a bit marginal, you have to run the rig at full power all the time. 25 watts would make a lot more sense as a mid-power level and would likely suffice for most repeaters! What on earth were you thinking, Kenwood?

So beware: if you need a rig that can run 25 watts, this is NOT your radio. Running it at 50 watts all the time, especially if you make long transmissions like me, is only asking for trouble in the long run. I have it from a technician friend that it is not recommended to run any rig in a carrier mode (i.e. FM) at its full output on a consistent basis.

W7RMG Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2013 19:05 Send this review to a friend
No Complaints Here  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I went shopping for my first dual-bander, I did a lot comparing between the TMV71A and the Yaesu FT-8800. I liked the idea of paying 15 bucks less for a radio that has the same power output on both bands (unlike the 8800, 50 on 2m and 35 on 70cm) so I decided to order a 71A from HRO. I downloaded the FREE Kenwood software (just had to come up with the cable) programmed it, then got it installed in my car. The choice between a green or amber keypad backlighting is nice and because my scanning receiver has an amber backlit keypad, I set the V71A's backlighting the same so the two would match. The head can be removed and mounted separate, or can be flipped over so the speaker can be either on top or on the bottom of the main unit, depending on the installation situation. It didn't take long before I bought another one for my pickup. Other operators have told me both 71A's sound good and I have yet to have any problems with either one. Very nice transceiver.
N2VRO Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2013 20:55 Send this review to a friend
Very happy with this rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've now owned this radio for almost 2 years. I use it both in the mobile and in the house. It has great audio both Rx and Tx. I've been asked a couple of times if I am using the stock microphone. They've asked because I'm told the Tx audio is very nice. I've got no problems listening while in the mobile from the internal speaker.

Love the 50 watts on both bands, not many radios in this category do 50 watts on 70cm. I recently purchased(and returned) a Yaesu FT-8900 and couldn't believe how convoluted the user interface on that was. It made me appreciate even more the TM-V71. *I know that's a quad-bander and this is a dual-bander, it's the only comparison I can provide for the user interface experience*.

I have the programming cable for the V71 but it's not a must have. I programmed most of my 80+ memory channels with offsets, PL tones and even odd-split repeaters plus tags all manually.

I honestly have zero complaints. I am probably going to pick up a 2nd one so that I no longer have to transport my current one from the car to the house and vice versa. One will stay in the car and the other in the house.
W2XAD Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2013 14:45 Send this review to a friend
It is working great now  Time owned: more than 12 months
I finally sent my TMV-71 to Kenwood in the winter of 2013 when they told me that the filter replacement was free and only charged me for labor.
They also did a software upgrade and now the radio works great. The receiver works well and now the audio has the punch it should have had.
I use it every night and have added the RCD-710 head.
Now using this radio is fun!!
KE1L Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2013 21:01 Send this review to a friend
Solid radio, clean UI  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A few years back, I was in the market for a new HT; after trying out the available choices I chose the Kenwood TH-F6A. Yaesu offered a few more features, but they didn't offer full power output on 222 MHz and the physical and user interface design didn't measure up. This was back before the cheap Wouxun and the even cheaper Baofeng and TYT radios were available; now the siren call of price might be hard to resist.

This year I needed a dual band mobile radio, primarily for doing public service events. (HT power levels sometimes aren't enough.) I looked at the alternatives: various Yaesu and Icom models, the inexpensive options from Alinco and Wouxun, and two Kenwoods (TM-V71A and TM-D710A). The Alinco and Wouxun felt cheap and had clumsy interfaces. The FT-7900R lacks cross-band repeat. The Icom IC-2320H and ID-880 were both more money than I wanted to spend. The FT-8800R was a contender, but just as it did when I was buying the handheld, the smoother UI of the Kenwood won me over. I didn't need the extra features of the TM-D710A, so I had made my choice.

Other bonuses of the Kenwood: full 50W output on 440 MHz, and I can remotely control it with my TH-F6A. Direct frequency entry isn't enabled out of the box, but getting it is a simple matter of reprogramming one of the programmable buttons on the microphone.

On the air it just works. Easy to use, bright display, good signal reports, ample audio. If anybody made a full power three-band mobile radio that included 222 MHz along with 2M and 440 MHz they probably would have had my business, but no such animal currently exists. If you're looking for a solid mobile radio and aren't interested in digital voice or APRS, this is as good as it gets.
AC9CR Rating: 4/5 May 20, 2013 06:22 Send this review to a friend
A Very Good Mobile/Base Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I went to Dayton this year with a number of goals in mind. One of those goals was to buy another Mobile dual band to put in the van. I bought a Kenwood TM-281 last year for that purpose, but my wife said "NO WAY". So the last year it I have been Mobile Quiet. I had three considerations. An Icom ID-880 H, a Yaesu FT-7900 R or another V-71. The 880 needed an extension kit which brought the price up to nearly $600.00, so I decided no way. The Yaesu was a very good deal at $320.00 with a free extesion kit. I play with the one on display a The Yaesu booth, but it looked and felt cheap. In my opinion it does not match the two FT-7800 I had. I opted for the V-71 with the cable extension kit. at $400.00.
I have had a V-71A in the shack for the last year and it has worked like a champ. With Chirp I can program it with my iMac. I bought the programming cable when I bought it last year. The programming cable stays hooked up to the V-71 and I hook it up to the Mac when I am to lazy to program it by hand. This also allows me to move the programming info to another radio very easily. I keep all my radios and those of several friends programmed the same to make things simple.
I have to say that the is really the best Mobile radio I have ever owned. Far less of a problem to remember all it's options than FT-8900s I've had and a lot more coverage than the single banders.
I give it 4, really a 4.5, because I would have preferred the mic to have plugged into the control head for remote mounting. All in al a great mobile radio.
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