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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: 90 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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KF6VTA Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2014 16:32 Send this review to a friend
Amazing dual bander. Reminds me the Standard brand  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Amazing! I bought one unit about two years ago and didn't have the chance to tested properly. Now in 2014 i just bought a new one and i can say... It stays 24hrs on standby with spectacular results. INTERMOD is NOT a problem. This baby stands there and the front end stays cool. I'm very close to downtown Miami and not all the radios behave the right way. This one is comparable to my ft-8100 and my ft-8800. No noises, no problems. Nothing out of the ordinary. The radio has a dual band full duplex operation super neat. Crossbanding is simple and efective. No hidden menus, no crazy moves. Display dual colour. Good audio from internal speaker, and most of all..... Tons of features in the menu to play with. Easy to connect to internet and echolink. I personally don't like the mic style but it doesn't mean is bad because it is not. It's just the appearance of it... I'm more used to the yaesu mics for that matter.
At the very end we have a sensitive receiver, with good measurable power out and a robust construction of the body that reminds me my favourite brand from the past... STANDARD! Overall opinion.... Get one!!! You will love it. And if INTERMOD is your concern... This one doesn't give you trouble with it. Enjoy!!!!
AC5PS Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2014 17:44 Send this review to a friend
Two radio's in one  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very good duel band transceiver. One of the best airband ham receivers I've had.
K6MTS Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2014 15:19 Send this review to a friend
I'd buy another if in the market  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using mine as a base 2m/440 for over a year. No issues at all. Works great, nice feature to flip body for speaker up or speaker down. Cross band, dual display color choice.

Not a ton of frills but a very complete dual band rig that I enjoy using. Would buy another one to use mobile but am covered with 857D and IC7000 for 2m/440 in the mobiles.
N3CAL Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2014 14:41 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned this rig for over three years now and it's been a solid performer. The menus are very easy to navigate. The rig is set up as a D-STAR Hotspot on 70 cm paired with a Moen GMSK board. It handles daily use as a D-star Hotspot running at full power.
W7MAG Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2014 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Still Awesome 2 yrs now.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just a follow up.

I bought 6 of these 2 years ago.
All 6 radios still working perfectly.
Several are on cross band duty set to high
power on both sides. One in a VERY hostile
environment.(I recommend an external fan if
you have friends that are real rag chewers).
Even without external fans, I've not had any failures.
Nice job Kenwood.
Their commercial division must have added
some sauce to the mix for these radios.

If there is one con, I'd say it's the mic.
It would be nice to have a lock button on
the mic so others that get in the vehicle
can't change stuff using the DTMF when
it's locked.

Price is right too.
So what are you still reading for?
Go get yours!
VE7KTB Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2014 09:51 Send this review to a friend
Love It  Time owned: more than 12 months
Where to start...

Well I bought this radio to replace my FT-8800. this is the link to that review:

The short comings of the 8800 were enough to drive me away from Yaesu.

The Good:

1. Control head, the layout is nice, buttons are labled and back lit. Big plus in northern Canada where we have long nights.

2. Progamming, EASY!!! with only reading the manual once I was able to get memories programmed. Again alpha tagging is slow with out being able to tag from the keypad.

3. Crossband repeat, so many options! ability to oneway repeat or bi-directional repeat. with or with out a 500ms tail. MUCH better than the FT-8800.

4. Volume, its acceptable. rather low for a mobile, but with an external speaker it is usable.

5. Microphone, it is a "real" mic, interchangable with their commercial line of radios that are 8 pin RJ-45. it has a solid feel in my hand, and i can use a metal hangout clip. I like the feel of the mic, and it is also back lit.

The Not so good:

1. Memories, only 1000 memories shared between both sides. while it is less flexible than the FT-8800 it is more than enough for my needs.

2. Banks, or lack of. there are 10 zones of 100 channels. You are also not able to enter a zone and stay in the zone. PITA. if you are in a zone and come to the last channel in that zone and you go "up" a channel you are into the next zone.

This is the single worst feature about this radio I do not like. but not a deal breaker for me.

3. Software, get the RT software. Chirp does everything "live", as in any changes made while connected to the radio are changed live as you do it. the Kenwood software is pretty useless, but for free what does one expect.

I use RT for all my ham gear. It works well.

4. Having the mic connect to the drawer, where as the Yaesu connects to the head. My radio is remote mounted in my truck, I would prefer it to connect to the control head.

5. Cost of Kenwood accessories, way too much.

6. Zone Change only in one direction. if you are at zone 3 and want to go to zone 2 you must cycle though 4-10 and back to 1 to get to zone 2.

7. Front end filtering, it sucks, and is worse than the FT-8800. PL is a must where i live. while the AIP does work over all sensitivity takes a hit as well. I do not use AIP only because all the repeaters where I live, that I use transmit PL on the repeater output.

All in all I am very happy with the V71a. the not good is not enough to go back to Yaesu. The V71a is a much better radio in almost every aspect. i would like to see a firmware update to allow going "into" a zone and stay in the zone. other than that I really like the radio. I do not plan on selling it, even though I have a D700 that is also going into the truck(when ever it warms up here) it will only be for APRS and not used for voice.

While i give this radio a '5', it really should be a 4.5. little things that a re annoying , but, IMHO, this is a better radio over all than the FT-8800 that i owned before it.
K1PMA Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2014 06:28 Send this review to a friend
Great radio - Overpriced accessories   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had a fair share of radios in my one year as a ham. Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood and a couple cheap HT's. For some reason I find the Kenwoods to be just that much slicker and better than the other 2 big competitors. This radio is a sleeper...for some reason the big selling points 1) Crossband repeater 2) Remote control operation and 3) Echolink mode are not really advertised properly. All this for about $350 with some form of promotion.

For those that have no experience with cross band repeating. In essence you set one VFO B to RX/TX on 440 and VFO A to RX/TX to a repeater on 2M for example. So you can walk around your house/neighborhood with a HT radio and connect via the 71 to repeaters far away with full 50 watts of power. Very cool. Using this approach you get away without the need for costly duplexers.

Personally I find the Kenwood approach to the menu system much better than Yaesu or Icom. The cross band feature works great, a small learning curve but nothing too complex. Not sure what the practical application of the remote control function is but it's pretty neat (you use a HT to send DTMF tones which in turn a selection of functions on the Kenwood on/off).

The negatives are simply put the nickel and diming with the the Echolink/Programming cable set...$50+ >? Really ? Or the fact that when installing in a car you will need another cable set to extend the control head from the 10" or so cable they provide. At least you get programming software for free from the Kenwood web site.

KA7OEI Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2014 10:46 Send this review to a friend
Successor to my long-lived TM-733A  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got the TM-V71A to replace my (about) 20 year-old Kenwood TM-733A. That radio still worked fine, but the gold-plated spring-loaded contacts on the control head were just wearing out and despite thorough cleaning and using contact enhancer: It became unreliable as a mobile rig and more frequently getting its brains scrambled when the connections on the remote panel would drop out for an instant due to my pushing a button or hitting a big bump. As a "base" rig or for non-mobile portable use, it should still work fine.

Because it was only a tiny bit thicker and longer, I was able to use the original bracket for the '733 to mount it under the rear seat of my Jeep Cherokee, but I did run new microphone/control cables. Because standard "RJ" connectors are now used throughout, I know that I should be able to replace/repair a cable if that becomes necessary. I did break down and buy the (rather pricy!) cable extender kit (in addition to the remote mounting kit) but were I to have spent a bit more time, I could have probably found the right kind of (shielded) cable and avoided buying the extender. (My cable run was too long for the remote panel kit, anyway.)

I can find no obvious faults with this radio other than nit-picking about the fact that the TX power settings were about 20% off on the low and medium power levels - something that I could have adjusted were it actually important!

(There are free programs to configure this radio via computer as well as diagrams on the web to make the interfacing cable - but since this rig lives under the seat, in my car, I didn't bother with any of them: It took only about 15 minutes to manually enter the 50 or so memories of the local repeaters, this being aided by the fact that programming them was almost exactly the same as it had been on my old '733.)

As an upgrade from the '733, the enhanced scanning abilities (channel banks, frequency limits) are nice (although rarely used) as are the abilities to listen to other bands, namely 222 MHz. The color choice (amber or green) of the display is nice although I did find the numbers on the '71A to be very slightly harder to read at night than those on the '733 (in which' I'd installed amber LEDs) for some reason - but switching to the green backlight helped this considerably: I think that the numbers on this radio are just a tiny bit smaller than on the '733 and also that, from the driving position, off to the side, the contrast is very slightly lower. Had it not been flush-mounted in the dead-center of the car (in line with the gear shift - about the only place to put the display on this Jeep) it would have been both closer and at a better viewing angle.

The control head is a bit larger, heavier and "chunkier" than that of the older '733, as is the microphone - and both took a bit of getting used to. Rather than having the '733's several layers of front panel button functions with sub-functions and sub-sub functions, this has a more decipherable plain-text (mostly) menu system in which there is at least some hope of intuiting without the manual handy!

Unlike the stock '733, I haven't noticed an intermod problem around here - even with the "AIP" turned off, but most of the high-power transmitters responsible for the intermod have simply gone away around here.

* * *

Why did I pick this over the ICOM or Yaesu?

Both Kenwood and Yaesu tend to follow the same general philosophy through the years and if you know how to use one of their radios, you can generally muddle your way through another: Not so with Icom who seems to "change up" their radios every so often, sometimes making experience with one of their radios totally useless when trying to figure out another!

The main weight in choosing the Kenwood over the Yaesu was that it was similar in its operation to that of my old '733 so that I wouldn't really have to think too much about operating its basic features - VERY important when driving! Also, it appeared that the nagging problems that I'd had with the '733 (e.g. intermod, problems with the remote mounting kit) had been addressed with this newer radio.
W5LZ Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2014 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I couldn't find where I made a comment on this radio and I'm surprised. I've had one for several years, I like it. It doesn't do everything under the sun, but what it does, it does well. I can think of one or two thingys that I think could be 'better', but big deal, I can say that about any radio I've ever had, you know? One of those thingys I think I would like is a larger screen. But I don't see as well as I once did, 'nuther 'big deal'. And the one thing I made for mine is a sun-shield, so I can see the screen on the dash of my car.
After that, it does what it says it'll do. Lots of things I don't use, but haven't found a need for them yet.
Would I get another one? Yep.
I'm a Kenwood fan to start with so keep that in mind...
- Paul
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!!

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