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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Kenwood TM-D710A Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood TM-D710A
Kenwood TM-D710A Reviews: 67 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $599.95
Description: The TM-D710 Data Communicator 144/440 MHz Dual Bander has the following features:
APRS Ready
APRS Weather Station ready
KSS II+ (kenwood Skycommand II+)
NMEA 0183 GPS I/O port
Built-in 1200/9600 bps TNC
Echolink Ready
High RF Power Output (V/U: 50 watt)
1000 multifunction Memory Channels
Dual Receive on same band (V+V, U+U)
NOAA Weather Alert/RX (US Only)
Voice Guidance & Storage option (VGS-1)
MCP Compatible with ARRL "TravelPlus"

Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KB9SZX Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2015 14:20 Send this review to a friend
Super radio, Awesome Support  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased my rig second had from another ham that was having issues with the "a" band selector button. Checking out the rig when I received it revealed a bad pullup resistor for this button's input to the micro controller. I have no Idea how the pull up resistor when bad....it showed 2.5 V without the button pressed. Which, is neither 0vdc or 5 vdc which yeilded random results. Simple enough, wired in a new 1/8w pullup and all has been well since. I also installed my mini gps module in the control head, with excellent results. Great radio for mobile APRS, excellent crossband repeat. My model is a later serial, and does not suffer from the filter issue. My only gripe is the 90's text style interface for sending messages. being able to interface a USB keyboard, or Bluetooth for that matter would be most excellent! But hey, always room for improvement. Also, with so many reviews of Chinese radio owners being left high and dry with NO service manuals or tech support, I have to give High regard to Kenwood for support after the sale. EVEN TO THE SECOND OWNER! I have always had technical questions answered the same day.....will be a Kenwood customer for some time to come!
 
W5KVV Rating: 5/5 Jan 28, 2015 23:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my early serial# 710 used from a local friend & fellow ham. It was his full time mobile, so it had been put thru the paces. I knew full well of the possible issues with the filters, namely those on the UHF side. This rig was installed in my 2nd mobile & performed flawless for a year. Sold the mobile, so the 710 replaced a TM-281 in the shack.

Super easy to program from the front panel as with all Kenwood rigs. The large display is a huge plus. The ability to display frequncy & alpha tags simultaneously is a huge improvement over the 281 & 71A. Well laid out menu & funtion keys on the front panel are a plus. APRS & TNC setup is a snap if you know what you're doing, however a novice to APRS will find themselves doing a little digging in the owners manual & on the internet for help.

After some time in the shack, my 710 developed issues with the filters on the UHF side. Basically the UHF side went deaf. A common issues with the early run of TM-D710A rigs. It's well documented & Kenwood will repair the issue if you wish to spend the money. Alternatively, there are fixes on the internet if you should be so bold as to attempt repairs yourself.

All in all these are great dual band rigs. Since they're no longer in production, anyone looking to pick up a used 710 needs to be aware of the issues associated with the early serial # rigs, namely the filters. It's not a matter of IF they will fail, it's a matter of WHEN. I still give this rig a 5* review due to the fact that the said issues were with the early production radios. I also own a late model 710A & it has had NONE of the issues associated with the pre 2009 radios. Flawless in every aspect.

My early production 710 has been repurposed as a digipeater & has been working non stop for a year as such with no issues from the TNC or the VHF side.
 
GREGWTH7MMMAG Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2014 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned mine for a little over a year now, using it for APRS as well as for digital modes. Compared to the menus on Yaesu and Icom, the Kenwood is much easier to navigate thru. The D710 screen is much easier to see vs the other dual band mobiles as well. My only gripe about this radio, is having to use a serial to usb adapter to connect it to my computer.
 
KD5NDU Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2014 10:53 Send this review to a friend
very good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had mine for about a year now. And also got the GPS unit with it. I use for apes cross band. And I have use the remote control from a ht. I in in joy the radio a lot. for a mobile vhf UHF radio. it does almost anything you want it to do.
 
KF7DOJ Rating: 1/5 Dec 27, 2013 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Display unit connection problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
This unit is installed in my trail rig. Until recently it was used solely for off-road trips. On the trail I noticed the connection from the display unit, attached to the windscreen, to the head unit, under the seat, dropped and the unit would turn off. The connection is via a cable with a common RJ45 connector. Thinking it was the RJ45 connection I crimped a new connector to the cable. The connection still dropped.
After calling Kenwood customer service I was told I need a new cable. $40 later I got a new cable from Pac Parts. With my re-crimped cable I could get the display unit to work by pressing against the connector, not so with the new cable from Pac Parts, nothing.
Second call to Kenwood -- I'm told it's my radio and my problem and that I need to call Pac Parts again. I did get a exploded view of the unit so I could tell Pac Parts what I need.
If there is any east-west play in the display unit connection I'd return it and ask for a replacement. I have a friend who purchased the same unit. His works great.
I expected more from Kenwood, from both the product and customer support.
This is my first mobile unit so my experience to other manufactures is limited. The other radio I own is a Yeasu handheld.
 
SV1JRF Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2013 10:12 Send this review to a friend
Amazing -Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just bought my second D710 for my car. That says it all... (The first is installed in my QTH)
 
N2EAC Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2013 10:27 Send this review to a friend
Not Cheap, But Close To Perfection  Time owned: more than 12 months
I matched mine up to an AvMap GeoSat g5 - an expensive way to get set up for APRS. The display is easy to read regardless of the angle of the sun's reflection in the display and both the tx and rx audio are 1st class. I usually look to ICOM (I have an IC-2800H, which in my mind was the gold standard in its time - except the original mic t/r switch was rubbish and I had to upgrade to the HM-133) and I also had an ICOM IC-207H (but is just wore it out), but the IC-2820H just does not measure up to the Kenwood. I don't care what radio of the same class (v/v, u/u. v/u with APRS capability) you buy today there is a learning curve. All I can say is this ICOM loyalist found great level of quality in the construction of the Kenwood, it's manual is well written and this radio marries up to the AVMAP seamlessly. Needless to say this radio not cheap, but it is worth evaluation. 73, N2EAC, Ed
 
WA3ERQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2013 08:48 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Radio is outstanding out of the box. Coupled with the Green Light Labs GPS receiver, you literally have plug-and-play APRS operation.

Pros:
Out of the box, you can have the radio running within minutes.
The Green Light Labs GPS module connects within 5 minutes and obtains a GPS lock within 30 seconds.
The menus take a few minutes to get used to but they are organized very well and easy to use.

Cons:
You have to use the supplied CD for the operators manual. The supplied manual only gives very basic operation.
The programming cable uses an RS-232 connection (who's computer has this these days). Luckily you can obtain a RS-232/USB cable but I would have preferred a USB to begin with.
The programming software is not compatible wiht 64bit Windows so you basically have to use an older system to program the radio.

Overall, I would rate the radio a 4.8 only because of the cons that I've listed. I've had nothing but great responses on my QSO's and the APRS operation is fantastic. I can't say anything about the programming software since I can't get it to install on my laptop but the menu functions on the radio are orgainzed very well. You can get this radio up and running wihtin 20 minutes on a repeater. You do need to consult the manual (which I had to print out since I'm using this in my car) which is a slight pain but the manual is written well and easy to follow.
 
VA3BRW Rating: 4/5 Oct 4, 2012 19:24 Send this review to a friend
Positive, but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My D700 (which served me well for several years and a lot of kilometres) has intermittent faults in the receive circuits of both sides, so it was time to move up to the D710. It was a long awaited move. The 710 hasn't a lot more than the D700, but I'm sure that I'll make good use of the new features. So why am I writing this? Just to blast Kenwood on one item - the documentation proposes that this radio is intended for the Canadian market, but there is no possibility to set the date format to the unambiguous standard set in ISO 8601, which is the standard format that we use in Canada.
 
ND6C Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2012 17:01 Send this review to a friend
Amazing data mode mobile unit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is bar none the finest mobile radio available if you are into data modes on 2 meter and 70 cm. This unit has a built in TNC and native APRS support. It is trivial to get this unit up and running and sending data packets out in no time. All it takes is a terminal with a serial port, connect via 9600 BPS and you are in the TNC. It also work really nice with AGWPE if so desired (that is how I use it.) It supports 1200 and 9600 bps AX.25 natively with the TNC. Other modes (PSK perhaps) can be emulated using software if desired. The TNC command reference is about 3 pages long. It is a full featured TNC.

One thing to note about this unit that is a little different from all the other "removable face" type radios is that the front panel on this radio does not attach to the body in any way at all. It is meant to always be used detached. Keep this in mind if you are contemplating using this radio as a true mobile unit. I only use it as a base myself. It makes a terrific base unit with the appropriate external power supply. Check out my QRZ page and check out my "wall mount."

Do you only need a basic 2 meter and 70 cm radio? This is likely not the radio for you then. This machine is designed to be used with data modes. I purchased it for that reason primary. Add the 60 dollar "echo-link" kit and you are all set to do anything you can imagine data wise. It is also a snap to actually use it as a echo-link repeater or a link node as well with that kit. Sure you could build your own, but having the pre-made kit is very nice.

This unit also has all of the other features of the TM-V71A (check out my review of that unit as well) however the display is much better. It is much larger and allows for 8 character memory name and displays the frequency and the memory name at the same time. All of the function keys are "soft" on this unit and they change depending on which mode you are in. The only key that doesn't change is the power mode key. The menu is also better on this unit as it displays a "main menu" of top level categories that you can drill into. Honestly the menu system on this unit is the best I have ever seen on a mobile.

The unit has to be power cycled to do things like: setup echo-link mode, turn on cross-band repeat, and delete memory channels. All of those involve turning the unit off and then turning it back on while holding one of the function keys.

The audio quality on both transmit and receive is great. I get good audio reports and with my diamond X300 on this unit I can hit data and voice stations that are 90 miles away no problem. In fact I use this radio to work the ISS all the time when it is 900 miles+ downrange.

It is honestly hard to sum this radio up in this short review. It can do so much. I haven't really found something it can't do in terms of features. This machine is complex and it can take some time to figure out all of the features. It comes with a digital version of the "advanced" manual that covers all the menu options and features in great detail. It is 72 pages long. It also comes with a printed "quick start" manual which will get you on the air in no time.

The APRS support is also really well done. Add a GPS unit and throw it in your car and there is no hiding from your XYL anymore! :) It has a number of display options for APRS data, a nice listing of heard stations, and a good messaging interface. The digipeater is also well done and easy to setup. Check out N6ACK-1 to see it in action. However I don't always run it as I enjoy using the rig for other things as well.

I have one issue with this radio. I attempted to use an extension on the microphone using CAT6 cable with a coupler and it caused a "wood-pecker" sound on transmit. Very obvious 10 cycle a second or so clicking or tapping noise. After some research this has something to do with the DTMF encoder in the mic. Very odd. As I didn't really need the extension I removed it and it went away. Some say using the Kenwood kit to extend the mic removed the tapping. I can not confirm that.

One other thing that comes to mind is the ability to control the radio via DTMF. You can control many of the features remotely using DTMF commands. Things like turning on xband repeat, changing xmit power, ect. They also have the feature of announcing your call sign every 10 minutes when xband is on so you can stay legal.

I am super happy with this radio and it was a wise investment that will hopefully last me a long time. It has opened up many of the possibilities of what can be done on 2m and 70cm. With the feature set I was looking for, this was basically the only choice I had. It was either the Kenwood or make a compromise. It seems they have really thought of it all on this rig.

73 - N6ACK

 
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