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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Kenwood TH-7E Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood TH-7E
Kenwood TH-7E Reviews: 31 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $£280ukp
Description: European version of the TH-6A
Product is in production.
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F6FLQ Rating: 4/5 Nov 28, 2009 15:31 Send this review to a friend
Good classic value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've just got a brand new TH-7E from Waters Stanton ( UK).
They are shipped with a new 2000 mAh PB-42L now (vs 1550 mAh previous one)!
A sticker tells you the new charging time : 8h (vs 6,5h);
the output of the ac adaptator is 0.65A.

I like :
audio quality (better than my YAESU VX-7)
SMC-34 mike set option (speaker volume control+phone jack + 3 prog buttons)
5w WITHOUT external power source
very easy menu to go with.

HF SSB receiver is so-so (Yaesu FT 817 is unbeatable !)..but no other handheld has this

I hate :
the APO : no power off if a signal is still present !!???
Not a good "sleep" function.

Nevertheless I don't regret my purchase.

G8YTZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2009 03:38 Send this review to a friend
Very Flexible, very well made HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, Im pretty difficult to please Ive owned this hand-held longer that I can remember, it must be getting on for 10 years old now, but fear not of the age - the package is still competitive.

The Good:

Very well made, good solid construction, nice materials, definitely a quality product exactly what and hand portable should be.
Good range of reasonably prices accessories (ICOM take note about the words reasonably priced!)
100% reliability, it has never ever let me down over its long service life
Easy to use, menu system very logical you never want for anything more.
Dual receive, very wideband receiver 0.1-1300MHz, so covers 23cms as well and is all mode on receive (AM, FM, Broadcast FM, USB/LSB, CW) programmable for each band separately.
VFO steps are flexible and ideal for SSB reception in fine mode
Feature rich, it does everything you would want. It does all CTCSS, DTS modes and you can select any reasonable repeater shift.
Lots of memories, alpha tags would have been nice though.
Compact size, strong lithium-ion battery
Good VHF/UHF/SHF receive performance (for a hand portable)
PC Programmable.

The not so good:

Use it for long QSOs and it gets red hot (all that power in a small space), but makes a great hand warmer in the winter!
OK so the LF/MF/HF wideband receiver is quite poor, but it is as good as any top end hand scanners and it covers the 23cm band.
Theres a bit of inter-mod when connected to an external antenna on 2 meters
The supplied charger/PSU cannot sustain TX on high power; you can buy a Maplin plug-in replacement or the Kenwood car charger lead.
The supplied rubber duck could be a lot better, buy an alternative antenna

On the whole this hand portable is difficult to beat, nearly 10 years on it still holds its own in the market and still has some very valuable and unique features in being all mode on receive and covering 23cms on receive.

My next hand portable will probably be a D-STAR, as I think the D-STAR system is great for portable and mobile operation, but I will loose the compact size and the versatile receiver of the TH-F7 in the process, so Im keeping the Kenwood for now until the D-STAR sets improve.

Justin G8YTZ
ALVIN Rating: 3/5 Jun 16, 2008 17:22 Send this review to a friend
well built  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This transceiver is built like a tank.kenwood have certainly not skimped on the build quality,it looks as though it would take many a hard knock and survive.I particularly like this aspect of the radio.

as far as performance goes,the receiver suffers from a bit of hiss unless the signal is very strong,and the screen will mist up on the inside sometimes if you transmit for an excessive length of time on each over on 5 watts,but it will soon de mist it'self if you let it cool down between overs or reduce the power,it doesn't happen very often so It's not really much of a problem

the size is very small,so it will fit inside your pocket with relative ease,making the unit very transportable,the unit will transmit for a very long time on one battery charge,even on 5watts,I was on for over an hour at 5 watts without the battery failing.

it will receive just about anything,even sideband,although it will only recieve the strong side band signals properly,and you need an external antenna.overall i think it's a reasonably good radio.
PA3HCM Rating: 3/5 Apr 30, 2008 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Nice monitor for in your shack  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my TH-F7e about a year ago together with the SMC-34 speaker/microphone and I'm quite happy with this little thing. Ok, the receiver isn't that good (as mentioned in other reviews already), but I won't use this HT for DX either. No, this is my little friend in my shack for monitoring, since it is capable to receive anything between 100kHz and 1300MHz in all popular modes (including SSB!).

During long trips I use it in my car (combined with a JWX mobile antenna). I mostly use VFO-A for 70cm and VFO-B for 2m, since VFO-A has better (or should I say "less worse"?) filtering than VFO-B. For some reason most QRO is close to 70cm here in PA, while 2m is very quiet...

When using the DC-cable (PG-3J, separately) it gets really hot when transmitting, so I only use this cable for charging when I'm out of my car.

So if you want a very small all-mode receiver which is also able to transmit on 144/432, then buy this one. If you don't need HF reception, skip this and find something else.
G6ZDP Rating: 2/5 Dec 9, 2007 12:45 Send this review to a friend
A Serious Problem with This Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the first Kenwood Radio I have ever owned, I purchased the TH-7E about 4 months ago, I was using it whilst on Holiday in Cornwall and after about 5 minutes of Transmitting, I noticed the LCD display started to mist up. The display would stay misted up for about 1.5 minutes, after that everything was back to normmal until I started transmitting again. I let this problem trouble me for about 6 weeks, I then decided to take it back from where I purchased it from. The Radio went back to Kenwoods work shop for there investigation after about 2 weeks I had heard nothing so I decided to contact the shop where I purchased it from via email, I got an instant reply to tell me that they were ordering a new display for my radio. A few weeks passed and I emailed the shop once again to ask them when I was going to get my radio back. They told me the engineer looking at my radio had been on holiday and it should be back to me by the end of the week. Well beleive it or not I got an email from the engineer saying I needed to explain what was going wrong with the radio, I emailed him all the details about the radio misting up after Transmitting for about 5 minutes. About a week later I emailed the engineer again to find out what was happening, he emailed me back to say that he could not get the display to mist up, at this point I asked him if I could have the radio replaced, I was given a brand new radio. I was so pleased to get another TH-7E and once again I could use my radio whilst out walking, well once again I was back to square one, a new radio and believe it or not after about 5 minutes of transmitting the diplay misted up again, well as you can imagine I was very angry. I thought to myself do I take a photo of the display misted up and email it to the Kenwood engineer?
I was glad to hear that the shop where I purchased it from were having a open day an a Kenwood rep would be there, I took the new TH-7E along with me and demonstrated the problem to the Kenwood rep, he was amazed and said he had heard about the problem with my first radio but was suprised this one was doing the same.
I emailed the Kenwood engineer and told him the second radio was misting up and that I had demonstrated this problem to the Kenwood rep, at this point I asked for my money back, well I got all my money back and purchased a YAESU 817ND.
HAS ANYBODY HAD THIS PROBLEM WITH THE DISPLAY MISTING UP? if you have it would be nice to hear from you. My email address is G6ZDP
EI3GSB Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2007 04:18 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant little radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For it's size and weight this little radio is a marvel of modern technology!! Performs flawlessly on 2 and 70 getting good audio reports and the wide band receive is pretty good too compared to some receivers I've had in the past. If you enjoy complicated and tricky configuration menus, stick with Yaesu.

Some of the complaints I've read on here amaze me... a couple of reveiwers have complained of it's weight!!! I think you may have trouble lifting a cup of tea if you think this rig is heavy... someone else claimed that it scratched easily!!! A solution for this serious fault was found on "keep the radio away from things that might scratch it..." Jeeeez... should Kenwood supply cotton wool with this radio?

I kind of wonder what some people expect from a radio this size???? Try sticking the F7E's stock antenna into the back of your TS-850SAT and see how good your HF reception is... go on, give it a go, and when you do, can you post your results here for all of us to see and have a good laugh at!

My only complaint would be the mid power setting, too low at .5W, but this is a minor gripe.

This is simply a brilliant piece of kit, full stop!
M3OXD Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2006 02:52 Send this review to a friend
Versatile handheld great for active ham enthusiasts  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have now owned my secondhand TH-F7E for one week and after lots of experiments and tests I can finally review it. This review will be helpful to you only if subscribing to one of the following categories:
- Looking for a handheld that is small enough to carry around all day
- Love ham radio and especially DX work but don't have time to use the transceiver in the shack.
- Doing some commuting but not necessarily by car (walking, cycling, biking)
- Some car trips but not enough to justify buying a mobile rig and damaging the car's interior to accommodate the rig and antennas/cables.
- Attending ham rallies or simply keeping in touch with the ham club members in your area, via 2-3 repeaters within 50 miles radius.
- Want a dual band HT (2m/70cm) that can scan simultaneously both bands, have CTCSS and DTMF
- Limited budget but basic skills and knowledge to erect a long wire antenna, do some soldering, etc.
- Hooked neither on Yaesu, Kenwood nor Icom yet looking for a handheld whose style and feel goes beyond that of a brick.

If one or more of these categories applies to you, this is the handheld to buy. After reading lots of reviews about Yaesu VX-1R, 2R, 5R, 6E, 7R, FT-50, FT-60, VX-110, etc, then Icom E-91, E7 and Kenwood TH-D7E, TH-K2, TH-F7E I decided for the last one, with the condition that I found one in good nick and around a maximum £100.

While other HTs listed above are not bad, some arguably have better reception (?), most of them are quite expensive and all of them make some kind of compromise. There's always a compromise between features, materials, quality and price.

As far as the F7E is concerned, no other handheld offer more features into such a small package. Then I looked at the CONS of the rig. Some of them quite bizarre (no blue backlight, small buttons, complicated menu) and did not matter to me. Others were more concerning (cannot use while charging, long charging time, etc). I found these spurious as well. I happen to have a second PSU in the shack, which I hook to the handheld while at home to avoid discharging the battery. Works without problems, and when I switch the radio off, the battery starts charging automatically. I didn't even have to buy the PG-2W DC cable, as I came across a regulated 1.5-12V DC-DC converter for car lighter which has six different plugs to choose from, one of them fits perfectly with the F7E. This also means the PG-3J cigarette lighter power cable is not needed either and I can use it in the car.

The other concern people have is with reception/rubber duck antenna. I am not impressed with their arguments. The supplied rubber duck antenna for F7E is good enough to open the repeaters 50 miles away, helped by its 5W power supplied by the battery, not only when connected to a PSU as it is with the TH-D7E and some Yeasu HTs. I drove to a wood outside the town the other day and took it with me for a walk in the woods/hills. While on the top of the hill, it opened a 2m repeater 70 miles away, so that's good enough for me.

Driving back, I realised the limitations of a handheld as opposed to a mobile rig in terms of reception. The FM signal from the repeaters was sketchy and interrupted often, but that's normal from a handheld with a rubber duck antenna inside the car. I solved this easily by buying a 2m/70cm magmount 1/4 whip antenna (£10) which I connected to the F7E via a SMA to BNC adapter, having nicely secured the HT to my mobile phone dash mount. The antenna has 0 db gain, and that's actually recommended for good FM reception on the handheld, more gain generating interference to the sensitive Kenwood receiver.

The same goes for SSB operation. I have actually taken the advice of other F7E users who all say a 16feet wire does the perfect job for reception on 10-80m. Don't try to connect it to your vertical or yagi, as it's got a basic SSB filter which will quickly overload. So I built a simple copper wire antenna hooked it between two trees in my garden and via another 16feet of 50ohm coax I am sitting in the garden at evening and listen to VE, YU, W, and UA stations off my handheld. If you are driving a lot, get a HF mobile antenna attached to your car and you'll be all right, although I think that's pushing it. For mobile SSB operation, either SWL or QSO-ing, I would get a TS-480, FT-897, 857, 817 or IC-703.

There are other uses, like airband and weather channels, WFM broadcasts which are all accessible via this rig. All in all, I am satisfied with the compromise made by the TH-F7E and thus recommend it warmly to anyone. If you get it secondhand around £100-110 consider yourself lucky. Mine was advertised on Ebay in the wrong section, so do your research.

73 de Chris
M3VKS Rating: 4/5 Jul 3, 2006 04:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great radio...

I owned a this little radio for nearly three years without any problems. I found it very easy to use both at home and mobile.


Good clear visual readout
Great menu system
Good Strong TX output
Good Reception (VHF/UHF)
Wide RX with no gaps
Very good audio
The battery life... WOW!!
Build Quality
This radio never let me down

Against... (this is dificult)

It feels a little heavy for it's size?

OK... I have read some of the other reviews and yes, it can suffer from intermod when using it's wide RX capabilities. BUT... is this not expected from such a small radio??

This is really picky... maybe the light could come on automatically when a button is pressed or a dial turned (like on a Yaesu)

So, in my opinion this radio is A great buy! Especially now they are sub 200 brand new.
HB9LFU Rating: 1/5 Sep 15, 2005 08:34 Send this review to a friend
Stay away from this one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a bit of a Kenwood fan and have owned a TS-440,TS-140,TS-2000,TS-50 and last of all the fine TS-480. However, the TH-F7e has, let's face it, a terrible receiver. The shortwave section is worst of all. Not even the strongest stations like DW or BBC can be heard in decent quality without hiss. On VHF and UHF the picture is a little better, but far from good. Stay away from this one!
SHAGGY8675 Rating: 4/5 Aug 16, 2005 14:48 Send this review to a friend
reat little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've got htis radio for several weeks now, and must say i'm verry surprised with the way it performs.

When working 2m and 70cm everything works perfect, even twin freq. recieve etc. great fun.

I use the radio mostly for recieving, and must say that it performs great. Put in a little bit of wire, and away you go. All HAM bands, i got signals here from all over Europe, and they sound great. SSB sounds verry clear for a HT.

400+ channels for scanning are enough for me, it doesn't go 100ch/sec, but it's fast enough for my needs.
And you can scan 2 bands at once using the duall VFO.

Audio is clear, but could us a little better/larger speaker perhaps. Buttons are small, but for me that is no problem with my hand-size.
Antenna...replace it please with a good aftermarket one.

Batery is perfect, the little Lithium/Ion batery can take a lot of work. But must say charging takes a while ( 6 + hrs. )

It's a shame you can't plug in the adapter and talk, because mine restarts itself. A small little PSU might do the trick.

Ohh, don't forget the SMA to BNC connector for better/external antenna's

All in all, great radio, for few money ( 299 Euro new ) With the batery, 0/1300 SSB/CW capable... what more could you wich for...

Blue backlight perhaps ;)

Nice yob Kenwood, finaly a HT with scanning capabileties and most importantly SSB.CW
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