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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: 71 Average rating: 4.2/5 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.
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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.

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.

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

VA3DTP Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2012 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Nice dual band radio. 50 Watts output on both VHF/UHF. Main features are dual VFO, APRS, TNC 1200/9600 bps), Echolink (node terminal), Crossband Repeater, SkyCommand, 1000 Memory Channels, Weather Alert, (5) Independant Operating Profiles, ARRL Travel Plus Compatable, Voice Guidance (voice synthesizer is optional), GPS ready, display is very informative, easy to use, program, and learn, built in time clock, displays both frequency and call signs at same time as well as other data (29 graphic icons in all), programing cables are optional), radio is very easy to learn both manually and via software (MCP-2A software free from Kenwood), and much much more. Tried almost all features with no issues to report, will aim to setup for Echolonk next. Only negative comments is that display is permanently seperate, does not attach to front of radio and stock microphone cord is too short. Need to be careful using the delicate programming cable connectors. Later added the VGS-1 voice chip, works well.
SV1HKD Rating: 2/5 Mar 7, 2012 02:00 Send this review to a friend
PROBLEM WITH TNC AND FILTERS  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one TM-D710 from November 2008.I had also the problem with ceramic filters but my friend SV8YM solved the problem,and with TNC.I made all the updates and now after 10 months the TNC is off.I received strong aprs signal on 144.800 by 1200 and suddenly not decode nothing.I made a full reset and the TNC had worked only for 3 hours.Now i restart the radio and after 3 hours i i have the same problem.I'm desappointed with KENWOOD because t bought this radio for APRS use.More info about problem with ceramic filters here:
Also i have about 10 years one TM-D700 without any problem.73 de SV1HKD(NOTIS).
AE6ZW Rating: 4/5 Nov 24, 2011 00:30 Send this review to a friend
APRS works good.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a opportunity to work on this radio, and add DC blocking capacitors at 2nd ceramic IF filters, as described by SV8YM those parts are 0402 ( inch size ), so it require me to use microscope to cut traces and add capacitores, etc. I took some pictures
W5LZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 19, 2011 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Enthusiastic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Keep in mind that I'm a Kenwood fan so am a bit prejudiced...
Just got a '710! Can't wait to get it set up like I want it. That brings up a good question, as in how do I want to set the thing up?
First step was to get it installed, did that. Then enter all the frequencies I had in the 'old' radio. Almost done with that (where'd I put that list??). Also have to remember to get the repeater tones and stuff plugged in, means re-doing things at least three times, but that's good practice right?
APRS, gotta get that going too. Not sure why, yet, I've got a separate radio for that, but if it 'can', then why not? I'll get to it eventually.
The drive back from the candy store was almost more than I could stand! So, stopped, substituted the '710's head for the old radio's control head. Oh my... Why didn't I bring that @#$ programming cable? Could'a had it working before I got home. Rats! Oh well.
Sound like a kid with new candy? Right! I don't care, I like it.
Have to wait and see what I forgot, there's always something.
Why the "4" rating? Cuz I don't give anything the highest rating possible until I've made all the mistakes and haven't broken it yet. Then it get's the highest rating!
- Paul
M6GOM Rating: 5/5 Nov 18, 2011 15:17 Send this review to a friend
Easy to set up.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had a 710 for a few weeks now. It was easy to set up and get on the air. Where I am there is a hole in APRS so I wanted to set it up as a digipeater. Took about 15 minutes to get it going including adding my call to the path.

I had a 8 pin mini DIN plug that came with my TS480. I used that to make up a programming lead for both the head and main body. Works just fine. I can also use the same lead on my TS480 as well. So if anyone has a TS480, TM-V71 you can use the same cable on your TM-D710 as well.

People have mentioned the filters. Kenwood implemented the filter modification about a year ago and installed a SMD capacitors to decouple the DC from the filters. I checked mine and it has indeed got the filter modification so anyone buying a new TM-D710 or TM-V71 no longer needs to worry about the filters packing in.
G4OER Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2011 08:46 Send this review to a friend
Very pleased with my new purchase  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It arrived this morning so early days. So far, love it, loads of features to keep me occupied in the winter months.
More info to follow after I've had more experience.
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