|Best Value for Money
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Well I just parted with my Yaesu FT-8100 and lashed out on the new (In VK anyway) TM-D700A data radio. What made me buy it was that it already came with a remote head and that it has a built in 1200/9600 baud TNC and support APRS.
Kenwood has made a VERY nice radio. Its easy to use yet it has lots and LOTS of features. To connect a PC, all you need is a serial cable, no level converters. The programming software is FREE from Kenwood and its great !
It supports cross band repating, remote control, an ax-25 digi so you can stick it ontop of a hill and use your Kenwood TH-D7A h/h and digi through it, aprs and aprs digi.
If your into data and want to be mobile, its absolutely the way to go. My ONLY gripe about it is that its more susceptable to interference from pagers than say my old FT-8100.
Overall I'd suggest its really worth a look. Lots of features that are optional on other radio's and it is fully data ready !! Wow, I sound like a damm sales rep.. I'm not, I just love the radio..
|What I Was Looking For In a Dual Bander
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|I admit, I've never used packet and don't plan to in the near future. When I set out looking for a dual band mobile, I collected all the options it must have. No other radio had all the options until Kenwood put this puppy out. Yes, it's pricey (not everyone can afford it). The remote mount looks terrific in my 91 full size GMC truck. Right where the stock stereo used to be, it's almost in the perfect location for viewing while driving as I don't have to turn my head or look down to see it. Only drawback is, I have to speak a little louder as some complain I'm too quiet. Since it's new, no one (except Kenwood of course) knows how to adjust that. I also haven't found out the MARS/CAP modification. It has a very wide recieve, which comes in handy sometimes, even the 1.2Ghz band. It has tons of features which takes a while to master. This is a keeper.|
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
1) Mic cable too short (needs extension) I used a cat 5 computer cable to extend the length.
2) Control head mounting bracket (it wouldn't work where I needed it, so I had to build my own)
3) Pricey ($629.95)
4) Reception is not as good as my Yaesu FT-90R (still sufficient though)
1) Built in APRS w/cable jack (haven't used the jack yet; need to build the cable)
2) Built in tnc (have only used it on 2m 1200 baud packet so far)
3) Ability to use voice and data transmissions at same time
4) Cross-band repeat (great for working with low power HTs at lake)
5) Display EASY to read even in direct sunlight
6) Radio programming software is FREE
7) Features and more features
This is a great radio! The only things keeping it from being a "five" are the price and reception. The reception is good, but the Yaesu (using the same antenna and cable) blew this radio away. The radio controls are well laid out to access the most used features even when moving. However the radio has so many options, it can be confusing to set up (don't do this while moving). The display is bright and easy to read. The supplied mounting bracket could not be adapted to under-dash mounting, so I had to make my own.
I would recommend this radio to anyone (who has money), first radio or replacement, new ham or old. This radio has features for anyone. I am very satisfied with it.
|It's about time someone included all this in one p
||Time Owned: unknown months.
|The operating panel is very nicely designed and easy to see. A menu can be accessed easily and this is a big concern with a mobile rig. This unit replaced another Kenwood and I'm glad to see that most Kenwood chassis are the same size. Didn't even have to change the bracket. I don't like where the mic plug is located (on front of the chassis). An extension should have been provided to bring the mic connector closer to the operating panel. Kenwood did supply a power/data cable long enough to mount the chassis in the back seat, but the mic would be located back there too. If you want to use the VC-H1 visual communicator with the TM-D700A, you have to make your own cable. Kenwood doesn't even sell one! For a combined price of over $1100 you would think that it would be ready to operate out of the box. So much for the ads on the back of QST. The connectors are available from Kenwood at an outrageous price and you need a magnifying glass to wire them. Overall, a very nice radio. Kenwood also provides a software program on their website to program the radio from a PC. The instruction manual could be improved. Some unrealistic Japanese to American translations leave a lot to be desired in some intructions.|
|Well thought out quality radio.
||Time Owned: unknown months.
|After using the TM-D700A for two weeks I have found no real problems.|
The installation is somewhat more difficult as the radio must be mounted as a remote face. The works in the box are mounted elsewhere. This is complicated by the fact that the mic plugs into the radio and not the face. Kenwood has a cable kit that provides the extra length of cable necessary but the kit is quite pricey. The kit includes an extension for the front panel as well, but this is normally not needed as the cord that comes with is long enough for most installs.
Kenwood surly could have included the mic extension cord for the $679 current price.
The only thing that I can find wrong with the program is that once you find your favorite station's aprs info, you naturally want to tell someone else what the display says. Keying the B side of the radio for talk purposes causes the display to return to the frequency readout and the APRS info is gone.
I have a Garmin 12XL GPS connected to the unit and it has preformed flawlessly.
The radio does interupt the voice communications as it is receiving data. This is only momentary, but just enough to lose a word or two from the fellow you are talking to. This at times causes you to have to ask the guy on the other end to say his thoughts over again.
If you are into APRS or SAtelite mobile, YOU GOTTA HAVE ONE O THESE!!!!!