Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Kenwood TM-D700A

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Kenwood TM-D700A
Reviews: 95MSRP: 780 USD
Kenwood remote head data radio for VHF/UHF
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N9MSM Rating: 2007-02-20
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After being absent in ham radio since my ex, and now my new wife appreciates the hobby, I purchased the TM-D700A after reading alot of reviews. It was everything I pretty much wanted so I spent the extra bucks. I purchased this radio back in October of 2005. I has operated flawlessly. I need to replace the fan, but no big deal.

I can hit most of the repeaters on Low power. I love the crossband option and it works great. Locked band is great as well.

I just ordered another one today. I can't get enough of this Radio. APRS was plug and play. Not much to do and works great!!!

To me it is worth every dime. I might get another!
K7EK Rating: 2007-02-16
Great radio, but the microphone stinks! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I give the radio itself a 5/5. What is very lacking
is the lousy piece of junk microphone they provide
with this great radio. It's kind of like having a
nice new shiny car with four flat tires.

I bought two TM-D700A's brand new from HRO. After 6-10 months of use, the microphones began to fail..
I was extremely disappointed by this. That is, the mic cord is too short, is of low quality and wears out prematurely, and that stupid CAT5 modular plug loses the little retaining clip. The worst thing
about the TM-D700A microphones, however, is the
inferior quality of the DTMF keypad. Whoever came
up with that design ought to be shot! That rubber
pad wears out and eventually it is impossible to
send DTMF tones. This becomes painfully obvious in
very cold weather, which renders the DTMF pad completely inoperative. This really puts me into a bind since I am a repeater owner/operator and regularly peform remote control functions. Then there is the inferior lettering on the microphone itself. In under a year, both TM-D700A microphones had lost their lettering so it was impossible to tell which button was which.

I have to question this apparent cost-cutting
measure on the part of Kenwood. Why do you market
a radio transceiver that is superb in all ways,
but insist on skimping on the second most
important piece of the system, the microphone? Is
that any way to treat your loyal customers who
deserve so much more? Is there any relief for
this situation, short of Kenwood re-thinking
their lousy choice of microphones? I doubt it.
However if you do acquire a TM-D700A, be forewarned
that the microphone stinks and will wear out on
you well before the radio. Come on Kenwood. Wake
up already!
KD5KSM Rating: 2006-06-30
Love it Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This summer I took my family on a 20 state trip back to my home city of Boston. I used the APRS on the 700 and it worked great. I told my friends and family about the FindU website and they were able to track through the entire trip. What peace of mind. Some of my friends even had Microsoft Live and Google Earth open after finding the location on FindU and get a better prospective on the other sites.
Also another friend of mine uses CrossBand at home and in his moble. He has a 8800 ( I think). We were talking and I thought the 700 did crossBand but I could never get it working until today.(6-30-06) I am having a great time with the radio, a lot of fun. Kind of pricy but worth it if you going to use all the features. I had it on Packet until my 95 lap crashed.
KQ4KK Rating: 2006-06-30
Great for what they do DO Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have 4 hams in the family. We have 3 D700s. Bought one each year at Dayton, at discount. The last one was purchased in 2004. We have 100s of thousand miles on the 3 Radios.

Never a failure. Except once when a cretin tried to steal it and broke the control head cable and shorted the power. Had to replace the "0" ohm resistor in the main box.

Use APRS on the "A" Band side, and the local repeaters on the "B" Band side, every day, in 3 cars. Always work.

The FREE Kenwood D700 software is great. Helps setup each radio. I have a serial cable connected to each, and kept under the front seat. So if I want to use laptop or PDA APRS mapping software, I just hook it up. If I drive to a new area, with all new repeaters, just upload a list of 200 other freqs.

The extra "serial/data" port for the GPS is great. Easy to use and setup. I know some HAMS even have purchased D700s and never use APRS, but use the TNC.

Have never used the crossband repeat. Two of the radios are G 2.0 version software, so they might work ok. At least they fixed the issue. Freezing the APRS software mods is a problem to Kenwood, and the APRS community.

Does what the main purpose of the radio is for.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KQ4KK on 2004-05-17

With 4 hams in the family, and a new car, picked up our 3rd D700 at the AES booth in Dayton for $439. Thats up from $425 last year. Put it on the bench, fired up the free Kenwood D700 software and loaded it like the other two in about 1 min. It too has rom version G2.0. Seems to be working fine on the bench. Heard a rumor that ICOM is coming out with a data/voice radio that will do APRS... rumor for now.
Earlier 5-star review posted by KQ4KK on 2003-07-18

I bought my first D700 when they first came out (over $580), years ago. Still running strong. I bought a second one at Dayton this year. Could not resist for $425 NEW. Real dual band, at the same time, with a TNC builtin is a bargin. It is a VERY good dual band radio. And a great TNC for APRS. The new one has V 2.0 Rom in it. The programing software is FREE. The computer port, is a REAL DB9 connector, just hook it up to a PC, nothing else. I own a FT5100/Ft5200 and a IC 2410. The Kenwood does the job well. The new Yaesu's or ICOM's, you have to BUY the programing software. And, RT systems sometimes puts out software before its's time.
W9WY Rating: 2006-06-30
W9WY Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this radio a couple of years ago and in all fairness as a basic dual band radio it has worked OK. I never could get it to work in the APRS mode but I crossed that off to ignorance on my part.

The low TX audio is somewhat of a problem but I just talk louder into the microphone.

The REAL problem is with Kenwoodl the company. After owning the radio for a few years I had an occasion to use the rig during an EMA disaster exercise. One of the reasons I purchased the radio was for cross band repeat. I had a couple of Yaeus dual banders and used the feature for distater events on a few occasions. Worked GREAT.

Not the Kenwood. The audio was unusable. When I contacted Kenwood Service I found out the factor KNOWS about this problem and was nice enough to send me a mod sheet to correct the problem. Having no way to solder SMDs with my 60+ year old eyes I asked if the factory would fix their error. Answer YES -- for %475.00 per hour plus shipping to correct THEIR error. I was also told the newer ones have been corrected at the factory.

I should have tried the cross band when I got the rig but didn't -- my fault. I am seriously thinking of putting the unit up on eBay and getting another Yaesu. At least I know they work with cross band.
XHLTO Rating: 2006-04-13
Happy, Yes very happy! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Being new to Ham Radio I did my home work
before I ordered my first radio, talked to
dealers, hams ect...
All most everyone said buy the Kenwood and
I'm happy that I did. Yes I give the radio
5 stars.
K1ESL Rating: 2006-03-06
Receiver could be better Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Features - 5

I really wish I could give this radio a 5! The features are great, the menu system is easy and the operability is very good. Unfortunately, the receiver is just not what it could be. Listening on 147.195 to a favorite repeater on this radio, I get splatter from a machine on 147.21. Turning the AIP on has no effect - disappointing. In fairness, I live on a mountaintop and use it as a base (thereby giving it a monstrous signal) - but the FT-8900R I also use has no issues in this arena)

The APRS and packet functions couldn't be easier, so I can get over the disappointment of the receiver - and will just have to use a lesser antenna. I may rethink how I will use it, it seems to be an outstanding choice for mobile, with the excellent display and controls.

Of course, there is no "perfect" radio, but this one would be the one in the dual-band category if the receiver was a tad better. It's still a great choice if you're looking for built-in APRS/TNC features.
KC2OBK Rating: 2006-01-13
Excellent APRS/VHF UHF trans Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been using this radio for about two months now and I must say I am very impressed with its features and intermod rejection. The radio is computer programmable using any straight RS232C serial cable (the software is on Kenwood's website). The APRS standalone functionality is excellent, even more versatile when connected to a PC with Ui-view or WinAPRS. I consistantly get strong audio reports.

Features worth highlighting:

* Automatic Simplex Check (when on repeaters)
* Fast scanning speed - WAY faster than my Kenwood G707A!
* Std pwr is 5/10/50 VHF watts out - this can be changed in the service mode for the radio.
* Easily modifiable for MARS and GMRS/FRS - a green wire and a chip resistor.
* Built in TNC with digipeater - I use it to gate traffic from the the ISS to my local digi.
* Radio automaticially lowers power output in response to high SWR - saving those finals!
* Last but not least - Crossband repeater, a snap to set up and no limit to its usefulness.

Overall I am very satisfied with the radio, and contrary to a handful of other reviews, I have had no problems with frequency drifting and crossband repeat audio. I am using a 71xxxxx serial generation unit, I assume they fixed the reported problems.

VR2VOI Rating: 2005-12-18
Easy for APRS & TNC Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I use TM-D700A with UI-View32 for the APRS node in Hong Kong. It works great!

I love the idea of having TNC and Radio combined into one set to save desktop space.
K6RCS Rating: 2005-12-18
Great APRS rig No Intermod Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This is a great APRS rig as others have pointed out. I have not used it with vanilla packet radio (haven't progressed in amateur radio this far) but set up for APRS was easy enough (assuming you follow directions - I had a problem that I must confess was one of those DOH! mistakes).

I have had no intermod problems both in my home QTH area or the San Francisco Bay Area - absolutely none with my Radiall Larsen antenna. No fan problems either after 5 months. Cross band works on the new serials - the GPS cables are cheap and easy to make/buy - and the features of the radio are great. If I have a gripe at all, it is that it isn't a V-V V-U U-V U-U dual band. You are limited based on what you are using on Band A or Band B (this is quite wordy to explain - but ask me and I can help if you're interested - find me in QRZ under K6RCS. Overall - a great mobile.