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Reviews For: Kenwood TM-D700A

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

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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
KE4RWS Rating: 2001-11-17
Top of The Line ! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased two of these radio's. One for the house, one for the car. Both radio's are what I consider to be top of the line for their type. The one and only issue I've found with this radio is the cross-band repeat audio. For some reason when cross-band repeat is activated the transmitted audio becomes excessively loud and distorted. I found that I have to back-off from my H/T (A Kenwood TH-D7A) almost 12" to avoid "overdriving" the audio from the TM-D700A. This method also produces a "talking in a drum" effect due to having to back away so far from the H/T. I should note that the transmitted audio direct from the H/T is normal, so the problem is not the H/T. This cross-band repeat audio problem occurs on both TM-D700A's. Since I haven't read anything saying it's a problem I'm not sure if it just happens to be my two radio's or if no one's commented on this issue yet. Nonetheless, that's the only issue I have with this radio. Aside from that, everything else performs at or above my satisfaction. At around $600 I don't think you can get a better deal when you consider what your getting for the price. If you take into consideration your buying a full-featured dual band radio & a 1200/9600 baud TNC then your $600 is buying a lot of gear. The added bonus is the built-in APRS software which does not require the interface of a PC to operate it. Unlike the other two or three radio's which currently incorporate a TNC with the radio, the TM-D700A is the only one I'm aware of that includes the built-in APRS operating software. The large display is another plus in my opinion because it doubles as general display in the conventional sense, and as a mini monitor while in APRS mode. There is even an aftermarket keyboard interface kit available for the TM-D700A (which I also purchased). This enables you to use any PS2 style computer keyboard to quickly type out text on the display rather than use the VFO knob or microphone. I purchased a mini-keyboard to save space in the vehicle. Anyone who has sent text using the keyboard kit will never go back to the old way! I believe the TM-D700A is top of the line in it's class. Aside from the cross-band repeat audio thing, I highly recommend this product.
WD9FMB Rating: 2001-10-20
Great radio for mobile APRS!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The D700A replaced my TM-V7A in the truck. Very easy installation. Mounted the display head over the rear view mirror and have very good readability. Married a Garmin GPSIII+ to the D700A using a Blue-Hills-Innovation power and GPS cable and it's works perfect. The various function menus for the radio's operation are easy to work and are very logical. Great audio reports from other stations. I extended the standard display face cable with a common four wire phone cord and it's works great also. An excellent buy for the money.
VK3DLP Rating: 2001-10-03
Great Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I replaced my Yaesu VX5 with the TM-D700A. Mounted in station wagon and very easy to install.
Love the dual receiver and one half is used for marine VHF reception and the other local repeaters. Have tried APRS but without GPS (I have a Magellan 320) and works ok. Overall great unit typical Kenwood quality and wouldn't part with it for the world!

KA0AZS Rating: 2001-07-11
THE way to do APRS Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this radio for the APRS functions. It's so nice not to have set up a second radio, TNC and computer with attendant power cables,coax, etc. Now I can play APRS every day, not just during special events and long trips.

Can't answer to the TNC problems with packet, I don't do "standard" packet.

Free programming software, manuals on-line in PDF, standard (i.e. NON-porprietary) serial cable for programming: Other manufacturers please take note! Now just need DOS and Palm OS versions of software!

LOVE the PM programmable "operating enviroments"!

My control head is mounted above the rear-view mirror, so none of the display problems mentioned in other reviews.

Have voice module: great for deciding if an incoming message needs to be checked right away, or can wait while driving. (Spells out the callsign of sending station when messae recieved)

Only minor complaint, common to all manufacturers: Put in a morse-ID capablity for cross-band repeat operations!
VA3KS Rating: 2001-06-27
Great Rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Wow, what a cool rig. I really like the combination of being able to run APRS and still chat on the local 2m machine. Rig is nicely built. Fits wonderfully in my new bettle. The microphone has a great feel to it and the buttons are a comfortable size. Only negative is the really cheap mobile bracket it comes it.
The Air band is the best I have heard.
W7STA Rating: 2001-05-25
First Impression Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Surprisingly nobody has mentioned the poor display quality of the LCD. I've only had this radio for one week now. It has done everything well but the LCD display that Kenwood uses is very disappointing. The sharpness and contrast is poor by today's standards. It is too sensitive to temperature changes and is too difficult to read where sunlight is a problem. Which it is all too often in my truck. It appears that Kenwood took the cheap route on the display on an otherwise fantastic radio.

I would summarize my first impression as a very good radio with a poorly readable display. So much so, that the radio is almost a "do not buy" for those that cannot mount the remote display in a shaded area within their vehicles. It is too bad to see a very good radio being handicapped by the display. Kenwood, what were you thinking?

KG4IXR Rating: 2001-03-15
Great radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
In the short time I have owned this radio, I have been very impressed. In short, it features easy operation, compactness, and a built in 1200/9600 baud TNC for packet and APRS. If you bought a regular mobile and a seperate TNC it would cost more, and not be in a nice neat package like this radio. I have mine connected to my computer and a GPS unit, and it works very well. I have had several compliments on my audio and signal quality from other operators. They all wanted to know what kind of rig I was using. If you are in the market for a true dual band radio at a decent price, I recommend it!
KG6EQA Rating: 2001-02-15
Satisfied so far. Score 4.5 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Purchased this rig last month as a mobile install in my 4 door pickup. Matched it to a Diamond Supergainer SG7900A. Purchase decision was based on remote head capable (in fact mandatory for this unit), mic plugged into "box", not into control head (unlike Yaesu 8100), large display (to make viewing easy in my pickup), full dual-band with cross-band repeat, decent memory capacity, and alphanumeric memory display. Built-in TNC and APRS of a slightly lesser issue, along with wide range receive being lesser yet.

Very satisfied with the receive quality, features, and ergonomics. Programming was simple; I used the software available from Kenwood's site, and bought a serial interface cable from Radio Shack for $6. Programmed the software in my livingroom on my laptop, stepped out to the truck and within 2 minutes the rig was programmed. Updates or changes to memory are just as easy. We travel out-of-state quite a bit, and I look forward to the easy memory updating of local repeaters on-the-run.

Getting good reports on transmission clarity. Cannot confirm the issues previously noted with the TNC as I've not yet done Packet or APRS; as I said, a "lesser" issue and I've not gotten there yet. I do plan on using APRS by running both the laptop (to track the map display) and Garmin GPS III Plus.

Only downside found so far: display is rather difficult to view if not facing it rather directly. Mounted the display in the center, overhead console, midline in the truck, facing straight back. I had to turn the contrast up rather high to make it visible from the slightly side-angle view of the drivers seat.

Other than that, both my wife (KG6EYA) and I are pleased with the unit. We would not hesitate to purchase another Kenwood product.
KL7EDK Rating: 2001-02-05
NON-AX Level II compliant Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Recently bought a D700. Like the radio but I find the TNC is NOT truly AX Level II compliant. Discovered it by accident. Noticed that my neighbor, several blocks away, was always having to retry when sending me packets. (Keyboard to Keyboard QSO). Found out that if he had his TNC set to AX Level II on the D700 would not respond on the 1st packet..only on the retry. If he turned OFF the AX Level II then it works correctly. 99% of TNC today use the AX Level II. If you have an established network where everyone is running with AX Level II on..then this radio will cause much delay in passing traffic. Other than this...I'd give it a 4 out of 5. Don't really like not being able to attach the front to the radio body for use in the shack. You MUST use the remote cable and operate with the head separated from the body. Great for mobile but not so great for home use.

Kenwood has not responded to my problem with the AX Level II compliance. Their literature says it is but yet...not really.

ZR1PHJ Rating: 2000-10-26
COMPULSORY BUY! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After considering various rigs and specifications, the build-in TNC allowing a link directly to your laptop, was the deciding factor.

The radio is currenly used in a base-station mode, linked to a Diamond X-50 antenna, with excellent results. The location of the base-station is within a mountanous area, and simplex communication up to 60km is made without a hitch.

An interesting result of the build-in TNC is that all the functions of the radio can be controlled from within your Winpacket program. This allows the front panel to be completely removed from the radio, without loss of control of the unit.

The menu selection makes manual control easy, as well as selection between the bands.

The APRS facilities of this radio is also unique and hopefully this radio will eventually migrate to my vehicle with a GPS attached!

The quality of build and the front panel is excellent and this rig is surely recommended,