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Reviews For: Kenwood TM-733A

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

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TM-733A
Reviews: 34MSRP: 730
2 Meter/440 Dual Band.
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KN4X Rating: 2007-04-21
Energizer Bunny, Keeps Going, and Going, and Going!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Used mobile almost every day since 1996. Best audio. Many great features. Those willing to spend the time and get fully up-to-speed are well rewarded with is radio. Probably not the simplest radio in teams of user interface, but you're not much of an operator if you cannot read, try features and follow a simple manual. If you see one for sale that tests ok, snap it up. Put it in your shack for a week or two to get familiar with all of the features. Then mount it in your commuter vehicle and enjoy. I bought a lightly used 733a 3 years back to replace my everyday unit (if it ever fails), but the original just keeps on going, and the backup is waiting on it's day to shine ... and no, it's not for sale:)
KA7OEI Rating: 2006-02-28
Pretty good radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my original '733 for over 10 years now - being one of those produced after they took care of the "PL Problem" and started putting the proper amount of heat sink compound on the RF power modules.

I've had a few minor problems - the most notable has to do with the contacts on the control head getting a bit flaky from time-to-time. A drop of contact cleaner (tuner cleaner - or I use Stabilant 22s) seems to fix it for a year or more.

I originally had some obnoxious intermod on 70cm - even with AIP on - but was able to do some simple mods (described on the web) that pretty much took care of the problem without sacrificing sensitivity to any significant degree.

It's quite a complex radio to run and it seems that all but the most basic features require that the manual be handy.

One of the "fun" features that I have used is the ("officially" undocumented) remote control where I was backpacking some distance from the vehicle for a weeklong trip. Unfortunately, I have, on more the one occasion, caused it to "jam" (become unresponsive to commands) via remote control: Fortunately, I had an "alternate" radio/controller that allowed me to turn the radio on/off to save the batteries (otherwise it wouldn't have been legal) - and I was fortunate enough to "jam" it on a usable channel, so I could continue to use it, albeit without the remote control features.

One problem that I have found with this '733 (and another '733 that I have since acquired as well as other radios of this and older vintage) is that the panel lights burn out. I have since replaced them with very bright yellow surface-mount LEDs mounted in the light bulb's wells, but the catch is that the display is now "stuck" in a "medium-bright" setting as the brightness control - while it works for tungsten lamps, doesn't have much of an effect with the LEDs owing to their lower current requirements.
N4RAP Rating: 2005-08-01
Love them all Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'll keep this one short. Great mobile dual and. I love this radio. I have 6 yeah that's right...six of them. If you have one for sale....CALL ME NOW!!! You can clone them over the air. Easy for out of band modification and have great Kenwood Audio. The black mic, like the one in this picture, is the best. The newer backlit mic has terrible "tinny" sounding audio and is too big for my hands. I have one in almost every car and truck and one at work and one at the house.

N4RAP is clear.
KB9VGR Rating: 2005-04-19
love it Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
this is the best radio iv ever had and my second mobile i bought it at dayton 2004 with a 440 antenna an external speaker and the remote mount kit my only problem is the head unit lights dont work am looking for a parts rig to replace the head unit lights would probably buy another if price and timming were right has all the features i need and not too complex although the mic just pooped out on me i can still cross band with my ht nice sturdy radio has awsome coverage i accessed the muncie in repeater from i70 near the state line
AC6VV Rating: 2004-10-15
Lockup, displaying "on" Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After using my TM-733A for ten years, I still love it. It has everything I need (an alpha display would have been a nice extra). I'm posting in case anyone else encounters a lockup condition with the word "on" displayed. It's happened twice in ten years, apparently due to a key sequence during powerup, perhaps with an intermittent power feed(?)

Don't give up! All is not lost! If it happens to you, you will need to open the radio and disconnect power from the memory for a while. Don't mess with the battery. Just disconnect the ribbon cable from the panel at the upper ckt board. This requires lifting gently on the white plastic tabs at the ends of the connector on the upper board. After it moves up to the disengaged position, simply pull the ribbon out of it to isolate the memory, which is in the front panel. I left mine out overnight to be sure the memory was zeroed out. When the ribbon was restored, and the radio connected, it came back to life.
N3GOO Rating: 2004-08-05
Good radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Good dual bander. Mine didn't have the CTCSS tone problems the early ones had, in fact have had for 8 years with no repairs. Only issue is when using detachable front panel, make certain that the panel contacts make good contact with the cable, or the rig can lock up and lose some memory channels. I traced this problem to some excess plastic (mold flash?) on the DFK kit, removed it with a sharp knife and have not had any problems since. Very convenient radio, especially in small cars where mounting the rig in the trunk and only putting the control panel up front is the best approach.
Cross band works ok, but bear in mind it's against the rules unless you can set up some way to ID on the frequency back to you.
918 Rating: 2004-04-25
Outstanding Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have only had my TM-733A for a short time I am realy enjoying it. I need to work with the radio some more but that should be fun. I do have one problem, I can not find the Cable to use the removable face any where. If some one out there has one or can connect me with some one that has one I would be a happy Firefighter.
PU1-MLL Rating: 2004-03-16
Excellent Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I originally purchased this rig in 2002-used of course. I donĀ“t have anything bad to talk about it, but, crossband function is so confused to activate, only. If you wanna a dual, TM-733 is so good.
KB8WCN Rating: 2004-02-06
EXCELLENT! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned mine since 93. Haven't had a single issue with it and believe me, it's been through the ringer. I couldn't tell you how many hours are on it? Too many to even think about. The only down side is the heatsink seems a little small for the radios output. It gets hot and hot quick! So far it sure hasn't effected it's longevity though.

With the A.I.P. on it suffers little to no intermod in my area north of Detroit. Intermod in my opinion is the downside to these wide band radios anyhow. Unless excessive (like my old Icom 2000H) I won't give it much thought. The transmit audio is outstanding from this radio. The receive is just what I expect from KW, excellent! I use an extension spkr instead of the small built in one which makes it tough in noisy mobile environments. X band repeat is a big plus and easy to use. I have had many dual band radios and this one has yet to be beat. Also mine is a 60m+ serial number so I haven't experienced the distorted PL tone issue others have. That seems to effect radios in the 50m and below serial number. If you can find a nice clean one at a good price I wouldn't think twice about buying it. I have an Icom 208H coming. Lets see how it compares.
WA4ET Rating: 2004-01-31
Still ticking Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had mine forever, which in this case is since 1992 or so. Its been a mobile, then a base, then mobile again, and now its my combo base and packet station on the other side. Sometimes I sit back and wonder why they change rigs. In my opinion, this rig is as current as any on the market today, and it certainly had nice styling. If it had a fault, it would be it didnt come STD with a Backlite hand mic, so add 45 bucks