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Reviews For: Kenwood TM 261 A

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

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Review Summary For : Kenwood TM 261 A
Reviews: 60MSRP: 169.95
Two-meter FM radio
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N1IG Rating: 2020-09-08
Good and inexpensive radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had bought a couple of these radios to use as portable stations, or when in someone else's car. The radios were easy to use, and always worked well. A very good basic radio that just did what was needed.
K8UV Rating: 2016-09-15
Doesn't owe me a dime Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought new from HRO. Been in 3 cars mobile for 11 years. starting to fall apart but then nothing
lasts forever. I use my antenna analyzer for 1:1 match on 146.98 which is repeater I always use. I think this is very important to keep heat down at 50 watts (which it is set on all the time)
I would buy another (new) one again.
KD8VQH Rating: 2015-11-30
great radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I got this radio at a ham fest in March. I dealer had it, new in the box. I could not past it up. It replaced my FT2400. I use this radio in the living room where I can do better for storm spotting than from the shack in the basement. I find it is easier to program than the 2400. I also get great audio reports.
KC7URE Rating: 2014-03-30
Good Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have seen a lot of people say the Kenwood TM 261a is a EASY Radio to program... Mine were too... but that was a long time ago... have not been on in a long time.. a lot of medical problems.. most have been resolved... My hands have a hard time taking the buttons...
Does anyone know if there is a Reliable Software and cable that I can download my Rig?...
Put call sign in subject... or it may go to Spam...
Would really appreciate all the help I can get... Thank you
KD5YVY Rating: 2013-04-04
10 years Solid Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my first ham radio, bought it new in the box in 2003 (10 years ago) when I got my license. The radio performed excellent for those 10 years, but if finally succumbed to my faults of never check SWR on my mobile antennas and I had a final go bad on high power. I sold the TM-261a and replaced it with the newest model TM-281a. I've owned various Kenwood products for the past 15 years and have no problem putting my money into their products. Although this radio has been discontinued many years ago, I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a used 2 meter radio, as long as they tested it like you should any used gear.
WP4OEK Rating: 2013-02-18
Build to last ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
What can I say, great ! This radio is great. I have several radios, but this one for mobile is the best. Small footprint, 50 watts enough for repeaters, decent heatsink.
NQ5F Rating: 2011-07-02
Good Basic RIG Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had a total of (3) of these rigs. (2) were purchased brand new and (1) used. I had one mounted on the dash of my truck for 3 hot summers and never had a problem. They are good tough radios. If you can find one around $100 or less, buy it. The thing I like the most about them is the lighted mic. The only reason it is a 4 instead of 5 is the s l o w scan speed. I know it's not a scanner, but come on.
VA3DTP Rating: 2011-03-19
Nice Mobile Radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Nice Kenwood TM-261 Mobile 2 Meter Radio. Works very well but gets hot especially when using 50 Watt output setting. Recommend leaving at 10 watts setting. Radio is not the easiest to program, manual neglected (missing) to describe how to set the tones. No programming port is available. Overall a good radio. Was worth the money and came with MC-53DM multifunction microphone.
VO1XH Rating: 2011-01-23
10 Years old,still going strong Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got my TM261A Christmas 2000,main reason for picking this rig was for the abililty to receieve 108-136 MHz air band. I have had this radio installed in 3 vehicles since and works every time.Had to have a new mic jack installed after 2 years use,one of the hams in our club is a radio tech for the police and he had the tools to crimp on the RJ45 style jack,not one of my favorite mic connectors but just about all rigs have this now.
The radio does get hot especially after a long winded qso,I found this out after installing it on driver side engine cover of my 1996 GMC Safari AWD van,the heat sink got quite warm when my leg brushed off the heatsink after running the rig on medium (10w)power,it was summer and I was wearing shorts(OUCH!). A small muffin fan that was salvaged from an old computer and attached to the heat sink and a small micro toggle switch from Radio Shack took care of the heat rather quickly.I use the rig daily and when not in qso on the local repeaters,I like to listen to the fire and ambulance service( the police use digital voice inversion on trucked system so cannot listen in)and aircraft communications.
Overall,the rig is well worth the $299.95 price tag.One beef is why Kenwood did not include the ctcss tone board when it was produced,as by that time,other manufactuers were including it as a standard feature of similarly priced radios.I later purchased the tone board and installed it, a $70.00 price tag.A great radio and very reliable.73,Don,VO1XH.
KD8IGK Rating: 2011-01-11
Great Radio Recv & TX Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just got a used TM-261a. I have used mostly ICOM radios in the past so this was my first Kenwood. There have been some comments regarding this being difficult to program. I did not have any problems at all. I think it is more complex to program an ICOM of this vintage of radio than this Kenwood.

One good thing about this radio is you do not need a computer to program its functions. I got a "Nifty Quick Reference" card which helped, but you really do not need it.

I was able to perform the Mod on extended Receive and Transmit frequencies. This worked great. I now can use this on 2 Meter and Marine Band, plus listen to weather alerts, Air Band, etc.

I have had no problems with the Mic buttons, display or high heat.

I have done a lot of testing with TX and RCV quality and find this unit is better than I expected for an older radio.

The unit is very compact and I can see why this unit was popular for mobile mounting.

One feature I really liked was it's automatic off set direction for repeater operation.

I paid $75.00 for a 50 watt radio which I thought was a good buy.

I am using this mostly for a base station radio and will use it in the car only occasionally.

This review is from a used radio perspective and is not meant to compare it to all the current models on the market.