Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Kenwood TM 261 A

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 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
KC8REW Rating: 2001-05-01
Great radio, Great price! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
So far no problems with the 261, features are well thought out. Instructions are a little vauge. The I-com model was in the shop freq. according to my local supplier.
WB8YYY Rating: 2001-03-13
Poor Reliability and User Support Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have two TM-261's. One was used for 3 years and the second for 2 years. Both developed the same problem - suddenly no transmit power output. The problem is not the final module but something else. Unfortunately, neither came with a schematic diagram and none is posted on their website - so unless i spend more $$ for the service manual I will have to trouble shoot these blind. While I like the ease of use of the Kenwood, I question the reliability and value of these rigs compared to other options. I replaced one with an Alinco, which by the way does come with a schematic. I will post anything I find troubleshooting just in case others experience the same malady.
KC0BUS Rating: 2001-02-13
good radio, poor mic ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A friend and I each bought one of these radio's at the same time about 3 1/2 years ago when they first came out. My friend's microphone is totally useless and he can no longer use or sell his radio because it costs more to repair/replace the mic than what the radio is worth. I've had better luck with my mic, but the PTT button still sticks on occasion and has serious issues with its internal switch. The radio's themselve are just fine, but I have talked with other hams who have the same problems with their mics too, so it is a well known fact that these mics need to go back to the drawing board! Unfortunetley, this is the microphone that Kenwood is now issuing with all of it's VHF/UHF radios so there is no way to get around it if you decide to buy a Kenwood radio. Kenwood, in my opinion, still makes the best HF radios, so its best to stick with their HF rigs and forget their VHF stuff untill they decide to re-design their mobile microphones!
SCOTT_MCINTIRE_EX_K7DXT Rating: 2001-02-01
Problems developed Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I reviewed this radio some months back under my old call of N0MVA. At that time, there were no problems. But now, I'm experiencing some distortion on the transmit audio that sounds like it's out of freq alignment. I'm not sure it's worth sending out to get fixed, in light of the price of 2 meter radios. Maybe it's just me, but I've had more problems with 2 meter radios (bought new) than any other. A Yaesu 2500, Kenwood 241, and now the 261 all becoming defective with very light and careful use. I'm trying out the FT-1500's now in our vehicles. So far, so good. I like Kenwood HF radios, but probably won't buy any more 2 meter rigs from them.
K3JIM Rating: 2001-02-01
DOA after 2 weeks Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought a 261A at a Hamefest in 99. After I got the rig Installed It worked for about 2 weeks when it would not transmit. I discoverd it was the PTT on the mike. Since it was a new radio I sent it back instead of attempting a fix. I received the radio back and about two months later it would drop out on xmit intermittently. I sent it out again after paying for shipment was told they could find no problem. I used the rig on and off and had an occasional drop out but it worked to a fashion. About 4 months after the warranty expired it finally went belly up completely. I sent it to the repair station and was told it needed a new final module and the cost was 190 dollars !!!! A NEW RIG at time was on sale for 179 !!
they also told me if I wanted the radio back it was $25 plus shipping. Well I learned my lesson about Kenwood and since have voted with my feet. I have spent over $5000 on equipment since then and guess what not one cent was spent KENWOOD equipment. I have had a cheap ALINCO for 110T for 11 years and had them fix it once within the warranty (2 Years !!!) and it has worked ever since.
K7JDN Rating: 2000-06-10
Where's the chip? Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned many Kenwood mobile radios and my only real complaint (except for the TM-241A's display problem) is that they do not include the decode chip. Most other brands do now, so Kenwood is one of the few that do not.
KC8KKA Rating: 2000-05-22
very good worker Time Owned: more than 12 months.
KG8ZH Rating: 2000-05-22
Very Good Little Rig Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I must admit that I am pro Kenwood. I have owned several Kenwood rigs (mostly HF) and have had good luck with all of them. I think Kenwood is a little different than the other two big ham manufacturers. When Kenwood has a proven solid performing design, they tend to keep it around a while. The other guys seem to change rigs a lot. I would rather have a solid performer than to join the rig of the month club.
I have used this rig about seven months now and it seems to be a very solid rig. There is nothing fancy about it but is is very functional. I bought it to replace a IC-2100h which I hated. At first, the TM-261A seems to have less features than other 2 meter monobanders, but it seems to have everything you need. I don't think the manual covers cloning, but the rig can clone. The instructions on how to do it are on Kenwoods web site. The only reason that I did not rate it a 5 is because I think they should have included the decode board. Other rigs in this price range have decode as a standard option. The rig comes with encode but decode is a option. All in all I would definately recommend it.

N0MVA Rating: 2000-04-01
Solid, FB Radio Time Owned: unknown months.
I bought the 261 about 18 months ago, after owning a TM241 for several years. It's given no problems whatsoever, even though it's mounted in a Toyota truck that drives on a lot of bumpy roads. My 241 developed display problems, but I believe they discovered that problem before the 261 came out. My only complaints with the 261 are that I don't like the modular mic jacks as well as the older amphenol type, and I think it's a little more difficult to program than it should be. But as for performance and reliability, it's been perfect.
W7PDX Rating: 2000-03-28
I Love It! Time Owned: unknown months.
My previous Kenwood mobile rig is still operating after 20 years, but I wanted something more up-to-date. The power, price and features of the 261 are great. I'm very happy with it and am amazed at equipment improvements that have occurred in the last two decades.