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Kenwood TM-V71A Review w/ Pros & Cons (Video)

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W5KV, May 19, 2017.

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  1. W5KV

    W5KV Ham Member QRZ Page



    My .02 on the Kenwood TM-V71A.

    73
    K5ACL
     
  2. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks K5ACL for your service ( Army ) and the review TM-V71A, (Maybe my next rig). Re: External speaker, reminds me of the TM-D700a ( already obsoleted by the TM-D710a ). I used a certain Yaesu Speaker approx. 4" x 4" which had a small red push-button switch below. The switch would cut in a high-frequency passive ( as in RC ) filter which was great for prolonged distant chats. Glad you liked the Motorola speaker for the same reason ( internal one in KW when on remote is useless, and sounds pretty poor if it can be heard ), yet others may want to know that some of that brand have different amplifiers built in ( which could be a problem if you are not electrically handy or have a good friend who is ). You failed to note that this radio was used for years on the International Space Station, or that the newer microphones have one other 'feature' to dislike ( beyond the top buttons- some folks like them ). It seems that the soft DTMF buttoms can collect 'say it or spray it' moisture, and go intermittent ( not the buttons, the voice circuit microphone section ). Again. the drawbacks above for microphones- do not apply- to the TM-V71a. From the rest of what I just said, you can guess that I owned the TM-D700a for a few years. I heard similar reports about the replacement 710a, yet could not confirm that that operator had built any kind of RJ-45 coil-cord stay regarding their intermittent transmit problem. At over $50.00 ( including shipping ), many amateur radio operators might want to use the TM-V71a for the microphone you describe ( did it also have a backlight in the microphone? ). As to upgrading for AX-25 Packet or APRS, it is pretty easy to buy an external TNC to make that happen- but the adjustment for deviation of an external TNC should be done with good test equipment.
    Separating the TNC and GPS from the radio can be a good thing ( or not ), depending on one's ability. 73 de KB0MNM ( USN-Ret.)
     
    W5KV likes this.
  3. W5KV

    W5KV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey there KB0MNM, same to you! Thanks for your service! The V71A continues to be the most used VHF/UHF radio I have, especially since I've just only recently hopped into the satellite arena! I did not know that this radio was on the ISS, I knew there was a 710 on there now correct?

    I use my heil pro 7 headset on this radio and it works wonderfully for satellites, though the adapter & cables are bulky & cumbersome. Thanks for the tips regarding this great radio.

    73
     
  4. KB0MNM

    KB0MNM Ham Member QRZ Page

    FYI ( and for that of other folks )-
    Selected advantages and Disadvantages of Kenwood VHF/UHF twinband mobiles:
    TM-V71A: Advantages:
    * Once used on International Space Station, also has selectable color backlight for LCD ( Cool factors )
    * True Crossband operation ( talk in on UHF handy, repeat through TM-V71(A) out on VHF to other station, etc. in full duplex mode - wow! )
    * Can use other model eg. HF Rig microphone, not overly complicated by top buttons, packet-ready (AX.25 for text or GPS as in APRS ).
    * Under $350.00 and many other factors.
    Disadvantages:
    * Deemed 'too complicated' by some amateur radio operators. ( Maybe they are just not as 'nerdy'... ).
    * Does not include Terminal Node Controller and RS-232 connection for Packet- purchase separately
    * May be best to use an external speaker, especially if more than 4 feet away.
    TM-D700a: Advantages:
    * True Crossband operation.
    * Includes Terminal Node Controller and RS-232 (PC) interface for AX.25 and easy path to APRS- no FM deviation adjustment needed.
    * Backlit microphone for autopatch after dark without attracting as much attention from mosquitos, etc.
    Disadvantages:
    *Single color backlight (amber only ) both radios do not usually get along well with polarized sunglasses.
    * Backlit microphone may become intermittent if exposed to excessive 'say-it-or-spray-it' goo.
    * Dash mount 'stick-on' pad uses double-sided tape, re-application can be tiring.
    * May also be best to use an external speaker- suggested high-frequency filter for extended hours of rf-fringe area listening.
    * Cost at introduction was approx. $700.00 plus options eg. cabling to remote control head ( easily made if tools owned for telephone & data mod crimps ).
    * If control head is stolen, it is as if the whole radio were gone ( not much hope of spare RCS-2000 ). A big hat can help, as can an alarm system.
    * APRS typically involves a 'custom cable' or a more expensive GPS for bi-directional updates. ( Compared to TM-D710a which has APRS standard ).
     
  5. KD2FIQ

    KD2FIQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the TM-V71A in the mobile. Great radio. I think it's very simple to operate. Compact removable face. I made my own separation cable. External speaker helps.
     
  6. WG8F

    WG8F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice and comprehensive reviews on two great radios, tnx, 73.
     

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