Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by N0XWX, Oct 17, 2011.

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  1. N0XWX

    N0XWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tried searching, couldn't find a thread that dealt with this.

    Wondering what those of you that have tried these two radios ( KENWOOD TM-V71A vs. YAESU FT-8900R) think of them.

    Could go with the FT-8800 also, as I have never operated on 6 or 10, but it intrigues me. That is why I am thinking of the 8900.

    Thanks for your insight and knowledge in helping me make my decision.

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Ham Member QRZ Page

    What you need to do, is decide which one meets your needs, not someone else's. This applies to reviews too. The best scenario is to go to your nearest dealer, and play with them both.

    If you just have to ask questions of other operators, then ask them what they don't like, as this usually garners a more accurate answer.
  3. N0XWX

    N0XWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thought that's what I was doing.....

    Good, bad, ugly or otherwise. I believe that peoples opinions of products they have personally used, whether good or bad, is helpful. Hence, the reason I asked the question I did. I guess Alan your response is a good indicator of why I haven't posed a question before on this forum since I joined 5 years ago.
    KJ5XW and KF7GD like this.
  4. KR1CKM

    KR1CKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't speak to that particular model of the Kenwood.

    As for the Yaesu, I run an FT-8800 as my base v/uhf radio, and have been very happy with it and its dual-receive capabilities. My only criticisms of this radio are a) that the buttons on the radio face are not back-lit. If you were going to use this rig in a mobile environment, I think using it at night would be a challenge. I have a Yaesu FT-7900 in my truck, which does have back-lit buttons. That's the main reason that the 7900 is in the truck, and not the 8800.

    My other criticism of the 8800 is also pretty small: it would be nice if you could specify which of the two "sides" to use for packet transmission. There is a menu option to select which side gets used for packet RECEIVE (always right, always left, or "main"). I've been playing around with packet modes, trying to talk to people on repeaters at the same time, and have inadvertently sent packet data over the voice repeater!

    Generally speaking, as I said, I've been very happy with the Yaesu 8800. I wish I had waited and gotten the 8900 instead, just for the extra band capability. All in all, an excellent radio, though.

    Hopefully, someone with experience with the Kenwood can jump in here and add their opinion of that rig, as well.

    Good luck!
    KF7GD likes this.
  5. N0XWX

    N0XWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Rick, Good Info.
    KF7GD likes this.
  6. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a TM-V71 for a while and it did me fine. It suffered a bit from pager interference but then again I was only a few hundred feet from the tower the pager transmitter was on. Its a bit of a pain having to buy a face off kit and some people say there is a problem with the filters meaning one side or another goes deaf but I never experienced it.

    No issues with packet - you can use either side. I would say that all in all, there is probably nothing in it. Now if you were comparing the TM-D710 and FTM-350 APRS radios then thats a different story...there's several quite important things the 710 can do that the 350 can't.


    Thinking about APRS, if you're thinking of doing that or echolink in the future then the TM-V71 will be the better bet as you just need to buy the RM710 head unit to upgrade your V71 to a D710 as they use the same main radio unit thus saving yourself about 50% of buying the cost of a new D710.
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, you might consider the TM-D710 right from the start, particularly if you are interested in APRS. I think you'll find a lot more on APRS in Colorado than on 6 meter FM. I just got back from your area, and there is lots of APRS activity. Indeed, I find few places in the west where there is no APRS coverage. There was a hole along I76 in northeast Colorado, but I think that's been improved lately. I25 is solid. 10 meter FM has been fun lately, but as a Tech, you can't operate there, and the 8900 won't do SSB in your part of the 10 meter band. The whole time I owned a triband FM rig that covered 6 meters, I had about three QSO's in all my travels.

    I've use the TM-V71, and it's a very good radio. I have had the TMD710 for several years now, and it's logged many thousands of miles as my primary mobile rig. My only knock on the Kenwoods is that it could be a lot easier to set up crossband operation for satellites - that is, it would be nice if I could program a UHF transmit channel and a VHF receive in the same memory. It's not a show-stopper, just use two memories and set one in one window and the other on the other side, but a single memory, like the FT-7900 does, would be easier to use.

    The V71 and TMD710 both have a built in CW IDer for crossband repeater operation - a big plus. The V71 is considerably cheaper than either the 8800 or 8900.
  8. N0XWX

    N0XWX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks Conor and William for your input.

    I ended up just buying the FT-8800 last thursday (about an hour before your posts ). I went with the 8800 because I decided that it may be a while before I upgrade, and because the separation kit was included and not with the Kenwood. Other features seemed comparable, a slight power output difference, but I felt the Yaesu had a better front end from reports of others. Getting great reports so far while mobile so I am happy...been "off-air" too many months. Now to see if I can get the display working again on the V8000 for use in the house.

    I appreciate all the helpful input.
    73 ~ Mike
    KF7GD likes this.
  9. KB5ZJU

    KB5ZJU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    8900 vs tmv7a


    I have both radios, Flip a coin as both are very good radios.

    Good luck.
  10. N2ZNC

    N2ZNC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had the 8900 since it first came out. Its a great radio, durable, back then I bought the separation kit. I also bought the UHV-4 by comet. I used it to work mostly 6 meters, 2m and 440. Occasionally I did use it for 10m FM. The radio is great, relatively easy to use, but the 8800 has a wider receive. I didnt care much for that cause I have several scanners..

    Now after many years of being off HF and recently getting back into radio, I started experimenting with packet, so I went out and bought a kenwood d710a. Love that radio, its loaded with packet features, the screen has alot going on, easy to use. Abit difficult to mount though cause the head is pretty big. I still keep my 8900 in my truck, but love the 710..
    I was split cause its the first non-yaesu rig I have bought since I became a ham in the mid 90s.. All my radios have been yaesu. I wanted to buy the 350, but after much research chose the 710. So if you are going to be playing with aprs, you might want to keep that in mind. Im in NYC and I have never had any interference problems, and trust me if you are going to have interference problems, you will have them in the heart of manhattan, with all radios, pagers, etc....
    Initially for a handheld, I wanted to upgrade my vx-5 I bought the 8DR cause of the APRS built in, and I do love the radio. But I also ended up buying the D-72A which I love the feel of the radio, and it has some more features than the 8DR..

    With both the 710 and the 350 you have to purchase the GPS module, I bought the green light labs gps module.. for my kenwood . easy to use, easy to set up and very accurate and sensitive.. The kenwood handheld 72A has built in gps, but the yaesu 8DR doesnt. The 8GR does, but then again the 8DR is a quad band.
    Whenever I go camping and do field work, I like 6 meters.. its quiet, and alot of guys have similar radios so we choose 6m between us..

    good luck,

    KF7GD likes this.
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