Tag Archives: Kenwood

Kenwood – Busy with RoHS

After writing “Kenwood Amateur Radio Division in Trouble?”, I decided to make a call.

I just spoke with Phil at Kenwood USA. I had called him, because I’ve been curious if a new 1.2Ghz HT would be coming out anytime soon. Unfortunately he said that their current task list is as such:

– Revampin current product lines to be RoHS compliant. One driving force to be RoHS compliant, is to be able to sell some of the equipment in Europe.
– Finish work on a new HF rig and release it (~1yr out).
– Start working on other new equipement.

Overall he said that I shouldn’t expect a 1.2Ghz radio for another 3 years. Phil’s suggestion was to use SkyCommand (or similar) from my HT, to connect to a TS-2000 at home (if line-of-sight was available).

An interesting side-note was that originally the Kenwood TH-F6A was going to be a quad-band with 1.2Ghz. Apparently the engineers were not able to get the radio to be quad-band with anything more than .5 watts on 1.2Ghz. The team decided to remove the quad and leave it as a tri-band, which ended up being one of their best selling HT’s ever.

I am confident that RoHS is important, and a good thing for Kenwood. Unfortunately this may cause them to slip behind the competition in the process. At the same time, it may provide them the excuse to skip a “generation” of technology.

Kenwood Amateur Radio Division in Trouble?

Michael S. Higgins (K6AER) wrote an interesting article on eham.net regarding the possible demise of Kenwood’s Amateur Radio Division. I am personally very happy with my Kenwood HT, and would be very sad if they closed the division. K6AER’s comments do seem valid, and he certainly has some very specific things to point to. I can only imagine that it is a difficult market to cater to, since development costs are likely high… small market… and high consumer expectations.

I doubt that this is really a problem just for Kenwood, but for all the manufacturers. The amateur radio is not exactly the booming hobby it has been in the past. I would imagine the best way to solve these issues is to get more people involved with the hobby, and for all ham’s to personally contact the manufacturers to show interest.

Read the article on eham.net
**UPDATE** Read “Kenwood Busy with RoHS”

Making a Data/PC Cable to Connect to the Kenwood TH-D7A(G)

Apparently people found the “Making a Cable to Go Between a GPS device and the Kenwood TH-D7” useful, and have asked for information about making a data cable.

View of the front of the connector-side (not the best picture):

View of the top of the solder-side:
So a view from the solder-side shows the pins to be:


G = Ground
R = Red
B = Black (sometimes white)

A lot of this depends on the cable manufacturer. If for some reason it does not seem to be working, simply switch (R) and (B).

Connecting a Palm Device with the Kenwood TH-D7A Radio – pocketAPRS

I discovered pocketAPRS recently and wanted to try it with my old Palm m100. It is at least 6 years old, so I wasn’t sure if it was up to the challenge.

One of the most difficult things of this project, was finding the pocketAPRS software! Unfortunately the project was discontinued in 2004, making it difficult to track down. If you do enough Google hunting and searching, you should be able to find a copy some place on the net.

I installed pocketAPRS on the Palm, using the Palm Desktop… just like installing any other piece of software for the Palm OS.

Next I needed to figure out how to physcially connect the Palm m100 with the Kenwood TH-D7A. The Palm m100 I have came with a serial sync cable which looks ike this:

Since the sync cable had a female serial connection I decided to try using the GPS cable I had made in a previous post. Sure enough the Palm m100 with pocketAPRS was communicating with the Kenwood once I switched the TNC mode to “packet”. Thankfully I had made another cable, so I could have both the GPS and Palm connected to the Kenwood TH-D7A.

I am now able to see APRS information and locations on the Palm m100. This is a much more compact way to use APRS, instead of carrying a laptop around.

Making a Cable to Go Between a GPS device and the Kenwood TH-D7

Although you can buy cables “pre-made” for connecting the GPS to the Kenwood D7, it seems to be in the spirit of ham radio… to build your own.
Hopefully these pictures will help you see what I did to get mine working.

Page 6 of Kenwood’s Documentation on Connectors was very helpful. However it doesn’t really say what to do with the “serial” port end of the cable. The TH-D7 manual mentions which holes are what, but obviously it can make a difference on which viewpoint (solder-side or connector-side) and whether it is a male or female port.

This cable has allowed me to connect a Magellan Meridian GPS and a Garmin etrex Legend to the D7. (NOTE: This was for use with the existing manufacturer cables that provide connections from the device to a DB-9 serial cable).

View of the front of the connector-side:

View of the top of the solder-side:

So a view from the solder-side shows the pins to be:


G = Ground
R = Red
B = Black (sometimes white)

A lot of this depends on the cable manufacturer. If for some reason it does not seem to be working, simply switch (R) and (B).

You’ll notice that I used the crimp style connector for this specific cable, since the wires were large enough. On another cable that had smaller wires, I used the crimp and then soldered to make sure there was good connection.

Getting APRS working with my Kenwood D7A

I struggled to get APRS working with my Kenwood TH-D7A/G. The following things were done. I haven’t confirmed all of them were necessary…

On the GPS… (Magellan Meridian GPS)

    • Set speed to 4800Bps from GPS to radio.

On the Radio…

    • Made sure that GPS was sending information to the radio by using the POS button
    • Made sure that the radio was set for waypoints to be “….MGN” to work with the Magellan Meridian GPS I am borrowing.
    • Set Band A freqency to 144.390
    • Set Band A as the data band
    • Set Band A offset to “0.00” (default was .600)
    • Set CTCSS tone to ON for Band A (This is to squelch all the “modem” noise.)
    • Set My Callsign
    • Set My Icon
    • Set Data TX as AUTO
    • Set TX Interval to 2min
    • Set POS LIMIT to 150mi (help eliminate information I don’t care about)
    • *IMPORTANT* Set Packet Path
      From: RELAY,WIDE
      To: WIDE1-1,WIDE2-1
    • Pressed TNC so that ONLY TNC appeared (No “packet”).
    • Last but not least… pressed the “BCON” button.