Tag Archives: Kenwood

TC notes differences between Kenwood TH-D74 and TH-F6A on MW/SW

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, TC, who shares the following response to Ivan’s post about the Kenwood TH-D74 on mediumwave:

A couple of years ago, I published a side-by-side comparison of the TH-F6A and the TH-D74 on YouTube comparing reception of a local AM broadcast station. The F6A was far more sensitive on the AM broadcast band than the TH-D74.

You can see the video here:

Click here to view on YouTube.

I didn’t take the internal orientation of the bars into account, but the D74 is less sensitive in pretty much any orientation compared to the older F6A.

I contacted Kenwood about the difference, and they stated something to the effect of while the TH-D74 does receive MW, it wasn’t necessarily designed for it, and thus the reception there suffers compared to the F6A.

However, the tradeoff here seems to be better shortwave reception in the TH-D74 compared to the F6A. Hook the D74 up to a large wire antenna and you can easily pull in stuff on the shortwave broadcast and ham bands, and the IF filters help quite a bit as well.

Thanks for sharing, TC! I own a few wideband handheld transceivers so I keep a short SMA “pigtail” in my EDC pack that I can use to enhance HF performance. I simply clip a 15′ wire onto the pigtail’s  exposed conductor to enhance HF performance. Also, as Ivan points out, inductively pairing any of these tiny radios with a mag loop antenna will also augment performance on mediumwave.

Thanks again for sharing!

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Ivan checks out the Kenwood TH-D74’s mediumwave performance

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ivan (NO2CW), who writes:

One category of receivers not much talked about are the wideband handhelds. I first owned one of those in 1992 when I paid a ton of money for an AOR-1000. Not only did it cost me a lot but I also ordered it from the UK so it was not subject to the “cellular blocked” rule. Don’t ask me why, it never made any difference in the end.

As a busy shortwave listener at the time I was eager to check out reception as the radio also featured Shorwave coverage and even a BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator) knob! To sum it up it was a great receiver above 30 mHz but Shortwave and Mediumwave was barely there, with a 15 kHz wide filter and low sensitivity.

Well today I have in my hands a Kenwood TH-D74A – a top of the line handheld triband amateur radio transceiver with Medium Wave and Short Wave coverage. The radio is expensive due to the presence of GPS, D Star and APRS, but those are a features for the radio amateur. What about performance on the low frequencies?

Here is my video of the test which revealed surprising results:

Click here to view on YouTube.

So next time you consider purchasing a new receiver,as you dive into the choice of portables, SDRs, tabletops and classics from eBay you may consider adding this category as well – handhelds with wide band coverage.

Thank you, Ivan!  You’ve inspired me to check out mediumwave performance on a few wideband handy talkies I own: the Yaesu VX-3R, Yaesu FT2DR and the Kenwood TH-F6A. To my knowledge, all three have internal ferrite bars (tiny ones) but I’ve never actually compared their performance with each other. That could be a lot of fun. I also own an AN200 MW loop antenna so this could be an excellent test to see how it pairs with each radio.  I’m especially curious about the wee VX-3R!

Thanks again, Ivan. We always enjoy your videos and posts.

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Kenwood R-2000: Luke’s simple fix for a frozen encoder

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Luke Perry, who writes:

Hi Thomas, I thought I would share with the people on the SWLing Post my new radio purchase.

I needed a receiver with a noise blanker as you might (or might not) recall my issue that I was having with electrical noise at my listening location. So I saw this on the local Craigslist for $50 and called right away and I was lucky to be the first one to respond.

The seller was the original owner and he had bought it back in the 80’s after coming back from Saudi Arabia so he could listen to the BBC. It was fully working but when I got home I noticed that tuning dial was not working and this set does not have direct frequency input for some reason.

I went online and scoured the internet for a possible fix and found a old posting that said to adjust the pots on the encoder board behind the main tuning knob. I found a service manual online and located the position of the board and thankfully that was the fix. But for some reason the position that they both were in was not the correct position so I don’t know if someone had been in there before but I doubt it.

Anyway, I am very happy with the purchase and the noise blanker seems to really work as I could not listen to any frequencies above 5 MHz on my old radio due to RFI. Also, the R-2000 seems to be very sensitive just from the small wire antenna that I have been using so I plan to get a better antenna and I am hoping to get some good DX catches.

Anyway, I thought I would share the news of my new purchase and hopefully the fix for the tuning knob might be of some use to others down the road.

I’m so glad you found the fix for the encoder function, Luke. Thank you for sharing because, no doubt, others will be searching for this solution. Sounds like it was a simple enough fix and certainly did the trick. If you ever need to re-cap the R-2000, you can find kits like this one to make the process easier. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, my friend Vlado recaps radios for a very reasonable price.

I’m sure you know you really snagged a deal grabbing that R-2000 for $50! Wow!

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The versatile Kenwood TH-F6A

In reply to my recent post about the Yaesu VX-3R, SWLing Post reader Tha Dood comments:

[The Yaesu VX-3R] is a neat little HT, but the Kenwood TH-F6A is way more versatile.

How? Full 5W on 2m, 222MHz, and 440MHz, and will RX 150KHz to 1.3GHz in AM, FM, FM wide, NBFM, USB, LSB, and CW. All that in a size of a pack of cigs. Yes, it will overload easily, but something that wide banded and this small, I kind of expected that.

However, want to hear what your wireless FM innercom sounds like on 175KHz? You can do that. Want to hear what your 222.1MHz transverter sounds like on SSB? You can do that. Need to tune-in to local AM / FM radio when power goes out? You can do that. Want to listen to CB CH19 truckers gripe about traffic conditions? You can do that. Want to listen to aircraft traffic at an air show? You can do that. You want to monitor 6M 50.125MHz USB to hear when that band opens? You can do that.

No, it doesn’t have D-Star, DMR, Fusion, or even SW’s DRM, but analog-wise this HT is so versatile, what else is out there like it?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the TH-F6A!

A couple more things I like about the TH-F6A:

  • it meets MIL-STD 810 C/D/E standards for resistance to vibration, shock, humidity and light rain
  • It has a dedicated number keypad for direct frequency entry (something, sadly, the VX-3R lacks)

I’ll put the TH-F6A on my “wish list” this year and perhaps give it a thorough review. (Perhaps Santa Claus is listening!?)

Here’s a snapshot of TH-F6 pricing at time of posting:

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The Kenwood R-1000: A resurgence in popularity?

Kenwood R-1000 (Source: Universal Radio)

Kenwood R-1000 (Source: Universal Radio)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Robinson, who writes:

The Kenwood R-1000 has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, fueled in part by a positive re-review of the receiver at http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/news.html

While new condition R-1000s, and you would be surprised how many of them are out there, have gone for $400, few have gone for as much as this one did [$451 US shipped]:

Kenwood-R-1000-eBay

Click here to view on eBay.

My appreciation for this radio has only grown since acquiring it last year. Mine was in like new condition and I had it modified by KIWA to provide multiple selectivity positions.

Click here to search eBay for an R-1000.

Thanks, Dan! I think the R-1000 is a handsome rig and certainly represents everything I love about solid state receivers of the era: simple design, beautiful audio, admirable performance and a proper weighted tuning knob.

Note that if you’re an owner of the R-1000–or any receiver of a similar age–you should set aside a budget for the occasional repair. With regular maintenance, these receivers will give you decades of good DX.

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