11 July, 2023

Dusted Off the Kenwood TM-V7A - KB3KAI

I am making plans, and a big one is to get a Diamond X300A antenna on the roof (already purchased, sitting in the corner waiting for the weather to clear). It is a result of careful research, planning and finding the right antenna for me, at the right price.

Another plan is to get into digital radio, but I am still undecided between Yaesu’s System Fusion or ICOM’s D-STAR. I am a Yaesu fanboy at heart, and I see System Fusion repeaters being added all around my QTH. But the local EmComm is using D-STAR. Either way the decision could be expensive, so I must choose wisely …

One important factor for me is knowing if there is any 70cm activity in my area – why bother if the band is dead? I won’t be able to tell much until I get the new antenna in the air, but for now I dusted off my old Kenwood TM-V7A dual-band 2M/70cm radio. I am not a big fan of the blue LCD display, the color and contrast has always been difficult on my eyes. But it works well 🙂

When I stored it away about 6 years ago I carefully wrapped the display and kept it in a safe place. The rest went in a box for storage. Between then and now, somehow the mounting bracket walked away. I turned to eBay and found a replacement bracket and a USB programming cable. CHIRP software made programming the radio a breeze! It even downloads local frequencies and CTCSS tones for you. Gotta love it.

For now I am running the TM-V7 until if/when I make a decision on a digital-capable radio.  Stay tuned …