Monday, November 1, 2010

Kenwood's New APRS Handheld Radio

I was rather disappointed when I went to purchase a Kenwood TH-D7, for its built-in APRS capability, but it was discontinued. I was getting a handheld radio regardless, so I picked up a Yaesu VX-7R. After about a year, I was happy to see today that Kenwood is finally releasing a new handheld radio to replace the discontinued TH-D7.

This new version, the TH-D72A, has a built in GPS, and it is still a dual band radio. The Manual is not available yet, but it looks like a promising product. It has a standard mini-b USB interface for KISS, and I would assume programming and transfer of the position logs it features. This new version is also weatherproof. I did not see a wide band recieve ability on this new unit, but without documentation released, it is hard to say that it doesn't have it. I did see that it can act as a Digi, and when connected to a computer, an iGate.

I like the fact that they used a standard USB cable with the USB to Serial built-in, instead of a proprietary connector and it looks like the mic port is using the two prong interface. Time will tell if it works better than the competition, Yaesu's VX-8GR.

Yaesu VX-8GR - $350     Vs.     Kenwood TH-D72A - $500