Kenwood TM-D710A Dual Band Mobile Transceiver
Reviewed by Howard Robins, W1HSR ARRL Contributing Editor
Kenwood's TM-D710A refines and enhances the capabilities found in the venerable TM-D700A. The 'D710A has all the features you expect for FM voice operation, plus a built-in TNC for APRS and packet as well as support for Kenwood's Sky-Command II remote control system.
How do you improve on perfection? That was the question I asked myself when Kenwood introduced the TM-D710A. I have been using its predecessor, the TM-D700A, for nearly five years, and considered it the finest, most feature-rich dual band mobile I had ever used. So, when tasked with checking out the TM-D710A, I saw it as a great opportunity to answer my question.
The TM-D710A has the same core features and functions as Kenwood's TM-V71A.2 The list is extensive, including a dual band receiver, 1000 memory channels, flexible scanning, tone squelch encode and decode and so on. As shown in Table 1, the 'D710A's performance is nearly identical to the 'V71A. The wide coverage receiver is best on the 2 meter and 70 cm bands, but sensitivity is good over much of its range. As with the 'V71A, you can listen to both receivers at the same time (both tuned to VHF, both UHF or one of each). Transmitter power is 50 W on both bands. Much of this review will focus on the data communication features not found in the 'V71A and significant changes from the 'D700A.
The 'D710A includes EchoLink sysop capability described in detail in the TM-V71A review, as well as an internal TNC with Automatic Packet Position Reporting System (APRS) and AX.25 packet functionality. It's the APRS capability that the TM-D700A is best known for. With my 'D700A, I started with a Magellan GPS receiver and later upgraded to an AvMap G4T. Both GPS receivers worked well, but the G4T provides a large, brilliant color map that shows the full call sign and subsystem ID along with the location of received position beacons. We ordered the new AvMap G5 GPS receiver to use with the 'D710A. It's shown in the title photo and described in an accompanying review.
My TM-V71A review discussed Kenwood's MCP-2A memory programming software. MCP-2A works with the 'D710A too, requiring the same optional PC interface cable set. As with the TM-V71A, you can import repeater lists created with ARRL's TravelPlus for Repeaters and download them to the TM-D710A's memories.