Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Something a bit different for me

Kenwood TH-D72A
As an HF (and infrequent 6m) DXer I never thought I would have use or interest in an HT. But my new Kenwood TH-D72A arrived today from GigaParts and the battery is charging.

My reasons for buying it are fourfold:

  • a need to communicate with others during local events
  • a mobile weather radio with alert feature based on location
  • a better solution to my current APRS set-up. Infrequently used, but when I want it, I want it to be simple and self-contained
  • a recent interest in FM satellites/ISS

That last reason is the main one. After quite a bit of research, the TH-D72A emerged as the best choice for this. The fact that is covers the other reasons was icing on the cake.

This particular HT has been around for a while and was superseded some years ago by the more expensive TH-D74, however the D74 does not offer full-duplex and the D72 does. And I have no need for the third band (220 MHz) capabilities of the D74.

So for $100 less, I got the more suitable radio.

I have an Arrow antenna on the way - the one designed for the FM "easy Sats" but I got impatient Friday and made a PVC/welding rod 3-element Yagi and was able to easily hear AO-85 with my old currently-on-life-support Baofeng during a 70 degree pass.

It was a real hoot and here's the best part - my wife and granddaughters were totally amazed at the ability to receive through a small satellite. The youngest granddaughter (7) asked a million questions about tracking the satellite and where the people were that we heard. This led to us looking them up on QRZ.com and seeing their stations. If there's ever going to be another ham in the family, it'll be her and this is the aspect of the hobby that has caught her interest.

Our next step is to make a contact through one of these birds. More to come regarding this smaller-than-I-thought-it-would-be radio.


  1. Oh Man John... You made me pull out my D-72 and I'm listening to
    the various satellite passes... 73 OM Jim W1PID

    1. FB Jim - it really speaks to the design of these radios that in the 8 years since its introduction nothing better has been produced. For full-duplex operation with a built-in TNC, the D72 is *still* the one and only.

      73 - John

  2. How much are they and where can I get one. From a cb person turning to ham.
    Wild Sting from Bournemouth.