Saturday, 08 March 2014 15:03

New Kenwood TH-D72a - some basic information

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Purchased a new Kenwood TH-D72A HT, here's some basic info

I compiled some firmware/software/mods/etc together to get you up and running with this radio. 

After trying to pick one up on eBay for the past 3 month or so, losing every auction, I finally gave in a purchased a brand new one from Ham City https://www.hamcity.com/store/pc/home.asp

Paid $429 and was on my doorstep in just a few days.  I'm usually pretty good at winning eBay auctions but for whatever reason I could not get a used one at the price I was looking for.  I tried bidding early, bidding late, sniping last few seconds...lost....every one.  3 months of aggravation,  I realized I was meant to pay full retail for this radio.  Brand new out of the box, here's some basic info.

Two main reasons I wanted this dual band 144/440Mhz TH-D72A Kenwood model, APRS and Satellites.  With the built in GPS and a TNC which can be used with an external PC, plus capable of true full duplex for FM sat, this radio will keep my preoccupied for a little while. 

 

In the box:

  • Paper and CD Manual
  • Wallwart power charger
  • Li-ion PB-45L 7.4V 1800mAh battery
  • USB mini B cable
  • Metal removable belt clip

 

Firmware:

My radio came with the latest firmware already installed 1.06, to check the version installed on the radio, hold down the #/ENT key while powering on the radio.  Kenwood offers firmware downloads for your radio on their website.  Be sure to install the virtual com port driver before connecting up the radio to your PC.

Update: version 1.07 is out

  • Virtual Com Port USB Driver installation instructions and download link:
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/vcp_e.htm
  • TH-D72A 1.06 firmware loading instructions and download link:
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/th_d72/thd72_main_update_e.html

 

Software:

Kenwood offers free software to program the radio called MCP-4A (memory control program) but their are also other 3rd party companies that produce software for the TH-D72A radio.  No special cables are needed in order to connect the radio to your PC for programming, only a USB mini B cable which is included with the radio, but I'm sure you can find these laying around your shack as well if you misplace it.  Be sure to install the virtual com port driver before connecting up the radio to your PC.  I'll post review of the MCP and Chirp software once I install both of them.

  •  Virtual Com Port USB Driver installation instructions and download link:
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/vcp_e.htm
  •  Kenwood MCP-4A v1.04 (free) software installation instructions and download link:
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/mcp4a_e.html
  •  RT Systems KRS-D72 ($25.00) software purchase link:
http://www.rtsystemsinc.com/TH-D72-programming-software-and-USB-cable-s/1883.htm
  • RT Systems KRS-D72 PDF basic spec sheet and quick instructions:
http://www.rtsystems.us/productinfo/krsd72/info_TH-D72.pdf
  •  Chirp (free) open source software for the TH-D72 along with many other radios and has Mac and Linux version:
http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

 

Manuals:

Some PDF downloads as well as links to purchase the nifty guide.  Nifty guides are nice, I've had them for other radios in the past and are quick reference guides kept at easy reach whenever using the radio.

  • Kenwood TH-D72A Instruction Manual cdrom (72 page) (PDF):
http://www.kenwoodusa.com/UserFiles/File/UnitedStates/Communications/AMA/Manuals/TH-D72_CDROM_English.pdf
  • Kenwood TH-D72A Instruction Manual book (51 page) (PDF):
http://www.kenwoodusa.com/UserFiles/File/UnitedStates/Communications/AMA/Manuals/TH-D72_BOOK_English.pdf
  • Kenwood TH-D72A APRS guide (92 page) (PDF):
http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/pdf/TH-D72AE_IDM.pdf
  • Kenwood TH-D72A Service Manual ($25.95) purchase link:
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-011346
  • Kenwood TH-D72A Nifty Guide and mini reference card ($24.25) purchase link:
http://niftyaccessories.com/Kenwood_cards.htm
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kenwood-TH-D72A-Nifty-Quick-Reference-Guide-THD72-/310305940773

 

Accessories:

Along with the Nifty reference guide here are some accessories I plan on purchasing soon.

  • Batteries America aftermarket PB-45L 7.4V 2000mAh (that's an extra 200mAh !!) ($44.95 + $7.95sh):
http://store.batteriesamerica.com/pb-45l74volt2000mahli-ionrechargeablebatteryforkenwoodth-d72ath-d72e.aspx
  • Drop-in rapid charger ($18.95 + $6.95sh) - yeah no name Chinese, but price is right and I've had similar ones in the past with no issues:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=th-d72+charger&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xth-d72+rapid+charger&_nkw=th-d72+rapid+charger&_sacat=0
  • Generic eBay search for TH-D72 for some other items that may catch my eye:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR3.TRC1.A0.H0.Xth-d72&_nkw=th-d72&_sacat=0&_from=R40

 

Mods:

Seems that there is an extended Tx/Rx mod, probably won't waste my time on this though.

Read 9410 times Last modified on Thursday, 24 September 2015 15:17
Algis Salys

Creator and owner of algissalys.com.  Linux enthusiast, electronics tinkerer, and likes to spend time in the workshop building and creating new projects.