Unboxing The Kenwood HT

Yesterday, the new HT (handy talkie) ham radio I ordered the day before arrived at my home. I chose two-day shipping, but the radio made it here the next day, thank you, FedEx! It took me all of about thirty minutes to program the radio after a quick review of the user manual. Each manufacturer does things differently when designing and manufacturing, but there are always a few similarities between these radios.

Once programmed, it just needed a couple or so hours to top off the battery. You always need to charge the battery on a new rig before you put it through its paces the first time. So far, really good. I’ve compared it directly to the very similar Yaesu hand-held radio I purchased a few weeks ago. They are almost identical in received-signal sensitivity, the Kenwood barely edging the Yaesu out in that department.

That said, there are several differences in the method used to program the rig, and the buttons on the front panel are arranged very differently and have different meanings than do the Yaesu rig. Are you lost yet? I’m not surprised as this is fairly technical stuff to learn, but I have forty years of experience with many types of radio equipment from CB’s to all kinds of ham, or Amateur radios. Why we use the term Ham is still a mystery to me!

Visit the Kenwood Amateur Radio site.

Visit the Yaesu Amateur Radio site.

Click a photo.

16 thoughts on “Unboxing The Kenwood HT

  1. In the late 80’s, dad uses to have a CB and then I had a walkie talkie, which came with the long aerial. But I don’t tjmine could go all over the world. Not really sute to be honest.
    Dad had his aerial on the house for his cb and I remember chatting on that mote than mine.

    Dad’s handle name was ‘fag ash bill, ‘ mine was, ‘bird breeder’ and mum’s ‘apple blossom.’

    On dad’s radio, I remember conversations were just in the UK. Some not far away, another in Scotland.

    I used to remember several handlers name from a list we were given, but only one’s that stick in my mind now were, ‘rocking chair’ and ‘cherry blossom.’

    • You had some great Band Openings, a time when the Ionosphere was reflecting your signal back to earth, then bouncing which makes the long distance communication possible. Fag ash Bill? I used the number 55, another guy in my area used Dirty Socks for his handle. Duh. 11 meters seems dead these days.

      • Dad was a smoker, so hence fag ash bill.
        I remember having my cb into adulthood. I once turned it on for curiosity, but all was silent.
        I sold it via a shop for a small amount of money.

        • As in the British calling a cigg a fag? The band becomes more or less busy because of the 11 year sunspot cycle. An active sun causes our Ionosphere to reflect the radio waves back to earth much more than usual. I have no idea what part of the cycle we are in right now. I keep a CB and antenna just to play around with it once in a while.

  2. I’ve wondered that myself about why it’s called HAM radio. Here’s some of what Wikipedia says: The term “ham” was first a pejorative term used in professional wired telegraphy during the 19th century, to mock operators with poor Morse code-sending skills (“ham-fisted”).

    • Oh, OK! Thanks for the information, Anneli! Dah Dit Dah Dah Dah Dit Dit!!! that is N and 8 in CW I think…

    • Currently, I have six radios, four of them are the same radios though. All are VHF only, I recently bailed from the UHF side which is 430 to 450mhz among other UHF bands we are allocated by the FCC.

      By all over the country, you might mean the HF (high frequency) bands that so many hams love. Not I. Too noisy, and the antenna systems can be huge too because of the low frequencies. Talking around the world is something I’ve not done since my CB radio days in the early 1980s.

      However, new technologies have made enhancements to the ability of Repeater owners to link those repeaters, or sometimes called Machines, together that greatly increase the distance you can communicate with radios as small as the little HT shown here.

      I once heard a guy in the United Kingdom on a local repeater here last year, wow. That’s obviously using the deep ocean intercontinental land-lines, satellites and perhaps call towers, not sure. The hobby has kept me busy for decades. All these years later, I still like to eyeball the local towers around the city.

      Some are just AM radio stations, Others are two-way business systems, radio and TV towers and of course your basic cell tower! And whatever else is out there. Often, ham radio clubs will rent space on a tower that the club finds to be the proper location for their system.

      The club I belonged to in Michigan for years actually owned the old tower though. It is still there, on that small hill that is still high enough to give the old 100-foot telescoping tower the height needed for VHF and UHF systems. I owned a 220mhz repeater at this site years ago.

      Height is might in the world of VHF and even more so, on the UHF bands. Yeah, I love radio! 😂 😎

      • Fascinating! I had a friend when I was in Grad school in Tucson who talked to some “chaps” in New Zealand a lot. It was pretty neat.

        • They are Chaps indeed! Isn’t it so fun that we Americans share a common language with England of course, but with Australia and New Zealand too?

          Our English language has fascinated me for years. A common language, yet with very different dialects.

          This is xxxxx calling CQ!

          Never, ever give your FCC call sign online. It is a very easy way to obtain a licensee’s physical address. They are federally issued, and are public information!

      • Height is might. On last weekend’s “Art Bell Somewhere in Time”, Art said that “mountains are the ham operator’s best friend”. He had a little place up in the mountains where he installed an outdoor antenna which allowed him to “talk to the world”.

        By the way, have you noticed the trend amongst Millennials to not pronounce the hard “t”? Take the word ‘mountain’, for example. Listen carefully and you might hear them say ‘moun*ain’.

        The young woman who does the local weather cast will say, “The moun*ains will be hot and dry this weekend.”

        Of course, the station’s social media pages light up with viewers complaining that the young lady can’t pronounce ‘mountains’.

        By the end of the three hour newscast, she clearly has gotten (‘go**en’) the message, and begins pronouncing her words correctly, but with a bit of an attitude.

        She will overemphasize the hard ‘t’ so that it sounds like this:

        “It will be hot and dry in the (pause) … mounT-Tains … this weekend. There will be a cooling trend in the (pause) … mounT-Tains … over the next few days.”

        She’s clearly unnerved by the criticism, but obviously knows how to pronounce the hard ‘t’.

        The language trends amongst young people are so annoying like vocal fry, uptalk, Valspeak, and answering questions with “so”.

        The way we speak is an identifying social marker. It’s like any herd behavior that people adopt without even thinking.

        Art Bell once said if you want to be a communicator, you’ve got to master the language. The image below shows Bell in his home studio. Check out all those radios.


        • Thank you for the link! I may be guilty of speaking like that, but this was long before the Millennial’s were squeezed out. It’s great that the people are taking her to task though.

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