Kenwood TM-V71A

The best term for the TM-V71A is “no-frills.” It won’t thrill you with a colorful touchscreen. It doesn’t have a GPS or G-STAR. But that’s not what it’s meant to do. It’s meant to provide reliable dual-band VHF and UHF performance – and if you’re looking for an affordable analog radio to play around with at home or in your car, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better choice in the price range. It’s a real workhorse, and will likely serve you well for years to come.

Good

  • Detachable control head – The control head is detachable but can be mounted directly on the body of the unit, which makes it versatile both for mobile use and for permanent use in a ham shack. The LCD panel is nothing to write home about, but it gets the job done, and the ability to choose between amber and green adjustable backlighting is a nice touch.
  • 1,000 memory channels – You can program up to 1,000 split memory channels, with an additional 10 for programmable scan. Each channel can be identified with up to 8 alphanumeric characters. They can be entered manually, or with the PG-5G programming cable (not included) and Kenwood’s free MCP-2A Memory Control software.
  • True dual-band operation – True dual-band operation means that this mobile transceiver supports VHF/VHF, VHF/UHF, and UHF/UHF operation. You can monitor two frequencies at once on any band.
  • 50 watt power output – Radio output tops out at 50 watts, but can also be set to 10 or 5 watts to conserve power. The signal is exceptionally good, particularly when paired with a high-quality antenna.
  • Supports EchoLink – EchoLink lets you connect your UHF/VHF transceiver to thousands of other users via the internet. This unit even supports SysOp mode, which lets you turn your TM-V71A into an EchoLink base station, allowing anyone in range of your station to connect to any other EchoLink station in the world.

Bad

  • Loud fan – Particularly when it’s set to its full 50 watts of output, the fan has to work hard to keep the unit cool. This is more noticeable in a home ham shack than it is during mobile use in a vehicle, but it can be pretty loud, so keep this in mind.
  • Odd power distribution – It would be nice to have a 25w power option on the unit, but you can only choose between 50, 10, and 5 watts. 25 watts would be a better middle ground and provide a bit more range without requiring the radio to run at full power.
  • Extension cables not included – This is not uncommon for mobile transceivers in this price range. But it would be nice if extension cables were included for those who want to mount the head unit separately from the base.

Bottom line

Sure, it’s not flashy. But the Kenwood TM-V71A gets the job done – and then some. Despite being a more affordable VHF/UHF radio, it even has support for some advanced features like EchoLink. And with its simple, time-tested design, it’s built to last.

Product Specs

Frequency Range
Band A & B     TX
144- 148 MHz
430 – 450 MHz
Frequency Range
Band A     RX
Band B     RX
118- 524 MHz
136- 524 MHz
800 – 1300 MHz *
(*excluding cellular band)
ModeF2D, F3E
Antenna Impedance-50Ω
Power RequirementDC13.8V ±15% (minus)
Operating Temperature Range-20°C ~ +60°C
Frequency StabilityWithin ±5ppm (-10° C~ +50° C)
Current Drain
Transmit VHF HI
MID
LOW
UHF HI
MID
LOW
Receive
Less than 13.0A
Less than 5.5A
Less than 4.0A
Less than 13.0A
Less than 6.5A
Less than 5.0A
Less than 1.2A (at 2W audio output)
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Without protrusions Panel
Body w/Panel
With protrusions Panel
Body w/Panel
5.51 x 1.69 x 1.50 inch (140 x 43 x 38.2 mm)
5.51 x 1.69 x 7.11 inch (140 x 43 x 180.7 mm)
5.51 x 1.69 x 2.18 inch (140 x 43 x 55.4 mm)
5.51 x 1.69 x 8.39 inch (140 x 43 x 213.1 mm)
Weight (approx.) Body w/Panel3.3 bs. (1.5 kg)
RF Output Power
HI           VHF/UHF
MID        VHF/UHF
LOW      VHF/UHF
50W / 50W
Approx.10W / Approx. 10W
Approx.5W / Approx. 5W
ModulationReactance modulation
Maximum Frequency DeviationWithin±5kHz
Supurious RadiationLess than -60dB
Modulation Distortion
(300 MHz ~ 3 kHz)
Less than 3%
Microphone Impedance-600Ω
CircuitryDouble Super Heterodyne
Intermediate Frequency
1st IF (A Band/B Band)
2nd IF (A Band/B Band)
45.05MHz / 49.95MHz
455kHz / 450kHz
Sensitivity VHF/UHFLess than 0.16 µV
Squelch Sensitivity VHF
                               UHF
Less than 0.1 µV
Less than 0.1 µV
Selectivity -6 dB
                 -50 dB
More than 11 kHz
Less than 30 kHz
Audio Output Power
(8ohms)
More than 2W (at 5% distortion)

Expert reviews

  • YouTuber Everything Ham Radio reviewed the TM-V71A. His overall impressions were positive, and he called the radio the “best non-digital dual-band radio on the market today” with a great “bang for your buck.” He also said it’s a “very rugged” radio and that he highly recommends it for anyone looking for a VHF/UHF dual-band radio.
  • YouTuber Rory J also reviewed this radio from Kenwood. He had plenty of good things to say about it, praising the ergonomics of the included microphone, the quality of the mounting bracket, and the removable faceplate. Overall, he suggested that the TM-V71A is a good choice for anyone looking for a feature-packed dual-band UHF/VHF radio.

User reviews

  • On DXEngineering, users have given the Kenwood TM-V71A a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, across 49 total reviews. Those who liked the radio mentioned that it “it’s reliable and easy to use with an intuitive menu system,” offers “simply terrific” sound quality, and is “very easy to configure and operate.” However, a few critical reviewers noted that the fan is loud and constantly runs, with one user going so far as to replace the fan with an aftermarket Noctua unit to improve the problem.
  • At GigaParts, there’s currently only one customer review, but it’s a glowing, 5-star review. The user noted that they would “definitely recommend this [radio] to a fellow ham,” and that it’s a “great rig” when paired up with the right antenna.
  • On eHam.net, the TM-V71A has a rating of 4.5 out of 5, across a total of 106 reviews. Overall, the impressions of eHam users were positive. Users highlighted that it’s “solidly built and solidly performing,” that the unit is “extremely easy to operate and program,” and “it just works and does it well.” A few reviewers noted the loud fan, and the lack of a mid-range 25 watt transmission setting, as well as the relatively small screen.

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