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Kenwood & EF Johnson Forum - For discussion of land mobile radio products manufactured by Kenwood or EF Johnson. For discussion of Kenwood Amateur Radio Equipment, please use the Amateur Radio Equipment forum.

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Old 07-12-2018, 4:12 PM
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Question Kenwood TK-760 Questions

Kenwood TK-760

I am as “brand spankin’ new” to ham radio as one can get (licensed a few days ago) but I am a pretty good researcher and now I am looking for some expertise from hams who have been around since Pikes Peak was a molehill.

I recently purchased a used Kenwood TK-760 rig (dirt cheap) and at this point missing a mic and an antenna, but from what I gather this would work on 2 meters. I have seen two different specs on what frequencies it covers….one stating it starts at 150 MHz.

This appears to be a 32 channel unit and the color brochure I found on line showed pics of school buses and similar vehicles giving the impression this was more of a business/commercial rig.

Other model numbers on these put an “H” or an “HG” after the 760 and I am thinking these might be the “ham” versions.

Since these are older any references I see to programming them are talking about DOS based software on an old Windows based computer. I am using CHIRP to program my little ICR (Inexpensive Chinese Radio…the CCR cousin) and I am doing that with Windows 7 on a laptop…works fine. When looking at units supported by CHIRP the 760 does show up so that might work.

My concerns obviously at this point surround buying a mike, buying a USB to 8 pin programming cable. Antenna I am buying for my ICR HT would work for this experiment. I will hold off on new buys until I hear this rig can actually be used as a base or mobile unit. I don’t mind a little work to achieve a working goal, but the “working” part has to be feasible…that’s where I need help.

So, that’s a lot, but maybe it will help narrow down for responders what they need to tell me or ask me.

I am also looking at several Yaesu mobiles in the $200 range, but that’s for another thread.

Thanks from a newbie… 73 Ron
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Old 07-12-2018, 6:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
Kenwood TK-760

I am as “brand spankin’ new” to ham radio as one can get (licensed a few days ago) but I am a pretty good researcher and now I am looking for some expertise from hams who have been around since Pikes Peak was a molehill.

I recently purchased a used Kenwood TK-760 rig (dirt cheap) and at this point missing a mic and an antenna, but from what I gather this would work on 2 meters. I have seen two different specs on what frequencies it covers….one stating it starts at 150 MHz.
Older radio, long since out of production, but if you got it for a good price, then lets work with that.

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Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
This appears to be a 32 channel unit and the color brochure I found on line showed pics of school buses and similar vehicles giving the impression this was more of a business/commercial rig.
Yes, it's a commercial/public safety LMR radio. It doesn't have the features that most amateurs want.
Natively, the US versions of this radio will cover 148 - 174MHz, so not the 2 meter band, but I think they can be tricked to work down a bit. You might not be able to make it cover all of the 2 meter band without the VCO unlocking, but I could be wrong. You'll have to do some research on how to get the software let you go out of range.

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Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
Other model numbers on these put an “H” or an “HG” after the 760 and I am thinking these might be the “ham” versions.
Non-H model radios are 25 watt output.
H model radios are 50 watt output.
H stood for the higher power model.

There were no "ham" versions, as these are a commercial radio. Kenwood has a separate division that builds amateur radio equipment.


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Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
Since these are older any references I see to programming them are talking about DOS based software on an old Windows based computer. I am using CHIRP to program my little ICR (Inexpensive Chinese Radio…the CCR cousin) and I am doing that with Windows 7 on a laptop…works fine. When looking at units supported by CHIRP the 760 does show up so that might work.
I can't answer that. But it's worth a try. You should be able to "find" the official Kenwood programming software out there on the net, somewhere, maybe in a dimly lit corner…

Preference would be to use the correct software for the job, as it's less likely to cause issues. But since you got it for dirt cheap, probably wouldn't hurt to give it a try.

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Originally Posted by Movieman990 View Post
My concerns obviously at this point surround buying a mike, buying a USB to 8 pin programming cable. Antenna I am buying for my ICR HT would work for this experiment. I will hold off on new buys until I hear this rig can actually be used as a base or mobile unit. I don’t mind a little work to achieve a working goal, but the “working” part has to be feasible…that’s where I need help.
For a mobile install, all you will need is the radio, mic (KMC-23), mounting bracket, power cord and an antenna.

You can wire this into your 12 volt battery on the car.

For base use, get a 12 volt power supply capable of providing at least 15 amps.
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Old 07-12-2018, 6:27 PM
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I happen to have a TK-760HG that I use for ham vhf, and other uses. My radio will work well below 144 MHz, and all I had to do in the software was to ignore the warning message about how the frequency was “out of range”. It works perfectly, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It sure beats the cheaply-made amateur equipment out there, as far as build quality goes...that’s why I will always go commercial.


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Old 07-12-2018, 6:41 PM
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Thanks MMCKENNA for the very helpful post.

It was actually the very low price I paid ($10) that led me to even consider this one for use. Looking at your response and realizing I was aware of some of it confirms to me that bargain that it was, by the time I add a mike, etc and considering it is pretty far out of the 2 meter spectrum, it's probably not the best way to spend my time.

The original software is available but the computer end and working with DOS to maybe get some results is more than I want to spend time on. I taught computer applications for about 15 years starting with DOS and old Windows 3.1. While DOS is still sputtering around I really don't want to revisit it that much.

So, thanks for some of the details I missed when reading up on this....but I did enjoy the research I did do.

I also got a Motorola police radio complete with all wiring and mike. I think it will go on eBay with the Kenwood as there are people there who will bail me out of my two $10 investments and give me a little left over to buy something I can really use.

73

Ron
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Old 07-12-2018, 6:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will001 View Post
I happen to have a TK-760HG that I use for ham vhf, and other uses. My radio will work well below 144 MHz, and all I had to do in the software was to ignore the warning message about how the frequency was “out of range”. It works perfectly, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It sure beats the cheaply-made amateur equipment out there, as far as build quality goes...that’s why I will always go commercial.


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Hey Will....thanks for the response. What software did you use? Sounds like something that was NOT from Kenwood. As I said I have CHIRP and if that's what you used I might spend some time on the unit I have.

I would have to buy a clone mic (or a real one) and the appropriate programming cord, but with some encouragement and/or a little more info I MIGHT give it a shot.

Thanks !

73

Ron
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Old 07-12-2018, 6:49 PM
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I use a program (believe it or not, from Kenwood) called KPG-56D. It kind of looks like CHIRP, but it has some differences.


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Old 07-12-2018, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will001 View Post
I happen to have a TK-760HG that I use for ham vhf, and other uses. My radio will work well below 144 MHz, and all I had to do in the software was to ignore the warning message about how the frequency was “out of range”. It works perfectly, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. It sure beats the cheaply-made amateur equipment out there, as far as build quality goes...that’s why I will always go commercial.
That's good to hear. If they'll maintain VCO lock down to 144MHz, then it would be a good choice.

I agree with you about commercial gear. I ditched all my amateur stuff years ago. Having one radio that will do amateur and my work stuff makes life easier.

@ MovieMan,

There's pro's and con's to using commercial gear.
Pro's are that it'll probably run circles around some of the low end commercial gear. It'll be more durable and they often have better receivers.

The drawbacks are that you will have the challenges of programming it.
There are ways to make these radios do some basic programming changes from the front panel, but you still need the programming software for some changes.

For $10, you might want to hang on to it. Might make a good base radio where you can program in a few of your local frequencies and keep it at home.
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Old 07-16-2018, 4:07 PM
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I haven't had any issues with the '760's running on most ham frequencies, but some individual radios can be a little squirrely (on transmit) below 144 MHz for potential CAP/MARS users.

FYI... The Kenwood KPG-56D programming software runs on Windows... no problem.

- John AC4JK
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Old 07-16-2018, 9:27 PM
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You need KPG29D (dos software) for Kenwood TK-760(H)
You need KPG56D (windows software) for Kenwood TK-760G(H)

Both radios can be set to program frequencies on channels through the front panel of the radio, no computer required.
The Kenwood tk-760 radio is quite a bit easier to program through the front face.

If not already done, the TK-760 requires a jumper to be soldered on the back of the faceplate to enable front face programming as well as a software setting.

Hold down the "A" key and power on to see if yours is enabled.
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