Kenwood TH225A Questions

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GrumpyAeroGuy

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OK...so I am reading up to re-take my HAM tech test, motivating me to recently "dust off" my (ancient) TH-225A.

Still powers up OK. The battery pack, of course, is long since hosed.:roll:

I have a 12V Power Supply with the appropriate DC cable, which was the way I used to transmit on full power without cooking the battery in minutes back in the day.

Manual states that the pack is a Kenwood PB-12 (Ni-Cd).

Question(s):

They (PB-12) appear not to be available any more (not too surprising I guess).

1) Can I / Should I rebuild it (battery), or have it rebuilt, with NiMH, Lithium.... or is any of this even possible/advisable? The manual indicates that the pack comes apart fairly readily, and, according to the illustrations it appears that there are "standard" looking AA NiCds in there (haven't had time to take it apart on my own yet). The manual states that one could use alkaline or Manganese batteries if one wanted to, thus my assumption that the cells are of the AA, or "standard" variety, most likely.

2) What would your collective wisdom suggest?

I see nothing in the manual or HAM test materials that would indicate that there has been a 2m technology shift over the years rendering this radio "not usable" any more. IS this a correct assessment, or am I missing something?

At the end of the day, I am probably going to purchase a new/modern 2m handheld --- but --- I still have an odd affininty to this transceiver. It was my first one (saved up a while for it back then), is still in mint condition, and, can still give me enjoyment, I'm sure.

I still like it....

Thank you for your time and expertise.
 

w2xq

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There used to be third-party battery manufacturers/suppliers advertising in QST. Perhaps a browse through the magazine or the ARRL web site?
 

N5TWB

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I just checked my copy of QST and found what N8IAA wrote above but here is the link you need for the recommended battery for the TH-225 in NiMh with low and high power options:

KENWOOD (scroll down the page a bit to the 225 radio selection)

I have a TH-215 I'm about to put into service for APRS so I'm confident your 225 has not been passed by time or technology or rules.
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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I appreciate all of the input...:)

I will probably order a new pack tomorrow from Batteries America.

As the replacement is NiMH rather than NiCd, can the original wall charger supplied with the radio be used, or do I need to order a wall charger for NiMH batteries. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the NiMH batteries require a charger with some processors in it to charge them right..... or am I thinking of Li batteries???

I loved the 225 back then and I love it now. I guess I am a little old school in that regard. I like the legacy products....dunno why.....:D

Not sure why I checked out of amateur radio for a while. Forgot how much fun this can all be...

BTW... checked out the old battery pack. That thing is welded shut.... LOL... can't see how to get in it w/o the high probability of damaging something.
 
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MTS2000des

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I appreciate all of the input...:)

I will probably order a new pack tomorrow from Batteries America.

As the replacement is NiMH rather than NiCd, can the original wall charger supplied with the radio be used, or do I need to order a wall charger for NiMH batteries. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the NiMH batteries require a charger with some processors in it to charge them right..... or am I thinking of Li batteries???

I loved the 225 back then and I love it now. I guess I am a little old school in that regard. I like the legacy products....dunno why.....:D

Not sure why I checked out of amateur radio for a while. Forgot how much fun this can all be...

BTW... checked out the old battery pack. That thing is welded shut.... LOL... can't see how to get in it w/o the high probability of damaging something.
Good question. NiMH batteries DO have a different peak charge detection cutoff point, so yes, to properly charge them, you will need a charger that supports the NiMH chemistry.

Remember, the TH-225A predates NiMH technology by about 5 years:lol:
Failure to use the correct charger will usually result in poor charging, or overcharging which will cause premature battery failure.

As far as opening the batteries, they are sonically welded. Putting them in a vice grip and a whack with a ball peen hammer is usually enough to crack the welds. Other more precise method is to use a hot knife. W&W and Batteries America do carry new inserts, but it may be less trouble to just order a new pack altogether.

FWIW these are GREAT radios. Sure, they are large, but they are built well enough, 20-25 years later they still work. Real JAPANESE old school quality, and you can actually service them. At one time, I had the whole set: TH225A, TH-315A (220) and TH-415A (440).
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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Good question. NiMH batteries DO have a different peak charge detection cutoff point, so yes, to properly charge them, you will need a charger that supports the NiMH chemistry.

Remember, the TH-225A predates NiMH technology by about 5 years:lol:
Failure to use the correct charger will usually result in poor charging, or overcharging which will cause premature battery failure.

...

FWIW these are GREAT radios. Sure, they are large, but they are built well enough, 20-25 years later they still work. Real JAPANESE old school quality, and you can actually service them. At one time, I had the whole set: TH225A, TH-315A (220) and TH-415A (440).
I was planning on ordering a whole new pack (NiMH) with an appropraite charger.

Can't wait to test for my new ticket and animate that amiable old 2 pound brick...:lol:

"Real JAPANESE old school quality..."

No doubt. Love it.....

A far cry from today's credit card sized radios with antennas weighing 2x of the radio:lol:... as feature packed and capable as they are. (NOT knocking them what-so-ever to be sure)

I still operate a late 70s stereo system with 120W into each of 4 channels. I guess vintage electronics is my eccentricity. Yes, I still have a cassette deck that looks like it belongs in the weapons bay of a nuclear sub... LOL... BRIGHT turqoise huge LEDs... gotta love it.
 

MTS2000des

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I was planning on ordering a whole new pack (NiMH) with an appropraite charger.

Can't wait to test for my new ticket and animate that amiable old 2 pound brick...:lol:

"Real JAPANESE old school quality..."

No doubt. Love it.....

A far cry from today's credit card sized radios with antennas weighing 2x of the radio:lol:... as feature packed and capable as they are. (NOT knocking them what-so-ever to be sure)

I still operate a late 70s stereo system with 120W into each of 4 channels. I guess vintage electronics is my eccentricity. Yes, I still have a cassette deck that looks like it belongs in the weapons bay of a nuclear sub... LOL... BRIGHT turqoise huge LEDs... gotta love it.
another great rig from the same time period is the Icom IC-32AT dual band HT. Used same packs as the 02/03/04/12AT. It's a brick that required a duty belt to tote, but it was one of the best HT's I've ever owned. Capable of full duplex too (not bad for 1988). Many are STILL in service today. If you've ever seen the inside of one it is AMAZINGLY built, QUALITY construction inside and out. They sell for quite a bit on brokenstolenradios.com too in good shape.

I had both the 32AT and Kenwood TH-75AT which was Kenwood's first dual band HT. The TH-75AT was great, and had dual RX, but the Icom beat it hands down for RX sensitivity and IMO, felt better in your hand. Of course, back in those days dual banders sold for $500 and UP. An Icom IC-901 with 2m and 440 decks was close to a grand- start busting out another thousand for the 10,6,220 and 1.2 decks. But what a COOL system WAY ahead of it's time- fiber optic cabling? Wow.

Ah yes, 70's classic SILVER faced gear. Still have a Pioneer SX-1080, with blows away any of this IC laden, cheap black plague garbage that started showing up in the 1980s. I put new caps in it about 6 years ago and it still is the BEST sounding receiver I've ever owned, only thing better would be an SX-1980:

Pioneer SX-1980

270 watts per channel at 8 ohms with No More than .03 THD

Now THAT is a receiver!:D
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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That's awesome.

They were beasts, that's fer sure. I don't have a good pic of mine, but I have the Sx-3900. It was the last of the monsters. It have the conventional radio dial along with the blue digital radio freq display. Inside there is a HUGE tuning capacitor off by itself to the right of the enclosure....

I bought mine overseas (Dad was army). Mine actually has a world-wide voltage selctor on the back... how cool is that?

It is 120Wx4 @ THD < 0.005% or something rediculous like that. I believe that was the one where they introduced the "non switching" amps.

They power 2 Kenwood KL999x 5-way speakers rated at 300W peak.

I agree with you, NOTHING sounds like those anymore. Now, if I can find the $$$s for a new Technics DJ turntable, I still have a load of vinyl laying around..... LOL

Pinoeer SX3900

Kenwood KL-999X

These'll take out some windows....:D
 
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MTS2000des

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SX-3900...always wanted one of those. I dig those Flouroscan meters, and VFD frequency counter. Pioneer really put out top quality stuff in those days, rivaled many higher priced "audiophile" stuff. I have a CT-F850 cassette deck, still makes a stellar recording that blows away any compressed digicrap on type I tape. All I've done other than regular cleaning/demag is replaced the belts and idler.

All these companies (including Pioneer, sad to say) give a crap about is home theater and pumping out cheap black faced made in China single chip IC amplifier wonder boxes. They sound awful, and if you look at the wimpy caps and power supplies inside, it's no wonder. You simply CANNOT get the dynamic range and performance from an amplifier if it's power supply is weak.

But most consumers don't care about good, clear and true 2-channel sound anymore.
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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Reveived the new pack for my TH225A from Batteries America today. 3-day turn-around. Excellent company, excellent customer service.
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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The NiMH I revceived was a little "shorter" than the original NiCd... but.... hey. Also bought the wall charger appropriate for NiMH.

Again, I recommend them. NO complaints here.
 
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