Kenwood: New Kenwood TH-D75

Kenwood TH-D75

  • I'm really looking forward to buying this radio.

    Votes: 16 14.2%
  • May consider buying this radio and some point.

    Votes: 46 40.7%
  • Not interested in this radio.

    Votes: 27 23.9%
  • D-Star is dead, Jim.

    Votes: 24 21.2%

  • Total voters
    113
  • Poll closed .

jazzboypro

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If you take away 220 and D-Star (who cares) then my FT5DR is plenty of competition. If I ever needed 220 again then I'd just pick up a VX-6R because who doesn't love more radios?
Of course...he we start removing features anything can be compared...
 

kayn1n32008

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Hummm the VP8000 is a commercial grade radio worth a lot more than the D75. I don't how you came to compare the 2 radios. Not the same features, not the same market and definitely not the same price range.
Not sure why Kenwood is hitching ham digital voice to D-Star.

Yes the VP series is a commercial radio, however, I'd rather have P25 and DMR in a single portable radio, rather than just DStar.

Besides 220MHz and APRS, I'm not entirely sure what this radio offers to the market.
 

eorange

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Of course...he we start removing features anything can be compared...
When there's only 1 HT like that which costs almost $800 USD, then yeah, reasonable alternatives are natural to consider.

Unless you're talking about price, in which case there truly is no competition!
 

mmckenna

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Not sure why Kenwood is hitching ham digital voice to D-Star.

I really should have been honest and clicked on the "D-Star is dead, Jim", instead of the equally truthful "I'm not interested in buying this radio". Unfortunately selecting both poll options wasn't a choice.

I agree, while I know someone will flame up and announce that there's lots of d-Star activity in their town "and it's going to take over the world, just you wait and see", I'm just not hearing it anywhere around me. DMR is much, much, MUCH more popular (and useful).

Must be one of those "Main Office in Japan has decided..." Kenwood things that always seems to get them in trouble in the US market.


Yes the VP series is a commercial radio, however, I'd rather have P25 and DMR in a single portable radio, rather than just DStar.

Besides 220MHz and APRS, I'm not entirely sure what this radio offers to the market.

I think I'd be just as happy with a NX-5200 or a Tait 9900 if I had to do this. DMR is much more useful/popular around me. D-star is dead.
As for 220MHz, there's a few quiet repeaters here, and I don't feel the need to use them.
APRS is fun, but the 1980's called, they want their tracker back. My phone will do all that without dealing with hams. I played with APRS for a few years, and after a while the novelty wore off and I stopped. Much easier to do location tagging with DMR, P25, NXDN or any of the more developed digital modes.
 

kayn1n32008

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When there's only 1 HT like that which costs almost $800 USD, then yeah, reasonable alternatives are natural to consider.

Unless you're talking about price, in which case there truly is no competition!
For that price, I'll keep my ID-51 and IC-92ad thanks. It's not like I use D-Star for anything but simplex.
 

tweiss3

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APRS is fun, but the 1980's called, they want their tracker back. My phone will do all that without dealing with hams. I played with APRS for a few years, and after a while the novelty wore off and I stopped. Much easier to do location tagging with DMR, P25, NXDN or any of the more developed digital modes.
I wish most manufacturers didn't neuter DMR location in simplex operations. Sure, its most used in a multi-user trunked system with a dedicated location channel, but still, it would be helpful to see bearing & distance to the last call, and useful to those simplex users. For that matter, I wish it was standardized in DMR as well as P25, because the location options are mostly incompatible between manufacturers as it is.

I must say, for sending files (including photos), D-Star is the one to have it figured out. I did play around with it for a while with friends, sending memes from our phones to each other on D-Star.
 

KM6CQ

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D-Star is dead, as is DMR, Fusion, P25, NXDN and M17. The location you operate in determines what is alive. We all understand the 75 is an upgrade from the 74 and that's no surprise. I am sure Kenwood could build a dream HT for amateurs. However they will have to get their R&D funds back in the first couple years of it being on the market, which equates to a very expensive HT. Will enough sales occur from those who will "be first inline to buy" make this happen? At net ten or whatever their terms are with their suppliers and resellers, will they have to recover enough funds to make payroll. Does Kenwood want to go down the Motorola path, a APX is not walking around money.
 

mmckenna

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Does Kenwood want to go down the Motorola path, a APX is not walking around money.

The VP-8000 is considerably less expensive than the APX-8000. Same with the Tait-9800/9900 radios.

Still, not chump change, but affordable for the same hams that buy contest rigs and, well, APX-8000's.

Taking a VP-8000 or the Tait, and just provisioning it with VHF and UHF plus DMR is affordable for many that want that grade of radio. Plus, a lot more useful features.

Single band is even less expensive. Get a Kenwood NX-3200 or NX-3300 and you get analog + DMR, built in GPS, etc.


I think that the big 3's ham products are in a precarious place right now. The CCR's are selling well for those that don't have the budget. The multiband commercial radios are dropping price. The TH-D75's are going to get squeezed in the middle between them, and all that d-Star nonsense is going to get squeezed out like toothpaste. The mindset of marketing for these mid-tier ham radios (relative to CCR and commercial gear) isn't reflecting reality.
 

jazzboypro

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Not sure why Kenwood is hitching ham digital voice to D-Star.

Yes the VP series is a commercial radio, however, I'd rather have P25 and DMR in a single portable radio, rather than just DStar.

Besides 220MHz and APRS, I'm not entirely sure what this radio offers to the market.
It does not offer anything that other handheld do not offer. All I'm saying is that there is currently no amateur specific handheld that competes with the D75.
 

DeoVindice

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However they will have to get their R&D funds back in the first couple years of it being on the market, which equates to a very expensive HT. Will enough sales occur from those who will "be first inline to buy" make this happen? At net ten or whatever their terms are with their suppliers and resellers, will they have to recover enough funds to make payroll. Does Kenwood want to go down the Motorola path, a APX is not walking around money.
Kenwood/EFJ has APX-like products for about half the price, and actually allows/encourages their dealers to sell them to individuals and small customers.

The NX-3300 is in a different bracket, but is very compelling for ham DMR usage (and I'd argue is a better radio for most operators). You get the option for 50% more battery capacity, a real accessory connector (the 2-pin connector is and always has been junk), GPS, IP67, FPP option, and DMR-native messaging and data functionality. Price is comparable to a D75. I'll grant that the software is...less than good. Industrial/commercial radio sales volume far exceeds that of ham gear; I hold that it makes more sense to adapt commercial equipment to amateur use cases than to produce low-volume oddball stuff with half-baked features and questionable engineering decisions.

Too much amateur-focused gear just has a toylike feel to it. I can't bring it to work and expect it to survive, and certainly can't program it up for work usage. I can throw a 440 repeater in my work VP600, drop the thing off a moving haul truck, throw it in a sump, chat with hams on the way home, and wash it off in the sink.
 

jazzboypro

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When there's only 1 HT like that which costs almost $800 USD, then yeah, reasonable alternatives are natural to consider.

Unless you're talking about price, in which case there truly is no competition!
There are no alternatives to the d75 in amateur specific handheld
 

vagrant

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@mmckenna - Damn it Jim I'm doctor not a D-Star user!

Joking aside, I use P25 about as much as I use analog these days on VHF/UHF, perhaps more. Anyways, to say a mode is "dead" is typically relevant to one's geographical location or "perceived" lack of use, while elsewhere it may be significant. Also, the D75 is relatively feature rich for a handheld amateur radio. If it also had DMR some operators would foam at the mouth proclaiming it the greatest handheld ever made in their fervor. I would probably join them if it also had P25. ;)

D-Star is in the D74 and D75 because the mode is used and growing Japan. The number of "D-Star" repeaters in Japan went from 91 in 2011, to 279 in 2023. For those that enjoy percentages, that's over a 200% increase. Anyways, I would like to see a mobile version of the D75 handheld with all of its features. I would also like a side order of a large control head touch screen with that please and double the order, so I can use one at home.

2011

2023


* Request - Fellow members, please stop comparing/contrasting multi-thousand dollar commercial radios to an amateur radio...or is that really the D75's competition?
 
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SA4MDN

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EFJ's VP8000 blows that thing out of the water. There is no reason for Kenwood to release this product with the same bad battery life as it's predecessor and only 1 digital mode.
DMR at a later release/and where de D-Star
 

AF1UD

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DMR at a later release/and where de D-Star
DMR has been out for ~8 months now. There's no D-Star activity around me.... it won't be missed. Plus ICOM can't produce narrow band FM equipment. Not something I'd even consider -- anything with D-Star.
 

mmckenna

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@mmckenna - Damn it Jim I'm doctor not a D-Star user!

"Damn it Jim" is an acceptable response to any question.

D-Star is in the D74 and D75 because the mode is used and growing Japan. The number of "D-Star" repeaters in Japan went from 91 in 2011, to 279 in 2023. For those that enjoy percentages, that's over a 200% increase. Anyways, I would like to see a mobile version of the D75 handheld with all of its features. I would also like a side order of a large control head touch screen with that please and double the order, so I can use one at home.

Unfortunately, I don't live in Japan. It's disappearing around here. And that's where I think the Kenwood home office is missing things. D-Star may be fine if you live in Japan, but it's not something I'd invest in here. Just my personal opinion based on where I am.

* Request - Fellow members, please stop comparing/contrasting multi-thousand dollar commercial radios to an amateur radio...or is that really the D75's competition?

Why? It's a fair discussion. Not really competition, but a fair discussion since for the price of this radio you can get some pretty cool DMR stuff.

I've said for years that amateur radio needs to get behind one digital mode and support it if they want to be relevant. Shouldn't matter what club I belong to, what digital mode I buy into, or what radio I buy. The beauty of amateur radio is that we can all talk.

I don't see that competing digital modes that don't match up with anything else (I'm looking at you, D-Star/System Fusion), has really benefited the hobby in any way. It seems to be more about getting clubs to buy into a specific protocol, and all those hams having to buy specific brand radios.
 

AK9R

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Folks, the relative merits of the various digital voice modes used in amateur radio has been debated at length in other threads. I don't think we need to chop that wood again.

And, frankly, we've been debating the merits of the TH-D75 for over 100 posts in this thread. None of us is going to change Kenwood's mind about a radio that is in production, shipping, and in customers' hands. It is what it is. Don't like that they stuck with D-STAR in this radio? Don't buy it. Think the radio's too expensive? Don't buy it. Think Kenwood missed the boat with the Bluetooth protocol? Don't buy it. Think the battery life is lousy? Don't buy it. Have no interest in the radio? Don't buy it. I'm not saying that your opinions don't have merit, but there's nothing we can say in this forum that will change Kenwood's mind. Their amateur radio support contact info can be found here: Amateur Radio Support | KENWOOD USA

The poll responses are interesting. 13% looking forward to buying the radio. 41% may consider buying the radio. Gee, that looks like over half of the 105 respondents feel positively about this radio. Good for Kenwood! 25% aren't interested in the radio. I wonder if they are still active in this thread pointing out the radio's faults. 21% think D-STAR is dead. Um, ok, but that doesn't explicitly tell us whether or not you are interested in the radio. If we combine the people who explicitly aren't interested in the radio with those who aren't interested in D-STAR, then we have a poll that shows a roughly half-and-half split between those who are fer it and those who are agin it.

In the end, we have no consensus. Sound like life, in general. Carry on.
 
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