Triokenwood Tyma

Trio-Kenwood unvoiled the; TW 4QQ0A at the 1SS3 Dayton Hamventlon, and that Is where i got my first look at one The model on display had the optional VS-1 'dice synthesizer installed. and after a few minutes playing time, 1 dec ided that t had to have one. In fact, I didn't gee around to purchasing one until that fall. The local ham-radio store. R & L Electronics, let me play with a powered-up unit and demon at rated features JTdi the various options that they stocked- I'm sorry, but you |usi can't gel that Kind of service through an 800-number purchase. 1 ended up going home with the TW400QA, the VS 1. and the MA-4000 duai-band mobile antenna.

The "FM Dual-Oander,- as Kenwood likes to call it. Is just that. Capable of uansceiving on either 2 meters or 440 MH^ It outputs e respectable 25 Watts on both bands. It Is one of the very tew rigs on lhe market capable of more than 10 Watts Output or 440. My own unit actually measured about 30 Wat Is on both bands with a Bird* waitmeier

A long list of other main featured includes; a large, easy-to-read liquid-cry sial display, an Included MC-40 touchtone™ microphone, battery backup in ice when you take that rig Into the house at night), priority watch which swilches the receiver back to channel one for one second out of ten to watch for calls, and dual vfos.

The TW-4D00A has three main options available These Include lhe VS-1 voice synthesiser, the TLMC Continuous-Tone Coded Squelch System {GTGSS} tone encoder, and lhe MA-4000 dual-band mobire antenna. The VS-1 voJce-ayntheaizer board came In a painfully small box but included a complete sal Of Instructions for Installation and use {in iwo languages). English and Japanese, as If you hadn't guessed. Installation went smoothly, as per instructions, and left me with an en-cess board containing the previous beeper circuitry, I kept mine , J don't know why, The VS-! speaks in two languages {go ahead, try to guess) at three speeds. Tile English voice has an accent of distinctly Japanese female extraction, but it is easily understood. The flip of 9 Switch gives you the same vocabulary in Japanese, to the great delight ot guests and children. Watch out tor thoae kids, though; it takes them only a short while to pick 11 up and they'll be driving you nuts In Japanese A switch Is located on the bottom ot the rig thai allows you to turn off the voice synthesiser when desired. This Is an impoflani feature when on long trips and the XYL is trying to steep or when she's driving and you want 10 wander lhe band without distracting her.

The MA-4000 dual band antenna Is an Interesting affair, On 2 meters it is a center-trapped 5/8 wave. On 440 MHz. how eve*, the trap phases two V* waves in cot-linear form. Yeah, \ know. YouVe gotta see It. The base of the antenna contains the equivalent of a PL-2&9. This unique feature raises all kinds of Interesting mount ing possibilities...and problems, A magnetic mouni Is available and it is quite strong. Personally, I am a fervent believer In permanent-mounl antennas but could find no mount of that configuration. So. 1 Improvised- Those who cringe at the thought of drilling holes in an automobile body should shield their eyes. I found a s 11 g h 11 y-1 o nger t h an -usua I 50-238 Socket, drilled a hole In the center of the roof to fit. and tlghlened a nut down on an "0" ring purchased from a local hardware store This arrangement has served me faithfully with no leaks for six months. The TIMC programmable tone encoder is also ac cessible from the bottom of the radio and allows the selling of one tone each for both VHF and UFH The TLMC will gener ate any of the 37 standard subaudible tones by setting a Dl P aw itch according to the chart included in the owner's manual.

Now a word about whistles and bells You know, those little features that make or break the long-term ownership of the rig. The dimmer switch dims the display for night driving (you'd be amazed at how br ght It is otherwise!). The "scan" feature Is aIIways nice when you're bored or on the open road. "Skip11 allows the memory scan to bypass unwanted channels "Reverse" lets one check the Input of a repeater to assess simplex possibilities The microphone-monitoring feature provides a visual indication on the liquid-crystal display as to whether or not your mike or touchtones are working. The owner's manual Is entenslve and quite complete.

Then comes my pet peeve with many rigs—the Included schematic. The schematic diagram thai comes with some rigs is eilher so small thai you need a phoio enlarger to read it or is spread among several pages Of a booklet, preventing easy Interpretation, The person that drew the schematic for the TW-400QA should gel a pat on the back and a raise. Drawn on both sides Of a nice big 16" x 23" sheet of pap^r. it is well marked and easy to read The Interconnect lines are spaced 60 thousandths of an Inch, This is a considerable Improvement over lhe more common 20-thouaandihs spacing, especially when ten or so of these lines run parallel for any distance. The PLL unit and MC^tS microphone are iirawn on [he back in nice open lines, Regreltably, as with many other Kenwood radios., no schematic diagram of the microprocessor unit Is provided. Fot Ihose that never work on their own radios, this is ot little consequence. Each of ihese leatures by Hsatf is not enough to recommend a radio, but altogether they are a formidable package.

The Kenwood TW-4Q00A is far and away the best mobife rig I've ever owned and, for the person interested in FM only, it makes a very respectable home station as weft

For more information, contact Trio-Ken wood Communications, 1117 W, Wetnut, Compton CA 90220.

Robert W. French II N6EKA Lewis burg OH

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment