I have had the radio for about a week now. I have yet to find any problems
with it, all functions I have used work as advertised. I use only the voice
and APRS functions. I did not try any SSTV or connect directly to the
internal TNC via serial PC connection. You can even connect an external TNC
that can be controlled by a serial connection to a PC.
First, the new amber display is a big improvement over Kenwood's V7 blue
screen. You can easily read this display in direct sunlight! Kenwood also
brought back the sub-band Mute function (was on the 733A radio) which they
removed from the V7 radio (which I really missed). The DX cluster function
works. On the screen you can see up to 5 postings with the ability to
"page" and see comments of the DX post. You can also page station postings
per screen (5 postings per screen). The DX cluster function is a receive
only function, it also removes duplicate postings for a particular DX post.
It is very cool to have the radio on 144.390 Mhz APRSing away and the
sub-band can also be on 2m repeater. When the APRS side transmits it only
blanks out the sub-band (only if you are on 2m) for a second. If the
sub-band is on the 440 Mhz side you do not know the 2m side is transmitting.
I use a Garmin GPS III+ that has NEMA input/output which allows me to see
the station call signs of APRS stations on its map (up to 6 characters). I
use an external antenna (for the GPS) that is stuck in the far right-hand
corner of the dashboard and it receives the GPS signals very well. You need
only one external dual band antenna and you are ready to go. D700 has only
one antenna connection for VHF/UHF.
The look and feel of the radio is nice. The *** type buttons have a good
feel, larger VFO knob make for easy function changes.
Looks like Kenwood has done their homework on this radio. No complaints so
far but I wish it improved on the following:
1) Only 40 station list in APRS listings. In the Philadelphia area that
list will scroll out in about 15 minutes - need at least 100 station list.
2) Only can view up to 64 characters in an APRS message. Need to be able to
page to a second 64 characters message display.
3) Kenwood should have made an internal GPS unit an add-on option. This
would make getting on APRS for a new comer a snap...connect external GPS
antenna and away you go.
Sean - K3XT