Kenwood TH-D74 : An excellent HT from a serious company

Hi folks,

I was dealing with professional challenge recently, so I did not have enough time to explore other aspect of our hobby…. But I’m back… but I’m still very busy thought… 🙂

Of course, like many of us who pre-ordered earlier this year the brand new Kenwood TH-D74, we finally received it recently. After many months of waiting since the time we were able to see it at the 2016 Hamvention.


Now the dream come true. My first impression of the TH-D74 were very good. The user interface is also very friendly user. Kenwood did a great job. To create an understandable menu structure when you want to offer, not only the D-Star features, but also the APRS that also comes with plenty of possibilities too… all this need to be well integrated and structured into a comprehensive menu user interface. Well done Kenwood!

To take a look at the specifications : Kenwood TH-D74 website

Here is my opening logo when turning on the HT. 🙂


The bad side, this is the first D-Star experience with Kenwood…. at least officially. And when you talk about “1st experience”, we can also easily guess… issues.  To be honest, we found a few of them, especially related to the D-Star protocol. In my case, these issues were very obvious for me. When a HT reboot by itself by just having a D-Star QSO… it is really obvious… indeed! 🙂

But so far, I also found a “work around” for a few them, and let me finally use the HT without any problem. The sound quality TX and RX are great, especially when you are talking to someone else using a TH-D74 too! The DSP Kenwood went thru for their first experience is really awesome.


The serious advantage with a company like Kenwood is also to come with firmware updates that do not take too long to be available to everyone. Atop of it, they also mentioned clearly which issues they corrected. What a wonderful “transparent” company! By listening to their customers complaints, and by giving them explanations on what they are doing, an user can not ask more! Do not ask this to Yeasu… uhhhmmm… sorry, but sadly true.

I will not talk much or comment about the price… for me, when I am talking about my main hobby, money is usually no object. 🙂

Kenwood just came out on Monday October 31st with a new firmware upgrade 1.04. There is a few things Kenwood addressed with this firmware update.

Updated items : (Version 1.03  1.04) [October 31, 2016]

1. In DV/DR mode, TX/RX function might become unstable.
2. In DV/DR mode, NMEA sentences (GPS data) are not transmitted correctly.
3. In DV/DR mode, “ATT” indicator is not displayed.
4. In DR mode, unnecessary error indication appears when using Reflector menu functions.
5. Memory Scan may not work correctly under certain conditions.
6. Cannot recall locked-out memory channels from the memory channel list.

If you are a lucky ham who bought or who plan to buy this handheld, you can’t be disappointed for sure.

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!


Jeff | VA2SS