home    builders  

buildersRadios & Wiring for Radios ➜ Favorite Radios For Linking

Favorite Radios for Linking

Standard disclamer. We don't know anything. Use this info at your own risk.


Kenwood has several series of commercial land mobile radios which can be programmed for ham radio usage using a PC and readily available software and cables. The total startup cost to be able to program the Kenwood radios is about $40 plus an appropriate computer. All of the Kenwoods I've bought worked without internal tuning. Adequate radios are available for under $50 including shipping if you are willing to watch eBay and wait. I have created links to eBay searches which will show you radios. See below.
Links to Ebay with searches for Kenwood radios

Note: All of these radio models key up and unkey quickly. TXDELAY settings of 15 usually work.
Kenwood TK760H,
Kenwood TK762H,
Kenwood TK805d,
Kenwood TK862G TK862H TK862HG,
We have wiring instructions under BUILDER (see lower right corner of the page) for making cables for these.

The photo to the right shows an iPod on top of TK762H 40watt 2 channel radio, on top of another TK762H, on top of a TK760H 40 watt 32 channel radio, on top of a TK862G 25watt 8 channel radio

ipod shown for scale


One model of Vertex has been very useful. The Vertex FTL-1011 is a VHF lo-band radio that can be programmed to the 50Mhz ham band and delivers about 40 watts. The FTL-1011 is available in 3 different sub-models. They use different software to program them, although all of the software requires a slow MSDOS PC, 300Mhz or slower.
The FTL-1011 is pretty easy to align but alignment is often required.
More information will show up here eventually. Contact the TARPN yahoo group for info.
See below for ebay search info. These should be available for under $70 each including shipping, often as low as $35.

The Vertex FTL-2011 is a VHF hi-band radio. I've never owned one but I understand it programs up the same way and is available in the same versions and uses the same mike cable.

The Vertex FTL-7011 is a UHF radio.

TNC-PI and Vertex wiring instructions shows how to wire the TNC to the Vertex radio.

The FTL-1011 is available in 3 different models, 4 channel, 12 channel, 99 channel. They all have the same RF characteristics as far as I can tell and they tune the same way. The biggest difference is the software required to program the radios, and the way the channel is displayed.
The 4 channel model shows a light for each channel and is programmed with CE5 v3.0. Later versions of CE5 will not let the radio be used in the ham bands. I don't know why.
The 99 channel radio is programmed with CE7.
I'm pretty sure all of the FTL-1011 radios will align into the 6m band. I've bought about 15 of them and but one worked. The one had a bad final. None worked without alignment.
Ebay link to search for FTL-1011 radios: Yeasu FTL-1011,
W4RFQ and KF4EZU can both tune the radios. KE4VNC is working on a web page sequence for alignment. Look for it here eventually.
ipod shown for scale
© Tadd Torborg, 2014↝2017 -- all rights reserved