Saturday, January 18, 2020

Commercial Kenwood transceivers for 40 MHz

There are a large number of commercial and utility companies making use of the low VHF band in the USA from 30 to 50 MHz. Several manufacturers including Kenwood sold radios to service this market.

In the past, these were largely operating on FM but many systems are now being replaced with their digital equivalents. As a result, many old Kenwood commercial FM transceivers can be picked up on sites like eBay.

These radios are a potential source of relatively cheap FM radios for the 40 MHz (8-metre) band.

It should be noted that commercial radios are usually programmed to operate on certain frequencies. Any second hand models will need to be re-programmed.

Here are the Kenwood radios that operate on the Low VHF band.

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Kenwood TK-190... This handheld radio comes in two versions. The TK-190K covers 29.7 to 37.0 MHz and the TK-190K2 covers 35.0 to 50.0 MHz. Both versions have an output power of 1-watt (Low) and 6-watts (High).

This radio had a list price of $643 in 2007.

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Kenwood TK-630... This radio was released in the early 90's.

It is available with power output levels of 110 watts on FM! The TK-630 is available in three frequency ranges... 29.7 MHz to 37 MHz, 35 MHz to 43 MHz and 41 MHz to 50 MHz.

FCC ID: ALHTK-630H-1: 29.7 to 37.0 MHz. (H designating that it has a high output power)
FCC ID: ALHTK-630H-2: from 35.0 to 43.0 MHz.
FCC ID: ALHTK-630H-3: from 41.0 to 54.0 MHz

The standard KCH-3 control head has a built in speaker. The KCH-4 control head has an alphanumeric display but needs an external speaker. Both versions have 32 channels.

More information about this radio can be found on this website.

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Kenwood TK-690... These radios had a list price of $1,020 back in 2005. They were available for three different parts of the low VHF band.

The BK model covers 29.7 to 37.0 MHz
The BK2 model covers from 35.0 to 43.0 MHz
The BK3 model covers from 40.0 to 50.0 MHz

Detachable head

Control head shown with the remote head connector at the rear of the radio

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Kenwood TK-6110... These were available in two versions. The TK-6110K covered from 29.7 to 37.0 MHz and the TK-6110K2 covered from 35.0 to 50.0 MHz.

They have 32 channels with an output of 70 watts.

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If there are other low band VHF models from Kenwood then leave a comment below.

1) Forum post from May 2019 about Kenwood no longer making low band VHF transceivers.

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