Kenwood D-STAR tri-band handheld

Reports from Dayton are that Kenwood has a D-STAR tri-band handheld under glass in the booth, along with colorful brochures. None of my sources are reporting on price or availability, and the documents all show “Tentative”. Never the less, this news along with the development going on within the dv4 group are pretty exciting!


UPDATE: Tom KJ9P on the ground in Dayton reports that the model name and number haven’t been published yet, but it should be available by year end with an MSRP between $500 and $700.

I also had a D-STAR conversation with Tony N8NNX as he was walking the floor at Hamvention regarding the dv4mobile product. His inquires came back also with a 2016 availability date and prices between $800 and $1000.

Michael Brown, KG9DW, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Illinois, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

14 Responses to “Kenwood D-STAR tri-band handheld”

  • Lowell KM4QEG:

    I think Kenwood, ICOM, and Yeasu share an engineering department. That only convenes about every seven to ten years. They tweak around the edges at that point. The marketing department at each is quite active re-arranging buttons and menus more often. They drive the repacking of the same hardware like Detroit does domestic cars. The they call that years model “NEW!”.

    DSP and SDR may well eat their lunch before they wake up to the fact there is a hungry kid in the lunch line.

    So, Kenwood, ICOM, Yeasu, thanks. You’ve made some lovely rigs I’ve enjoyed owning and operating for decades. I don’t think you’re nimble enough to survive the next five years.

  • Paul K4PEW:

    Kind of surprised that Kenwood jumped on the D-Star wagon; lots of D-Star repeaters, but barely any folks found on them. Trying to understand what the advantage is, given other developments in the digital world of Ham Radio.

  • Larry W8LIG:

    I have the TH6 and the D72 and when I questioned the Kenwood guys in Dayton about the new Handheld I was very disappointed. Why would I buy a handheld that rolls the two I own into one device plus D-Star. I asked why not DMR and got no real credible answer. I have a lot of Kenwood equipment but they don’t seem to have their engineering group monitoring what is going on. I would not pay $650 plus for this radio and get DMR. I’ll stick with my $120 Tytera.

  • Mike KG9DE:

    I agree that DMR has a lot of potential. It will likely be my next challenge. D-STAR does have s lot of activity but only if you link into reflectors. Otherwise you have a very expensive local repeater. We keep reflector 51D pretty busy during drive times and you can usually stir up a conversation anytime.

  • Joe Wolfe W7RKN:

    What a shame…a D-StAR radio from Kenwood. Just shows their design team is behind the times. DMR is all the rage and D-STAR is quickly losing popularity, due, I am sure, in part, from its expense. DMR is more affordable, both from an user’s point of view, and from the repeater owner’s point of view.

    I will *NOT* spend the money for it. Just not interested in D-STAR. I was really hoping it would be DMR. 🙁

  • Hap Holly, KC9RP:

    As a long-time blind fan of thed TH F6A, I’m thinking the new Kenwood talkie will out-price the market even though reports from Hamvention are that it will have some sort of speech chip.

  • Ján OM6AXE:

    Finally! Kenwood D-STAR radio. Thumb up!

  • Tim AF1G:

    My information is that the new Kenwood handheld will be tri-band and will not only do D-Star but also DMR and more. Waiting to see more about it.

  • Ernest WB5GNL:

    If it does 6m packet at 96oo, comparable to how the th-d7 stuff does 2m/70, then they’ve sold one to me.

  • keither:

    Do you think there will be an official app from Kenwood for this radio. I would love to use my phablet (for mapping purposes) with this new Kenwood. The screen is TFT, but it still looks to small for my needs. The radio already has Bluetooth and GPS, an app would be perfect to go with it, especially on D-STAR.

  • Demian KA2Zey:

    Of all the digital modes I’ve tried, DStar is my favorite although haven’t given Fusion much time yet. I like DStar more than DMR because the user can change reflectors on the repeater and travel to any part of the world they wish. With DMR, you’re stuck with whatever the local repeater owner wants to do. DStar is much more in the spirit of Ham radio and glad Kenwood went this route.

  • David Foss KW0FDA:

    Send me a free radio,I’ll test it out and rate it of course keeping radio for my services.

  • John La Sala N2FWR::

    Good Afternoon:
    I am not an HT person. However, I will gladly have a complimentary unit for review and will pass along my
    finding’s to the amateur radio community. I enjoy D Star very much and very partial to all digital modes.

  • Paul Zuhlke AB8XL:

    Where is our D-Star mobile radio?? Hoping for spring of 2018

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