Kenwood TM-D710G Install - Advice?

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
One would have to purchase a RS-232 to USB adapter anyway.
Which I suspect most of us have. So I didn't want to leave an impression that I disagreed, hacking a programming cable if you already have a USB-serial adapter is certainly cheaper. And I also agree that spending $35 for a Kenwood RS232 cable makes no sense. My reply was that $30ish for a dedicated Kenwood USB cable such as the RT Systems is something I might spend money on.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I just wish Kenwood would step up their game and incorporate SD cards like Icom does.
And the Yaesu, at least with the FTM-400 and FTM-100. The TM-D710 has been around a long time and is a pretty great radio but a TM-D720 with (I assume) D-STAR and a few updates would be killer. Put in DMR and I'd go all new iPhone junkie and camp out for one!
 

SmoothLC

Explorer
Ok, got a question for those of you that run a radio with a separate operation panel and a TX/RX unit.

In checking the cable situation out it appears that RT Systems requires the cable be plugged into the TX/RX unit to program the radio.

Since the TX/RX unit is inside the rear PS cargo panel, how do those of you with similar setups program your radios after you've got them installed?

I know I can program via the mic a station at a time through the op panel, but what if I want to add 20 or more at a time?

I thought about running the cable into one of the cargo access panels so I could hook it up a laptop to the TX/RX unit and program it.

Thoughts?
 

pagero

New member
I can program my TM-D710 using the Kenwood software by plugging into the back of the head unit. If I want to use Chirp then I need to plug the cable into the main radio unit. Why the difference? I don't know, but I tend to use the Kenwood software.
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
Since the TX/RX unit is inside the rear PS cargo panel, how do those of you with similar setups program your radios after you've got them installed?
I can program my TM-D710 using the Kenwood software by plugging into the back of the head unit. If I want to use Chirp then I need to plug the cable into the main radio unit. Why the difference? I don't know, but I tend to use the Kenwood software.
I actually leave my USB cable plugged into the Kenwood. My main unit is under the seat but I left the USB cable reachable from in between the seats, if I have a mind to I can just get in the truck with my laptop and plug it in to change stuff. If you have a hard to reach unit placement, I'd think that might work well for you to route a USB cable somewhere you can access and just leave it in place.

I messed with both CHIRP and the Kenwood software. CHIRP having access to Repeaterbook and some lists of common frequencies made it easier to batch load stuff, but as far as an interface to the radio I liked both. If I remember correctly, I think CHIRP commandeered the radio for a bit while it done it's thing, where the Kenwood software was more direct and changed stuff on the fly, but I could be wrong.

Kenwwod software lets you set a password so it can't be turned on by just anyone. I'm probably just paranoid but it keeps any rare individuals who might have access to my truck from goofing with it. I've had buddies reach in my truck to borrow my CB for a second, which is fine, if it's my CB mic they grab.
 

SmoothLC

Explorer
I can program my TM-D710 using the Kenwood software by plugging into the back of the head unit. If I want to use Chirp then I need to plug the cable into the main radio unit. Why the difference? I don't know, but I tend to use the Kenwood software.
@pagero - What cable do you use to plug into the back of the head unit? An RT Systems cable or one of the Kenwood cables?
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I can program my TM-D710 using the Kenwood software by plugging into the back of the head unit. If I want to use Chirp then I need to plug the cable into the main radio unit. Why the difference? I don't know, but I tend to use the Kenwood software.
Are you sure you can update the radio's channel memory through the serial port on the RC-D710? I thought MCA-2A (I don't have a TM-D710G to know anything about MCP-6A) only updates the configuration (TNC options for example) and firmware on the RC-D710 panel. Wasn't personally aware the software could traverse the panel's serial port to get to the radio memory in that direction, which would be very handy indeed.
 
Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

pagero

New member
@DaveInDenver RC-D710 is the front panel, right? Yes, I was indeed able to program channels as well as other settings using the Kenwood MCP-6A software with my ebay sourced cable connected to the front panel.

I like the Kenwood software better than Chirp, although it is easier to get data in and out between Chirp and other sources such as Repeaterbook. So, one way to get bulk data into MCP-6A is to use Chirp to push data into the TM-D710GA and MCP-6A to read it back out again.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
@DaveInDenver RC-D710 is the front panel, right?
It's the part number for the panel on the TM-D710A/E and could be used to upgrade a TM-V71 to a TM-D710. I don't know if it is the same control panel (e.g. if it's any different than integrating GPS) on the TM-D710G since it's discontinued as a stand-alone part now and I missed the boat on getting one.
 

moose545

Member
@DaveInDenver RC-D710 is the front panel, right? Yes, I was indeed able to program channels as well as other settings using the Kenwood MCP-6A software with my ebay sourced cable connected to the front panel.

I like the Kenwood software better than Chirp, although it is easier to get data in and out between Chirp and other sources such as Repeaterbook. So, one way to get bulk data into MCP-6A is to use Chirp to push data into the TM-D710GA and MCP-6A to read it back out again.
I've been trying to figure out how to do this a while now, also how to actually scan once I have all the relevant FM/EchoLink repeaters programmed. Besides the one repeater near me that I know gets a lot of traffic, it's hard to ever find people on air, I know it varies but it's pretty quiet a lot of times. Being able to do a push from Repeaterbook and just scan, maybe it shows the name/location of the station too would be grand, just haven't made it that far yet.

As far as software, I bought the RT Systems with cable when I got my radio, and also have the Kenwood software. I could just install the RT Systems on a laptop and plug into the main unit, then leave the USB end up on the high-side near the console so to speak. Seeing the radio can hold a vast amount of stations in memory (thousands IIRC?) then NOT using Repeaterbook push function seems silly, but knowing the manual way is good to learn too which I don't know yet either
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Seeing the radio can hold a vast amount of stations in memory (thousands IIRC?) then NOT using Repeaterbook push function seems silly, but knowing the manual way is good to learn too which I don't know yet either
Memory organization in modern radios is a pain. They have too many slots and it become unwieldy when you load every repeater for a major metro area. You go from difficult to next to impossible to scan for traffic with long scan lists. The problem is you're also right that many repeaters go unused while a handful tend to be heavily used and so it's hard to determine which to use. I find the best way is to find a mentor (e.g. Elmer) who has this sort of tribal knowledge.
 

unsung

Member
Could someone post the proper Kenwood programming software link please?

I just installed this, thanks!

EFEB8AD6-4D34-4B6D-B548-637E4B9D2C1B.jpeg
 
Top