Good 2m rig? SkyCommand 060119


Include evaluation of the Kenwood Dual / Tri Band SkyCommand radios. They allow you to use a Kenwood Walkie Talkie with a built in TNC, to digitally link to a remote Kenwood Dual Band radio with a TNC to a Kenwood HF rig ... No computer required. Really cool to connect up using your ht to an hf net as a predestrian mobile HI

73 from Bill / WD8ARZ in middle TN .... out for now ...

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [Radio_Jump_Kits] Variety of radio's to use with SkyCommand
Date: Tue, 29 Oct 2013 08:33:05 -0400
From: WD8ARZ <wd8arz@...>
Reply-To: Radio_Jump_Kits@...
To: Radio_Jump_Kits@...

Interesting to note the number of rigs that support Kenwoods wonderful

HF Rigs: TS2000 series, TS-480 series, The TS570S, TS-870S and the TS-590S.
Dual Banders: TMD700A, TMD710A, and RC-D710 Control Head, TM-V71A/E with
2.10 Firmware.
HT's: TH-79A KSS, THD7A and THD72A.

Have been using SkyCommand for some time now, and once you get used to
it, you don't want to be with out it. It is way KooL to walk away from
your base, portable or mobile station and do hf operations on your HT.
That includes changing bands and frequencies using the hf rig vfo and
memory system from the HT. Of course you can also use a dual bander in
your mobile and operate your base HF rig as long as you don't drive out
of your reception control range. Don't worry if you do though. The dual
bander will time out based on your transmit time out setting, and will
quit transmitting the hf audio to you. When you drive back into your
control range, press button two on your radio and the HF rig audio will
resume transmitting to you again.

For me there were several key items that made the initial system setup
very difficult to work on my end. Makes me understand why so many said
they could not make it work and gave up.

* Most discussion of the SkyCommand setup by users were using the
TS-2000. The dual bander and hf rig are in one box, so less to configure
and cable up. However to very different instructions need to be followed
if use three separate pieces and not using the TS-2000. Was challenging
to be sure.

* The TS-480HX instruction manual says to use 9600 baud for SkyCommand
db9 null modem serial cable to the dual band radio. No mention was made
in this manual that the baud rate chosen 'Needed To Match' the dual
bander being used (TMD700A / TMD710A) which 'Might Not Be 9600". Both
rigs of course need to be set to the same baud rate. The dual band radio
manual didn't mention the baud rate for the serial cable at all. I am
using 19200 because other programs and an antenna tuner use that rate.
Most folks could not get by the "Push [0] Key To Start Commander !!" on
the HT display because of this.

* It is easy when reading the TS-480 or TMD700A / TMD710A instruction
manuals for SkyCommand to miss the fact that the keypad assignments are
different for the THD7A / THD72A HT keypad than for the dual banders.

* It is nice that the SkyCommand II uses the display of the HT to tell
you to turn on the HF rig by using button #1. So why doesn't it tell you
to enable the audio from the HF rig through the Transporter to the
Commander by turning it on by using button #2 ?!? Another key point
where users gave up because they couldn't get audio to their Commander
(HT) from the hf rig.

* Have the TS-480 powered on, turn on the dual band radio and enable
SkyCommand Transporter mode. Enable the HT SkyCommand for Commander
mode. The HT screen will then tell you to press 0 to start. If no audio
is received from the HF rig, press 2 on the HT and viola, your on HF
using your HT. You can even power off the HF rig with button 1 on the HT
and turn it back on.

Have fun using SkyCommand and let us know how your doing and what your
using. - 73 from Bill - WD8ARZ