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 ...
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Interesting to note the number of rigs that support Kenwoods wonderful SkyCommand. 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  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