Ever since I picked up a Ten-Tec 1209 2m to 6m transverter, I’ve been looking to add a 2m all mode radio to my shack for a few weeks now. Since most of my equipment is Icom, I was watching for an IC-275, but decided to go for a Kenwood TR-751A instead when a good deal came along. I have had the rig for a few days now and really like it so far.
The TR-751A puts out 25W in high power mode and can be adjusted between 2W-25W in low power mode. The rig was very clean when I received it, but still needed some minor tweaks. I noticed that high power output was only 20W vs the 25W in the spec sheet, so when I had the cover off to set the low power potentiometer, I adjusted the high power one as well. My transverter accepts up to 5W in, so I set the TR-751A to about 4W in low power mode. That gives me 25% margin in case my power reading is a little off. Even with adjustments, high power remained a little low, so I looked at the next most likely culprit, low voltage or low current coming into the rig. As it turned out, a section of my power cable was very thin gauge. To make matters worse, only a single conductor of the 8 or so strands in the heaver gauge wire was actually connected in the splice. Once I made the simple repair, the TR-751A put out the full 25W.
Since the SSB and CW portion of the band seemed to have no activity during my initial testing, I tried out a few FM repeaters just to see if my signal was getting out. Since I’m using my recently home brewed 4 element 2m Yagi with horizontal polarization now, I didn’t expect to be able to work any great distance on FM, but I managed to make enough local repeaters to perform some basic testing. It wasn’t until my second night that I had a QSO on SSB. Even though the other operator was just a few miles away, it was still a good feeling to make contact so that I know my new rig is at least putting something into the ether in that mode. Of course, since this was my first QSO on VHF from this location, I also got my first grid square towards VUCC