New radio in the shack: Kenwood TM-742E

The Kenwood TM-742E

Kenwood TM-742E
A while back I bought a second hand radio: the Kenwood TM-742E. A great radio with 2m, 70cm and 23cm module!
The man who sold it is a heavy smoker, so I had to clean the rig intensively. But after doing a good job the radio is like brand new. No scratch on it.

Back-up battery

The back-up battery was dead so I had to replace that.  This repair gave me a good impression of the inner being of the rig. The Kenwood TM-742E is really a brilliant piece of RF-engineering. The radio is made of three modules (one for each band) and each module is about exactly the same as Kenwood mono banders TM-531E, TM-431E and TM-231E. I think the Kenwood engineers found out it is possible to combine these RF-modules and make one control unit (with a little more functionality then the mono banders) . That’s exactly what you find when you open up a TM-742E. The back-up battery is placed directly behind the display. You have to remove the front unit to get access but that’s fairly easy.

A lot of modules!

Some research find out the Kenwood TM-742E was available (back in the day) with a maximum output of 50 watts (2 m) and 35 watts (70 cm). There are also four optional FM band units — 10 m (50 watts), 6 m (50 watts), 1.25 m (25 watts), 70 cm (35 watts), and 23 cm (10 watts) — to endow the TM-742A/E with tri-band status. For low-power operations, there are 5- and 10-watt settings (1 W with the 23-cm band unit). I even heard rumors about the existence of a 13-cm module.
My guess is this is one of the first Kenwood radio’s with detachable front panel.

It makes a perfect combination with my Diamond X-6000 tri-bander antenna. First reports are great. I’m really impressed from the performance of the 23-cm module. I hear a few repeaters on 23-cm and I am able te work them too.

Service manual

Really handy is the availability of online material for this radio, even the service manual is out there to find!

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