Kenwood TH-D72Since early 2012 I do my daily commute by bike. It’s a 18 kilometers (11 miles) one way so I have a little 50 minutes to kill per ride. Mischa PA1OKZ, manager of the local repeater PI2NOS started an experiment earlier this year connecting more then one receiver to the repeater. The second receiver is located nearby my destination (work). When I read about this I figured if I take my hand-held, maybe I could work PI2NOS the whole ride! So time to dust of my Baofeng UV-B5 and take it with me for my daily commute. It turns out to work splendid! My Baofeng itself isn’t suitable for everyday use. It’s battery hold out for only one ride. The battery lips on the back seem to hold current, it tickles in my sweaty hands. And the most annoying: the transmit-button is small and is hard to hold when biking.
It seems I have to search for a better hand-held, probably non-Chinese. I’m a bit of a Kenwood-fanboy (I just really really really like their products), I start looking for a hand-held from Kenwood. Their flagship is the TH-D72. A dual band for 2m and 70cm and is also APRS- and GPS-enabled due to the build in TNC. The price is quite hefty (around 475 euro’s) but if for daily use I probably shouldn’t scrimp on quality. I try to do my hobby budget-neutral so I had to sell something before I buy something new. For this amount of money I had to sell half my shack. Biggest item to sell was my beloved Kenwood PS-53 power supply. When the amount was reached I send out an email to my favorite store: HAM-shop from Marcus PA2DB. Two weeks later my package arrived! I use my new Kenwood-relative TH-D72 everyday. It is a great piece of ingenuity! I still have to find a good spot to put the hand-held when biking. When it is dry weather I click it on the sling of my backpack (on top of my shoulder). But when it rains I put it in my backpack. Then it’s harder to work the repeater on low power. APRS and GPS work great but they also suck a lot of battery power. When put on both and running high power (5 watts) the battery only last two rides (back and forth). So I’m still experimenting with settings to enjoy the longest battery-life and put on the most options.

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