Kenwood TH-D74A Review: Reasons Why You Should Get this Handheld Ham Radio

I recently decided to try a triband amateur radio. Of course, there are a lot of makes and models available in the market. So, I have to make bit research and I had narrowed down to Kenwood TH-D74A.

TH-D74A is a terrific radio packed with some amazing features like D-STAR, ARPS Support, Built-in GPS, Bluetooth Support, TFT display, Micro USB/SD support, etc.

Before we go into further details, let me tell you that this Kenwood TH-D74A review is a bit lengthy. However, here is a quick overview of the product if you want to save some time:







User Interface



Value for Money



This model does everything you desire from a handheld HAM radio and more. Its features and performance are a class apart.TH-D74A comes with all the best functions, what’s more, that you seek? It offers multi-mode reception, voice recording, GPS tracking, and more!Though a stellar in terms of efficient performance, TH-D74 is slightly tricky to program. The lengthy YouTube tutorials don’t make it any easier!Regardless of the high price and challenging programming, the device is one-of-a-kind. If you don’t mind paying a higher price, we recommend Kenwood!

Whether you’re a newbie or an expert, finding a multi-mode handheld ham radio is not an easy task. It is especially true when looking for one that is equipped with all the advanced features. In this case, we urge you to check out this versatile and easy-to-operate model by Kenwood.

The TH-D74A has it all! Along with robust and waterproof construction, it offers three transmission capabilities. We find it to be the number one choice for all your communication needs.

Kenwood TH-D74A Review

 When it comes to portable ham radios, customers tend to look for options that are easy to handle. Kenwood has designed TH-D74A, keeping that in mind!

Instead of delivering a bulky transceiver, what you get is a lightweight device. However, don’t get this wrong. A lightweight radio does not mean the construction is low-quality.

In fact, this Kenwood model is among one of the most durable HAM radios. All thanks to IP54/55 weatherproofing, you can also work the TH-D74A in all weather conditions.

Apart from the design, the model also offers a wide range of functions that makes TH-D74A a must-have. It is enhanced with support for D-star and data protocol. Additionally, it is also the first product in the market that does D-star and APRS operation simultaneously.

Furthermore, it has four output settings of 0.05W, 0.5W, 2W, as well as 5W. You can choose between the different power settings according to your needs.

Here is a quality you don’t want to miss! The Kenwood THD74A display is unmatchable. It allows you to take note of the readings under all types of light without having to squint your eyes!

Scroll down to learn about the other unique features that TH-D74A has to offer.

What You Should Know about the THD74A

Here are the features of the Ham radio:

  • Wide-band
  • Multi-mode reception
  • Compliant with Bluetooth, micro-USB, and micro-SD
  • Weatherproof
  • A built-in high-performance GPS unit
  • IF filtering for enhanced SSB/CW/AM reception
  • External decode function
  • APRS compliance
  • 1000 channels

Kenwood TH-D74A Accessories

In regards to the battery, the Kenwood TH-D74A uses a rechargeable battery pack. The lithium-ion battery pack is essential for adequate functioning. Kenwood recommends the KBP-9 6AAA alkaline battery case for economical low power mode.

Other alternative are KNB-74L (7.4V/ 1,100mAh) and KNB-75L (7.4V/ 1,800mAh) Li-ion battery packs. For speedy charging, you will require the KSC-25LS rapid charger.

Other accessories include the SMC-34, SMC-32, and KMC-45D speaker microphones.

If you wish to communicate without disturbing others, we recommend adding in a headset. What better than the KHS-26 PTT headset?

To make the handheld HAM radio easy-to-carry, and to protect it from damage, you can also purchase a case. The SC-58 nylon case is available at an economical price.

Kenwood TH-D74A Problems

  • First and foremost, TH-D74A comes with a hefty price tag. Although, the product is outfitted with all the modern features and offers value for money. But, the product may not fit everyone’s budget and needs.
  • Additionally, a few customers have complained about received faulty devices despite paying the hefty price. However, thanks to Kenwood’s prompt customer service, they tackle such issues immediately.
  • If you are aiming to save some bucks, this may not be the best option. Some of the accessories, like programming cables, microphones, and headsets, may require additional charges.
  • Lastly, the configuration and programming of the TH-D74A is undoubtedly not a piece of cake! However, we still maintain that the performance of this HAM radio is unrivaled! If cost is not an issue, why would you look any further?


What is the best antenna for the Kenwood TH-D74A?

The TH-D74A is a tri-band radio, which requires a tri-band antenna. If you are seeking an upgrade, the top-choice is the Diamond SRH-320A.

How to program Kenwood TH-D74A?

Download the free Kenwood MCP-D74 software from the website. Do not connect the transceiver to the PC unless the installation is complete.

Before modifying the data, you must first “read” the data present in the transceiver. It allows the software to recognize the device model.

The first step involves setting up a hotspot. The DV mode does not work for most hotspot devices. Thus, you must set up RPT1, RPT2, and off-set (either +/−0.000). Enter the simplex frequencies, add a name, and select DV mode.

Program analog and repeater and add frequencies. Click menu and change call channel for analog and digital. Update the repeater list, if needed.

For D-Star, you may add a call sign list. You can also make other configurations according to your specific needs. Once done, transfer all the modifications to the radio.

How do you enter repeater frequencies in the Kenwood TH-D74A?

To add a D-Star frequency without programming software, press the menu key on your radio. Press keys 2-1-0 for the view list and choose the city area from the list.

After selecting the city/area, hit the menu key, and select add. Following this, you will need to add in details. Enter an alpha tag for the name and press enter. For the sub name, enter the state name.

For RPT1 and RPT2, you will need repeater information. It needs to be in block letters. Enter the frequencies, off-set, latitude.

Alternatively, you may use the Kenwood MCP-D74 Software.

How can you see a log from the Kenwood TH-D74A GPS?

The GPS tracking log records all tracking data. The micro-SD, mounted on the transceiver, automatically creates a folder. You can find the record In the GPS LOG folder.

Concluding Remarks

The bright display, clean functioning, and advanced tech features, we find the higher price justified.

It includes functions that were previously missing in other models. That makes the innovation and advancement worthy of appreciation! It is precisely why the Kenwood model has won itself so many loyal customers.

With TH-D74A, you will be able to communicate no matter where you are.