Kenwood TK-730

Ever since I became a volunteer firefighter in 1990 I've been searching for the perfect radio. I've have had several radios over the years...RELMS, Yaesus, commercial, amatuer, etc. They've all had some good features but I've never been able to find a radio that had everything I wanted in one package...high power, lots of channels, alphanumeric display, fast scanning, dual priority scan, remote get the picture. The Kenwoods we have in our ambulances at BRMC have all these features, and a price tag of around $2000 to go with it. A similar Motorola will set you back about $3000!

A month or so ago I was searching the internet for some radio info when I came upon a link to Ebay. Someone was selling a Kenwood TK-730...remote head, 110-watt, 160 channels, alphanumeric display, etc. Yes! The bid price was only around $200 so I bid $350. A day or so before the auction ended I received a notice I had been outbid by $5. No problem, I'd bid more at the end of the auction.

It just so happened the auction was to end at the same time I had to go to my girlfriend's for Thanksgiving. Once again, no problem. They have cable internet, so I'd just put in my final bid there. Her dad and I went downstairs to play some pool so I asked my girlfriend to tell me when it was 8:00 pm. That would give me 5 minutes or so to bid on the radio. As you might guess, at 8:05 I noticed the time on her dad's watch (I don't have one). I ran upstairs, logged onto Ebay, placed a bid, and was told the auction had ended just seconds ago. Hmmmmmmmm. So much for female reliability.

Luckily, the seller sold another radio just like it. I bid on it and won it for only $270. Sweet!! I purchased a programming cable on Ebay and was able to find the programming software on the internet.

Here is the radio on the workbench being programmed. It took a few tries to learn how to use the software to program it. After it was programmed I fired it up to make sure it worked. It did. It draws over 20 amps.

I mounted the main part of the radio behind the seat. The radio was formerly used by a police department and has a few scrapes and scratches.

I mounted the remote head under the dash. Everything is within easy reach. I think I have finally obtained radio nirvana.

While I was at it I removed my Nokia CARK kit (I now have a Motorola flip phone) and give it to my friend John. I also moved the Sirius display to where the Yaesu remote head was. The dash is less cluttered now and I can read the Sirius display easier.

Kenwood ignition sense mod

TK-730 schematics

Kenwood - a great source of information for commercial radios

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