[amsat-bb] Re: TH-F6A tip request

Greg D. ko6th_greg at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 2 22:17:49 PST 2011

Hi Scott,

I haven't used my F6 much for satellites (my D7 is better, but mostly I use my FT-736r.  Warm, in side the shack.

The F6 is an interesting beast.  I have used it with an after-market speaker mike, the kind that clips over your ear and has a short boom for mike pickup.  It works ok, I suppose.  The audio volume (from the mike pickup) wasn't all that good.  It's kind of short, and as I don't like talking loudly into thin air, I kind of cup my hand over the boom and mouth, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of it. Also the VOX didn't work, and I think one of the PTT buttons (the one on the speaker mike cord, or maybe the one on the rig itself, would key up the rig but no audio would come through.  I just use the other one.  The volume in the ear piece itself is fine.

You're going to ask me what the make/model is, and I really don't recall.  It was from one of those vendors you see at swap mets year after year.  Nothing is written on the unit itself.

"Fortunately", one of the wires got run over by something and it's in need of repair.  Instead of doing that, I picked up a Pryme SPM-301B at a recent club white elephant sale.  Seems to work in a quick "smoke test", but I don't have any on-air results yet. The ear bud doesn't clip over the ear like the other one does, so I'm concerned it might keep falling out, but the price was right.

The F6 itself, at least mine, is somewhat deaf on the "B" side.  If you're on an FM bird, use "A" for receive, and if you want to transmit, do that on "B".  For SSB/CW, you will have to use the B side, of course.  Note that it is a half-duplex rig, so you will not be able to hear yourself without a second radio.  Also, the B side is pretty wide banded and weakly filtered, so you're going to get some imaging effects and "intermod" in high RF areas.

If you haven't yet, do invest in some sort of protective cover for the keys.  The lettering on mine is almost totally gone, just from sitting in the side pocket of my backpack/laptop case.

If you find, one day, that the rig doesn't power up, take the battery off and give the two spring power clips a little tug.  Mine seem to not make good contact sometimes.

That's all I can think of, off the top of my head.  Definitely a cute little rig, with lots of uses.  The B side's wide range and SSB/CW capability makes it a portable instrument, an IF receiver (for on-roof tuneup of my AO-40 downlink), and the AM/FM radio comes in handy from time to time.  Once I even checked into the regional SSB Net on 2 meters, receiving SSB on "B", and using the PTT on A for crude CW.  (Hey, it worked!)  Pity we can't listen to TV-audio anymore.  The Li-Ion battery has very little self-discharge, so it's always ready to go.


Greg  KO6TH

> Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 16:29:24 -0500
> From: scott.xot at gmail.com
> To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
> Subject: [amsat-bb]  TH-F6A tip request
> I got a surprise gift of a Kenwood TH-F6A and look forward to giving it a
> try on the satellites. I know there are a few owners on the list -- Drew,
> Patrick, others -- and wonder if folks have any tips to share (I've read
> through the eham reviews). I'm especially interested in experiences with
> speaker/mics and headsets, headphones with 2.5mm plugs, quality of
> after-market programming cables, etc. I'll typically be using the F6A as one
> of two radios -- the receiver for the easy sats -- and want to record passes
> while listening or operating. Thanks in advance for any ideas that will make
> its use more effective and enjoyable.
> 73, Scott N1AIA
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