Kenwood TH-D74A Review (144/220/430 MHz Triband radio)

A Handheld Amateur Radio

Today, we will be introducing you to the Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 radio. There is no doubt that the Kenwood company is for sure one of the best handheld APRS amateur radio transceiver manufacturers in the world! And they have really made a step further when they made this radio.

Namely, this is radio is a D-STAR APRS portable transceiver that has a built-in GPS and many other interesting features that could help any person in the wild or plane site.

So, let’s see what this bad boy Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 MHz radio can do, and let’s start our Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 radio review.

Why do we like this radio?

Kenwood TH-D74A ReviewGenerally speaking, this is a very practical radio that can help a lot if you find yourself in danger, or you need to talk to someone right away. We love it because of its major practicality. Besides that, even though it may not seem like it, this radio is super easy to use, do not let its design scare you!

What do we like about this radio?

  • Great reception
  • Easy to handle
  • Has a good size

So, let’s begin talking about this radio’s design, and all of the features that it has.

The Design of the Kenwood TH-D74A

This is a genuinely small radio that weighs around 7.2 ounces only and is around 4.72 inches wide. It is available in black color, and it is also a handheld, super practical radio.

It generally has a super simple design, the little screen is located in the top half of this radio, while the buttons are located in the bottom half. There are also some extra buttons on its side, which makes it even easier to use.

This is one super friendly radio that is also made out of weatherproofing materials. Due to the increased dust and water resistance in anticipation of tough conditions, you will not have to worry about this radio breaking, or being ruined by the out-of-the-blue bad weather.

This unit uses TFT transflective color liquid crystals and using reflected light and a backlight achieves superior visibility in both dark places and bright places too. In addition to the cross-shaped key structure, the keypad also incorporates highly operable flat and slim keytops.



Performance and specifications

The Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 2-way radio, is a radio that is used for communications between devices and people. It has a bunch of features that just make the overall performance of the radio.

For example, this radio has an APRS compliance using packed communication in order to be able to exchange real-time GPS position to the other devices. This means that this radio is great if you find yourself in some danger, and you need to send out your location to someone.

If you use this radio, you will have the ability to store and save a maximum of 100 stations, which also includes the mobile stations, base stations, and also weather stations. Besides that, you will be able to do real-time messaging between stations and a running APRS radio. Those kinds of messages and texts can be sent using the keys and letters on the panel. Basically, you will have to type a message just like on those old phones from the 2000s.

When it comes to the reception of this radio, we were pleasantly surprised that it was actually great. There were no broken stations or signals that were bad. And it is all thanks to the IF filtering that has improved SSB/CW/AM reception and made its performance much better.

We have already mentioned that this radio has a built-in GPS technology, but it is truly amazing that it also has Bluetooth technology built into it. But, you can also connect a micro USB or a Micro SD to it!

As the Kenwood company says: “This radio is truly ready to harness the exciting developments in radio communications”. We totally agree with this!

Other, additional features

In addition to all of the features that we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is actually a true surprise that this radio has some extra features as well.

For instance, this radio has an automatic clock setting, which means that your clock will always be right on time.

Another great thing is that you are able to connect a bunch of optional accessories to this radio. A speaker microphone, a filtered cigarette lighter cord, and other also very handy accessories can also be connected to the Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 radio.

Highlighted features

  • This radio is available in black color
  • Easy to carry around
  • Very practical
  • This radio has a weather-resistant design
  • This radio uses TFT transflective color liquid crystals
  • This radio has an APRS compliance
  • It also has a built-in GPS feature
  • You are able to send messages and texts through this radio
  • This radio can store and save a maximum of 100 stations
  • It contains an automatic clock
  • This radio can be connected to a bunch of optional accessories
  • This radio has a built-in Bluetooth technology

The user manual

This portable radio also comes with a user manual, like any other radio from Kenwood. And, we were able to find it in a PDF version so that everyone can have access to it. By clicking HERE you will be opening up a manual on your device.

Our Take – Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430

After reviewing the radio, it’s now the time to talk about our experience with it, and whether or not it was able to help us in any way.

Is this radio any good?

Our opinion is that this radio is really awesome! As soon as we received it, we decided to go for a long walk and test it out. We were still able to send messages, receive signals, and send out our GPS location to one another. This means that this radio does everything that it is supposed to and that it is really good!

Why is this radio important and for who?

Usually, people that work their job high above the ground decide to buy this Kenwood radio since it is much easier to communicate with others. We would say that this device is definitely important for those kinds of people, or companies if they want to make their communication much easier.

This Kenwood radio is often used by pilots or construction workers. And so far, by the reviews of users, this radio was able to do a pretty good job.

Why do you need this radio and why should you buy it?

The reason why you probably need this radio is super simple-for your easier communication. Since it can also enable messaging, we can say that this radio is really practical and that it definitely deserves some attention.

Besides that, if you are a person that likes to go on hikes or walks in the woods, and you happen to find yourself in danger, it is preferred to have one of these bad boys by your side. Not only will you be able to contact someone and ask for help, but you will also be able to share your GPS location with them so that they can find you easily.

Is there a better alternative?

We managed to find one Motorola Talkabout radio that has a more affordable price, and somewhat similar features. Of course, we cannot compare these two devices since they are not at the same price or quality range, but, we think that this Motorola radio will also do the job well.

Namely, it has a 35+ mile range when it comes to voice and data transmission. And, it also has a weatherproof design just like the Kenwood TH-D7A4 radio one. Besides that, it also contains a LED flashlight, vibrates mode, Micro USB charging, and many other features. You can see the full list of features by clicking HERE.


Conclusion of the Kenwood TH-D74A Review

We can say that we truly enjoyed testing out this radio. It was such a pleasure to see how this magnificent device works, and what it can do.

We were pleasantly surprised when we saw that we can actually send text messages just like on those old phones back in the day. It almost made us nostalgic to use that kind of keypad once again.

Anyway, we hope that you were able to enjoy this Kenwood TH-D74A 144/220/430 radio review, as much as we enjoyed the time that we spend with this radio. Until the next time!


1. If my radio is not working, am I able to contact support?

Yes, if your radio is not working the way it is supposed to, you are always able to contact Kenwood support. They will for the sure answer you as soon as possible, and probably solve your issue.


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