Why I love my Kenwood D74 over the Icom ID-51A

I've owned a few iterations of the Icom ID-51 D-Star handheld for several years now. about a year ago I upgraded it to the 51 Anniversary edition. at the time I thought that little radio was doing about everything I could possibly want it to in a handheld. Then came along the Kenwood D74. Sporting a nice color screen thats easy on the eyes, tri-band, Dstar, dedicated APRS and wide band receive, I had to try it out. I had never owned a Kenwood anything before. When I first saw it, it looked clunky. a large brick of plastic that didn't look 21st century as opposed to the ID-51A and its sleek sexy design and solid feel.

The Kenwood is packed with a ton of function. It got me to try out APRS, I can listen to just about anything on radio, D-star is a breeze to program on it. The menus and functions are very intuitive more so than the Icom way of implementing D-star. The Kenwood software is a breeze to setup and it works fast. Tell it to upload, and within seconds your back on the air with your new setup. Now locally here 220Mhz isn't huge but its fun to play with and the D74 gives me that option unlike the 51A which has had only minor updates (IMHO) since it was first introduced 4 or so years ago.

I hear Kenwood is considering doing a mobile radio based on the D-74 and although I own two ID-5100s I'm excited about the prospect of seeing a tri-band, D-Star, APRS color screen mobile. Watch for my next episode of K6UDA Radio for more on this and a better look at the pros & cons of the ID-51A and D74.