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RE: TH-D7A(G) vs W32-A for Easy Sats?

It is true that the VC-H1 has been discontinued but they do pop up on EBay
every few months. That is where I got mine.

One confusing note on the D-7 vs. W32A.. The initial note mentions Crossband
repeat but no one has addressed that question. I am not familiar with the
Icom but the D-7 does not seem to be crossband repeat capable. It will do
full duplex and you can operate crossband, just not repeat. Did I miss how
in the manual?

One feature I stumbled on was that when using the digital mode, I could
uplink to PCSAT2 on the VHF side while still listening and adjusting for
Doppler on the UHF side of the radio and I didn't have to hop back and

Kenneth - N5VHO 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org] On Behalf
Of Emily Clarke
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 10:07 AM
To: Hal Pressman; amsat-bb@amsat.org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] TH-D7A(G) vs W32-A for Easy Sats?

I would like to echo what A.J. Farmer wrote.  The two radios are equally
capable for voice satellites and both have similar power output under the
same battery conditions. Both have cross-band capability and dual in-band
capability, but (I believe - not sure on this point) you can only use the
W32A as a portable cross-band repeater (I use it as a satellite simulator
when I do presentations.)

There are a few differences that AJ touched on that I'll add my own opinion

1) The W32A has two independent tuning knobs for the main and sub bands,
which makes it far easier to manipulate the sub (receiving) band when tuning
for Doppler shift.  On the D7A you have to fumble to switch focus from the
main to the sub band, change it, and switch focus back before transmitting.
I find this stressful on short LEO passes.

2) The D7A has a built in 1200/9600 baud TNC and APRS processor.  This is
very handy for APRS both terrestrial and satellite.  You can easily hook up
a GPS and have it track you when mobile, something I like very much.  The
TNC doesn't have the complete instruction set that my 9612+ does, but there
isn't much I haven't been able to do with it.  As a portable packet system
it's great - the key word being portable.

3) The W32A can transmit on it's factory supplied AC adapter, but the D7A
cannot - it's only a recharger.  Even though your battery may be fully
charged it won't power from it.  This is a bit of a pain because you can't
run a home APRS beacon and leave it plugged in.  Both can transmit on the
12V car adapter.

When faced with the decision of which radio to buy I initially went with the
W32A.  I was and remain very pleased with it.  After about a year, which
included fumbling around with home made data, audio and power cables for a
TinyTrak III, I decided to also buy a D7A.  After having it for 9 months I
can say I wouldn't be without either radio.  Both are excellent at their
individual jobs.

So if only one radio is in your budget I think the question you should ask
yourself is what you will use it for most.  If you are working voice
satellites, the W32A is the best (IMHO).  For working digital, the all in
one nature of the D7A is superior.

One other note - I have been looking around for the SSTV module for the D7A
and everywhere seems to indicate that it is discontinued.  This is (IMHO)
very unfortunate if it's true.  Perhaps they are just replacing it with a
newer module and the new one hasn't been announced yet.



At 03:32 PM 12/7/2005, Hal Pressman wrote:
>Hi everyone,
>I am considering trading in my Icom W32-A on a Kenwood TH-D7A as I 
>am also interested in APRS. The W32-A  has been excellent for 
>working the easy birds like AO-51, AO-27 and the other FM 
>satellitesl. I have been told that the TH-D7A should do as good  a 
>job but I would like to hear from any of you who have used both for 
>working FM birds. I believe the W32-A can cross band repeat and is 
>full duplex. I know the TH-D7A is full duplex but I don't know if it 
>can cross band repeat. If it doesn't will that make a difference in 
>working the birds?
>Look forward to hearing from you.
>Tnx and 73s
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