Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kenwood TM-D710A programming info

Anyone who has used this Amateur radio knows that programming it by using the faceplate and microphone is only for the strong willed.

I had used the programming cable and free Kenwood software (MCP-2A) before, but I learned some things this time.

I wanted to program a bunch of repeaters along my drive, complete with CTSSS, naming for location, and organized by I don't have to scan the entire list...just the area I am in.

So some notes:

First a great location for repeaters is at (this link shows the actual repeater search map)

You click on the are you want, show repeaters that cover the area...then at the bottom of the list of repeaters (the column left of the map) you will see a group of links to save your searches at.

I clicked on a town at a regular interval along the drive, and exported each search result as a CSV.

Then I imported each CSV into a spreadsheet program (Comma Separated Values, so during the import, choose comma, not tab), and pasted all the results into one big spreadsheet. For naming the repeaters (how they would show on the radio) I decided to use City and State.

This radio only has 8 characters for names, so I used a spreadsheet function to do the editing for me {CONCATENATE((LEFT(C3);6);C4)} The first function glues text files together, the second imbedded function truncates the name (at C3) to 6 letters. The C4 is the two letter state.

There are some interesting codes the Kenwood software uses to import the the easiest method is to pull the data from your radio first, then EXPORT to HMK using the software. ALSO Save that file (the software will save as .mc2, it is not a text file, and not editable...but has all your important settings)

The HMK file is simply a CSV file renamed. Just change the .HMK to .CSV and import it into your spreadsheet.

From there, just make your repeater list match what the Kenwood software wants, and then paste into that HMK you exported and renamed.

When all done, save your new repeater list as a CSV, close the file (I would make a copy) and change the .CSV to .HMK again, then import it back into the Kenwood software.

Don't be scared, but when you import the HMK all your other settings will disappear (callsign, APRS info etc). The solution is open another copy of the Kenwood software and load that .mc2 file you downloaded from the radio. Now just highlight the list of channel memories you imported from the .HMK file, and paste them onto the memory number on the other copy.

You have to just try will make sense after a couple of tries.

Then save that (both programs) with some names you will remember...and put the version you pulled from the radio back into the radio.

If you paste YOUR list of imported repeaters into the list of memories you downloaded from the radio, then things will work much easier.

There is a help file, and it does show what the program is looking for in the HMK file.