Question about Kenwood W&W Mfg -TK2140-2160-3140-3160 with KNB-24-25-26-batteries Compatible RA1 Two Way Adapter Cup... 2-Way Radio

13 Answers

Bad audio quality and few output power (Alcance)

First of all, excuse my english. I work for a petrochemical company called Monomeros which has about 10 Petrochemical and Fertilizer Plants. We have always used Motorola Radios (Intrinsically Safe) because we had never heard about Kenwood Radios. So, a Kenwood Dealer of our city (Barranquilla) gave us a proposal to do a test with TK-2160 radio (Intrinsically Safe). During two weeks we tested the radios and we noted that the radio had good performance with good output power (For me in spanish means "ALCANCE"). I mean that the calls could be heard up to 1000 meters of distance with a good audio quality. Due to postive results we got with TK-2160, we decided to buy 70 (seventy) radios to replace part of the motorola radios, specially the damaged radios (we prefered buy new radios than repair old radios). Aditionally, we stablished replace the motorola radios by Kenwood in the next years (200 radios).
However, once we recieved the new radios we have started to have some problems with communications. I mean we can receive the calls (betwen Kenwood radios) only up to 200 meters of distance but the audio quality is not good. After 300 meters the communication is intermitent and very noisy and loudy. More than 400 meters we can´t receive any call but Motorola radio do that with good audio quality and up to 700 meters. We consulted to the dealer about the problem. The dealer said us that output power was the problem and The dealer increased the output power from 2W (from factory) to 5W. However, up to date we have the same problem and the dealer think the problem is the antenna of radio because we are using KRA-22 (VHF 148-162 MHz) and our radio frecuencies are betwen 160 and 170 MHz. The dealer is going to buy the KRA-22M2 (162-174 MHz). In order to solve the problem we ask your help with a troubleshooting guide or what you consider necesary.
A question: With 5W of output power, what is the maximun distance we can transmit/recieve a call ?. I found an article in internet that mentioned that with 5W you can communicate up to 3 milles. Is it true?
Please we need you prompt response because we are planning to replace for the next year more radios and we need to know if TK-2160 is proper for our applications

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  • 10 more comments 
  • rcortes Oct 06, 2008

    The kenwood radio TK-2160 has low perfomance to transmit and receive calls. I need informacion in order to configurate. We have nine frecuencies between 160 and 172 MHz. Must I have in count the frecuency of the antenna?. With 5W of output power what teh maximun distance can get?

  • rcortes Oct 06, 2008

    Please somebody can send me the manual of software (KPG-82D)for Kenwood TK-2160 o suggest me what feaures of the radio I must set up to get a good performance

  • rcortes Oct 06, 2008

    Thanks for support.

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    OK.

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    ok.

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    Thanks.

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    I don´t understand that nick helpad suggested

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    Nick helpap: do you know any model of antena you suggest?

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    Sr. PabloCSA: agradezco su sugerencia pero invertimos mucho dinero en los TK-2160 y no es facil hacer el cambio. es posible que cambiando las antenas mejore la situaci?n ?

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    Is it posible that filter capacitor of 55 radios had damaged at the same time?

  • rcortes Oct 07, 2008

    What did Ginko say?

  • rcortes Oct 08, 2008

    Is it true if I change the antenna the radios work good?

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13 Answers

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Yes for sure just try that Sir

Posted on Oct 08, 2008

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Sir,

This is the problem with the volume control sir. Plz try to change the Volume Control Setting with the help of the support of kenwood(if u have any warranty).

Thanks
g.luck

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

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  • 142 Answers

Listen to Ginko...He's got it exactly correct for resolving your problem. Best solution.Saved me a lot of writing!!! Good Luck!
barneyluc

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

  • Barney Lucas Oct 07, 2008

    Ginko told you how to properly test the units you have to determine what your problem is.



    First, cancel the remaining 200 Kenwood units. Motorola will love to see you come back. You will also notice a higher failure rate with the Kenwood units over time.Stick with the industry leader Motorola. More rugged unit.



    Your radios' 5 watts is PLENTY sufficient for 1 km. You can get a couple of miles clear transmit\reception using 5 watts of power and having perfect "line of sight" communication.



    You do need the proper antenna for your operating frequency range as your Kenwood Representative says. I do not believe that will bring the Kenwood close to the range that your Motorola radios get though.



    A gasoline\chemical plant has (to my understanding) large metal buildings and large round metal piping. The radios'signal will get sent all different directions. I now can understand the problem with transmit distance depending on where you are in the plant.



    Go with the Motorola units..worth the money. Please rate my solution! Thank you!



    barneyluc



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U have to change your filter capacitor of your audio stage its has been damaged

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

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Hola, como veo todos te han aportado su ayuda y manuales, el rango que viste en internet es correcto, 5v - 3 millas o sea 4.8km. En el caso de la planta ( vi la pagina por internet) creo que debido a todas las estructuras que tiene hace que la senal se debilite y tengan los problemas de antena y rango de alcance que tienen. Te sugiero que agarren la mejor radio que ofrezcan en el mercado (la Tk 3160skp parece ser una buena opcion aunque no tan economica $ 334 ea) y no las economicas de 5 millas ya que ese alcance no es tan efectivo como lo pintan en el manual ya que el alcance esta tomado bajo las condiciones optimas, sin ninguna interferencia, sin edificios, sin viento, sin nada (o sea dentro de condiciones que no son las comunmente naturales). Espero que haya aportado algo a tus dudas. Saludos

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

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  • 171 Answers

If you go to the following link, you could pick up the service manual for $14.95. This should give you all of the specs. you are looking for.

http://www.user-manuals.com/service-manual-KENWOOD-TK2160.html

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

  • 4 more comments 
  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008

    Here is the link for setting up the Kenwood Software.



    http://www.kenwood.eu/products/comm/acce...

  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008

    I am told this is an excellent group of Kenwood software programmers:



    http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ke...

  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008

    By the way, your dealer is full of *hit. The frequency range is :

    Type 1 136-174 MHz



    The unit should function at 3 miles max.



    The antenna you shoud require is the

    KRA-26 VHF Helical Antenna

  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008


    KRA-22M VHF Low-profile helical antenna 148-162 MHz 13.00

    KRA-22M2 VHF Low -profile helical antenna 162-174 MHz 13.00

    KRA-22M3 VHF Low-profile helical antenna 136-150 MHz 13.00



    KRA-27M UHF whip antenna 440-490 MHz 14.00

    KRA-27M2 UHF whip antenna 470-520 MHz 14.00

  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008


    My bad, not 27, you need 26 as I posted earlier.



    KRA-26M VHF helical antenna 146-162 MHz 1 4.00

    KRA-26M2 VHF helical antenna 162-174 MHz 1 4.00

    KRA-26M3 VHF helical antenna 136-150 MHz 1 4.

  • Todd Gale
    Todd Gale Oct 07, 2008

    It is a BS answer. There is no such booster available for this unit. I am sorry for the lame attempts by these unqualified yahoos at providing you a real solution. Check my posts and all of your questions should be answered. If you require additional assistance, please do not hesitate to click the "Ask Me" button and I will respond as soon as I can.

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  • 334 Answers

Get booster on it

Posted on Oct 07, 2008

  • nick helpap
    nick helpap Oct 07, 2008

    antenna booster pre amp 10 15 wats more radio shack sells

  • nick helpap
    nick helpap Oct 07, 2008

    just nice mid grade booster its 30 bucks lasttime i wa sther not sure model walk in ther with it they show u all ones that work with ya

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This problem due to over loading and position of the antenna in the plant to optimize the performs of the system you need to place the antenna in the highest position in the plant , contact the dealer ask him to get the kenwood personal to inspect the site and check the location of the antenna ...

Good luck..

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

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TK-2160 have an approximate 3 miles (5/6KM) range (el alcance) in open terrain condition, if there are buildings or hills, range can go down.

If all radios does not go over 700M, even in open air, that means that the radios have a problem. Is it possible that they belong to a faulty stock, or that there is an heavy disturbance in the area.
Contact Kenwood in your area and ask their opinion, all the 70 radios are guaranteed for 1 year.

Click the following link to download user guide.
TK-2160/ TK-3160

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

  • 1 more comment 
  • Ginko
    Ginko Oct 06, 2008

    More, go on open terrain, and test the radio with no obstacle, ensuring you can visually see the other radio (other radio is on line of sight) at 1 mile or 1.5 KM distance, if you get no signal there is a problem.
    If the Motorolas work fine, then the problem is with the kenwood radios.

    Note : you may add a base station to more than double the range of a hand portable radi, but this or any other upgrade may not fix the problem if the problem depends from disturbance, obstacles, or faulty radios.

  • Ginko
    Ginko Oct 06, 2008

    Even if mobile antennas are made to resonate at one specific frequency, I don't think this is the problem.

    When an handheld radio designed to reach at least 3 miles loses signal after 300 yards or so, then there is an additional problem.

    It would be also useful knowing model of your motorola radios, and the average range you could reach on them to compare.


  • Ginko
    Ginko Oct 07, 2008

    Antennas on handeld CB operate fully only on one channel, the one they resonate.
    You must be tune them on that channel.

    It is well explained in this article here:CB Antenna Basics

    I report from the website :

    "
    Tuning
    principles
    If
    CB radios only
    transmitted on one channel, it would be much easier
    to setup antennas. Most CB's have 40 channels, but mobile antennas can
    only bemade to resonate at a specific frequency or channel. For
    example, on a 40 channel CB, channel 19 is the center frequency (27.185
    MHz). If the antenna is tuned to be resonant on channel 19, the further
    away from that channel you are, the higher the SWR will be. This is
    also known as "Center frequency dip". CB antennas are therefore made to
    resonate at a frequency in the middle of the available band (channel 19
    on CB) and are made broad-banded enough to keep the off-frequency
    related SWR at the two extreme ends of the band (Channel's 1 & 40)
    below 2.0:1.



    This important, because it needs to be taken
    into account when
    measuring and setting SWR. Essentially, you will need to take 3
    readings: At channels 1, 19 and 40. With these three readings you can
    determine all kinds of things about the system...including whether the
    antenna is electrically long or short. More on actually taking SWR
    reading and adjusting all this later. (If you communicate on one or two
    adjacent channels anywhere within the band, you can tune your antenna
    to achieve optimum performance on those channels. Most people, however,
    prefer to use the entire bandwidth when tuning.)"


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THe fundamental problem is that the antennas are not matched by frequency to the channels that are being used. Changing the antennas should resolve the problem. Typical symptoms of unmatched antenna systems are reduced range. Also, because of signal degradation upon transmition, will result in porr audio quality. Once the new antennas are received, the problem should go away.

Dab

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

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Hi,

The Motorolas would edge the Kenwood in terms of durability and performance but not necessarily always (in all models and in all working conditions). Audio quality is more of a function of the internal speaker rather than the radio brand/model as a whole.

Initially, suggestions would be:

  • replace antenna with aftermarket high performance such as those made by Larsen.. Here is a decent reference page;
  • use external speaker microphones something like this;
  • the standard solutions like: adjust for max TX, verify batteries are fully charged,
  • determine if multiple/linked voting repeater(s) is/are applicable in your need/site.
All VHF radios work on line of sight (LOS). Even if the handhelds are only 1000 meters apart, anything in between (specially metal objects such as pipes, towers, overhangs and others of the like) can and will affect reception and transmission. As a rule of thumb and ideally, the power output (in watts) roughly is equal to distance covered (in kilometers). So if your radio is 5 watt, it would perform well in about 5 km radius, open air. Obstructions will degrade this as well as the presence of metal in the working environment.

Alternately, if the only problem with the Motorolas is audio quality/strength, external mic/spkr are available for most models. Here is an example.

Incidentally, there are a couple of more adjustments and tweaks that could be done to improve the TX (transmit power) and audio quality, but that would of course require an onsite technician and may void the warranty.

Hope this be of initial help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards. Thank you for using FixYa.

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Oct 06, 2008

    I should have added, another rule to keep in mind is height is might. The higher the antenna (radio location), the wider/stronger the coverage.

    Example of tweaking is physically cutting the inside coil of the rubber duck antenna to match closely the operating frequency (SWR check).

    Example of mod is replacing the internal mic element, from a two wire/terminal to a powered 3wire/terminal.


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  • 479 Answers

Yes i also read something like that on the internet that with 5W you can communicate between minimum 1 mile to maximum 3 milles.as per the antenna frequency you receive.
keep us updated for where have you reached exactly in this process .

Posted on Oct 06, 2008

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I am researching this for you , it appears that the (tk-3160) has the most distance, but the (tk-2160) does have an antenna up grade that can increase the distance, my personal opinion is that Motorola radios are the way to go. but i'll get back with you in a little bit, on what you can do to increase the performance of you radios.i do have the manual if you need it.

Posted on Oct 05, 2008

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