2023-10-20 — Requesting Help From the Zero Retries Readership - Inexpensive Generic Data Radio Recommendation?, AREDN News Roundup - October 2023
Knwd TM-271A is easy to modify for digital modes including flat audio. I’ve done four of them. But they are going to run you ~$125 each. Very robust and reliable at 60W. I’ve not used them at low power other than testing my mod. The TM-281 is a little harder to mod, but seems more available these days.
TIbwill second the TM-271 and 281. I have modded (if you can even call it that on the 271 since it's just adding a connector) both. I thought the 271 was better overall for data modes. I see them locally every so often for around $50.
My real suggestion, though, would be the TK-*90 series of Kenwood land mobile radios. I have 3 TK-790s on 2 meters and they are all great. There are two downsides. First, the mic plug is weird and that's how you program them. The second is sometimes there is an internal jumper (0 ohm smt resistor) that needs to be removed to enable the flat audio pin. The connector on the back is a standard db25 cable which makes crimping up a custom cable a breeze. Rob Riggs (the Mobilinkd guy) has a great blog post on sourcing these and using them for data modes. I am highly tempted to get a TK-690 for a 100 watt data radio on 6 meters.
Steve, I have a boatload of Kenwood TK radios that I would send you.
These are on 2m and 440 and with a $12 cable, programmable. Easily do 1200 baud packet, maybe do 2400. Modifiable to do 4800 with relatively strong signals and 9600 at point blank range. I don't want to do the mods but there are documents on the subject that I can point you to.
I am willing to send you more than your test lab could possibly want. Cost of shipping is the only limit.
Let's get on the phone and we can make arrangements.