Kenwood vs Yaesu for a APRS digipeater and SMS texting

I’m trying to decide between two radios for use as a 2m/70cm voice coms unit and an APRS digipeater TX/RX residing on band B. Options are the Kenwood TM-V71A or the Yaesu FTM-300DR.

I want the Yaesu, but the internet experts say to get the TM-V71A. I don’t want to use VOX. I want a functional radio that gets this addon feature with the DigiRig and a RPi 4 box.

So, can we prove them all wrong? What is so wonderful about the Kenwood (I don’t care about its better receiver, yadda yadda)? Does its data ports offer more functionality or something to control PTT?

Is this possible?
FTM-300 → cable → Digirig → cable → RPi 4 → DireWolf

Direwolf gives me all the features I want like digipeat, sms texting, and so on.

Regarding PTT: Yes, VOX is not a desirable option. Digirig can control PTT via a CAT command in a capable transceivers or via the hardware PTT line in any transceiver regardless of capabilities.

For info on Digirig + Linux + DireWolf, please see this page:

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Thank you for the video link. That helped a lot. I’m putting my parts list together. Could you help me clarify something about the Yaesu FTM-300DR?

You offer a MiniDin10 cable, and another 9600-baud version with CAT support.

Which one should I go with and why?

I’ll be hooking the Digirig Mobile to a RPi 4.

Get 9600+CAT cable if your radio supports the serial CAT control and you intend on using it (optional) and/or if the digital mode of interest is capable of wider bandwidth operation and you intend on using that (e.g. winlink/vara).

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Wouldn’t be cool if the Digirig had a bluetooth variant so I could connect directly to it via my iPhone running Now, wouldn’t that be grand?



Outside of the interface and control of the radio, I would recommend the Kenwood. I’ve seen people use Kenwood and other radios in high duty cycle use (as portable repeaters) and have yet to see a radio that would last as long as the Kenwood.

I know thats not the same use you intend, but based on your use I think you’d benefit from the reliability.

For the record this is coming from a guy who has owned a TMv71 (I loved it, just wanted to try digital and didn’t have the money to buy another radio) and currently has an Icom and two Yaesu mobile radios.

Good luck and let us know how it all works out.

They have Kenwood TM-D700A on ISS. I suspect those folks know what they are doing.