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Old 07-21-2014, 8:53 PM
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Cool Review: Alinco DJ-500T (2nd Generation)

Here's a quick user review of the new Alinco DJ-500T dual-band handheld:

Alinco DJ-500T, Alinco DJ500 HT

Pros: Excellent small size. Excellent build quality. Very loud speaker. Voice quality is excellent. Battery life seems very good. Clicky PTT switch. Sub-display for 2nd VFO. FM Radio band. Quality antenna (SMA Female.) 5w on both bands! (Okay, it's only 5w and 4.5w) Easily modified for Extended Tx. Price!

Cons: Requires ERW-7 USB cable ($50) or Generic FTDI USB cable ($25)

Nit-picks: Primary tuning knob slightly stiff but seems to work itself free over time. MIC/SP door squeaks when pressed (seems to be fixed now) Lighted keypad only lights up numbers, not functions.

Notes: Overall the unit is very solid. It feels very nice in the hand and its build quality is better than Wouxun. The size is small and compact. It's quite thin too. The DJ-500T is fairly easy to use. It's menu system is similar to other radios of its genre. Programming is straight-forward with Alinco's free cloning utility. You must use the ERW-7 USB cable if you plan to unlock Tx.

DJ-500T/E Detail information

Still planning to test it more in the coming days but it's a keeper.

Pictures:




Last edited by nickcarr; 07-21-2014 at 9:02 PM..
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Old 07-25-2014, 2:09 PM
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Default Its a great little radio, and definitely a keeper.

I picked up a DJ-500T from AES about a week ago. They sell for $129 most places. Its a great little radio, and definitely a keeper.

A few observations:
Alincos USB programming cable (ERW-7) sells for $50, but you can get a generic version for as little as $10 on eBay or Amazon. Search for USB Programming Cable For OPC-478 OPC478 ICOM Alinco Mobile Transceiver Radio on Amazon to find the one Im using. No problems with this particular cable. Windows 7 located and installed the correct driver for the cable as soon as I plugged it in.

Alinco supplies programming software on their DJ-500 product page. This software works well, but there is a small problem. It does not support FM Radio Function Enable/Disable. Every time you program your DJ-500, the software will disable the FM Radio Function. You must then re-enable it using the radios keyboard (menu item 31). This is freeware so no support from Alinco or the software author (whoever that is).

RT Systems also sells their software & cable for the DJ-500 ($50) if you would rather use that.

Notes:
Squelch level can be set by holding down the monitor button on the side of the radio and turning the channel knob on top. To set band scan end limits for both VFOs, enter them into the special channels named PL1 PU1 PL2 PU2. You can do this from either the keyboard (page 18 in the English manual) or with the software.

Its a shame that Alinco chose to use the same model number as their old DJ-500. Come on Alinco; why not call it the DJ-55V2? Net searches return mostly info on the old one.

The new DJ-500 was announced on the Alinco Facebook page on 6/11/2014, but appears to have been available in other countries earlier this year. For example, heres a review (in Russian) Alinco DJ-500 - -. There is a QRZ thread on this radio, too: Anyone w/experience on 2nd gen Alinco DJ-500T?.

Unlocking TX: Ive seen several people comment that opening up the TX frequency range is easy with the Alinco software, but I cant seem to figure out how. I tried changing the Model number in the software to just plain DJ-500 rather than DJ-500T, but when I try to program TX channels outside the Ham bands, the software throws an error and refuses to program the radio. Does anyone know how to do this? Does it require a genuine Alinco ERW-7 cable?

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Old 07-25-2014, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
Alinco’s USB programming cable (ERW-7) sells for $50, but you can get a “generic” version for as little as $10 on eBay or Amazon.
The cheaper icom/alinco cable does not work with the unlocking software. You need the ERW-7 or FTDI generic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
It’s a shame that Alinco chose to use the same model number as their old DJ-500.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
Unlocking TX: I’ve seen several people comment that opening up the TX frequency range is easy with the Alinco software, but I can’t seem to figure out how.
You're not using the correct software or cable.

http://alinco.ru/content/files/PO/DJ...Setup_1.00.rar
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:51 AM
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Default The requested URL was not found

Nick,

The link you gave http://alinco.ru/content/files/PO/DJ...Setup_1.00.rar leads to:
Page not found
The requested URL was not found.

I am using an FTDI generic cable.
Win7 installed FTDI drivers without error.
The programming software available from the Alinco USA DJ-500 page: DJ-500T/E Detail information installs and runs just fine, and I can read & write from/to the radio.

I assume there is separate unlocking software for band setup (the file you attempted to send a link to). Is that correct?
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:22 PM
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Nice Review Nick

John, Try this link:

Техподдержка | ALINCO INC. *адиостанции и Аксессуары.

On the right drop down window, select DJ-500SetBand
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Man View Post
Nice Review Nick

John, Try this link:

Техподдержка | ALINCO INC. *адиостанции и Аксессуары.

On the right drop down window, select DJ-500SetBand
Thanks for the link. It works...
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Old 07-26-2014, 5:09 PM
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Yeah it looks like there's a redirect. This is the direct link.

http://alinco.ru/files/PO/DJ_500SetBandSetup_1.00.rar
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:43 PM
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Thanks for the nice review, hard to find much info on the web about this radio. I'm currently trying to decide which to purchase, the Alinco DJ-500t or Yeasu FT-60r. After alot of research, I've narrowed it down to these two. One because they are both dual band and built tough and secondly because they both fall in my price range, I can get either one of them and the extras I need with them for around 250and all together. I had an Alinco DJ-V17T 2 meter handheld for a couple years and it was put through the test of being out in the field and in the elements and I had no problems with it, I think they make a real quality product.
I have a couple questions though Nick or John, when did these newer DJ-500Ts get released on the market? I've read they are new but also saw some posts on another forum that said they we're out a number of years ago. The FT-60r is older so maybe the DJ500t is better option because of newer technology. Not sure if that should matter or not. I know that Yeasu model is the real deal and is why it's been around so long. Secondly one thing I don't lile is there appears to be no AA dry cell case made for the Alinco DJ-500t, which is weird because I think they make them for their other radios. The Yaesu does and I really want one in case of grid down scenario and not being able to power up battery packs. I have everything standardized for AA. I wonder if I should just buy a few extra battery packs, if I go with the Alinco, and just wait for them to hopefully come out with a replacement dry cell case. Maybe I should E-mail Alinco and see what they say. Any thoughts or answers would be much appreciated, thanks
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Old 07-31-2014, 1:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumfan View Post
I'm currently trying to decide which to purchase, the Alinco DJ-500t or Yeasu FT-60r. After a lot of research, I've narrowed it down to these two. I have a couple questions though Nick or John, when did these newer DJ-500Ts get released on the market?
My DJ-500T battery is dated 6/2014 so this radio is relatively new. Alinco has released new "business band" radios and apparently decided to release the DJ-500 to the HAM market. It has a few commercial grade features not usually found in HAM radios.

The DJ-500 is a direct-conversion receiver versus the FT-60R's double-conversion superheterodyne. The DC design reduces the overall components. The DJ-500 has a higher-grade TXCO. Perhaps someone else can confirm but I believe the DC design of the DJ-500 gives it a higher level of battery efficiency. So in theory, the battery should last longer. It may not be significantly greater however.

From quick glance, the DJ-500 appears a bit thinner but per the Yaesu specifications, the dimensions are identical. The DJ-500 case design/styling looks better to me, but that's subjective.

The major differences between the DJ-500 and FT-60R:

200 CH vs 1000 CH
Dual VFO vs Single VFO
VHF/UHF Rx vs WIDEBAND Rx
2.5/6.25 steps vs 5khz steps
Lighter (8oz) vs Heavier (13oz)
FM Radio
Tx Mod Easy vs Tx Mod Hard
Large PTT button vs Small PTT button

Here's a link to the Tx Mod for the FT-60R. The DJ-500 Mod is software-based and takes all of 2 minutes to perform.

Yaesu FT-60 R (FT 60 R FT60R) user and service manual, modifications

PS. Alinco should be releasing a 2000mah battery (the EBP-88H) for the DJ-500. Have a couple of these and you won't need to worry about AA batteries.
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Old 07-31-2014, 2:54 PM
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I like that the battery is Li-ion, the battery I had for the DJ-V17 was Na-mh and didn't seem to hold a charge too long. I see the FD-60r does not come with a lithium battery. I have a Baofeng uv-5r+ and it has a li-ion and it lasts for quite a while. How is the scanning capabilities of the DJ-500t? The Baofeng scan capability is a joke. Also is that your Wouxon in the comparison picture? If so how do they stack up against one another? I'm guessing quality of the Alinco has to be much greater, Japanese vs. Chinese.
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Old 07-31-2014, 3:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumfan View Post
How is the scanning capabilities of the DJ-500t?
I don't know off-hand. I don't use the scanning function much on a handheld radio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumfan View Post
Also is that your Wouxon in the comparison picture? If so how do they stack up against one another? I'm guessing quality of the Alinco has to be much greater, Japanese vs. Chinese.
Did you really read the review?
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Old 07-31-2014, 3:21 PM
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Yeah sorry, re-read your first post after I posted. Saw what you said about quality. Seems like the Yaesu FD-60r and Wouxon VD-8 have a lot of neat little features, but most that will never be needed. Not even sure I would ever need 1000 memory channels . One other question, what are your impressions of the stock antenna supplied with it? Thought I saw it was advertised as high gain. Are you upgrading yours?
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Old 07-31-2014, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumfan View Post
One other question, what are your impressions of the stock antenna supplied with it? Thought I saw it was advertised as high gain. Are you upgrading yours?
It's actually pretty good. I like the look of it too. I don't see a need to replace/upgrade it for now. I tried one of those $10 17.7" antennas from E-Bay but it was too long for practical use.

Unfortunately, Laird quit making whip antennas for portables. You can always buy the Motorola antennas though since the DJ-500 uses the SMA-Female connector. (For single-band usage.)

Here's a pic of the Motorola UHF antenna on the DJ-500 and the DJ-500 antenna on the Motorola. It looks cute:



Here's a place to buy the various single-band antennas if you get curious:

Motorola XTS 5000 Portable - ShopWiscomm

Oh I forgot that Motorola makes a dual-band VHF/UHF for their APX 7000 series:

PMAT4001A PMAT4001 - Motorola APX Dual Band Antenna VHF UHF GPS - ShopWiscomm

Kind of pricey but I may give that a shot for fun.
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Old 07-31-2014, 6:00 PM
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Hey Nickcarr, according to the spec page for the Alinco, the 1st IF freq is 38.85 mhz, while the 2nd IF freq is 450 khz. Now I know it says "direct conversion", but don't the 2 IF freq's mean "double conversion". What's up with that? DJ-500T/E Detail information
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Old 07-31-2014, 7:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOONBOOTS View Post
Hey Nickcarr, according to the spec page for the Alinco, the 1st IF freq is 38.85 mhz, while the 2nd IF freq is 450 khz. Now I know it says "direct conversion", but don't the 2 IF freq's mean "double conversion". What's up with that? DJ-500T/E Detail information
Gary, I noticed this too. The DJ-500 manual doesn't say anything about direct conversion either. Perhaps it was a marketing flub... I've noticed that newer receivers are DC but only on frequencies < 25 Mhz. The Elecraft KX3 is fully DC thru 2m.
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Old 07-31-2014, 8:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumfan View Post
Nick or John, when did these newer DJ-500Ts get released on the market? I've read they are new but also saw some posts on another forum that said they we're out a number of years ago.
This new model has been for sale only a few months. It passed FCC part 15 testing on 4/22/2014. A search of the FCC database doesn't show a part 90 application, so not legal for tx on commercial / public safety frequencies.

Here's a link:
PH3DJ-500 by Alinco Incorporated, Electronics Division for Original Equipment (PH3-DJ-500, PH3 DJ500)

Internal pix are available at the link, but Alinco withheld block diagrams, schematics, etc.
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Old 08-01-2014, 7:02 AM
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Does the Alinco allow alphanumeric names in dual mode like the kenwood th-f6a?
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Old 08-01-2014, 2:04 PM
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Does the Alinco allow alphanumeric names in dual mode like the kenwood th-f6a?
Hmm good question. I'll have to try this out. I'll probably program my radio later tonight.

There are (3) modes of display which has to be set in a special menu. FREQ (VFO), CH and NAME. So when in NAME mode, you see the alphanumeric name and CH number.

The manual states that the sub-display isn't avail in CH mode (this feature is for dealers that wish to 'lock' the radio into a preset state.)

There's another setting listed in the manual which says the sub-band displays only the voltage, frequency or is turned off.

My guess is that in NAME mode, the name is shown on the main display and the channel number. Then the frequency of that channel is shown in the sub display.

So again, I'll have to try this out and see how this functions exactly.
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Old 08-02-2014, 1:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcarr View Post
My DJ-500T battery is dated 6/2014 so this radio is relatively new.
Interesting... My DJ-500T battery is date coded 11/2013. My serial # is A0005XX. The programming software "embedded message" screen says the Produced Date is 2013-12-2, Version 1.00.

What is the Serial # / Produced Date / Version of the one you have?

Last edited by John_Galt; 08-02-2014 at 3:17 PM..
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Old 08-02-2014, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post
Interesting... My DJ-500T battery is date coded 11/2013. My serial # is A0005XX. The programming software "embedded message" screen says the Produced Date is 2013-12-2, Version 1.00.

What is the Serial # / Produced Date / Version of the one you have?
Serial is in the 700s... I bought mine from HRO just a couple of weeks ago.

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