Alinco: Alinco DR-638T

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N9JIG

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My old Alinco DR-635T finally bit the dust. I liked it for it's small sized control head and flexibility. It also handled receive well on T-Band up to 480 MHz., something that is lacking on most ham dual-banders.

I was thinking of replacing it and came across the Alinco DR-638T (Alinco DR-638T, Alinco DR638 Transceiver). It appears that the 638 is Part 90 approved, works up to 480 MHz. and is legal to transmit there.

Since I am driving a smaller vehicle now this might be a useful rig for me, as I could replace my work VHF and UHF radios and combine them all into a single V/U dual bander for work and ham stuff.

I do have a few questions:

Has anyone used one of these yet and how do you like it?

Does it use the same remote kit and programming cables I have for my 635?

Does it support full front panel programming, at least in the ham bands?
 

N9JIG

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I got the DR-638T today, still waiting on the separation kit and programming cable.


First glance it looks a lot like the 635. The remote head cable is now a Cat5, so it should make for some easier installation.


In looking at the manual the radio does seem to have a regular VFO mode so it should be fine for ham use.


It also looks like it supports DTMF, 2-Tone and 5-tone selective calling!


It has an ignition sense feature so you can connect the radio to the battery for power and still have it turn on and off with the ignition.


It supports both wide and narrow band operations, necessary for Part 90 these days.


According to the specs it receives 108-180, 220-260 and 350-523, Transmit is 136-174 and 400-480, selectable from 5 to 50 watts (40 UHF).


I will bring it home over the weekend and see how it works.
 

N9JIG

Sheriff
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Nothing in the manual, I will check the label on the radio itself when I get home.

I am not even sure at this point if the Part 90 freqs are enabled out of the box or if I need to get the programming cable and software to do so, Alinco's website doesn't really establish that.
 

remtronix

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Nothing in the manual, I will check the label on the radio itself when I get home.

I am not even sure at this point if the Part 90 freqs are enabled out of the box or if I need to get the programming cable and software to do so, Alinco's website doesn't really establish that.
Yes its a Part 90 certified Radio. https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/tcb/repo..._code=&application_id=380874&fcc_id=PH3-DR638

You will need Software/cable. Its being developed by RT System as we speak. Should be available withing a week or 2 after we test and approve.

That said, We are shipping our separation kits to Universal today. So they should have them next week.
 

N9JIG

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Very good Raj, Thanks!

So far so good, it seems to have Alinco's typical killer sensitivity.

It seems to be wide open out of the box already. I have made a few 2M contacts and it seems to work well there.

I think this is going to work very well for my purposes!
 

KT0DD

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While technically the new DR-638T is not GMRS legal, being Part 90 approved means it's specs are at least as good if not better than Part 95 requirements, and therefore using it on the GMRS only channels probably won't raise a stink with the FCC. You couldn't us it on the shared GMRS/FRS channels as the antenna is removable which is not allowed on FRS. MURS is out as well as the TX power output is limited to 2 watts on MURS and these radios can't get that low.

It's basically the same logic as Part 97 radios not being allowed on Part 90 freq. but Part 90 radios are allowed on Part 97 freq.

Most GMRS mobile radios (other than cheap bubble pack rigs) offered for sale are just business band Part 90 rigs programmed for GMRS frequencies anyway. As long as the narrowband settings are tolerant with the GMRS service you should be ok. I have yet to find a GMRS only mobile radio offered for sale that wasn't the same radio model offered for Part 90 business band service as well, just listed in a different category on the sales website.
 

KT0DD

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DR638 software

Just did a search...HRO is showing an RT Systems APK-638 software package for around $50.
 

radef

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Any updates on this radio?

I see mention of 6 memory banks. I'm curious how that works with respect to scan.
 

jasedude71

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I just received my new 638T from MTV RADIO in Texas. I replaced my Anyone 5888UV. I think the finals on the VHF side of my Anyone blew. The install of the Alinco fit the Anyone bracket and the power supply was the same. great news and thus easy install. So far the Alinco unit seems to be a great unit and has lots of power. I ordered the RTSYSTEMS programming software which seems straight forward. I'm excited about my new purchase and the added fact that MTVRadio offers an extended warranty incase the unit fails. Everyone seems to have bitter feelings about these Chinese radios but with a warranty, it's ok!!!
 

n5tbu

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Anyone know if the 638 has squelch tail elimination or reverse burst on PL?
 

SCPD

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Bought one of these radios a couple of weeks ago. It's been a really good performer, at least on the ham bands. No opportunity, yet, to try it on commercial frequencies for evaluation. My Kenwood TM V71A was replaced with the Alinco, nothing wrong with the Kenwood just didn't like the smaller display... getting older is Hell. I like real microphone connectors instead of telephone style mic connectors as well.

The sensitivity on the Alinco seems to edge out the Kenwood a little, I base that on the signal strength display and my calibrated ear:) Also, I needed a VHF part 90 radio to use with the County EMA that I volunteer with. No way to fit separate commercial UHF and VHF radios in my 2015 Kia Soul so the Alinco was a good option.

If anyone decides to purchase one, with the intention of having a remote head, I suggest NOT purchasing the Alinco head separation kit. Instead, purchase the remote head separation kit for the Powerwerx DB-750X... they're the SAME kit! Alinco wants $40+ for theirs and the Powerwerx kit can be had for $9.99 from the Powerwerx website.
 
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