Alinco: Review: Alinco DJ-500T (2nd Generation)

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lakefan

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Hi Nick,

I have the E model. 1 does open everything up for me though. I wish there was a way to change PF2 to a PTT on the sub band like the Anytone this is based off.
I can change the modes on my DJ-500T as described here (putting it in Mode 1 to open up the frequencies), but that erases all my programming (of over 100 channels). I've tried uploading all my programming using the Alinco Version 1.02 software first, but the software doesn't seem to be able to upload software from a radio in Mode 2 and then download it to a radio in Mode 1. (i.e. uploading from a radio set up as a DJ-500T and downloading to a radio programmed as a DJ-500).

Anybody found a solution to mode changing without having to manually program all your channels?
 

3BJeep

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Quote "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. 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?"


Is this the latest model of the DJ 500 that is being referred to? The communications guy from the shop where I bought my new (two weeks ago) DJ-500 said there is no way to unlock the transmit function to allow transmitting on FRS or Commercial frequencies.
 

3BJeep

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...also, is there a definitive way to tell what model of DJ-500 I have? I believe it is a plain DJ-500, but it looks like there are also T, E, and TB models that allow transmitting on different frequency ranges. I was originally sold a DJ-500TB by mistake and when I brought it back because I was unable to switch between bands the way I thought I was supposed to, I was told that I had the "Commercial" model which is why the band function was not working. I was then given a different radio that I was told was an "Amateur" radio and that there was no way to unlock the transmit function for any of the non amateur frequencies. After reading this post and playing with my radio it appears that it will transmit on ALL frequencies (136-174 & 400-480).

If I remove the battery it says "model DJ-500" on the back of the radio. Then there is a number "A000600" followed by "TB". Any ideas?
 

golftango

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Quote "Unlocking TX: I&#8217;ve seen several people comment that opening up the TX frequency range is easy with the Alinco software, but I can&#8217;t seem to figure out how. <del>

look back through this thread,

here's what worked for me on a brand new 500tb:

hold pf2 and 'd'
power on
select 'mode 1' with ch dial
power off
power on

/guy
 
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3BJeep

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look back through this thread,

here's what worked for me on a brand new 500tb:

hold pf2 and 'd'
power on
select 'mode 1' with ch dial
power off
power on

/guy
Thanks. I did get mine unlocked and it sounds like I did the same thing you suggested. I am still not sure how to identify what model of DJ500 I have. When I bought mine I was told there was no way to unlock the transmit on other frequencies. Obviously that is not the case..unless I have a different model than I think I have.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
Any of you current owners have anything to add review/feedback wise on this radio?

Was not aware this radio existed till I saw this thread.

Seems like a quality made in Japan product, at a somewhat affordable price

Not much out there on the web or YouTube.....eham shows some good reviews though.
 

SCPD

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Any of you current owners have anything to add review/feedback wise on this radio? Seems like a quality made in Japan product, at a somewhat affordable price.
It's a very good radio. Way better than the chicom units out there. My only complaints (minor) are battery doesn't last very long and its menu system is a little wonky (relative to other mfgs) but it's pretty good.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
It's a very good radio. Way better than the chicom units out there. My only complaints (minor) are battery doesn't last very long and its menu system is a little wonky (relative to other mfgs) but it's pretty good.
Thanks for chiming in Nick. :)

If the trigger gets pulled it will be my first HAM radio, I'll be testing next week, so I am trying to get my ducks in a row for a future purchase.

I would more then likely get a spare battery, so not to worried about running out of juice. Would suck to constantly swap out though. With that said, I am guessing the included charger allows for just battery charging without the actual radio inserted?

Menu system? Yeah, I am hoping to just be able to comprehend the manual. I will be trying to make a local Elmer contact though and hopefully he may know how to get me up and running with whatever radio I decide to go with. May even look into just shelling out the dough for the RT software or something similar if need be. You use any with this radio?

Looking at the "chicoms" too, but believe it or not my wife of all people today (who thinks I am dork for even wanting to get into HAM) tried to talk me out of going that route and instead going with this mid-level deal. She rather me get something that is of more quality for my money.....not to inclined to argue with her either...... :D

Anyhow, whatever advice you could give a newbie on this radio would be much appreciated.
 

SCPD

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If the trigger gets pulled it will be my first HAM radio, I'll be testing next week, so I am trying to get my ducks in a row for a future purchase.
Well a portable is a good start and a good first radio but you'll soon find out that you'll probably want a mobile radio next. The power output can make a huge difference. It just depends on where you live -- i.e. what the terrain is like and where the repeaters are located.

With that said, I am guessing the included charger allows for just battery charging without the actual radio inserted?
No actually it has a nice base charger. Radio sits in the base with battery attached.

May even look into just shelling out the dough for the RT software or something similar if need be. You use any with this radio?
No need as you download the software from Alinco's web site for free. You will need the USB cable. Be sure to get the proper cable that I've mentioned in this thread. It's like $50-ish but it'll save you time later.
 

golftango

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can't use the radio on the charger though, if you were wondering that. and it's not a quick charger--from nearly depleted it will take up to 4 hrs. it is somewhat intelligent though and it will allow for how much charge is left to time the charge.

and for $50 you can get a guaranteed cable and the rt software module. i used to shun these folks because of what seemed like high prices, but their stuff works and if necessary they will make it work for you. also, if you have subscriptions to radio ref or rffinder, you can download freqs directly from those sites into the radio.

i did notice when i was programming my new radio that rt doesn't seem to allow for programming the fm channels and since you can't do it from the radio, it would take a delicate dance to use the factory software just to do that and then overwrite the other mem channels using chirp or rt. i don't know if chirp allows this or not. in any case, the fm vfo and scan modes work well enough i can do without channelization.

oh, and i discovered to my delight that the dj500 will take the anytone 3318e accessories. i won't have to buy more just for this radio.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

golftango

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oh, and i got mine on a closeout deal from mct in paris, tx for $85. great ham place! they said they found two cases of the 'tb' models in their storeroom so you might sign up for their emails and see if they put them on sale again over the holidays.

i just now got mine programmed, so i don't have much of a review--i've been futzing with the usb bus--i just installed a new computer and it fritzed things out. on the few stations i tuned in, the sensitivity seems as good as anything i have here (and i have quite a lot of varied radios!) and the audio is clear and loud.

on the keyboard there are some 2nd-function labels which are dark blue and you just can't see them. luckily they are on two of the most used keys, so you should learn what they are in short order.

the manual is rife with typos and errors, so be on your toes when reading it.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
Well a portable is a good start and a good first radio but you'll soon find out that you'll probably want a mobile radio next. The power output can make a huge difference. It just depends on where you live -- i.e. what the terrain is like and where the repeaters are located.
Oh yeah. I could see that coming, but first I just want to see if anybody is even talking around here and if HAM is something I can do long term. Kind of suburban/rural where I am at, already identified some repeaters not too far, just a matter of actually getting an HT and seeing if I can hit them or not from the house. Hopefully when I get hold of an Elmer around here, they can tell me what I am looking at as far as my location and the repeaters.

No actually it has a nice base charger. Radio sits in the base with battery attached.
Sorry I may have not been clear on that. I guess I am wondering if I buy a spare battery, can I just drop the spare in the charger to charge while I am using the other attached to the radio off the charger?

No need as you download the software from Alinco's web site for free. You will need the USB cable. Be sure to get the proper cable that I've mentioned in this thread. It's like $50-ish but it'll save you time later.
I read that off their site. However, they also claim they will not offer any support in regards to "their" free software and basically not to bother them about it. since its offered for free. (At least that how I read into it) and if the cable cost $50-ish, I am figuring why not spend the $40-$50-ish RT wants for their software that comes with a cable and their support? Which is kind of crazy, considering the actual radio is only $100-ish and the software and or cable is almost half the price of the radio itself.

Its just not Alinco though, all the other "big" boys come with these associated (if you desire) PC programming costs too....... and that thought scanning was expensive. :(

Unfortunately a guy like me may need it though, I am not to manual savvy when it comes to radios, at least not yet anyway. Just wish this PC cable or software stuff was more reasonable.
 

W9BU

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Its just not Alinco though, all the other "big" boys come with these associated (if you desire) PC programming costs too....... and that thought scanning was expensive.
If, for example, you purchased a Kenwood TH-D72, it would come with a USB cable to connect the radio to your computer and the software is a free download from Kenwood's web site. I've never had to call Kenwood with a technical question about their software, but I assume they will support. Of course, a TH-D72 is considerably more expensive than Alinco you are talking about.
 

golftango

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i might mention there is a nice gent on the chicom and anytone fb groups who sells ftdi-chipped cables (which will work with rt systems modules) at a reasonable price. they are good quality and he has one for just over $25 which will work with a hundred or more different radio models. or you should be able to find a legit cable for $15-20 if you search around.

chirp software is free, multi-platform, open-source, and supports dozens of radios. it has a huge number of users.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
can't use the radio on the charger though, if you were wondering that. and it's not a quick charger--from nearly depleted it will take up to 4 hrs. it is somewhat intelligent though and it will allow for how much charge is left to time the charge.

and for $50 you can get a guaranteed cable and the rt software module. i used to shun these folks because of what seemed like high prices, but their stuff works and if necessary they will make it work for you. also, if you have subscriptions to radio ref or rffinder, you can download freqs directly from those sites into the radio.

i did notice when i was programming my new radio that rt doesn't seem to allow for programming the fm channels and since you can't do it from the radio, it would take a delicate dance to use the factory software just to do that and then overwrite the other mem channels using chirp or rt. i don't know if chirp allows this or not. in any case, the fm vfo and scan modes work well enough i can do without channelization.

oh, and i discovered to my delight that the dj500 will take the anytone 3318e accessories. i won't have to buy more just for this radio.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
Yeah, from what I have read so far, I don't many radios that recommend having them on in the charger and transmitting and stuff on them while charging. So not worried about that, just wanted make to sure I could drop a spare in the charger by itself with this unit?

I agree on the software, its high, but if the cable alone costs $50-ish, I figure why not just get the RT package and the support you alluded to. Yep, RR subscription is on the to do list too. I will look into fffinder.

I apologize in advance , but you may have explain a little deeper on this FM channel programming and channelization you speak of? Again straight newbie here and want to totally understand the feedback your giving me, its much appreciated. :)

oh, and i got mine on a closeout deal from mct in paris, tx for $85. great ham place! they said they found two cases of the 'tb' models in their storeroom so you might sign up for their emails and see if they put them on sale again over the holidays.

i just now got mine programmed, so i don't have much of a review--i've been futzing with the usb bus--i just installed a new computer and it fritzed things out. on the few stations i tuned in, the sensitivity seems as good as anything i have here (and i have quite a lot of varied radios!) and the audio is clear and loud.

on the keyboard there are some 2nd-function labels which are dark blue and you just can't see them. luckily they are on two of the most used keys, so you should learn what they are in short order.

the manual is rife with typos and errors, so be on your toes when reading it.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
I will give that place in Paris a look, thanks for the heads-up! Currently looking at the one at HRO that is on sale for $97.

LOL...not to excited about the manual writer being illiterate.....I will need all the help I can get and understanding the manual verbatim is my only hope. ;)
 

golftango

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yes, you can charge the battery outside the radio. this is always a nice feature for those of us who have to have a spare battery or two.

the fm is no biggie. it's just that many of the newer h/t's have been including commercial fm band and on some you can even listen and monitor a ham channel simultaneously. or even scan on one half of the display.

if you're on facebook, i highly suggest joining at least the chicom group and perhaps the anytone group as well. and a site you need to bookmark immediately and memorize the layout of is miklor.com. john is on both the groups i cite and perhaps the most knowledgeable and helpful person on chinese radios. baofeng and anytone both list his site in their descriptions of their radios.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
If, for example, you purchased a Kenwood TH-D72, it would come with a USB cable to connect the radio to your computer and the software is a free download from Kenwood's web site. I've never had to call Kenwood with a technical question about their software, but I assume they will support. Of course, a TH-D72 is considerably more expensive than Alinco you are talking about.
Yeah, you hit it right on the nail there, its either spend the dough with a big boy products with the bells and whistles or buy medium boy's stuff that with all the required accessories, cost almost just as much in the end......decisions....decisions. :confused:
 
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KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
i might mention there is a nice gent on the chicom and anytone fb groups who sells ftdi-chipped cables (which will work with rt systems modules) at a reasonable price. they are good quality and he has one for just over $25 which will work with a hundred or more different radio models. or you should be able to find a legit cable for $15-20 if you search around.

chirp software is free, multi-platform, open-source, and supports dozens of radios. it has a huge number of users.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
So you are saying if I get a legit ftdi-chipped cable, I could use CHIRP instead? A quick look showed CHIRP does not have the DJ500 as a supported model....

I have been scoping out YouTube and other internet venues about CHIRP, which has very good reviews, but yeah, trying to get the right cable from a vetted source is quite the chore. Wish I had a HAM store close by where I could face to face with someone and know I am getting the correct stuff or at minimum I could just walk in and return it if its not. :(
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
yes, you can charge the battery outside the radio. this is always a nice feature for those of us who have to have a spare battery or two.

the fm is no biggie. it's just that many of the newer h/t's have been including commercial fm band and on some you can even listen and monitor a ham channel simultaneously. or even scan on one half of the display.

if you're on facebook, i highly suggest joining at least the chicom group and perhaps the anytone group as well. and a site you need to bookmark immediately and memorize the layout of is miklor.com. john is on both the groups i cite and perhaps the most knowledgeable and helpful person on chinese radios. baofeng and anytone both list his site in their descriptions of their radios.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
I have a FB account, but haven't logged on in years.....got tired of the drama and folks posting every detail of their lives on there. But I'll try and log in just to check out this John you speak of and the chicom group. Will look at miklor.com too.

Thanks!
 
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