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

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nonperson

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Thanks for the good information, nonperson! Your reply snuck in between when I was writing my reply.

So, am I understanding correctly that there is a difference, after the mode change, in VFO frequency accessibility? And, that it requires programming software to store some of the frequency ranges that the amateur model can store through the VFO keypad?
No problem!

The only difference I noticed is mode 4 which has a wider frequency span for the 500TB. In mode four I could manually enter any frequency through the key pad and the VFO / channel selector. I just couldn't program or read it using the software when it was in mode 4 with the setup I have. Maybe someone else will have better luck with it.

In the other modes I could program it manually or with the software with no problem.

FWIW I got mine from MTC who posted on their website that the radio would be shipped "locked" and a cable and software would be needed to unlock it. I got the radio before I got the RT Systems cable and software. While waiting for the cable to arrive I found this thread and tried the keypad unlock method posted earlier. The first time it didn't work when I put it in mode 1. I tried the other three modes then went back to mode 1 which allowed me to use it in mode 1.
 

DW1ZDS

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DJ-500 Modes

Fixed it.^


I played with the 500TB some more and discovered that if I change the mode set in it like as described in this thread It will unlock it.

Mode 1 didn't appear to do anything at first as far as unlocking it so I could punch in frequencies on the key pad. However after trying the other modes I could change the frequencies after I reset it back to Mode 1.

Mode 2 unlocked it for the US HAM bands and made it possible to change frequencies and transmit only in the HAM bands.

Mode 3 set it the the European HAM bands.

Mode 4 unlocked transmit on all frequencies and extended the range on UHF. The radio will now do 136.000 MHZ to 174.000 MHZ and 400.000 MHZ to 523.000 MHZ.

So far I like the radio and the audio sounds great!
I just got my HT last January, and have been twiddling with it since. Found this thread while I was searching for "expanding frequency" after I heard the sales person ask her co-worker something about the radio being expanded. So I messed around with the modes, and here's what I found out:


MODE 1 (DJ-500TB)
Tx & Rx: 136 - 174 / 400 - 480
Rx on FM radio frequencies

MODE 2 (DJ-500T)
Tx: 144 - 148 / 420 - 450
Rx: 136 - 174 / 400 - 480 / FM radio frequencies

MODE 3 (DJ-500E)
Tx & Rx: 144 - 146 / 430 - 440
Rx on FM radio frequencies

MODE 4 (Fully Open)
TX & Rx: 136 - 174 / 400 - 523
Rx on FM radio frequencies


Whih got me thinking, all DJ-500 versions are one and the same radio, different only in the model/version label you see up front (below the display) and the version printed at the back of the unit, and the mode the HT was in when you purchased it.

Now, if only someone could help me how to program/setup the 5-tone and DTMF features, I'll be happy as a lark.

Edit:

Concerning the 5-tone and DTMF setup, it was in the manual along, in page 23 with the heading "DTMF Code Searching and Setup." I found that the manual for Anytone 3318 makes more sense than the Alinco manual.

73!

de DW1ZDS
 
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DW1ZDS

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Mode Reset Keys

**Holding D and PF2 while turning on the radio does nothing.
This is a factory reset. On a new HT, it does nothing because, well, there's practically nothing to reset. This one's actually on the page 17 of the manual

4. Turn on with this key and key pressed together to perform the factroy reset.
though they obviously missed/forgot to print the "D" in the instructions.

Try the PF1 + D combination, make sure the keys are pressed nicely and firmly, and hold it up to about 2 seconds after powering up.
 

DW1ZDS

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I think the problem people have been encountering is more of a driver issue and not so much of a "must have the genuine cable" issue. When they replaced their cable with the genuine one, it probably just cleared up the driver issue.
It could be both a driver and hardware issue. Based on my "research" for a similar problem with a chicom HT, a number of forums say that this issue stems from the fact that he production of the UART chipset used by the cheaper cables have already been discontinued. When Windows 8 and later detects that particular chipset, it will automatically download/update to the latest driver, which, of course, does not support the older chipset. Uninstalling the new driver and installing an old one (that ran OK with Windows 7) will solve it.

But of course, I'm writing this based on my experience with the chicom HT. It may or may not be the case with the Alinco HT.

Just my 2 cents...

73!
 

kenn_moses

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I found the DJ-500T far more difficult to program than my other HT's or dual band mobiles. I got one VHF repeater correctly entered but after that it was too aggravating after continual problems. I located my old version Icom OPC-478UC cable (not the newer "B" version), a windows 7 driver and entered the rest of the local repeaters using the DJ-500 cloning software. No attempt to expand TX/RX.
 

vancouverbc

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Try the PF1 + D combination, make sure the keys are pressed nicely and firmly, and hold it up to about 2 seconds after powering up.
Just stopping in to confirm that this does not work for me (DJ500TB).

Been busy with other stuff but I'll report back once I make some headway.
-bp
 

nonperson

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I found the DJ-500T far more difficult to program than my other HT's or dual band mobiles. I got one VHF repeater correctly entered but after that it was too aggravating after continual problems. I located my old version Icom OPC-478UC cable (not the newer "B" version), a windows 7 driver and entered the rest of the local repeaters using the DJ-500 cloning software. No attempt to expand TX/RX.
Yeah it's got different settings in it as far as activating the repeaters. I haven't played with it enough to figure out witch one works with all my local repeaters yet. It's not a priority for me because I got it to use for other services. If I get time this weekend I'll try to figure it out.


Just stopping in to confirm that this does not work for me (DJ500TB).

Been busy with other stuff but I'll report back once I make some headway.
-bp
Are you holding the buttons down (together) while you turn on the radio? With the radio off push in the respective buttons together, hold them down, turn the radio on and don't release them until after you see mode display.
 

DW1ZDS

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Using the knob to get to the option I need or in creating a name for the current setting brings back memories of the 2N...
 

jeffm77

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Question on the 500. So, from reading the posts on here, there are two ways to open up the radio for full UHF coverage. 1st by the software and 2nd, by the keypad, without the software? I am guessing that the radio can be opened up via the keypad functions, without the software? Can anyone clarify that? Thanks all.
 

Hans13

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Question on the 500. So, from reading the posts on here, there are two ways to open up the radio for full UHF coverage. 1st by the software and 2nd, by the keypad, without the software? I am guessing that the radio can be opened up via the keypad functions, without the software? Can anyone clarify that? Thanks all.
Sorry I took so long to get back to you. At the top of this page, nonperson verified that the TB version can be unlocked through the keypad but a mode other than 1 (?) had to be selected first (and go through the reset). Then, the TB could be set to other modes like any model DJ-500. On some of the T models (not TB) I ended up having to select another mode first, like nonperson did. I believe these were set to mode 1 (TB) from the factory even though they were just supposed to be T models. After that, any of the 4 modes could be selected through the keypad. In summary, AFAIK, all of the models can be unlocked via keypad without external software. When one is first unlocked, a different mode must be selected and then reset. Then any mode is selectable. Perhaps a glitch or something.

Frankly, I don't think there is any difference between the models except which mode is selected at the factory and if a part 90 FCC sticker is slapped on it or not. I'm pretty sure that a couple of our T models were set as TB when we got them factory new.

These have been wonderful handheld radios for us. My whole group uses these almost exclusively. If Alinco or Anytone would just come out with a huge extended battery and an alkaline battery case, it would be the perfect handheld transceiver for us.

The stock antenna does extremely well but when combined with a signal stick antenna, the DJ-500 performs even better. I get phenomenal transmit and receive from this little handheld. The signal stick antenna gives it just a little more edge over stock. https://signalstuff.com/
 

golftango

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Hey golftango, any ideas on how to get my 500TB unlocked? Were you able to do this without any sort of cable? Or did you need to unlock the keypad first?
Cheers!
very sorry for the very late response--i don't know if rr sends an email notice or not.

anyway, i'm not going to be much help. the only reason i came back to the thread was that i programmed the radio and then put it behind something and got to fooling with more radios and essentially forgot i had it. that'll happen when you have way way more radios than is good for anyone!

at any rate, i can't remember that far back to know whether i did the keyboard thing before i tried software. i ordered the rts package either with the radio or soon thereafter, but rts doesn't allow the unlocking--i know that for sure. i'm not sure whether i ever installed the alinco software, but with rts, i doubt i'd have had a need for it.

yesterday i got a new gmrs radio and found it so lacking i decided to send it back and use one of my radios to dedicate to gmrs and remembering this radio, i found it. still has the display condom on it! i'm nearly positive this came out of the anytone factory as most of the accessories fit and it's one of my top 3 handheld radios as far as quality and size and ease-of-use go.

good luck, /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

Sporrt

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very sorry for the very late response--i don't know if rr sends an email notice or not.

anyway, i'm not going to be much help. the only reason i came back to the thread was that i programmed the radio and then put it behind something and got to fooling with more radios and essentially forgot i had it. that'll happen when you have way way more radios than is good for anyone!

at any rate, i can't remember that far back to know whether i did the keyboard thing before i tried software. i ordered the rts package either with the radio or soon thereafter, but rts doesn't allow the unlocking--i know that for sure. i'm not sure whether i ever installed the alinco software, but with rts, i doubt i'd have had a need for it.

yesterday i got a new gmrs radio and found it so lacking i decided to send it back and use one of my radios to dedicate to gmrs and remembering this radio, i found it. still has the display condom on it! i'm nearly positive this came out of the anytone factory as most of the accessories fit and it's one of my top 3 handheld radios as far as quality and size and ease-of-use go.

good luck, /guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
I just started looking at the DJ-500t a couple days ago. Which Anytone accessories fit?
I'm most interested in an alkaline case, or extra battery packs.
 

golftango

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well, i'm using an anytone 3318-uve battery on it now which means the battery eliminator would work as well as the other battery accessories you mentioned. not sure about the speaker/mic stuff though.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

Sporrt

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Thanks.. Good info. I see the 1800 mAh battery for $25, with belt clip and screws. Doesn't say if it's lithium ion, tried zooming in on the label, but it's out of focus.

May I ask your preferred supplier for Anytone?
 

golftango

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bear in mind that there seem to be two anytone divisions--one markets the 'xxxxx8r' models and the other markets the 33xx models. i buy from anytone site or hro or mtc or grapevine radio or amazon if they carry what i need.

and the battery is indeed 1800mah li-on. the alinco came with a 1500mah battery is why i put the anytone battery in it. the chargers are compatible as well, but although i think the alinco one says, 'rapid charge', it isn't. [g]

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

Sporrt

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Thanks again. ..Yeah, I ran across the '8r' site, I'll look for the other one. Import communications also came up.
 

golftango

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as i said, i haven't touched this radio since i posted originally, but i went back through the thread to see what i could discover. btw, i have the /tb/ model although that suffix seems to only be found on the label inside the radio.

i bought mine from mtc and i had installed their software so i ran it to see if it would allow mode change or freq ranges but the dropdown box to select (or detect) the model only has the dj500, /t/, and /e/ models and none of those have the expanded freq range.

next, i used the pf1+d method (obviously i posted wrongly long ago since pf2+d resets the radio) and set it to mode4. this expanded the range to the maximum. i played it safe and first did a read from the radio into my rts software, but rts won't accept a field outside the mode1 freq range.

so the dilemma in this case is that you can have your cake, but you can't eat it. you can have the wide-freq range, but rts won't let you program those freqs and, although i didn't try it, might error out if you put one into the radio and then tried to read from it into rts.

the choice is easy for me since i don't think i have any freqs above 480mhz that i just have to have and i like using rts. also, i have at least a half-dozen other radios which go up to 520mhz if i do need something up there.

hope this helps a few people still struggling with this. and i still can't remember if i actually used the mtc software before doing the keypad mod or not. the software is still on their page under the /downloads/ tab.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

golftango

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btw, has anyone else noticed that nearly every chinese radio which has two side function keys has them touch coded with either one 'nubbin' (raised area) or two nubbins?

and yes, invariably the two nubbin one is pf1 and the one nubbin one is pf2. i'm sure this is what caught me out to begin with. no idea why they've gotten this wrong for so long and i also have no idea why i'm the only one i've ever seen complain about it anywhere.

/73
 

prcguy

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Does the Alinco DJ500T do cross band repeat? If not then its a re-badged Anytone AT-UV3318A but for a little more you can get the AT-UV3318D with the same specs and full duplex and cross band repeat, or the E model which is tri-band and includes 220MHz and cross band repeat. These radios work great 136-174 and 400-512Mhz right out of the box with no programming problems using the free factory software.

I've had an Anytone AT-3318UVD and E model for over a year and they are really excellent radios. If the Alinco versions of these radios are difficult to program or causing other problems, why not just get the original Anytone from Import Communications, the actual importer of the AT-3318D and E versions.
prcguy


as i said, i haven't touched this radio since i posted originally, but i went back through the thread to see what i could discover. btw, i have the /tb/ model although that suffix seems to only be found on the label inside the radio.

i bought mine from mtc and i had installed their software so i ran it to see if it would allow mode change or freq ranges but the dropdown box to select (or detect) the model only has the dj500, /t/, and /e/ models and none of those have the expanded freq range.

next, i used the pf1+d method (obviously i posted wrongly long ago since pf2+d resets the radio) and set it to mode4. this expanded the range to the maximum. i played it safe and first did a read from the radio into my rts software, but rts won't accept a field outside the mode1 freq range.

so the dilemma in this case is that you can have your cake, but you can't eat it. you can have the wide-freq range, but rts won't let you program those freqs and, although i didn't try it, might error out if you put one into the radio and then tried to read from it into rts.

the choice is easy for me since i don't think i have any freqs above 480mhz that i just have to have and i like using rts. also, i have at least a half-dozen other radios which go up to 520mhz if i do need something up there.

hope this helps a few people still struggling with this. and i still can't remember if i actually used the mtc software before doing the keypad mod or not. the software is still on their page under the /downloads/ tab.

/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 

golftango

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i think it's a re-badged 3208 if anything. that manual matches the closest. and i did mention i had way too many radios, right? i have the 3318e (tri-band), the a8r (anilr8r) and t8r (trmn8r) as well. since i have no need for 220, the t8r is about my favorite handheld with the fm/lw/sw/air capabilities (i realize the 3318e has some or most of these bands) and many very nice touches and originally was certified for gmrs (which was the reason i bought it) but anytone evidently screwed up the application to the fcc and the certificate has been in question for nearly two years and the anytone site says the t8r is 'coming soon'. it's been coming soon for a long time, so i cherish the one i got, dispute or not.

here's the alinco product page where you can view the manual about the cross-band repeat. i have no need of that function, so i can't say off the top of my head.

http://www.alinco.com/Products/ham/ht/DJ-500/

since the alinco _is_ basically an anytone, it is in the easiest class of chinese radios to program and use. most of the 'problems' you're reading about here are for expanding the freq range whereas, as you point out, most of the other chicom radios come with full range from the factory. but the alinco has a pt90 certification which none of those but the t8r has.


/guy (73 de kg5vt | wqpz784)
 
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