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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Alinco DR-135TP Help

Reviews Summary for Alinco DR-135TP
Alinco DR-135TP Reviews: 40 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $320.00
Description: 2M Mobile FM Radio with built-in 1200/9600 bps TNC
Product is not in production.
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VK3ZAZ Rating: 3/5 Mar 13, 2017 23:15 Send this review to a friend
ARPS PAKET u/s  Time owned: more than 12 months
The EU TNC waste of money wont digipeat.
Setting up external GPS also PIA through the audio front plug.
Yanked out the TNC and fitted ARGENT never looked back.
Put one into the second Dr135 now as VK5RSE brilliant.
Save your money even included the TNC from Alinco waste of space.
K7RHT Rating: 3/5 Oct 2, 2016 11:10 Send this review to a friend
Not a bad product, just bad documentation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ok, first just remember this was written by someone who has Japanese as a first language. They read and write from left to right so some things get missed in translation. So having said that, the instructions on the squelch say full open. I would suspect most people think that means 0 squelch, but not true, turn full right to 20. That will allow the tnc to trigger. Secondly, make sure and go into terminal mode (on RMS Winlink go to help and open the simple terminal mode). Then do a mycall and make sure your call sign is in, I find that it is best to check each time you power it on as sometimes it does not stay at least with RMS. otherwise it should just work straight up so long as your software is setup right.
-73 K7RHT
VK3ZAZ Rating: 2/5 Apr 7, 2016 16:50 Send this review to a friend
CONFUSED  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just bought the newer DR135TP from HRO with the idea of a simpler mobile APRS installation elliminating my TT4 Byonics and leads everywhere WRONG!
Apart from the need to download a 29 page manual (written in letter) and shrunk to A4 and then some online advice from K0NR thanks, I am still not transmitting pakets.
Also the TNC listing of commands are now outdated in line with new APRS evolution, smart beaconing, QRM and the like.
I am debating to give the EJ41U the flick and put in the aftermarket one.
Other issue is to run GPS you cant use D9 Clamshell you have to use the supplied 2.5mm plug and cut off your clamshell on the GPS5 Byonics and then insert the GPS through the front data port, which is also what you need to do to program the radio using the RT systems dongle USB to serial converter and their licenced CD.
All in all still not transmitting pakets and the estimated cost on top of base radio IMO does not justify the purchase given what you can do with a TT4 or Tiny 3 aftermarket for $70. 2 cents, watch this space. If anyone has advice as to how to make this transmit I would like to hear from you,, and YES it is in PAKET MODE the little squiggle is on the screen.

2E1VAR Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2013 16:16 Send this review to a friend
Chuffed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I always avoided Alinco stuff thinking of it as cheap compared to the big 3. Owned my 135 for about 6 months now. Yes it runs hot, so what ? easy to use, great RX, great TX reports, beautiful display, AM Airband RX that works really well, Alpha tags. I love it :) only niggles are the scan speed is a bit slow but no worse than Yaesu and no repeater reverse. I am now looking for a 435 to make a set !
KJ6ZWL Rating: 0/5 Apr 6, 2013 19:01 Send this review to a friend
Internal TNC Failed real message passing testing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the DR-135TP MKIII with the EJ-41U and tested the unit with some simple text message to see if it would be usable as field station in an ARES/RACES environment. The test results are a total failure on messages over 500 bytes. The baseline parameters that I used were ones we use on a KPC-3. No go. No matter what I tried to tweak the parameters to make improve the results it did not help. If anyone has had better results as non-APRS packet station I would love to hear about it, but, as of right now I give up. I may keep the radio, but, the KPC-3 is the winner here. Also, never heard back from Alinco support.

KA8EMJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2012 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Good mobile rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this rig for over a year and have had no problems with it. It is easy to use and seems to me to be well built. The knobs have a sturdy feel and the display is simple and easy to read. The entire frame is a mostly a heat sink and seems very solid. The programming is very easy ( hardly used the manual), but I still wish you could make changes to a memmory channel without having to re-program that channel over again. With that said, I am happy with it and would gladly buy another one if needed.
M1ERV Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2011 02:33 Send this review to a friend
Pleasant Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Simple to set up,nice to use.Gets warm on 20watts mid.setting.Excellent basic radio.
4S6DHN Rating: 4/5 May 26, 2011 21:13 Send this review to a friend
Ok sort of a Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hmmm i wonder what others are thinking about this radio? I had my rig for about a year but started to Tx about 3 weeks ago. Rx is pretty good but as mentioned in another review the speaker sucks. this is probably due to the fact that the speaker is top mounted rather than front mounted, Tx is ok too considering that i use a indoor slimjim with 5W to reach a repeater about 40km away. the only problem is that the rig turns iteself into a grill after about 10 - 15 minutes of use on 5 or 10w. (once i got carried away on a qso and was Txing on full power for over 30 minutes and needless to say the rig was smoking hot) the menus are annoying to go through and the lack planing from alinco makes this a 4 out of 5.

over all a good rig with a solid feel. if you have the necessary space on your desk use an external speaker.

KE7JFA Rating: 1/5 Oct 20, 2009 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Over rated, over priced.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Replaced mine twice because it could not handle heavy duty cycles.
Get's hot running only 5 watts.
Feels cheap and delicate.
The audio is not that great, the menu is complicated.
The price is insane for this radio and would advise to stay away from all alinco junk.
Spend your money on a real radio. Buy a Yeasu.
N8WCT Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2009 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Great for packet!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ive had 3 of these rigs over the years, and feel qualified to comment.

First, things I like;

This is a lot of radio for $180. Geared towards packet (APRS) this radio supports an internal TNC, and you can get Alinco’s unit installed for an extra $110, however, there is some cross talk through the speaker when in packet mode, but it is negligible.

Argent Data also makes an internal TNC ($75) for this radio, and it is designed specifically for the APRS mobile users, and it works quite well.

There is a front mounted data jack that supports those small puck GPSRs. It even has a 5vdc power out line, so no other connectivity is needed to interface a GPS…very nice.

This rig also sports a rear mounted DB-9 serial connection. This thing has lots of hats…it can be used to hook up an external TNC, with a standard serial cable. This is nice, as you don’t have to disconnect your mic, or anything else for that matter…just tune to your packet freq, turn on your TNC, and that’s it! Another cool feature of this setup, is that you can turn up the volume, and listen to the packet traffic…the audio input level on the DB-9 is preset…the front volume has no affect on the internal signaling.

This port is also used when an internal TNC is installed, as the serial connection to your computer. Again, very nice and clean.

The port can also be used to interface a GPS too. And along with an internal TNC, and a Garmin 350, you can have a APRS tracker system, complete with icons and messaging. Sure beats the hell out of a $1200 Kenwood/AVmap setup. :)

And lastly, this is the port you use when programming from you computer, which is also a nice benefit.

This rig also has great TX audio. I regularly get compliments/queries on it. Ive done echo tests on it, and it does sound very well.

This radio also has a low amp sense wire that you hook to an ignition source, and it will automatically turn your radio on/off with the ignition key. Another feature I like and use…who hasn’t ever come out to dead battery, after leaving some ham gear on. :)

The last positive mention I have, is this rig has an alarm built into it. I haven’t used it, but it looks like you put this looped cable around the steering wheel, and it terminates in the front data port. If the line is cut or unplugged, the unit will go to a specified frequency, and transmit. Like I said, I don’t use that, but it is clever.

Now, things I don’t like;

Seems cheaply made. Yes, I know its an inexpensive Alinco, but it had to de said. The Lexan on the front is VERY soft. The first time you wipe it, if there is even a small amount of dust present, it WILL scratch.

There is no REV function or button. I like to check the inputs of folks for a number of good reasons, and cant do it easily. I can set up the input freq on the VFO, then switch back using the VFO button, but that’s a pain to do every time I change repeaters.

The PA runs hot on high power and/or high duty cycle. I actually burnt one up using it as a digi for APRS. If your going to run it hard, mount a fan on it.

Small DTMF buttons. I have big hands, so others may not have an issue, but the mic buttons on EMS-57 are some of the smallest Ive ever seen.

The speaker sucks…plain and simple, it stinks. It reminds me of those cheap AM walkie-talkies we had as kids, I kid you not. Unless its going to be in a quite shack, you’ll need an external speaker.

It has a digital squelch, that you have to go into the setup to set. And its one size fits all…if you change repeaters and/or freqs, you have to go back into setup to change it. Its really not that difficult to do, but I would prefer a dial.

The s-meter (if you can even call it that) is a joke. Anything from S3 and up, is “full scale”. It is almost worthless as any type of indicator.

Now with all that said, I need to quantify…I do realize were talking about an $180 rig, so some of the cons are inherent to the price level.

So, knowing it is, what it is, I still give it a 5/5. Methinks the pros outweigh cons enough to justify such a rating. I would recommend this rig, especially for packet use, but only after addressing the fore mentioned “dislikes”.


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