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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Alinco DJ-500T Help

Reviews Summary for Alinco DJ-500T
Alinco DJ-500T Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $130
Description: 144MHz/430MHz FM semi-duplex dualband 5W transceiver. IP54 sealed. 1000mW audio. Wide/narrow tx/rx. 200 memories. VOX.
Product is in production.
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DF3FX Rating: 3/5 Feb 19, 2018 01:34 Send this review to a friend
Not much better than Chinese  Time owned: more than 12 months

I have that HT now for several years and wanted to comment my likes & dislikes.
Bought it for travelling to have a Dualbander with FM Radio in a handy form factor as my VX-2 died.

First of all even if its branded Alinco it cant hide the fact that its Chinaware.
(ant. plug, Commercial signalling, bad bad usability of functions and menues)

- You get nice radio for few bucks
- doesnt perform so bad
- feels good in hand
- powerful audio
- good modulation audio

Cons ( always more thant pros ;-)
- Bad stock antenna and if you are not into commercial or chinese radios it has "another antenna connector than the rest of your stuff".
So prepare to add an adapter to the buy list.
- really awefull usability - Theres nothing logical in it and programming it by hand is a pain in the ass. Even after years I have the PDF manual on my smartphone for looking up howto do xyz
- programming software ( got it working 1 time - never since ( VBCOMM error - no solution)
- original programming software is aweful
- S-Meter is or 0 or full signal ...

My advice even if you get a good radio for the money do yourself the favour an buy a cheap one from the big 3! FT-60 for ex.
W8STU Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2018 09:52 Send this review to a friend
GREAT HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the Alinco DJ500T from HRO. I also purchased a Diamond SRJ77CA. I have a couple of those Chinese hts, but I wasn't very impressed with them. HRO had this ht on sale for $92.00. I decided to give the radio a try.

I was able to manually program the ht with no problems. All I did was to watch an YouTube video. The speaker is clear and loud. With the Diamond antenna and 5 watts I was able to get into the local net from my basement full quietting. I really like this ht. I would highly recommend this ht over the Chinese radios.73, Stu W8STU
KE2SJ Rating: 1/5 Jan 21, 2018 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Never Again, and I wanted to love this radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was excited because I had found a seemingly high-quality dual-band HT in my price range that wasn't a BaoFeng. I agonized over whether I should spend the extra money on the Yaesu FT-60R but, in the end, opted for newer technology and rolled the dice on Alinco.


1. The Alinco feels solid in your hand. Nothing flimsy here. The unit comes with a fast drop-in charger for its medium-sized battery. There are not many market or after market accessories available, but the ones that are relatively inexpensive.

2. Front-end audio is a powerhouse.

3. Based on experience alone, the stuck duckie wasn't terrible. I still replaced it with a Diamond and bought myself an inexpensive what-seems-to-be-a-1-or-2db or so.

3. Signal quality is much better/cleaner than the Baofeng, as is the panel programming, which will likely save a new ham from frustration.

4. So many bells and whistles that the manual doesn't even bother describe them. This should really be in the negative column as the manual is usefulness.

5. PROGRAMMING OPTIONS: (1) Programming from the panel is a bit of a pain, mainly because U.S. repeater frequency offsets aren't built into to the radio, and it's a big pain to scroll the knob back and forth between 0, 600, and 5000 at small-step intervals. And there is no CHIRP at this time, which is unfortunate; (2) You could spend $50 for the RT-Systems cable and software which I'm told work great; (3) You could spend the $40 for the Alinco cable and download the free Alinco software, which is horrible and barely supports cutting-and-pasting; or (4) You could spend $20 on ebay for the American-made FTDI chip cable sold by ebay seller bluemax49ers, download the horrible free Alinco software, and then download the free aftermarket software to give you a hand. To do the latter, You'll need Chrome to browse to and allow Chrome to translate the page from German for you. You'll find the software there and figure out how to use it with the bad Alinco stuff.

6. Sensitive Rx


1. The battery life was horrible. After cycling the LiOn battery a few times, I wend out trying to key up receivers to assess my range from my new QTH. About 2 hours of this at full (5w) with one or two brief QSOs killed the battery. The same thing the next day on a fresh and the same thing. A few days later, on a fresh charge, I had a few substantive QSOs, some ECHOLINK through a local node, and then kaput.

2. The dealer told me to return the unit to Remtronix, the USA Alinco distributor, warranty repair. Meanwhile, I engage in email tech support with Remtronix's technician with no luck. I send everything back to Remtronix for repair for the holidays, being assured a 2-3 turnaround days after receipt. No such luck.

3. 2 to 2+ weeks later, I am told that no problems were found, and that the radio would be returned and Remontronix would keep the old battery for further testing and give me a new battery. This seemed like a fine solution. Until the radio came backed and the radio started asked screwy and was no longer programmable any more. After some surly email exchanges with their reps, Remontronix admitted that one of their techs had accidentally performed some irreversible mod on the radio. The could not be undone and the rep offered no advice on how I cold render the radio programmable again. And since documentation is so poor, the radio was essentially bricked until after 3 or 4 days of messing around, translating web pages from other languages, reading sparse forums, etc. Basically, I have to convince the lousy software that I have a have a difference model Alinco than I actually have. This works... SO FAR. By now my radio was out of warranty with the dealer although that's what the surly dealer claims I should have done all along, even though the dealer told me to send it directly to Remtronix.

4. I took the radio out last night and after 45 minutes of reprograming and an hour of unsuccessful of EchoLink contacts, the new battery conked about. Imagine what would have happened if I had actually had a real QSO. I would have last five minutes before having to pull out a newly-charged battery! And their rep had the gall to tell me that they frequency test every unit before it leaves the hope before it leaves the shop. This is patently false since a freq check would have caught their tech's screw up.

5. Remtronix's most recent rude email says I'm the only person to experience such issues since "last Thanksgiving through X-Mas." I'm not sure if he's referring to its tech's screw-up or the radio's battery-raining defect. Either way, Alinco, way to go, blame the customer, a ham of 30 years. We are working out some details now regarding what appears appear an offer to replace. After two months, I'm just really tired, tired of this. I wish I could have fallen in love with this radio. I really, really did.
KG5IF Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2017 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Great value for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
My XYL and I have owned two DJ-500T radios for > a year. We have found the Alinco DJ-500T to be reliable and rugged. The HT has received good reports on transmit and the receiver is sensitive and I have had no selectivity problems in high RF environments. The radio comes with a well written manual, and drop in charger. In normal operation I can get a full days worth of operation with 80 percent receive and 20 percent transmit with battery saver enabled. Programming software downloaded from Alinco is adequate. Chirp programming software is not compatible with the DJ-500T as of yet. Programming local repeaters and simplex works well by hand or via the programming software and is straight forward. Price on these radios are 90-100 dollars US with drop in charger. I feel they are better than the low cost Chinese imports and I feel you get your moneys worth.. Id buy these again. I did buy an optional microphone and two spare batteries. You do have to buy separate belt clips for the spare batteries.
SWLCHRIS Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2017 18:10 Send this review to a friend
Great beginner rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got my ham call KC3ITX a week ago and had this ready for the local nets. The indoor rubber ducky signal is lacking but with a mag mount on a window unit I was good to go ,solid signal.
Easy to learn and the manual was surprisingly clear enough to understand.I set up the local nets and repeaters in memory using the software and it was pretty easy to do.
I'll buy another one if I need one.
PETER6 Rating: 4/5 Sep 5, 2016 15:21 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very good modulation, sensitivity, speaker is loud and crystal clean.

I have 3 this radios (DJ-500E).

The first is from first series (s/n number 1865): Rating 5+, all work perfectly

The second radio (s/n number cca 2300):
Rating 3, S-meter dont work, main dial switch skips the channels.

The third radio (s/n number 4399):
Rating 4, S-meter work only in laboratory, outdoors is very unreliably - shows only 0 or 9. Others work perfectly.

Great Radio, but the S-meter...I would pay more, if the S-meter work.
W1KJL Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2016 10:43 Send this review to a friend
It's a steal at $99  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I love this radio so much, I bought 2 of them. I used to be a huge fan of the Yaesu FT-60R, but this radio changed my mind. Is it as full featured as the Yaesu? No, but what it lacks in features it makes up for in other areas.

This radio is smaller and lighter than the FT-60R, seems durable, has better selectivity and sensitivity and the Li-ion batteries last a long time! The audio is clear and loud with its powerful speaker. My audio reports have also been very good. Accessories are cheap too! Programming is a bit tedious by hand and not as easy as the FT-60R, but I use the RT Systems software and cable and it's a breeze with that. The only negative I have with it, is it only has 200 memory channels. For a bare bones, basic dual band HT, I think this one is great!
W9KHZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2016 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Great radio-Great price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This little HT is a fantastic radio! I've always had great service from Alinco products but this one is exceptional. Very responsive, excellent out put and the speaker is very loud if you need it. I am surprised at the low price. Night and day better than the cheap chi-com radios. It is now my EDC HT and I leave my older Icom t-90A at home. I bought a Diamond 15" whip antenna and I can hit repeaters over 20 miles away. The dual frequency display is a plus too.
W9JN Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2016 20:13 Send this review to a friend
NICE RADIO  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
howdy I've only had this radio for a week. Programming is done with RT Systems software and cable. Of course I'm able to program using the on board menu. I had two of the Chinese Bxxxxx HT's. Never again. The audio on Tx and Rx are excellent. I changed the antenna to a longer whip. the new antenna did work a bit better. For the most past the original is just fine on local repeaters that are within 15 miles or so. I'm using 5 watts. I only have charged the battery once. I will see how it preforms after a couple more charge cycles The belt clip is sturdy and holds securely. At $99 from Universal Radio this is a bargain.
KC2QQR Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2016 16:08 Send this review to a friend
Solidly Built Handheld  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had this radio for about 2 months now as my every day carry radio. What I like about it, is the sturdy feel of it. The radio is actually a commercial grade radio, that is modified for amateur bands, which can be easily modified using Alinco's free software. The software is kind of cheesy, but it does support all modifications of the radio, which is nice. I bought a relatively inexpensive programming cable from Amazon, and it allows me to easily program the radio. On the fly, the radio is not that hard to program compared to some radios I have encountered. I tested it on my power meter, and it is about 5.7 Watts output on a fully charged battery.

The stock antenna is OK, but not the greatest. I recommend buying a different antenna. I wanted smaller, so I went with a Comet SMA209J, which works well since the receive on this radio is outstanding. But for longer distances, I recommend a bigger antenna. I use this mostly for local repeater work, so the little whip is good for me.

The only knock I have is that Alinco should have recessed the display. I can see it getting scratched quite easily, especially if it gets dropped.

The menu structure is not badly organized, but I have seen worse with other rigs.

The extended battery is inexpensive, but you need to buy the belt clip separately. However, you can charge the extra battery in the supplied charging base while using the radio, so you will always have a charged battery handy. The battery charges from dead to full in about 4 hours.

Overall, if you are looking for a heavy duty HT, this radio is perfect.
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