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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Alinco VHF FM Transceiver DR-B185 Help

Reviews Summary for Alinco VHF FM Transceiver DR-B185
Alinco VHF FM Transceiver DR-B185 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $169.00
Description: 2 Meter FM Transceiver with high stability PLL synthesizer, newly designed power circuit that
puts 85W max Power out, 7-digit alphanumeric display, a wide variety of scanning features. EMS-
57 DTMF Hand Microphone.

Transmits from 144-147.995 MHz and has receive coverage from 136-173.995 MHz. If features
alphanumeric display (up to seven characters). Two power outputs (85/5 watts) are available.

85 watts, H/L power settings
500 memory channels, Front panel Speaker, Wide and Narrow FM modes, 39 tone CTCSS/DCS/2-Tone
encode and decode, Offset direction and frequency variable, Keypad lockout/ Revere function,
Product is in production.
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ROCK1N Rating: 4/5 Dec 31, 2017 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just bought this radio from HRO Plano Texas for $155, so far very impressed, the 85w is allowing me to hit repeaters over 27 miles away. I reside in the DFW Metroplex and have lots of obstructions. This is my second mobile radio and I have been using it as home base. I recommend this radio for anyone who is starting out on the hobby, the sound is very clear and the radio feels solid, well build and the price is great.
N5LAZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 16, 2017 08:40 Send this review to a friend
Somewhat of a specialty rig, but working fine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this radio for mostly simplex use in a rural setting, where I need every watt I can get. The transmitter is stout and produces all of the promised power. Audio quality during both transmit and receive is on par with other mobile rigs I've used. My unscientific assessment of sensitivity shows no deficiencies. Programming without the aid of a PC is very easy. The old-school style mic connector seems to promise durability. I like the way squelch adjustments are managed in the absence of a dedicated knob. Pressing the dedicated sql button converts the main dial into a temporary squelch knob - adjust it, then just press the sql button again to exit. I also like the lock switch on the mic (which locks only the mic, not the radio). A gripe is the extreme heat held by the heat-sink during extended QSO. The design trend seems to be large heat-sinks without integrated cooling fans. I get that it makes for a quiet radio with less to wear-out, but still, I believe this radio begs for some forced cooling (or to be larger, with a more massive heat-sink). When first trying the rig mobile I had it laying on the front seat of my car, heat-sink down. Admittedly there was little air circulation and the transmitter turned itself off after an extended transmission; but no damage was done. There is no mention of this feature in the manual, but a look at the schematic (Alinco on-line) indicates a temp sensor. Lesson learned. Overall a nice and potent VHF rig for the price, meeting more of a niche need for those actually requiring higher power. For urban and suburban use, I believe owners would find themselves wanting for an intermediate power setting, which this rig does not offer. It's either an anemic (for a mobile) 5 watts, or an 85 watt hot-running powerhouse. But that works for me operationally. The real test of this rig will be mobile use during the summer months, where its own heat will create a really tough operating environment. If the radio can last years through that, then fine. If it can't then I would say it's under-built. Only time will tell. I'm glad this radio was available. Recommended (for some)
KD4ONT Rating: 3/5 Aug 16, 2016 00:36 Send this review to a friend
Big mouth little ears  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It seems like this rig is very similar to the kenwood 481. Pics of the mobo are similar. The kw is made in China. This one probably is too. 85w output is nothing to shake a stick at. Simplex, I give distant stations more signal than they are giving me. I have a Larsen nmo 150 2m 5/8 roof mounted. The rx doesn't match the tx range. It out talks its receiver. Since the programming jack is the external speaker, I tried plugging in a mono external speaker. The jack has 3 contacts. Plugging a mono speaker in disables all mic keypad functions except channel up down. Internal front firing speaker can but loud, but anemic in frequency range for its size. It handles mobile driving rfi kinda average, even though it is kinda deaf. Like the kw 481, memory channels also store the power output. You have to program 2 memories if you want a high and low output choice. If you ragchew, the fanless heat sink will get VERY HOT! Put a big fan on it if you want to keep it cool.

Is it better than a 50w icom? Tough call. The rx in a 50w rig seems to match its output power better. If you run simplex, and want to be heard, then this might be for you. Accept that you won't be able to hear as good as you can tx.
K4PEW Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2015 01:55 Send this review to a friend
Great 2m FM Transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this for Simplex operation due to it's 85 watt transmit power. Works terrific with excellent receive sensitivity, ease of programming, and DTMF mic that is included.

Excellent user manual, and free downloadable cloning/PC programming software from manufacturer.

On the negative side:
No cooling fan and most of body is a finned heat sink that gets really hot, so I installed externally-powered 5w scrap laptop fan on base.

Only two power-out choices: 5 watt and 85 watts and needs to be something in-between.

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