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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Alinco DJ-596T / DJ-596E Help


Reviews Summary for Alinco DJ-596T / DJ-596E
Alinco DJ-596T / DJ-596E Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $???
Description: Dual-band 2m/440 MHz HT, 100 memory channels with 2 calling channels. 596T has expanded TX and RX, 596E only has TX and RX strictly inside 2m and 70cm bands. Many optional accessories available.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.alinco.com
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2E0JTP Rating: 4/5 Apr 29, 2006 02:25 Send this review to a friend
Very good but not perfect  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Alinco DJ-596E (MK.II) is a great little hand held dual band radio. It has nearly all the features I need in a modern day hand held. Battery life has proven to be excellent (with the supplied 7.6v 700mAh Ni-MH) for all day 'normal' (90% Standby/5% Listening/5% Talk)use. Accessing local repeaters has proven no more difficult with this hand held on 2m or 70cm than with previous hand helds. In regular use over the last year it has proven itself to be reliable and capable. The 'standard' (2.5mm mic/3.5mm speaker) connection makes getting audio accessories for it cheap and easy, unlike some manufacturers models with their unique audio connectors.

The single dial takes a bit of getting used to. It requires you to press a button to access the volume and squelch controls. Not a problem, just a different way of doing things.


Problems with this radio:

No repeater reverse button. This means you can't (easily) listen to the repeater input frequency. This is a bit of an oversight and is a feature I use regularly on my other radios. It's all too easy to accidentally turn the radio off while it's in your pocket. The 'power' button could do with being recessed a little. I wish they had recessed the display window into the bodywork a bit. Whenever the radio falls over, it always falls onto the plastic display window. So far (six months) no damage, but that has more to do with luck than design. It's bound to get scratched sooner or later.

I score this radio 4 out of 5 because it doesn't have the 'listen to repeater input' reverse button , the poor positioning of the display window and the poor design of the 'power' button. It doesn't deserve any less than a 4 out of 5 score as it IS a stunningly good little dual bander.
 
2E0JTP Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2006 07:02 Send this review to a friend
Well worth the money!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Alinco DJ-596E (MK.II) is a great little hand held dual band radio. It has all the features I need in a modern day hand held. Battery life is excellent (with the supplied 7.6v 700mAh Ni-MH) for all day 'normal' use.

The previous posters comment about a "simultaneous" need to press the Function button and the MW button is incorrect (at least on the "DJ-596E Mk.II" version). While holding the function button - press the MW button to lock the chosen frequency into memory. All of the (modern) handhelds I have owned have used a similar system to this.

The single dial takes a bit of getting used to. It requires you to press a button to access the volume and squelch controls. Not a problem, just a different way of doing things.

One problem with this radio: No repeater reverse button. This means you can't (easily) listen to the repeater input frequency. This is a bit of an oversight (unless somebody knows how to set this???) and is a feature I use regularly on my other radios.

I wish they had recessed the display window into the bodywork a bit. Whenever the radio falls over, it always falls onto the plastic display window. So far (six months) no damage, but that has more to do with luck than design. It's bound to get scratched sooner or later. :-(

I would really score this radio 4½ out of 5 because it doesn't have the 'listen to repeater input' button feature and the poor design of display window protection. It doesn't deserve any less than a 4½ out of 5 score as it IS a stunningly good little dual bander, so I will give it 5 out of 5 as it's official rating.
 
W2RJL Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2006 06:26 Send this review to a friend
review for Alinco DJ-596T MKII  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off, I wasn't looking to spend a whole lot of $$$. Secondly, I am also kind of partial to Yaesu (currently having a Yaesu FT-920 HF/6, a Yaesu FT-2500M 2-mtr FM mobile and previously owning: a FT-847 HF/6m/2m/70cm, a FT-840 HF and 2 FT-5100's VHF/UHF) so, after some shopping around, reading different reviews, asking people who owned the radios that I was interested in - I finally narrowed it down to my my final decision of two radios. Those two radios being: the Yaesu FT-60R or Alinco DJ-596T MKII and I'll explain my reasons for those particular 2 models.

I was looking for a HT with DCS enc/dec features included as well as a full 5-watt output plus most of the standard features that accompanied the rest of the currently marketed HT's. I wasn't too interested with the Kenwood TH-F6A, the size or it's $329.00 price along. As for Icom, they offered the IC-T90A - well, the $259.00 price was better but I had my issues with the T90 as well. I heard too that these wide-banded RX type HT's are somewhat more susceptible to intermod problems especially here in the big city of the Big Apple, NY. So, that left Yaesu FT-60R & Alinco DJ-596T MKII for my choices - I know Yaesu had the VX-7R but wasn't looking to spend $329.00 and already had 6-meters in another radio plus some other issues with the unit. Both radios worked the intermod issues fairly well - nothing like how my Radio Shack HTX-202 (now, thats a solid as a brick RX) and let's face it, if you do live in the big city then the results are going to differ from the less antenna populated surroundings.

I have spoken with people that currently owned both of these radios (Alinco & Yaesu) and they seem to hold their own. As for reading the specs - the two radios have very similar specifications and a few that just vary a bit. Both radio's are very well built and feel nice in your grip. Both radios were going for the same price ($199.00) and both sounded very good on RX (after listening to both.) and good TX audio being that I have heard both radios on the air for some time now. So, here's why I leaned more to buying Alinco... I prefer BNC connector over the SMA (Alinco has the BNC). I also heard that the FT-60R's flexible antenna recesses a little into the top of the radio making it hard to find an aftermarket SMA to fit properly onto antenna connector. Also it seems that there has been some issues (with the FT-60R) with people who unscrew the rubber antenna to then screw on the SMA/SO-239 adapter (for coax use in the car with a mobile antenna or in the base setup) then unscrew the adapter to screw back on the antenna to go back to portable use and then unscrew the antenna and screw the adapter back on - seems this process weakens the SMA connector on the FT-60R... Next up, I do not like the location of the speaker/mic input jack on the FT-60R or the fact that the FT-60R's speaker/mic is a single multi T-R-R-S 4-pin connector - it looks like it can snap off in the radio's jack very easily if bumped the wrong way. Alinco's speaker/mic (dual-pin dual conductor T/S) fits snugly into it's jack, in the top and it will be better to wear on belt if needed, don't have to worry about breaking off speaker/mic connection in the jack on the side of radio (another plus for Alinco) and the price of the accessories for the Alinco were much less on a few accessories. BTW, I didn't need to purchase the Alinco speaker/mic as the Radio Shack speaker/mic is interchangeable with this model from Alinco. I'm not sure if the RS speaker/mic will work on other Alinco HT models but I don't see why not (another plus).

Another plus for the Alinco DJ-596 T MKII is the digital voice option with the EJ-47U for the MKII versions of the DJ-596T. There is a different model digital voice board for the regular DJ-596T (not the MKII version). I believe it is the only dual-band HT at the time available with this capability well, at least at the dual-band HT's that I was looking into purchasing. Not really interested with this feature/mode at this time but it's nice to have the option for future use.

Only drawback (in my opinion) is that the stock antenna does not perform too well on the 2-meter side but performs great on 70cm. While sitting in my livingroom, I was using the same 2-mtr repeaters that I use with my Radio Shack HTX-202 (as a test) and I was only able to bring 2 out of the 5 repeaters with the DJ-596T MKII that the HTX-202 can bring up all 5 with it's factory rubber antenna and running at 1watt. I also have an aftermarket antenna I bought, going back several years ago, that has more gain than both of these OEM's factory flexible antennas. The aftermarket antenna is a Smiley SLD-2, 5/8wave, 7db gain Slim Duck 12" flexible base loaded antenna so, I gave it a try on the Alinco for 2-meter use and that worked excellent, still running at 1watt for testing purpose. I was now able to bring up every one of the same repeaters that the HTX-202 did. So, I will be looking at changing to a better gain dual-band down the road, maybe the Diamond RH-519 BNC or the Comet BNC-24. The Comet BNC-24 is a 2.5dBi gain on 2-mtrs and 3.5dBi gain on 70cm but is a 17" rat-tail whip (not crazy about the length of 17") and the Diamond RH-519 is 8" flexible with a relative gain of +3db (not dBi) for both bands. Ah, another decision to be made now about antennas, either 8" or 17" dual-band - hihi. For using the DJ-596T MKII in the house, I simply hook it up to my outside Diamond X50A dual-bander.

Bottom line: it's a very good radio for the money and works superb for my needs... If it's the famous name brand or some sort a type of status level you looking for (because you want to own a fancy smancy swanky HT) - than buy a Motorola and be done with it - hihi.

My review is my experience with this HT at this QTH and my own personal preference of features that I was looking for along with a nice price tag. I am not saying you will have all the same results as I have had so, do your homework, read reviews, ask questions, read the specifications on each radio and if you can get to try out both these radios or any radio you are interested in buying before hand - then that's another plus. Good Luck in your decision...

73's for now, Rich W2RJL
 
VK3HHJ Rating: 4/5 Jan 23, 2006 23:58 Send this review to a friend
Easy Radio To Use  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned this radio for about 12 months.I have found it very easy to use and program.I have added an after market 2m antenna to improve on the supplied antenna.
The only thing I don't like is the battery condition indicator.It just doesn't work.It shows full charge and doesn't alter when the battery runsdown.Saying this,the battery is very good and lasts very well.
This is the first Alinco radio I have bought and I would consider other products they make after my good experiences with this radio.
 
KD5UGS Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2005 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Great radio on a budget!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think the DJ596T is the easiest radio to use since I bought mine from R & L Electronics.It's a snap to program & it is great for a person on a tight budget plus 100 memories is enough for me anyway,hi hi.
Great radio overall!!!!!
 
KC0UAZ Rating: 4/5 Mar 16, 2005 06:45 Send this review to a friend
Not a bad unit for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Somewhat generic looking. dual band radio with single band monitoring/display. Extremely user friendly, programming being very easy. The actual xmit power (UHF was 4.23w, VHF 3.63w)according to our R2670 Service Monitor. That was with the cheesy 9.6v 700mAh battery that came with unit. With 13.8v dc power, book states it will xmit at 5w. Recommend changing to aftermarket gain antenna, but communicates fine with factory antenna. Good Rig for $209.00.
 
BILLFELLERKC2HWG Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2004 11:20 Send this review to a friend
UNDER-RATED RADIO!!!!!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I HAVE HAD NO BAD EXPERIENCES WITH ALINCO,STILL TALK WITH NAKY, ONE OF THE TECHS.....I'VE HAD THE DJ-V5TH AS WELL AND NO PROBLEMS....ALINCO MAKES A BATTERY FOR THIS MODEL AT 1500MA VERY NICE....GREAT REPORTS ON AUDIO ON TRANSMIT...I USE A DIAMOND DUCKIE WITH THIS MODEL FOR A LITTLE BETTER GAIN.....SOLID FEEL....TAKES SOME GETTING USED TO BUT GOOD BANG FOR BUCK RATIO.....
 
DO9FM Rating: 4/5 Jul 30, 2003 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Fair price and good modulation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ve bought my Alinco DJ-596e before three weeks.
Price:200 in Germany.
Good:
Modulation; BNC socket; Crossband shift; available battery case; nice and fair price
Bad points:
Volume and Squelsh operation; The external current socket seal can`t stay at its place. Its a bad design.

Question:
What does the seperate display beans for received signal level mean???

 
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