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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Alinco DJ-X3 Help


Reviews Summary for Alinco DJ-X3
Alinco DJ-X3 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $200
Description: Alincos new handheld 0,1-1300MHz 700 memorys WFM/FM/AM
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alinco.com
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TA2EI Rating: 1/5 Nov 17, 2008 12:48 Send this review to a friend
Dissappointment  Time owned: more than 12 months
Alinco declares that their DJ-X3 receives from 100 kHz to 1,299.995MHz at their web site.
Unfortunately DJ-x3 has an odd step size at LW. i.e. after 153 kHz it tunes to 153, 162, 164, 171, 189,207,209,216,218,227,234 kHz. There are some "no-tune" areas. 18 kHz between 171 and 189 kHz, 15 kHz between 209 and 216 kHz etc.. There is not any information about this trouble at their web site.
Anyway, DJ-X3 is not a sensitive radio at LW, MW, SW and air band.
It is not suitable for a HAM.
 
WHOCHEE Rating: 4/5 Nov 29, 2006 21:38 Send this review to a friend
dj-x3s  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I didn't realize my luck of having a aor 8200 as a base station scanner until I got a uniden 92, and I soon after rid myself of that junk. Then I came across a good ebay deal of the dj-x3s. These things take a little to get use to but I like it much better than uniden. The s part of it means that pl tones are working. It seems to be nice so far but the volume really bites (to low) and so does the antenna, but most in this price range do also. I would say it is a decent secondary scanner so you can keep the nice one at home. As far at the clicking of the thing as mentioned somewhere in here, that bs. Consider this one a good deal if had under $80
 
DEMARREN Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2005 11:05 Send this review to a friend
great scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Verry good scanner.
The good
Baterie live with 3 NiMh 2200 Mh= around 16 hour.full power.No saving mode used.
good FM and am mode.
for Am see below
memory stay without bateries for aprox 55 min.
so an spare set is no luxe exept if you have an verry quick sharger.
Be awhere if you buy an NiMh loader you can charge one baterie at a time,you only need 3 cells so if you buy an cheap charger you need to charge 2 baterie in a time,so you have one left over.
But I think NiMh cells are better then the baterie adapter.
and defently cheaper.
This unit look verry nice and the lcd is verry good.
programming is easy but abit od.
the speaker is good,verry smal,but give good tone
afcours you have stereo,but you have to take thad with shalt.
afterall most recieving are in mono.

could be better.
scanning is slow ,defently if you like to scan at step 5
no direct in put,you have to go to the freq and save it.
but this is no suprise becouse there is no number pad.
Am could be better you can here clicks when scanning.
but then for the low prise thads no suprise and the unit perform verry well.
take it easy with you also.
Be awhere this is an exelent scanner.
with no haps between bands.
but it take you an day or two before you master it all.
Exelent Alinco,good job.

 
CBFRANK Rating: 4/5 Apr 11, 2005 02:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Value for the Money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned this radio for more than a year and I still love it. After some use the interface is a minor problem. The portability is excelent and the hability to use any kind of power source is a must. You can use it plugged in or with batteries (rechargeable or not).

I pretend to buy an external disconne (portable) to get more range.

I'm looking for an home made PC interface, so if there's anyone with it and like to share my email is ffb@sapo.pt

Thanks
 
EA3EWR Rating: 0/5 Oct 2, 2004 16:57 Send this review to a friend
Software does not work  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
DJ-X3 software simply crash with Windows XP.

No answer from Alinco after several request.

:-(
 
KH7L Rating: 4/5 May 14, 2004 13:45 Send this review to a friend
Nice little scanner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Good scanner, but as everyone said, a bit difficult to program; the Icom R2 or R5 is easier. But I like the FM stereo with this scanner. The case gets scratches and dings very easily, I think by just pushing my thumbnail into it. Overall, a good nice package to play with. I like the fact that it can go up to 1.2ghz. too.
 
N5NSL Rating: 3/5 Nov 2, 2003 07:15 Send this review to a friend
Good Radio, but controls need to be learned  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Alinco DJ-X3 is a wide-band scanner which is continuously tunable from 100kHz to 1.3GHz (cellular frequencies permanently locked out for USA versions), with additional modes for receiving the AM, FM, and TV broadcast bands. I liked the radio for it's small size, to the point display, interchangeable battery packs, and physically simple control layout. There is many things this radio can do, this only lightly addresses it's many capabilities.


The Good:

The radio also has internal ferrite bar antenna which is used for frequencies below 30MHz. On the ferrite alone, it will pick up local stations in town and in rural areas DX broadcast AM and stronger shortwave stations. The radio has two menu selectable settings whether to use the built-in ferrite or the external antenna for broadcast AM and shortwave. For frequencies above 30MHz, it has the option to use either the earphone cable or external connector as the RF input. By using the internal ferrite and earphone cable, the radio can cleanly receive signals without an antenna connected to the external SMA antenna connector.

When scanning, the radio can scan either 10 (memory) or 20 (VFO) frequencies per second, and can scan by memory (up to 700 entries), or scan linearly by a preset step. The memory entries may be individually locked out and store both frequency and demodulation mode (AM, narrow FM, or wide FM).

In addition to VFO and memory tuning modes, the DJ-X3 has additional tuning modes for broadcast AM, FM, and TV. In the AM tuning mode it demodulates AM and tunes from the standard 520 to 1620 kHz. In the FM tuning mode it demodulates wideband FM and tunes from 87.5 to 107.9 MHz. In the TV tuning mode, it demodulates wideband FM at the audio carriers for NTSC television channels 2 through 69.

The radio also has memory clone capability between two DJ-X3s, where the memory contents of one DJ-X3 can be copied to another DJ-X3 using an ordinary stereo 1/8" patch cable. The radio's frequency memory is also PC-programmable through a special cable available from Alinco for $35.00 (or tech-user buildable if one has the schematic and tools). But cellular-band and descrambler modes are permanently ignored/unavailable for USA versions due to legal restrictions and ECPA laws forbidding the reception of cell phone narrowband FM.


The Interesting:

The radio has a great amount of functionality, all accessible by only seven controls. Except for linear tuning, band mode, scan start/stop, and power on/off, every other function is accessed by various combinations of the buttons and rotating and pressing the knob. It takes some time with the radio to learn the button combinations, but the radio is moderately easy (and slightly tedious in a few circumstances) to use and program once the combinations are understood.

Also the free-rotating main knob is detented by a gear which gives a tactile click every 18-degrees of rotation (20 clicks per full revolution of the knob). The knob also makes an action only at these 18-degree points and in rotation controls volume, squelch, frequency linear tuning, and parameter setting. The knob also functions as a button and in pressing the button selects among various parameters including volume, squelch, step rate and 17 other control parameters. There is a concave dot at the top of the knob, but it's meaningless with respect to the knob's functionality.

When in wideband FM mode, it will demodulate 38kHz carrier stereo whereever it occurs, not just on the "standard" FM broadcast band. This is useful for tuning in "wireless speakers" from VHF and UHF frequencies, short-range intermediate transmitters around 49MHz which use FM broadcast stereo modulation mode, and some FM signals in other countries which transmit below 87.5 MHz.

The internal ferrite antennas are influenced by large antennas connected to the ring of the antenna connector. RF from the antenna will have some inductive coupling to the ferrite coil from the unavoidable near proximity of the ferrite and external antenna. This only seems to occur when a moderately big antenna (200 foot wire in town) is connected. Connecting a BNC-ended whip doesn't collect enough RF to allow inductive coupling. On shortwave, this increases sensitivity when a direct connection will overload the receiver and using ATT will overattenuate the signal.

External antennas are connected through a SMA connector, which is a new kind of a "sub-sub-mini-UHF" connector along the threaded coaxial philosophy of the TNC and mini-UHF connector designs. Alinco, Yaesu, and many other (mostly Japanese) manufacturers are increasingly using SMA connectors for antennas. The radio's SMA connection works well with BNC equipment through a SMA-to-BNC adapter. Unless one intends to use only the supplied antenna or the few SMA antennas out there, a SMA to BNC adapter is required to use most of the available external antennas. Also BNC connectors don't require screw-in threading like SMA connectors do (and thus attach/detach more quickly).

Tuning is generally linear, with options to tune by a particular kHz step per click of the knob: 5, 6.25, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100, or Auto. The user can also select the 1's or 10's digit in the MHz portion of the display and tune up or down 1 or 10 MHz per knob click. This accelerates tuning significantly. Not all frequencies in a range can be tuned, but in the AM , narrow FM, and wide FM demodulation modes, the small gaps are insignificant. Most of the easily tunable frequencies usually fall on frequencies used in band plans, but various interstitial frequencies can be tuned, but with more work.

The radio tunes shortwave, but only down to 5kHz steps and then only in a wideband AM mode. While it does tune shortwave signals, it can't tune down to the kilohertz or narrow-AM, sideband, or CW modulation.

Also, the single mono speaker is center-mounted behind the display with two ports on either side of the display for the sound to escape the case. Although there are two ports and the radio internally does have two audio channels (right and left), the speaker corresponds to both channels combined (R+L) of the two-channel audio. (The right and left ports are unrelated to the internal right and left audio channels.) On good headphones the sound quality is good. The built in speaker has the sound quality typical of a small mono speaker. At maximum volume on FM broadcast, the audio amplifier clips very slightly, almost unnoticably. For voice communications, the speaker works very well.



The Bad:
The radio is actually an excellent receiver, but I've never met a perfect machine of any kind anywhere. Following nature, the DJ-X3 has a few problems and irritations. Most of the problems are very minor, with some of the problems common to many scanners.

Among the minor problems I found were the idea of combinational use of the few buttons. Although the radio is very easy to use /after learning the buttons/, the initial experience with the buttons is confusing--the control philosophy of the radio is not straightforward or similar to prevailing control philosophies, and going among the modes and frequencies can be tedious in some circumstances.

Other minor problems regarded some of the case-design issues. The battery pack contacts the spring-loaded belt clip. As-is, removing the inserting the back-mounted clip will tend to scrape off the paint where the pack contacts the clip. (This was easily corrected with a fashionably cut and set piece of electrical tape to protect the section of the pack which contacts the belt clip.) Also, the earphone and external power jacks are covered by rubber covers, but an unused opening in the case next to the top mounted earphone jack is also covered by a rubber cover piece which looks very much like the earphone jack's cover, isn't intended to be removed, but has the same general shape and retaining strap like the earphone's cover. This cover once removed is extremely difficult to reseat back into the case.

Also, the main knob's detented click is relatively loud compared to other detented knobs from most other manufacturers. In typical use, the knob itself emits clicking and zipping noises which can be heard up to about 60 to 100 unobstructed feet away in a quiet environment. When making wide frequency changes and/or multiple mode adjustments, such changes can entail about 20 to 30 seconds of clicking and zipping noises as the user operates the knob. For those not listening to the radio, all that clicking and zipping may become irritating.

Also, the radio can have some intermodulation issues where a transmission on one frequency appears at a different frequency on the DJ-X3. When scanning, the signal being received is almost always, but not certainly, on the indicated frequency. (I've seen this on other makes and models of scanners also, so this isn't unique to the DJ-X3.) My commentary about DX-ing AM and shortwave in rural, but not urban area referred to intermodulation when transmitters are nearby. When in urban area near powerful transmitters connected to very large antennas, the radio will cheerfully exhibit overload-based intermodulation up to 100MHz or so from the radio's tuned frequency.


Conclusion:

The DJ-X3 is a good radio for VHF and UHF, once one knows how to use it. Although it has plenty of design oversights which limit it's potential, for most radio receiving it's a wonderfully compact and extremely capable receiver.
 
THIODEN Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2003 13:41 Send this review to a friend
Nice!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It's my first scanner, so there isn't realy any way for me to compare it to others. But I realy like it. It so small i take it anywhere, the beach, school, out, ...

magnificent


But.. the link cable should be included. 35 is too much.
So If anyone has the schematic, or a link to the schematic... please email it to: Thioden@hotmail.com
 
PM79 Rating: 3/5 Jun 2, 2003 21:23 Send this review to a friend
nice receiver for its money  Time owned: more than 12 months
it has good performance on FM band and at UHF/VHF range. I picked many television channels with that radio and I was indoors too. it is complicated to prgramm and store memories and I hadnt the chance to use the descrambler and the bug detector. I didnt succeed in receiving from the amateur band. Either I need a stronger antenna or the area hasnt much traffic.

In the shortwave an external antenna connected to the ear phone improves performance, but shortwave isnt for this receiver. I could pick many taxi frequencies plus a message from an airport. All other frequencies are probably encrypted or far away and I'll need more advanced and , perhaps, illegal stuff to locate them.

but its very convenient for travelling and listening to various frequencies. You can hang it in your pocket like a mobile phone. And some guys may think you're an undercover cop, like it happened to me once with this radio!
 
BOBTNCOP Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2003 03:10 Send this review to a friend
Great little wide band scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love this radio! A lot of radio for a cheap price. The only drawback i have found is that it is hard to program...that is it is a different breed of radio from what a lot of us are used to programming...such as radio shack pro XXX or bearcat scanners. A pc to scanner link cable would be nice.

ps.
Anyone who has the schematic for a home brew pc link cable for this... PLEASE email me a copy.
bobtncop@netzero.net
Thanks
 
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