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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | ADI AT-600 Help

Reviews Summary for ADI AT-600
ADI AT-600 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $250
Description: VHF/UHF 5W HT 100~199 & 400~899MHz RX&
Product is not in production.
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KB9OUC Rating: 4/5 Mar 9, 2001 05:03 Send this review to a friend
Good Dual-Band Portable  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased two AT-600s for my family. The radios were sold for $199.95 with the "re-conditioned" deal. The radio arrived in great condition. The belt clip had some paint rubbed off, but I don't think that's a big desl.

We use these radios as our primary portables. The HT is larger than others on the market, but it seems to be built well. I dropped mine once running to catch a bus, and the battery had a scratch or two, but everything else was just fine.

Things I like about the AT-600...
1. I have not received any intermod! Even in downtown Milwaukee!!!
2. The display is easy to read
3. The AT-600 is easy to use and program
4. I really like the conformation beeps!!!
5. The battery voltage feature is handy

Things I don't like about the AT-600...
1. The audio from the speaker is crappy, but it sounds great with a speaker-mic
2. The supplied 5w battery really stinks. It will bite the dust in no time on high power with both bands on, and even with only one band displayed
3. The stock antenna is not the greatest
4. In memory mode, the channels are not protected, and you have to program the memory protection in one channel at a time!

One problem that I did have was I purchased the AA call pack, and some 1550 mA 1.2v NiMH AA call batteries. When transmitting, the voltage would drop, and the radio would think that the battery was low, even though the AAs were completely charged. The "Battery Low" message would flash on the display. If I didn't stop transmitting, the radio would shut down after a minute or so. This was very annoying during conversations!

One of the battery chargers that we got worked for about 25 minutes, then died. The red light on the charger does NOT indicate that the battery is charging, although it usually does indicate that the charger is working, but it might not remain on for the whole time.

If you are getting this radio, you might want to purchase a hich power NiMH battery, a better antenna, and a speaker-mic or headset.

I have had to contact ADI support a few times for questions. The person on the phone was polite and nice to talk with.
KB3FIO Rating: 4/5 Feb 28, 2001 01:24 Send this review to a friend
Nice little HT!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Like the radio, but also find that the battery pack won't last very long, and the power button is easily turned on by accident.
1. The battery needs to be periodicly deep-cycled. I connect a low wattage 12V light bulb to the battery pack until it just barely glows and then recharge the battery. The radio cuts out at too high a voltage and this procedure has helped extend the battery life.
2. When transporting the radio, remove the battery pack and place a small strip of paper (copier or bond) between the battery terminals and the radio contacts and reinstall the battery leaving a "flag" of paper sticking out to remind you why the radio won't operate!
Am still having some problems with low tone squelch levels, but rarely need this feature in my area. Otherwise a nice radio for the money.
N1KGH Rating: 4/5 Sep 29, 2000 04:13 Send this review to a friend
Fine general purpose HT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had my AT-600 for six months and find it to be a very good radio. I enjoy the expanded RX range and usually use the radio as a scanner when I'm not actually talking on it--that's the high point of the radio for me.

I *did* replace the stock antenna with one of my own, but that's a given with HT's: The stock duckie is never enough anyway no matter whose HT you buy.

Service: I did deal with their service department once, after I broke the battery latch in a fall (it, like other similar latches, tends to shear off when dropped.) Ken Collier sent me a part in 4 weeks, still better than sending the radio in.
(The HT is fairly easy to work on and schematics are included. You wouldn't want to do an alignment, but I had no trouble doing my own service.)

Despite what others report, the belt clip on mine hasn't bent. It isn't as sturdy as the belt clip on the old Yaesu FT727 I once used but it's never given any indication that it's about to fall off.

I don't like the short battery life. A NiMH pack is probably a necessity. I've wired up an auxilliary power pack for my radio--essentially a cheap 8-cell battery holder secured by velcro and plugged into the EXT DC port. I plan on trying it with a Li-Ion pack when I build one.

Also, the radio, while it performs excellently on extended RX, doesn't quite pick up the 482 MHz band that is used for public safety in many areas; UHF is only guaranteed to 470 or so (mine just makes it to 472.9875). But it makes a fine scanner anyway, and despite what one might think, intermod has not been a problem. I only need to enable the attenuator in a few spots in and around Boston, where I reside.

Though I wish I'd gotten a VX-5R instead (because I want 6M and *really* wide receive), the AT-600 was an excellent deal and a good choice for the first HT I've owned in 8 years. In all, it's a fine radio.
W4MRK Rating: 3/5 Sep 21, 2000 00:04 Send this review to a friend
Lots of features, so so quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the AT-600 for about 2 years now. I have not had any major problems. The major draw backs are of course the batteries do not last long at all, when I use the optional DC cig. plug, it will turn off the radio due to a bad connection. I do not know if this is in the radio or the plug, but probably the plug. I have worn off the power button, worn out 2 batteries, had to replace the antenna, etc.
All in All, it is a great beginner radio, and I will keep mine to use as a back up to my new Alinco.
K5TMA Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2000 14:44 Send this review to a friend
more praise!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was wrong! This radio WILL crossband repeat in both directions -- and more -- a lot more!

If you get the battery package combo, do NOT use the cigarette light adapter cord for the radio for the rapid charger! It is backwards polarity!
KB9WNF Rating: 3/5 Jun 23, 2000 19:12 Send this review to a friend
A Lot of features but heavy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This was my first HT when i became licensed. It has a lot of features but it is really big and heavy. the other problem with it is the belt clip -- don't depend on it.

Other than that it performs well.
W4ADL Rating: 0/5 May 29, 2000 13:36 Send this review to a friend
Service Department Stinks  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned one 2 years and 2 days, I had problems with the squelch 2 hours later. When the radio gets warm it breaks squelch constantly. When I called their service department just 2 days later I was told "You have to pay for shipping and parts". I told them it was only 2 days old and they told me it did not matter. Needless to say I never sent the radio back, I put it in a drawer 3 months ago out of pure disgust, when I pulled it out 2 weeks ago it would not even power up. I tried 2 different batteries and even the power cord from my power supply, nothing. I also own a AR-146 that I had purchased when it first came out, no problems with it luckily, but I will never buy, nor reccomend an ADI product to anyone. The service department representative I talked to was just plain rude. I have never had these type of problems with anything I have had to get serviced in any type of equipment I own. This radio is pure junk, a useless paperweight that with all accessories I purchased cost me over $350.
AC0OF Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2000 00:58 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading reviews on several radios, I choose the AT-600. It is VERY easy to program, usable right out of the box, and the price is afforadable. The battery life is adequate for most uses. You should have extra batteries for extended use, and they are reasonably priced. Again this is one great radio!!
KD5ILF Rating: 3/5 Apr 25, 2000 14:10 Send this review to a friend
Cheap but OK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The current list price is about $299.00. with discounts and a "$40.00 Coupon" it is available from the usual suppliers for $250 or less. I also found that ADI is offering reconditioned ADI-600s on their web site for $199 when I checked on 04/2000. ADI is offering a "gift pack" that contains a lighter cord adapter, 2 spare batteries and a smart charger for $99.00SRP This looks like a good deal and I have ordered but not received it. There are now two ADI-600 radios in my family. I bought the first in Feb. 2000 and the second in April. The main problems I have had with it are. It turns on/off too easily. The power button should be recessed or at least even with the surface of the keypad. I may modify this when I get around to peering inside and find out if it is possible. The scan and other buttons are easily pressed by accident. It is mandatory to use the "key lock" function or to be careful when handling the radio lest all sorts of things happen, like unintentional qsy, scanning, and who knows what other functions may get turned on or off. I experienced some intermod when I was operating in the down town area of Houston, but no more than I got with my old ICOM ht. The 12V 600mAh battery that came with the radio did not initially last for my 30min morning commute, but this was due to a faulty charger. The only other complaint I have is that the belt clip is easily bent. I discovered that the original wall wart charger is faulty. I have not taken this issue up with ADI so I do not know what they will do about it. After I discovered this I began using another charger I had and battery life got MUCH better but still is not as good as I like. If I am monitoring both UHF and VHF, the battery is exhausted faster. The scanning function also drains the battery quickly. Good stuff: I found the radio relatively easy to program and to use. I like the wide receive range. The Icom speaker mike I had for my old IC4AT works fine as does the speaker mike for the Radio Shack FRS Radios we have. The antenna connection is a standard BNC and seems adequately rugged. Audio reports have been good. The charger that came with the second ADI-600 for the XYL works fine and it gives a full charge in a few hours. This second charger has a LED that lights up when the charger is charging the battery. The first (faulty) charger has no LED. The optional programming software and cable for the 600 is available for $39.99 SRP. I found it relatively easy to use and it runs fine under W95. I have not tried it with another O.S. I have been using a Radio Shack radar detector cord to power and charge the radio in the car. If I use the power input jack on the side of the radio that disconnects the battery and powers the radio directly, I get some alternator whine on send and receive. But if I use the battery charger port on the PR-AT-600 standard 12v (high power) battery the whine is gone. Why did I buy a second one for my wife if I had so many problems with the first? I liked the radio and she liked it too. The metal belt clip can be straightened about as easily as it is bent. I broke the belt clip on my cousins ICOM and had to buy him a new battery pack, compared to that, I love this one. I liked the ease of programming the radio, the wide band receiver and the high power.
KD5FJE Rating: 3/5 Jan 20, 2000 04:24 Send this review to a friend
Great features but a few shortsighted flaws.  Time owned: unknown months
Although this radio does a lot, it has some shortsighted design flaws you should know about.
(By the way, for you "scanner neophytes", don't let the 800 mhz capability fool you! Very, very few police departments, etc use this band "un-trunked" and this radio will NOT trunk track! So do not buy it for this reason!)
My peeves are a stock 5watt battery which discharges VERY quickly, especially at high power..which is what you'll need most of the time. Secondly, the power switch is unrecessed and activates with just a quick push, making the radio a virtual nightmare to carry around turned off. (Because it will invariably be pressed accidentally causing you to have no battery life when it's time to use it). Next, compared to my Alinco DJ191TH (my recommendation for a first radio and 149.99!), the ADI's speaker has poor audio quality and volume. My advice: save your money for a dual band 50 watt mobile rig, which costs about the same!
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