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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Alinco DJ-296T Help


Reviews Summary for Alinco DJ-296T
Alinco DJ-296T Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $$199.00
Description: Alinco's new 1.35Meter (220) HT.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/2296.html
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CASPER669 Rating: 4/5 Jul 1, 2004 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Mono Band Mania  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned this product for a little over a month now. Usually, I'll right reviews after three months, but there really isn't much to this item.

Programming is easy... I did not even open the manual to do it! Of course, I also own a 280 - which is very similar in programming to the 296. The screen is large enough to see well. Alpha-numeric name tags are a plus and fairly easy to accomplish (this did require a sneak peak at the manual, however). The stock antenna, surprisingly enough, does work better than most! I am able to hit fairly distant repeaters with little or no problems. In NYC, that can be a challenge!

Although the stock battery is only 700 mAh, It's taken me at least 3 days (constant use) before requiring a recharge.

Gripes - Well, I don't really have any. I purchased the 1500 mAh battery and that has taken 25 hours to charge. I would suggest that folks use a desktop charger from Alinco, or they should purchase the Maha 777 Plus II, which also has the ability to recondition all sorts of battery types! (plug, plug :O) The stock battery took 12 hours to charge.

All in all, I think it's a tough little HT... It would make a great start for new hams interested in 1.25 meters! As easy to use and to program as it is, it's amazing I don't see more of them around. I would definately recommend it for the new or seasoned ham! Good job, Alinco!

Chris KC2KFW
 
K1VSR Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2004 12:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Monobander  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I love this radio! I purchased it about three months ago as my first 1.25m rig.

I only have a few complaints:

1. You have to press a function key to change the volume.

2. You can't copy memory channels.

3. The stock battery is only 700 mA. Not much juice at all.

4. Twelve hours to charge the battery in the wall is excessive. Drop-in charger cuts charge time to 1.5 hours. Sounds like Alinco did that on purpose to sell drop-in chargers. Oh well, that's capitalism.

These are all very minor complaints. The audio sounds great through the speaker and I get great audio reports from the other hams that I talk to.

The stock rubber duck seems to work better than most. I have no problem hitting any of the local repeaters and can hit quite a few distant ones as well.

I primarily use this rig in the car. I hook it up to a 1/4 wave mag-mount monoband 1.25m antenna and use the cigarette lighter cable for DC power to get a full 5 watts (you only get 4.5 with the battery). With that setup, I work just about every repeater within a 35 mile radius. Works for me.

I'd highly recommend this rig for anyone who's considering 222 MHz!
 
N7BFS Rating: 3/5 Jan 3, 2004 02:22 Send this review to a friend
OK basic HT, but battery too small and a few other warts  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, I had decided to make the 1.25M band active in our area, as there are few stations in this area I only have myself and my IRLP node to talk to ;^}
The kenwood multibander had too low tx power output for what I wanted to use the 1.25M band for, so I picked up the DJ196t as it had the higher tx output.

Programming is fairly strait forward, and I only had to open the manual once. As others have posted the volume,squelch and backlight issues are clunky, but you get used to them.

The 700mah battery is grossly under rated (should be twice this) and because of this it will only last a day or two between charges (mine does anyway), and as far as I can tell no rapid charger, so 14hrs every time you need to charge it really sucks.

The only other issue I have with the radio is the rx signal strength indicator shows full scale no matter what level signal is coming in, even if you just open the squelch it shows full scale, and after folowing the service manual to calibrate the signal strength meter made no change, I was put off by the fact that Alinco has no tech support number or email, and of course HRO is of no help on this issue (send it in if its under warranty, otherwise you are on your own)...

The receive audio frequency response is lacking on the top end and so sounds muffled but useable, in comparison my VX-5r has excellent rx audio response...

Since the price is so low I guess I shouldn't expect the radio to be perfect, but it will continue to be my "field unit" until someone else makes a better one with the same tx power out.

If you can deal with the lower power output you may want to get the kenwood multi-bander instead..

73
 
KC6ZUT Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2003 15:29 Send this review to a friend
Good performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had this rig for about 6 months and I enjoy it very much. I like to work the Condor Net here in California and I find I can work repeaters 80 miles away with just 4.5W (that is direct, not through the network). Mostly I use a 5/8 wave mag mount.

As much as I like the rig, there are a few negatives.

1) You cannot adjust the volume without first pushing a function key. The same goes for the squelch.

2) You must push a function key to run the display light. The light goes out after a few seconds and you must press the function key and the light key again. Some radios let you lock the light on.

3) A minor point, it does not die gracefully when the battery is weak. It puts out the most outrageous squacks, beeps and hicups when the battery dies.

In sum, a good, fun radio.

73 de KC6ZUT
 
WB1AEX Rating: 4/5 Dec 21, 2002 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Solid 220 Handheld  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a very solid little radio. It has an easy to read display, and lots of programming features. It also has good power output options, a sensitive receiver with very pleasant audio, and is a convenient radio to hold, not at all awkward. A big plus is that all the accessories for the matching DJ-195/196 and 596 versions are compatible. The only thing I find odd about the radio is that there is no way to set band limits when doing a vfo scan (band search). Instead of searching just the 220 mhz band it will search its full rx coverage from 216 mhz to 249 mhz, which is kind of a pain when you are in a new area looking for activity. Usually two memory channels are used to set limits, but that is not the case with this radio. The supplied antenna looks nice but is a pain to remove (it comes up against the connector gasket for the mic and speaker jacks) and appears to be a poor performer compared to other available portable ducks. I replaced it with the one that came with my old ICOM 3AT and it works far better. Other than the two mentioned items, I like everything else this radio offers for the price.
 
K7NG Rating: 4/5 Oct 12, 2002 21:48 Send this review to a friend
Low cost, good performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Nice to see new 222 MHz gear coming on to the market.
Bought a DJ-296T last week, have used it fairly extensively since. Here's my two cents' worth:
Good: Lots of memories! More than I can imagine ever needing. Straightforward keypad/function menu and memory management. Seems to be a pretty sensitive receiver. Gets good TX audio reports. Comes with a fairly high-capacity battery pack.
Not so good: I have run into a fair number of RX spurs in the repeater output band. You have to precisely remember the steps to enter data into new memories or you will overwrite...no going back. Wish it had up/down" keys so I could go up or down a few channel steps with one hand rather than having to twist the multifunction knob...

a "4" isn't all THAT bad!
 
KC2IGY Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2002 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Latest and greatest "220" HT.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Loaded with features. Even repels Mosquitos! Users of the 2M DJ-196 will be familiar with how it operates, and either love or hate the functions. Performance is very good, with some interference in harsh RF areas. The squelch seems to do a good job helping out in this area.
All in all, a very nice 220 HT, and big improvement over Alinco's old DJ-280.
 
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