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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Alinco DX-SR8 Help

Reviews Summary for Alinco DX-SR8
Alinco DX-SR8 Reviews: 77 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $£499 UK & $560 US at r
Description: Budget HF Transceiver with 10w 'QRP' mode (?)
Product is in production.
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KD2ALW Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2014 18:39 Send this review to a friend
Good rig for those on a budget!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Good rig for those on a budget! Sure it might not have all the bells and whistles of the top dogs on the market but it also cost about half of any major manufactures “flag ship radio.”

A good rig to compare the DX-SR8T to would be an Icom IC-718. If the prices were equal I would probably suggest the 718. But if the difference is $75~$100 my vote goes for the Alinco every time. That $100 can get you a good manual tuner and you’re that much closer to operation. If money is no object then you probably won’t be looking at getting an Alinco DX-SR8T any ways!

I have owned this HF rig for well over a year now and operated it both SSB voice and SSB digital through a Donner digital interface (can be had new for $40+shipping.) I have had good reports all the way around. I would say it works as well as any basic 100W HF rig, nothing super special but nothing to balk at ether. In my opinion it is just a simple easy to operate all mode HF only transceiver. For someone planning on spending several hours a day in front of your rig, I suggest you move on and invest in something with more features. If your like me a 29 year old guy, married, paying a mortgage and working 40+ hours a week, doesn’t have a whole lot of disposable income but wants to play on HF when he gets a chance then this rig is for you.

I originally started out with a Kenwood TS-440SAT but that rig had some drift between the RX and TX, so it made working digital modes very difficult. I sold that along with a FT-817ND I had thinking QRP would be the way to go however I quickly learned that SSB voice & 5W was not as easy as the pro’s make it out to be! The FT-817ND was also very “menu rich” something I don’t mind, but found through my limited operation I was always in the menu trying to figure things out. At some point I may get another but for now the Alinco is fine. Not wanting to “experiment” with something else used and/or old I settled on a brand new DX-SR8T from HRO and ordered up a Donner digital interface (I had used one with the Kenwood so I knew what I type of interface I was getting.) My DX-SR8T was easy to operate out of the box. A few minutes with the manual and I had a good general understanding of its operation and menu functions.

Fast forward almost two years and I am still using and operating it whenever I get the time to “play.” Again, I would love to dump a couple grand into a new HF rig, auto tuner, and fancy vertical antenna and play away, but I can’t so here I am. As the old saying goes; “run what ya brung” and in my case it’s the Alinco. At this point in my life I have no plans of upgrading; in fact I plan on picking up another Alinco DX-SR8T and setting it up in semi portable fashion for field day and on the go operations that would include vehicular transportation. I would not want to walk far with this rig and a battery in a backpack. I find the 10W to be good for battery operations, and you can always bump up to 100W if you need to.

This rig is fairly rugged in construction, however like most other ham gear, the front panel and controls could easily be damaged if it were to face plant of a desk or while being toted around. One thing to note is that the DX-SR8T does NOT have an integrated SWR meter. Unless you are running an auto tuner I find it hard to tune using the bar graph display SWR type meter any ways so you will need an external meter, or an antenna tuner with one. I run a MFJ-971 “portable antenna tuner.” That tuner allows me to tune dipoles and random wires alike. It has a nice cross needle SWR, Reflected and Forward power meter. It’s the only tuner I have used with my Alinco and I have had very good results using it. Of course I don’t run a dipole cut for each band, intern I like a jack of all trades type of antenna something I can use on the entire HF spread. I am currently using a long/random wire antenna cut to 119ft and have had good luck.

I also enjoy operating this radio with DM780. Leave the power set to 100W and drive the peak power via output volume to about 25W and you will be good to go on your choice of mode.

All and All I can solidly recommend this radio to some one who doesn’t have a tone of extra money to spend. It’s a good solid performer that lives up to its asking price. Mine has been very reliable even spending hours rag chewing on 80m. The menu and display is easy to read use and understand, the radio is easy to operate and most off all it gets you on the HF bands reliably. Sure you can buy a 1970s or 1980s transceiver in the same price range but that is just that, you are getting a 30~40 year old radio and you never know what you’re going to end up with when buying used. For me, I don’t want to have to learn and spend time fixing a radio, when it’s my ONLY HF radio; I just want something to get me on HF when I get the chance. An Alinco DX-SR8T will allow you to make contacts and does so reliably without breaking the bank.
KI6WIK Rating: 5/5 Jan 10, 2014 23:33 Send this review to a friend
Better than expected  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using the radio for a month now, also have an Icom 746 non pro, both radios using external DSP, I keep going back to the Alinco. The receive seems to be better, and the output is hands down better. On air reports have been very good. I have upgraded my original 4 to a 5, this is a best in it's class radio, very good bang for the buck.
N3SXW Rating: 4/5 Jan 5, 2014 13:13 Send this review to a friend
Christmas Gift  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just received this rig as a Christmas present. Since right now I'm only a tech class license and can only use a very small portion of 10 meters, I am testing for general class on jan 20. To get to the point years ago when I was first licensed I bought an ic-725 the rig was kind of like the alnico no bells whistles but I loved that radio I had to sell it got in bad spot and needed money. Now the alinco I have used for receive every day since I got it, and made contact on 10 meters, tech portion, I like the radio the fallbacks are mostly already reported except a couple. I think the power output settings are way to little three settings only and they are not even sensible they could have put an rf output gain and mic gain pots on the front panel put the speaker on top and moved the buttons further apart you can barely tune the rit without moving the main dial. But in my opinion other than those oversites on alinco's part the rig is GREAT! I would buy another if they fixed those few issues. Then it would be right up there with my icom. N3SXW have a good new year 73's
KB2HSH Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2013 10:00 Send this review to a friend
MUCH BETTER than what some may tell you  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After a brutal 2-Week work trip to Utica, NY, I was in the rare position to replace the drifty and DEAF TS-120S that I'd been using for a few months.

Originally, I was intending on purchasing an Icom 718, but after a little surfing on Universal Radio's website, I almost fainted when I saw the price of the SR8T being $519.

I have owned several Alinco radios in the past, and even used to work hamfests with East Coast Amateur Radio and Alinco's Evelyn Garrison (SK). I was always satisfied by Alinco gear, and have always felt that they get some unnecessarily bad press at times. (My friend WB2VUO was an early user of the venerable DX-70...and he STILL raves about how good it was.)

For $519, you get a full 100 WATT radio...that also lives a double-life as a QRP radio with its 10 and ~1 watt settings. It is a 160-10, including 60m rig. It has 99 memories, as well as a built-in filter, detachable head for remote mounting, Dual VFOs, and standard fare IF Shift, AGC, and even a stepped preamp/attenuator.

In some of these reviews, criticism has been made that the RX is noisy, etc. I can say with pride that in the area of Elma, NY (FN02QT) I live in, there is a shockingly quiet region. My noise levels are consistently at S3 or less. I don't deal with the amounts of hash and QRN that I used to when I lived in the affluent Village of Williamsville (FN02OX). This lack of noise translates into a very quiet RX. It is SO quiet, that I am hearing LW NDB beacons from 200-450 KHz that I NEVER heard when I had my Yaesu. The low background noise also translates into some amazing decodes when using JT65 or JT9.

Some reviews have made light of the fact that Alinco chose to place BOTH audio outputs on the front face. Only a moron would have something to say about it...without realizing it's because of the detachable head. If the audio were on the BACK of the radio, and the user remoted the head, you'd need ANOTHER cable span if you wanted to run an external speaker. I actually enjoy having the audio outputs on the front face. As a digital operator, having the audio next to the mic connector is a plus. Which brings me to the next "issue" some have...NO SEPARATE data/acc port. If you choose to use this radio on digital modes, you have to plug the interface cable into the 8-pin microphone port. Not really an issue for me, as I was doing this with the TS-120 that I had. I tend to use RTTY/JT65/Olivia modes most I am not really inconvenienced by it. Some may not like it, I don't mind personally.

The variable power level for the Super Low mode is a nice touch. On the low end, the SR8T can do about 100 mW or so...on the high end, it does 3 watts. I have mine adjusted to the max at Super Low...and 3 watts with the PAR/LNR EF-10/20/40 works great. It would be nice to have a continuously variable power level, but it's not that much of a big deal. MOST of the time I just leave it at 10 watts.

The 99 memories on this radio are another plus. I set up the 60m channels as the first 5 memories, as well as the 3905 Century Club's net frequencies. Sure, any rig with memory can do this.

Some things that I don't like are the little buttons. If the rig is mounted with the face on the body, sometimes the buttons are a little difficult to push if you have large fingers. I use a slightly larger thumbnail...problem solved.

Pertaining to buttons, one thing that some have written about is the non-intuitive way the rig is switched from band-to-band. Going to 20m? Press 6. 160? Press 1. 10m? Press 0. IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT. You have to be utterly stupid if you can't remember that.

All in all, it is a great rig for how low cost it is. I bought it because it's literally what I could easily afford. Some suggested buying a used IC-706, etc...but I DIDN'T want another used cast-off. I wanted a brand new rig, with solid features, and a decent price.

To those that had nasty things to say about the radio: are you sure the radio's shortcomings weren't YOUR inability to use this rig???

Love it. Glad I bought it. Look forward to the SR9T!
KI6WIK Rating: 4/5 Dec 6, 2013 20:52 Send this review to a friend
Nice Starter radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rate the radio as Good 4, only because that is what it is, a good starter radio. Big display, no frills, great audio reports. A great antenna system is where your money is best spent. Then any radio will work well. I would recommend the radio to new Ham's on a budget to get into HF. Seasoned Ham's may not like this radio, unless your looking for a cheap spare rig.

Pro's easy to use, big display, menu is simple, face is detachable with proper cable.

Con's no external mic gain, VFO lock in a bad place, no VFO speed adjustment, no computer control, output is not variable, external speaker connection is on the front, built in speaker is tiny, better off using an external speaker.

At the time of this writing the radio costs $529 compared to $672 for an Icom 718
KD8HAM Rating: 4/5 Dec 1, 2013 10:57 Send this review to a friend
Not bad for the price...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this radio, in late September, to be used as a backup rig and for field day purposes. Unit was bought, used, from another ham who used it mostly as a SW Receiver.

As most other reviewers have noted, this is an inexpensive rig and lacks the features that more expensive units have. For e.g, the display only shows received signal strength and power output. No SWR or other stuff that you find on the higher end radios. LCD is nice, bright and clearly relays the pertinent information.

Hooked up to my OCFD (which is 20 feet of the ground), I have worked stations from WA to FL and to nearby WI. Worked them on bands from 10-80, mostly on SSB. Good signal reports for the most part. That is the good. The bad - the audio filters are not all that great. NB filter is just horrible.

So, if you are looking for a backup rig, or a radio to just get on the air and do some casual ragchew - this is it. Just make sure you read that manual, and you are good to go.
AA8PP Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2013 18:03 Send this review to a friend
Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received my Alinco DX-SR8 today and initial impression is very good. Initial reports were good and nice clear audio from the front firing speaker. Will update if I find any issues down the line but have to agree with many others that for a low priced HF rig it seems to be a heck of a deal!
2E1MPC Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2013 00:11 Send this review to a friend
very good budget radio   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have seen all the reviews of the alnico and there are some negative reports from the usa well I can say its a great radio read the manual and you can fly around the functions in seconds ,Iused it and made dx contacts with ease ,I am a light user of amateur radio now , so don't have the time to spend chasing dx my advice is if you want a dx machine get a yaesu ft 1000 MP or an icom 756 pro , if you want hf fun buy this radio
VK2ANS Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2013 22:13 Send this review to a friend
Good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I find my Alinco DX-SR8 actually works very well indeed. I believe it's unbeatable at its price level. I have owned dozens and dozens of new Japanese made HF SSB transceivers over the past 45 years and can't really complain about this new one.
HFHAM2 Rating: 3/5 Jun 29, 2013 03:15 Send this review to a friend
It's cheap... and uh... it's cheap  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these and returned it a few days later. The (audio) filters are lousy but it does get out well because it puts out ~130 watts out of the box.

Advantage #1 - it's cheap, advantage #2, see advantage #1. Advantages #1 and #2 are the reason this rig is getting all the glowing reports, it has little else going for it, believe me.
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