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Reviews For: Alinco DJ-500T

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Alinco DJ-500T
Reviews: 19MSRP: 130
144MHz/430MHz FM semi-duplex dualband 5W transceiver. IP54 sealed. 1000mW audio. Wide/narrow tx/rx. 200 memories. VOX.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KK9H Rating: 2022-07-12
Excellent second HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own an Icom ID-51A that I have had for many years that I like very much. However, after almost dropping it at a hamfest parking lot I decided to get a simpler, less expensive HT for hamfests and other events. When Alinco came out with their 222/900 MHz HT I bought one and liked the way it performed so I decided to get a DJ-500T. I am very glad I did because it works very well. I especially like the room-filling audio on receive which is great when outside and reminds me of some commercial HTs I’ve used. Programming and operational methodology is a little different than what I was used to, but it’s not hard to learn after you do it a couple times. The bottom line is this is a basic, solid performing, nicely priced FM analog HT that is perfect for what I use it for.
KK2DOG Rating: 2020-02-08
Great HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had the following HT's in the past: HTX-202, 404, 420, IC-W32A, IC-91A and Baofeng UV-5R. The Alinco DJ-500 is my favorite due to it's ruggedness and simplicity. It performs quite well out of the box and is relatively easy to program. On the 5 watt (High) power level I'm hitting repeaters that are about 5-8 miles away from my shack. I swapped the stock antenna for a Nagoya NA-773 (sma female) antenna and I'm able to bring-up the same machines on the medium (2.5 watts) power level setting. The battery holds a decent charge and it also receives FM broadcast stations. This is my first Alinco product and to be honest I should've bought this DJ-500 in the first place. It would've saved me alot of buying and selling. Great HT for the price.
WB0AL Rating: 2019-12-09
My Favorite HT Ever! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The Alinco DJ-500T is my favorite hand held. I own more sophisticated radios like the Yaesu FT2D. The DJ-500T is like your favorite pair of jeans. It’s comfortable, looks good and goes wherever I go.

When my grandson Daniel was licensed at 14, I bought him this radio and fell in love with it. It fits good in your hand, transmits nice punchy audio, and receive audio is loud and clear. I immediately bought one for myself. I subsequently bought two more as gifts for new hams. It is simple to use, instinctive to program (hard to find these days) and especially easy to program with RT Systems Software. This is my favorite radio for new hams because repeater offset is not automatic, it has to be set manually, which helps newbies understand repeaters. The only thing I don’t like about the Alinco DJ-500T is no external power. It runs on battery and battery only. I wish Alinco would fix that.

Over the years I’ve probably owned a dozen HTs. The Alinco DJ-500 is the one radio I use everyday. It’s easy to carry, clips easily to my belt, and is easy to use. It’s made in Japan, but priced like a Chinese radio. It’s FM only, but most repeaters are FM. I like this radio so much, I created a Facebook page for it.
W8GXR Rating: 2019-05-09
Excelent Radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
As past owner of VX-5R, FT-60, UV5R's this is a great handheld radio!

First off does it really matter where something is made? Not in my view! Many electronics that are very well made and perform marvelously are made in China so let's not start with China bashing when the point of manufacturing origin has little or nothing to do with the end product. Just like the USA many other countries manufacture and engineer good items and horrible items.

That being said of the three radios I mention above the UV5R is not a very good radio however it will get you on the air and started in this wonderful hobby. The two Yaesu radios I mention are indeed excellent 5 star ***** units however when it comes to comparing features you need to toss the 5R aside since it can do AM, SW, FM, 2M and 70CM. Pricewise you can make your own choice based on budget and features you want

So moving on to this radio:

- Easy to read display
- Bigger buttons that are easy to see and push
- Great back lighting
- Display colors, orange, white etc. I like the white display because it is easy to see
- Stock antenna is okay, however I would replace it with a better unit
- Clear loud audio that is not too tinny or "bassy"
- Good rejection
- Excellent sensitivity
- FM Radio works well, I would like AM as well but that is okay
- Audio reports are good when transmitting
- Drop in charger included
- Wide variety of accessories available from Alinco and some Icom stuff works too (speaker mic)
- Drop in charger included
- On knob for volume and another for channel selection - a must in my mind, dual function knobs are clumsy


- The downloadable software works well enough and does the job. It would be nice if Chirp wod support it just to have a common platform but then again I have a Alinco DMR unit so multiple software packages will be needed anyway. I was surprised to find that a serial cable I had for the FT-60 and other radios works fine with a USB to Serial adapter for tis software.
- Keyboard programming is easy too. I am not sure why some seem to think it does not understand USA offsets. Tune to a 2M frequency and within a button or two it has the proper offset, same for 70cm
- Setting a tone is not all that hard either
- Overall I think the programming is as intuitive of the other radio's I either have owned or do own. Is exactly the same, NO, is it easy enough YES.

In closing I just looked on HRO and it sells for $80! That seems like a great price. The FT-60 is over $150

If you are looking for a great radio to start with this is it.
If you have a UV5R and want a much better radio then you found one.
If you want a radio built like a tank (a good thing) then go with the FT-60r

Highly recommend

73's and enjoy the radio and the hobby!!
DF3FX Rating: 2018-02-19
Not much better than Chinese Time Owned: more than 12 months.

I have that HT now for several years and wanted to comment my likes & dislikes.
Bought it for travelling to have a Dualbander with FM Radio in a handy form factor as my VX-2 died.

First of all even if its branded Alinco it cant hide the fact that its Chinaware.
(ant. plug, Commercial signalling, bad bad usability of functions and menues)

- You get nice radio for few bucks
- doesnt perform so bad
- feels good in hand
- powerful audio
- good modulation audio

Cons ( always more thant pros ;-)
- Bad stock antenna and if you are not into commercial or chinese radios it has "another antenna connector than the rest of your stuff".
So prepare to add an adapter to the buy list.
- really awefull usability - Theres nothing logical in it and programming it by hand is a pain in the ass. Even after years I have the PDF manual on my smartphone for looking up howto do xyz
- programming software ( got it working 1 time - never since ( VBCOMM error - no solution)
- original programming software is aweful
- S-Meter is or 0 or full signal ...

My advice even if you get a good radio for the money do yourself the favour an buy a cheap one from the big 3! FT-60 for ex.
W8STU Rating: 2018-02-10
GREAT HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently purchased the Alinco DJ500T from HRO. I also purchased a Diamond SRJ77CA. I have a couple of those Chinese hts, but I wasn't very impressed with them. HRO had this ht on sale for $92.00. I decided to give the radio a try.

I was able to manually program the ht with no problems. All I did was to watch an YouTube video. The speaker is clear and loud. With the Diamond antenna and 5 watts I was able to get into the local net from my basement full quietting. I really like this ht. I would highly recommend this ht over the Chinese radios.73, Stu W8STU
KE2SJ Rating: 2018-01-21
Never Again, and I wanted to love this radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was excited because I had found a seemingly high-quality dual-band HT in my price range that wasn't a BaoFeng. I agonized over whether I should spend the extra money on the Yaesu FT-60R but, in the end, opted for newer technology and rolled the dice on Alinco.


1. The Alinco feels solid in your hand. Nothing flimsy here. The unit comes with a fast drop-in charger for its medium-sized battery. There are not many market or after market accessories available, but the ones that are relatively inexpensive.

2. Front-end audio is a powerhouse.

3. Based on experience alone, the stuck duckie wasn't terrible. I still replaced it with a Diamond and bought myself an inexpensive what-seems-to-be-a-1-or-2db or so.

3. Signal quality is much better/cleaner than the Baofeng, as is the panel programming, which will likely save a new ham from frustration.

4. So many bells and whistles that the manual doesn't even bother describe them. This should really be in the negative column as the manual is usefulness.

5. PROGRAMMING OPTIONS: (1) Programming from the panel is a bit of a pain, mainly because U.S. repeater frequency offsets aren't built into to the radio, and it's a big pain to scroll the knob back and forth between 0, 600, and 5000 at small-step intervals. And there is no CHIRP at this time, which is unfortunate; (2) You could spend $50 for the RT-Systems cable and software which I'm told work great; (3) You could spend the $40 for the Alinco cable and download the free Alinco software, which is horrible and barely supports cutting-and-pasting; or (4) You could spend $20 on ebay for the American-made FTDI chip cable sold by ebay seller bluemax49ers, download the horrible free Alinco software, and then download the free aftermarket software to give you a hand. To do the latter, You'll need Chrome to browse to and allow Chrome to translate the page from German for you. You'll find the software there and figure out how to use it with the bad Alinco stuff.

6. Sensitive Rx


1. The battery life was horrible. After cycling the LiOn battery a few times, I wend out trying to key up receivers to assess my range from my new QTH. About 2 hours of this at full (5w) with one or two brief QSOs killed the battery. The same thing the next day on a fresh and the same thing. A few days later, on a fresh charge, I had a few substantive QSOs, some ECHOLINK through a local node, and then kaput.

2. The dealer told me to return the unit to Remtronix, the USA Alinco distributor, warranty repair. Meanwhile, I engage in email tech support with Remtronix's technician with no luck. I send everything back to Remtronix for repair for the holidays, being assured a 2-3 turnaround days after receipt. No such luck.

3. 2 to 2+ weeks later, I am told that no problems were found, and that the radio would be returned and Remontronix would keep the old battery for further testing and give me a new battery. This seemed like a fine solution. Until the radio came backed and the radio started asked screwy and was no longer programmable any more. After some surly email exchanges with their reps, Remontronix admitted that one of their techs had accidentally performed some irreversible mod on the radio. The could not be undone and the rep offered no advice on how I cold render the radio programmable again. And since documentation is so poor, the radio was essentially bricked until after 3 or 4 days of messing around, translating web pages from other languages, reading sparse forums, etc. Basically, I have to convince the lousy software that I have a have a difference model Alinco than I actually have. This works... SO FAR. By now my radio was out of warranty with the dealer although that's what the surly dealer claims I should have done all along, even though the dealer told me to send it directly to Remtronix.

4. I took the radio out last night and after 45 minutes of reprograming and an hour of unsuccessful of EchoLink contacts, the new battery conked about. Imagine what would have happened if I had actually had a real QSO. I would have last five minutes before having to pull out a newly-charged battery! And their rep had the gall to tell me that they frequency test every unit before it leaves the hope before it leaves the shop. This is patently false since a freq check would have caught their tech's screw up.

5. Remtronix's most recent rude email says I'm the only person to experience such issues since "last Thanksgiving through X-Mas." I'm not sure if he's referring to its tech's screw-up or the radio's battery-raining defect. Either way, Alinco, way to go, blame the customer, a ham of 30 years. We are working out some details now regarding what appears appear an offer to replace. After two months, I'm just really tired, tired of this. I wish I could have fallen in love with this radio. I really, really did.
KG5IF Rating: 2017-12-25
Great value for the price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My XYL and I have owned two DJ-500T radios for > a year. We have found the Alinco DJ-500T to be reliable and rugged. The HT has received good reports on transmit and the receiver is sensitive and I have had no selectivity problems in high RF environments. The radio comes with a well written manual, and drop in charger. In normal operation I can get a full days worth of operation with 80 percent receive and 20 percent transmit with battery saver enabled. Programming software downloaded from Alinco is adequate. Chirp programming software is not compatible with the DJ-500T as of yet. Programming local repeaters and simplex works well by hand or via the programming software and is straight forward. Price on these radios are 90-100 dollars US with drop in charger. I feel they are better than the low cost Chinese imports and I feel you get your moneys worth.. Id buy these again. I did buy an optional microphone and two spare batteries. You do have to buy separate belt clips for the spare batteries.
SWLCHRIS Rating: 2017-03-19
Great beginner rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just got my ham call KC3ITX a week ago and had this ready for the local nets. The indoor rubber ducky signal is lacking but with a mag mount on a window unit I was good to go ,solid signal.
Easy to learn and the manual was surprisingly clear enough to understand.I set up the local nets and repeaters in memory using the software and it was pretty easy to do.
I'll buy another one if I need one.
PETER6 Rating: 2016-09-05
Great for the price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Very good modulation, sensitivity, speaker is loud and crystal clean.

I have 3 this radios (DJ-500E).

The first is from first series (s/n number 1865): Rating 5+, all work perfectly

The second radio (s/n number cca 2300):
Rating 3, S-meter dont work, main dial switch skips the channels.

The third radio (s/n number 4399):
Rating 4, S-meter work only in laboratory, outdoors is very unreliably - shows only 0 or 9. Others work perfectly.

Great Radio, but the S-meter...I would pay more, if the S-meter work.