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Reviews For: Alinco DJ-MD5T / DJ-MD5TGP

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

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Review Summary For : Alinco DJ-MD5T / DJ-MD5TGP
Reviews: 21MSRP: 189
DMR / Analog dual band 2m / 70 cm HT
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K2KOH Rating: 2023-09-23
Nice DMR HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought this when a club not far from me put up a DMR repeater. Creating the codeplug was a bit of a challenge, but once I got the hang of it, programming was a breeze. Very happy with the receive audio on both analog and digital, and have gotten no complaints on transmit audio. DMR for a 189 bucks, I couldn't go wrong. I now use it on a ZUMSpot, with no complaint. I think this model is out of production now, but I highly recommend Alinco. I have their 220/900 radio as well and very happy with that.
KN4YBP Rating: 2023-03-05
Of seven radios this is my favorite for versatility Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I can cut to the quick on my review here. I have a Yaesu 2980R, Yaesu 100DR, 3100R, 991A, CS800, D578UVIII Pro and my original UV5R starter radio. The Alinco is my gets the most use. I have the Nagoya 711 15" whip on it. Fabulous little HT radio.

Purchased an MD5XTG for my son
K4VTZ Rating: 2022-01-05
Happy so far Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have the DJ-MD5XTG and very happy with it so far. Still learning about all the features. Took a bit to setup APRS properly. I wish it had APRS receive as well.
The DMR feature works pretty well though I am not a heavy DMR user. The device "froze" on me a couple times while on DMR receive and the only way to restart was to take the battery out. Hopefully a future firmware release will fix that.
I did a brief review of this on youtube as well if you are interested:
K4ZBB Rating: 2021-06-29
Like this better than my Anytone 878 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Size is much smaller and lighter than Anytone. I only use it for DMR w/openspot3 or local repeater. Love the small form factor. If you know how to make a codeplug for Anytone, this one will be very easy for setup.

For those who have stiff volume knob. You need to pry it up a tiny bit. The knob sits very flush to the base which makes it stiff. I used a very thin/small screwdriver to pry it up a fraction of a millimeter. Works great now.
KI6MU Rating: 2021-05-11
If you're OK with "just OK", this HT may be for you Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The size and weight are on this radio are great. It's very light, which is critical in how I'm using mine (on the handlebars of my bicycle). At around 11 ounces, it is the lightest HT I own, but physical dimensions are just one aspect of the radio. There are the operational considerations.

So, Alinco claims the audio output is a full one watt. I don't know about that. It sounds a bit muffled and underpowered to me. It could be that speaker size and placement is a factor. After all, the front of the radio is all display and keypad, so the speaker must be small and/or behind those two components. I attached an Alinco brand speaker mic (EMS-76) and the audio still sounded muddy, underpowered, and anything but crisp and/or full sounding. For comparison, an Icom IC-U82 claims 300 mW, and its audio has much better clarity and loudness. That's important to me, so the unit is lacking in that area, at least for my needs.

As far as I know, the unit is not weather resistant or waterproof. Not a huge deal, but IP54 is not out of the reach of even entry level handhelds. I don't have many possessions, including radios, but the ones that I do have I tend to use quite a bit in real world conditions (not just sitting on my couch).

The firmware is quite busy and is not user friendly, relatively speaking. What I mean by that is that there are quite a few features, and most of them I won't or don't use. On top of that, I would say that navigating the OS is not as nice as some of the top three Japanese manufacturers. It's probably not a stretch to call it a little bit clunky. A few examples are 1) the firmware can't keep the time. I'll set it and within a few months it's off by several minutes and 2) there are at least nine button presses to switch zones. Come on, Alinco, you can do better. I would say that these issues are present due to the design just being not that well thought out.

I'm going to give it two of five stars. Yes, it works, and it offers tons of features, but none of them are executed particularly well. In fact, I'd say that that is probably the main problem. They're trying to make it do too much and they lost focus on how well each task is performed.

I don't need VHF and I'm starting to think that I probably don't need DMR, so I'm going to replace the Alinco with a commercial Icom IC-F4001. It has an IP54 rating, 800 mW of audio from a large, unobstructed front-firing speaker, and a 16-channel capacity. Analog only, of course. I'm pretty sure that's all I need to enjoy some portable operations in downtown Portland, Oregon. If I find a need for DMR, I'll probably go with a commercial Kenwood.
KE7OPK Rating: 2021-04-16
Well made, good audio. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased this radio to upgrade from Baofeng. I get good signal reports. Audio is strong and clear. Fills the room at 1/2 strength. RX volume is also determined by the signal coming from a repeater. The LVRAC VHF repeater requires less than 1/4 volume setting, where the W7HEN repeaters and the Winsystem all are comfortable at 1/2. Does not become distorted or degraded by turning up the volume. The radio is a major step up from Baofeng, even the 8W BF-F8hp, which would give me an RF burn if I held it in a "normal" intuitive fashion. The Alinco does not cause RF exposure to your hand. I read that this is "not an amateur product", and concluded that the supplied antenna was not ideally matched to amateur use. I am using a long "Nagoya", and find that it has excellent reciprocity with local amateur repeaters. It is durable, the knobs feel good, and the buttons are responsive. Ergonomics were well thought out. The color screen is very nice, and readable even with my apparent need for reading glasses. I do not need a magnifier to read this display. So far, I have used it for analog repeaters and not made any attempt at computer interfacing. I chose this radio because it was the only thing available, with other reasonably priced ham gear being sold out, everywhere! I paid $199 at Gigaparts, and purchased it in-store after having a chance to test a floor model. I was, and am pleased with the purchase. I agree that the manual is of no assistance in helping a new user get it programmed, and you have to figure it out. If you do not include the correct number of digits (eg. 144.200000), you will fail to make an entry. There are some quirks getting used to the programming process, and the manual is no help. Again "not an amateur product". Basically, a good radio at decent price. Since I only use it inside or on the patio during good weather, I am not concerned about IP45 ratings. I do believe that it is a high quality build, and has a lot of features I may never use. A huge step up from inexpensive Chinese imports. Mine has hit the wood floor a couple times, and no issues. I really do love the large color screen, and the clean audio. I got my money's worth, and I am satisfied. Better to buy a nice radio first, and forget the "bargains" which are ultimately disappointing and will be replaced later. I would give it 5 stars, but frustration and initial learning curve with the lack of instructions is a downer. After-market antenna is recommended.
NT7PS Rating: 2020-12-29
Good Radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My review will be short and not nearly as concise as other OPs who've already contributed their opinions. So here's my take: well built (made by AnyTone), terrific color display, and GPS works well. On the down side: audio levels are too low for me predominantly on DMR not analog. For the life of me I never got digital APRS working and found myself missing analog APRS like crazy! Firmware upgrades are slow to appear unlike other manufacturers who are more aggressively adding features and fixing bugs. For the price point it's a good value, but I ended up purchasing a couple of AnyTone radios (HT and Mobile DMR) and they've got features not on the Alinco (e.g. bluetooth, analog APRS, and readable/loud audio).
KC1DKC Rating: 2020-12-21
Works pretty well Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.

The radio works well, and has good features for monitoring a repeater and responding quickly to traffic on it. You can monitor both time slots at once, and switch to the talkgroup you're hearing by pushing one button. The overall interface is a bit clunky and takes getting used to.
The USB drivers are not properly signed, so if you're running Windows 10 you have to reboot your PC into a special mode to connect to the radio, which is quite annoying.

EA2CW Rating: 2020-06-28
Best DMR/ANA HT tested Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This HT has similar functions than 878UV (I have it too) but is smaller, lighter, and has less bugs than this. CPS and screen are almost the same and the main difference is that Alinco has not analogic APRS. Very good RX on RF "charged" environments. Best DMR HT tested.
N8PX Rating: 2020-03-27
DMR Problems Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Radio is easy to program. Great Audio. Analog works fine. DMR on my radio has some problems. When monitoring, Sometimes the audio works and sometimes it doesn't The talk group will appear, but no audio, just a pop in the audio. Then the same talk group with the same cc and slot, will work for a few transmissions and then no audio, just the talk group displays. I'm somewhat new to DMR and may have something programmed wrong, but I don't think so since the very same station works sometimes and not others with the same settings.