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Alinco Part 90 Radios


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Ok, this is not a review per se. I can review some Alinco ham radios if you like, since I currently have them in VHF/UHF mobile, VHF handheld, and HF/6M mobile form. Suffice to say that Alinco makes some great radios. They really don't get the respect they deserve.


Having said that, the point of this thread is to let you guys know about some radios you might not be aware of.


They are Part 90; AFAIK they don't carry Part 95. What you do with that is up to you; I think that subject has been pretty well hashed and thrashed.


Also, with either of these two rigs you will have to buy the programming cable and software. That will cost you an additional $45 or so.


HRO (Ham Radio Outlet) has both of these. Probably some other sellers do as well.


The DJ-A40T is a 5 watt, 128 channel handheld. It is currently about $90.


The DR-438 is a 45 watt, 200 channel mobile rig. Its price is about $250.


If you check them out at the Alinco USA website, you can download pdf brochures, owner's manuals and even (in the case of some of the amateur radios) service manuals, free of charge!


Note that the DR-438 is about the same price as the MXT400, and it absolutely blows it out of the water. Of course, like I said you do have to buy the programming cable and software, and there's the whole Part 90 thing.


Note that I'm not recommending that you use Part 90 radios on GMRS. Refer to the sticky notification at the top of this section, if you have any questions about that.


Btw, no I don't work for Alinco. I used to be in the radio business, but no longer.

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I really like Alinco products. There is the Alinco DJ-500TB second generation that's a dual band handheld radio that's Part 90. It receives very positive audio reports on the air; UHF and VHF. Unlocking the keypad is trivial. Cheap generic programming cables can be found on the web and, contrary to what some say, can be used to unlock the radio (we do it).


The radio is actually the product of cooperation between Alinco and Anytone. There are quite a few Alinco models these days that can be found as Anytone models. Anytone gets Part 90 on many of their models. The DJ-500TB (and amateur version DJ-500T) are essentially Anytone AT-3318UV-A models and share battery accessories, but NOT speaker mic accessories because the Alinco uses an ICOM connector.


The DJ-500TB is pretty much a DJ-500T with the keypad locked and a Part 90 sticker. We have gotten DJ-500T radios new for $79 and DJ-500TB for $99. Lately, the DJ-500T has been about $99 and the DJ-500TB at about $110.


My only real complaints is the lack of a super-capacity battery and lack of Chirp support. There are 1500 mAH and 1700 mAH batteries available. Of course, the Anytone battery accessories are cheaper but of exactly the same quality.


REMTronics, who distributes Alinco products in the USA is a top-notch company. They really know how to treat their customer base. I've had nothing but great interactions with them.

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Note that the DR-438 is about the same price as the MXT400, and it absolutely blows it out of the water. Of course, like I said you do have to buy the programming cable and software, and there's the whole Part 90 thing.



IMHO, Midland could do something like this model and have it Part 95 but they don't seem motivated to do so. Also IMHO, Alinco or Anytone could have had the DR-438 Part 95 certified but didn't. Now, Alinco/Anytone could change the firmware and then have a viable Part 95 mobile ready for market. I really wish that they would!


ETA: Anytone/Alinco could take their AT 3318UV-A/DJ-500TB, change the firmware, and have MURS certified radios and GMRS certified radios available for market with minimal efforts. I guess they don't see enough demand out there to warrant the investment.

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I get the feeling that Midland views mobile gmrs radios as a central radio to be used with their line of bubble packs. They even bundle them together. This also explains the limited options on their repeater capable units. Two major problems:

Inability to use different pl tones between tx and rx or even pl tone on tx and just squelch on rx.

No memory channels for different repeaters. (Different channel pl tone combinations.

As these options are avaiable on type 97 radios, its no wonder that people use ham radios rather than type 95.

Thanks for listening.


Keith T

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I think you hit the nail on the head, Elkhunter521. IMHO, the current Midland company is used to giving the very least product for the most money. They consistently, probably intentionally, miss the balance between profit and usability. I think they are counting on that Part 95 certification being all important in the purchase decision. For those who know better, it is not. They count on a paper tiger to chase uninformed customers to them.


If their products offered what I would consider even baseline performance, I would consider purchasing them. Unfortunately, as you astutely pointed out, they lack the ability to control tone encoding/decoding independently as well as the anorexic memory channel options.


It would also be nice if they changed to a more suitable connector for UHF on their mobiles and perhaps added a repeater mode to link the radios. The internal connector is there but the firmware won't allow for Tx on the right frequencies like the China versions of the same radio do.

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