Alinco DR-235T MkIII

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Radio DR235T MkIII.jpg

Opinion

I had a DR-235T a few years ago that I ended up not using, so I sold it. After getting into 900Mhz and finding one the repeaters was linked to a 220 machine, I got the urge to get a 220 mobile rig again (a compelling reason is the trouble getting into a 900Mhz repeater on 15 watts). I waffled between the DR-235T MkIII and the Jetstream JT220M. Having found no particularly bad reviews of the JT220M (and in fact, the QST 01/2010 review Icon-pdf.gif (354 KB) was pretty good), I decided to buy one. My review of it can be found at Jetstream JT220M, but the short-form recommendation for the would-be buyer is >don't<. At least, not until they fix some really stupid bugs.

GigaParts was running a really great deal on the DR-235T, for $247 shipped. I bought one and it showed up on my doorstep on 2009/12/23. By late afternoon I had popped two more holes in the trunk deck lid for NMO mounts (there was already one for the Icom IC-208H 2m/70cm antenna, added one for the 220 antenna, and another for the 900Mhz antenna that will be connected to the Kenwood TK-931HD, as soon as it shows up), and had the radio installed into the center console and programmed up.

I haven't had a chance to use it mobile on the route I normally drive to work, so I'll be curious to see if the difference between 25W and 50W is noticeable to the folks I usually talk to. I do know that I could still bump all the repeaters from inside my garage, so that's at least a promising sign.

In spite of having little time on the DR-235T, I know that I like it's size better, the intensity of the backlighting is not blinding (even the low setting on the JT220M is quite bright), and the fact that UP/DOWN in regards to unprogrammed memories and scanning works correctly makes me definitely favor the DR-235T. I may end up using the JT220M for a base station radio, or more likely, just sell it (unless Jetstream replaces it with one where the firmware has been updated).

Oh, and for the record, I do have one minor nit with the DR-235T. The only way to scan is with the UP/DOWN key. It would have been nice if pressing and holding V/M for one second started scanning. There could be at least 5 alternate functions supposed with a 1+ second press on the front panel keys.

Notes

Please note that the service manual does not name the pin functions on the 8-pin microphone connector, and the EMS-57 schematics do not have the 8-pin connector pin-out. A pin-out document has been provided on the EMS-57 page.

The speaker jack on the back is a 3.5mm mono jack. The speaker is driven by a Sanyo LA4425A 5W amplifier that can drive a 2 to 8 ohm load (4 ohms is recommended).

The radio's dimensions are 142mm(W) x 40mm(H) x 174mm(D) / 5.58"(W) x 1.57"(H) x 6.83"(D)

Information Pages

Accessories

Manuals, Schematics, Etc


Note: The DR-135T Service Manual Icon-pdf.gif (2.54 MB) is a direct-to-PDF copy that is much more readable. The DR-135T and DR-435T are very similar to the DR-235T. There don't appear to be significant changes between the Mk-I and the Mk-III radios, so this may be handy for comparison purposes. Component values may differ, but designators and functionality should not.