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New to Ham Radio? One question that I’ve never been able to answer was why did Alinco construct a handheld radio with an antenna not tuned for the right frequency. I know there are lots of hams out there that own this little radio and love it for their particular uses. There are hams out there that loved it once they did some antenna modifications so they could put on a “real” antenna. And there’s people like me that hated them because they purchased a poor performing radio that was marketed as a ham radio.
What gets me is the fact that there’s no loading structure inside the radio to make the supplied antenna be a match for the two-meter band. Yes, I know it’s low power and isn’t meant for long distant QSOs, but really, does it cost that much to put a electrically matched antenna on this radio? A 5-inch two-meter duck antenna would out perform the antenna that was supplied with the radio because it was matched to the proper frequency. If anyone read my review on this HT, they would note that I was getting better performance with a tacky antenna modification running the radio 50mW then with the regular antenna on high power mW.
So really, what was Alinco thinking? As a rule with modern Ham Radios that come out, you expect them to have near or equal standards of commercial radio equipment. I’m just curious to what other amateurs have thought about this radio. If I bought a compact two-meter mobile antenna from a well reputable company that was about 10 inches tall, I would expect it to at least perform decently for it’s size and give my radio a good SWR.
If I found out that the compact inch antenna wasn’t even loaded for the frequency and just a straight piece of rod, I would feel ripped off.
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No more comments may be added. Bill, you bring up a valid point that identifies your displeasure with the radio, but it really is a matter of “buyer beware”.
Around the clock, around the town, around the world.
Unless the radio was advertised to have a tuned antenna, there is nothing you can do about poor performance except convince others not to buy it. The reality is that you, or any other buyer, should check out the specs and make comparisons before the purchase.
Why would anyone even buy a DJ-S11 today? The SWR couldn’t be too high or they wouldn’t put out power alicno way they were supposed to.
I’d like to know how you determined that the antenna wasn’t resonant. Please remember that these were mW HTs. When I had mine I lived in Florida and later California. Why did I like the DJ-S11? It didn’t perform poorly for me at all. I got into all the local repeaters just fine. Could that have been because the repeaters were nearby and very good machines?
Of course, which would pretty much be a requirement with a mW HT with a shortened antenna. For what it was the DJ-S11 worked well and I thought it was a good product. I owned mine for about five years and used it pretty much every day with no complaints at all. HandBooks contain great info on transmission lines, SWR, and line loss.
Newer ones contain mnaual on conjugate match. I have mixed feelings about this review. Simple to operate, uses AA batteries of all kinds, and they’ve always done what I expected them to do.
That said, I’m surprised that something as simple as matching the antenna was overlooked in their design. I think we take reasonable design and construction for granted, and too dj-x11 of us don’t have the ability, equipment, or desire to check things out as carefully as the author seems to have done. Bottom line is that I’m not getting rid of them very soon.
I’ll probably try to improve the antenna performance now that I know it’s not up to snuff. But then, hams have always tinkered to improve nearly every piece of gear that ever hit the market, usually because in someone’s opinion performance could be should have been! It’s an endless game, and most of us enjoy playing it to some degree! I guess if your happy with the radio, then your happy with it.
I was first confused when I first started to use it, and couldn’t get into a repeater well which had a remote rcvr 3 miles from me, and the other 2 machines that I could hit that djs11 at high QTHs, I was unreadable.
After I did a lil antenna mod, I was fine, jd-s11 even did better and the 50mw setting. My old HTX ran circles around it with a smaller duck antenna. I discovered on my DJ-S11 is that the sj-s11 antenna had no loading, and I really didn’t feel that it was worth me modifiying it for dn-s11 I paid for it.
If your satisfied, that’s great. But I’m curious to how many other amateurs feel the same as me. I would think that Alinco would feel they had a reputation to live up to. Icom was going to put out the T82A, but because they felt that the radio didn’t live up to the “Icom Standard”, they scraped it.
And here’s a quote from Icom on the Universal Radio website: Icom cancelled this product on April 9, Icom America has decided not to go ahead with the sale of our latest product, the T82A.
This model in its current form, after careful scrutiny and testing, did not meet the high standards of technological excellence that ICOM sets for all our products. Therefore, rather than putting a below standard item on the market, the decision was made in the interst of our customers and dealers, to stop the sale and advertising of this product. Also another point, I’m not knocking the DJ-S I personally haven’t used it, however I’ve seen it in operation performing nicely.
I cannot make the same comparison. Remember the size of the antenna on the DJ-S With an antenna modification so that you can use a proper antenna, this radio functions very nicely. I think the radio has a good cosmetic shape and is very light. If it had come with a small tuned rubber duck antenna, I’m sure I’d still own it today. Alicno, why are you still worrying about this?
According to your review you owned it for 3 months or less back in As I recall the one I owned had a rubberized flip up antenna that may have been helically loaded. I never took it apart to check it since the radio seemed to work okay. I have 9 or 10 dj-s1, dual banders, tribanders, ones with packet and aprs capabilities, all with removable antennas.
Why, because it is small, lightand easy to carry because of the flip up antenna. I use a mobility scooter and the low power does not interfer with the electronic controler. I actually bought a charger and some recharageable batteries and now I can plug it in with the rest of the HT’s once a month for their battery top off. Its a radio dk-s11 for our “inside voice”.
It is bad enough trying to sift through all the spin that the “advertising specialists” read that as controlled liars put into the ads but when we have to see if a HT has a resonant antenna with it.?
A previous comment “Unless the radio was advertised to have a tuned antenna, ” makes one wonder how many of us have been BS’ed into buying junk and not remembering that you get what you pay for applies to almost everything in life.
ALINCO DJ-S11 Service Manual download, schematics, eeprom, repair info for electronics experts
I mankal a DX and wish i had never sold it as it did everything it advertised and more. How do you know the antenna isn’t resonant? It takes more than a wattmeter or directional coupler.
Taking the antenna off and placing it atop some sort of ground plane will not give you the correct answer answer either.
Over the past 20 years or so, several of the ARRL Antenna Compendiums have contained articles about this very subject. And there is a goodly amount of data on designing antennas with limited ground planes in the third edition of Antennas by Kraus and Marhefka. I don’t dispute that replacing the antenna could or would increase performance, but to assume the stock antenna’s resonant point is the culprit is moot.
I’ve designed vhf transmitters to load into 1. I just didn’t design them with 50 ohms in mind. They loaded up just fine and radiated quite well. Not too long ago a there was an article in QEX about this, a guy set up a way to test antennas on the radio with a nice HP network analyzer and had a neat little Smith chart for each one.
How does one know if an antenna is matched to a radio? Then we check the antenna to see if the impedance at our chosen frequency is close to 50 – 52 ohms. What if the radio is NOT of a 50 ohm design?
If you have a 75 ohm radio, then a matched antenna would also be 75 ohms. I suspect that radios that do not have removable antennas may fall into this category. HTs are very difficult to check antennas with using test equipment as moving the antenna off the radio changes everything.
Based on the comments generated, you may have just had a bad antenna, not a mis-matched one. Just something to think about Then one has to ask, why would Alinco design a radio where the antenna was not matched to the output on the operating band?
The transmitter output could probably be designed to match the antenna and add the necessary inductance to bring the system into resonance without adding a dime to the cost.
I have a hard time believing that they would design a 2M radio with a 50 ohm output and then just stick an unloaded 6-inch whip on it.
There must be something else going on.