The Alinco DJ-G7T is a very sexy looking tri-band waterproof semi-rugged radio with some good specs, but is it nothing but flash? Read on to find out!
Right up front, I want to say if you bought one of these Alinco DJ-G7T radios and are looking for an article telling what a great purchasing decision you made, click away now before you get upset, this isn’t the article you are looking for.
I also want to say that my all-time favorite DMR radio is the Alinco DJ-MD5 so I had very high hopes for this Alinco DJ-G7T. Heck, I even liked the model number!
Start out looking at the pictures of the Alinco DJ-G7T and you will probably be as enamored as I was. One of my all-time favorite handheld radios was the Kenwood TH-79A/E and this radio reminds me a lot of it. It has things like the sexy keypad, dual-line LCD, actual knobs up top, and then they added dual knobs, tri-bands, and waterproofing, what is not to like about the Alinco DJ-G7T?
Let me count the ways.
To start with, as soon as I pulled the Alinco DJ-G7T from the box I noticed something, I didn’t get a belt clip. I thought that was strange, then it hit me. They included a belt strap, not a belt clip. Looking online, there is no belt clip, not even aftermarket. Period. OK, that knocks off a full star right there, not even offering one for sale after the fact? This isn’t starting off good.
UPDATE: I finally fixed the belt clip problem on my Alinco DJ-G7T by designing and 3D printing my own, you can see it (and buy your own!) on my Alinco DJ-G7T Belt Clip page.
Next up I turned it on and looked at that nice big screen on the Alinco DJ-G7T only to notice there is a lot of empty space, and I mean a lot. My guess is that it is at least fifty percent bigger than the screen on a Baofeng UV-5R, if not larger, and yet the numbers on the screen of the active VFO are substantially smaller. What the heck? We don’t even want to talk about how small the inactive VFO numbers are. Where are my reading glasses?
The best I can tell is that the numbers on the Alinco DJ-G7T active screen are around 1.5mm shorter than the numbers of either VFO on my Baofengs. The inactive VFO? About 2mm shorter. The LCD on the Baofeng is about 15mm tall while the LCD on the Alinco is almost 20mm. Yes, the text is sharper on the Alinco, but at the cost of substantially smaller text, not a tradeoff I want to make. Yes, even when you turn on Large Fonts in the menu of the Alinco.
Speaking of the LCD, the backlight on the Alinco DJ-G7T might as well not even be there it is so dim. I literally had to cup my hand around the screen in a dimly lit room to tell if it was even on. Again, the $35 Baofeng was much better. Again, yes, even if you turn the backlight dimmer function up from the default of 1 to 5 it is still very dim.
Fine, I don’t like the screen or the belt clip, or lack thereof, but what about the actual radio portion of the Alinco DJ-G7T, you know, the part that actually makes it work? Glad you asked! (But you won’t be)
Power output on the Alinco DJ-G7T on 2m is among the worst of any HT I have ever tested. It is supposed to be 5 watts on 2m but the best I could coax out of it was 1.25 watts. Yes, I triple checked the power setting, it was on High. Low 1 produced about .05 watts, both tested at 146.520 Mhz using its antenna as the load. It did perform better on 70cm at 4 watts and .1 watts respectively. I did not test it on 23cm.
So how about the signal quality of the Alinco DJ-G7T? Whereas the Alinco DJ-MD5 has a nice, beautiful signal pattern coming out on the spectrum, this radio is simply awful. Not only is it a little off frequency (that’s OK, it isn’t much and only bothers me because this is considered a fairly expensive radio) but it is messy and wobbles for lack of a better word. See the screenshot below to see what I mean.
This pattern isn’t the only problem plaguing the Alinco DJ-G7M, listen to the audio file below and you can hear there is a constant high pitched tone behind the transmission. The speech isn’t bad, but that tone really does a number on it. Just sad.
Now we come to the antenna on the Alinco DJ-G7T, good looking, and not so good performing. I guess I should say it isn’t bad because it really isn’t. It isn’t good either, but at least it isn’t terrible. Most of my other radios come with superior antennas from the factory, including virtually all of my $25-$35 radios. The one on the DJ-MD5 isn’t great either but is slightly better than this one and that is a cheaper radio.
The battery on the Alinco DJ-G7T doesn’t automatically lock into place when you put it on, it has to manually have a lock slid into place. This is really neither here nor there other than most modern radios just click right into place. My older Yaesu radios also require a manual locking into place but they are also ten years old. Add to that the fact that the Alinco dj-g7 battery is a 1200mAh battery, far below most other radios including the 1800mAh included on virtually all Baofeng UV-5R variants.
The Alinco dj g7 specs are good, and Alinco dj-g7 programming from the front panel is pretty easy, but these small things do not make up for this radio’s massive shortcomings.
Alinco Dj-G7T Test Results:
|Belt clip||Doesn’t Exist|
|Transmit audio||CLICK TO LISTEN|
|Maximum power output (2m/70cm)||1.25 watts / 4 watts|
|Size||268 * 63 * 40 mm|
|Actual weight||10 oz|
|Alinco DJ-G7T manual||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
|Programming software||CLICK TO DOWNLOAD|
|Alinco DJ-G7T Overall score|
If you are interested, click here for an article on how I test radios.
The Alinco DJ-G7T is, in my opinion, a massive waste of money and is the worst radio I have ever reviewed at this price point and in the top three worst at any price point. Seriously, buy a $25 Baofeng and you will have a better radio. Need it to be waterproof, fine, spend $40 on the Baofeng UV-9R+ which is, in every respect, a superior radio.
In fact, if you want a massively better radio and don’t really need the waterproofing, get the Alinco DJ-MD5TGP which is an amazing little radio with DMR built-in.
If you already bought the Alinco DJ-G7T, do what I am doing and see what the return policy is.
GET THE BOOK!
I hope you enjoyed my Alinco DJ-G7T review!
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