Alinco DR-735T Review

Alinco is often overlooked when it comes to Japanese radio manufacturers, and that’s a shame. As the Alinco DR-735T proves, they’re more than capable of building some fantastic 2m/70cm mobile transceivers – and selling them at great prices compared to the competition. Let’s take a look at this radio in detail now.

Good

  • True dual receiver – The Alinco DR-735T has a true dual receiver, which means it’s basically two radios in one. It can simultaneously send and receive on two channels at once, on either the 2-meter or 70cm band. If you frequently monitor and use multiple VHF/UHF frequencies, it’s a great choice.
  • Support for cross-band repeaters – Thanks to its cross-band functionality, the DR-735T can receive UHF signals and retransmit them on VHF to VHF radio systems and repeaters.
  • Simple, crisp multi-color display – The dual-VFO screen is bright, large, and simple to use. It also has 8 different full color settings, which you can adjust depending on your preferences. You can even change the color of one side of the display at a time, if you want.
  • Twin speaker outputs – With 2 speaker outputs, you have the option of setting the left speaker to transmit the output of the left receiver, and setting the right speaker to transmit the output of the right receiver. This makes it easier to handle dual-band operation. Of course, you can also combine both signals and output them to two speakers for stereo sound, too.
  • Includes mounting bracket – Some other competing mobile radios in this price range don’t include a mounting bracket, so it’s nice that Alinco throws in a mounting bracket for the DR-735T. This makes it an even better value for mobile use.
  • 1,000+ memory channels – The DR-735 has a ton of memory channels. You’ll get 10 banks of 100 (1000) standard memory channels, as well as 100 right-only and 100 left-only memories, 5 pairs of programmed-scan channels, and 2 call channels. Each channel can be programmed with settings like screen color, tones, output setting, and much more.
  • Up to 50w TX power – You can output up to 50 watts of power with the DR-735T on the high setting, or up to 5 watts on the low setting. Uniquely, this Alinco radio has customizable power output for “medium” power. You can choose any value between 5 watts and 50 watts for the medium setting. Lots of other radios only let you choose 10w or 25w for medium output, so this is great for some additional customizability.

Bad

  • Included mic is only decent – The included hand microphone works well, but some users have reported having issues with tinny and low-quality audio, so it’s possible that you may need to replace it with a different mic. Thankfully, the standard RJ-45 connector means this is simple to do.
  • Noisy fan – The built-in fan and large heatsink of the DR-735T keep it cool even during prolonged operation, but it can be quite noisy, especially during longer sessions. This is less of an issue in a vehicle than it would be in a ham shack, though.

Bottom line

The Alinco DR-735T is capable, affordable, and packs a surprising amount of features into a small package. If you’re looking for a reliable and flexible dual-receiver mobile radio for your vehicle or your ham shack, it won’t let you down. It may take a little bit of time to fully unlock everything it can do, but it’s well worth the time and effort.

Product Specs

Frequency rangeTX: USA
VHF 144-147.995 MHz
UHF 430-449.995 MHz
TX: European
VHF 144-145.995 MHz
UHF 430-439.995 MHz
RX:
108-173.995 MHz
400.000-479.995 MHz
Modulation16K0F3E(FM)/8K50F3E(Narrow FM)/F1E(Optional digital voice)/F2D(1200bps)/A3E(RX only/AM)
NOTE: 9600bps packet is not usable
Channel steps5, 6.25, 8.33, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100KHz
Memory channelFree-programmable 1000ch / R+L 100ch each / dual 100ch / VHF CALL & UHF CALL 1ch each / 5 pairs program scan
Antenna impedance50ohm unbalanced
Frequency stability+/- 2.5ppm
Power Supply Requirement13.8V DC +/- 15% Negative ground
Current DrainApprox. 12A TX high / 0.6A RX max. / 0.4A RX squelched
Operating temperature-10digC to +60digC (+14digF to 140digF)
Dimensions (w/o projection)140(W) x 60(H) x 188(D) mm
5.5″(W) x 2.4″(H) x 7.4″(D)
WeightApprox. 1.3Kg (45.9oz)
Power OutputHigh 50W / Mid 20W / Low 5W(approx.)
Mid power freely programmable in set mode between 50 and 5W
Modulation systemVariable Reactance Frequency Modulation
Spurious emissionLess than -60dB
Maximum frequency deviation+/- 5 KHz (FM) / +/- 2.5 KHz (NFM)
Receive systemDouble-conversion superheterodyne
Sensitivity (-12dB SINAD)-14dBu(0.20uV) or better
Intermediate frequencyVHF main : 21.7MHz/450KHZ
UHF main : 30.85MHz/455kHz
Squelch-18.0 dBu (0.1 uV) or less
SelectivityWide FM : (-6dB)�F15kHz or less / (-50dB)�F30kHz or less
Narrow FM : (-6dB)�F9kHz or more / (-50dB)�F20kHz or less
Audio output power2.0 W (8 ohm, 10% distortion)

Expert reviews

  • Jason and the team from Ham Radio 2.0 took a look at the Alinco DR-735T in an unboxing and review, and called it a “great radio.” They liked the inclusion of the mounting bracket, the large and bright display, the ability to plug a mic into the control head or the base of the unit, and its powerful dual-receiver design, among others. They called it a “sweet looking radio” and “really cool,” and a “good dual-band radio for anyone who’s interested in it.”
  • Everything Ham Radio took a look at this radio in an overview, and had a positive impression of the unit. He liked the dual-receiver and full-duplex functionality of the radio, as well as the customizable screen colors and detachable faceplate. He said that overall, he would “absolutely” buy this radio.
  • YouTuber hamradiocomms did an in-depth review of the DR-735T on his channel, calling it a “really great radio.” Among other features, he loved the large alphanumeric screen, and the fact that it’s a full-duplex dual-band radio, making it “two radios in one, since the left and right side are completely independent.”

User reviews

  • On DXEngineering, users have given the Alinco DR-735T a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars across 13 total reviews. They said that it “has the best price… out of all comparable radios,” gives you lots of “bang for your buck,” and is a “solid radio… the reception is fantastic.” Among other features, reviewers praised the customizable LED backlight, dual-receive functionality, and included mobile mounting bracket.
  • GigaParts reviewers have given this mobile transceiver a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars across 3 total reviews. They liked the “simple to navigate menus,” “excellent price,” and “multi-color display… and cross-band repeat function.” However, one user noted that the included microphone did not provide solid audio, and had to modify the microphone to get better audio reports.
  • On eHam.net, reviewers have given the DR-735T from Alinco a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars across 16 total reviews. Users enjoyed the “nice big display, “ “excellent signal reports,” and great cross-band functionality of the radio, with one user calling it “two radios in one.” They also praised its rich feature set, although some users noted that the DR-735T had a bit of a learning curve.

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