Monday, 16 March 2020

ALINCO DJ-X2000

WIDEBAND RECEIVER


When I started this blog I mentioned that I had owned an Alinco DJ-X2000 and remembered it fondly as being "the most advanced scanner in the world". Well every time I see one in an auction, I usually put a cheeky bid in and I always lose out to someone else because these things still bring strong money, but this time I got lucky! So just like 15 years ago, I am the owner of Alinco's "Intelligent Receiver". 

This particular radio is in MINT+++ condition. It literally looks like it just came from Japan! Amazing condition, complete with all the original packaging and instruction manual. So glad I found this one.

Back in the day, they cost a lot of money and were considered to be the absolute king of scanners. 100 kHz-2150 MHz with no gaps, USB, LSB, CW, AM, FM, WFM, 2000 memories, built-in frequency counter, a bug-detector and digital memory to record audio.

Like new from the factory!!


In addition to the standard accessories which come in the original box, I also have an 
EDH-16 AA Battery Box which replaces the standard battery pack for extra convenience. I use Energizer Ultimate Lithium cells in it. They’re excellent, long life batteries, but regular AA’s can be used no problem.

 The NiCad which came with the radio is the 4.7V 700mAh EBP-37N. This isn't the smallest battery, but neither is it the largest.
  
 
It’s so nice to have an X2000 again after all these years and as soon as you start to use it, you soon realise why it was held in such high regard when it was launched.

Operating is it a joy and there's not really much need for the manual - you just kind figure it out! The only thing that I'd say is not as good as I remember is the scanning speed; I always thought it was super-fast but it is in fact quite slow. You certainly have to do your best to put the frequencies in memory sorted in ascending order so that the radio isn't switching backwards and forwards all the time. It makes sense to do that anyway. Another thing that will slow down memory-scan times is switching from one mode to another. Personally, when scanning I tend to be scanning a particular band (eg. Civil AirBand), so there's no need to move out of AM mode anyway. 





Searching (as opposed to scanning) is actually very fast on the DJ-X2000E, but this is something I use very little. 
The supplied antenna is surprisingly good on most bands but the radio obviously benefits greatly from a dedicated antenna on HF frequencies such as an End Fed Half Wave. In fact, it also benefits from a COUPLER/ATU to "tune" (match) the antenna to get the best possible reception. For this (and when I am using my old AOR AR-3000A) I use an AT-1000 which I bought secondhand. You could obviously use any manual antenna-tuner. So many SWL'ers fail to benefit from matching their outdoor antenna to their radio and therefore miss out on a far superior signal.

If you're unable to accommodate an outdoor antenna, you could always try something like an AOR SA-7000 which does a pretty good job of covering everything. Some discones also offer surprising results on HF. Big external antennas often mean you’ll have to switch the Attenuator on. 

So after 20 years of holding it in high regard, does the Alinco DJ-X2000 still make sense in 2022? Well yes, I guess it does. My own runs about 1k out of tune so it needs VFO realignment - not sure if that’s a big job or not. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter does it, for general listening. If you’re up a hill listening to a two Americans having a chinwag on 14.100 but the screen shows 14.101, do you really care?🤷‍♂️

 Sure, things have moved on and there's some pretty darned clever (and cheap) SDR receivers out there with amazing sensitivity, selectivity and stability but the DJ-X2000E can still hold its own and it can be purchased for crazy low prices on the used market. 

 
This isn't a receiver for aficionados or DXers, but it has decent sensitivity and a MASSIVE frequency range with no gaps! It's compact and handy to carry around wherever you go. It's a classic and you'll get a lot of listening pleasure from it for very few bucks!



Main Features DJ-X2000E
  • 100 KHz ~ 2150 MHz continuous coverage
  • 2000 memory channels in 50 banks, 40 channels per bank
  • WFM, NFM, AM, USB, LSB, CW modes in many different tuning steps, including user-programmable step.
  • Fast scan speed
  • Easy to read dot matrix LCD display
  • Alphanumeric channel names and name tag search engine
  • PC programmable (See software details below)
  • Help Navigation so powerful, you may never need the manual (enters directly to the set mode of relative parameters from the help menu!)
  • Two-mode "Bug" detector finds hidden transmitters
  • Instant search function locks onto the nearest, strongest signal (new circuit design, patent pending)
  • Frequency counter, accurate to 1 ppm, uses digital TCXO first time in the receiver industry.
  • Field Strength meter
  • S-meter activated beep alerts you to nearby calls
  • Record up to 160 seconds of audio in digital memory
  • Inversion decoder for scrambled audio
  • FM stereo receiver (requires optional stereo headphones)
  • CTCSS decoder/tone scan
  • Two-level attenuator reduces strong or interfering signals 6 or 20 dB
  • 24 hour timer
  • Use 10 ~16 VDC external power or internal batteries (an optional DC cable is required for external power source)
  • Battery level indicator and battery save feature
  • Ni-Cd battery and quick charger included.
  • New design rubber-duck antenna for better reception, especially at lower frequencies.

    Specifications DJ-X2000E
    • Receiving Range: 0.1000 to 2,149.999950MHz Continuous (ie No Gaps)
    • Mode: NFM/WFM(mono,stereo)/AM/CW/USB/LSB
    • Antenna imp.: 50 ohms
    • Antenna terminal: BNC
    • Supply voltage: DC 4.8V (Ni-Cd battery pack EBP-33,34,37N), DC 6V with EDH-16 AA battery case, DC 10-16V external power source.
    • Typical operation with Alkaline AA in EDH-16: 30hours (1:4 battery saver ON)
    • Current consumption: approx. 150mA in normal reception, approx. 50mA with 1:4 battery saver at 6Vdc power source
    • Operating temperature: -10 to 60 C or 14 to 140 F
    • Frequency stability: Within +/- 2.5 ppm at operating temperature range AF output: 100mW or more 10% THD
    • Channel steps: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 500Hz, 1, 2, 5, 6.25, 8.33, 9, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50, 100, 125, 150, 200, 250, 500KHz, user-programmable
    • Memory channels: 2,000 / 50banks, 40channels in each bank
    • Program-Scan: 20 pairs
    • Priority watch memory: 1
    • Dimension without projection: 57 x 150 x 27.5 mm
    • Weight: 200g
    • System: Triple-conv. Superheterodyne
      1st IF: 814.5MHz or 304.3MHz
      2nd IF: 45.05MHz
      3rd IF: 455KHz
    • Typical sensitivity:
      FM/WFM 12dB SINAD, AM/SSB/CW 10dB S/N
      • AM:
        0.1 to 5.0 MHz: 1.5uV
        5.0 to 900MHz: 1.0uV
      • SSB/CW:
        0.1 to 5.0 MHz: 0.6uV
        5.0 to 900MHz: 0.5uV
        900MHz up: 1.0uV
      • NFM:
        5.0 to 900MHz: 0.5uV
        900MHz up: 2.0uV
      • WFM:
        5.0 to 900MHz: 2.0uV
        900MHz up: 4.0uV

3 comments:

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Looks quite familiar Tom. See: https://pe4bas.blogspot.com/2014/01/alinco-dj-5gey-ht-repair.html

I still own the DJ-G5 and it seems they use the same housing....

73, Bas

MadDogMcQ said...

Thanks for stopping by, Bas. Yes the DJ-X2000 case is virtually identical isn't it? Never noticed that before. Considering the 2000 has 0.1-2150MHz and twin VFO's they've done a good job of cramming it all in, lol.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.

alfredo said...

Hola. Tengo un alinco dj x2000e