Alinco DJ-X11 Update
Ham Radio Science has had the DJ-X11 for about 5 days now. Preliminary testing looks very good at this point. However, the wideband antenna provided with the DJ- X11 was left out of the box. A replacement is being sent that should arrive this week. This has slowed down the review a bit. However, on first blush it appears that Alinco could have a hit on their hands. The feature set is excellent and the DJ-X11 sensitivity seems to be very could. The price point is very agressive for an all mode wideband receiver. The nearest competitors are the Icom R20 which costs about $225 more or the AOR8200 Mark III B at about $575 more. Of course the DJ-X11 cannot match the AOR8200 Mark III B and the Icom R-20 in frequency coverage. The DJ-X11 has a frequency coverage of 50 kHz to 1299.995 MHz (less cellular) while the AOR covers 500 kHz to 3000 MHz (less cellular) and the Icom covers 150 kHz to 3304.999. The Icom and AOR may be better receivers, Ham Radio Science does not have access to these receivers so no direct comparisons can be made. However, for the cost difference, they need to be a lot better. The ace in the hole for the DJ-X11 is allowing access to the radios IQ signal. Using SDR software increase the receivers performance significantly by providing more sophisticated DSP processing and filtering, very possibly out performing other receivers in its class.
One thing you should do immediately if you purchase the DJ-X11 is check that you have the latest firmware. The unit that was received here had a slightly older firmware than the current version from Alinco. You will need to purchase the ERW-7 or ERW-8 cable to do this. You would probably better of to go ahead and purchase the ERW-8 cable. The ERW-8 plugs into the desktop charger and allows for full pc control of the DJ-X11 while it is in the desktop charger. The ERW-8 appears to be a USB to serial converter with a mini usb jack on the other end. So you can’t just use any old USB cable. The ERW-8 can be ordered from Universal Radio for $45.95 plus shipping. The ERW-8 has been in somewhat short supply, so you may have to wait on one. Once you get the cable, you need to upgrade to the firmware version 2.30 from Alincos website. This corrects two issues that you may run into pretty quickly. The first issue that it corrects is allowing for better fine tuning of SSB signals. The second issue is adding an IQ Shift feature that may necessary for some SDR programs to work correctly.
Hopefully, Ham Radio Science will have its Overview and Quick Look up in the next week or so. If that darn antenna will just get here!