How to receive the Air Band
(Aircraft) band on the Alinco DR-635T Dual Band radio.
I recently received my Alinco DR-635T dual band radio and was very pleased with its performance and especially its size. It fit perfectly into the tiny space I had reserved for it on my ham shack desk. I have received very nice reports on the air with it on both the 2 meter and the 70cm bands and it performs well for the basic needs that I have for a dual band transceiver.
One feature that it has is reception on the AM aircraft (airband) and having the airband at my finger tips was a must for me. I have always enjoyed listening to commercial and private aircraft and after looking over the specifications for this dual bander, I decided it would fit my needs since it included the aircraft band and also the FM broadcast band with a great price.
I had minimal trouble programming it, considering it is microprocessor based, with the 2 meter/70cm repeater frequencies nearby me and I "played" with my new toy until the newness of it wore off. Yes, I did study the instruction manual first and practiced some programming of some 2 meter and 70cm repeaters into memory.
Then one day, I wanted to do some "sky high" listening of the aircraft band so out came the instruction manual and I started to look for the method to set it to receive the aircraft band frequencies. I first looked from cover to cover in the printed manual but found nothing pertaining to setting the radio for aircraft reception! I thought maybe I had overlooked the instructions but again after looking from cover to cover, still nothing that stood out about the air band except a fleeting word or two here and there.
I then went to the U.S. Alinco website and downloaded the pdf manual from them thinking that maybe they had a more up to date set of instructions for the radio than the one packed with their new radios. So doing a "search" for anything related to the air band settings in the downloaded manual, I still found nothing. Was I going blind?
Searching my old friend Google also shot me blanks!
I re-checked the "specs" again and sure enough,108-135.995Mhz was listed as RX (receive) only for my model Alinco. So as not to give up on this feature of the Alinco DR-635T, as far as the aircraft band was concerned, I emailed one of the support people at Alinco asking how do I set the function/s for receiving the aircraft band on my new toy.
Needless to say....the instructions from a quick email response sent back to me did not work as described after I followed them word for word! I suppose that support from Alinco assumed a lot of me! The "assumption" was that I needed to be in the vhf VFO mode FIRST! This I did not know!
So after some 30 minutes or so, using various combinations of the support persons instructions, this is how I learned to set up my Alinco DR-635T to receive the aircraft band.
Important! The "T" model is the only model in this series radio that will receive the aircraft band according to Alinco. The very first thing you need to do before following these instructions is to confirm you have the "T" model and become very familiar with the functions of each control and button on your radio by referring to your instruction manual and the specs of it!
How to set up your Alinco DR-635T for aircraft band reception in 3 easy steps!
We assume you have not modified your Alinco DR-635T and are in the memory channels mode for VHF 2 meter frequencies you have programmed into memory....if not.... get into that mode and band now. This would be the band that receives the programmed channels for 2 meters.
Step 1 (after the above is completed):
Press V/M button (6 in drawing) to get into VHF VFO mode (you should see a vhf frequency displayed)
Press FUNC button, (14 in drawing above), release it, do not hold, then press the CALL button (9 in drawing above). You should now be in the FM broadcast band. You will see an FM broadcast frequency on your display.
Press the FUNC button again, release it, do not hold
Now press the CALL button once.You will then be in the Air Band vfo mode!
Now was that easy or what?
By then pressing the FUNC button,
releasing it, and then pressing the CALL button,
Note: By pressing the FUNC button and releasing it, then pressing the CALL button as before, you go back to the FM broadcast band. Repeating this same procedure again puts you back into the Air Band mode.
So using the FUNC and the CALL button sequence, remember don't hold them in, switches you back and forth between the FM and the Air band.
Depending on which band you stop on will determine how to get back to the regular programmed channel memories.
To get back to the vhf memoryprogrammed channels mode from the FM band:
Press the FUNC button and release it, and then press the CALL button, release it, you should see the air band, now press FUNC, release it, and press CALL button, release it, you should see a vhf frequency in the vfo mode.
Now press the V/M button...you are now back on the vhf (2 meter) programmed memory channels mode.
If you want to go from the aircraft band back to the programmed memory channels mode, then:
Press FUNC, don't hold, then press CALL button, do not hold...you are now back on the VFO vhf frequencies.
Last stepto get back into the 2 meter band programmed memory channels is to press the V/M button. Your done.
The same procedure works if you are in the 70cm band programmed memory channels mode when starting but you don't get the air band this time.
Now we assume you are starting out in the 70cm memory channels mode:
You press the V/M button to get into the vfo mode. You should see a uhf frequency displayed.
Now press the FUNC button, release, do not hold.
Press the CALL button.
You are now in the 335 to 479Mhz receive mode.
To get back to the programmed 70cm channels, press the FUNC, do not hold, then press the CALL button and do not hold..you are now in the VFO UHF frequencies mode. Now press the V/M button, you are now in the programmed memory channels mode.
NOTE...If you make a mistake and the buttons cease to function, and the radio appears to "lock up", then simply turn the power off, (yellow button in drawing above), wait a few seconds, turn on the power and start over. Summary: Although this page seems like lots to do just to hear the aircraft band frequencies or the FM broadcast band, it really is not after you practice a bit. Only about 2 to 3 seconds after practice is all it takes me.
I certainly hope this helps you or someone in the future. If it does, then please provide your feedback to Don, n4ujw AT hamuniverse.com. Subject line, Alinco DR-635T and provide your comments in an email to me.
If you have a more simple method of getting into the aircraft band receive mode, please forward them to me at the same email address! Please don't ask questions about how to program any other feature with this radio. I am not the expert here, refer to your instruction manual, but if you have a hint or trick to make programming of it more simple, please let me know so I can add it to this article. email my call sign at hamuniverse.com
Don - N4UJW Hamuniverse.com
Hamuniverse.com uses Green Geeks Web Hosting!