Lab-599 Discovery TX-500 Review

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KI6NAZ, Jul 21, 2020.

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  1. AE7YD

    AE7YD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    if everybody waits that somebody has it then there will never be any new radio sold. At one time Elecraft didn't have any radio in the field, fortunately some people bought them.
     
    N4MMI, WB4NQF, NE7EE and 1 other person like this.
  2. N4MMI

    N4MMI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been using a KX3 for years on summer hikes up 14,000+ ft peaks in Colorado and smaller peaks here in New Mexico. A few years ago I transitioned to an LNR LD-5 and then to a KX2. The TX-500 looks to have advantages over all three in size, ruggedness, water resistance, and the built-in spectrum scope, while keeping weight reasonable . An internal tuner would be a serious improvement, but radios are all a series of compromises. HRO will be getting $800 from me in the next few months and I'll let folks know my 2 cents. Great work on the video Review, KI6NAZ. Very much appreciated. My 15-year old photographer was holding up my SOTA mast when I was on the KX2 on Handies Peak (14,048 ft) last weekend. He only got a chance to take a picture of me (below) after we were done on HF.
    FIxnQQ6LSZ2s%MbhMbpuDw.jpg
     
    G0NMD, WB4NQF and WD4ELG like this.
  3. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's the same refrain I heard from KX-3 buyers. I was on the wait list after Elecraft announced the rig. But the final price gave me a shock so I gave up my slot. Some friends went ahead with their purchases and said it was a fantastic radio with lots of interfacing options which was also a big negative with the "octopus" connections.
     
    G3SEA and WD4IGX like this.
  4. W4OP

    W4OP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wait a minute. No internal antenna tuner, I don't think there is an internal battery is there? No fixture to mount a paddle. No option for 2M. No support history. I'll stick with the KX-3

    Dale W4OP
     
    G3SEA and AJ6KZ like this.
  5. W4OP

    W4OP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was at FDIM when Wayne and Eric introduced the K2. We all knew Wayne's background of designing excellent rigs from NORCAL, and had no doubt the K2 would be a winner with tremendous support.
    Further I have heard rumors from a reliable source that much of the 599 is copied from the KX-3.

    Dale W4OP
     
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  6. N4MMI

    N4MMI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The KX2 has got it all for portable mountaintop operation. Almost. If they could just ruggedize it a bit, make it splash resistant, and add a band scope it would be the perfect radio for that application. Elecraft does great work, but they are lacking primarily on toughness and the Russkies apparently figured that out. My hope is that this spurs Elecraft into putting their goodies into a more rugged design.

    /David, N4MMI
     
  7. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That ruggedness comes with a weight cost. It's not huge, but if you are a backpacker you count every ounce. The Lab599 is 1/3 pound heavier.
     
    N4MMI likes this.
  8. AJ6KZ

    AJ6KZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Never mind. I see you are lugging around a KX3. You don't care about the weight. :)
     
  9. W5CJA

    W5CJA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would at least like to know where I can turn to for support before buying a 750USD device. The guys that promoted it on YouTube have been very quiet on this matter.

    I kinda like the design for the most part. Would be willing to preorder if this was an American company. Not willing to take the risk to be a Guinea pig for a Russian product.
     
    AJ6KZ likes this.
  10. KI6NAZ

    KI6NAZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good question. I am putting edits to the deep dive video now. But I’ll answer you now.

    I’ve been told all service and support will be stateside out of Reno Nevada.

    More to come. I used the comments here as questions to answer in the video and demonstrate when I could. Feel free to ask more.

    Josh,
     
    W5CJA likes this.

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