Lab599 Discovery TX-500 - A different perspective

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Sep 30, 2020.

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  1. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe not important, but they sure are handy. I've built dozens of resonant antennas, and several antenna tuners of various types, and used them all to get on the air. I've proven to myself and anyone I made contact with that I can do it without crutches, but, for my latest radio, I *wanted* the ATU option. :)

    Sometimes it isn't crutches, but actual progression and improvement. After all, when was the last time you had to adjust the valves, points, or carburetor in your car? This is a hobby, why do we insist everyone wear the same hair shirt?

    I mean, I enjoy this stuff, but I was also the kid that twiddle the knobs on the TV to see what they did (that should date me a bit). I also changed a hot light socket the other day with just some heavy leather gloves and insulated tools. Ain't nobody got time to properly shut stuff down and flip a breaker. :D

    That's my line of thinking as well. BTDT. I want less stuff to carry to the summit or to camp.

    M1WML and G0NMD like this.
  2. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I completely understand many of the points brought up by automatic ATU users, SOTA/POTA types, and campers. And although frequently thought of as a Luddite, I assure you I'm not. I studied and experimented with solid state devices in the 60s, and graduating steps of technology to today. I'm simply concerned that today's technology and Black Box-itis™, both amateur and consumer, shrouds the nuts and bolts of radio from newcomers. So much so, in fact, that many of today's youth might know about insect antennae, if they're fortunate enough to be studying biology, but have absolutely no clue that their "smart" phone contains one or more antennas. A GUI icon tells them they have no signal, but they don't know what a signal is.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
    OLDARCHER, M1WML, AJ6KZ and 3 others like this.
  3. KL7KN

    KL7KN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you're ham grouser and don't understand lazy or not a lot of time while in transit, well You don't understand about antennas that work good enough are good enough.

    Fast up/easy up = more operating time...

    But, yeah, nothing says rich mans hobby quite like this or a collection of DOT mil radio that are truly expensive....
    M1WML likes this.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, very few hams actually understand resonance. For the last 54 years almost all of my antennas have been non-resonant in use. And they had excellent SWR's.

    Resonance refers to the frequenc(ies) where the reactance of an RLC circuit is zero.

    If the reactance is zero then the RF is purely ohmic and or radiative-real. That's ALL that 'resonance' means: it doesn't mean 'better', 'worse' and so on.

    All antennas have an impedance, and are usually designed with matching systems to produce the least amount of standing waves to the transceiver output port at the frequency of use. IF the antenna is 'resonant' and close to 50 ohms (radiative) (as desired in most cases) then no matching system is needed-- there is one less 'black box' with an insertion loss to deal with.
    DJ0IP, M1WML, K8XG and 3 others like this.
  5. VE4SW

    VE4SW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay, going back to the topic: Lab599 Discovery TX-500

    It is actually very reasonably priced from a European perspective. It doesn't help that HRD has their usual mark-up as sole importer and distributor in NA. The reviews are great and the interest is really going up. Absolutely great QRP HF radio for the ultimate outdoor use and my next choice after I sell my FT-817. How about joining us at:

    OLDARCHER, M1WML and AD8BM like this.
  6. W5CJA

    W5CJA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I can't adjust most of those things on my modern vehicle because automotive manufacturers, along with many consumer tech companies, actively subvert the ability of shade tree mechanics and tinkerers to repair their own devices. They withhold access to schematics, parts and other services behind the "authorized repair center" disguise...which is only intended for them to charge exorbitant prices for minor fixes.
    M1WML, DM2TT, AK5B and 1 other person like this.
  7. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Demonstrably untrue. There is a cottage industry of folks doing custom performance tunes on a chip for people (and if those folks can do it for others, you can do it for yourself with the right tools). Custom as in, they're matched up to the specific engine configuration, including non-standard aftermarket bits, of the car in question. All those tunes do is change the fuel and ignition settings, the same sort of stuff folks used to do with carbs and points-based distributors.

    I have a very detailed service manual for my newest car, a 2013 model. I've owned such manuals for many of my vehicles (they can be quite expensive, so I didn't buy one for every car). No, you can't go to Autozone and get one, but they're available.

    It's different today, you use computers and electronic tools, but it's not impossible.

    M1WML and AH7I like this.
  8. N1IPU

    N1IPU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Tuners are easy mode even in mobile/portable use and they are never as effective as a resonant antenna. Mobile I run a screwdriver as I wasn't happy with a tuner. If I need to I keep single band antennas tuned in the back I can switch to.
    I use a tuner at home with my multi band but still have resonant antennas for the bands I use often. Portable I run resonant antennas and the boat Is the only thing I actually need a tuner 99% of the time.
    Tuners are great but not the end all as they are now.
    Issue is a tuner is a band aid and if you use a proper antenna even portable you will not need a tuner. Too many always need a tuner to operate and that's not a good thing. Portable you need to know how to cut an antenna on the fly and many don't have a clue.
    I don't run Mil radios portable, just the 817 and 891 along with QRP guys kit. Had them for years without issue. My problem is this radio is not waterproof and calling is water resistant isn't close. Like needing a tuner its drives a false complacency that should be instead good practices in the field.. It's a hobby radio like the rest of them. It's an expensive gimmick just like the connectors it uses.
    OLDARCHER and M1WML like this.
  9. N6ALT

    N6ALT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree, I only just bought my first radio with a antenna tuner in it, and I have yet to use the ATU. I have owned lots of radios over the last 40 years, I have never seen the attraction to ATU's, a resonant antenna is so easy to build or buy why settle for bad performance antennas?

    KG4WXU and M1WML like this.
  10. HB9PJT

    HB9PJT Ham Member QRZ Page

    With a non resonant Doublet antenna of 2x Lamda 5/8 and a tuner you have definitely a better signal than with an ordinary and resonant Lambda/2 dipole. In many situation a tuner has less loss than can be measured. Many OM have little knowledge of losses in tuners and spread false information. If you want to know more about tuner losses, you can use the program TLW from the ARRL Antennna Handbook and calculate how high the loss is in different antenna situations.

    73, Peter - HB9PJT
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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