PC-500

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by K9FOH, Nov 18, 2002.

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  1. K9FOH

    K9FOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Patcomm PC-500 is a dual band 160-6 meter QRP  transceiver that is a dream rig to operate.  If you are not inclined to build the famed Elecraft K-2/1 or one of the other QRP kits, here is a chance to enter the QRP arena with a top-notch, quality built transceiver.  Some of the features include:

        - Continuously adjustable (600-2800 hz) digital variable audio filter which works great.

        - RF clipping for outstanding SSB audio quality.

        - Built-in CW keyer from 5wpm to 75wpm for the really high speed buffs.  I leave mine on 15wpm.  This one retains the speed setting when turned off, unlike my PC-9000 which I reviewed in another report.

        - Eight pole crystal filter.

        - Output power adjustable between 1 and 15-watts.

        - Ready for PSK-31 with optional PC interface cable.

        - Optional noise blanker works great on six-meters.

        - Can be controlled with an external keyboard for CW sending, frequency changes, four memories per band, and direct frequency entry from the keyboard.  This is really a nice feature that works great.  I program my favorite CW QRP and FISTS frequencies for both the Novice and the regular CW portion into memory.  
       
        The band modules are very easy to swap.  Just remove four screws, pull the cover off, and swap the boards. I've been using mine mostly on 40 and six-meters.  This rig is not really designed for the back-packer since the receive current drain is 750ma, but it should do fine for portable use with gel-cel, or similar,  type battery.
     
        A tip for swtiching from the external paddle to a straight key.  Press the KEYSPD button and then the LOCK button and the display with show MANUAL.  This disables the internal keyer.  The reverse to swtich back to a paddle.  

        I highly recommend the PC-500 for the entry-level ham, QRP buff, or any ham who would like to support a US manufactuer.  Yes, this one is made in the good old USA in New York by a very small company.  Frank personally builds each rig and checks it out before shipping.  The factory service and support is second to none.   Patcomm's WEB page is:

     www.patcommradio.com  

        For a more comprehensive review of the PC-500 check CQ magazine May 2001, page 40.  Some other reviews of the Patcomm equipment line that I forgot to mention in my reviews of the PC-9000 and the PC-16000A are:

    QST November 1999, page 68 for the PC-9000.  

    QST December 2000, page 67 for the PC-16000A.

    CQ June 2000, page 52 for the PC-16000A.

    CQ April 1998, page 22 for the PC-16000.

    QST February 1998, page 62 for the PC-16000.

    Cheers from Bob, K9FOH.  

    ex:  KR6FJ, Okinawa 1964-65;  KA2BL, Japan 1970-74;  KA1BL & KA1DX, Marcus Island 1973-74 DX-peditions;  KA1CQ, Iwo Jima 1973 DX-expedition;  G5EBA, England 1981-84.
     
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