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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Patcomm PC-500 Help


Reviews Summary for Patcomm PC-500
Patcomm PC-500 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $395. plus $25. mic additional
Description: Dual-band HF transceiver, 1-15 watts and keyboard CW capability. Choice of bands from 160 to 6 meters. SSB and CW only.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.patcommradio.com
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WD8BMP Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2002 12:18 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just recieved PC-500 with 20 and 17mtr bands installed with 10mtr board also. The main function that I am going too use this radio is for digital modes. Without reading the manual, out of the box, connected all cables (used Patcomm's cable) to laptop, and fired up Digipan sftwr. After few adjustments of the sound card levels, worked 12 stations within an hour on psk31 with outstanding results. The typical 25 watts output was of course plenty for psk31 modes. The filtering on this radio is outstanding! Own a TS850,TS2000,FT840 have had IC746,FT847,TS940 and the filtering used in this Patcomm is stunning! I was able to continue making contacts when I heard no signal what so ever and when running side by side with TS2000 digipan sftwr the Patcomm copied 95% where the TS2000 was about 50%. Quality of contruction is very refreshing inside and out. The ability too plug a keyboard right into the radio too use cw is awesome! No pc is required; as I tried this mode and full qsk; fast and couldnt even hear it keying. Was running 30wpm on 20mtrs solid print from the radio's own display was stunning. Sensitivity, selectivity, quality and performance is without reserve well worth the $395 price tag new! They are running a special also at present that make even this radio more of a value. Check out there website for details. If you're looking for a very good digital mode radio, including cw, then I would highly suggest talking with the people at Patcomm. They bent over backwards too get this radio USPS overnite too me and they picked up more then half of the cost! Customer service today seems too dwindle and when you're able too get such service from a company like Patcomm, there's something too be said. Also, got outstanding audio reports on ssb, and since there is no "processor" so to speak; no audio overdriven signals, which only improves throughput on all modes. I also understand that Patcomm is going too release a "multi-board" band where 40/30 mtrs on one board and 20/17 mtrs on another; further enhancing flexability. Be happy to entertain questions/comments on the PC-500 if you have any. My radio is the rev-"e" version 2001. Also www.yahoo.groups.patcomm for more user questions. Thanks for reading! Mike
 
KI8DJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2002 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a pc 500 and am extremely pleased with it.This rig is very easy to use ,the receiver is very good. It has a bright clear sound to it and is very sensitive.The audio filter is excellant on cw and useful on ssb though you can't tighten it up too much without muddying up the sound.The stock hand mic is solid and I have gotten many compliments on my audio.I have 40,20,and 17 meter modules and all bands work well. The nice machined vfo knob tunes very smoothly and the variable rate tuning is handy for getting to the other end of a band quickly.Last but not least the rig seems to be very well made and dealing with the folks at Patcomm was a pleasure,This is a real nice radio for the money. Gary ki8dj
 
WO7T Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2001 17:18 Send this review to a friend
A Bargain  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What a pleasure to see substantiation of my review last summer. Full details and explanations of my assessment for this $395 QRP marvel at:

www.antennex.com/preview/Folder04/Jul401/patcomm.html

73,
Mark
 
KB8USZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2001 12:10 Send this review to a friend
nice radio for a needed niche  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having used this radio on all the modes I operate (SSB, CW, PSK-31, RTTY)
I can say that it works very well. I did an A/B comparison of the RX with
an Elecraft K2 and they were very close in terms of sensitivity and
selectivity on a weak SSB DX signal. An A/B comparison with a vintage
Yaesu FT-757-GX revealed a noise floor much lower than the 757; in fact,
weak DX stations that were buried in the noise of the 757 became Q-5
when I switched on the PC-500. The transmitter works FB on all modes.
The fact that it's essentially QRP doesn't seem to matter. I get consistently
good signal and audio reports. I don't tell the op on the other end of the
QSO who's using a 1000 Mark V, Gold Line and amp that I'm using a
$400 rig, an old Yaesu hand mic and 10 watts. The fact that it has SSB is
important to me since I like to be able to use the many sound-card digital
modes currently available, and to be able to go portable with them.
The service and technical support is extraordinarily good.
Nice folks, nice radio. Highly recommended.
 
KB8USZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2001 10:55 Send this review to a friend
a nice affordable radio for a needed niche  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having used this radio on all the modes I operate (SSB, CW, PSK-31, RTTY)
I can say that it works very well. I did an A/B comparison of the RX with
an Elecraft K2 and they were very close in terms of sensitivity and
selectivity on a weak SSB DX signal. An A/B comparison with a vintage
Yaesu FT-757-GX revealed a noise floor much lower than the 757; in fact,
weak DX stations that were buried in the noise of the 757 became Q-5
when I switched on the PC-500. The transmitter works FB on all modes.
The fact that it's essentially QRP doesn't seem to matter. I get consistently
good signal and audio reports. I don't tell the op on the other end of the
QSO who's using a 1000 Mark V, Gold Line and amp that I'm using a
$400 rig, an old Yaesu hand mic and 10 watts. The fact that it has SSB is
important to me since I like to be able to use the many sound-card digital
modes currently available, and to be able to go portable with them.
The service and technical support is extraordinarily good.
Nice folks, nice radio. Highly recommended.
 
WB8NUT Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2001 22:18 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Radio!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
All I can say is WOW! Had the radio sent to the office. When it arrived, I took it out of the box to see what it looked like up close. The quality of the case and construction is first class. I left the office early to bring it home to check it out. Hooked up the antenna, power and turned it on. The receive audio is loud and sounds like my stereo system. Before transmitting I hooked up a PS/2 keyboard to see how that worked. I can easily control the rig with frequency, mode and even send CW with the keyboard! I really hate CW, but with this radio, it was the first mode I tried. Worked another QRP station in Aurora, CO who gave me an excellent report. Tried SSB next with a VE6 (in both cases I had the power set at 10 watts. Got a good report from him and had a nice QSO when the band condx were poor. I also ordered the rig with the digital interface cable. Tired the rig on PSK31 next with great results. The radio is so easy to operate. I ordered mine with 20 and 15 meters installed, then ordered the 40 meter band module just in case. Radio works well on 15 and 20. For $395 you get a radio with two of your favorite HF bands, $30 each for extra band modules (cheap price), CW keyer built in, CW with a keyboard built in, keyboard control of the radio (freq, mode and band), SCAF filter (works great and NO AGC pumping!!!!), great display, RIT, split, great audio - why aren't they selling more? Did I mention the great service? These guys called me when they got the order, answered questions, then called me again a few days later to let me know it checked out o.k. and that the radio was being shipped that day. Compare of a single band MFJ bare bones Travelradio at over $200. Two of those equals the price of this and you get more radio with the Patcomm. Compare to the discontinued Ten Tec Scout at more money and one band. This thing is a steal and it is a real quality radio! Buy one now! BTW, I don't work for the company, I'm just a customer that loves this PC-500.
 
WB8NUT Rating: 5/5 Dec 4, 2001 22:17 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Radio!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
All I can say is WOW! Had the radio sent to the office. When it arrived, I took it out of the box to see what it looked like up close. The quality of the case and construction is first class. I left the office early to bring it home to check it out. Hooked up the antenna, power and turned it on. The receive audio is loud and sounds like my stereo system. Before transmitting I hooked up a PS/2 keyboard to see how that worked. I can easily control the rig with frequency, mode and even send CW with the keyboard! I really hate CW, but with this radio, it was the first mode I tried. Worked another QRP station in Aurora, CO who gave me an excellent report. Tried SSB next with a VE6 (in both cases I had the power set at 10 watts. Got a good report from him and had a nice QSO when the band condx were poor. I also ordered the rig with the digital interface cable. Tired the rig on PSK31 next with great results. The radio is so easy to operate. I ordered mine with 20 and 15 meters installed, then ordered the 40 meter band module just in case. Radio works well on 15 and 20. For $395 you get a radio with two of your favorite HF bands, $30 each for extra band modules (cheap price), CW keyer built in, CW with a keyboard built in, keyboard control of the radio (freq, mode and band), SCAF filter (works great and NO AGC pumping!!!!), great display, RIT, split, great audio - why aren't they selling more? Did I mention the great service? These guys called me when they got the order, answered questions, then called me again a few days later to let me know it checked out o.k. and that the radio was being shipped that day. Compare of a single band MFJ bare bones Travelradio at over $200. Two of those equals the price of this and you get more radio with the Patcomm. Compare to the discontinued Ten Tec Scout at more money and one band. This thing is a steal and it is a real quality radio! Buy one now! BTW, I don't work for the company, I'm just a customer that loves this PC-500.
 
W2DI Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2001 12:03 Send this review to a friend
Impressive performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've only had this radio for a week but I have to say I'm very impressed. I've made many contacts on 40 meters, both fixed and mobile with only modest antennas.
For 15 watts output, the signal is very "big" and have received unsolocited comments stating such. The frequency is stable and not affected by bumps in the road. The mic is hefty with plenty of cord to spare.
The PC-500 receiver is, IMO, incredible for a rig in this pirce class. It is one of the quitest I've heard. Signals seem to just pop-up out of the barely discernable noise floor. And, it's the same in the mobile. This is the quietest mobile I've used - yet the signal sensitivity is there.
There are minor things I would change, but considering the performance, features and price, I must give the PC-500 a 5.
 
N4DFP Rating: 4/5 Oct 28, 2001 16:30 Send this review to a friend
Super Minimalist Mobile  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I drive a truck for a living and needed a good little radio to take on the road with me. After a lot of research, I bought the PC-500, with band modules for 20m and 75m. While price and American manufacture were reasons to purchase this radio, the deciding factor was the apparent simplicity of operation. In my opinion, this promise is kept. As a professional driver, it is my job to keep my eyes on the road, not the radio. The PC-500 has only the bare essentitial controls and functions very well with them. The variable speed tuning takes some getting used too, but once you get used to it, you realize what a great feature it is. With an ergonomically placed PB switch, you can turn this feature on and off. The VFO is rock stable and the odd bump or pothole will not change the frequency. The variable filter is very sharp and works wonders on most QRM and QRN. I DO recommend paying the additional $35.00 for the 8 Pole Crystal IF Filter. This option is only available at the time of purchase.

Receive audio is crisp and the built-in speaker reproduces it without a trace of rattle. The receive sensitivity is adequate. I didn't order the optional standard mic for $25.00; instead, I used a Noise Cancelling CB mic and get great audio reports. The signal reports vary as should be expected with a low power radio, but, when the reports are good, they are great.

Perhaps the best feature of this radio is the excellent customer service. My radio arrived DOA thanks to the USPS. I called the manufacturer expecting to told that I would have to file a claim and wait for it to be acted on by the postal service. I shouldn't have worried. After talking to the design engineer, I was instructed to repackage it and send it back. Ten days later, in spite of a national disaster in their backyard, I had my radio back - in perfect working order, including a box of fuses to replace those I burned out while figuring out it was DOA.

Though I use this radio exclusively mobile, it would make a great little backpack radio or portable station, and is attractively priced for Hams just joining the hobby. These days, it shouldn't be hard for a teen-ager to come up with the price of a brand new radio.

The PC-500 is overall a great little radio, but, in my opinion, there are a few shortcomings that should be addressed. My number one annoyance is the fact that you have to unscrew the top cover to change band modules. Four spring loaded cabinet latches would simplify this procedure. As noted earlier, there is also room for improvement in receive sensitivity. Further, the documentation consists only of a users manual and does not include theory of operation, a trouble shooting guide, or schematics.

In spite of the shortcomings, this is a great little radio. I have faith in the company, and I believe my next radio will probably be a Patcomm PC-9000.
 
KG4CHX Rating: 4/5 Sep 21, 2001 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Value, and Performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Let me preface this review in that I did not do any measurements on the rig. I am not that well equiped in the shack. I did however compare it to my K2, FT-817, FT-301 and 509 Argonaught.

I received a very early radio, one of the first 20 to be released. I ordered all the band modules including 6 meters.

The radio performs very well in all modes. Receive sensativity is very good to my ears and I have had good reports on received audio and CW tone. I use a straight key so I can not comment on the keyer.

There are a few operating quarks that you have to get used to. If you use a straight key you have to select this mode after every boot up, if you use a keyer it remembers the last settings. The variable tuning rate takes some getting used to but is usefull on a band like 10 meters. Using the memories is cumbersome but I never use them even on my QRO rigs.

Power varies some what from one band to next but I rarley use more than 3-5 watts even on SSB, so not reaching 15 on all bands is not a problem for me.

The continously variable filter is nice and works fairly well. I was able to work many contacts with QRM on both sides.

The key board and PSK connections are very convienent and a nice feature.

Overall the rig is a great value and very usable, especially for someone who can not or does not wish to build. I will keep it in the shack and also as a loner for my scouts just getting started. I am not a one radio operator. I love having many rigs in the shack and switching around. I have over 12 QRP rigs and operate all of them on different occcasions. The K2, and 817 have more features but are much more expensive. If you are a casual QRPer or just getting started on HF or 6 meters I can highly recommed the rig. If you need a backpacking all band rig buy an 817, if you want a single rig with all the bells, atu and a 100w add in later and you can build buy the K2.

I had some teething issues with my rig due to the low serial number. The guys at PatComm are very committed and the service is top notch.
72 Tim O'Rourke KG4CHX
 
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