- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | Timewave PK-232SC Plus Help

Reviews Summary for Timewave PK-232SC Plus
 Timewave PK-232SC Plus Reviews: 7 Average rating: 2.7/5 MSRP: $$599.95
Description: PK-232SC Now with USB Audio, Rig Control and Single USB Computer

Timewave’s customers swear by their DSP filters and PK-232 owners love
the flexibility and reliability of the most popular data controller ever built.
Now with the addition of a built-in sound card, rig control, computer
isolation and total USB connectivity, the PK-232SC rolls it all into one! The
PK-232SC brings a new level of performance to the legendary PK-232 with
sharp, accurate DSP filters for all its internal data modes and dual
transformer isolation for sound card data modes. Weak signals magically
appear from the noise and QRM bounces off the new DSP filters for
cleaner copy with fewer errors than the old analog filters.

(This description came directly from their website listed below.)
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Timewave PK-232SC Plus.

VK2VC Rating: 4/5 Mar 3, 2018 07:26 Send this review to a friend
Great in their day but not needed with modern rigs  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the original AEA product from the mid 90s and was a great unit . I replaced it with this version due to corrosion to the AEA while in storage. I too had troubles getting the Timewave
232 to work but a pre-made cable from Buxcom fixed that. I have now bypassed the 232 and now use the ICOM built in sound card for digital modes.
W0PP Rating: 0/5 Jan 13, 2017 06:41 Send this review to a friend
PK-232SC great dust collector.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I don't have the plus, just the SC model. I received it as a Christmas gift about 5 years ago and have yet to be able to get it to work properly and not willing to spend the $100 for HRD to see if it'd work with it. I have been able to get the sound card to work off and on but nothing else. After many emails to their sales asking for info on a cable for my TS-590S with no response I ended up calling, ordered the cables, and still no luck. I tried getting info on cables for my FT-450D and the response was do you have the SC or SC+ when my email specifically said the SC. Didn't hear back until I copy/pasted the request and sent it again and the response to that was "I'm in Dayton and will get back with you when I get back". Never heard back so gave up. Mine is a great dust collector and a stand for my rotor controller. I would love to set it up as a BBS but their manuals are about as clear as mud since you have to try to join a number of different manuals together to get one that covers all the features.
W4JOE Rating: 0/5 Nov 21, 2016 15:12 Send this review to a friend
Never could get it to work  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I got the PK-232SC about a year ago. Never could get it to work. Service rep (I believe there is only one person), Randy I worked with. He was very good but still couldn't get it to work for me. Sent it back for check. They sent it back saying "nothing wrong".
Now it sits here collecting dust just waiting for the next trash day that allows electronics to get rid of it. To me it is just a piece of junk and that is where it is going.
KI7G Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2016 19:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent blend of old and new  Time owned: more than 12 months
The PK-232SC+ is an excellent "Swiss Army Knife" of amateur radio digital communications technologies. I had it's ancestor, the AEA PK-232mbx back in the early '90's and this unit has everything that unit had plus a built in sound card, DSP and easy USB linkage to the computer. Modern computers (Windows 7 and newer) have a hard time with the sound card modes because of their automatic control of the internal sound card. Having one isolated from the computer solved a number of problems I had when using a Rigblaster Pro. The DSP is perfectly adapted for digital modes and the set-up is FAR easier than the original PK-232. Ignore the reviewer who complained about having to solder some of his own connectors. That's a really basic part of being a ham, but if you find it daunting, there are guys on eBay who will make any cable you want for a few dollars. They have every possible combination for the PK-232SC+ available. The true manuals are digital. The printed material is indeed minimal but everything you need and all the old legacy manuals as well, are available on the Timewave website. The original back in the '90's came in a nice custom folder, but it was practically incomprehensible so I'm fine with getting a better version online. Customer service is excellent. I could not get my new computer to recognize the TNC and the people at Timewave worked with me to troubleshoot the problem - the USB was not compatible with USB 3.0 but they found an easy work-around. All in all, I would say go for this unit if you can afford it. You won't be sorry.
K4HYJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2015 21:52 Send this review to a friend
always improving  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I'm not aware of any USB soundcard interfaces or TNC's that come with pre-made cables for every radio out there. You either have to specify the radio interface you need or pick up one from Buck Rogers ( This device comes with 2 unterminated radio cables to make your own, and 2 USB ports to connect late model transceivers. It also includes some simple audio cables to feed the sound card or the TNC from a transceiver or receiver for decoding only.

The packet modem is quite robust - compared to KISS mode TNC's, I can connect faster to Winlink gateways and complete sessions faster with fewer sync transmissions. It is also great in terminal mode connecting to standard packet nodes for mail etc.

It is quite effective as a stand alone RTTY terminal; simply adjust the transceiver frequency until the tuning bar graph indicates proper mark and space reception and the data starts flowing to your console. It also works well with WinWarbler software and DM780 which both have specific settings for this modem. I've also used it for morse code sending and receiving. It is comparable to sound card based decoders, but a tad less forgiving with tuning for maximum signal recovery.

I've no experience with the other legacy modes it supports (pactor, amtor, etc.).

The sound card works good with WinWarbler, DM780, and FLDIGI. Running a Signalink side by side with the PK, FLDIGI shows a lower noise floor and better S/N ratio than the Signalink - that's very scientific I realize. There were fewer garbage characters with the PK - again very scientific.

One of the very handy features, is the ability to connect one USB cable from your PC to this device and have it connect to your radios - both VHF and HF. No extra cables to the radio from the PC to control keying, or for rig control. It has cleaned up my station desk and freed two USB ports on the PC.

Timewave's customer support is awesome. Many times the company owner ( and engineer) answers the phone when I've called - Randy. He is extremely knowledgable about this device and the various scenarios it is most likely deployed.

My PK started life as a PK-232MBX back in the 80's. I've added the newer low power chip set, the latest software chipset, and the soundcard daughter board. It is basically identical to a new PK-232SC. It's built like a tank!
KA3YAN Rating: 4/5 Jul 23, 2015 12:56 Send this review to a friend
A good device with some caveats  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Timewave PK-232SC is a really good device, but maybe not a Great! device. Let me explain.

The PK-232 as designed by AEA in the 1980's was THE top-of-the-line multimode terminal node controller. Over the years AEA and eventually Timewave introduced new upgrades that have kept the PK-232 relevant. The addition of a mailbox (MBX) was very important in packet radio's heyday. The addition of a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) daughterboard improved the device's ability to operate in an HF environment that was increasingly more hostile to weak signals. The Phase Shift Keying (PSK) upgrade added the ability to use your home computer's soundcard to work the new PSK31 (among other) digital modes. Then finally Timewave introduced the PK-232SC which had it's own internal soundcard keeping things tidy and removed much of the potential for outside noise creeping into weak signals. It also added a USB port as standard, removing all other wires reaching back to the user's computer not only de-cluttering but also removing the RS-232 requirement from the user's computer.

There is no arguing that the PK-232 is a modular platform. A "jack-of-all-trades" if you will. It can perform singular tasks with relative ease. It copies RTTY as good as any of the multimode TNCs and better than some. It can operate PACTOR I, CW, AMTOR and 300 & 1200 baud Packet. Now the SC version can operate PSK31, MT63, JT65, etc. with no problems. I would urge you to try operating PACTOR and then immediately switching to PSK31 though. This is not as easy as it sounds. Ask yourself this though...can any other single device out on the market today do it better or at all? No.

The issue with those who love digital modes is that the legacy modes like AMTOR, PACTOR I, CLOVER II, GTOR, etc. are all but obsolete. The only ops that still use them are folks with a touch of nostalgia such as myself. Today's bands are crowded with the musical warble of PSK31 and the sing-song tones of JT65. Is there a NEED to spend $500+ on a multimode device capable of FSK RTTY and PACTOR I? That's for you to answer, but I would argue no.

Timewave is a fantastic small company with stellar customer support. They offer the famous Clint Hurd, KK7UQ designed Navigator soundcard interface which does nearly everything the PK-232SC can do (minus the TOR modes) at a very competitive price.

If you have an old PK-232 that you LOVE and you'd like to upgrade to the isn't a bad upgrade if a little pricey. It will certainly breathe new life into your old device. Before you drop the dime on a brand new PK-232SC, seriously consider the Navigator instead.
AE5GG Rating: 1/5 Jun 23, 2015 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Don't expect to use it out of the box...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I purchased this I really expected a quality product - what I got was a "manual" that was printed on regular paper that seems to cover every product they make. I bet it saves them a lot of money, but it does little to keep things straight when trying to understand what product goes with what description. (Since they are obviously printed on regular paper don't you think they'd just print the manual that goes with the product and leave out the extraneous information about all of its predecessors?)

Add to that, all the cables have one end on them - the one that connects to their device. You'll have to purchase connectors that go to your radio (oops, they forgot to put that in their description) and then solder them onto their bare wire connectors. This is very annoying after paying $600 for the device. You'd think they'd include standard cables for the popular radios OR have you specify them so that the retailer can drop the proper cables in the box.

Three weeks later and I still haven't connected it because I haven't found the time to order the additional connectors then research which wire goes to which pins on my radios. This is so utterly annyoing.

If you have another choice, I'd look into it. (If I didn't have a return fee I would have returned the item. It's inexcusable that they don't provide the proper connector cables for the various data modes.)

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.