- 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 | AEA Model PK-232MBX Help

Reviews Summary for AEA Model PK-232MBX
AEA Model PK-232MBX Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $399.95
Description: Transmit and recieve all legal Amateur digital modes that are popular on both HF and VHF. In addition you can send and recieve black-and-white Weather FAX. Modes include, Packet Mail drop, Baudot and ASCII RTTY, AMTOR,/SITOR CCIR,Morse code, HF Weather FAX, and optional PACTOR...
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 AEA Model PK-232MBX.

<— Page 2 of 3 —>

OZ1ES Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2006 06:54 Send this review to a friend
Workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been using it off and on for the last 20 or so years. Did the DSP and MBX update a couple of years ago.

This made a great TNC even better.

This is one of the classic pieces of ham gear that apperantly wouldnt die.

Erik - OZ1ES
KG6QMZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2005 21:35 Send this review to a friend
Work Horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use it for Packet, Pactor, Amtor B and RTTY. I purchased a quality interface cable from Timewave and use PKTerm for Windows. Timewave gives excellent customer service for this product. Only Morse code works poorly on this unit but I don't use it for that.
VK4TUX Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2005 21:23 Send this review to a friend
Great TNC  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very versatile unit, easily upgraded to keep up with the times. I upgraded to V7.2 firmware and carried out the 170HZ RTTY alignment and the unit works flawlessly on HF RTTY and vhf packet where I use it most. Its possible to direct solder the rear radio (5 pin ttl)connections if you cant find a plug, as I did for the vhf radio connection. Recommend the K0BX site for great info(with TS850s) etc.

N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2005 16:49 Send this review to a friend
great tnc  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
you have to understand this tnc,but great to have tnc going.i use mine alot !

KD5YBE Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2005 15:35 Send this review to a friend
Not for beginers but good TNC  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my PK-232MBX used. It it is great condition. The manual is huge but if you read it word for word it explains pretty much everything. I use mine for APRS. It works great as a digipeater along with ui-view32.
K8JDC Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2004 19:06 Send this review to a friend
Very Satisfied  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a used PK-232MBX and contacted Timewave to order the upgrades. The upgrades were fairly easy to install. I got the latest PROMs, the DSP upgrade, and also got the soundcard upgrade (PSK). I think the soundcard upgrade is nice because it uses audio transformers and does a great job. I use my PK-232 for my soundcard interface and I get great reports on PSK31, MFSK16, and other modes. I have no problems with RFI, ground loops, or any other complications. I remoted the two "new" LEDs (DSP overload and soundcard active) to the front panel by punching a couple of new holes. It has worked great.

I've used my upgraded PK-232 with AMTOR, PACTOR, RTTY, CW, packet (both VHF and HF), and a host of soundcard modes, including HF fax, MT63, PSK31, MFSK16, and SSTV. I've probably left a few off the list, but everything I have tried has worked perfectly. The upgrades were not cheap, but the box has done everything I have asked of it.

KG4PFO Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2004 23:25 Send this review to a friend
Nice TNC  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have used this TNC for only three days now and I have to say...I love it!, I previously owned a Mfj 1278 which in my opion is junk, the pk-232 works great, I bought it after reading the other reviews list here, It is all everyone says, This is what a TNC is suppose to be !
SM0RWO Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2003 04:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using an MFJ-1278 for more than ten years and
over the years I've become used to its behaviour and
bad performance.
It's forced me to open it up so many times, for
readjusting the modulator and demodulator, that I can
no longer put it together completely. There's RF chokes
everywhere, as it produces so much RFI, and performance
has not been good at all.

I started looking for alternatives when pactor performance
was so bad that I could no longer stand it. I wanted to buy
an SCS PTC-II but those things are way too expensive and so
I talked to owners of all the other makes to try to find
a controller capable of at least Pactor-1. Everyone told me
that the KAM Plus was the best at packet radio but was no
good at all on pactor and a PK-232 was probably the best I
could get. I bought an old PK-232MBX and called Timewave
for all the upgrades (new firmware, DSP add-on and the low
power kit). Those upgrades were ordered on a friday afternoon,
delivered wednesday morning (I'm in Sweden !) and I had them
installed before lunch. Excellent service Timewave !

The performance of the PK-232 is much better than what I
ever experienced with the MFJ-1278. Pactor works nicely even
with really faint signals. RTTY is really very good also,
signals can be almost inaudible and it still prints. In fact
RTTY performance comes close to some military modems such as
a Harris RF-5710 and that is a 5000$ modem.

Some have complained about the tuning indicator but I find it's
much easier than what I had on the MFJ. I find it easier to
align properly with this indicator and I've usually had an FFT
analysis running in the background but I see no need for it now.

What I don't like about the PK-232 are the Molex connectors
for Radios 1 & 2, they are hard to find and I'm not sure about
the quality of those either. Also, without "the low power kit"
the unit got warm and needed more than 1 amp to even start.
Now that I've got that low power kit it's much better.
I haven't seen anywhere that I can control the DSP of the modem,
it would be interesting to be able to try performance with
or without that DSP.

In summary I'm really glad I bought this unit, it's the best hf
modem I've had and I'm sure it will work fine even when I bring
it along on my boat (thats why I wanted that low power kit).
If you are looking for a good hf multi mode then this is the one.
K5CFW Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2003 22:46 Send this review to a friend
Well made, good support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought it on e-bay 2 months ago, and ordered the new EPROM and DSP upgrade from Timewave. I was delighted that this 11 year old design could be so easily brought up to date. It's my first TNC and the Signal Identification Mode really helps me to figure out what I'm hearing. What others have said about difficult tuning is true, so I run Digipan on my sound card in parallel with the PK-232MBX. This way I can see the spectrum of the incoming audio signal, and it's easy to tune the squeals and chirps up to the 2100 Hz center frequency that the PK232 wants so it can demodulate.
KB3FUT Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2002 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Great unit, good service  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently got the MBX off Ebay and then sent it for upgrades and alignment. AEA' service was superb. Turn around was fast.Their tech's are helpful and patient. I've tried Rigblaster, MFJ and KAM and found the PK232MBX/DSP by far the best. It pulls in PSK31 that I can't even hear. Does a fine job with RTTY/CW/WeFAX too. Works smoothly in APRS w/ UIVIew too. Tuning on some modes is a bit of a challenge though. The meter is hard to read. I can't say enough good things about the unit and the company.
<— Page 2 of 3 —>

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