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Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | SCS PTC-II Help

Reviews Summary for SCS PTC-II
SCS PTC-II Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $950.00
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W6VZV Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2002 18:36 Send this review to a friend
The best way to do the digital modes  Time owned: more than 12 months
The PTC-II is, quite simply, the finest TNC made, other than the PTC-Pro which recently replaced it (and which is not wildly different that the PTC-II). The unit does Pactor wonderfully well, and of course when you link with another PTC-II/IIe or Pro you will immediately jump into Pactor II, which is fast, robust, and very very resistant to qrm, qrn, or qsb.

The PTC family of TNCs is completely DSP. This means that you can upgrade the unit without hardware changes by downloading upgrade files from the SCS website at no charge. A couple of years ago SCS added PSK31 to the capabilities of the unit, and my PTC-II is great for PSK31.

Of course, the unit does plain old RTTY as well. As you would expect, it does RTTY superlatively.

I've never owned a piece of ham gear with which I have been so thoroughly and unreservedly pleased and enthusiastic.
I2JJR Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2002 04:10 Send this review to a friend
PtcII and Pactor 3 : VyFB!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would like to add someline to my review of the SCS PtcII controller: I've loaded the Professional FFirmware with Pactor Level 3 and Robust Connect, and tested it heavily loading the HF link transferring big files in critical propagation and heavy QRN/QRM conditions: this is something to see!!
I happily use the lev.3 with AirMail and also with the PA0NC NcWinPtc multimode program for Psk31 with this terminal controller and the new protocol level.
If you like digital, test this, it is really worthwhile.
N3CKF Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2002 13:08 Send this review to a friend
PTC-IIPro great on PSK31 too  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had a PTC-IIpro (my first TNC from SCS) for about 6 months now. I have been using it mainly with WINLINK, making many fairly difficult links on HF with it, and a little bit for random QSO's.

However now i have been using the PSK31 software witht he excellent Terminal program for this TNC called "Alpha" (this is a free download from: )
If you have one of these, you should get Alpha and try it (it has English text as well as German, but you have to set the language, the default is German).

Tuning PSK31 is really easy with this unit (and it makes the whole thing much more palatable in a mobile environment too). Had some great contacts and highly recommend the unit.

(I have one VHF packet board in my PTC-IIpro, you can put 2 different boards in for up to 3 links active at the same time. I was working VHF packet and PSK31 at the same time...)

Highly recommended, although the price is steep. PactorIII is now available too (havent tried that yet).
I2JJR Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2002 17:56 Send this review to a friend
Mny Years of solid multimode operation.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own an SCS-PtcII from years now; it has two packet gates VHF 1200 - 2400, and UHF 9k6 - up.
I used it as controller for psk31, rtty,amtor and pactor 1 & 2 QSOs, for pbbs and gateway to vhf-uhf, and as packet radio modem, letting my old TNC1 and TNC2 unused. No trouble in all this years. Firmware upgrades are easy and free.
I used PA0NC program NcWinPtc for multimode, and then used AirMail for WinLink operation on HF and packet on V-Uhf.
Pactor lev.2 is something to test; I had in the last month other Multimode Pactor controllers to fix, but when you are used to Pactor level 2 , going back to pactor 1 links seems pure frustration and masochism .
I am waiting for pactor level 3 release ...
The PtcII is also useful as good CW filter for hearing code, I use it with the RCU expansion device.
I suggest digital HF fans to test this controller; it is well worth every cent it costs. See the SCS site for more infos.
PA3DUV Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2001 08:41 Send this review to a friend
The best HF modem  Time owned: more than 12 months
I will not summarize all the features of the SCS PTCII, please check their excellent website, see top of page.
I own a SCS PTCII for approx 4 years and recently bought a PTCII PRO. The performance of the PTCII in PACTORII mode is amazing. Links can be initiated and kept alive for hours and hours on long haul HF paths, with signals deeply burried in the noise and QRM. The text simply keeps coming. The last 2 years the PTCII was mainly used for HF links from The Netherlands to Wellington New Zealand, both over the short (18 000 km) and long (22 000 km) path.
Hundreds of PACTORII QSO's mainly on 20, 30 and 17 meter have been made, under the most different (and difficult) HF propagation conditions at different times of the day. The succes rate was more than 98%, this means that the links are almost as reliable as a phone call.
Typical operating conditions on the PA end were 100 watts, Cushcraft R8 vertical, and on the ZL end also 100 watt and loop antennas for 20, 17 and recently also 30 meter (ZL2ARN), and a wire vee antenna (Now ZL2PQN). Recently tests have started to set up an HF link from fixed (New Zealand) to mobile (PA), using an 706MKII and the excellent StealthII Screwdriver antenna from HIQANTENNAS. ( Although there is not so much experience collected yet, it looks very promising. Instant PACTORII links from the other side of the planet while travelling on the highway is a nice HAM Radio experience, and the PTCII does it all.
I know is does not make much sense to state that the system worked so and so many countries etc etc, but the results of these long term long haul PACTORII link experiments prove that the PTCII is the best piece of equipment available today for PACTORII HF operations.
I can recommend this fine piece of HAM digital hf communication equipment to any Amateur Radio Operator who wants to operate a professional and reliable PACTORII system.

Dick Knol, PA3DUV

PS: Don't drive and use your laptop computer at the same time
AA4PB Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 1999 21:32 Send this review to a friend
Top of the line for HF digital modes  Time owned: unknown months
The SCS PTC-II is a DSP multimode pactor controller which is about as good as it gets for most of the HF digital modes. You can add optional VHF/UHF packet radio boards as well. The PTC-II's premire mode is Pactor-II, a high speed error-free protocol for HF data developed by SCS. The PTC-II will also do CW, RTTY, Amtor, Pactor-I, NAVTEX, SSTV, FAX, and PSK31. There are optional internal AFSK (1200/2400 baud) and FSK (9600 baud) modem boards for packet-radio. The PTC-II can operate as a stand-alone mailbox system with access from either the HF or Packet sides. There's built-in rig control which can be used to provide automatic scanning for the mailbox system. An optional external remote control unit (RCU) can be used to provide relay contacts to switch anything you like. The PTC-II can also be used as an audio DSP filter for SSB and other modes and the RCU contains an audio amp to drive a speaker from the output. If you don't need the control functions, you can put together a speaker amp from one of the many audio amp kits available and save the cost of the RCU. On the front panel, a matrix display indicates the actual operating mode and in pactor, the call sign of the connected or calling station. Nine two-color LEDs provide status information and an array of 15 more LEDs provide and accurate tuning indication. The PTC-II is a true DSP box (unlike some of the boxes which are called DSP but are really only an audio DSP filter ahead of the old analog circuitry thats been around for a number of years). All of the filtering, decoding, etc is done in digital. All of the DSP and processor firmware is contained in FLASH memory which can be easily upgraded by uploading from a file on a PC. SCS is very good at providing support. All upgrades have been available for free for download from their web page (http:\\ At the web page you can sign up to be notified by e-mail any time there is an upgrade available. The PTC-II is not an inexpensive box (about $1000) but given all that it can do, including replacing your audio DSP, it's well worth it. For those who don't wish to spend quite so much money, SCS has just release a new scaled-back version (no packet boards) for about half the money.
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