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Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | AEA PK-900 Help

Reviews Summary for AEA PK-900
AEA PK-900 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $549
Description: All-mode data controller: Packet, RTTY, Morse, AMTOR, PACTOR
Product is not in production.
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KA7EKW Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2011 13:31 Send this review to a friend
BRING THIS BACK!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Unfortunately, no matter what eHam says, the PK-900 is not in production.

I've been using digital since the mid-1980s, and used wayyyy too many different units. The PK-232 is the standard for digital controllers, leaving AEA the problem of "what next" -- so they went all out.

The PK-900 is the top of the pyramid.

Sound card adapters are great and versatile, but the PK-900 is POWERFUL.

I've never found a more stable or capable digital controller. This belongs in every EOC. They are hard to find, and never cheap, because those of us who have them rarely let them go. The handful of hams that I know who do have them, have (or want) spares.
K7TMG Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2011 16:52 Send this review to a friend
High performance TNC  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own 2 of these and wouldn't swap them for anything else. They are very sensitive for HF and VHF packet - regularly hearing more than my KAM XL which I got rid of in the end because of it's software stability issues.

We will probably never see this class of stand-alone TNC in the future as the market for digital modes has changed so much in the last 15 years no company would find it financially viable to invest so much time and effort in an amateur product.

If you have the chance then buy one, then buy another just in case. Look for firmware v7.0 DEC 93 or later as this added the XGATE command which is necessary if you need to provide a true dual port gateway (eg VHF packet <> HF packet/Amtor/Pactor-1).
KL7AJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2010 15:46 Send this review to a friend
A box without apology  Time owned: more than 12 months
I retired my 900 when I discovered sound card modes about a decade ago. I brought it out of hiding when my "lads" at Huthison Amateur Radio Experimenters Society (KL7EX) desired some digital modes. I forgot just how sweet this thing worked. Did the RTTY contest all weekend...pulled things right out of the noise floor with almost no errors. It's made RTTY really fun again!

FLEA07 Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2010 05:17 Send this review to a friend
serious bit of kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
had a pk900 for two years now,and i absolutely love it! build quality is exemplary,and that front panel is a solid slab of alloy,not just a piece of sheet metal! i also like the fact that the back light for the front panel display is adjustable.fantastic!!!
oh well time to talk to Bruce Myers at timewave for the soundcard interface,as there is no longer any distributor here in the uk...
regards Lee. 73's de 2E0 FLE
KB4DW Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2007 22:38 Send this review to a friend
Superb, Excenlentisimo.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Approximately a year ago, I decided to purchase a PK-900 TNC after talking to Mr. Bruce Myers at Timewave Technology Inc., regarding upgrading my outdated PK-12 unit. At that time I was also considering purchasing a PK-232MBX. Bruce advised to also consider a used PK-900 unit; however, finding a PK-900 was far much harder than locating a PK-232 (I later realized the reason why). Upon conducting some research on the PK-900, I decided to wait until one became available on eBay. Simply put, I love this gem. This is one fine piece of equipment that is a keeper. My RIGblaster plus now sits in the back seat.

The unit I purchased came with the PK-900/DSP and PK-900/PSK upgrade kits. I also purchased the PKTerm software to use with it because I had a great experience using AEA's PC-Pakratt 2.0 and Logwindows 3.0 with my PK-12; however, at this time, I am still not sure if pairing up this unit with PKTerm is the best way to go. I have used Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) and Digital Master 780 (DM780) with the PK-900 and have had excellent results with PSK-31. As one reviewer stated, “…can print good copy when you can barely hear any signal at all.”

If you find a PK-900 for sale, don’t hesitate to purchase it. I was told it was designed with military specification in mind. While I don’t know how true that is, I can certainly tell you that you will not be disappointed with a properly functioning unit. I recommend contacting Timewave Technology Inc., for technical assistance with firmware, upgrade kits and/or interface cables for your radio. I received great service and technical assistance from them and commend Mr. Myers for his excellent customer service.

Danilo, KB4DW
SWL377 Rating: 5/5 Jan 27, 2007 14:54 Send this review to a friend
fantastic tnc 5++++  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is one fine unit, even without DSP. It smokes the PK 232 and MFJ 1278 in performance, can print good copy when you can barely hear any signal at all. I bought mine used for $125 based on the eHam reviews and am very glad I did. Couldn't be happier with the PACTOR performance. Whovever designed this unit ought to get some kind of engineering award.
NV0U Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2006 09:46 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Timewave really needs to bring this thing back out. It is simply awesome! Took me quite a while to get it to print anything packet wise, but once I finally got everything figured out (somehow both ports got set to 1200 baud) it started throwing packets up on the screen.

Now, the old TNC it is replacing is my 17+ year old KAM. I was always impressed with how well it worked, but the PK-900 seems to do a much better job. There were a number of times on PACTOR that I could not really hear anything over the speaker because of QSB, but the thing was still getting enough that it was printing.

I am quite impressed.
W0IPL Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2005 06:06 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for ARES  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the true hidden gem for ARES/RACES work. While it is tedious to get set up correctly (due to the expanded parameter set for dual port and gateway) it is a joy to use. This gives you the ability to have another station connect to yours via HF and then in turn connect to a local VHF BBS or Cluster via the gateway. OR they can come in on VHF and go out on HF (we use PACTOR). Put the HF portion on an NVIS antenna and you have complete coverage for 200 miles in all directions. An ARES/RACES dream machine.
AD5JN Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2004 11:14 Send this review to a friend
Rock solid  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use this TNC with airmail on HF. Works great. I would like to know if the DSP is a good option. I have had this modem for about a year without any problems. I have MFJ-1278 that are junk while setting next to the PK-900.
VE3YF Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2003 09:41 Send this review to a friend
Pleasure To Use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just happened to pick up one of the PK-900's and I just find it a pleasure to use. Works much better than my PK-232MBX and loaded with a whole bunch of extra features. When using it with PC-Pakratt v2.1 I have found no problems what so ever. It performs very well with weak signals I can barely hear. The two true separate ports are nice. Work RTTY on HF and get mail on VHF at the same time. The 5 Pin Din I find are much better setup than the old 5 Pin system of the PK-232 era.
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