lab599 TX-500 Discovery accessories and connectors

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Don, who notes that in anticipation of the TX-500 hitting the market, W2ENY has posted a number of accessory cables, spare connectors and even a military-style handset on his eBay store and website.

To be clear, via Ham Radio Outlet, the TX-500 ships with everything you need to get on the air via SSB or CW. Here’s the full accessory set that accompanies the TX-500:

Screen grab from HRO’s TX-500 product page.

If you wish to build your own cables, or you’d like additional break-out cable options, check out W2ENY’s selection.

A note about TX-500 connectors

I’ve received numerous inquiries from readers regarding the “non-standard” multi-pin connectors used on the TX-500 to maintain water resistance. Truth is, the TX-500 connectors are only non-standard in the amateur radio world–they are not proprietary as some have implied.

The TX-500 uses GX12 mm connectors that are widely used in aviation, commercial and military applications. They’re easy to find online, but the price per each with shipping is typically around $7.00-8.00 US.  You get a better deal if you buy in bulk, but often bulk packages of 5 or more are of the same pin count/configuration.

After browsing W2ENY’s site, I see he’s offering a full set of TX-500 connectors for $30 via eBay and his store.  Not a bad price although I wish he’d also offer a package with three in particular: the speaker/mic, CW, and power ports (perhaps if he reads this, he’ll consider!).

If I were to purchase the TX-500, I would grab an extra set of GX12mm connectors to build my own cables.

Any TX-500 questions?

While I’m at it, feel free to comment with any of your questions about the TX-500. I only have this rig in the shack and field for a few more days before I need to return it. I’ve started a frequently asked questions post about the TX-500 that I’ll publish this week.

And if you’re wondering, yes, I’m very tempted to add this rig to my own collection. More on that later–!

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9 thoughts on “lab599 TX-500 Discovery accessories and connectors

  1. Rob

    Any word on how digital-mode-friendly is this radio? When operating afield with QRP, it’s nice to be able to fall back on PSK-31 when the bands aren’t quite up to carrying voice. (Yes, I will learn CW. Someday. But for now…) Anyway, Is it ready to plug-and-play with a USB or SignaLink box or such, or is it more of “here are the pin specs, now roll your own cables and interface”?

    Thanks for the pics and continuing reviews. It’s good to finally get some in depth looks on this radio. It may give the old faithful 817 a run for its money.

    1. Thomas Post author

      Good question, Rob! Because I’ve got a pre-production model, it didn’t come with all of the cables. I do know it can be connected to sound card interfaces like the Signalink and VOX works in digital mode (which makes the process *much* easier). I haven’t had time to review it here, but if I can get my hands on another lab599 rig, I’ll give digital a go. I’m guessing it’ll be a relatively straight forward process to run PSK-31 or FT8 from the TX-500. In fact, I also know the CAT control uses a very standard set (Kenwood, if memory serves?).


  2. Gerald Spurbeck, N1XIO

    I see on your website that you make cables for the TX-500. However, I don’t see an audio cable. Will you be including the audio cable as one of your products for sale?


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