The lab599 TX-500 Discovery is a general coverage transceiver with AM mode, which means it can do double-duty as a shortwave receiver.
If you’ve been following previous TX-500 posts, you’ve seen me take this near military-grade portable transceiver to the field. I’ve activated a total of 6 parks in 6 days with it and it’s been a load of fun.
At home, I’ve also been doing a fair amount of SWLing with it in the evenings. I have a pre-production model that doesn’t include all of the accessories that will be provided with the production model. I don’t have a good way to port the audio out of the transceiver for recording at present, but I have been listening to broadcasts in the shack using a simple battery-powered amplified speaker.
I made a short video demonstrating the shortwave listening experience with the TX-500. It’s not a deep-dive by any means, but I thought it might provide a little more context. Keep in mind, I recorded this with my iPad, so the audio is far from ideal.
In general, the TX-500 is a fine radio for shortwave radio listening. It has the sensitivity and selectivity even a demanding DXer would seek. The TX-500 has a very low noise floor and an effective RF gain for mitigating summer QRN (static crashes) here in North America. I wish I had the time to tinker with the audio and see what sort of fidelity is possible. I’m not sure I’ll have time to cobble together a connection to my station monitors before I need to send it on.
Speaking of which, I’ll be sending this TX-500 to Ham Radio Outlet within the next two days. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask now!
I will write-up a comprehensive review of the TX-500 in the October issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine (my IQ32 overview is in the September issue).
Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?
Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!
Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!
It is a pity that general reception does not go down to 150 kHz for listening to the long wave (LW) broadcasting band in ITU Region 1. RTL on 234 kHz is my favourite radio station.
Nice receiver and filter performance. What were you using for an antenna?
A large horizontal skyloop antenna in a delta configuration.