As mentioned I have arranged to have a very rare radio – a Hilberling PT-800A Transceiver – in my shack for an a lengthy trial, including some A/B testing against my radios (including the FlexRadio System 6700 and 6300 models).
Hilberling PT-8000 Transceiver
The first QSO I made with the transceiver was to W1AW/1 in RI. With travel and work I’ve only a dozen or so contacts with it so far, and the initial impression is of excellence in transceiver design. Everything is first rate – the power supply/speaker and cables are lab equipment grade and supply the 50v DC allowing for 200w performance.
I’ve finally arrange some time to get some more QSOs on the PT-8000A.
Initial impressions – the radio drips of quality. High grade connectors, small details well executed, use of best available technology – the PT-8000A delivers the goods.
So far the only quirk I haven’t figured out is how to reduce the volume of the courtesy key-touch beeps.
Walking through things – the connectors are high grade N-connectors for antennas, a unusual power-supply to radio connector that looks aerospace in origin, and everything is polished/chromed or finished in the Hilberling Blue finish. Everything about the PT-8000A reminds me of an upscale European Stereo system – like a Revox or B+O grade build quality.
Using the PT-8000A is much like running any high quality transceiver, with the exception that the menu system is shallower and the precision of adjustments impressive. I’ve always been frustrated with the 6-7 levels deep menu systems many transceiver deploy, and much prefer the Hilberling style of menus.
The display is awesome – and actually the software at its present level doesn’t really do justice to the high grade display. The power supply meg-meter is current draw, which is fine but hardly seems the first choice to dedicate such a large bit of front face real estate to display.
Initial SSB reports have been enthusiastically positive, with several QSO partners commenting about the broadcast-like sound quality.
I like the supplied desk mic, as it is clever in appearance and in performance.
More, including some contrasts with the Flex-6700 in the next few parts of this comparison.