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).
Finally I’ve arrange some time to get some more QSOs on the PT-8000A.
There is no question the PT-8000A delivers the goods. Compared to other than the FlexRadio System 6×00 series radios it easily waxes my other radios.
There are a couple quirks that sent me back to the PT-8000A’s manual:
- Setting Up Split lacks some of the confirmation of TX frequency that has become customary. The TX frequency is in the Sub Window and the Split indicator the opposite side of the screen and then an inverse of soft key colors if that menu is showing. Shooting a frequency into the Sub is not horrible, but again is across the radio ergonomically.
- The PT-8000A’s key touch courtesy tone adjustment/mute is not documented, and I have put in an email requesting instructions on toning this down.
- While no worse than many modern high-end transceivers, I don’t have the operating hands across the radio face quite sorted out, and I’m slow setting things up. Some things are my foibles, like:
- I would prefer rotating controls that also have a push control to be a click & stay push-pull rather than a silky smooth momentary push button. My ideas is if you have tactile feedback, make it persistent and intuitive.
- I would prefer an indicator at the control, rather than having to look around on the screen for a different shaped & different sequenced indicator. Make it simple.
- Seldom manipulated controls could have been made to disappear nearly flush to the faceplate rather than left proud.
Working DX the amazing ability of the Flex-6×00 does dig a bit deeper, but the Hilberling is no slouch. That the PT-8000A is up an operating in seconds running 200w barefoot is certainly an awesome feature compared to booting hardware & software for an SDR radio with PC of any type.
More as I work across the bands in the next few parts of this comparison.