Discovery TX500 (Part 1)

If anyone is interested in the long awaited waterproof HF radio from Discover, the TX500. It should be available in the UK from September. Tested an advanced copy out over the weekend and very impressed. Glyn G4CFS


I have a simple view to these radios from new companies…

Unless the source is available to the SDR software in the radio along with the build tools/scripts then I’ll stick with the big 3+1 where I know I will get some longevity of support. Xiegu has already discontinued some of its products with many adopters complaining of terrible bugs or incomplete/unfinished options etc. but the software isn’t available so there’s currently no chance of community derived fixes/updates.

I’m sure it’s a very jolly radio. But it’s going to have to be one hell of a radio at the advertised price to make me consider it over a KX2 for example. Or I could buy three or four mcHF kits with ATU for the price.


There is KX2 vs TX500 comparison video on youtube:


Did I miss the comparison in that video? After 6m15s and neither radio was switched on, I started skipping trying to find some content. I failed. File this under “Another radio ham who likes the sound of his own voice.”


Which is €940 !! For a new-name 10 watt radio with a low-resolution monochrome band scope from the picture. I have to say that sounds overpriced to me.

For the extra few Euros, I think the KX-2/3 or even the IC-705 would be a better buy. I’m still happy with my 20w €450 Xiegu G90. For me, it has plenty of features at a reasonable price.

Perhaps this TX500 will turn out to be a fantastic radio and a big hit, but at nearly €1000 - I won’t be buying one. Each to their own of course.

73 Ed.


Those thoughts are similar to mine Ed. It’s a big sell for a new product which is in the same price range as other designs from manufacturers with a proven track record of designs, ebgineering and support for customers such as Elecraft or Icom. (I’ve had very good dealings with Icom UK over the years) and Elecraft support is well known for being excellent. That doesn’t mean this company wont be excellent or around for a long time but it’s a gamble for any new purchasers right now.

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Hi Ed,

I assume you have the EUR 940.- from the pileupdx website that includes 25% Swedish VAT. I ordered mine last August for EUR 737.50 inc. shipping to Switzerland.
Adding 7.7% Swiss VAT plus all handling fees will make it around EUR 820 for me.

I agree that it’s a kind of gambling, but since I don’t play lottery or gamble, I thought I’ll try it like that :wink:

Honestly, when I saw the mechanical engineering of this transceiver, I was hooked.
Unfortunately, the delivery time is something I could not have imagined when I ordered it last August. If I would have known by then, I would have gone for the IC-705.

According the lastest information of pileupdx, I should get it beginning of July, but I heard such promises too often, and right now the web site times out, which also doesn’t help me to believe…

I would instantly buy a KX2, if it would have a better ingress protection (not only against water, but also against bugs), not overheat that easily and allow to be charged without first removing the internal battery.

But this is my personal opinion and as you already said, each to their own. I think we now have several interesting rigs to choose from.

73 Stephan


I had a Scottish Midge trapped between the LCD and front panel in my 817 this weekend. 1st time since starting using 817s in 2006 I have seen that. It looked to be dead so may have been in there for 14days. On the second summit it was no longer visible, I think it was shaken out during the walk.

I had a Scottish Midge trapped between the LCD and front panel in my 817

Yes, this can happen to most rigs, some more than others, with the exception of the TX-500.

Hopefully the bug didn’t got shaken over two sensitive solder joints that get a side effect even with a high resistance when the bug gets kind of damp in Scottish weather :wink:

Maybe start the vacuum cleaner and work around all open holes?

This has reminded me when I found something black, about 1.5mm long and less than 0.5mm wide walking and moving upwards from the bottom of my work laptop screen. At that time I was working at the Renault Technocenter in Guyancourt, near Paris and among other things, we were often dealing with potential bugs being found in the software controlling and interfacing between the Electrically Powered Steering System we were supposed to be supplying as a mass production product from our factory in Pamplona and the Renault Mégane car which would be launched in 1992 (wrong) [it was 2002], IIRC. I was so amazed with the possibility of having a real physical living bug that I pointed to it with my finger and slightly touched the laptop screen, just killing the bug, which remained there between the LCD and the screen cover for the rest of the time I used that laptop. Poor bug…


It ate its way out - have you seen the teeth on those monsters :rofl:


It was horrible on the 1st summit… warm and very humid and zero wind. I had already bathed in Smidge before setting off and applied more at the summit. A sweaty FMF attracted a biblical plague of midges, flies and Cleggs who buzzed around me but few landed but they didn’t bite. Most just buzzed about. Of course the midge net was in the car. The Smidge worked once again and it became much better once a gentle breeze picked up. Next summit I had the midge net but there was a stronger breeze so no problems.

Smidge works for me. YMMV

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I’ll second that. The little blighters will still happily swim in the stuff but it must make humans taste bad cos they don’t seem to bite :rofl:

It smells nice and is less greasy than Skin So Soft. And it’s not as horrendous as DEET.

I prefer Skin So Soft as it attracts YLs.


The radio has been available in the US in very limited quantities starting a few weeks ago, and one of my radio buddies took delivery of his TX500 two weeks ago. I had a chance to see it during our two-man Field Day operations yesterday and it does seem very nice, with good performance, software that works as advertised, and well-designed user interface and options.

It does seem a bit on the heavy side, and for long hikes with major elevation gain or for multi-day backpacking trips I think I would find it represented more weight than I would care to add to the pack. But since I currently do all my SOTA activations on CW only using an Elecraft KX1, I may have a biased perspective.


Wish you had told me that a few decades ago…

yl midges? :grinning:

73 de Geoff vk3sq


Lab599 have been promising this rig for several years. The internal ATU seems to have fallen off in the process of getting to production.

It’s size and weight are attractive. A decent internal battery would have been nice. It is priced between the prices for similar Xiegu and Elecraft gear so whether it’s good value is a personal choice. An RS918 from Recent is a competitor on price, features and size/ weight. If you operate in the rain the TX500 would be the way to go. Probably midge proof too.

Hope to work some on air soon. No I am not in the market for another portable rig. If it had come on the market two years ago with ATU and internal battery that would have been different.

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27 minutes of comparison and no radio switched on. He also said he did a video about the ‘unboxing’, of the radio. :grimacing: