I’ve been as curious as anyone about the Lab599 TX-500 ultra compact all-mode 10W HF/50MHz SDR QRP transceiver. I’ve watched some of the many videos created about it since it was first announced and have been intrigued with its unique form-factor and ruggedness for field work.

But sleek-styling and gushing fan-boy videos aren’t really sufficient for making a purchase decision like this so I waited for the QST review (August 2021) before placing an order for the TX-500. Ham Radio Outlet is the US distributor for the transceiver though supplies are very limited and these were “out of stock” when I placed my order.

I’m told mine will be shipped with the “next group” and while there are no guarantees, that could be in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I wait and wonder what it will be like to own amateur radio equipment that was made in Russia - certainly a first for me.

Apparently there is a form fitting case for batteries that bolts on the back, but I’m not sure how interested I am in that option. I am disappointed there is no built-in auto-tuner (where would they put it?) and yes, I did read the comment in the QST review about the level of spurious emissions and the suggestion to not use an RF amplifier with this transceiver.

My use case for the TX-500 is for portable CW work only and I don’t plan to tote along an amplifier, though I am keeping a close eye on this development, a 60W amp with an auto-tuner in a form factor that matches the transceiver and bolts on the back…