Before I even had a chance to update the firmware on my Lab599 TX-500 transceiver another firmware version dropped. Some of the audio changes made in the previous update lowered the overall volume output and many users complained. Another update was quickly whipped up that made this modification a menu selectable option:

v1.10.04 (09.09.2021)

  • Added function: Antenna SWR monitor - determine the characteristics of the antenna (SWR) in the range of the selected band
  • Added audio output modes: 1. NORMAL (1W) 2. OUTDOOR (3W)
  • I downloaded the latest and greatest and did the update this morning. This was the first time I have updated the firmware since receiving the unit. Following the directions made the process a piece of cake though I did have to turn off one security measure in order to have the driver loaded from the FTDI FT232 plug-in device with cable that comes with the TX-500.

    The laptop I used for updating was running Windows 11 and the setting I changed was found under:

    Settings –> Core Isolation –> Memory Integrity

    A reboot was required after this change. (I turned this security feature back on when I was done). Once the laptop was running again I plugged in the USB device and Windows loaded the driver. Next step was to start the installation software that can be downloaded from the same place as the update drivers on the Lab599 Web site.

    With the cable connected to the transceiver, it’s just a matter of holding down one button while powering the radio on. Read the fine manual for this detail. The TX-500 came to life with a new loader screen. Assuming you’ve already downloaded the firmware update file to your computer, it’s just a matter of launching the installation software, another free download from the same Lab599 Web page where the firmware updates are downloaded.

    The installer application will ask you where the new firmware file is located on your computer and for the COM port (COM3 in my case) and with those set, choose UPDATE and you should begin to see the status of the update on your laptop. When it has finished you power down the transceiver, remove the serial cable, and turn the TX-500 back on. The opening splash screen displays the current firmware version loaded and it should be the latest and greatest version.

    Nice! You’re done.

    I can’t say this enough but read the manual before attempting to update the firmware. The TX-500 is built like a brick but it’s no fun when you turn it into an actual brick so be safe, not sorry. And by the way, the new firmware features are detailed in the latest and greatest manual so be sure to snag that too while you’re visiting the download site.