Some of you have asked for some measurements of the DIY599 PA500 output power at certain drive levels. Well, here you are. In this test, we measure the PA500 on 40 meters at 13.8volts with 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 watts input. Later on, I may do other bands but for now, this is it.
0.5 watt input 13.8 volts=~10 watts @ 3.45A
1 watt input 13.8 volts=~20 watts @4.76A
2 watt input 13.8 volts=~40 watts 6.21A
3 watt input 13.8 volts=~48 watts 6.85A
4 watt input 13.8 volts=~53 watts 7.16A
5 watt input 13.8 volts=~60 watts 7.5A
Final thoughts & Results
So it turns out the PA500 could probably be called the PA600. 0.5-5 watts input gives us 10-60 watts of clean output. The current draw is much better than my old FT-891 making the PA500 extremely efficient, and more importantly “Off-Grid Friendly!”.
For about the last 6 months at the time of writing this post, I’ve been talking about efficiency for communications. In previous years, I mistakenly believed a QRO radio was a better option (deployment option) than a QRP radio with an efficient amplifier. Naturally, we are talking about scenarios where the energy to power our communications is limited! It turns out with the new radios like the Icom IC-705 and the Lab599 TX-500 coupled with the PA500 amplifier, extended field or grid down communications without a truckload of batteries is a reality. Man-Portable pack-able QRO stations are now a reality! Where I used to carry 256wh of battery storage for a half-day out with the Yaesu FT-891, I now deploy a 64wh pack, operating the same amount of time. Moreover, there is still something left over in the tank. I carry much smaller capacity packs and solar panels, at a fraction of the weight of the FT-857 or FT-891 with their portable power requirements. Other than for fun, there is no reason anyone has to carry a battery filled manpack for EMCOMM or preparedness. We have seriously come a long way!
I can’t wait to see the new ultra-portable go-boxes being built with the energy-efficient strategy.
The DIY 599 PA500 current consumption at idle is 50-55ma @ 13.8 volts.
- 0.5 watt input 13.8 volts=~10 watts @ 3.45A
- 1 watt input 13.8 volts=~20 watts @4.76A
- 2 watt input 13.8 volts=~40 watts 6.21A
- 3 watt input 13.8 volts=~48 watts 6.85A
- 4 watt input 13.8 volts=~53 watts 7.16A
- 5 watt input 13.8 volts=~60 watts 7.5A
Lots of effort goes into these posts. Researching each component, software application, pragmatic field testing. When you see these posts, the mistakes and blunders have already been filtered out. If you find any value in that, share this post and/or buy me a rootbeer.
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What is your favorite root beer?
I’ll back in the day it was A&W Root Beer. These days I’ll generally take what I can get 🙂
Do you know the price of the PA500?
Regards KE7MU Brad. 30 yr. Member Pima Co. OEM & Homeland Security
Julian I understand about the components shortage issue but is there at least an rough estimated timeframe of when PA500’s will start to ship out? Or are there alternatives for the PA500? the reason I’m asking is because I’m building a gobox with a KX3 to be used in a very isolated area of the Sonoran Desert where the only means to communicate will the either HF (Winlink) or sat-phone. We are planning this trip for 3 months ahead from now. The PA500 seems like an excellent product for this particular type of operation.
Thanks in advance
Alex N2IX / XE2BSS
Hey Julian…I’ve been re thinking my entire field setup now, thank you for spending my money! Unfortunately the PA-500 amp now has a 24 month lead time for the U.S.! Hopefully they realize they have a hit product and can increase production, assuming components are available.
Hi Paul. Nice to hear from you.
Seems like your’re catching up on the blogs and videos. Yes the PA500 is more of a passion than a mass produced product made in some far away place. I suppose Oliver never expected the surge his creation would create. There are other amps, but none like this. Hopefully Oliver will be able to expand his production capabilities in the future. I hope so anyway.
Again nice to hear from you. Also hoping you are home for Christmas.