Icom IC-705 VS Lab599 Discovery TX-500?

Hello Operators.

I knew this question would eventually come up, and was ready for it. Bernie Coletta asked about my thoughts concerning the IC-705, vs the TX-500. Here’s how I answered.

Lab599 Discovery TX-500

Thanks Bernie, I knew this question would eventually come up. It’s an apples and oranges comparison really.

The tx500 is a raw radio. It’s designed to be minimal, uncomplicated, with an unexpectedly advanced feature set. It has all the important features an HF operator needs, in a rugged and weatherproof design. It can be operated with gloves on, and makes every effort to remove any “bonus features” which don’t help the Operator “operate”! Moisture, dust, throwing it in your backpack until you need it, no problem. This is not a fragile QRP rig requiring a custom built Pelican case, to protect it in the field. No Operator will ever be weary about taking this radio to the field.

The TX-500 is the actual epitome of “form following function”.

Icom IC-705

The 705 design is the polar opposite of the TX-500. The 705 was developed to be the only QRP+ rig you’ll need in the field. HF, VHF, UHF, All Mode, D-STAR, GPS, Picture messaging, repeater search automation, and built-in everything (minus a tuner).

The 705 can be internally powered, externally powered, battery swapped out without tools, also charged while in use (Sorry Elecraft). It almost literally has all the features you’d expect on a radio designed to do as much as possible, in an incredibly small package. The Icom IC 705 is what the Yaesu ft-818 should have been!

The Icom IC-705 has an elegant touch interface, large easy to read display, and excluding a tuner, it’s designed to make an off grid portable Operators ham radio life, easier in the field.

You can’t use the IC-705 as a hammer as one would the tx500, but it wasn’t designed for that! These rigs are very appealing to a wide range of Operators, but ultimately these customers have different requirements.

To close think of these rigs like this.

The TX500 is like a well designed Swedish axe. The 705 is more like a wireless Dremel with included attachment & accessory kit.

Julian oh8stn

You can pick up the Icom IC-705 or Discovery TX-500 from Pileupdx.

73, Julian oh8stn

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