Timewave has seven different upgrades and a number of accessories for the PK-232, PK-232MBX, PK-23/DSP, PK-232/PSK, and PK-232/USB. This guide will help you optimize the upgrades for your particular PK-232 model and your operating requirements. We will start with a short history of the PK-232 followed by a short description of the features and benefits of each upgrade.
Details for the upgrades follow this history.
History of the PK-232
Few products in the history of amateur radio have endured the test of time as well as the PK-232. Even fewer products in the digital age have survived more than one decade. There are about 100,000 PK-232s in amateur, commercial and military communications systems around the world!
The remarkable PK-232 germinated in the labs of AEA (Advanced Electronic Applications, Inc.) in 1985 and was introduced in 1986. Combining fast-growing packet radio with RTTY, AMTOR and CW made the PK-232 an immediate success. The orders rolled in and AEA even licensed the design to the Heath Company to produce the HK-232, a kit version of the PK-232. Over the next few years, several firmware upgrades added modes and increased the reliability of the PK-232.
In 1989, AEA introduced the "PakMail" upgrade, a mailbox daughterboard with battery-backed memory. Later in 1989, the mailbox daughterboard was integrated into the PK-232 main board to make the PK-232MBX. The new PK-232MBX had a number of other hardware changes, including changing the front panel leds from all red to a combination of red, yellow and green and adding a hole in the bottom of the housing to allow removal the battery jumper without removing the housing.
In 1993 AEA added Pactor
and Gateway modes to to the PK-232. The final AEA upgrade,
GPS compatibility, came in 1995. AEA sold their
In the fall of 1998, Timewave introduced the DSP upgrade for the PK-232MBX. The market demand created by the substantially improved performance of the PK-232MBX with DSP filtering led Timewave to reincarnate PK-232MBX as the PK-232/DSP. In addition to its precision DSP filters, the PK-232/DSP featured lower power consumption, a reset switch and an overload led.
In 2001 the advent of the sound card modes, especially PSK-31, brought yet another upgrade to the PK-232. Timewave engineers created the PSK sound card interface board, a testament to the amazing flexibility of the original PK-232 design.
In 2005 Timewave added the USB upgrade to support the new generation of PCs that lack a RS-232 serial port.
In 2011 Timewave added the SC upgrade featuring USB audio, rig control, and full USB connectivity.
MBX Upgrade -
This is the upgrade for the original PK-232 that
opens the door for later upgrades and modern software. It
adds the mailbox daughterboard, lithium backup battery and
the latest firmware EPROMs to PK-232(non-MBX). New modes are
Pactor, GPS, and Gateway. Current firmware version is 7.2.
Low Power upgrade - Reduces PK-232 power consumption by about 30% for lower operating temperature and better reliability.
Adds single USB cable PC-to-PK-232SC connection. Added
features include USB PK-232SC operation, USB Audio Card
inside the PK-232SC, Rig Control interface for logic level
Icom C-IV, Yaesu CAT and Kenwood transceivers, RS-232 rig
control, 2 USB ports, new top housing, Sound card/TNC switch
and LED, instant reset switch, and external adjustment of
Radio Cable Assembly for PK-232 5 pin IDC to open end, 5 ft. long
Custom Cable Assembly for PK-232- Contact Timewave for info
Operator's Manual + Technical Manual - CD for PK-232/MBX/DSP/PSK/USB/SC
PK-232 Complete cable kit - Includes all PK-232 cables except PSK/Sound Card Interface Cable Assembly
AC-8 Wall mount power supply - 117 VAC to 13.8 VDC, 1.0A for ANC-4 PK-12, PK-96, PK-232/MBX/DSP/PSK/USB/SC
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