AE497W, first impressions

I’ve been experimenting extensively with this Albrecht the last few days. The verdict: this rig has potential, but needs some work. I tried to listen to my own signals at first, but that just doesn’t work. Even with the help of dummy loads, top notch receivers and headphones you can’t get a good idea of your signal quality. Many hams I asked just gave me a “5/9”, while I was almost certain that there were some issues with my modulation. I asked another (very picky) ham close by to give an opinion.

The verdict, TX

  • SSB sounds distorted with the ‘mic gain’ to the max. Reducing the gain helps, but it still isn’t pretty,
  • FM suffers from the same problem,
  • AM sounds brilliant, almost HiFi even.

The verdict, RX

  • AGC is way too fast,
  • Sensitivity and selectivity are quite good in all modes,
  • Again, absolutely brilliant on AM.

I will change the cheap condenser microphone for something better, and check the schematics for the AGC circuitry. Maybe I can mod it easily.