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Barrett Communications - HF Transceiver & Antenna Information

 

 

Barrett Transceiver Models:

 

SB 220/225, Built 1980-1990

12 Channel, 100W PEP, 2-16Mhz, USB Only

Optional three digit selcall available on the 225. This can be upgraded to the current 4 digit Codan selcall system.


SB250, Built 1987-1993

250 channel, 100W PEP, 2-18MHz, USB only (2182 AM in Marine Mode)

4WD & Marine option, front panel programmable -Both options are configurable with an internal link .

Fixed channels are programmed via an eprom---There is no programming software available for this radio, it must all be done with a hex editor and eprom programmer

Selcall: Firstly, you must check that your radio has a selcall board fitted –Around 30% of SB250 radios do not have selcall fitted

Version 1.xx radios can only have selcall fitted.

Version 4.xx radios can have selcall/telcall fitted.

Version 5.xx radios generally have selcall & telcall fitted as standard.

Note that there are plenty of V4 radios kicking around with selcall only or Codan selcall combined with a telcall format that is not compatable with late model telephone interconnect systems--If your V4 SB250 cannot make a direct dial telcall, it probably needs a selcall firmware upgrade.

The remote head 250 can be easily upgraded from Version 1 to V4 or V5 by replacing the two main processors and eprom. A local control V1.xx SB250 cannot be easily upgraded to V4/V5

It is recommended that your SB250RC is fitted with V5 firmware to ensure compatibility with current HF Networks here in Australia.

Autotune antenna interfacing can be a bit tricky with the SB250, so generally these are used with a multitap antenna (see autotune info below).

Overall it is a very good, reliable radio--Only ongoing maintenance is backup battery replacement every 5 yrs or so.

 

BC530, Built 1993-1997.

This radio is basically a 12 channel version of the BC550 -A programming adapter plug is fitted to the Mic socket and it is then programmed via the front panel.

This radio is selcall only, and came with the choice of 3 security chip option packs:

Opt 1-No selcall, Opt 2-Selcall, Opt 3-Selcall with external alarm.

 

BC550, Built 1993-1997.

500 Channel, 100W PEP, 1.6-30MHz USB/LSB/AM/FSK/CW.

4WD & Marine option, front panel programmable -Both options need to be enabled with the Barrett 550 PC software.

Fixed Channels are programmed via a PC or clone cable.

These units can all be enabled with Selcall/Telcall/Beacon call--Note that some early versions of the radio firmware didn't have Beacon Call fitted...Please note also that there are a few of these radios around that still have the old WA2 Selcall and Telcall format fitted. Your radio will probaby require a firmware upgrade if your radio cannot Selcall or Beacon Call another network member.

Option packs: There are 4 main option packs available--These options are all enabled by a "security Chip" fitted to the radio.

Opt 4-Selcall/Telcall...Opt 5-Selcall/Telcall with external alarm...Opt 7-Selcall/Telcall/GPS... Opt 8-Selcall/Telcall/RS232 Computer control.

Will happily drive a 510/910 autotune antenna.--Overall its a good radio, but we do now tend to see a few age related issues with this model.

 

BC930, Built 1997-2003.

12 channel version of the 950

 

BC950, Built 1997-2003.

450 Channel, 125W PEP, 1.6-30MHz USB/LSB/AM/FSK/CW.

The BC950 was essentially a hardware and firmware upgrade of the BC550, with some features added such as dual selcall numbers, ALE, and optional cooling fans.

Option pack: Option 3 has has all features enabled- ie Selcall/Telcall/GPS/RS232.

Overall the 950 is a very reliable, easy to operate transceiver

 

Barrett 2050, Built 2004-Current

500 Channel, 125W PEP, 1.6-30Mhz USB/LSB/AM/FSK/CW.

Easy to use radio with gaggles of features. If buying second hand, ensure that you get the most up to date (V2.xx) firmware version "flashed" into the radio. There were some incompatability issues with pagecall/GPS formats when talking to a Codan 9323/NGT with the earlier versions of firmware, so it is important that you get these updates done. Overall a great radio with plenty of features.

 

Barrett 4050, Built 2017-Current

Up to 150W PEP, 1.6-30Mhz USB/LSB/AM/FSK/CW, 12 or 24VDC Operation

New Software Defined Radio (SDR) with colour touch screen and the ability to operate wirelessly via your phone or tablet.

Excellent user interface, has all standard selcall & GPS features along with options such as Digital Voice, 2G/3G ALE, USB port programming

The Barrett design engineers have really outdone themselves with this model - This really is a case of traditional HF Comms being brought into the 21st century by modern plugins and features.  4050 Brochure can be found Here

 

 

Barrett Autotune Antennas:

Moonraker: These were a screwdriver antenna (ie a wormdrive arrangement vaguely similar to the Codan style of autotune antennas)-These antennas were not manufactured by Barrett, but were outsourced from "Moonraker Antenna Systems".--Generally, if this antenna fails on your SB250, you go out and buy a multitap.

510/910 Autotune Antenna: From about 1993 onwards, Barrett started manufacturing their own autotune antennas---Instead of a "screwdriver antenna", Barrett basically went for a switchable electronic tuner whereby different values of "coil windings" are switched in and out by internal relays to "tune" the antenna (Checkout a couple of internal pictures in my download section).

Overall the 510/910 is a very good reliable antenna---Normally quicker to tune, and a little less fussy about earthing in comparison to a screwdriver antenna.-----As mentioned in my FAQs, go for the mid grey 510 or the dark grey 910. The early "White" 510 model units do have a problem with stress fractures and UV damage to the outer casing.

2019 Autotune Antenna: Released in 2010, the Barrett 2019 was a brand new electronic Autotuner design. It tunes fast, and looks great. It can also be optioned with an internal GPS receiver which sends the GPS data down the autotune control lead. Overall it is an excellent Mobile Antenna tuning system.

Australian HF Radio Networks

 

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Barrett & Qmac Users