HobbyPCB has redesigned the Hardrock-50 rear panel PCB. The new version is form, fit and functionally compatible with the previous versions but has the following enhancements:
1. Genuine FTDI chip for no-driver-needed install with every version of Windows since XP
2. Opto-isolators on the USB lines to prevent ground loops with SDR's
3. 5V output on pin 1 protected with a resettable fuse to power transceiver dongals
Current Hardrock-50 owners should consider upgrading the rear panel board in their amplifiers if:
1. You use the amp with the Flex-1500, Softrock, Peaberry/Omnia or other SDR transceivers that use USB control for automatic band switching. The new rear panel will eliminate ground loops providing significant reduction in noise
2. You've had difficulty installing or using the Microchip USB drivers
3. You plan to use the HR50-RS-HFIQ, Elecraft or ELAD dongles and need 5V on pin 1 for power.