Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W9BB, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. W9BB

    W9BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently purchased a new HB1B off Ebay from the Chinese source but the unit like others was defective. After continual e-mails back and forth, sometimes having to wait days for responses, I ended up sending it back. Got tired of promises or a "back ordered" unit forthcoming week after week.

    I ended up purchasing a used HB1A (which for all practical purposes is an HB1B w/o 75 meters) from Tim English.

    Unit worked fine (prefer doing this in the future knowing the unit is functional vs taking a shot in the dark). Easy to use, compact, relatively easy to understand w/o the thin user manual.

    Worked A35, J52 at 4 Watts with decent signal reports (subjective I am sure). I have played with QRP in the past but this little unit is easy to operate, small enough to carry around easily, copies SSB signals well also. Only real gripe I have is the audio to the headphones I think it of a different impedance as loud signals distort somewhat with headphones, yet the audio level is too low for external speaker. A head phone amp would be in order or amplifier speakers. Will have to check that out more to see. Not sure what the output impedance or audio level is. I sometimes like to have an external speaker hooked up.

    IF is tuneable down to 400 hz, selectable but not tunable as in a rotating control. That is fine. Set it and forget it. Tunes up and down the band relatively easily. S-Meter is a plus.

    I would rate it a 5 out of 5 or 4 out of 5 (with the 4 out of 5 being based upon ease of Customer Support).

    I think those interested in CW QRP, would be well advised to get a known working unit from someone and have fun. Not so sure the hit and miss rate of the new ones working properly is well known just yet. All are hand made in China and not sure of any quality control. My HB1B had a display you couldn't read and what I can discern it displayed 20 vdc which isn't possible from a lab grade power supply that only puts ou 12 vdc. So, assume there was an internal power supply problem (didn't probe and didn't measure so don't know). But after powering up once, wouldn't the second time. Sent it back.

    All in all, I think the HB1A is just as good and functional as the 1B. Only difference is the addition of the 75 meter band and a tuneable IF.

    GL and have fun.
  2. WA6FX

    WA6FX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would suggest buying the HB-1B from Ten Tec who markets them as the R4040. Ten Tec's customer service is outstanding, the ones they sell have a warranty and have gone thru another level of "QC".
    The HB-1B is a great little qrp rig.

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