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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Youkits HB-1B QRP CW Transceiver Help

Reviews Summary for Youkits HB-1B QRP CW Transceiver
Youkits HB-1B QRP CW Transceiver Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $299
Description: Youkits HB-1B 4 Band QRP CW Transceiver
Product is in production.
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W8AQ Rating: 4/5 Mar 15, 2013 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Good Purchase  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered the HB1B from TenTec a few weeks ago. I'd been reading the reviews and checking out the videos on YouTube. I've been using my FT-817ND for quite awhile and have grown quite fond of QRP.

The little HB1B arrived after a few days. My first impression was how small it was. It really makes my 817 look a bit large.

Unfortunately, it had been shipped without the battery holder. Also the optional battery I'd ordered with it arrived with a broken connector. I obviously wasn't happy but plugged it into the optional AC power supply I also ordered, connected it to a 40 meter dipole, a tuner and started listening.

I was quite impressed with the receiver and especially with the variable IF filter. Very cool and even better than I had anticipated. Since I also do a fair amount of SWL still I also checked it out on the SWBC frequencies. Once I got used to tuning the SSB to get the best sound, I was again impressed.

Unfortunately, on XMIT things fell apart quickly. It appears to have had a blown final and registered no output.

I contacted TenTec that night and heard back from them first thing the next morning. In a couple days, a replacement HB1B, a new battery for the broken original and a battery holder for the missing one were shipped out to me.

(Sidebar here...Ten Tec service is phenomenal!!! I'll be back to them in the future for sure.)

Upon arrival of the replacement rig, I got it on the air in short order and have now had a number of solid QSOs in the first couple of nights. I've gotten only positive reports from everyone I QSOd including a ham using 800 watts (I was at 5 watts) and hearing me as well as I heard him. Another station almost refused to believe I was QRP. And that was with a depleted battery getting me down to about 2 watts. He kept repeating "WOW" after giving me a 599 and asking twice if I was REALLY QRP!

In short, I'm a happy HB1B owner. The rig that worked is a solid 5+ (Great!) but I have to rate the radio a 4 (Good) to be realistic having received one that wasn't working.

I'd recommend it and would certainly buy another if in the market. Though it doesn't replace the FT-817, for a ham using only CW on QRP like me, it really could. Good rig.
W5RST Rating: 5/5 Mar 8, 2013 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Great value in a portable rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At the time of writing, I've had the HB-1B for less than a month, but it's really gone through its paces in that time. I bought my HB-1B with the optional Li-ion battery from Ten Tec, and basically, the performance of this little radio has greatly exceeded my expectations. I've used it at home to work DX (TX5K on 80M, 30M, and 20M) as well as portable for a SOTA summit activation. Some of the things I really like about the HB-1B include the receiver (excellent variable filter), the display (highly visible in direct sunlight), and the low current drain when operating portable. For shortwave listening, the sound is quite acceptable with the ability to change sidebands very helpful in avoiding adjacent channel interference. The inclusion of an attenuator to prevent receiver de-sensing, memories and RIT make this rig very versatile indeed.

The fit and finish are very good to excellent. The stenciling on the case is not exactly razor sharp but the case itself is rugged and should stand up to many trips on the trail. The battery is a bit of a tight fit, so you might do some test positioning of it before attaching permanently with the included double-sided tape. The battery charger that came with my HB-1B turned out to be defective, but a call to Ten Tec had a replacement one show up on my doorstep within days (typical Ten Tec service).

So, overall, I would say that the HB-1B may be one of the best bargains in ham radio today. Not only is this a great field radio but it could also serve well for the budget minded ham who wanted a versatile home QRP CW rig without spending a lot of money. If I could give fractional ratings, I would give this little guy a 4.8. Highly recommended.
ON4KNP Rating: 1/5 Dec 11, 2012 08:12 Send this review to a friend
Almost no output power  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Go my new rig today and runned a few qso on 30m, where I was pleased to hear some US stations around local noon, so the receiver works well ;-)
Then went up to 20m and finally down to 40m, where the output power suddenly dropped from 5W to 500mW.
Powering off and on isn't of any help.
I opened the box and no surprises, clean except for the two loosen toro´d wounded coils near the power amplifier transistor. Even with the emaneled wire I youldn't trust routing those wires over sharp component connections and so close the the housing...
Conclusion, just look don't touch, I called the service engineering who is arranging a pick-up for repair. In the mean time I keep my fingers crossed.
W3BUG Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2012 17:46 Send this review to a friend
Wow !!! Great little rig.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just received my HB1B from Ten-Tec. Connected everything and wow....what a great little piece of gear. From Maryland on 20 meters at 2100-2200 hrs worked Idaho and Tennessee. Went on to 40m and worked Jersey and NY. Using an inverted L wire antenna and a small tuner. This little fellow works like a champ. Super small but has a great receiver. All-in-all I am a very happy camper with this little rig. Can't wait to get into the outdoors to give a good. run. Well worth the cost.
DL1AIW Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2012 04:11 Send this review to a friend
TOP for QRP and mobile  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've bought this nice little transceiver some months ago and it developed into my no1 qrp rig within a few hours. As always it is useless to compare it with rigs of several times the price but I don't think that one get more for the money in the field of qrp exept building a transceiver at home.

It is working from 80 m to 20 m on CW with an internal keyer, but as far as reception is concerned it can be used also with SSB or AM (not the best sound-quality of course). The variable IF-Filter is of enormous use and with bigger antennas the ATT is not the last thing to think about!

During the last months I had about 200 QSOs with it, all of them portable or maritime mobile from my sailing ship. The antennas I've used were verticals up to 10 m hight and the buddipole. Though DX is a little bit more rare than with a QRO-stn I managed to work all continents exept Antarctica.

Only 5 W don't require a QRO-tuner. I use the tuners from QRP-Project (kits for building at home), either the Fuchs circuit for the vertial half wave or the ZM-4 for the rest.

All together this equipment is lightweight with a very limited volume, so it will also be used for my upcoming SOTA-activities.
WX4O Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2012 11:41 Send this review to a friend
Excellent QRP Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great small box QRP Xcvr! Four bands in a relatively small box that's already assembled is well worth the price. I haven't tried the SOTA tuner yet. I bought a ZM2 ATU which works very well. I recommend this radio.
IK1WGZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2012 23:20 Send this review to a friend
I like it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased directly from Mr. Yimin in China, took 2 days to arrive in Italy! Nothing to add to other review, just want to say that it is a COOL rig, outperform many costly trx!
KB8BWE Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2012 15:16 Send this review to a friend
Hot RX !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got my HB-1B from TenTec at Dayton '12. (with the internal Li-Ion pack) Built a Hendricks SOTA End-Fed Half-wave tuner, with 26 AWG wire from the Wireman. On 20M the first night I worked 10 stations, including Nova Scotia (From my QTH in Cincinnati). What a blast! I soon cut another wire for 30M, and right off the bat worked HC2AC in Ecuador. The battery was down to 11V and that's 2840 miles for 3W !! Not too shabby for a battery powered rig, and a nearly invisible antenna.
Ordering an AlexLoop for it, to take to my Florida Condo. Should continue to bring a big smile to my face. /QRP takes a bit more patience, but it's not as tough as I thought to work most stations you can hear.

K5TTE Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2012 11:40 Send this review to a friend
Gotta shout it out  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not trying to beat a dead horse here.
This rig is a very live horse.
Am I a paid shill for Ten-Tec? Uh, nope

The continuous variable filter continues to impress;
it isolates the guy I'm trying to hear real well.

The rig has once again taught me the big difference
between 5 watts out versus 1 to 2 watts out.: more QSOs

Let me recommend the End-Fed SOTA antenna for this
rig. I use a 12 ft length of RG 174 to the little tuner box.
After pruning, SWR 1.2 to 1 in CW portion of 15 meters (with my other QRP rigs)
On 20 meters , 1.5 to 1. Counterpoise? Of course.
Don't know about 40 meters yet.
The SOTA isn't meant for 80 meters.

My ball-park estimate for Li-ion pack charging time:
about 2 hours. I'm well aware of the caveats about
M0CFM Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2012 04:21 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If your thinking of buying one of these fantastic radio's you have done your homework and have read the reviews!
I started out as a UK Novice, 3 Watts max power so therefore know what can be worked with the power this radio produces!
Receiver seems real hot, the internal keyer fantastic and the overall size brilliant! Optional internal battery lasts well too, What more can you ask?
If I was being picky I would like to see variable power and a bit of protection over the display but that's all!
A brilliant radio!
We done Youkits!

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