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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: 44 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $299
Description: Youkits HB-1B 4 Band QRP CW Transceiver
Product is in production.
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VE1YY Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2014 16:56 Send this review to a friend
FB XCVR  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have the Mark 2 version released in Canada Spring 2014. This rig is marketed by others (such as TenTec) and elsewhere on the globe.

As a neophyte QRP operator, after decades of QRO operating, and being accustomed to good receivers, I was pleased from the outset with the HB1B Mark 2. Receiving is good: the bandpass filter actually works, the tuning is smooth, and the tuning resolution is a boon! The RF signal output reportedly is clean and looks so when I sample it on the base shack’s Icom Pro III and on an outboard 'scope. Contacts, using a wire thrown up into trees, with a radiator height of about 3 meters, were between 1000 and 1200 km away and 559 or more.
AD4XJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2014 20:36 Send this review to a friend
Afforable Fun! Super portable!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got my HB-1B in the mail today. Ordered directly from YouKits on ebay, shipped from China in about a week (express).

First impression was, "Wow! This thing is small and light!". My unit came with the Li-Ion battery pack and charger. I am also using an external LiFe 4200 mah battery which I plan on taking with me on SOTA activations.

First contact out of the box was with a station in Argentina over 5100 miles away on 30 meters!

Some hints that I figured out:

1.) Open up the case, inside there is a battery holder for AA's as well as rubber feet to put on the bottom of the case.

2.) The new units are full QSK but you have to turn on the setting--there are some older online manuals out there but youkits has the current manual in pdf form which shows you how to do this (a couple of button pushes).

3.) If you use the included Li-Ion battery, do yourself a favor and take off the metal label (it's some kind of foil so it's a conductor).

4.) If you use a straight key, it has to be plugged in before turning the radio on--also the outer and middle conductors of the plug have to be wired together (Note: My other radio only uses the inner and outer conductor, and as I didn't have another plug laying around, I figured out that I just had to jumper the middle and outer conductors when turning the unit on--afterwards I pulled the wire and the straight key continued to work fine.)

5.) You don't have to disconnect the internal battery when using an external battery or power supply. If an external battery is plugged in, the internal battery is not in the circuit. As soon as you unplug the external power connection, the internal battery immediately takes over.

I tested the unit at 13V and found it output 5W on 80, 40, and 30M and 4W on 20M (spec says 4-5W.

The DDS works great...listed to it on my other radio and didn't detect any drift. The filtering works great and the attenuator is perfect for stronger signal/noisy bands.

Is this a super expensive, commercial type rig? No.

Is it a fun, small, affordable, and well featured QRP rig? You betcha!

I can't wait to take this on the trail with me!
VU3NUF Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2014 04:04 Send this review to a friend
A quality purchase at a reasonable price!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had earlier ordered the TJ2B kit from YouKits, but realized in a couple of days that this is not what I was looking for. I sent it back and got the HB-1B instead. The exchange was hassle free with no questions asked. Mr. Yimin Zhao, who looks after their branch in Canada, was unbelievingly prompt and comprehensive in replying to so many of my questions which I had about the new radio.

About the radio – It has a heavy gauge metal construction with a good black finish. It is amazingly compact in size relative to the features it offers. Haven’t used it on 80 and 30 meters as yet, but on 40 and 20 meters I have found the receiver to be pretty sensitive (with obvious credit going to my finely built fan dipole as well). The output in CW mode is 4W at 12.5V, just as described on their website. The screen is big and bright which displays an assortment of information. SSB receiving is crisp and clear (I use headphones), but one can also use an amplified external speaker.

Getting a hang of the tuning rate/steps does take a little time, but it is absolutely worth the effort.

The kit comes with a 3 cell li-ion battery pack and an appropriate charger. The battery pack needs to be stuck on the PCB with included DST in the battery placeholder, which can be accessed by unscrewing just two screws at the back of the rig.

The kit does not come with an owner’s manual, but that’s not an issue since it is available online on their website.

So, in my opinion, the HB-1B radio has been a quality purchase at a reasonable price, and I am enjoying using it so much that it has instantly become my primary home and portable QRP CW rig, alike.

73 de Yatharth
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2014 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Awsome little rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Wow! This is one tiny usable rig full of cool features. The design is well thought out is really fun. I am using it as my main rig to really put it through the ringer. The receiver is amazing for its size. I have owned most of the newer QRP rigs and this puppy goes to the top of my list. If you are looking for a tiny rig this is it. Ideal for back packing and travel.
VA3YG Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2014 10:30 Send this review to a friend
Fun factor - A++++  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased this little beauty brand new from TenTec, where I rec'd professional service from Stan (WD0BGS).

I had researched this radio purchase even more than my more expensive amateur equipment. I think I have watched every YouTube video and read every review! I was hooked and had to have one..... I'm a long time amateur operator, who, in the past couple months have been brushing up on my CW skills...... and having a lot of fun doing so.

The radio arrived to Ontario in 5 business days with a note from Stan saying he had checked the rx and tx functions prior to shipping.

The radio is very intuitive and I was up and running in no time. Using an 80/40 double bazooka with the apex at 53', I was receiving 599 reports consistently on 40 meters and stations were impressed with the signal. Wow, what a beautiful display..... so bright and clear.

This radio will join my Elecraft KX3 and Yaesu FT-817 (non ND) along with various wire antennas and the Buddipole for some much anticipated Spring time portable expedition fun in and around Ontario.

Is the radio perfect? No...... Is it fun? You betcha!! I'm very impressed with the bright LCD display, the clear receive, the size, the signal output and the intuitive operation. Will be looking for a mini speaker to replace the headphones.

Good job YouKits and good job TenTec.

Hope to work you on CW some day.

73 de VA3YG Brent
OZ1LQO Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2013 02:13 Send this review to a friend
Does exactly what it's supposed to  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this little beauty on a vacation trip to Canada this summer - brought my FT817 as well, but ended up using this all the time instead..!
I read the reviews up front and was aware of potential quality issues, so I got the dealer to open it up for me before buying it. No problems, everything looked just fine.
This small rig performs just well. Output at 12V is around 4watts, not much, but enough with a dipole and I made several contacts in Europe while over there. Sound is good, although at high volumes it tends to distort a bit. The built in adjustable IF filter works just amazing once you get used to it - it's so nice to be able to adjust the width seamlessly by tuning a knob - a functionality I'm now missing in my much more expensive IC-7000...
Sensitivity is as expected, not as good as the bigger rigs, but I'll say this: If they can hear your 4W, then you can hear them too for sure!

Low weight and size really counts when you're on the trails, and this is exactly what I'll be using it for: SOTA, ILLW, QTTF and anything backpack worthy. Forget about building in the 3 lithium cells, the fit inside the box is too tight, the battery pack will put pressure on the PCB. Instead, use an external 8x1.5V AA pack, those batteries can be bought anywhere and you don't have to worry about bringing a charger, finding an outlet, etc.

Some people described problems with the finals burning when you're at bad SWR, I never saw this and basically when operating QRP on the trails, you want as little gear to log anyway, ie. make a couple perfect tuned antennas so you don't have to carry a tuner!

I'd recommend this little Chinese anytime, it's a perfect, cheap, companion for my mountain/outdoor trips. I fact, I recently brought it with me on a canoe trip in Sweden, worked like a charm, really fun.
W7JCK Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2013 11:27 Send this review to a friend
Nice little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been out of HF for awhile, and thought I'd try my hand at QRP with the HB1B. Overall, I am very pleased. The receiver is quite decent and you can hear a lot more stations than can hear your 5 watts. All the functions work as advertised, it's a very well thought out device. I haven't tried mine portable yet, but I think it would do fine with a small external lead-acid battery pack.
K5JYD Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2013 11:17 Send this review to a friend
good rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got this rig a week ago and also the internal battery pack. Easy to use. Took abt 15 min to set it up and get on the air. Everything works, made a few contacts with it.This is going to be my back pack to the park rig and its a good one.I really like the digital fre read out .The plan is to us the elecraft T1 auto tuner and a long wire at the park and it should do just fine.This is a real user friendly little rig.
VK2DMH Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2013 01:16 Send this review to a friend
Chinese 4-Band QRP Rig is a Little Beauty  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my HB-1B QRP CW Transceiver from, and paid for the optional Li-Po battery and wall-wart charger.

It arrived promptly, but I had trouble getting a straight morse key to work with it. At first I thought it was me making a mistake with my wiring, which is what tells the rig whether you are using a straight key or a paddle. Eventually I diagnosed an intermittent fault with the rig, so I arranged to send it back for repair.

Yimin, who lives in Canada, was very helpful, and had a replacement sent to me from China. He delayed sending it for a couple of weeks so I could receive the Mark 2 model, which has full QSK break-in.

Once the new rig arrived, I was able to plug in either a straight key or a paddle, and everything worked FB. This HB1B has excellent sensitivity and a beautifully efficient variable width IF filter, which does a wonderful job of selecting the station you want while blocking out nearby QRM.

You can program your callsign into a memory on the rig, and it can call CQ for you, and you can change the sending speed of the built-in keyer to whatever CW speed you are comfortable receiving. You can also program your favorite frequencies into 30 different MEM channels and can listen to SSB voice conversations or AM news and music broadcasts (by zero-beating the receiver's SSB side tone).

I see this rig as just about perfect for QRP CW portable ops, such as SOTA (Summits On The Air) or hiking and camping. Just take a good, lightweight wire aerial for maximum signal power out.

I could not be happier with this radio. I have avoided CW for more than 20 years and stuck to voice, with a little PSK and other digital modes. But when fiddling with the HB1B while sitting on my porch the other day, I heard a CQ coming in strongly on 40 meters. I nervously answered the call, and had my first proper QSO in CW mode for more than 25 years. You can read the full story on my website, The article is called How I Learned To Love Morse Code.
AA1BW Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2013 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered one directly from China, it was here in 3 days with TNT. Excellent service. Upon opening the rig, I found one 220u/5V cap to be loose, so I replaced it with one. Also I installed the internal battery pack also from Youkits. I had to use some foam cut for size, to hold the battery in place, otherwise it was moving around, risking to make some damage to the PCB. After all these "maintenance" procedure, I switched it on.
The receiver is fantastic, very selective, very hot. The variable BW is great. Also the Memory / VFO operation is quite logical. SO I programmed all CW Freq into MEM -s. It is easy to change bands in MEM mode. Pressing the V/M/SAV button once switches over to VFO on the very same Freq, so tuning is simple. Pressing the button again, the freq returns to MEM value. Very logical, and smart way to move across the bands. The attenuator is great and helps on 40m a little.
The TX is solid. It is very easy to change the speed of the internal el-key.
I am using it for 3 days, made several contacts, and have still 12.3 V in the battery, so with the internal battery it is a very nice hiking rig.
I have the FT-817, ICOM-703P, HW-9, OHR100, and several QRP rigs. This one is the smallest, most compact of all. For hikes, where I dont need all band, all mode, and size-weight matters this will be my choice, so I may take an extra lens for my camera kit instead.
It is a very good value for money investment.
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