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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | Risen RS-918SSB (Quanzhou Risen Electronics Co. Ltd) Help

Reviews Summary for Risen RS-918SSB (Quanzhou Risen Electronics Co. Ltd)
Risen RS-918SSB (Quanzhou Risen Electronics Co. Ltd) Reviews: 13 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $350.00
Description: Great 5-10 watt HF all mode transceiver,,Full color touch screen,waterfall and scope full time view..Very nice reciver
and lots of fun to use..
Its the china version of the mcHF M0NKA project..
Product is in production.
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KY5Q Rating: 4/5 Mar 20, 2019 20:03 Send this review to a friend
Better Than I Expected  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this radio directly from Quanzhou Risen Electronics Co.,Ltd , the company that I believe is the manufacturer and has the brand name "Recent". When I got the unit, I was very pleasantly surprised at the appearance of the radio. I actually bought the RS-978 version with a very nice and well integrated removable battery pack. I bought 2 battery packs so that I could readily swap batteries. The AC power supply plugs into either the radio or the battery pack. You can operate while charging, or running without a battery. The unit comes with an older, but stable, boot loader and firmware. I used it while I got used to the radio. I later upgraded to a later version by getting the software from the Open Source community. I changed out the VFO encoder to a Bourns part without detents and now it feels like a real radio. I have used it sucessfully with an indoor Buddipole on 20, 40 and 80 meters on FT8. The interface to my computer is simply a USB cable. No sound card cables to fool with. The only problem that I had was a slight mechanical indentation in the case (from shipping I presume) where the case intermittently pushed against the touch screen. I contacted Larry Yang at the factory and he offered me a credit to my credit-card if I wanted to tackle the repair myself. I am a competent engineer, so naturally I agreed. He would have let me send it back, but it just costs more money and time. He sent me a PPT that clearly showed how to open the box and take it apart. That gave me an excuse to open the rig. I opened the box and took the radio apart and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and workmanship. It looked like a "real radio". The repair consisted of putting the case on a table and simply pushing the dent into the proper position. At the cost that I paid for it, I did not expect Icom style support. These guys are off-shore and support is generally handled by phone or skype. They have been responsive to me, always getting back to me overnight, every time I sent an email --- and I had a lot of questions. If you are an appliance operator (no offense), don't buy this radio. This is not a shrink wrapped radio with all the documentation and associated cost and overhead. But if you like to play with radios, poke around looking for info (it is not hard to find), don't mind installing the latest firmware as the open community comes up with new features, and don't expect service like you'd get from a large company with a big USA footprint, then this radio may be for you. The RX works great. I have only used it on digital modes. I plan to take it with me on my weekend RV camping trips and see how well I can do on CW (the internal keyer works great). I am seriously thinking of operating QRP on Field Day with it. Despite what the earlier review said, it is easy and straight-forward to disassemble. I figure that I got more than I paid for. Color me happy. It is not a "5", but I would have given at a "4.5" if I could. It is a lot better than "average", but it is not yet perfect, but it is better than a lot of the brand-name radios that I have owned over the years.
KI5II Rating: 0/5 Dec 2, 2018 12:22 Send this review to a friend
Poor quality. No support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had a similar experience as G3EJS
G3EJS Rating: 0/5 Nov 25, 2018 09:23 Send this review to a friend
Poor quality  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Unfortunately, I can not share anything positive about this radio.
I bought mine from a big auction site, plugged it in and had a quick tune around, then left it for a couple of weeks until I had a week off.

It seemed fine at first, as it did when I tried it before, but after 10-15 minutes of being on receive, it stopped transmitting on 40m, and very low output on 60m

Contacted the seller, and he wanted me to take it apart and fix it. Yes, he wanted the buyer to carry out repairs onan SMD board, without knowing anything of my skills or capabilities!!!!

Eventually after many messages, he (power116)accepted he would take it back, then did nothing.
Contacted the auction site, and they said as it was over 30 days since purchase date, they could do nothing about it. Clever seller dragging out the messages, fool me for falling for it.
The auction site said I must contact their associated payment site. On the phone, they said I would not have to pay for return postage (just as the auction site had said I would not have to), that sending it Royal Mail signed for would be satisfactory to them, and they would confirm that in an email. The email said exactly the opposite, and gave the return address in Chinese, which the post office said was no good to them.

So, I was left with a 300GBP paper weight.

I sent an email to Recent, I got an out of office reply so I know it got there, but have heard nothing from them.

Rather than just have an expensive paper weight, I decided there was nothing to lose by opening it up, it was obvious there was no help coming from China.

Assuming it was something that failed when it warmed up, I looked closely at the signal path on the output stage for 40m.
Two of the inductor wires were badly soldered, one of them looked like it would not be making contact at all. I resoldered everything, all inductors and relays.
Also put some thermal paste between the finals and the case, and between the regulators and the case. Too early to say if it is OK, but it looks promising, been over an hur now.

When I took it apart, found there were two screws missing from the case (under the heatsink piece on the top) and the screws that hold the wtwo PCBs together were loose.

It's worth pointing out that unless you are a frequent builder, you will probably find it extremely hard to get it apart and back together again.

Another point is that they provide a link to the original M0NKA manual. When you reset the radio, you have to adjust the PA bias, however it has RD15HVF1s in the final, not RD16HHF1s as in the original, so following the instructions for setting the bias is likely to fry the finals.

I really like the idea, the size and features, but it has been totally let down by poor quality and lack of customer service, so I would say buy locally, even if it costs a bit more, so that you have the knowledge that you won't be left with a faulty radio if something goes wrong, because as I have read elsewhere and experienced myself, you'll most likely get no help from China.
KS4AA Rating: 4/5 Sep 14, 2018 04:10 Send this review to a friend
Good Value, but quirks  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had for over a year. Used occasionally. On TX at the 10w setting the case gets VERY hot using CW. I added a small fan to cool it down. Quirky menu/display. Surprised at how good the Rx is. Disassembled main boards to inspect build quality, and it is a little better than the usual poor Chinese soldering. Quality is not as good as the original, but, worth the money. It's a keeper.
W5FCX Rating: 4/5 Aug 23, 2018 01:31 Send this review to a friend
Great QRP SDR  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had the RS-918 for several months now. Finally got it integrated with WSJT-X for FT8 use. It works surprisingly well, for an inexpensive QRP rig that costs around $400 or less. I was able to configure it with a single USB cable to Windows 10 on a Suface Pro 4 and made dozens of contacts, both in USA and DX into EU and South America with decent signal reports, using a marginal inverted vee antenna on 20m and 40m.

Itís built in CW decoder rivaled CW Skimmer in some brief tests.

Iíve had less luck with it using SSB, probably due to the QRP power levels combined with marginal antennas. However, I have made contacts and while signal reports are 56 to 57 and lower at times, audio quality reports are good.

I have compared the receiver signal quality with higher end units, including ICOM-7300 and Flex 6300, on the same antenna, where the background noise is only S1 to S2 on those other radios from a remote location. With the latest firmware, Iím still seeing significantly higher noise levels vs the other reference receivers - like 4 to 5 S-units more noise on the RS-918. This makes it much tougher to use it with SSB especially. For more noise immune modes like CW and FT8, it works like a champ.

Hopefully someday the SDR signal to noise and noise rejection processing will improve. In the meantime, itís a great little, inexpensive, flexible QRP rig Iím glad I have available to take with me.
M0KZX Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2018 00:40 Send this review to a friend
Amazing value for money QRP radio. No shack should be without o  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned my SR-918 for about 6 week s now and have spent many happy hours using it.
It cost about £320 here in the UK via one of the global internet auction sites.

The build quality is excellent. The radio is housed in a heavy gauge steel case. All of the controls feel to be of good quality and the colour display works a treat.
It works straight out of the box, but it's worth spending some time tailoring the controls to fit your needs. The menu structure is logical and easy to work through.

My one and only negative point is the microphone. The transmit audio is very boxy. This is very easy to fix my taking the mic apart and drilling some small holes in front of the mic element. After doing this the audio reports were all excellent.

The radio puts out about 12 watts from 13v supply.

I've made SSB contacts all over Europe using this radio and reports have all been excellent.

If you have £320 burning a whole in your pocket this radio is a must have.
UR7FM Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2018 03:36 Send this review to a friend
Cool radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Cool radio, every day firmware update.Tested in all modes-good signal,10-15 watt on full power.My second SDR after IC7300, not same but I am impressed.Very good for mobile activity.
PE1DHI Rating: 4/5 Nov 27, 2017 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Now good TX version  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The next one I did receive seems o.k. and performs good.

In my last review I wrote about a TX fault, this next one working as adverised.
W5RHR Rating: 4/5 Sep 28, 2017 08:42 Send this review to a friend
fun QRP radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Although I own an FT817 and and SDR Play2 I wanted to play with another QRP transceiver with SDR capabilities.Only had it a few days but these are my reflections thus far.

It is not a plug and play radio for the appliance operator. You have to be versed on firmware updates and be ready for the radio to act quirky. In the past few days it either hung up or stopped receiving, also using PTT caused a carrier to be emitted with no modulation. After a reboot and refresh of the firmware it has so far played nice.

Fairly good receiver with DSP processing for NB and filters and the band scope is real time.

The mic that comes with it is cheap, I am planning on replacing it with a HEil hand held ,THe case gets VERY warm due to the regulators.XMit audio monitored on a second receiver sounds pleasant.

I succeeded in interfacing it on a win10 PC with HRD after a few error messages stating the radio was not connected. I have decoded FT8 And psk31 thru the USB audio connection. The latest firmware has rtty and cw decoding built in (and supposedly an interface for a PC keyboard to send the same), but I havent had luck in getting it to decode much less send.

All in all a fun rig and worth the 450 dollars.
One ironic note , a seller on a particular site was asked why they raise their price and they replied since there were so many "fakes" on the market there's was genuine and worth the price. News flash all of these are fakes in the sense they are clones of M0NKAs project, including the seller who raised the price.
KJ6ZH Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2017 09:57 Send this review to a friend
Didn't Realize QRP Could Be So Fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ordered an RS-918 look alike from Shengda Electronic Technology which they rebranded as an SD-109G but it appears to come from a common manufacturer as the RS-918. Paid $420 including shipping and trade assurance from Alibaba on August 15th and received it on August 25th and have been playing with it ever since. This model appears to have the v0.5 boards since the resistor location on v0.6 boards for R43b near the mini USB port is missing. Not a big deal as this optional resistor is used to supply +5v on that port and is not needed nor desired. After looking around the internet for mcHF Transceiver, I found lots of information (manuals, quick start up, firmware updates etc.) on the M0NCA and GITHUB websites. This model will not let you start it with the USB cable connected to a computer (gives you a white screen and wonít boot) but itís not an issue to turn on the radio and then plug the USB cable from the computer into it. It came with a recent bootloader (3.1.4) and older firmware. Updating to the most recent boot loader and firmware from the GITHUB site was easy and added RTTY with on screen decoding via a keyboard plugged into the large USB port. All features and controls are adjustable via firmware menus and, once the parameters are set, you rarely need to adjust from the menu. I like that you get FreeDV as an option. The radio connects up to Ham Radio Deluxe using the USB cable with the Mini USB connection and selecting FT-817 as the radio. Able to easily work digital modes. Played with the settings and get 10-20 watts out on full power setting (max power on 40 meters less on other bands) and 5 watts at the 5 watt setting for all bands. Hooked it up to my 40 meter full wave vertical loop and easily worked the western US from my QTH near Sacramento, CA. Audio reports were very favorable with mic gain at 15 and compression at 4. You donít need to overdrive this rig as the mic is sensitive and crisp. Touch screen is a nice feature but really donít use it and it does lack some response when selecting a feature. Compared the receiver against my Kenwood TS-590S using an A/B Coax switch. The 590, as expected, was able to pull signals out of the noise better than this rig but I probably would not be able to work those stations on 15 watts anyway.

Conclusions: The price is right, features comparable and in some cases better than my TS-590S, small, lightweight, works off a $20 4.8 AH LiPO battery for hours, fits into a small laptop bag with my Superantennas MP-1, coax, key, and wire with room to spare. This is not a plug and play, appliance operator radio but if you like to adjust, upgrade and experiment, this is one neat radio.

I never thought QRP could be so fun (previous philosophy: Life is too short for QRP) but this has changed my mind and introduced me to a fun, new facet of my ham radio experience.
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