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is an informative, cynical and sometimes humorous look at what is happening in the world of amateur radio.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


With the imminent arrival of Helens NUE-PSK device I remembered about the HB-1A tri-band QRP ham radio. The HB-1A started life as a kit produced by BU XIANZHI BD4RG from NANJING, CHINA. From a kit it grew in to a ready assembled device that was available direct from eBay. When I first saw it it was CW only but Bu and his brother Yimin announced plans for a MKII version that would do SSB. Read more here.

In July 2010 nothing could be found of the Chinese product but suddenly TenTec were marketing something with one less band at twice the price. It was in fact the MKII and it did SSB making it possibly a perfect match for the NUE-PSK with a similar size case, but until recently I would have to order from the USA. Then a few days ago an advert appeared on the Waters and Stanton website...

Waters & Stanton have been appointed sole distributors of the first of these new HF transceivers from China.

The HB-1A-MK3 transceivers offers 2 band coverage with up to 5 Watts output. It includes a digital display, built-in CW keyer with auto CQ and switched bandwidth filters. Designed very much with the portable QRP operator in mind, it can be run from internal cells or external 12v system. There are two models available, the HB-1A-MK3-40-20 which offers 40m & 20m and the HB-1A-MK3-30-20 which offers 30m & 20m.

This radio is sold in the USA under the TenTec banner. The China factory has now appointed Waters & Stanton as their exclusive UK distributor and this radio will be the first of a range of HF models. Look out for the new 6-band HF rig SSB and CW!

To find out more about these radios which will be arriving soon click here
My only issue here is how much more expensive this is to what they were selling on eBay for. At £199 they are neither cheap or too expensive, so the jury is still out here. As I have a Yaesu FT-817 the does 160m to 6m plus 2m and 70cms which I paid £350 for I don't think I will be buying one soon. Anyone know of a similar radio maybe in kit form?

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