Thursday, June 27, 2024

I've never played with one of these before

Last Saturday, as I was taking a few minute break from pounding brass, Dave W2OIL from the K2ETS club came by and sat down next to me. He handed me a plastic bag and inside was a You Kits HB-1B radio with a bunch of other stuff. Besides the radio was a Bulldog Clip paddle (like the one I have and use) a wall wart, a lithium battery, what appears to be a wire antenna and a printed out QST review of the radio. Dave told me the radio was bequeathed to him from the estate of our late Hudson Associate Division Director, Bill Hudzik W2UDT. Dave wanted me to make sure all was well and in working order.

I got my first chance to play with it Tuesday night and I have to say, i was quite pleased with the opportunity. It appears this one covers 80 through 20 Meters. It took some getting used to. Some of the functions are quite intuitive ,such as changing modes, tuning speeds, etc. Some are not. Luckily I had my phone with me and I was able to Google how to change keyer speeds and how to program in your call sign to get the "auto-calling CQ" function to work.

I had it hooked up to the the Alex Loop at the backyard patio table and did not work anyone. There weren't many POTA stations on at the time and for the one or two that I was able to hear, I was not able to break through the ravenous pile ups before it got dark and I had to go inside for the evening. Before that, however,  I had called CQ manually on 40, 30 and 20 Meters, just so I could see where I was being spotted by the Reverse Beacon Network. Not too shabby!

The Gray Line is a bit deceptive in the screen shot below as I did the look up the day after. For some reason the RBN wasn't working properly on my cell phone when I was actually calling CQ. It wasn't showing any spots. In reality, the Gray Line was much closer to my QTH at the time, and undoubtedly helped with the propagation to Europe.

I promised Dave that I'd bring all this back to him at the club meeting this Friday night. I'm kind of disappointed that I won't get to play with it for too much longer. I was going to take it down to the shack tonight after work, and hook it up to the W3EDP and the Butternut and really give it a whirl, but we're forecasted for thunderstorms this evening.

I had an extra little IBM pouch from a USB CD Drive that I rescued from the recycle pile at work. The drive got recycled, but I kept the pouch as it was only going to be trashed anyway. That will provide ample cushioning and protection for this little radio. It deserves better than a plastic baggie. I'm thinking of stopping off at the grocery store and picking up a plastic kitchen storage box that is big enough to store everything that was in the baggie, and I'll hand it all back to Dave in a nice neat package, along with the printed out manual. Every radio deserves a nice home!

Bottom line? I guess I'm spoiled by my KX3, but this little guy seems to be fun to use, and would probably hold its own at a POTA activation or during a QRP Sprint. I wouldn't mind having one., and it makes me wish my QMX would get here faster!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. My HB-1B was my go-to portable rig for several years. I bought years ago when Ten Tec was the U.S. distributor for them. It hasn't gotten much use lately. I need to rectify that. 72, Craig WB3GCK