Ailunce HS1 HF SDR QRP Transceiver radio review.
I have been a huge fan of Ailunce ever since I received my trusty DMR radio the HD1 over 12 months ago, I always wondered what would come next from Retevis, the brand behind Ailunce.
I was so happy when I saw they decided to manufacture a HF radio, not only a HF radio but a SDR QRP transceiver! Retevis then contacted me to ask if I wanted to review the radio and of course I jumped at the chance! This radio design originated as a MCHF that is purchased as a kit that you build yourself. As a foundation licence holder I am unable to use that radio as I can only operate commercially bought equipment.
I could not wait to take the trip to my father’s house (G0HIJ) to test the radio on his beam and do the review for YouTube as I don’t currently have an antenna for HF at home, I have just purchased a half size G5RV for my loft so it gets me onto the HF bands.
When the radio came I was super excited! I have been licensed for 10 years now and have never even operated a HF radio never mind owned one! So I decided to do a series of videos on my YouTube channel, I started with a first impressions video and have now just filmed the main review video, I will follow this up with more videos including how to connect to your pc and use digital modes like FT8 and FT4 for example. I can confirm this radio works very well with Ham Radio Deluxe and the WSJT software, just remember to set the software up to connect to your radio as a Yaesu FT817, works very well.
The design of the radio is amazing! Really well thought out and very well put together. It features a beautiful touch screen colour display, this is one of its main assets, really beautiful and well designed. The radio is a full metal bodied radio and seems really rugged, if you have ever owned the Ailunce HD1 then you know exactly what I mean 😉 this HF SDR Transceiver would be perfect for use with SOTA and WOTA for example, it’s really compact too measuring in at 240mm*120mm*80mm
This is a very menu driven radio and may put some people off but the manual that can be found on the Retevis Website is really well put together and makes sense, I am very new into HF radio so I am learning loads of new things as I learn more about the radio.
This radio will Transmit from 160 meters to 10 meters, I have also filmed a power test video that I will be releasing very soon so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell icon so you don’t miss anything when i next upload.
This radio also has Free DV built in along with RTTY, I have tried with some PC radio control software and it works very well, allowing the radio to transmit and change frequency etc.. all from the mini USB port on the left side of the radio, this is also the port used to update the firmware and no special cable is needed! On the left side we also have the BNC antenna socket and a full sized USB port that in the future will support firmware updates via USB stick and possibly USB keyboards and mice in the future..
On the right side of the radio we have the DC power jack, the line in and out along with the 3.5mm microphone socket also the accessory port and the Morse key input and headphones or external speaker jack. On the back of the radio we have the internal speaker, this sounds really nice after adjusting the treble and bass settings, we also have a metal flap stand allowing the radio to be propped up whilst using the radio and then folds away nicely when it’s not in use. There are also metal side protectors on the radio that can be removed but are ideal if taking the radio portable as it protects the knobs from possible damage.
The front of the radio is very intuitive, we have a two band selection buttons next to the power on button allowing you to be able to quickly go through the different bands, below this we have 3 rotary knobs that have a beautiful notched click to them, these can also be pressed for further functionality, these knobs change a range of settings from volume, receive incremental tuning, RF and MIC gain to name a few, below these are a range of buttons that change options like operating mode, power level and the Band Pass Filters. To the right of these we have five F keys, these are used to navigate through the menus, the display indicates what each of these buttons will control depending on what menu or setting you are currently on. We also have a green and red LED on the front of the radio to the left of the screen, green for receive and red for transmit. The display brightness can also be changed with a short press of the power button, the display is nice and bright for use outdoors.
The radio also supports a fully featured band scope and waterfall on the display that can be magnified easily by using the touch screen, this is amazing and really makes the radio even more of a joy to use, I am sure this can be customized even further within the menus.
Like I said earlier this radio is very menu driven and a thorough read of the manual is a must to get the very best from this radio. This radio has so many features and I am discovering new things daily for example this radio can split the frequency enabling you to transmit and receive on two separate frequencies! Amazing! This radio also has a built in SWR meter and ALC to prevent over driving the radio, we also have a tune button (F5 key) this allows the radio to produce a carrier allowing you to use an external Antenna Tuner to lower you SWR using the inbuilt meter.
This radio has blown my mind! Being a complete beginner into HF it can be a bit overwhelming but the more I learn about not just this radio but HF generally I get more and more excited! This radio is well built, well thought out and really fun to use, if you enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for a reliable portable HF SDR radio then look no further than the amazing Ailunce HS1!
In the main review video I tried to make a contact but the bands were very flat that day so in future videos I will get some contacts filmed for you, as you know QRP is not easy so can be a challenge at the best of times.
Thanks very much for reading my review of this Ailunce HS1 HF SDR Transceiver! I am a total beginner into HF so as I learn more I will share more with you, please check out my YouTube channel and hit that subscribe button!
You can purchase this radio by clicking the Retevis Logo below..
You can watch the First impressions video below.
You can watch the main review video below.
Here is a selection of photos of this amazing radio.