HB1B Four Band CW QRP Transceiver
Come enjoy the fun of QRP operation with this simple, light weight, palm of your hand, trail friendly quad band transceiver.
TEN-TEC is the exclusive U.S. distributor for the YouKits brand.
The YouKits HB1B covers 80-40-30-20 meter amateur bands.
It is a fully assembled transceiver using the latest SMT technology.
Posted by Jim Andera K0NK on 8th Oct 2013
My QRP operation is pretty much limited to backpacking trips in the Rocky Mountains. I bought the R4040 as a replacement for my boat-anchor Heath HW9 I have carried for the past 25 years. The light weight, small size and low Rx current draw attracted me to the R4040. It has proven to be a good choice. 80-20m coverage is what I need to keep schedules from the Rocky Mountain backcountry to my buddies in eastern KS.
Testing the R4040 in the ham shack prior to taking it into the field, I was pleasantly surprised that the built-in keyer pretty closely emulates a Curtis keyer. That makes this the first radio with a built in keyer that I can actually operate iambic style because I learned iambic operation on a Curtis! I checked the variable BW IF filter on the bench and in the narrowest setting it is about 220Hz wide at 6 dB and 1 kHz wide at 60 dB, giving it a 4.5 shape factor which is pretty normal for 4 poles. With the knob at the 12:00 o’clock position it is about 530 Hz wide and the shape factor degrades to about 10:1. At maximum BW, the response is so wild with such deep ripple that it is hard to define its performance. I’d say it is roughly about 1.8 kHz wide; interestingly, SSB voice signals sound ok through it. From just an operational perspective, the 4 poles tend to do a pretty good job particularly if you narrow the bandwidth up.
The main complaint I have with operation is that the AGC is too slow to attack on strong signals, resulting in about 10 msec of very noticeable overshoot on the leading edge of each CW element. Switching in the attenuator will sometimes help this out. Initially the Tx-to-Rx time delay was too long, but the Mark 2 version of the radio makes that adjustable (the manual that came with the radio was old and did not give the instruction on how to change this time—I had to go to the Youkits site for a newer manual). The 90 mA of Rx current consumption is about half what my HW9 draws and Tx current draw at 12V is 750 mA—quite good.
At out Colorado camp site at 11.5kft elevation in late September, it got down to 30°F for the evening of my first QSO with the radio in the field. The radio performed well using an external 12V NiMH battery pack. In the cooler wx the LCD display was a bit sluggish, but still very useable. A G5RV and a balanced tuner seemed to work ok as my antenna system.
Being I also do winter camping, when I returned home I placed the rig in the deep freeze overnight at 0° F. The radio generally performed well at that temperature. With the radio still in the deep freeze, the frequency moved only about 120 Hz from the room temperature reading on 30m—very impressive. The LCD responded very slowly, but is still more-or-less usable with the exception of the S-meter/power-meter function that is just too slow to be useable. I am hopeful it will work down to the -10°F range we encounter on our winter trips.
A few pointers:
1) If you want a sturdy watertight carrying case, try the OXO Good Grips 2.8 cup plastic food-storage container. I heated one corner with a heat gun to bubble the plastic out a bit to better accommodate the R4040’s BNC connector. It is now a perfect fit.
2) The lack of a built in SWR meter is an inconvenience. Building a LED-SWR Bridge solved that problem, Mine is a variation of one by KI6SN (see adventure-radio.org) which is a variation of one by N7VE.
3) Nobody tells you that hidden inside the radio when it arrives is a 3-cell battery holder and four rubber feet to add to the bottom of the radio. #14500 3.7V AA-size lithium-ion batteries can go into the battery holder if you want a rather low-capacity internal battery pack.
Posted by Richard Robinson on 30th Sep 2013
I've owned and built both the Elecraft K1 and K2 and also the Wilderness Sierra and the R4040 holds its own with all 3. This is a great rig in a small package and replaces my Sierra and K1 as my "in the field" rig. The R4040 was money well spent.
Posted by Don - K2PMC on 2nd Sep 2013
I've had my R4040 for about 2 months now and really like it. The first radio I received worked fine for about 2 weeks when the power dropped to about half. An email to Ten Tec and I had a replacement before I had a chance to send the faulty radio back. Great service. I rate the radio at 4 stars for 2 reasons. First, the tuning is erratic at times. You turn the knob up frequency and it goes down one unit. Another turn and you are headed in the right direction. Not a big deal, but could be better. Read an article in QST where caps across the rotary encoder cured the same problem. Could be the situation here. My other complaint is the silk screening could be better. The new radio I received has some fading on the silk screening which should not be on a new radio.
Posted by Larry on 19th Aug 2013
Easy and quick to set up and get on the air . Worked fine right out of the box.I really like the frequency readout and the ability to check the battery voltage, very nice.Its got all the features you need for qrp cw work.
Posted by Rick ND3B on 16th Jan 2013
it came in 2 days!
I got the xcvr, shoulder bag, antenna, battery pack and charger. First my gripes: it comes with a charger so the separate one is not needed. It takes a 3.5mm plug (not included) for the key and the wiring instructions are vague. I have to find a plug and then look up tip, ring and sleeve. The battery holder - 3 AA cells - is inside with the rubber feet. Does this mean I could have used alkalines? Didn't know until I opened it up to install the battery pack which has that foam tape on it and I assume it is to be stuck to the cover. I can't imagine sticking it to the circuit board...but someone might. The antenna looks really nice - compact and sturdy with feedline and BNC connector attached, some rope and two tent pegs. The shoulder bag is great! Goes over one shoulder. Plenty big for the radio, key, antenna and a gel cell. There are zipper pouches on the outside for more stuff.
I'm pretty new to this and wish everything was spelled out in precise language. Like is the antenna resonant on 20,30 &40 or do I need a tuner? But hey, figuring it out is part of the fun! Hope to be on the air soon and find someone to help me get my CW speed up!
Posted by Dick. KB5CS on 5th Jul 2012
I was looking forward to this rig as an avid Qrper. The unit got stuck in TX. Tech service said that problem had occurred before. This is after both two band rigs had failed.
Had many Ten Tec rigs--but these made in China.
Posted by Charlie Vaughan K4UWH on 15th Jun 2012
I just wanted to tell you I received my R 4040 on Thursday afternoon late and didn’t have a chance to play with it until that evening. I made a couple of 20 meter DX contacts right off the bat.
Then Friday evening just before the CQ WPX contest I made a couple more DX contacts.
I operated the CQ WPX contest for about 6 hours with the new rig at about 4 watts and a Gap Titan vertical on 20 meters exclusively. I didn’t do anything spectacular but I was very impressed with the rig it is a great buy. 138 QSOs, 130 prefixes, 358 Points (avg. 2.59/contact) for a score of 46, 540. My country total in basically 2 days of operating is 44 countries.
The only sad thing is that it does not at least have 17 and 15 meters on it.
But the little box surely works. Sometimes I think the RX sounds better than my Omni VII.
Posted by NG9D on 17th Dec 2011
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” (Was that an American or a Chinese proverb?)