Wednesday, April 13, 2016

YouKits HB-1B vs. LNR MTR-5B

With LNR Precision getting ready to offer for sale the MTR-5B any day now it makes sense to compare it with its closest competitor, the YouKits HB-1B.

First, the all-important numbers:

Comparative sizes shown are in proportion to each other

The radios are quite similar in what they do and in the advertised specs so the differences will primarily amount to how they perform various functions.

The rigs have a different band selection process with the HB-1B accomplishing this via built-in memories (of which it has 30). The MTR-5B has 6 switches. Specific frequencies within each band are tuned to as described in the chart above with the MTR having the added ability of going directly to a frequency keyed in via the CW paddles. This makes large QSY's fast and easy. The frequency to which the MTR is tuned (regardless of method used) is annunciated via Morse - a handy feature in a dark tent.

The MTR contains 3 63-character CW memories. The HB-1B has a "CQ calling" function which calls CQ and then sends the "de callsign" of the operator.

The HB-1B also has an attenuator and three selectable break-in delays, one of which is QSK. The MTR is full QSK all the time and I personally would never wany anything other than full QSK with any small QRP rig.

Either rig would seem to be a good choice for the CW op wanting a very portable rig. I really like the Direct Freq Entry capability of my MTR-3B (that the MTR-5B also has) but the SW receive capability of the HB-1B would also be fun to have on a camping trip. And, although the MTR will tune to SW freqs, it is optimized for CW and lacks the bandwidth to listen to AM stations.

Finally, the HB-1B is slightly larger and almost twice the weight of the MTR-5B.

VibroPlex sells the HB-1B - LNR Precision will be selling the MTR-5B.

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