Monday, June 24, 2024

Update on my new Hermes Lite 2

A few people expressed interest in the HL2 that I mentioned a few weeks ago - two of those were CW ops who want to know how it does on that mode.

To improve its performance on CW, I ordered the mod kit which converts the rig to a Plus model.

The mod kit was sent out by WA2T the very day I ordered it but it arrived after we'd left for Iceland and has been with our neighbor since then. We are home now, but our neighbor is out of town!

She returns later this week, but we leave again for three weeks a few days after her return.

Now that you've suffered through all that, the short story is - I won't know how the Plus version of the HL2 performs on CW until late July.

But in the meantime, I've been using the HL2 on a daily basis on digital modes. Mostly FT8 with a bit of WSPR thrown in, and I'll say this - I love this radio! Talk about "bang for the buck..."

The HL2 with Thetis and WSJT-X software was a cinch to set up. I am no longer missing my old Apache Labs or Flex rigs. That weird, tough-to-explain satisfaction that comes from having a radio totally controlled by a PC - and all the functionality and flexibility therein - is in complete attendance with the HL2.

I don't yet own a mic for the HL2 but the comments on Pure Signal fidelity by those who do have piqued my curiosity on even my least-favorite of modes, so I'll give it a Go, eventually.

On FT8, the radio performs well, which is to say that a super-strong signal appearing on the waterfall does not diminish the presence of weaker stations.

More later on this amazing radio, but it'll be a while.

For now, I'll go out on a limb and say this: If you're an op who likes digital modes and wants a high-performing radio that won't break the bank, the Hermes Lite 2 needs to be on your Short List.


Other options in the same price range:

Square SDR (page is in Czech but Google's Chrome browser will translate it)

A 6-160m near-equivalent to the HL-2 from EU1SW

I have no experience with either of these but comments from users on both a quite favorable.



  1. I just ordered the same board and hopefully will have it installed shortly. I also wanted it for CW ops. I need to figure out how to also connect it up to my KXPA100 amp and hopefully also figure out how to run Thetis on a mac.

    1. As you probably know there is plenty of help available: