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Testing today of the MTR3B and HB1B QRP radios

I had a ride in the car today down to my favourite place on G/TW-004 Bishop Wilton Wold - the nearest summit to where I live, and well known as one of England’s “Drive On” SOTA summits. I always operate from the road junction at SE 832551 and park nearby. The road sign there has been recently restored - what a beauty:

I first tested my recently purchased LNR MTR3B QRP CW transceiver - this was bought recently from Kanga Kits. All I had to do was fit the circuit board and solder the external connections into the case and learn how to use it. I ran the MTR on exactly 12 volts and it produced between 3 and 5 watts on the three bands, 40m, 30m and 20m.

This little beauty gave me 12 QSOs on 40m, 30m and 20m in a 26 minute session.

After that I switched over to my recently purchased secondhand You Kits HB1B running at 13.6 volts. This beauty is twice the size of the MTR, weighs considerably more but has greater audio output, indeed enough to more than supply a small amplified speaker I bought from the famous auction site for about £3:

With the HB1B I operated for just 16 minutes making 9 QSOs, and once again cracking the Altlantic with a QSO with AC1Z to finish off…

The two radio’s were procured as an even lighter alternative to carrying an FT-817 and to serve as a backup unit on future SOTA Tours should the old FT-817 become unservicable.

Thank to all the chasers who called in - especially the SOTA DX Chaser stations AC1Z, N1EU and OK2PDT and OE7PHI who worked me using both transceivers. What a lot of fun I had working you all today, a change is better than a rest after all the chasing I have been doing lately…

73 de Phil G4OBK


Thanks for the QSO today Phil and congrats on the new rigs! What were you using for an antenna?

73, Barry N1EU

Thanks for the test story Phil.
I don’t have a MTR but I do have 2 HB-1B now I got one second hand 80 to 20 m version and I now have the 40 to 15 m version. It has an extra feature of the battery voltage read out changing to a swr meter on tx. I don’t like how venerable the red function buttons are on this rig, I have had the main key speed/ function button break on the 80/20 rig and I noticed the ATT button has a crack in it. I was very lucky VK5IS is into electronics and fixing things and he was able to search around and find some new buttons and fix it for me. So I am much more careful with the rigs now, not that I think I am rough on gear because the button was there one time and gone the next don’t even know how it happened. But a great couple rigs none the less, and hope to read about LNR’s new radio released on April 1st .
Ian vk5cz …

HI Barry

Just the usual link dipole as an inverted vee on a 5m pole. The ends were about 5 feet off the ground.

Really pleased to work you and Bob AC1Z!

Hi Ian

OK on the problens with breaking switches on the old HB1B. I agree you have to be careful handling these little radios. I have a nice fitted snap lock food box for the HB1B and a small hard camera case for the MTR, which is a perfect match in size and colour. This is my second HB1B. The first one went U/S when the volume control track went open circuit. I would have attempted to replace the volume control but the knob was superglued in place and couldn’t be removed. As the unit was under a 12 month warranty the dealer refunded my money and took the radio back. I’d used it on a handful of activations by then but I had no problem in getting the refund.

73 Phil

Nice report Phil.
I tried listening but the skip was way too long to be of any use.
However I did nip on over to Estonia (KO18UO) and had a quick listen to you on 10Mhz.

This was the MTR
and this is the HB1B

I’m biased, but the MTR was the better signal…

On the rare occasion that I don’t use earphones, I also use a similar speaker on my MTR/ATS4.
Copes well with wind noise, even when turned down low.
I tend to only use it when videoing; you can see it here :slight_smile:

Hope you have lots more fun with the little rigs.
Hope to work you soon.


Hi Phil

I also have a MTR-3B that I use as a “pocket station”…

I use it with a 20/30/40m trapped dipole. For the audio I bought a cheap earbuds from Decathlon which are great for the job.

A shorte lenght of feeder (RG-174), 8 NiMH batteries and a morse key and it’s done!

I use it in my Azorean trips with great sucess.

It’s a light outstanding HF transceiver. Enjoy it!

73 de Pedro, CT1DBS/CU3HF

Yes for sure Pedro - you have had great success in Azores with your MTR. My chaser log shows 3 QSOs with you as CU3HF/P on the 20m band. CW rules OK!

I was powering mine yesterday from a 13.6 V LiFEpo4 but reducing the voltage to a safe 12V with a small in line variable voltage regulator. I tested the MTR with a 9.9V LiFePO3 but found the power was half what I get with 12V

40m 30m 20m
3w 5w 4w
1.5w 2.5w 2w

This transceiver is so small and good on you for using it as your prime mover!

73 Phil

I use 8 NiMH (10.4 V +/-).
It’s what I have in our 3 QSOs while I’m in CU2.

At home, I testeds with a PSU and a cheap chinese in variable voltage regulator.

The PWR out were a litle bit higher than yours:
12 V
40m 30m 20m
4.7W 4.2W 4.6W

1.7W 2.8W 2.4W

It seems my MTR voltage is better than yours…Or the power meter is more generous!

On the April 16th I’m planning to activate 2 more summits at CU2. Could be a MTR to MTR QSO…


That 40m output is a bit low, have you read the various threads about bunching up or spreading out the turns on the Tx filter coils? The kit-built MTRs give out pretty much the same power on all bands.

73, Colin G8TMV