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Product Review
Ailunce  HD1
Dual Band
DMR Handheld
TDMA Tier I / II


November 2017


Ailunce  HD1

The Ailunce HD1 is a true Dual Band band (UHF / VHF) DMR handheld that can be used as either an FM analog transceiver or Tier II  DMR digital. This is one of the newer DMR transceivers designed with the ham radio operator in mind.
In the Box

Included with the radio are the:
-  3200mAh Li-Ion Battery
-  Belt clip
-  Carry Strap
-  73 page User Guide – English 
-  Charger base & AC adapter
-  Antenna – 6.75" (17.1cm) 
-  Programming Cable
General Description 

-   DMR / FM 
-   VHF / UHF Dual Band
-   136-174   400-480 MHz 
-   1W / 10W transmit 
-   3000 channel
-   10,000 contacts 
-   100,000 Database Contacts
Dual Band Operation
Most new DMR transceivers are going the direction of Dual Band, and the HD1 is no exception. The radio has plenty of storage capability with up to 3K channels, 10K TG contacts, and 100K for the DMR ID database.

The radio's frequency range is VHF 136-174 and UHF 400-480 MHz. 
Over-the-Air audio reports are excellent and power levels were respectable. Rated at 10W, the output power was very close to spec into a calibrated Bird Termaline wattmeter.
*  I found the high power setting was a little unstable on UHF high power, fluctuating from 16w to 8w then back to around 10w into the wattmeter.
HD1 Lo Mid Hi
VHF 1.3 3.5 8.2
UHF 1.0 3.4 *
Receiver  and Audio

The receiver sensitivity is very good on both digital and analog. There's plenty of loud and undistorted audio with a 500mW audio amp. I did notice, however, a loud 'Pop' when a station breaks open the squelch on both digital and analog.

The HD1 case has a solid feel, weight, and durability. It weighs in at a hefty 12.7 oz (303g) with the battery attached.

The battery lock is designed to make removal quick and easy. A slight pull on the battery tab releases battery which then pulls away from the radio body. 

click to enlarge

The PTT button only requires a light push to activate the transmitter. Just under the PTT switch are two programmable keys that respond to both long and short key presses.

The included dual band antenna is 6.75" which is a fairly common size for a handheld and is terminated with a standard SMA-Female.
The standard antenna seemed to do a respectable job. Using the RSSI reading from a local UHF repeater, I found a slight increase of about 2 dB using an upgraded 15" antenna which is about what I expected.
The radio has a multicolor display. The main background is a sky blue with multicolor icons. The screen size is 1.1" x 1.4" with excellent resolution. Below are examples of the LCD when receiving digital and analog signals.  The LCD now displays 12 large easy to read characters (originally only 9) when displaying the channel, but I found 5 lines displayed when receiving are clear, but a little small.
Click to enlarge

If you are entering the world of DMR for the first time, be aware that programming a digital radio is very different than an FM transceiver. You still need to enter the frequency and Color Code (digital version of CTCSS), but navigating the network can be a bit overwhelming at first. Don't let that intimidate you. There are several YouTube videos and user groups available to assist, but I also recommend that you find someone in your area or local radio club that can assist with showing you the procedure for developing and enhancing your own customized software data image (a.k.a. code plug).
Here is a link to a few code plug samples to help familiarize you with the format and get you started. These were developed for the So Central PA cluster of repeaters, but can be altered to work on your local repeaters. Starter_Code_Plugs
The HD1 firmware is easily upgradable, so as advances and options are developed, you have the ability to update the radio to the latest version. The firmware upgrades can be done with a Windows computer in about 5 minutes.
Programming Cable
The HD1 programming connector is similar to that found on the Motorola GP328. The UART chip is inside the cable and the driver for this radio will load automatically.
Note: The HD1 Spkr/Micr is compatible with that found on the GP328

click to enlarge
Battery and Charger
The battery efficiency is very good. With the 3200 mAh battery I can get a couple days from a single charge.
The charger base requires a standard 12vdc wall wart, however the provided wall adapter is 10V 480mAh. A standard 12V adapter measures 12.5V on the meter, where the provided 10V adapter is only 11.0V. The charger output to the battery is still 8.4V to the battery even with the light weight adapter. The LED on the front of the charger base is Red when charging, and Green when either fully charged or no radio in the cradle. 

The HD1 is a good performing dual band DMR and analog transceiver built with the Ham Radio operator in mind.  It's original delivery was delayed for about 4 months.  A wise decision to wait until the radio was ready. The firmware is upgradable so enhancements can be made as they are needed. Retevis did a pretty good job with this one.

The pros are the following:
-  True Tier II DMR dual band operation
-  Software easy to manipulate
-  Main LCD is easy to read
-  Plenty of battery life
-  Supports DMR DB  (100K)
-  Firmware easy to update

My personal concerns are:
-  The 'Pop' when the squelch opens
-  Database display is a bit small

Available from:     HD1 Amazon,   HD1 (GPS1) Amazon

Ailunce  HD1
Dual Band DMR

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