Any reviews of the HanRongDa HRD-737 portable radio?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jamie Anderson (KM4WYO), who writes:

I have been browsing around eBay too much and was trying to put together a do-it-all radio for camping/backpacking that is small.

It is hard to find SW/broadcast/weather/air band together (for good reason, of course). I did run across this radio that is interesting: the HRD-737 which retails around $40.

  • Internal 700mah 3.7v lithium, with 5v usb charge
  • Air 118-138 MHz
  • FM 87.5 – 108 MHz
  • AM 520-1720 kHz
  • CB 25-28 MHz
  • SW 2-30 MHz in 5 kHz steps
  • VHF narrow/wide FM – 30-223 MHz (10,6,2,220)

I’m not sure if it would pick up NOAA stations as I think they have a slightly different FM bandwidth.

It seems interesting for a do it all point of view, you could possibly monitor ham repeaters on 2 meters, just a little too short of frequency coverage for 220.

Click here to view the HDR-737 on eBay.

Have you seen one of these or something similar in your reviews?

I have never used the HDR-737, but thanks for bringing it to our attention, Jamie!

I should think, assuming the stated VHF frequency coverage is correct, that you should be able to hear weather radio on this receiver. NOAA weather frequencies are on 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, and 162.550 MHz.

The manufacturer isn’t clear about the frequency steps on VHF however–it’s possible tuning increments could be too coarse to get a good lock on the station. That specification is omitted altogether even though every other band has stated frequency steps.

I should mention that the original C. Crane CC Skywave meets all of your specifications save the ability to potentially tune in the 2M ham radio band.

Post readers: Is anyone familiar with the HanRongDa HRD-737?  Please comment!

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12 thoughts on “Any reviews of the HanRongDa HRD-737 portable radio?

  1. William

    Just received mine today and on a quick scan through on all the bands I was highly impressed at the amount of frequencies I picked up, all those complaining must’ve got a dodgy item .. I’m extremely happy with my purchase

    Reply
  2. gccradioscience

    I hope one of these days they will release a new model of this radio that will cover all frequency ranges just like the RTL-SDR dongle does from 100 kHz to 1.7 GHz. Or at least add the LW band from 100 kHz to 520 kHz. I bought one, because it’s just like the Rhapsody RY-611 portable radio receiver, which is big and bulky stay at home radio receiver in a small package, and the RY-611 covers the same frequency ranges as this small pocket radio, and in a digital tuning format.

    Reply
  3. LogicallyCynical

    Lengthy commentary aside (which no one takes time to read) It’s $44 worth of FUN!!! Too many radio snobs that have forgotten how to have fun. Is it an Icom IC-R6? Hell no. IT’s FUN. Just got mine and you can’t go wrong with it.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Critical reviews of the $37 HanRongDa HRD-737 shortwave radio | dxerhamnews

  5. Pingback: Critical reviews of the $37 HanRongDa HRD-737 shortwave radio | The SWLing Post

  6. Igor

    Air range. The sensitivity of the receiver is good, considering the length of the antenna, only 300 mm (taking into account the part inside the case). Both the boards and ATIS are heard, but the issue of distance is important. I have it only 5 km. I do not know how the signal level drops with distance, but in the absence of direct visibility and an insufficient antenna height, there will be problems. Earlier, DVB-T USB receiver helped me a lot to evaluate the quality of reception. On the radioscanner forum, this issue is discussed. People make band antennas, filters, to reduce interference from the FM band.
    But in general, in my opinion, the reception is normal. True, compared with the classic superheterodyne and the AM detector, this is 737, which is noisier in the absence of a signal. I wonder how they implemented the AM detector, in a frequency band not specified in the characteristics of the chip.
    Sensitivity even pleased, not inferior to Yaesu VR-500 (takes all the same). It’s a pity that the threshold of the noise suppressor is not regulated (On / Off only), a weak signal does not open it. Very – very weakly, in some places, sometimes FM stations are heard, still prolazit))).
    And in the CB range, I (as usual) failed to accept anything. And this is not the problem of the receiver, but rather the problem of the absence of an external, highly located antenna and not high transmitters’ power, among car owners. I basically can not hear them, not on Yaesu, nor on Degen, nor on this 737.
    On the MW band, the receiver accepts almost everything the same as the others (for example, the Sony ICF-SW11), although the magnetic antenna is none (small) and is clamped to a metal speaker, which is not recommended. But 15-17 stations, approximately, I accept (only closer to midnight). It also turned out to be very inconvenient to tune with the buttons, which are medium waves, which are short. If you do not know exactly the desired station frequency. And switching the 9 / 10kHz step, the same creates inconvenience. Some stations are well tuned in 9 kHz increments, and some in 10 kHz increments … Not impressed. Analog pen is better))).
    Short waves, I think, is not worth discussing. Yes, it does, but … it’s a toy, practically. I, in general, for large receivers, with contours, screens, with the KPI, with a large scale and a good speaker.
    But the range of VHF (FM-Narrow, FM-Wide), controversial. With this coverage, 30-230 MHz, you need to have more possible settings. At a minimum, setting the pitch frequency. And here is a fixed pitch, 25 kHz. And in general, apart from TV channels and re-FM band, you will not accelerate very much. At least 12.5 step add. On this band, (i) is received, TV1 – 56.30 MHz, 66.50 – Radio Russia, TVC – 83.75 MHz, MATCH – 181.75 MHz, NTV – 197.75 MHz, Russia 1 – 221.75 MHz. Well, re FM. Aviation is no longer intelligible, since the modulation frequency for the entire range.
    At the beginning of the range, some kind of nonsense. From 30 to about 70 megahertz, FM stations are accepted. For example, at 30.15 MHz, the station sounds from the FM band, 92 MHz, at 31.17, it sounds 96.8 MHz, at 31.30 – 94.4 MHz, and so on. The approximate (average) frequency spacing is about 62 – 66 MHz. Maybe the similarity of the mirror channel? …
    Sensitivity in the FM band, very worthy. Better than the Supra PAS-3907 and even slightly better than the Sony ICF-SW11. It receives 51 FM stations, all that is, the memory is only 50))). BUT, the auto scan worked as it is generally incomprehensible, the stations were remembered partially mixed, not in ascending order. I suffered and as a result I brought all the settings manually, so it’s more reliable.
    It accepts stations even with a folded antenna (but only when you hold it in your hands). Can the headphone wire still be used as an antenna? …
    By the way, the sound of FM stations, in headphones, is stereo. There are stereo / mono switching. The sound is full, with sufficient low frequencies and generally good.
    I listened in headphones Koss Porta Pro and Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, I liked it. Interestingly, the headphone output comes from directly embedded in the m / c. receiver, stereo amplifier. And the built-in speaker is connected from a separate, single-channel m / c. ULF
    The board is quite neatly soldered. Chips, the processor and the receiver, are no longer jammed, but are not physically marked with markings. Only m / c ULF, LM4871. On the board there are unidentified elements in the case of sot-23-6, labeled C5Z. Could not find the decryption, sorry (((.
    Consumed currents. In sleep mode – 22µA, clock mode and backlight – 14.3 mA, turned on, but the volume is 0 – 40 mA and the maximum volume – 220 mA.
    Turns off the receiver at a voltage of 2.8 volts. In this case, the display on the display becomes very pale.
    The charging current, the initial, 670 mA, is further reduced to a complete shutdown.
    Well, in general, everything. Normal such a receiver. I’m not upset, will be in the collection, with Air band))).

    Reply
  7. Glen

    I received one Saturday I had ordered from Aliexpress. In one word, avoid. The performance is really terrible everywhere except the FM broadcast band. Reception there is OK, but it is prone to overload more than my other radios. Aircraft reception is terrible. Only very strong shortwave signals are present. Same with AM broadcast. VHF performance is abysmal. To illustrate, my closest NOAA transmitter is so strong it trips the “close signals” quick scan in my Whistler TRX-1. On the HanRongDa, the NOAA signal is present, but it’s weak. All my other weather band receivers can get signals on all 7 frequencies. The HanRongDa hears only the very close one. This is easily the worst receiver I’ve ever gotten. Perhaps it’s defective. Eager to hear experiences from anyone else.

    Reply
    1. James Fields

      Received mine yesterday. Have only tested in my office which is a challenging, RFI-rich environment, so trying to withhold final judgement. However so far my experience matches Glen’s. Can only pick up the strongest shortwave signals. MW AM so far terrible. FM broadcast passable but not at all remarkable, and most stations have a LOT of hiss in the background. Have yet to pick up AIR band transmission on frequency that I can get on every other receiver I have. Nothing on CB yet. Cannot receive any NOAA frequencies, including two that I get solidly on other radios. Interestingly I can receive local police dispatch frequency pretty well.

      Construction is pretty cheap.

      Positives? I got mine for $37 shipped from a reseller on Ali Express . If I had paid over $40 I would feel worse about the value. And it really is a shirt-pocket portable. Super small and light.

      At this time I cannot recommend this for anyone, for any purpose.

      Reply
      1. James Fields

        Update – took the HRD-737 outside last night for a couple hour session away from the household RFI. FM broadcast still decent, MW AM still awful. SW much better than indoors – picked up plenty of stronger US-based stations plus Cuba, though far short of quantity and quality of signals from something like a Tecsun PL-310ET or PL-380. Nothing on CB. One very faint signal copied on AIR band – by contrast turned on my Digitech AR1780 and got multiple clear signals within two minutes. On VHF, totally unable to pick up a single NOAA transmission; but still able to hear the local sheriff’s dispatcher.

        Reply
        1. Rick Grimes

          Digitech AR1780? That’s not even apples for apples…. hell that’s not even in the same produce department of a comparison.

          Reply

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