Paul is impressed with the HanRongDa HRD-747

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul Jamet, who writes:

Hello Thomas,

I have just received the HRD-747 I ordered a fortnight ago.

Of course, I quickly made some tests and I’d like to share two of them with you and the regulars of the SWLing Post:

1 – This is a recording made yesterday (23 March 2022) on 12125 kHz; RFA in Tibetan from Tinian Island; the signal is very stable, very clear.

The HRD-747 is sitting in the grass at the foot of a tree in a park! Nearby a pond. Only 6 of the 7 segments of the telescopic antenna are deployed.

My Locator: JN19cc – Locator Tinian Island: QK25TB – 13225 km

Recording:

2 – My second recording is of Radio Tamazuj in Juba Arabic on 15150 kHz 15h45 from Talata Volonondry. This recording was made in the same conditions as the previous one. Again, only 6 of the 7 segments of the telescopic antenna are deployed. The reception is still quite good, isn’t it?

My Locator: JN19cc – Locator Talata-Volonondry: LH31TF – 8526 km

My first SSB tests also allowed me to listen to Russian or Ukrainian radio amateurs in the 20m band. This little device seems to me really very promising.

3- I also made this recording made ton March 27, 2022 in a small park in my city (L’Isle-Adam – Locator: JN19CC) NW of Paris.

It is a ham radio picked up on 14328.80 kHz at 15h30 UTC. No other antenna; only the telescopic antenna of the receiver! 

The HRD-747 has 100 memories per band; this proved insufficient to store all the stations detected during the scan of the entire spectrum from 3.2 to 30 MHz … The scan stopped in the 19 m band!

First impressions? I am impressed by this tiny receiver (only 108 grams with its battery and strap).

I would like to point out that the first version of the manual which was proposed on the site is particularly useful to me. Indeed, most of the keys are multifunction. It’s a habit to get used to, even if everything seems to have been thought out in a very judicious way.

With my best regards. 73’s

Paul JAMET
Radio Club du Perche

Thank you so much for sharing this, Paul. Those results are promising, indeed! The audio sounds quite good in your recordings–especially for such a compact radio.

Spread the radio love

27 thoughts on “Paul is impressed with the HanRongDa HRD-747

  1. Adrian Waiblinger

    Hi Paul.

    I have contacted Ali express and they are talking to the engineers. Not sure what engineers? I took mine apart to take photos of the working. Two of the IC’s have had all the id ground off. The only RF bits I could see was x3 27.120MHz crystals. Looks to be a band bass filter configuration.
    No external RF filtering components out side of the IC’s
    The display is a zebra contact rubber strip to the LCD screen, im hoping this doesn’t fail in the future.
    But its only $100 and cant expect much, I will see what happens. the second unit I order has a faulty telescopic whip too.
    I read the English manual that was written and tested some features.
    The Bandwidth does not work on MW at all.
    On the other bands the bandwidth below 2kHz gets wider, very strange!
    The attenuation is crazy on local, needs 800uV to hear any thing,
    The is no difference from normal to DX.

    On AM aircraft band there appears to be no AGC. so if you like me and I live 2km from the airport I have issues. Any signal over 20uV goes into envelope clipping till the point is sound like your listening to AM in FM. So this band useless to me 🙁

    Some time there is no audio on SSB, the only way to fix it is go into AM then switch the unit off, back on again and the audio is restored in SSB. Quite an annoying feature. Next trying to tune any signal on SSB is a joy. Slowly tuning to get the SSB to sound right then it jumps a massive step and your never on frequency. The frequency display dose not correspond to whats happening. The smallest step is not actually happening, just looking good on the display.

    On SSB there is a constant motor boating putting noise in the back ground, this pumps up the AGC.
    On SW there is a hash noise, its not local noise and the other receivers I have are quite. if I put the telescopic antenna down the hash nearly goes to nothing and I can start hearing stations. I figured out its FM broadcast stations getting into the front end of the receiver and just over loading it. Im 25km from any FM broadcast station and no other receiver I have has this problem. The next issue is being close to a mobile phone tower. The radio is basically is no good as this cel phone frequencies get into the receiver (IF) and you cant hear much.

    Im trying to be positive as I love these Chinese radios and collect them, but this one really is disappointing. I have more pleasure with the Tecsun R909 for $24, it works well and easy to use.

    I though I better write this as a warning to others, the results im getting in my situation being in a suburb of Adelaide South Australia. If you live in the country I bet of the receiver front end issues will be gone.

    But who knows it may be a batch issue.

    Regards Adrian.

    Reply
  2. Adrian

    Hi.

    I just got the 747 from Aliexpress.

    So far I’m quite disappointed. I can’t actually hear much on it. On SW there seem to be a hash the covers up the actual stations. It sounds like over load from FM broadcast station. On Air band anything strong is super distorted. It sounds like the AGC is not working at all. I can’t believe that ssb mode only works on SW. The steps when tuning SSB are not linear and it jumps
    Band width does not work on MW .

    Mine is serial no. 211101674

    Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      Hi Adrian,

      I am really surprised but also sorry about the problems you describe. I don’t have any such problems with my receiver. Also, I think it is a defective one and you should contact the seller to exchange it for another one. Mine is serial no. 211100557

      Reply
      1. Adrian Waiblinger

        Hi Paul.

        I have contacted Ali express and they are talking to the engineers. Not sure what engineers? I took mine apart to take photos of the working. Two of the IC’s have had all the id ground off. The only RF bits I could see was x3 27.120MHz crystals. Looks to be a band bass filter configuration.
        No external RF filtering components out side of the IC’s
        The display is a zebra contact rubber strip to the LCD screen, im hoping this doesn’t fail in the future.
        But its only $100 and cant expect much, I will see what happens. the second unit I order has a faulty telescopic whip too.

        Reply
  3. Neil Goldstein

    I’ve had one for about a month here. I agree with your take on the device. I found the radio to be as sensitive as my larger portables which really surprised me. I have noted several shortcomings/bugs in this early version though. I hope they clean it up for future releases. This is what I’ve noted so far:

    –In SSB mode the radio shows a slight misalignment when tuning. If there is a calibration hack like the Tecsuns have, I haven’t found it yet.

    –In SSB mode, the fine tuning is backwards. This was a bug that was found in some other Si47XX radios. If you hunt around you can get close to zero-beat and make most signals intelligible though.

    –VHF FM is a little distorted, at least when compared to the HRD-737. You can hear it when listening to NOAA stations or VHF FM repeaters. It doesn’t bother me, but a couple of commenters on my YouTube video were upset with it.

    –UHF is DEAF. Very hard to get anything.

    On the plus side it’s a great little radio for everything I need it for. It was even more sensitive on MW AM than I was expecting. I’d like to see if they fix some of the shortcomings but I’m happy with it for now. Smallest SSB capable receiver I have, and picks up VHF as well. So far I’m pleased.

    Here is my video: https://youtu.be/qhc7wvxlo4c

    –Neil, W2NDG

    Reply
    1. Ricardo

      In uhf I noticed an improvement in the reception raising only 2 segments of the antenna, if I lift all 7 segments or use an external antenna in uhf it really goes deaf.

      Reply
  4. John black

    A lot of Chinese radios do what you’re describing. They have the very cheapest rotary encoders money can buy, and many of them don’t work properly even when new. Usually if you tune it slowly, it will work reliably, at least for a while.

    Reply
    1. Neil, W2NDG

      This isn’t a rotary encoder issue, but a mistake in the code. It’s a known issue, but has been corrected by Tecsun on their newer radios. HRD must be using the old code.

      Reply
  5. Sunny

    For the price point just don’t expect too much!
    It’s usable but of course it not as good as Sony or any high-end. It similar to Retekess TR 105, where on some frequencies FM break through to SW.

    Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      I also own the HRD-737 which is now sold under the name Retekess TR-105 … I have not had such a problem (yet?). I really like this tiny ultra-portable receiver. Its wire antenna with alligator clip increases the quality of the reception significantly. I use this antenna with the HRD-747. However, the listening reported here was done without any antenna other than the telescopic antenna
      To download the TR-105 user manual:
      https://www.retekess.com/Assets/resource/Radio/TR105-English.pdf

      Reply
  6. Ricardo Martins Ferreira

    Hello. I bought one from Aliexpress, it arrived a few days ago and I’m still learning to use it, I would like to know if on your receiver the rotary tuning knob is also inaccurate, for example if I’m at 7,000mhz if I turn it up sometimes it goes back to 6,999 if I keep spinning it votes for 7,000 and then for 7,001, if I spin slower, its linearity is normal, I don’t know if this is a defect or is it just like that. Tanks

    Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      Thank you for your question. I’m just a modest SWL who likes to share his enthusiasm; but I don’t have the answer to every question!

      Please, short press [SET] to adjust the digit of the displayed frequency you want to act on using the rotary button [flying shuttle].

      Frank Vettel had a very good idea to provide a clear user manual that everyone can improve.

      So, in answer to your question, I suggest you refer to this manual:
      https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZGp3d_pgyhNh8pA-9IdDn4tHZAXphsrt?usp=sharing
      Especially paragraph 12 on page 19.

      Reply
  7. John Black

    I got two of them from Ali Express early on (minimum quantity). Although they seemed to work about as well as the HRD737 before them, neither radio would work at all on SSB. They just went quiet. Emails to the seller and to HanRongDa were ignored. I think I’d like a working unit, but am reluctant to throw more good money after bad.

    Reply
    1. John Black

      Okay, well, I threw caution to the wind and bought another HRD-747. This one works on SSB, sometimes. It is almost impossible to tune a voice in, it seems to get close and then jumps a khz or so. I have not gotten it tuned in to my satisfaction yet. Often, it will stop receiving any SSB at all, whereupon I have to take the battery out to make it work again. VHF is distorted; there’s just not much on any of the radios I bought that works well. So after being dumb three times, my advice is not to buy one, unless you’re willing to buy 5 to maybe get one that works. Since no US sellers have them, if yours is bad, just throw it away.
      This is a shame, because I have an HRD-737 which works quite well on all bands. Also, I understand the little Radioddity RF750 is made by HanRongDa, and it is a real hoot.

      Reply
  8. Wolfgang OE1MWW

    This Radio is absolutely deaf. My local FM repeater, on 438.950 – in a few kilometers, in sight on a hill, is booming in on all devices, even on a simple RTL.SDR with a short wire. But on the HRD-747, whatever external or internal antenna, I can hear the signal barely in the noise. 73s Wolfgang, OE1MWW

    Reply
  9. Daniel Robinson

    I too obtained a 747 recently, and I will have some comments in an upcoming article. The headlines are that it is quite sensitive, but from an ergonomic standpoint it has challenges. A Tecsun PL-368 is much easier to use. Also, when it comes to SSB, there is instability and don’t expect to be able to zero beat stations on SSB due to alignment issues.

    Reply
  10. Paul Steckler

    There’s no numeric keypad. Is it easy to tune to a specific frequency? Can you jump between frequencies that are far apart?

    Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      If I have well understood your question i.e. your expectation, my answer is YES you can jump between distant frequencies … Easily ? It all depends on what you mean by easily! There are several ways to proceed:

      1 – if your frequencies are in memory, it will be quick to switch from one frequency to another;

      2 – by using the MODE button: for instance, in the short-wave (SW) receiving state, short press [MODE] to switch the meter band, and the frequency points are: 3.20000MHZ, 3.75000MHZ, 3.90000MHZ, 4.75000MHZ, 5.73000MHZ, 7.10000MHZ, 9.25000MHZ, 11.50000MHZ, 13.57000MHZ, 15.03000MHZ, 13.57000MHZ, 15.03000MHZ, 17.48000MHZ, 18.90000MHZ, 21.45000MHZ, 25.67000MHZ.
      Then to adjust the frequency; two possibilities:

      > The first one: with the Up or Down buttons; the step size being previously set to 5.00, 1.00, 0.1, 0.02, 0.01 kHz

      > The second one: with the Rotary [flying shuttle] button … Rotate the flying shuttle to adjust frequency display
      bit values. When values are adjusted, the corresponding ” ^ ” flashes. Short press [STEP] to select the needed STEP value. Rotate the flying shuttle to quickly select the desired frequency points.

      Please, dowload the manual: HanRongDa HRD-747: Frank creates an English Owner’s Manual
      https://swling.com/blog/2022/03/hanrongda-hrd-747-frank-creates-an-english-owners-manual/

      I am testing this receiver received 6 days ago, so I am learning … Nevertheless, I can say that it is easier and especially faster to jump from one frequency to another than with the TECSUN PL-365 which does not have a numeric keypad. This requires a little practice.

      Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      This new small receiver is now sold by Aliexpress. There are several shops that offer it at significantly different prices with or without free delivery. Delivery to France was made within two weeks instead of the advertised three weeks.

      On this site, you will find several contributions concerning this receiver; I suggest you read them.

      Reply
    1. Paul JAMET

      I wrote ” I would like to point out that the first version of the manual which was proposed on the site is particularly useful to me. Indeed, most of the keys are multifunction. It’s a habit to get used to, even if everything seems to have been thought out in a very judicious way”.

      Please, have a glance to this news:
      HanRongDa HRD-747: Frank creates an English Owner’s Manual
      https://swling.com/blog/2022/03/hanrongda-hrd-747-frank-creates-an-english-owners-manual/

      Reply

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