Hermes Lite 2 / SDR Console endorsement

Bob Edwards

I've used various sdrs now for about 20 years. To anyone thinking about software defined radio - I run a Hermes Lite 2 with SDR Console and I must say the combination is very enjoyable to use and the listening performance is very good. The transceiver drives an XPA125B amplifier delivering 100W on all the HF bands. I am pleasantly surprised at the sensitivity. My main station is a Flex 3000. On the HF bands I can hear things on the Hermes that are inaudible on the Flex (noticed on 20 m ) Otherwise, the listening experience is the same.

I use a low cost electret mic, a 'blue snowball ice' mounted on an anglepoise style arm. This leaves the hands free for writing. The VOX works well too. The speakers are a pair of BOSE Companion II - small, but very clean sound. No problems with RF feedback at all. Both mic and speakers were 2nd hand from ebay. The mic was very easily equalised to suit my voice and I've had compliments on air. (SDR Console allows you to record your processed voice and immediately play it back to check the effect)

I'm surprised that the 12 bit engine in the Hermes Lite works so well. I haven't notice any signs of overloading when the receiver gain is managed properly.

Both units run from 12V and the XPA125B also contains an auto-atu. I hope to run these portable in the summer from a campervan, together with an endfed antenna supported by a small kite. Steel tape-measure counterpoises complete the set up.

The SWR bridges built into the XPA125B are OK for antenna tune up, but no good for checking PEP when talking. I added an old Hansen FS-50HP peak reading power meter which allows the correct drive to be set when speaking normally.

I meet with old uni friends weekly on the 60m band. Quite often I can't hear all stations, because the skip is wrong. I use another pice of software called Catsync to allow me to listen to a web sdr of my choosing to pull in the inaudible stations. With suitable settings, SDR Console keeps the web sdr on the same frequency. Also, when transmitting, the web sdr is automatically muted. Works very well together. Having a couple of largish monitors on your pc also makes the most of the panaramic band displays. If you can see a signal, you can generally hear it - especially when SDR Console's noise reduction feature is turned on - reduces listening fatigue a lot.

Hope that's of interest - I'm just another very happy ham using SDR Console, which is now my favourite radio. Cheers from Bob G4BBY (see 2/3 down my QRZ page for a picture of the rig ) 


On Thu, Feb 24, 2022 at 10:37 AM, Bob Edwards wrote:
I run a Hermes Lite 2 with SDR Console and I must say the combination is very enjoyable to use and the listening performance is very good.
Well and truly seconded. Had more fun with HL2/SDRC than any other radio in over 40 years of ham radio. Despite what people say, the 12 bits is no limitation whatsoever for HF use due to floor noise levels. Performance is superb.

I also use mine to drive transverters on 6m/4m/2m and hopefully 70cm and I've had no issues there so far, although only just started exploring that granted. Maybe for contest use with nearby very strong stations on VHF/UHF the 12 bits may start to show as some sort of limiting factor. Even then I'm not too worried as for me personally I'm unlikely to be in that situation.

It's a fantastic combo, HL2 + Linear amp and SDRC as the perfect companion software (thank you Simon!)