Alfonso Faustino: Nothing beats a Motorola, but…the Ailunce HD1 is a step in the right direction! (K6ASF)

For my HAM operations and my volunteer crisis work with the the fire, police, and sheriff’s departments, I know the reason that the police, military, fire, EMT, government, and other commercial and professional operators use Motorola…it works!

For me, I KNOW my Motorola will get me the best transmission experience whenever I turn it on, and I hit the button…it is reliable and solid; and, its reliability instills confidence for any operator using it.

I haven’t had the interest in purchasing anything other than a Motorola until one day…while doing a communications training with the San Francisco Fire Department, I realized a vulnerability in my communications ops plan…Motorola lacks Front Panel Programming.

I spoke to Motorola, and I fully understand and agree with their argument that their transceivers are professional and commercial use only.  In other words, the operators that use them should not tinker with the transceivers by programming them or making adjustments; because, these types of adjustments and programming are complicated and should only be done by a professional programmer trained by Motorola; and, the operators out in the field should only have to be concerned with their field tasks at hand — saving lives and making a situation safe — they should not have to worry about programming a frequency into their transceivers.  Getting to the frequency they need should be as easy as rotating a knob or pushing a button on the transceiver.

So, I get Motorola’s logic — they are a professional and commercial outfit — nothing in their mission is about amateur use.

Okay…great.

Crap…I gotta get going… I will finish this BLOG when I get back.

Ok…I’m back.

So, I checked out several dual-band transceiver and purchased one; and, it failed my expectations…I was pretty much resolved to the fact that I would have to make sure I carried a functional laptop with me each time I go for my drills or get deployed in the event that a catastrophe hits San Francisco.

While I was surfing the net, I came across the Ailunce HD1 Dual Band FPP (Front Panel Programming) transceiver.  I was hesitant in making the purchase because it’s an oriental product — I prefer European or American-made products — I don’t like oriental things except for food and jade.

Anyway, I’m adventurous, and it only would cost me $200; so, if it didn’t work, I would just chalk it up to experience and treat the $200-loss as a lesson to not purchase oriental transceivers — no big deal.  So, I pulled the trigger, and I paid for one.

It was one of the best purchases I made for 2018…in fact, after I purchased my first HD1 and tested it for 2.5 weeks, I purchased the HD1GPS model; and, I just really dig this oriental transceiver.

So, for the scope of this discussion, I am going to discuss the HD1 GPS model, hereinafter, HD1GPS.  The HD1 and HD1GPS are the same, except the HD1GPS has the GPS feature.

So, let’s get to the GPS…it is an oriental transceiver, and the GPS is spot-on accurate.  All the stuff you hear about the oriental GPS doesn’t work with America’s GPS; because of this that or the other is all, as President Trump says, “Fake News!”

This oriental transceiver’s GPS works in America — why?  Because, we all use the same satellites regardless of the origin of the transceivers.

Here is my test result, as of 13-Febraury-2018; you can punch in the coordinates shown in the pictures, below, and you will get my exact location, accurate to the parking space of my car.  The reason one picture shows different coordinates from the other picture is because I moved my car around in the parking lot.

Here’s the map, provided by HAM Operator Brian Whelan.  Do you see that little red dot in the map?  That little red dot is I; and, I am in my car at that red-dot’s location in the car — balls-on accurate.  I’m very pleased with the results of the HD1GPS.

The HD1GPS also resolve the issue of the sticker covering up the pressure vent.  Ailunce put a little hole in the sticker for air pressure changes.  When the HD1 first came out, several units did not have the hole in the sticker — when we brought it up to Ailunce’s attention, they immediately rectified the sticker vent issue.

Now, I know it’s not proper to compare a $1100 Motorola transceiver XPR 7550e to a $200 Ailunce HD1GPS, but I don’t care — I’m gonna do it anyway.

GPS Acquisition: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

So, with regards to GPS acquisition…the Ailunce’s HD1GPS acquires the GPS signal within a minute or two before my Motorola XPR 7550e or a minute or two after my Motorola XPR 7550e — the bottom line is that both transceivers make the acquisition, and the issue of which one is first or second is really hit or mis or a flip of the coin, but they both perform at the same rate — a minute behind or ahead of each other.

Audio Quality: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

I posted some audio clips for the Ailunce HD1; and, the HD1GPS sounds the same as the HD1.

How does it compare to my Motorola XPR 7550e?

Well, my Motorola XPR 7550e has more balance of RX treble and bass whereas the HD1GPS has more treble — higher pitch, but it’s nothing offensive; and, it is still pleasant to the ears — the amazing thing is that is comes in real clear for DMR RX; and, it does a real good job on analog RX, too.

The HD1GPS speaker on the RX is also very loud — so, if you have competing background noises in your environment while using the HD1GPS, don’t worry, the HD1GPS has more than enough power to punch through any competing background noise.

So, with respect the RX, it is right up there with my Motorola XPR 7550e.

Reception: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

The reception of the HD1GPS is equal to my Motorola XPR 7550e EXCEPT in the area of weak signals.  My Motorola XPR 7550e can pick up weaker signals slightly better and faster than my HD1GPS; but, weak signals are just that…weak — both transceivers require the operator to move to a better location in order to get a stronger signal.

Transmission: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

In all my conversations on DMR and analog, every single operator complimented my audio transmission on the HD1GPS, as they did with my Motorola XPR 7550e.

Build Quality: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

Well, the build quality on the HD1GPS is right up there with my Motorola XPR 7550; the only thing I don’t like about the HD1GPS is the screen colors and screen fonts.

The HD1GPS is hefty and has a good look and feel — on par with my Motorola XPR 7550.

Battery Life & Capacity: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

HD1GPS has excellent battery life — right out there with my Motorola XPR 7550e; but, the HD1GPS fails in capacity — it’s ability to keep a consistent charge as the battery power diminishes.

For example, at 5% battery power on both transceivers, XPR 7550e and HD1GPS,  I get a low voltage message; however, the XPRS 7550e can still RX and TX as if it was on 100% power; the HD1GPS’s performance is diminished to the point that the TX quality reduces my modulation to sounds like Donald Duck drop-outs my words and sentences.

Features: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

Hands down goes to my Motorola XPR 7550e — it is has high quality features — the HD1GPS doesn’t have all the stuff my Motorola XPR 7550e has, such as, but not limited to, voice enhancement against competing background noise, audio enhancement against competing background noise, transceiver calls to mobile phone or landlines, PTT warning beeps, MDC, and so on.

Like I mentioned, the Motorola XPR 7550e is a commercial and professional transceiver — the operators demand these types of features; so, that’s the defense of the HD1GPS in this area of discussion.

Customer Support: Motorola XPR 7550e and Ailunce HD1GPS

Well, when I told Ailunce/Retevis that I was having a problem with my B-band DMR and analog RX, the next day, they created a firmware that addressed my problem; and, they asked me to try it out and give them feedback — hell, customer support doesn’t get any better than that.

Motorola’s support wouldn’t give me a blink of an eye if I had that experience with my Motorola XPR 7550e.

Conclusion

If you want a dual-band analog and digital transceiver with FBB that has good quality RX and TX capabilities, well…the HD1GPS is the answer.

Sure, it ain’t a Motorola, but is sure is a step in the right direction.

Check 6!

/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)

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