Friday, September 16, 2016

409Shop Mini Radio Tease

Yeah, so I'm curious...


  1. Parsing this... (is "Baofeng-ology" a new art/science?)

    1.) "like the size of an AA battery" -- that doesn't leave much room for heat sinks, so I'm guessing this will be a 1/2 watt radio. Maybe a full watt.

    2.) Also, I am not sure if they mean the physical dimensions, just the volume, or maybe just the mass (size would usually imply physical dimension, but "like" leaves some wiggle room).

    3.) I am not sure what "#ahuago" signifies. It seems that "Ahuago" is a common surname on the Canary Islands. This might be "Ahua Go" but I don't see anything in Google for that.

    4.) Surecom is of course a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of RF stuff. Their web page in English has power meters, antenna analyzers, some small antennas, basic repeater controllers, etc. but no radios.

    5.) This wouldn't be the smallest radio ever created; I am pretty sure they've had tiny 1/4 watt TV transmitters for spying and/or model rocketry that are like the size of a quarter.

    6.) I think we can safely say this will be from China. Probably based off of something that already exists rather than a newly-designed thing.

    7.) "AA battery size" is a not-inaccurate description of the Dorji DRA818V radio-on-a-chip module, but of course adding a battery increases the size of that a bit. You can do some pretty cool things with the Dorji modules; here's an APRS transceiver built out of one + Arduino + GPS + small TFT.

    8.) One of the things that makes radios the size that they are, is the screen and touchpad. I suspect that this radio will have only minimal controls (maybe only a power-on button?) and require a cable to program. It might also not have a speaker or mic... it's a lot easier to put in a 2.5mm 4 conductor plug than a speaker of any quality. It *would* be cool if you put in a WiFi or Bluetooth interface and could control it all from a now-ubiquitous smartphone and/or BT headset. But that feature would also greatly increase the price-point.

  2. For reference, Wikipedia say "AA" size is 14.5 mm diameter by 50.5 mm length (about .6 inches wide and 2 inches long).

    The Dorji DRA818V is 19 mm wide by 35.6 mm long. Couple that with a short Lithium battery (something like a 18mm long 1/3 AAA cell or a 25mm long 1/2 AA) and you basically have a radio that's not terribly larger than a AA battery.

    Of course you'd need to throw in a mini USB port for battery charging and a 1/2 AA battery would maybe last a half-hour at best at 50 percent duty cycle.