New Radio sir…?Oh yes, a Hermes Lite 2 please!


Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on ones perspective, each of my long term hobbies comes with the ultimately expensive adage: ’one can never have too many ’nnn’s’ – where one substitutes ‘nnn’ for: in the case of Photography… lenses, in the case of making music… synthesisers, and of course in the case of amateur radio…radios! Presently, I own two HF radios: my main rig is a SunSDR2DX and is one I would ever part with, and the ubiquitous ICOM IC-7300 which I use in the car or from the motorcycle when portable. However, there’s one particular radio which has recently caught the attention of amateur radio enthusiasts all over, many of whom are friends of mine, so much so that I thought I should take a look for myself. The radio I’m referring to is of course the Hermes Lite 2.

In short, I’ve been interested in this rig for several months and what with recent discussions during our club nights and weekly nets has accelerated my desire to do something about it. So, I’ve gone and pressed that ’take my money’ button and ordered one.

Thetis software screen grab

Being a long term (25+yrs) Mac user, I was initially considering purchasing a Windows laptop to accompany the rig as my software of choice for the Hermes Lite 2, THETIS, is Windows based and therefore will not run natively on OSX. Truth be known, THETIS is also one of the major drivers for my wanting this radio. With pretty much the highest level of confirmation possible, obtained straight from the horses mouth, I discovered THETIS will run without issue in parallels on the Mac.

The Hermes Lite 2 isn’t delivered as a fait accompli, rather it comes as an empty enclosure with several boards and jumpers that need to be assembled. Then of course there’s the process of installing protocol 1 or 2 (which I believe to be the middleware that links the hardware to the software), and finally installation and configuration of the software that controls it all… THETIS.

G0VGS Blog

All in all, a technical solution that’s most certainly not for the feint hearted. The reviews I have seen are all pretty spectacular, with users reporting wonderful Rx and Tx, and them being especially impressed with the THETIS software. In fact, I was unable to find a single poor review. There’s plenty of resources dotted around the web in the form of YouTube videos, product reviews and installation guides, but if like me you’re totally new to the Hermes and you are looking for a little help in how to go about setting up, one resource worthy of note can be found at Ian’s blog – G0VGS, definitely worth a read, especially the articles on the Hermes Lite and THETIS. I heard Ian calling CQ on 40M earlier this week, and we ended up having a very interesting 40 minute qso talking about this impressive radio. Being totally unfamiliar with Windows, I certainly have a lot of research and reading ahead – but I am also very lucky to have the very best of help at hand in the form of the developer of THETIS, Richie – MW0LGE who is a good friend and fellow member of Newport Amateur Radio Society.

But, like everyone else, I have to wait my turn in the queue, and I gather there’s at least a month long waiting list.

In the meantime, there are bunkers to be visited!

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