Click on any photo for an enlarged view
 
                        


The Hermes Lite 2 is an innovative QRP HF SDR Transceiver (which you order at makerfabs.com), but it is lacking a few features which make both CW and Voice modes complete. For CW, there is no keyer, no local sidetone, and significant latency.  For SSB, AM and FM, there is no local microphone jack.

 


 

 

Above is a Hermes Lite 2 after adding the AK4951 Companion Board Kit, creating the Hermes Lite 2 Plus.

The Companion Board is easily installed and adds several features that enhance operation of the Hermes Lite 2:

  • Adds a headphone "PHONES" jack to the front panel, with sidetone in CW mode 
  • Adds a microphone "MIC" jack with PTT to the front panel
  • Adds an IAMBIC keyer to the "KEY" jack, a straight or external keyer usage is preserved, and there is even an electronic bug mode 
  • Adds a dedicated Hardrock-50 Power Amplifier control interface with band switching and PTT which follows the transceiver
  • Adds a dedicated ICOM AH4 antenna tuner control interface (with a user-built interface cable)
  • Adds a local speaker output, with sidetone in CW mode 
  • Greatly reduces latency in both CW and SSB modes

 

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The AK4951 V4.0 Companion Board Kit comes pre-assembled, tested, and ready for installation.  For installation instructions, click the link on the right side of the page.  By installing the Companion Board and loading its associated Gateware, you make your Hermes Lite 2 into a Hermes Lite 2 Plus with the features listed above.

 

 
 
The picture on the left shows the contents of the Hermes Lite 2 Companion Board kit.  It is complete except for a speaker and few M3 screws/washers whereas previous kits required the user to make a HR-50 interface cable, supply a power switch, and wiring for it.  

The DB9 cable is a ubiquitous PC serial port ribbon cable and is supplied with mounting hardware.  Also included is a companion board mounting bracket, a power switch, a two-wire harness and a 2-pin PCB header for use with it.  The rear panel has been revised and now includes an extra SMA connector hole for a Pure Signal input if the user desires to install an SMA bulkhead pigtail cable for this (see HL2+ Accessories link).  

Also, Icom AH4 Tuner control circuitry has been incorporated to the V4.0 Companion Board.  The AH4 can be controlled through the same DB9 used for the HR-50 (with a user-built cable).
 
 
 


 

$90 for the kit  +  $5 shipping USA  or $20 shipping Europe and rest of world

 

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         Rack Mountable End Plates


If you are interested in rack mounting your HL2+, end plates are available that will allow you to do that.

 
The cost is $15 including shipping to the USA for the first set, $10 for each additional set up to three sets (which is the most that can be hoped to fit in a padded envelope without exceeding the USPS First Class 4 ounce rate).

 


 

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New! HL2+ 55mm Case Front End Plate

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January 25, 2024 Update:

V4.0 AK4951 Companion Board Kits are BACK in stock and available for immediate shipment.  

Contact Robert, WA2T for details and ordering.