Posted on March 10, 2017
Tiny Radio: Ahuago 470 / Felida / Helida / NKtech NK-M1
At what point do these radios become too small? We think we have found it in this latest tiny radio.
Like many in the category, this radio goes by a handful of different names, depending on the source. The first one I noticed was the AHUAGO 470 on 409shop, but a few others have popped up on Ebay. This is the NKTECH M1.
Like the “Candy bar” size WLN KD-C1, this is a 16-channel UHF “under 2 watts” programmable handheld.
There are only 4 buttons. The PTT is a round, orange button on the side. 3 buttons on the front control the few features of the radio. Power is on the center button. “Channel Up” is also “Vox On” when held.There is no volume knob. “Channel Down” doubles as “Volume High or Low.” You have two settings which are not much different from each other.
There is some limited configuration ability in the programming software to change these buttons, but the software package I found on 409shop.com doesn’t seem to be perfectly aligned with the firmware in this particular radio. Some changes worked, but not all of them (I’m hoping to get “Scan” to work.) I’m hoping that another radio I ordered from a different source and label might have slightly different firmware so that I can check that theory.
The antenna is a coil inside of a plastic tube held in place by a notch and tab in the casing. It’s a bit flimsy.
The rest of the internals, the battery, and the antenna are all reasonably well built, but I had a solder joint problem with the earphone jack after a short drop.
The radio has a MicroUSB port on the side for programming and charging, but each requires a different cable! It charges with a regular MicroUSB and a charger ships in the box. Programming can only be done with a special, bizarre cable that I’ve only been able to find from 409shop (This link goes to their Ebay seller). It appears to be a USB to serial dongle, but uses non-standard pinouts in the MicroUSB plug for programming. It will not program with a regular MicroUSB cable.
The software can be found online. I got mine at 409shop.com (they link to a Google Drive here: file Your anti-virus will freak out when it sees it. You’ll have to decide what to do. It arrives in Chinese, but can be switched to (barely) English. This can be tough to figure out, but it’s the fifth menu from the left and the second entry down. That should give you a box with language settings.
“OK” is the button on the left of that box.
An earpiece usually ships in the box and plugs into a 3/32″ jack near the bottom of the radio on the PTT side.
The power output is difficult to measure due to the configuration, but performance has been similar to a Baofeng 888 with less antenna. On the repeaters I’ve used it, the range and performance is pretty consistent with a 1-2 watt radio with a stubby antenna.
It’s fun conversation piece, so long as the conversation isn’t listened to ON this radio. The tiny speaker doesn’t sound very good and would be tough to listen to for extended periods of time.
It’s a neat novelty and it does work, but it’s not a great radio and I’ve already had to repair mine after only one short drop. With this silly form factor, I’m just happy I was able to find it again!
UPDATE: Dropped it again! This time one of the chips fell off of the board. I wasn’t able to get it back together. The chip that fell off was soldered in a way that it was too tall from the board. The battery must have hit it in the 3-foot fall and knocked it right off of it’s pads. This one is done.
I think you meant 3/32″, not 3/23″.
I’ll fix that, thanks!