So, I have now had the X1M since Friday. I have to say that overall, I like it. Friday night (as previously posted) I checked in to the
Brothers Net, and was heard clearly in Virginia, and again on Saturday night, when one of the members in Virginia relayed my check in to the operator in Maryland. Also on Saturday I logged 5 of the 7 Florida QSO Party spelling bee stations from my living room, as well as a couple of other Florida stations. Reports ranged from good for QRP, to Wow! Only 5 Watts? Keep in mind this is in a much-less-than-ideal setup.
In our apartment, KD2CHE and I are extremely limited on space, inside AND out. The X1M is attached to an L-shaped random wire in the front yard, by way of a Balun Designs 9:1 Unun, and an Emtech ZM2 tuner. Emtech recommends not using an additional balun or unun, but it seems to perform a little better with this crazy antenna.
It tunes up on most bands, and appears to tune up on 75, but signal reports were bad on 75, with a lot of RF feedback, and I can hear myself in the speakers I have attached to our TV when I transmit. 17 meters seems to be an issue with the TV speakers as well. I’d love to put up something better in the front yard, but we’ll see what the landlord and neighbors are willing to put up with. 160, by the way is a no-go, but I don’t think that’s a surprise.
I’ve gotten the hang of using the X1M pretty quickly. I haven’t used the memories yet, but I use the dual VFOs quite a bit, as well all of the different tuning speeds. Everything is fairly straight forward once you get the hang of it. Audio is what you would expect for a radio of this size (this thing is SMALL!), and fine through headphones. The receiver is very sensitive. I’ll get some actual numbers next weekend. I like that you can kill the display light to conserve batteries, which will help when portable.
I’ve tried battery power. With 8 alkaline AAs the radio seems to perform OK, however, 8 LiIon batteries are not quite enough voltage for the rig, producing some howls and distortion with the volume above about 40%. I guess I’m not too surprised at this, since 8 FULLY charged AA Eneloops only put out 9.6 volts. I will supplement that with 4 more Eneloops in series for a max of 14.4 volts. Later on, I can pick up something a little more sophisticated. I also made a coax-to-powerpole cable for mobile use, so I can always just set up next to the car when needed.
A coax power plug for making your own power cord, and a 1/8″ stereo (3 cond) plug for wiring to a key/paddle are included. The power connector is a very common size, 5.5mm OD x 2.1mm ID, or Radio Shack size M, which made powering the radio up easy, since I had a size M-to-tinned-leads cable already. I wired a straight-key up to the 1/8″ plug, and had to set the keyer mode to manual, which was also not hard to figure out. The instructions are in Chinese, but an English translated manual is available from Import Communications, or in the X1M Yahoo group.
I think the little X1M has a nice future in my collection. It’s no KX3, but for about $300, it’s a nice little radio.
To be continued………..