Xiegu X108G Outdoor Version First Test

X108G Review October 2015

By: Fred Lesnick VE3FAL


Note: All firmware updates are done at your own risk and caution should be used when installing or updating any firmware into this radio. The removal of any covers or mods will void your warranty. Never hit the RST button while in the engineering menu. All settings should be written down and stored in a safe place in the event that RST is hit or if a firmware update makes any changes as all radios are aligned individually. To find these setting do the following then take a picture or write them down:

X108G Engineering Setting

“Hold the F1 button while powering up the radio, a list of 14 items will appear. If any changes are made you hit the SAV button, if no changes are made you can power the radio off and then back on without any changes made.” Sometimes Menu 11 will set itself to 1, it needs to be at 0 or you will not hear anything on the radio.

I placed an order for the Xiegu X108G and it was shipped from China via D.H.L. on Sept 25 and arrived here on Sept 29 2015 at 12:30 PM. The unit was well packaged and no damage to the box at all after the trip from China. Inside the box was the X108G, Xiegu sticker, power cable (much longer then first models, but still no in-line fuse), microphone and microphone cable, as well as USB cable for firmware updates. Manual for radio was in the box and a warranty card with serial number of radio attached. The radio is equipped with front and back handles.

Unboxing the unit after its arrival:

IMG_20150929_124823 IMG_20150929_124916




Powering The Radio Up

An inline fuse should be installed on either one or both of the power cables before the radio is powered up to avoid any damage to the radio. I finally got the chance to power the radio up and see how this unit plays after all the updates and fixes that Xiegu made to make this radio a seller. First thing I did was to put my call-sign into the radio, this is undocumented but was found by a fellow X108G owner while playing with the radio.


This is how it is done:

Press F3 on powering up. Use the VFO to select letters/numbers then to move onto the next letter press INS button for each letter or number, when finished hit save. The radio will power back up. Switch it off and on again and you will see your call sign where the word Xiegu used to be.

Powering the radio up (continued)

After going through the supplied Operating Manual and getting familiar with what each button does (many changes to these buttons since versions 1 and 2) I was ready to hook my windom antenna to the SO239 connector and listen on 20 meters SSB for a bit. Tuning across the band with the 2.3k filter on signals were clear and clean, I was in AGC-S and pre-amp was in off position. Signals on 14.300 were an S5 with the pre-amp off and came up to a solid S8-9 with the PRE on, no distortion or overmod was heard or encountered nor was any splatter from adjacent signals heard. A move to 40 meters and LSB I was able to pick up a station on 7.188, and just like USB signals were right on where they should be, I was listening on my VX1700 with windom as well and noted the similarities in signal and quality. Once I was happy there I went to 20 meters and tuned to CW and went to 14.020 and monitored a station in the UK working an N3 station stateside, both signals were S5 and I had .5k filter on and no stations nearby were heard breaking through. A quick tune by the PSK frequency on 14.070 yielded a bunch of PSK signals. Next will be to hook up a key and attempt some contacts using a straight key and testing the waters that way. I will also hook the microphone up and try make a few SSB contact and get reports on both USB and LSB to compare. Videos of the radio in use and contact’s will be recorded so others can see and hear how well this unit works.



So what are some of the features this radio offers? First off is the display on the outdoor version, this display is bigger and brighter and designed for use outside where it is brighter, of course a video and pictures to show this will follow. Next is low current operation, with my power supply set at 13.1v on receive my meter shows 600ma of current draw, the stated current draw on transmit at 20 watts is rated at 7.5A, but again I will test this later. 2.3k and .5k filters for SSB and CW choices. The radio offers SSB,CW and AM modes and can be tuned from .5-30mHz and includes all shortwave bands in between the filtered amateur bands. Multi-function microphone. Variable power output from .5 to 20 watts. Adjustable microphone compression, Dual VFO’s, Split feature, accessory port for digital modes as well as jack for morse code key and external speaker. Many other options to list but will talk about those in a later review.


So this is a start and looking forward to playing with this radio and putting it to the test. I should add there is a 1 Year Warranty on this unit from date of purchase.

Communications with Xiegu as well are fast. Xiegu also monitors the X108G Yahoo Group which can be found here if you are looking for more information as well about this radio and what other radio owners think of it, the group can be found here:


I look forward to taking this radio out portable and testing it and bringing more information out there for potential radio buyers.




Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada

Fred Lesnick, VE3FAL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “Xiegu X108G Outdoor Version First Test”

  • Mike ve3wdm:

    Good morning Fred, very nice first impression of the radio and will look forward to some on the air reports as well and a little more about the features of the rig as well.

  • Marek EI7KH:

    Nice look and features, but 600 mA on RX for a portable radio? That’s twice as much as my old FT-817ND! Also the manual states the operating voltage as 12-14.5V, I wonder what is the real low threshold – my 12V battery usually goes down to 10-11V at the end of a SOTA activation.

  • peter kg5wy:

    You are brave. Good luck.

  • Fred VE3FAL:

    Marek EI7KH, yes 600ma is not stellar but none the less still ok. For field use it will be a bit hefty on battery power. I will be doing some testing and see how low the radio will operate before causing any issues on transmit and receive.

  • 2e0bvj:

    I can back up every thing that Fred has said is correct..I have had the new and latest Xiegu X108G for over 2 months in total..I have had both versions and was lucky enough to trial the standard version of this transceiver before they were available in the emporiums..I have had nothing but great success and always get excellent reports on SSB..To date with 15 watts and a delta loop antenna around 16 feet above ground at my QTH in the UK i have worked..Japan, Brazil, Kazikstan, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, USA , Saudi Arabia, Iceland & many more all with excellent reports..The station in Japan i had a 5 minute or so QSO with..This was mobile with a multi band HF antenna on a magnetic mount on the vehicle..This contact was recorded and can be seen on my you tube channel..I can and will highly recommend this X108G with the better display to all..You don’t know how mutch fun your missing out on.

  • 2e0bvj:

    I would also like to point out that these are the new versions..They totally blow the previous versions out of the water in every way..

    So forget what you have read or heard about the previous versions of the Xiegu X108, those are history and these truely are something else..

  • Fred VE3FAL:

    I tested the radio tonight dropping the voltage on the power supply down either until I heard the radio motor boating and signals sounding odd, so I was able to bring the radio down to 11 volts, transmit without any issue, if I dropped below 11 volts continuously and that is when the motor boating was very evident. Hope this helps you out.

  • Marek EI7KH:

    Thanks Fred for the test! Yes I was afraid this “outdoor radio” doesn’t fit my outdoor operation style – I’ll better stick with FT-817 and consider the new YouKits HB1B MK3 (CW only) if I want to minimize the weight.

  • Luis WP4MLX:

    Hi. I own one of the little rigs (also one ft450d and one ft857d) and I will admit it work veey nice on ssb (am is use less because the 6khz filter is too wide) My unit was expanded to tx from 500khz-30mhz. Done many nice dx qso with the x108 and my HFedz Windom antenna.
    Radio need a firmware update but to my knolage Xiegu is working on it.

    Never used CW. Still waiting for an acc cable for digital mods (I dont want to fry my radio doing pin test)(acc pins are indicated at the intruction manual but I heard that they are not correct).

    Luis – WP4MLX

  • henry, ve3acf:

    Does the X108 have vox so I can use it directly with the mic and audio on my laptop for psk operation? Tnx, Henry

  • Dave ZL2DP:

    I had a contact last night from ZL to Spain using 20 watts and windom on 40m metres, great two way contact. By the way using a battery if the voltage goes below 11.5V the voice peaks clip when driving the mic a bit hard got back off the mic and worked great.

    Dave – ZL2DP

  • Gary - WB8LEA:

    How can you distinguish between the old and new versions of this radio?

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