Xiegu X108G Review Continued


Xiegu X108G Outdoor Version

Continued Review: October 14, 2015

Having played with the radio mostly doing some CW operations and some shortwave listening I have stumbled across a few little issues that I am hoping can alos be fixed by Xiegu by way of firmware issue.

I have to say once again that this little radio does pack quite a punch for what is in the box, and at the same time this radios performance is guaranteed inside the amateur radio bands, anything else like expecting a hard headed shortwave radio or am broadcast band radio for DXing might be just a bit naive.

Again I have operated this unit on cw and have still to test it on SSB. But in my cw tests I can tell you that the cw tone tested against other radios seems to be spot on. When up against the FT-857 the blue light flashes right along on the same frequency. The 500hz filter also works extremely well and takes all that noise out and allows working the intended station easy. I run the radio with the ATT off and signals are clearly heard without a problem on my windom. I used straight key for my operations but there appears to be an issue with the built in keyer, it wants to add extra characters so until this is fixed stay with a straight key.

So what have I found that needs to be addressed on this radio, let me start:

I was attempting to check into a voice net on 40 meters one evening as they were looking for checkins on phone or cw. So I figured I would test the split function out and set one VFO to cw and the other to SSB, well I was surprised to find that the radio will not transmit cross mode, I would have to have both VFO’s in the same mode to do anything which did not work obviously.

The second issue that brought me to this split mode was the fact that no CWR (CW Reverse) is present that will allow me to listen to the required SSB while in cw mode to check into the same net.

This has been addressed with Xiegu to see if there is a firmware fix for the issues stated, including the Iambic keyer problem. As the radio is now it would make a good SSB rig, but performance as a dedicated cw rig and not being able to check in using CWR kind of takes away the joy of portable use and using the radio as a go-kit emcomm rig. The 20 watts of power and its size is nice when you need that extra bit of punch.

The multikey microphone as well as the two programmable keys makes the mike a handy addition to this radio. HRD can be used and the IC7000 is the settings that are used in HRD to use the radio. We are still working on pin outs for the ACC jack to figure out if full PTT and audio in and audio out are present for digital operations and HRD.

Voltage Test: I did a voltage test to see what the minimum lowest power was to allow this rig to operate, this was asked of me by another portable radio operator. So I found 11 volts is the absolute minimum that the X108G will operate, once 11 volts is reached the radio will then start to motorboat and funny things happen to the radio, many of my battery packs I use for portable operations and teh other radios I use will cut off at 10.6 volts.

The other test that I want to do is to test the radio against an SDR radio like my KX3 or even by SDR dongle to see if any transmit spurs exist outside of the ham bands while in cw. This radio has attained FCC Certification so I know it has already gone through some hoops and hurdles.

So while I await a response from Xiegu I will continue to enjoy this little radio that has been designed as a minimalist radio with no extra bells and whistles attached to it.

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

2 Responses to “Xiegu X108G Review Continued”

  • Gary Babcock - W5GNB:

    I have noticed on My X108G that when operating CW, and you are sending faster, the keying is a bit soft, in other words, the power takes a few milliseconds to go from Zero to full up 20. This can be problematic when sending above about 20-WPM as the dots will not key the radio long enough to develop but a few watts on the Dits…
    Wonder if there is a Fix for this such as keying waveform tuning in the firmware or maybe just getting a little harder keying at the Make of the key closure ????

    This is a REAL problem for us that like speeds above 30-WPM

  • Fred VE3FAL:

    Did you verify this on an external power meter or just the meter on the radio. I find the meter reaction on these radios are slow.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: