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.