I just got back from an activation at Lake Jame State Park where I used the Xiegu X5105. Radioddity sent this radio on loan at my request for an upcoming review in The Spectrum Monitor magazine.
I must say that I underestimated this little radio…
Impressive play on the internal battery
I’ve now completed 3 activations with the X5105 on one battery charge made three weeks ago!
I charged it before this activation on May 17, then I completed this short activation on May 18. I never expected the battery to keep going, but it did.
This weekend, I used the X5105 in the shack for perhaps 30-40 minutes chasing a few parks and summits on that same charge. During that weekend time it was mostly in receive mode, unlike when I’m activating (and working stations or constantly calling CW).
I decided to see how long it would continue to play off of the internal battery, so I didn’t re-charge it. Instead, today (June 7), I took it to Lake Norman State Park and had an external battery at the ready if it failed mid-activation.
It didn’t fail, though, even after 1.5 hours on the air. The voltage, when I finally gave up, was about 10.2 volts. I ran out of time, not the battery.
Once I’ve uploaded the video and written the field report (in a week or two), you’ll see that at one point today, I switched to SSB operation. Thing is: I didn’t bring the X5105 hand mic with me–it was 2 hours away at the QTH!
I remembered that the X5105 has a built-in mic–meaning, built into the body–so I decided to give it a go. I mean why not–?
Turns out, it was very easy to operate: simply press the PTT button as you would a mic button and speak. I worked a few SSB contacts this way.
The only other radio I own with an internal mic is the Elecraft KX2.
This X5105 might become permanent
Herein lies the trouble with doing radio reviews: sometimes you get attached. I need to talk with Radioddity.
I’ve been hesitant to take this unit on a SOTA activation because the chances of it getting scratched, etc. increases.
I believe I’m going to add the X5105 to my HF radio arsenal. It’s a fun little radio and it would make the short list for SOTA runs along with the Elecraft KX2 and Discovery TX-500.
8 thoughts on “This radio is growing on me…”
Another radio for you to try! Available as a kit, or assembled.
I’ve got a buddy that has three of these and wants to sell me one. I might cave in one day. 🙂 Maybe further out now, though!
Welcome to the cult, sir. BTW could you list the prices of the Elecraft KX2 and Discovery TX-500 versus the the x5105?
You did compare those directly in your comment.
I have a x5105. I am still a new general class operator and still learning the radio, but I really think it’s a solid unit too!
Thank you for your review on this. Keep up the great work!
Ha ha! Thanks, Brandon.
So the Discovery TX-500 is about $900 US. Once you add a battery and ATU (to make it comparable) you’d have to assume the overall price would increase $300 or a tad more.
The KX2 when configured with the ATU and battery option, is going to push $1200 US.
if you realise you are getting too much transceivers you can always sell your KX-1 to me Tom 🙂
Just let me know …. ..
I would opt for the EGV+, does 3 bands, cost less, gives more power. Build it yorself and have double pleasure.
His kits look amazing! Your builds show how well designed they are, too.
Following the link above for WA3RNC (“Penntek”), I found this little rig: http://www.wa3rnc.com/store/penntek-tr-45l-qrp-transceiver
The amber-lit analog meter is almost steam-punk!