This radio is growing on me…

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.

I’m impressed.

Internal Microphone

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…”

    1. 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!

      Cheers,
      Thomas

  1. 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!
    KC5BNM

    1. 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.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

  2. if you realise you are getting too much transceivers you can always sell your KX-1 to me Tom 🙂
    Just let me know …. ..

    1. His kits look amazing! Your builds show how well designed they are, too.

      Cheers,
      Thomas

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