Tag Archives: G106

I sold the Xiegu X6100 (G106 Incoming)

A couple weeks ago, I was browsing the classifieds at QTH.com and saw a WTB (Want To Buy) ad for the Xiegu X6100. Without giving it a lot of through, I contacted the ham who posted the note and gave him a fair deal on my X6100.

As I mentioned in my last field report with the X6100, this unit was actually very new. The first X6100 I used was a loaner from Radiodity, the second I purchased and discovered it had a little mechanical issue with the encoder–it was returned–and the third was this unit which I received in April 2022.  It had only been on one activation.

Why did I sell the X6100?

I had some fun with the X6100 on a few very successful activations in the field and made numerous contacts with the X6100 at home. Why would I sell it?

The biggest reason is since I already own the Xiegu X5105–and personally preferred it over the X6100–I simply wasn’t using the X6100 a lot.

Specifically:

  • The X5105 will run about 2 to 3 times longer than the X6100 on a fully-charged internal battery.
  • The X5105 isn’t as prone to front-end overload
  • The X5105’s audio is marginally better than that of the X6100 in CW mode. (To be clear, though, neither radio has great audio.)

I’d planned to build a little BCI filter for my X6100, to mitigate the overloading, but at the end of the day, I found I just wasn’t reaching for the rig when heading out the door.

If I were primarily a digital mode operator, I think I would have kept the X6100. It’s a pretty easy radio to use and set up for digital modes.

Final X6100 thoughts

As I pointed out in my X6100 review, the radio is a bit of a “mixed bag.” It also seems to be a polarizing radio out there in ham radio community: some love it, some hate it.

Me personally? It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

That said, it is a very interesting radio platform and I am very curious if others will develop a Linux-based operating system that might allow for things like native digital mode operation.

G106 Incoming

Mike (K8MRD) has sent me the latest Xiegu G106 unit he reviewed over on his YouTube channel. I should receive it in a few days.

Josh, over at the Ham Radio Crash Course channel, also recently reviewed the G106.

Check out both of these reviews.

The take-away is that it’s really not a great radio, but it is very cheap. In fact, Mike was very vocal about how much he disliked the first G106 unit he received.

After seeing Mike and Josh’s reviews, I contacted Radioddity and told them to skip me in the review process. Frankly, reviews and field tests take time, and I don’t have a lot of that particular resource to waste.

Radioddity encouraged me to reconsider because new firmware promised to fix many of the issues noted in previous reviews. Indeed, they told me that the first thing I’ll need to do to the unit I receive is update the firmware.

I decided that what I’ll do is take the G106 to the field and do a couple of real-time, real-life activations with it. We’ll explore its performance together and see if it’s worth the $320 price.

Being completely transparent here, I’m biased towards paying more to get a better quality radio. I’m not so sure how well the G106 and I will get along, but I’ll give it a good ole college try.

Of course, I’ll give the G106 a heavy workout in CW mode. Maybe I’ll eat my words, but I’ve no intention of adding the G106 to my radio collection; I do want to give it a fair shake-out in the field though. Very curious if it’ll have any issues with front-end overloading.

Stay tuned!

Xiegu G106 and D90: A few pre-production unit photos

I’ve a friend who works with a number of radio manufacturers including Xiegu. He recently took delivery of the new Xiegu G106 QRP transceiver and a Xiegu D90 USB-Radio Interface.

Based on the photo above, the G106 is even more compact than I originally assumed.

These are the accessories included in his G106 box:

Looks like the same cables and mic included in other Xiegu radio packages.

He also took delivery of the new Xiegu D90 expansion card:

Note that these units are very much early prototypes and don’t even have serial numbers. Nonetheless, he plans to take the G106 to Field Day today–I’m looking forward to hearing his report.

Xiegu G106 preliminary specifications and features

Xiegu distributor, Radioddity, has now publicly announced a product page for the new Xiegu G106.

No pricing/availability mentioned, but we do learn a few more details from their page.

Features:

  • The Xiegu G106 is a 5W SDR transceiver using 16bit-CODEC sampling
  • SSB, CW, AM modes are supported along with wide FM reception (for the FM broadcast band)
  • General coverage receiver
  • Three selectable CW bandwidths
  • Digital modes when connected to a computer with the Xiegu DE-19 interface

Specifications

  • Receiver frequency range: 0.55~30MHz and 88~108MHz (WFM)
  • Transmitting frequency:
    • 3.5~3.9MHz
    • 7.0~7.2MHz [I assume this is incorrect]
    • 10.1~10.15MHz
    • 14.0~14.35MHz
    • 18.068~18.168MHz
    • 21.0~21.45MHz
    • 24.89~24.99MHz
    • 28.0~29.7MHz
  • Receiver sensitivity:
    • CW: 0.25uV @10dB S/N
    • SSB: 0.5uV @10dB S/N
    • AM: 10uV @10dB S/N
  • Frequency stability: ±1.5ppm within 30min after power on @25°C: 1ppm/hour
  • Transmitting power: ≥5W @13.8V DC
  • Transmitting spurious suppression: ≥50dB
  • Audio output power: 0.3W
  • Operating voltage: 9~15V DC
  • Standby current: 0.37A @Max
  • Transmitting current: 2.8A @Max
  • Dimensions: 120*40*135 (mm)
  • Weight: about 720g (only host)

Radioddity notes: “The shoulder strap [above] is for display only. Final equipped accessories not decided yet.

My G106 takeaways?

Based on Xiegu’s previous offerings, I would have to assume the G106 could be in production within a few months (supply chains/C-19 pending). It’ll likely be released with basic firmware and updated with time. It’ll be price competitive for sure.

I would hope that perhaps they’ve worked on the audio characteristics and noise floor of the G106. Previous Xiegu products have mediocre audio characteristics and a higher noise floor than my other transceivers. Let’s also hope the front end is more robust than the X6100.

At 0.37 Amps, current drain in standby/receive is a tad on the high side for late model QRP portable radios. Still, quite respectable for a field radio.

It doesn’t appear the G106 has an internal tuner, nor an internal battery unless they’ve simply omitted this from the features list.

It also doesn’t mention CW and/or voice message memory keying which I consider to be so valuable for park and summit activators. If history is an indicator, I suppose they could add this later in firmware updates.

Also, the Radioddity announcement mentions that the G106 covers “[t]ransmission and reception of all amateur frequency bands within 3.8~29.7MHz.” Yet in the specifications, they fail to list the 60M band and the 40M band is noted as 7-7.2 MHz. I assume the 40M band range is simply a typo–I can’t imagine it would actually stop at 7.2 MHz. I also imagine they may have simply omitted the 60M band channels. RX seems to dip as low as 0.5 MHz, thus covering most of the mediumwave broadcast band.

Truth is, these are early days for the G106 and we may learn that it has more features than listed here on Radioddity’s page.

If it does indeed lack an internal ATU and/or internal battery, I assume the price point would be well below that of the X5105 and X6100; my (complete and total) guess would be somewhere between $300-400 US.

I’ll post more info about the G106 as we learn more. I’ll also try to update and correct this post if I learned some of these details are incorrect.

Click here to check out the G106 at Radioddity.

Update: A few more details about the new Xiegu G106 QRP transceiver

Yesterday, I posted some photos of the new Xiegu G106 transceiver.

Since then, I’ve been getting a few updates from my friend as, I assume, Xiegu releases preliminary info.

This is the latest illustration (click to enlarge):

You can see Xiegu is certainly eyeing the park and summit activators out there.

They’re also touting digital mode operation and I’ll have to assume this means the radio has an internal sound card which would certainly simplify a field-portable digi mode kit.

I was originally told that the G106 had six bands, but this image implies 80-10 meters including the WARC bands. We’ll have to verify this once the production marketing information is released. Since this is the 2022 Hamvention weekend, we could be learning more int he next couple of days.

I’ll continue to post updates here on QRPer.com. Bookmark the tag G106 if interested.

Oh yeah, I do hope there are some fold-out feet or a bail hiding under that G106 chassis!

Photos of a new Xiegu G106 HF transceiver [updated]

A friend who works in the amateur radio industry has shared the following photos and given me permission to post them.

These are images of the Xiegu G106 HF transceiver (click to enlarge):

As a field operator, one thing I noticed immediately are the protrusions around the faceplate that protect the encoder and what I assume in a multi-function knob. The form-factor seems to be roughly that of the Xiegu G90 (even smaller) with a backlit LCD display that resembles the Xiegu X5105 (only, again, much smaller).

I’m assured this isn’t vaporware, and I have to assume we’ll learn a lot more about the G106 soon.

The front panel is incredibly simple, so I must assume it’ll reply on menus for filter control, etc.

I have no other details at this point. When I learn more about the Xiegu G106, I’ll post updates here on QRPer.com.

Xiegu G1M replacement

Update (17 May 2022): I’ve just learned that the Xiegu G106 is the replacement for the Xiegu G1M . It’s sports 6 bands [actually, it might be more according to this update] has 5 watts of output power, and, of course, is SDR based like other Xiegu products. I’ve also learned it can receive wide band FM (hence the FM broadcast band image above).

An additional photo:

I’ll continue to post updates here on QRPer.com. Bookmark the tag G106 if interested.