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.
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).
On January 10, 2022, I decided to try one more antenna: the PackTenna 9:1 UNUN random wire.
The Packtenna random wire is a brilliant little antenna to pair with radios like the X6100 that have built-in, wide-range ATUs. It’s such a small antenna and can easily find matches on my favorite POTA/SOTA bands: 40 meters and up. It’s also very compact and super durable.
On Thursday, January 6, 2022, I woke up with one goal in mind: take the Xiegu X6100 out on a proper hike-in activation!
While I’d had this radio on loan from Radioddity since December 23rd, I hadn’t had an opportunity to truly hike it into an activation site. Between the weather and my tight schedule, I haven’t had an opportunity to plot out a proper Summits On The Air (SOTA) Activation. SOTA activations that involve hiking usually take a much bigger bite out of my day and, lately, I’ve been to busy to plot one.
I do live near a vast trail network, however, and it so happens that much of the trails run through overlapping public lands: Pisgah National Forest and Pisgah State Game Land.
So I packed my Spec-Ops EDC tactical pack, grabbed Hazel’s harness, and headed out the door.
Many thanks to Scott (KN3A) who recently commented with his thoughts and impressions of the Xiegu X6100. Scott writes:
When you published your X6100 [field] report, I could not wait to see the video! You tipped me off when we had our QSO that you were using it! As you said in your YouTube comment, a X6100 to X6100 was accomplished at your activation!
I am an avid POTA/SOTA QRP operator and mostly use my Icom IC-705 on activations. It is a superb radio and no intention of ever selling it. The reason I was attracted to my X6100 was the fact it’s an SDR, has a very nice display screen and has a built in ATU. I use many different antennas on activations, and some require a ATU, like my Sotabeams Bandhopper 3. I like using it when I go backpacking and activating due to how easy it is to deploy and lightweight.
To those who attempt to compare the X6100 to the IC 705 is like comparing a Ford F-150 to a Toyota Tacoma. I had an X5105 for a few months and went on a few activations with it. I would mostly compare the X6100 to the X5105 and call it a big upgrade to the X5105.
I got familiar with the X6100 in my hamshack the past 3 weeks, and although I know of it’s shortcomings, which I did share with Thomas prior to it’s arrival at his QTH, I am very pleased with the radio even with the features that are not enabled yet.
On Christmas eve, I went hiking and afterwards did a quick POTA activation inside my car using my IC 7100 and 50 watts. The temperature was getting warmer and warmer out, so I made a hasty decision to go home and get the x6100 and take it to another local park and sit outside on a picnic table. I decided to use my spark plug antenna and use my 17 ft. Shakespeare fishing pole. I had almost 1:1 SWR on 40 and 20 meters and had to use the ATU as I was having about a 3:1 on 30. The ATU kicked in and had a perfect match in seconds, which is also the same response as the G90 and x5105. Continue reading Xiegu X6100: Scott’s thoughts and impressions→
Many thanks to Josh for sending me this X6100 so promptly and performing the first firmware update!
I took delivery of the X6100 last week after returning from vacation in the Outer Banks. It was bittersweet as I was soeager to check out this new radio but simply had too many projects on the table to complete before Christmas day.
That and in the morning light after our return, my daughter pointed out that one side of my horizontal delta loop antenna had fallen to the ground. Fortunately, I was able to fix the antenna in short order. It’s certainly time to push the schedule up for completely replacing this 10 year old wire antenna!
X6100: Known issues
I had gotten a few messages from X6100 early adopters like Scott (KN3A) and Rich (KQ9L) noting that the current firmware version (the December 7, 2021 release) had taken care of a few initial bugs, but there were still a few outstanding points that specifically affect CW operators. Most notably:
Noise reduction (or DNR) in CW mode severely distorts audio
CW message memories can be stored and saved but cannot yet be played back on the air (SSB message memories are fully functional, however)
Fine tuning is limited to 10 Hz steps at the moment
Someone had also noted possible CW keyer timing issues.
At the same time, I had read mostly positive comments about SSB operation from QRPer readers and subscribers.
Frankly, knowing Xiegu’s history of pushing the production and distribution timeline ahead of a radio being fully-functional and properly tested, I expected a few bugs and issues that would need to be sorted out in firmware updates.
To be very clear: I’m not a fan of the “early adopters are the Beta testers” philosophy. I wish Xiegu would thoroughly Beta test their products so that they were more polished and fully-functional right out the door much like we expect from the likes of Elecraft, Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood. There are almost always minor post-production bugs to sort out even with these legacy manufacturers, but issues should be of the variety that somehow slips past a team of Beta testers who actually use the radio.
Josh (KI6NAZ), over at the excellent Ham Radio Crash Course YouTube channel, has just published a video demonstrating a pre-production Xiegu X6100.
If you’ve been interested in the X6100, I highly recommend checking it out.
Josh compares the X6100 with the X5105 in terms of size and functionality, and even makes a QSO with it. For CW ops, he also demoes the relay clicking sound (spoiler alert: it uses relays instead of PIN Diode switching).
His particular unit is really a pre-production unit–it sounds like the first production run (that many early adopters should soon be receiving) will have upgraded software and even hardware.
Josh (rightfully so) holds out on making a recommendation until he’s able to test the first production run unit–the same version early adopters will receive–which is being sent to him soon.
I’ve gotten so many questions about the X6100 from readers and YouTube subscribers. Fear not! I will get a chance to check out the X6100 in the near future. In fact, Josh is sending me the Radioddity loaner unit he’ll be testing. I’m not sure how long I’ll get to hold onto it, but I’ll give it a thorough workout.
In addition, I know Scott (KN3A) has purchased one of the first production run units and will give us his impressions–since he owns the IC-705 and has owned the X5105 in the past, he should have some valuable insight. Stay tuned!
If you’re considering purchasing the X6100, you might check out Radioddity’s upcoming Black Friday sale. They have a sign-up form on the X6100 product page. I have no inside information, but I must assume the X6100 will either be discounted or come with extra goodies (or both?).
Do you already have an X6100 on order? Curious if it looks like the X6100 is on track to meet your expectations after watching Josh’s demo.
This year I’ve been trying to make dedicated posts and videos to address questions I’m asked most often by QRPer.com readers and my YouTube channel subscribers. The idea is to have a link I can send in a reply instead of trying to give a comprehensive answer in an email.
One question that’s been surfacing a lot lately is a variation of:
“Which should I buy, Thomas? The Xiegu X5105 or the Elecraft KX2?”
On Monday, September 27, 2021, I had just enough time to stop by the Blue Ridge Parkway on my way back from Asheville, NC and fit in a short activation.
I had my Xiegu X5105 along for the ride and decided to pair it with the MFJ-1984LP EFHW since I knew propagation was going to be rough.
That day, Earth was being pounded by CMEs and, frankly, I didn’t know how pleasant it would be on the air.
I picked one of my favorite spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway: a grassy hill I’ve used numerous times in the past. I love this particular site because it’s incredibly rare that anyone else parks or walks there, so I can set up larger wire antennas and not have to worry about others walking into the radiator or tripping over the counterpoise.