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ICQ Podcast Episode 260 - Xiegu X108G Review

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by M1MRB, Feb 18, 2018.

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  1. M1MRB

    M1MRB Ham Member QRZ Page

    In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Ed Durrant DD5LP to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief, and this episode’s feature is Xiegu X108G Review by Ed Durrant DD5LP.

    We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -

    News stories include:-
    • Solar Minimum Sunspot
    • ARRL Again Calls for Action on Symbol Rate Limits
    • Theft of MB7TV SSTV Repeater
    • 160m Band Wireless Power Transfer
    • Sony to Cease Shortwave Radios Production
    • Yaesu FT818
    • Kempton Rally
    • UK QSL Bureau Volunteers Wanted
    • The CWops Award for Advancing the Art of CW

    The ICQPODCAST can be downloaded from

    KK5R and KE4YMX like this.
  2. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the X108G for over a year. I was very happy with it. On a trip to California, I gave it to my son (N5DIM) who is a dedicated hill-topper and field day ham and CW operator. He's even happier with it than I was. He said his first contacts were from Canada and Japan.

    The radio offers many advantages over other radios in its class. While it offers 20W output, I limited it to 15W just to be on the safe side. Who's gonna know the difference between 20 and 15 Watts anyhow? A: The transistors will know if there is a severe SWR problem and the protection circuit fails. Another plus is that it covers all the HF ham bands including the WARC bands with low pass filters built in for all the bands.

    The radio can be controlled from the front panel but also from the buttons on the microphone. It is similar to the microphone used with some Icom radios.

    There are few who give any notice to the transmitted audio but some say it lacks some "crispiness." There is a ham in Texas who does a "fix" on the microphone to make it more communications sound quality even though few people complain about the stock microphone and only say that it sounds like a microphone designed to be used on FM. He charges $65 and has a very fast turnaround.

    Yahoo Groups has a good amount of information about the radio from the users of the radio. I find it's the best place to stay up-to-date on the radio.

    I used an amplified computer speaker on the radio connected to the phones jack on the back when at home. Much better and louder audio. However, notice that the radio is designed to feed stereo phones so a mono plug will short out the second channel. Therefore, use a stereo plug and avoid plugging in a mono plug or you short out the second channel amp.

    Connect Systems offers a version of the radio (CS108G) that has a built-in SWR readout on the radio's screen plus a waterfall frequency spectrum screen and an ID timer. Their version of the operator's manual is also better than the one from the factory. They also have a companion 125W amp that is interesting. The company's website for the radio/amp is here: CS108G.htm
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    K2NCC likes this.
  3. KE4YMX

    KE4YMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm also very happy with my X108G, i used it primarily for camping, field day, IOTA, NPOTA, portable,, any excuse to use it.. :) . So far I have had no problems with it, I use it on phone, cw and digital FT8. This radio has all the filters and is very quiet and the receiver is very sensitive. The facebook group are very knowledgeable and give the manufacturer input for any bugs or new ideas such as the SWR analyzer. Although I have not experienced any bugs on my rig i've seen the manufacture respond quickly to provide an update to those than need firmware fixes. My only wish was that it had a fancier VFO knob like on my IC765 or TS120 or the like. 73
    KK5R likes this.
  4. K7BAT

    K7BAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mine died. It was a painful death. I got a couple of good weekends out of it over the last year, and last week, after updating it, no sound. Checked the SQL and no sound. Be very careful to write down all the hidden settings and offsets or you will be very upset.

    I had to open mine and get the info from he crystal stickers to fix this issue. I really like the form factor, so I am bummed it died.
  5. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few owners warned that if you go into setup and then have a power failure or turn the set off, you may lose it all. Recording the initial settings, I think there are about 15 of them, is a good idea. The same warning is with the Xiegu X1M that has a similar initial setting list. Worst case means sending back to company or Xiegu repair center to get it back to operating condition. Looking inside to get the settings is very astute, though. What with switch contact bouncing in electronics, this could be a real "bomber"...{;->

    Most of the complaints on Yahoo Groups about this problem was when the software was updated. I remember reading two or three with this complaint. Mine was running good and according to specification so I never touched it or off the covers or updated the software. Why bother something that is doing what the brochure says it's supposed to do?

    Reminds me of some guys who wanted to get the last bit of power out of their 11M radios down in Central Texas so when they heard someone remark that they needed to screw all the little slugs down in the radio and "squeeze" out all the power, the locale got really quiet on that band, almost overnight.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    NA8W, KM6MEM, KE4YMX and 1 other person like this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    At 600 bucks, there are better alternatives IMO. For 400, I might take a chance.
  7. KL5A

    KL5A Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looking around, it appears you can easily get it for around 450 if you order from China. I suppose that doing that through Amazon would at least protect you against a DOA radio....but I also assume that other than through the user community there ain't much support. I must admit that I am tempted. Darned good thing I just bought a new rig or I'd be getting my credit card out. LOL
    KK5R likes this.
  9. W6UXB

    W6UXB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had 2 of these radios both the outdoor version, they had quite a few problems some were fixed in software some were not, the ones that were not are the 5 KHz AM offset problem and the huge ALC spike on transmit. Also the USB connector on the back was only glued in no solder on the connectors whatsoever mine spent most of their time travelling between China and California, the microphone and SSB audio left a lot to be desired as well, plus the prolific serial port chipset is rubbish will not communicate with a lot of software. Nice concept but badly implemented, glad to see them gone, now I have a Yaesu FT-817 ND and could not be happier.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    K6AEA and W4NNF like this.
  10. KL5A

    KL5A Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you order enough of them the price drops to $300 plus shipping, which is about the price I would pay for a Chicom HF SSB rig, so who's in for a group buy?
    KK5R likes this.

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