Xiegu X108G Portable 20 Watt HF Transceiver Review On-Air Test

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4YZI, Aug 6, 2017.

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  1. KJ4YZI

    KJ4YZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well this is another new radio I just picked up. It is a neat little gem. USB rig control through HRD, and also can be used for PSK/RTTY/FT-8/JT65.

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  2. W0AAT

    W0AAT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Spendy little critter at $520... any US support?
  3. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is a good company that supports the radio:
    http://connectsystems.com/products/top/radios CS108G.htm

    The manual for it is here:

    http://connectsystems.com/products/manuals/CS108G _USERS_MANUAL.pdf

    The Connect Systems version also has a Spectrum Analyzer built into the operating system as seen on page 16 of their manual.

    There are eHam reviews on the radio that are mostly positive. There is also a Yahoo Groups support page. Some report getting the X108G on eBay but the support is spotty.

    The radio is not merely an SSB/CW rig. (Rig has CW keyer built in). It also works and is used by hams on AM and Digital modes. The output power is variable although being somewhat conservative, I keep mine set at 15W. No one can tell the difference at the other end.

    Frequency stops and some other operating controls are very similar to the IC-718 so there is a very small learning curve for Icom users. The operator's guide has 30 pages and the essentials can be read in less than five minutes. An outboard/computer speaker (stereo!) is recommended if not using stereo headphones. The radio's speaker is designed for communications only.

    Some say the microph9ne is a bit "bassy," which has nothing to do with the radio itself, but AB5N has upgrades for Icom microphones and can "fix" the X108G microphone as seen at this website. I don't have any bad audio reports and so far have not had the "fix" done on mine:

    Note that the microphone also can control the radio and, in some cases, this control is quicker and more direct. This is on page 17 of the Connect Systems manual.

    AB5N modifications are detailed here:

    More AB5N details for the modification is here:

    The price for the radio is somewhat variable since it hasn't been around a great while. Many get theirs from eBay but Connect Systems (at first link above) has an improved manual is is able to make adjustments/repairs on the radio.

    Also note that Connect Systems has a QRP linear amp (I am not associated with Connect Systems or AB5N)...
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  4. KJ4YZI

    KJ4YZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well the seller i bought it from accepts offers of $480 and will honor a warranty with a refund If you have an issue. As far as the US support, I'm not sure of a service center.
  5. N9PBD

    N9PBD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice review, thanks Eric!

    Greg, N9PBD
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  6. AJ5J

    AJ5J Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's still about one third the cost of a KX3! Not too bad in my opinion.

    73, Jeff
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  7. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

    The X108G I got had no fuse/s in the power connect line. These can be added relatively inexpensively.

    The power connector is a standard model aircraft power connector and can be bought at many hobby shops.

    I also used a cable tie to "loosely" attach the microphone cable to the nearby case handle to minimize flexing of the microphone cable at the connector. The outboard speaker I use is one channel of an amplified computer speaker system. Note that a mono plug can damage the audio amplifier since the earphone jack is designed for stereo headphones. Using a mono connector shorts out one of the channels...

    What is surprising is that a radio so small can do so much and is a fraction of others' cost that have a more recognizable commercial name. Many have not heard of the X108G. However, from Yahoo Groups X108G supporter comments, the name recognition of Xiegu will change because of the X108G — IMO.

    What I like most is the small size/cost compared to others with more bells and whistles. The corner protectors can also be used with a shoulder strap, if one is into mountain topping.

    I had another Xiegu radio, the X1M that is even smaller and has SSB/CW capabilities, but upgraded to the X108G because it has built in low-pass filters for the WARC bands (I like 17M...). For me, it was a good move. The X108G provides more output power and more transmit/receive signal control than the X1M.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  8. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. KK5R

    KK5R Ham Member QRZ Page

    Additional note:

    The connect systems version of the X108G is designated the CS108G and from their web-page, the following additional info may be important for those interested in the little radio:

    Besides the standard features in the X108G, this special version proprietary to Connect Systems has the following additional features:

    1. Spectrum Analyzer

    2. ID Timer

    3. SWR Analyzer
  10. LB4FH

    LB4FH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got this radio about a month ago, and I'm really pleased with it. So far I've done a bit over 600 QSO's with it while doing SOTA and WWFF activations. Generally speaking the reports I get are good, and the reception is also great. The biggest issue I have with mine is that it attenuates the incoming signal for about 0.2-0.5 second after releasing the TX if you're using the preamp; this means that it's hard to get the prefix of people that key up too fast. Other than that it's very good for the price.

    Current consumption is about 0.56 amps at idle, and it runs nicely down to at least 10.2 volts.

    2017-07-15 10.29.29.jpg
    Activating LAFF-0014 with the X108G
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