The Xiegu X6100 seems to get a promising software. With the built-in battery and antenna tuner, the hardware is ideal for Sota activations.
My concerns are about the readability of the display in the sunshine.
It is now becoming more and more urgent for Yaesu to get into the portable SDR division.
The X6100 seems a likely rig. But. The successor needs to have VHF and UHF. IMO.
So far the only offering is the IC705.
I once had an activation that failed on HF but got a couple of 2 m SSB contacts with the hf wire as the antenna and qualified. Maybe not a strong justification but there is a box full of hf only small rigs. The mchf derivatives would be in that box.
A real FT817/8 successor could only come from Yaesu, any other brand would not be a successor.
In a general sense any radio that takes the place of the 817/818 is it’s successor. Plenty of prior examples in the King’s and Queens of England where the successor was not of the same family.
Just my upside down opinion of course.
In that case perhaps only Yaesu can produce a descendant. Your point is that any company can make a successor…
But I think you are right. Without vhf bands, any hf-only radio cannot actually replace the full functionality of the 817/8.
In some ways the KX3 with 2m option could be said to almost fully replace the 817 series, though at a much higher price, bigger form factor, more power on HF/6m and a power limitation on 2m (and even more severe limitations on 70cm). And having an inbuilt ATU is a great advantage to those of us using multiband doublet antennas.
It’s good to have additional brands competing for our attention and dollars.
73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA
I wonder if Yaesu will ever produce a new portable “shack in a box” with HF/VHF/UHF. While the FT991A replaces the FT897D - the FT891 does not fully replace the FT857D as it is HF only. There was a rumour of an FT-791 to replace the FT-817ND but it has not arrived so far.
As for the Xiegu X6100, as shown in the referenced video, the fact that the radio runs Linux means that many additional functions and apps can be developed to give built-in digital modes and other features without needing a PC but the X6100 is not a full VHF/UHF radio only an HF/6m one.
Perhaps a lightweight “shack in a box”, is no longer justified in the form of a portable radio for Yaesu and other companies and the ICOM IC705 and KX3 with transverter option may be the only radios sold in this marketplace going forwards.
The Q900 is (on paper) an '817 replacement with all bands. When you add built in tuner, and 20W with more supply voltage, it has specs that would make an excellent '817 / '857 replacement if Yaesu made it to their quality level.
Xiegu is missing a trick by not making the '6100 easy to run linux apps and hack on.
A cheap-ish radio is what you want if you are going to hack on it - not a $$$$ IC705
(btw, if anyone has a Q900, I’m very interested in a teardown, weigh in, and actual current drain and performance measurements)
ZL1THH- I have it. it’s a interesting format with some bugs but perfectly used in sota operations: I have near of 15w with internal battery in 40m, Nr reduction works very good. no more than 0.270 amps on RX with volume at max and screen on max with led keys, 0,22A at low brightness.
More than 20w with external battery on 40m but I need to drop voltage under 12.5V for best audio on the air. This nots happens on other bands.
My version it’s only radio without Dmr and gps modules, the more basic model.
The weight it’s 1.15 kg with internal battery (not possible remove)
Tuner works quick and fine and capable hi swr tune.
Morse decoder works fine, on project it’s bluetooth mic, and now works last firmware versions with usb keyboards and mouse wheel to turn up and down the frecuency.
I repeat have some bugs but I used it in all my last Sota activities.
I find the latest hack, which is based on simply plugging in a prepared bootable Linux SD Card (which you have full control of) without affecting the standard radio code, is a very good approach. The only downside I can see is that you have to work at SD card speeds.
Is the Q900, the one that Radioddity sells as a QR-20 and others sell as an Allience Q-900? It’s been available for a while but doesn’t seem to have got much interest. It looks a bit more like a laboratory instrument than a radio in my opinion.
Glad you are happy with it. The weight and RX current are promising.
What’s the SSB TX current like?
If you happen to have the outer extruded sleeve off, I would be interested how much it weighs.
The current Q900 seems to be the 3rd version of it, and upgraded design. Anyway, I’ll bet Guohetec are happy with Yaesu just about now.
The designer has gone his own way with the controls.
Way too heavy for SOTA IMHO. Also required a more hefty battery due to the LCD. tr(u)SDX may not have all the bells and whistles, but when you’re camping on a frequency calling CQ do you really need things like a bandscope and waterfall? I do just fine with an MTR3b.
If you ask me, no.
My KX2 has everything needed for Sota that the G6100 and also the FT-817 and IC705 don’t have.
A bright and large display easy to read even in direct sunlight
Little energy requirement
Light and small
But nowadays, a device without a waterfall no longer sells to the large number of users.
Elecraft and all these other smaller companies - hopefully - afford to sell only a few thousand units a year. Yaesu probably not. Maybe that’s why there is no FT-819 yet.
I agree @DL1CR Chris - and Yaesu need to pull their finger out and manufacture a portable radio very similar to the KX2, or they’ll miss the portable market!!
They may not be interested in the HF lightweight portable market any longer. It’s rather niche and might not be where the money is.
It could be that the market for small portable HF transceivers is very, very small.
Here in northern Germany I can count the number of Sota activists on one hand. No joke. There are also a few Pota people. Luckily it’s very different in the south. The messenger group BW-Sota has over 50 people.
If you’re quite active yourself, you might think that the amateur radio world revolves around Sota. But I keep meeting OMs who haven’t heard of it. What percentage of the total clientele worldwide are activists? Or at least regularly portable. I guess well under 1%
The big companies are looking at it closely.
With all of the popularity of SOTA, POTA and WWFF, one would think it would be a market worth getting in to.
Agree. When the 817 was released it was a ground breaking radio. The market space for such radios is now well served. I realise that most don’t have 2m and 70cm but many people don’t want those bands anyway. A 2m handy fills the gap for most people.
Actually I wanted to get the tx 500 from lab 599 but the price almost doubled since its release so that option is off. Last couple of days I more and more got back to hamradio after a long break.
I have a 817 and yes, the vhf option is really a game changer. Also the analog squelch for FM is awesome. Using the 817 with straps and a handheld YAGI does wonders.
However, I am eyeballing the X6100 just because of the waterfall, ATU and the digital filters. The powerdrain actually aint quite high, its about 600mA, also a lot of options for digital if you are into that.
I am sure I will get the x6100 this year.
Perhaps another part of the problem: there are a LOT of 817/818 rigs out there and they seem to last forever! Like old household appliances that would last 20 or 30 years. Hard to sell a lot of new ones when the old ones are still getting the job done.
The X6100 interests me as an inexpensive go-anywhere radio but I hear persistent reports of spurious responses on both TX and RX. I could probably live with the RX sprogs but I certainly don’t want to be transmitting a sproggy signal, even at just 10W. Does anyone have insight into how significant these spurious signals are in the latest versions?