Xiegu X6100, the real FT-817 successor?

Hi Tim, One change with the X-6200 over the 6100 is that the battery is detachable. When running the X6100 at 10 watts out by using an external battery you are still carrying the weight of the internal (soldered onto the board I believe) battery.

Armin,
That looks like an old brochure that Diphona has - Probably the best info (still very pre-release) is here:
Xiegu X6200 HF Transceiver
73 Ed.

I agree, and that is a big plus for Sota.

So I took my x6100 apart this evening to see about the battery… took 5 mins to whip out the battery as it is on the rear plate. It easily detaches from the main board, including this BMS. Did a quick test without the battery and worked Saarbrücken on 40m with 10w on external power (Presume conditions have improved ?!)

Weight with Battery: 866g
Weight without Battery: 703g.


Unit with battery


Rear case


Without battery

So not as much of a saving as I anticipated. Does anyone know the KX2 weight without battery, but with tuner ?

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KX2 + ATU + power cable + padded bubblewrap bag = 550g

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Incl. ATU and RTC excl. battery.

73, Peter - HB9PJT

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Yes, I have side panels and the perspex lid as well. I forgot about those.

Does the X6100 have no VOX or equalizer?

73, Peter - HB9PJT

FWIW, not wanting to shell out for a KX2, I recently got a X5105, the forerunner to the X6100, though apparently still in production. I have used it for my last five SOTA activations, plus quite a bit of experimenting with portable, non-resonant antennas at home.

The X5105 has some minor quirks but, overall, works well for the purpose. I’ve had good results with the internal battery and auto-tuner. It’s now my primary summit rig, though for a very long hike I’d probably pack my TR-35 which is a pound (454 g) lighter with battery.

I chose it over the X6100 due to reviews indicating that the older model has fewer firmware bugs and receiver birdies. I also figured that, lacking the color display and SDR waterfall, it probably has lower current consumption.

I measured the standby (RX) draw of my X5105 at 300 mA with preamp on and backlight off, which is my normal operating configuration; 420 mA with preamp on and backlight on brightest setting. Unsure how they got the 600 mA standby current cited in the specs (maybe if charging the internal battery while operating on external power, though charging can be disabled in the settings).

20231123_081127 600

(2 pounds = 908 g)

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I’ve thought hard about the IC-705 but ended up finding an IC-703+ at an attractive price with a 250Hz CW filter too. I like the build in ATU.

Plus 10 Watt on CW is equal to 100 Watts SSB. 10 watts is ideal for if you’re working from a hotel or campervan, no chance of interference, no-one is the wiser.

edit: At one stage I build an Elecraft K2 but was not impressed with it’s looks. Sold it.

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When I started amateur radio again 6 years ago after a break of over 20 years, the IC 703 was my first transceiver.

I really enjoyed it. The good receiver with ATU, the soft noise, the very good CW filter,… …
I did my first activation with it… to find out that SOTA was for me. I was quickly excited and ordered the KX2.

I then operated the IC703 at home…

In order to have more success, I swapped it for the TS 590… that wasn’t a bad choice… but I’m a bit annoyed that I sold the IC 703.

73 Armin

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The IC-703 (especially the + model) doesn’t come up for sale very often and still fetch reasonably prices.

73
John

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What a great radio. No wonder ai have 2

John ve3ips

If ai want to hit the park for some POTA that’s one of my favorites dir to the tuner and 10 watts

John ve3ips

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For those who may be looking for it - The X-6200 has built-in FT8 in the latest video:

73 Ed.

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That is neat, but with the 6100 I can receive with a USB C cable and a iPhone/android app. The part I would love to see is ability to transmit… this would make is really viable for SOTA FT8. So far i can only get that working with USB-C CAT control via a PC/Mac and i’m not lugging that up a decent peak!

Hi Tim,
If using an external computer to send/receive digital modes, there are two “channels” the command (CAT) control and the audio in/out channel.
If the radio has a USB Bridge/hub chip in it and serial comms and USB audio chips in it, then the connection can run down one USB cable. HOWEVER - the computer side (either a PC or a Smartphone) has to recognise both the Serial comms chip AND the Audio chip. This is normally possible from a Windows laptop as there are “drivers” however using a smartphone it may recognise the serial comms via the USB cable but not the audio chipset.
This sounds like the problem that you are having. You could run CAT control via USB and audio via a 3.5mm analogue lead set-up to your smartphone (as long as it still has a TRRS audio socket which several new Smartphones do not).
Hence having a radio with a user OS inside it is a major step forward. There are hacks to do this with the X6100 - it’s nice to see that Xiegu intend to use the Linux inside the X6200 to run FT8. It’s a step in the right direction (IMHO). Someday everything you need could be in the one portable radio (digital modes, logging, web abbess).

73 Ed.

A number of people have been using an Android phone with the QDX/QMX radios. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. One possible reason is the Android version in the phone. My personal experience is that Android 10 and later works, but the earlier versions do not.
Ian
VE6IXD

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I recall seeing some youtube vidoes where the 6100 had the firmware hacked (correct word?) that would allow you to run FT modes right off the radio - no computer required…Think it was KM9R ??? youtube channel…

Yes! You can boot the Xeigu with an alternative firmware via an SD card, and there is a Russian ham R1CBU who has written an alternative version with FT8 support, I am not sure about FT8 transmit however.

The running of apps within the X6100 is possible as the radio runs a “flavour” of Linux and hence programs written for Linux can be compiled to run within the radio. Apart from Xiegu I believe the Expert Systems radio runs a user OS - in that case Windows 10 but that radio is a lot more expensive than the 6100. I would expect the port of WSJTx (if that is what is being used) to work on transmit and receive.

I expect we will soon see more and more radios with Linux (or similar) inside them, removing the need for an external PC to use digital data and voice modes and bringing embedded logging, propagation monitoring, callsign look-up, DX-Clusters and other features into the radio itself.
73 Ed.

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my first rig when i got licenced was the kenwood ts-50. Love kenwoods. its a great little radio 10w HF. I dont activate often but i get by with the ft817. dont like the yaesu stacks of menus tho :slight_smile: everythign seems hidden in a menu, but then it is a small rig so cant really complain.

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There is FT8CN for Android. It can perform full FT8 QSOs. You can find it here: GitHub - N0BOY/FT8CN: Run FT8 on Android
I installed the APK on an old Android phone. Had to play with the versions a bit though. But a firmware upgrade of the X6100 might also help with compatibility.

You also need a USB OTG adapter for the USB connection to the X6100 (costs few bucks).

I use this app for portable FT8: either as a backup during SOTA in case SSB doesn’t go through, or simply to evaluate the current antenna efficiency and band conditions.

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