Friday, July 02, 2021

XIEGU G1M portable SDR HF Radio review and notes

After my recent SOTA experience I've become interested in more compact and portable QRP gear. A radio that's getting good reviews is the Xiegu G1M

As you can see it's almost dwarfed by the SignaLink adapter.

I bought via eBay and paid AU$354 plus shipping. (Prices vary a bit I notice).

The radio comes with a rather muffled microphone, a power cable (to open wire), a serial USB cable (for CAT and software updates).

A printed manual was included but it's not as up to date as the one available from the manufacturer.

The G1M puts out 5W sideband or CW and can also receive AM. It's general coverage receive and transmits on 4 bands: 80m, 40m, 20m and 15m.

It runs on 12-15V and works fine on a 3S LiPo battery from my drone days. Running on 13V it draws 400mA on receive with no audio and peaks at 2A on transmit.

Here's a backyard SOTA practice with a simple vertical on a squid pole matched with a Z-Match.


There is an active community discussing the radio on groups.io.

Mine came with firmware V1.06 but there is a new version 1.07 available. (For some reason it isn't yet on the Xiegu site here). Firmware is uploaded over a serial port using XModem. I used the go language uploader from Dale Farnsworth on macOS to upload the new firmware. 

You need to un-rar the file to get a .xgf file to upload.

The first two attempts stopped uploading before completion and I thought I might have bricked the radio but a third attempt worked.


As others have noted, the version still displays V1.06 Oct 22, 2019 but it's clear that the CW bandwidth is now narrower so it has changed.

There are several stickers to discourage disassembly but I couldn't resist. You need to take off the volume knob and remove the nut.


On the back, remove the nut from the BNC socket.



There are two thin co-ax links that need to be unplugged and two flat cables that can be released by flipping up the little plastic clip on the board end.



Interesting that there's space for another low pass filter on the board.



I've used the radio for WSPR reception and there is no reported drift. 


I'm quite impressed with this radio. It is an SDR and has a tiny little spectrum display that is actually handy for seeing signals. Reviews on eHam are generally good. There are a couple of reports of DOA units but mine works well and construction is of excellent quality.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A good choice Peter! This rig is getting a lot of attention. Pleased you've got it, it will be smaller, lighter and 'less precious' (than your Mt Dissapointment rig) on SOTA, Parks and portable use and when out and about. Your 3S LiPO is also a step forward, amazing power density. And your end fed half wave, you're all set up now.

I admire how you are not in the least concerned about re-flashing your Chinese radios.

73 Paul VK3HN.