The Xiegu X1M is a recent attempt at HF portable QRP transceivers straight out of China, and it looks like they are on the right way: small and lightweight – check, simple and robust design – check, low power consumption – check, CW and SSB modulation – check, full HF coverage – check. Yes, it is not the prettiest girl in school … but who cares when it is the cheapest ? No really, it costs about US$260 as a kit or US$300 assembled, half of what an Yaesu FT-817ND does.

Here’s the list of characteristics:

– continuous RX and TX: 0.1 ~ 30 MHz
– SSB / CW Output Power: 4-5 W;
– operating voltage: min. 9.6V (DC), max. 14.5V (DC);
– operating current: 0.35A (min), 1.2 A (max);
– switchable RX preamplifier
– 100 memory channels;
– CW RX/TX delay adjustment
– electronic bug key
– switchable backlight
– weight 500g (the FT-817ND is 1.2Kg)
– size: 97x40x155mm (the FT-817ND is 135x38x165mm)

The X1M is all made in SMD technology with 0603 parts; the RX preamplifier uses a very low-noise (NF:1.2dB) CATV 2SC3357 transistor, the IF is at 9MHz with a 6-pole crystal filter 2.2KHz wide, the mixer uses high-speed HSB88W Schottky diodes, the IF amplifier has a MC1350 stage with controllable gain (for AGC purposes), the audio amplifier is an LM386 (just 4mA of standby current) and the local oscillator is made around an Analog Devices AD9851 DDS.

And, to show that it’s not a toy but a really nice tool at a very good price, it has an interface that allows it to be connected to the PC and operated via Ham Radio Deluxe or any other similar software, being compatible with the Icom command set (ideally, the IC-718).

Unfortunately the only video of it working doesn’t say too much:

Anyway, I’m almost sold, I think I need to get one.