Xiegu x6100 Firmware Update 1.1.6

It’s been a while since an update was last provided for this transceiver, but this looks to have quite a few enhancements and fixes provided so that is probably why.

From the release notes:

V1.1.6 Release Note
Image File SHA256: 1D5D97118E34963B0BA338CD974BD456577E21475F487F0154D9537112A8A64B
APP:  V1.1.6 Nov  2 2022,13:10:22
BASE: V1.1.6 Nov  1 2022,17:37:32

1. Add CI-V instruction:
   1A 01 (C1) (C2)
   C1: band index, See IC-705 CI-V Command Table
   C2: bandstack register number(not use), See IC-705 CI-V Command Table
   X6100 send back         description
   FE FE                   # 2 byte, CI-V header
   E0 XX 1A 01 01 01       # 6 bytes, The command payload, XX is the rig's address
   00 00 80 01 00          # 5 bytes, Operating frequency setting
   03 02                   # 2 bytes, Operating mode setting
   00                      # 1 byte, Data mode setting 
   00                      # 1 byte, Duplex and Tone settings
   00                      # 1 byte, Digital squelch setting
   00 08 85                # 3 bytes, Repeater tone frequency setting
   00 08 85                # 3 bytes, Repeater tone frequency setting
   00 00 23                # 3 bytes, DTCS code setting
   00                      # 1 byte, DV Digital code squelch setting
   00 50 00                # 3 bytes, Duplex offset frequency setting
   58 36 31 30 30 20 20 20 # 8 bytes, UR (Destination) call sign setting
   20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 # 8 bytes, R1 (Access repeater) call sign setting
   20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 # 8 bytes, R2 (Gateway/Link repeater) call sign setting
   FD                      # 1 byte, CI-V tail
2. Add CI-V instruction: 
   1A 06
   See IC-705 CI-V Command Table
3. Add CI-V instruction: 
   21 00
   21 01
   21 02
   See IC-705 CI-V Command Table
4. Add CI-V instruction:
   26 (C1) (C2) (C3) (C4)
   C1: VFO index
       0:     Foreground VFO
       other: Background VFO
   C2: Operating mode
       See IC-705 CI-V Command Table
   C3: Data mode
       0:     OFF
       other: ON
   C4: Filter setting
       1:     FILTER1
       2:     FILTER2
       3:     FILTER3
       other: Invalid
   *Note: [LSB/USB mode]         with Data mode ON -> L-DIG/U-DIG
          [Other operating mode] with Data mode ON -> No effect
5. Add bluetooth SPP, virtual serial port for FLRIG, Omni-Rig or other CI-V based software
6. Fix the Fc marker bug in modem mode (there will be two markers in the audio FFT scope in some cases)
7. Optimize the fw updating process via sd card, the user data (configures, voices, channels) will not be cleared after updating
8. Some adjustments of the main window
   8.1 Add LOCAL TIME / UTC TIME widget
   8.2 Add RIT / XIT widget
   8.3 Add audio oscilloscope
   8.4 Add filter icon (shows filter group as will)
9. Add auto-level for the waterfall
10. Fix bluetooth issue (stuck in the startup screen or the bluetooth setting window)
11. Fix ntp update issue (make sure X6100 can access to the internet via built-in WiFi or USB to Ethernet dongle)
12. Show MAC address in the Bluetooth / WiFi setting windows (in the title of the window)
13. Optimize the TIME SETTING operation logic
14. Optimize the FFT SPAN (or FFT ZOOM), now it has four items: 100k,50k,25k,12.5k
15. Optimize the "Flat-Menu" operation logic, Press "MFK" to select the current item to the fast-access tag and return to the main window
    example 1: In "RADIO SETTING1" page, "TX POWER" is selected, press "MFK" then "TX POWER" is added to the fast-access tag
    example 2: In "DISPLAY SETTINGS" page, "FFT SPAM" is selected, press "MFK" then "FFT SPAM" is added to the fast-access tag
    *Note: "selected" means the item get the focus
16. Optimize AGC algorithm
    16.1 AGC time constant is more accurate
    16.2 Background noise is much lower without antenna plugged in (except FM mode)

Tips & Note:
#### Most of the CI-V instructions compatible with ICOM-705
#### Ham Radio Deluxe may not recognize the bluetooth virtual serial port
#### Serial port remap (could be critial when working with the bluetooth virtual serial port):
Why remap:
   FLRIG/WSJTDX/JTDX may fail to connect to the bluetooth virtual serial port (due to the mechanism of rfcomm itself)
Roadmap and Tools:
1) install com0com
2) Run "Setup Command Prompt" (the CLI for com0com)
   install protname=COMxxx -
   xxx is the port number, choose a unoccupied one, for example: 88
3) Close the CLI
1) Enter hub4com dir, looks like this:
2) Input the command in the MS CLI
   hub4com --route=All:All \\.\COMyyy \\.\CNCB0
   COMyyy is the bluetooth virtual serial port number, for example: COM4
   hub4com --route=All:All \\.\COM4 \\.\CNCB0
   The CLI's output should be look like the below:
   COM4 Open("\\.COM4", baud=19200, data=8, parity=no, stop=1, octs=on, odsr=off, ox=off, ix=off, idsr=off, ito=0) - OK
   CNCB0 Open("\\.CNCB0", baud=19200, data=8, parity=no, stop=1, octs=on, odsr=off, ox=off, ix=off, idsr=off, ito=0) - OK
   Route data COM4(0) --> CNCB0(1)
   Route data CNCB0(1) --> COM4(0)
   Route flow control COM4(0) --> CNCB0(1)
   Route flow control CNCB0(1) --> COM4(0)
   Started COM3(0)
   Started CNCB0(1)
1) Com port for CI-V should be the one we choose in the com0com, which in this case would be COM88

I have just downloaded and haven’t applied it yet, but will circle back if anything seems significantly improved.

You can download the latest from this link https://www.radioddity.com/pages/xiegu-download

Xiegu G106 In The House

Or my house at least.

I quickly jumped on the first available orders for the new transceiver from Xiegu as sold through Radioddity, the Xiegu G106 HF Transceiver.


First off, the stats from the manual:

Receive Range0.55-30 MHz, 88.0-108.0 MHz (FM Broadcast)
Transmit Range3.5-4.0 MHz
7.0-7.2 MHz
10.1-10.5 MHz
14.0-14.35 MHz
18.068-18.168 MHz
21.0-21.45 MHZ
24.89-24.99 MHz
28.0-29.7 MHz
Operating ModesSSB/CW/AM
Transmitter Power>= 5 Watts
Operating Voltage9-15 Volts
Standby Current Draw0.37 A
Max Current Draw2.8 A
Weight720g | 1.6 lbs

Looking at the Transmit Range row above, something stood out right away – where is 7.21 – 7.30 MHz?

Checking the website showed the range as 7.0-7.3 MHz as I would expect, and I can confirm that you are indeed able to transmit between 7.21 and 7.30 MHz.

While I am generally a CW operator, that would have been a serious omission.

In the Box

Not much.

You get the radio, an non-terminated power cable, a handheld mic, and some papers that include a printed manual.

I’m not huge on the “unboxing” type experiences. For me it is a once-and-done experience. If that is your thing….sorry. This is a fairly spartan box.

The Radio

Now on to the main course.

The radio is smaller than I expected, but feels quite heavy and robust in the hand. Here is a soda can for reference:

Controls are minimal:

  • Two knobs (that double as push buttons) that control volume and tuning
  • 4 faceplate buttons (what these control changes depending on what menu page you’re on)
  • 4 top buttons (power, mode/preamp, band adjustment/lock

Moving towards the back panel we have a BNC antenna interface, ground lug, key interface, comm interface, acc interface, and power input port.

The display is simple, well laid out, and gives the important pieces that I use most: mode, frequency, S-meter, and spectrum display. The background is a white with slight blue tinge color, and the foreground is almost a dark navy blue. Not quite black.

The back light is either on or off, no adjustment available.

Tuning the radio is very pleasant. The large knob has small palpable steps that provide feedback but do not impede tuning when you’re trying to move fast.

Underneath is bare except for 4 rubber feet that it sits on. The side panels are equally bare.

The Good News

Most of the things I expect and use in a radio are there today.

CW settings for type, speed, tone, and QSK are all adjustable. CW filtering bandwidth is also adjustable in increments of 50/250/500 Hz.

It is multi-band and multi-mode, including digital.

The spectrum display reminds me quite a bit of the one on the Lab599 TX-500. If you’ve seen the Xiegu x5105 then you’ve seen this one as well.

With volume adjusted, the audio was surprisingly clear. The onboard speaker can (as noted below) become overwhelmed. I’m working on recording some audio samples and will upload when ready for reference.

Operation is quite simple and I think the controls are a bit more intuitive than their other transceivers. The menu navigation is easy to do and I didn’t have to reference the manual once in order to do basic operations. Their UX is getting better in my opinion.

Missing in Action

There are a few things missing from this radio, at least in my opinion.

Memories – there are frequency memories but not the type one might use a lot with a portable radio for SOTA/POTA operating, namely memory banks to store recorded messages. I’m not a constant user of such, but they are nice to have in cooler weather when my fist becomes an ice block.

There doesn’t seem to be any sort of automatic gain control and the onboard speaker can quickly become overwhelmed on strong signals.

Beware if you’re using a headset!

Unlike their other radios, there is no built-in battery. This isn’t necessarily a con for many, but want to call it out.

Also unlike the x5105 and x6100, it does not have a automatic antenna tuner.

There may be other things that you depend on that are also missing as well. This is certainly not an exhaustive list.

Setting my callsign to display on startup


Coming in at half the price as their current top-end HF transceiver, the x6100 and in a form-factor that is more like the Yaesu FT-817/818, it is an interesting radio.

Having just received it today I haven’t yet had it out in the field, but I have to say I’m both pleased and a bit torn. On the one hand this I see myself much more likely to take this out when I may be places that would be a bit more dangerous for something like a KX2/3 or the IC-705 (I’m paranoid about my radios). It performs what is generally needed and is simple to operate.

It is small and seems quite robust.

But I’m struggling to see why I’d grab this one and not the x5105. Yes it is smaller, but having charged the x5105 I can grab that and a wire antenna and go.

I think I’m gonna keep this one though. There is potential here and who knows what Xiegu will add in a future update, but this may not be something that meets many operators’ needs.


First Time CW DX While POTA At K-2484

Its been a couple of weeks since my last POTA attempt, and about 8 months since I last went down to Frontenac State park in southeast Minnesota, so my 2 youngest sons and I joined our friend and his kids for a quick overnight campout at this beautiful park.

About an hour south of my home, this park sits atop a rise that overlooks both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

On our drive in I had to stop the car to get what I think is an Eastern Fox Snake off the road. If you know for sure then please let me know in the comments. It was doing its best to be intimidating by hissing and vibrating its tail, and striking at my shoe.

My son was torn between seeing the snake with his own eyes or looking at the screen to keep the snake in the camera.

Note I only had my shoe there to give it something to focus on or target while I used the stick to gently pick it up.

It was a bit grumpy at having his time warming up in the sun interrupted by us, but we were able to safely relocate him off into the woods.

After setting up camp, and while waiting on our friends to arrive, I quickly put up my Chameleon MPAS Lite which has been a consistently good performer.

Setup is really quick and after running out about 25 feet of counterpoise, I ran some coax over to a tree that I sat against. I hooked up my Elecraft KX2 and my BaMaKey TP-111 paddle and got down to work.

I forgot to bring my knee board (lesson learned)

After spotting myself on https://pota.app, I called CQ on 20 meters for a couple of minutes before I had my first contact.

Now I have no doubt that he was doing all the work – signal report was only a 149, and it took a couple of times for me to be able to get the callsign accurately copied (thanks Alfonso for your patience!) – but I was able to log EC1R in Palencia, Spain!

My first CW DX contact ever – and at only 5 watts. My sons couldn’t figure out why I was so excited.

In only about 20 minutes, with kids circling me asking about dinners, I logged 10 contacts and then signed off to get them taken care of.

Map created at https://www.levinecentral.com/adif2map/

Everything was logged into the HAMRS app on my phone which, if you haven’t used before, is an absolutely phenomenal app for POTA. (pick it up for multiple platforms at https://hamrs.app/)

Our friends arrived shortly thereafter and we focused on sharing food, friendship, and beautiful scenery.

We had to head back early this morning, so a fairly short trip on a July 4th weekend, but a great time for sure!

Breakfast of champions – cinnamon rolls in a dutch oven over coals

FX-4C Impressions

I didn’t need another new QRP transceiver, but then again I also don’t need to have that second slice of cake for dessert.

<I have no self control>

I pulled the trigger on the Chinese made FX-4C from https://bg2fx.com/ and in only 6 days, it arrived in perfect condition to my home in the midwest US.

This is my initial findings as I just received it this morning.


Opening the box, there is another box. They include a Pelican style case for the transceiver. Note that I included “style” in that description – it is not a case that I would expect to withstand weather and moisture, but the inclusion of this case is definitely a positive. The foam insert is firm and perfectly cut to fit the radio and accessories, though the fit is quite tight and removing the radio can require two hands. That is likely a good thing to prevent it from shifting around in transit and damaging the knobs or screen.

In the box are:

  • FX-4C Transceiver
  • USB digital cable
  • Hand Microphone
  • 2 XT-60 Power Plugs (the type used for racing drones and other RC craft)

FX-4C Overview

The FX-4C is a small, CW/AM/FM/SSB/Digital HF SDR transceiver covering 80-10 meters on transmit with an output of 0.1 to 10 watts, and can receive 465 kHz – 50 MHz.

More specifically, it can transmit on 80/60/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meter bands – 9 in total.

They claim consumption at approximately 2A on transmit and 220mA on receive.

The case is metal, extremely well constructed, and feels like a brick in your hand. The green anodization is actually a nice departure from the ubiquitous black of the ham radio world. All seams mate together very closely, and there are no gaps. The construction really is quite good.

The word that keeps coming to mind is “solid”. Every time I pick it up it just feels sturdy and solid.

Length and width-wise, it is similar in size to the Venus SW-3B at 11x7cm (4 3/8″ x 2 3/4″), a popular 3-band CW only QRP transceiver. It is approximately twice as tall as that little radio though, coming in at 4.5cm or ~1.75″ in height (not including the knobs). Note all measurements are with my ruler, so within margin of error.

The Screen

The TFT screen measures 2 inches and, at least indoors, is sharp and bright.

Outdoors, however, is a different story.

Note the difference between the shade my phone is providing on the left vs the unshaded portion on the right

I would say that in shade it is still readable, however in the bright sunshine you really have to find some way of providing some shade in order to really see what is going on with the screen.

I’ve searched the menus and the manual but cannot find any way to increase the brightness. If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know.

Spoiler alert – this is the biggest con so far in what is otherwise a fantastic little radio.

The layout makes good use of the available real estate. Frequency is front and center, with smaller icons that are faded or highlighted depending on state and function.

The bottom half is a waterfall display that does lag slightly when changing frequency, but otherwise performs well for intended purposes.

Features and Specifications

Feature-wise, here is what BG2FX is advertising:

  • 2.0″TFT display screen
  • Spectrum display and 20 kHz waterfall plot
  • Dual VFO operation (VFO A and B) with split mode operation
  • Internal USB sound card with serial communication via USB 
  • Adjustable DSP digital noise reduction
  • Ultra wide input voltage: 9 V – 18 V
  • Quick switching among various frequency bands and convenient operation

For specs they show:

  • Operating Modes: USB, LSB, CW, AM, FM
  • Frequency Steps: 10 Hz, 100 Hz, 1 kHz, 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 100 kHz, 1 MHz
  • Antenna impedance: 50 Ohm
  • Operating temperature range: -20 – +40℃
  • Voltage range: DC 9 V – 18 V (please keep the maximum voltage below +16 V for long-term operation: About 14 V is recommended)
  • Weight: (radio only) 0.46 kg
  • Filter Bandwidth: 
  • SSB: 1.5 kHz, 1.8 kHz, 2.1 kHz, 2.4 kHz, 2.7 kHz, 3 kHz
  • CW: 50 Hz, 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 300 Hz, 500 Hz, 800Hz
  • FM: 5 kHz, 10 kHz
  • AM: 6 kHz, 9 kHz
  • Spurious emission suppression: -43 dB
  • Carrier suppression: -50 dB
  • Microphone impedance: 2.2 k Ohm
  • Audio output power: 1 W
  • Receiving sensitivity: -120 dBm

CW Operation

CW has become my primary mode, and I rarely if ever use SSB/FM anymore. (I’m not very good, so that isn’t a brag – someone like me shouldn’t be bragging about CW skills – I’m just mentioning that this will be my focus for my initial review)

There are several settings for CW with this radio, with dedicated buttons on the front face to switch between SSB, AM/FM, and CW.

Note that there is no CW decoder, so no crutch if you’re just getting started. 😉

You can switch between Iambic and Manual, including switching dit and dah sides of the paddle. The screen even uses a dot-dash and dash-dot to indicate the configuration it is set to use.

Filters can be changed to values of 50MHz, 100Hz, 200Hz, 300Hz, 500Hz, and 800Hz.

Sidetone, volume, wpm, and delay can all be adjusted via the menu or by pressing the AF knob and turning it to the desired level.

In the brief time I have had this (today so far – looking forward to tomorrow and beyond), I’ve called CQ and attempted to answer someone else’s CQ, but no contact.


Operation was intuitive and I didn’t have to hunt through many menus to get transmitting.

Feeding the Beast

This transceiver bucks the trend of using barrel connectors or even Anderson Powerpole type connectors in favor of XT60.

It represents an odd choice given the prevalence of the former two in ham radio circles, but as I thought about it more and more it made a lot of sense.

Bioenno type LiFePO4 batteries with Powerpoles are amazing, but very few companies create batteries with that plug as standard.

In the remote controlled hobby arena (think RC cars, planes, etc.) that plug type is a standard, with many companies offering LiFePO4 and LiPO battery packs with that connection.

And they can generally be found fairly cheap in comparison – though you do get what you pay for in my experience in that world.

BG2FX does include two plugs that can be soldered to any connection that you want, and I did create a XT60 to Powerpole adapter that works quite well and allows me to use multiple battery types.

Some, however, may find this off-putting and disagree.

Such is life 🙂


This is an area where some Chinese manufacturers really struggle. English is a really difficult language, an as someone who learned Mandarin in early adulthood I believe it can be especially difficult for some Asian language speakers.

I’ve taught English as well – it is pretty messed up as far as languages go.

The creators of this radio, however, have done a great job. The manual (link) is well written, easy to understand, and is laid out in readily consumable manner.

I’m really impressed with the time they put into writing and insuring that it would match a native-English speaker’s expectations in the use of words and grammer.

Well done!


The closest transceiver to this in my mind is the wonderful mcHF by M0NKA. Both are QRP rigs that cover the HF bands and are multi-mode. Neither has a built-in matching unit (ATU) – though you can get one for the mcHF, neither has a built-in battery, both have similar screens.

The FX-4C has a much sturdier metal case in my opinion. It also comes with a handheld microphone and the foam-lined storage case.

The mcHF seems to have more settings and options, but that can be a double-edged sword. Navigating those options in the field can be more cumbersome. I really like my mcHF, so these are more 1:1 observations than criticisms.

This is not a cheap uSDX style clone that shows up all over eBay. I believe this to be a well thought-out radio with a lot of features in a small, sturdy package.

As noted, the screen does leave a bit to be desired when used outdoors. I’m going to play with it a bit more before completely writing it off, but that is my one big nit to pick since first powering it on.

Price-wise it isn’t cheap, and that is likely a turn-off for many folks. It is about $100 USD less than a Xiegu x6100, which does have an internal battery and ATU. But I generally carry a resonant antenna and my own battery pack anyway, so those aren’t “make or break” sets of features for me.

I need more time on the air with it – like I said I wasn’t successful in my contact attempts today. But then again, I’ve only had it since this morning.

So why am I writing this review without having more time with it?


I am excited about the potential this has and will do follow up posts as I gain more time and experience with it in the field.

I’ll take you along with me on this journey, especially now that the snow is gone and the weather is warm.

Time to get outside!

Update – May 23, 2022

So I’ve now had a few days to play around more with this rig. All in all I’m still quite happy with the purchase.

A couple of minor nits to pick:

  • Changing bands resets the mode to SSB every time – this means that changing back and forth between bands is a two step process where you first change the band and then set the mode if you’re not using SSB (such as CW)
  • Actually it is a 3 step process since you also have to set the CW mode back to Iambic (assuming you’re not a straight key user)
  • All other buttons have a momentary press action…except MENU – that button requires a long-press in order to activate the menu (minor nit, but worth noting)

Given the fact that this is largely developed by a single individual (BG2FX), and that he has included firmware upgrade options and I’m anticipating will continue to create new firmware versions, I’m looking forward to seeing what updates come down the pipe.

Nothing here is a deal breaker to me – the SW-3B has some similar behavior when switching bands, etc. – but noting here my experiences as I move along.