The X1M Pro 5-band SSB/CW QRP Transceiver

 This is my new X1M PRO trX1M Frontansceiver. It covers the 5 “classic” HF bands and puts out 5W SSB 0r CW. It cost me $279 delivered (brand new) from an      EBay seller in Europe. As you can see, it’s very small and ideal for portable field use. I plan to use it on camping outings for PSK31 using my Android  tablet computer running the very nice DroidPSK app. I have big plans for this little rig, including addition of an Arduino Nano board inside to provide a  USB rig control input (it comes with a ‘sorta’ RS-232  interface). Addition of the Nano will provide many improvements/features, including:

  • Elimination of need for external RS-232-USB when connecting to a computer.
  • Ability for the Nano to intercept messages before passing along to the rig’s microcontroller.
  • Ability to add new control functions using the Nano’s I/O ports.
  • Addition of firmware-controlled AGC. The Nano will sample the detected audio waveform and provide either a feedback or feed-forward control signal (I haven’t decided yet) to maintain constant gain. An S-meter function could also be derived.
  • Possibility of remote controlled RF output level.
  • Many other possibilities.

Right now, I’m preparing for an upcoming RV camping trip. I’m assembling an EFHW antenna and tuner and I have a 12V 7AH battery on order.

Stay tuned for more details on this project as it unfolds.

X1M Top

9 Responses to “The X1M Pro 5-band SSB/CW QRP Transceiver”

  1. Jack Purdum, W8TEE May 12, 2015 at 9:30 am #

    This looks interesting. I’m working on a small 40M transceiver, but CW only, using the Nano. It uses a number of projects from my Arduino Projects for Amateur Radio book. What is the microcontroller in the X1M? While I’ve done a lot of work with the Nano, the Teensy 3.1 looks very interesting because of its high clock speed and HUGE SRAM (64K), yet is smaller than a Nano. Anyway, keep me posted on your progress!

    • w3jdr May 12, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      Jack

      The processor, as far as I can tell, is some obscure part from a Chinese manufacturer (IAP15F2K6152)…too bad. The guys over at the X1M Yahoo group have been trying to contact the rig’s Chinese manufacturer to see if they’d be interested in opening the firmware up for group improvement. So far, I haven’t heard of any reply. There’s already a bunch of functionality in the firmware system, but there’s much more that could be implemented if more international talent was working on it.

  2. Jack Purdum, W8TEE May 12, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    I couldn’t find anything on the controller. Too bad. The reviews aren’t very good, either. I have a CRK-10A (CW) and a KN-Q7A (SSB) from CRKits and both are pretty good radios. The receivers are surprisingly good. The 10A is about the size of a deck of cards! Alas, they are single-band rigs. My book adds a DDS VFO to the 10A, which is super easy to do. Read their reviews, as they are pretty good and very cheap, but still a long way from what you hope to do.

  3. w3jdr May 12, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Actually Jack, if you study the schematics and look at the construction, this radio has very good ‘bones’. It’s a very well thought out and complete electrical design and the packaging is also pretty good. I’ve read many, many reviews and came to the conclusion that, for the price, this rig has great potential. Most of the reported early problems have been addressed in recent production runs and I think it’s now down to features or lack thereof. I’m very confident this radio can be turned into a very good performer with some group therapy. On the other hand, it’s probably not going to be very satisfying for an ‘appliance operator’. it falls very nicely into the area that interests me…the ‘fixer upper’.

  4. Jack Purdum, W8TEE May 12, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    Alas, I only know enough electronics to be dangerous. That said, I’m pretty good on the software side and would be happy to help if you need any in that area.

    • w3jdr May 12, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      I’m excellent on the hardware side (decades of professional experience) and pretty good on the FW/SW side too, but not too good on following through in the ninth inning. My attention wanders toward new ‘challenges’, not that I’m ADHD or anything. A team effort would be great, but it’s hard to develop FW when you don’t have the same HW.

  5. Jack Purdum, W8TEE May 12, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Well, if I can get you to commit to the 9th inning, I’m willing to invest in the rig. If you want to discuss things, perhaps my email would be best rather than chewing up your bandwidth here.

  6. w3jdr May 12, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    I committed to the Yahoo group that I’d characterize the rig’s performance using some professional test equipment. Not so much a product review as learning which parametrics are good and which need improvement. Hopefully that will lead to more circuit mods and we’ll quickly get to the point where we want more features. That’s where my idea for the embedded Arduino comes in. Assuming the manufacturer doesn’t open their source code (that’s my expectation), then we have to ask what can we do to enhance functionality with add-ons. Follow this blog and we’ll know when/if there’s any point in this effort.

    • w3jdr May 12, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      BTW, if it turns out that there is a need/interest for more dialog on this, I also have a chat forum linked to this site for just that purpose.

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