By now I am sure many of you have heard of the Xiegu G90. This amazing HF radio has so many features, you would expect it to be priced three times what we are currently selling it for. First let me show you what some of our customers think of it.
Here are some of the features
Pressing the Tune key brings up the following display and the radio at this point is engaging the automatic antenna tuner.
The radio has the ability to look at SWR over a range of frequencies. Here is an example of the SWR display.
The radio has a built in spectrum analyzer. The display below shows a typical AM signal that was modulated at 3 KHz with a modulation index of 50%. Note the carrier and the two side bands.
The display below shows a typical SSB signal that was modulated at 3 KHz with a modulation index of 50%. Note the suppressed carrier and only a single side band.
- 1 to 20 Watts output in 1 Watt increments
- Receiver sensitivity less than .1 microvolt
- AM, USB, LSB, and CW modes
- Covers all HAM bands between 160 Meters and 10 meters.
- Built in CW Decoder
- Waterfall display
- Detachable Display Unit
- CW filters as low as 50 Hz
- SDR architecture
- Free Firmware updates for new features
This is an unbelievable radio for its price. This radio has features far and beyond any radio in its price range. To make a complete radio system, just add power supply, coax cable, and an antenna, and you are on the air.
18 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
My 1st SDR radio and I just can't be bothered to turn on my IC-746 pro anymore!. 20 watts into my MFJ loop gets me everywhere the ICOM did! Arived with 1.71 firmware and no bugs/glitches I can find-pure fun!
Great entry SDR radio with a super low price and great support from connect systems
g90 is a nice little radio. The problem I have is the volume when transmitting using CW is super loud and I turned down the volume as far as it would go.
I hope this gets fixed in the next up date.
So I am going to put my radio back in the box and wait for the fix.
On second thought maybe I am doing something wrong won’t be the first .
So far so good easy to operate. Good receive. Made contact to South American on 20 watts.
Review of Xiegu G90 HF Transceiver (Firmware version 1.71)
By AH6EZ/W7 Nov 7, 2019
First of all, $421 delivered from USA supplier Connect Systems, was a very reasonable price. Delivery was in 4 days. Easy to hook up. I attached PowerPole connectors, a power supply, an R9 vertical.
Up and running in about 30 seconds. I propped it up to see the front panel better, there needs to be some tilt up front feet. I will try to not look at the manual. OK, where is the mode switch, it is on 20m LSB. After scouring the front panel and several menus, I could not find the mode switch. OH, dummy me, it is a button on the top of the radio. By the way, the Connect Systems site has a MUCH better manual than what shipped with the radio.
It tunes my vertical quickly and easily as I would expect. Bypassing the tuner is easy and useful when changing bands.
Let’s see the power… The manual says to press the POW button and then turn the multi-function knob. Wrong, you adjust the power by turning the main tuning knob.
OK, now for some CW. The key jack wiring is unusual. The hot and ground of the key needs to go to the tip and ring, not the sleeve. The cryptic unexplained KEY menu lets you choose between M/L/R (manual says K/L/R). Auto-R works for me.
I tried the SWR band scan. Nice but the manual warned it is not be very accurate.
The CW brick wall filtering is nice from 50-800 Hz. Iambic-B worked for me after the keyer (not me) made mistakes with Iambic-A. Surprise, when you are in the SSB mode, the paddle actually transmits CW if QSK is turned on. Sometimes that is nice to listen to CW with SSB filters. If you set the QSK to off, you have only sidetone for CW practice.
Oh, did I mention that the diagrams in the manual that shipped with the radio have Chinese labels?
Now it boots with my callsign (and just Nordland), in 3 seconds. The boot message is too fast to read it however.
They say to add a ferrite core to the DC power cord. I did not bother.
The spectrum display is +/- 24 KHz. Although not documented in the manual, a long press of the KEY button toggles between a waterfall and a scrolling 26 character CW decoder. The right hand LED under the A/B button performs as a tuning indicator. The decoding was pretty tolerant of noise. The sharp filtering probably helped. Marginal signals did not decode at all and variable sender tempo or spacing created errors. Copying ARRL code practice was almost flawless.
Four levels of display brightness. The idle receive current remained about 600ma (spec 500ma). You can turn off the display by momentarily pressing the on/off switch. Everything is still working and the display turns back on with any control movement.
Interesting that the RF Gain control menu does not change the S Meter or the Panadapter, but does change what you hear. I found that the knee of noise was about 20% RF Gain.
Set at 20 watts on SSB (no modulation), there is a .2 watt carrier. That’s only 26dB down! With full modulation the carrier is 33dB down.
I have to admit that the spectrum display on the G90 is just not the same as the Flex 6700. However when you tune around the band you can identify signals before you are tuned to them.
When the menu or manual says “Handle” that means the hand microphone. The up/down buttons can be frequency or channel, band change, or volume control. There are two programmable buttons that can be Preamp/Attenuator, Split VFO, Noise Blanker, Compressor, or AGC. The default backlight can be set too.
Tuning the radio and the top and right buttons works ok with the right fingers. However the shape and required depth of the bottom buttons only work with a perpendicular angle press.
The AGC scrolls between Slow, Fast, “Automatic”, and a LOUD Off.
Watch out, the 60m band is not channelized by default. It transmitted from 5330.5 to 5405.0. Out of band transmitting caused the power on light to flash. I stored the FCC five 60m channels into memory channels 1-5. However when I tried to recall the memory channels with the V/M button I got a red flashing NO MEMO. It turns out that memory channel 0 needs to be programmed too. That’s where I put 10 MHz WWV. While I was comparing AM and SSB, I could tell there was a very slight difference in frequency. There is a software based frequency calibration mode that I will try eventually.
It seems that the memory channels store many if not all of the channel parameters such as mode, AGC, preamp, and others. I was having too much fun to verify all of the memory capabilities. There are 0-63 memories however.
It was confusing some times where there were four menu selections on the screen but five front panel buttons. The three menu selections were straight forward by just using the left, middle, and right buttons.
The rear panel has a 6 pin DIN accessory connector which includes software controllable transmit and receive level controls, a PTT (input for keying or output for accessory 100w linear amplifier?), ALC for use with the amplifier, band data, and an unspecified data pin. I suspect this radio is just capable of 1200 baud data and not 9600. There is an I/Q output that would connect to SDR software for large screen display. I have not had success with SDR# software so but I have not tried a recommended USB soundcard dongle yet.
The standard Icom CI-V interface and commands are available for rig control.
A USB to mini-stereo RS232 cable is provided that can insert updated firmware separately into the detachable control head and radio chassis using any standard terminal program. The Connect Systems manual has step by step instructions. A 3 foot DB9 cable is provided to separate the control head from the radio. I would hope that it could be extended for mobile use. It would be nice if there mobile mounting brackets available. The microphone plugs into the control head and there is a headphone jack (not speaker level output) on the control head.
There is no noise reduction or notch filter but there is a Noise Blanker that is adjustable in both level and width. It seemed pretty effective but adjacent channel signals did affect the Noise Blanker if it was turned up too high.
I was a little skeptical, but boy I am I glad I bought this radio. so far I've only run it at 15 watts. On a morning 80 meter SSB net everyone across the state of Oklahoma heard me on my dipole. I've worked dozens of CW contacts all over the USA on my Hustler 6BTV with it. I'll be trying it mobile soon. I'm getting great audio reports on SSB and on CW the people I'm working can hardly believe I'm only running 15 watts. Good receive, the adjustable bandwidth is easy and it really works good. The small speaker isn't bad, but using headphones is much better. A longer and heftier power cord would be nice. The provided owners manual is about worthless, but the online improved manual by Connect Systems is really good.
Very pleased with performance of this radio. Just wish it had the "scan" function.
The G90 was well packed and received within just 2 days. All parts were present and in new condition. The radio works perfectly so far. With the only caveat being the small button switches. One of them, the 'FUNC' button is some times hard to actuate ... hence lowering the rating by one star. Otherwise, the G90 has a very good display, a complete set of functions and seems to be built like tank with the steel and aluminum exterior panels that are screwed together .. no plastic! Seems to be a keeper at this point.
I have been putting this rig through it's paces and am convinced it'll compete favorably with my other "Big 3" rigs. It does lack some features but my Jeep has roll-up windows so it's not a big deal. And what can you expect for the money.
This makes my third Xiegu rig and all perform very well. My Xiegu CS108 is my favorite of the three but that may change to the G90 real soon. We'll see how it goes after I install the firmware updates. Connect Systems shipped this unit the same day and are always very helpful.
Great qrp rig. Good receiver sensitivity. Menu system laid out correctly for quick access.
The G90 is a complete HF transceiver with all the US Ham bands including 60m and WARC bands. Is SDR, but not direct sampling. Does the DSP at IF, but has tunable IF filters for each mod, CW LSB USB & AM. Very good FFT band scope and water fall, lets one know what is going on withing +/-24kHz of your tuned freq. Does require working with the rig for many features require multiple buttons to access like mic gain and vox settings, but really once you learn the features it easy to access and work with. My G90 receiver tested to less than 0.15uV rcv sensitivity on all bands. Selectivity is programmable and works very well. The rig is built very well, when one picks it up one is surprised how heavy (3.5lb) it is for it's size. The rig is mostly for QRP although does more than most other QRP rigs with it's 20W. The built in tuner is a most attractive feature, tunes fast, but not sure how wide the range of SWR it will tune. I have FT817 and the G90 is a step up for HF QRP. It is full featured rig and performs very well.
This is a great radio. Wonderful receiver and antenna tuner that could probably tune a wet noodle. With 20 watts I've made several contacts and stations were surprised I was only running 20 watts. Display is great and easy to use. My one negative is the flimsy power cord and connector. They should have used a better connector and better high gauge power cord. I would certainly recommend this unit for QRP or regular use. If the power cord was better it would have received 5 stars.