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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Xiegu G90 HF SDR Transceiver Help

Reviews Summary for Xiegu G90 HF SDR Transceiver
Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $499
Description: G90 is a portable 20W HF amateur radio transceiver with an
SDR architecture with built-in auto antenna tuner. The
display unit and the radio can be separated. It is a new
member of the Xiegu product family and the first model of
the G series.

SDR structure, 24-bit data size @48kHz sampling rate,

it has excellent transceiving performance and a highly
configurable function experience;

The design of detachable display unit allows you to
flexibly arrange the position of the radio;

Built-in high-performance auto antenna tuner to meet your
needs at any time, so the antenna is no longer a problem.

Product is in production.
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M3LMY Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2019 14:29 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great little radio does exactly what it should, few minor firmware bugs..
Slow AGC setting still too fast for SSB but bearable, Needs a Notch filter on the spare Function VM button, needs RF Gain instead of Squelch on Multi Function Knob.
These minor quirks are livable with and i'm sure will be addressed.
Great audio reports from from fellow amateurs, some great contacts on QRP
Love the radio, so much so have bought a second one!
It's a fun radio, portable or otherwise it's fun, and at the price well worth putting in the collection, get one you may be surprised!
ON6KE Rating: 2/5 Aug 2, 2019 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Needs serious working on  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Since my review dd. May 29th I've seen 2 improvements.

a) item 14: accurate, up-to-date well organised G90 user manual. Good progress made.
b) item 15: power cord with thicker wire. Thicker wire yes, better fuse yes, longer power cord no, future larger more firmly power connector (chassis and power cord) no.

It was mentioned several times that the Xiegu crew is quick on implementing new functionality and bug fixes. I have so far seen no evidence of that for the G90.

I've been a senior ITer for years in the automotive and banking sector, I KNOW how fast (testing, documentation and roll-out included) new implementations of even complex software can be realized.

Honestly I'm disappointed, OR the G90 user base claims Xiegu IS fast on providing firmware upgrades OR one makes no claims at all.

The G90 is still gathering dust here.

Gust ON6KE
VE3IPS Rating: 5/5 Jul 30, 2019 13:27 Send this review to a friend
A Great SDR HF Manpack radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At Dayton Hamvention 2019, the CSI Group announced a special deal on the Xiegu G90. The G90 is the first model of the new Xiegu G-series and is from a Chinese manufacturer. It is a man pack style portable 20W HF 10-160 meters transceiver with handles. The G90 uses 24-bit digital SDR architecture. It also includes an internal automatic antenna tuner.
Why another QRP radio in your collection?
I wanted a radio that had enough HF power (20 watts) to run off a reasonably sized Bioenno battery (the 4.5 or 9A) to make up for bad band conditions. 20W is about an S unit down from a typical 80-100 watt base station so no penalty for field operating (5W would be another S unit). I have found the military man packs all run around 20 watts on HF and my practical experience shows it to be a great trade-off. I can drop the power down for sanctioned QRP contests but 5w SSB can be tiresome whereas 5W CW works very well. OK, I also wanted something small with a form factor similar to an FT-891 and the G90 does this and adds handles for free ($100 option for the Icom 7200).
I have spent an hour on the radio and am just making some quick comments until Sherwood Engineering gets their hands on one.
A front and center 1.8Ē Color TFT LCD Display shows: Ī 24 kHz bandwidth spectrum and waterfall. It is bright with adjustable levels. The sweep/refresh rate is very fast. The status of all functions are shown on the LCD display. The ability to see SWR and battery voltage is an excellent user feature. This was a selling point for me.

The microphone has two configurable and several dedicated function buttons and looks like the Icom mic from the 7000. I/Q outputs are available. The G90 has a removable display head that can be separated from the main body.
Modes: SSB / CW / AM
RF Output Power: 20W (SSB/CW), 5W (AM Carrier), 13.8VDC, stepping 0.5W
Voltage range: 10.5-16.5 V DC (voltage must be in 13.8-15V if need 20W)
Transmission frequency: All amateur bands in the range of 1.8 to 29.999 MHz plus 60 meters in USA
Receive current draw: 500mA
Transmit current draw: 8A max.
Size: 4.75" x 1.75" x 8.25" (main body without handles)
Weight: 2.3 lbs

Right off the bat I added an Anderson Pole connector to the lightweight power cord. There is an inline fuse on the positive lead. I am not sure if there is any power drop but I would love to swap out the Molex for an Anderson pole connector to simplify my life.
I was able to figure out the radio interfaces in order to make some changes without the manual. The manual is typical of Chinese brands with chinglesh and incomplete sections. However, even the Japanese brands can have bad manuals. Xiegu has released an improved manual with some charts showing the FUNC and Mic buttons.
I tossed a homebrew EFHW wire across the deck and swept up 20m and landed on K1M in a little pile up. OK letís try this before I run to my base set up, I hit the tune button and the tuner was quite fast and did not make a racket. Hit PTT a few times and added him to the log. WOW Thatís Happy Day Ham Radio Today.
K1M is a special event station for the Apollo 11 and 1st Landing on the moon. He was 59 plus and he gave me a 57 for 10 watts (which makes perfect sense).
Therefore, my first contact is truly memorable on this man pack radio.
Like the Icom 703, the battery pack or power source is external.
One thing I noticed right away is the lack of a mobile bracket. I was hoping to mount this radio on a backpack and now I found that the inner foam packaging material fits into a Pelican 1400 box very nicely. Therefore, this radio will live life in a Pelican box. I also do not seem to have any CW memories in the G90 so I will have to use my Pacific Antennas keyer.
The radio lacks an adjustable leg or bail so I just added some rubber feet. Maybe, Windcamp or a 3D expert can solve this problem.
The radio is missing an RIT control. Hmmm, I am not sure if I will miss this or it gets added in the next software update.
CW decoder seems to operate fairly well but the radio only accommodates a Paddle keyer and not a straight key.
Not sure how FM mode works as I cant seem to access the menu for it and it needs a extra device. Who cares about this as no one bothers with 10m FM anymore.
Bandwidth is adjustable for each mode.
I did some basic IMD tests and it seems to hold up OK and will have to investigate further.
No drift was noticed.
Radio was slightly warm after an hour of use.
No external speaker jack. The internal speaker is ok and audio output is very good. I will look into the mic assembly and will have to investigate further (no schamatics) if this is a Yaesu mic interface or Icom. Actually, for a field radio the need for an external speaker jack would mean lugging one more item. I think the audio is louder than the Elecraft KX series.
The external Mic has some feature buttons like direct entry and up/down and they did add a Tune button. This could be a work in progress or a better manual may explain it better.
The spectrum display is always on and not that useful but then I do not bother with that on 7300/7610 or 991 radios. I am forced to use it on my SDR Play but I tend to hunt up and down looking for stations using a VFO knob. The 24 kHz bandwidth is not that great anyways but the display looks nice if not highly functional for those that need a band view.
There are two tuning controls: a 100 KHz and then one that can click in to vary the step that is a bit quirky to use but it just takes a bit of a learning curve.
It receives better than the Yaesu FT-817 and has better front end performance and DSP filters. Whatever I hear on the Icom 7300, the G90 hears.
This a great radio for the price point, has enough power to make it usable for SSB with low sunspots and has a rugged build and feel. I was surprised how heavy it was. 20 watts output at 8A 13.8V is battery friendly and an EFHW with the zippy internal tuner makes it a wonderful field radio.
My version came with the latest release 1.6 and Xiegu has listened to its customers with some incremental improvements and bug fixes. I hope to see some enhancements down the road.
As usual, Jerry Wagner and the team at CSI (Connect Systems) group shipped it out after a quick check over and with awesome customer service. When you call, Jerry answers the telephone and his initial shipments sold out quickly.
I think this Xiegu G90 is going to be a popular little radio.
For a new ham in the hobby with a $1000 to spend could get a G90 for HF $450, a $200 dual band DMR handheld, a $150 Yaesu 2m FTM-3200DR mobile (Fusion), a Zumspot and a local club ham can donate a 2m mobile antenna. Bioenno battery and charger, Add a PackTenna 9:1 Mini antenna by brown bagging lunch for a week and think of all the fun you will be having.
This radio makes for a cost effective SDR Field radio. During a lunch break, take it out to the picnic table, toss a wire into a tree, hit TUNE and go make QSOs
Ham Radio is not a Hobby itís a Way of Life!
W2XYZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2019 04:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Little SDR Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like going portable, but operating 5w CW under current band conditions is tough. This radio has 20w and a wide range auto tuner. Perfect for marginal antennas erected in parks. Power is adjustable from 1-20 watts. Leave it at 5w for QRP, but turn it up to 20w for 'QRO'. Remember, 20w is just one S unit below a 100w radio. It has features too many to write about. Solidly built in a metal cabinet. If you are looking for small SDR HF radio, this would be a good choice.
K8TJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2019 04:43 Send this review to a friend
Superg Little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine has latest FW of 1.6. s. Bandwidths are saved with that band stacking registers. Outstanding signal to noise ratio. Thins I do not like... NO external speaker jack and NO RIT but by utilizing VFO B you do have a way to vary the receive frequency. SWR scanner works GREAT. CW decode is available but I have not been able to make it copy very well. The internal will tune 80 meters to a damned coat hanger and it does it fast. Have made many contacts with my G90, local sand DX and on SSB and CW and believe ir or not got GREAT reports on 75m on 3.880Mhz.
I could write a book on this little rig since I have owned about every Xiegu HF rig ever put out and this one is the best yet! Feel free to email me with any questions at K8TJ@COMCAST.NET
ON6KE Rating: 2/5 May 29, 2019 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Needs serieus working on  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi, I have the G90 now since a month and these are the points that need working on. I won't go into the pro's like the ATU etc. but will concentrate on the area's for improvement.

1. the CW monitor (pitch volume) even at setting 1 is WAY TOO loud, both for speaker and head set;

2. 5 parameters under the KEY button and 2 other (pitch volume and pitch) under a FUNC button press and than KEY button press. Put the 7 together;

3. the bandwidth settings are reset after G90 switch ON. Bandwidth setting(s) should be saved;

4. the 48 kHz bandwidth of the panadapter isn't very useful, 12 kHz would be better. 12 kHz or a parameter to set bandwidth to 12, 24 or 48 kHz.

5. the Scale factor (FUNC button press than LOCK button press) between spectrum and waterfall is awkward. Waterfall brightness should not be dependent on SCALE factor. Waterfall brightness should be a different parameter;

6. the boot 'jingle' at G90 switch ON is too loud;

7. the boot screen with call (ON6KE) is shown less than a second. Should take 2-3 seconds;

8. the spectrum display is always shown but not useful, lack of range. One should be able to switch Spectrum OFF. The waterfall could then be higher OR the waterfall and CW decoder section could be shown together;

9. a CW autotune function would be nice;

10. info that is not mode related should not be shown, e.g. voice compressor icon or VOX icon when CW mode is selected;

11. AGC (No AGC, fast, slow) setting should be saved per mode;

12. implement an ALC meter for digital work;

13. I/Q output (rear) is not working. (at least not here);

14. hire a professional technical writer to write an accurate, up-to-date well organised G90 user manual;

15. for future production, produce a DC power cord with thicker wire (voltage drop), a DX power cord that is at least 3x longer and a DC power connector on the chassis and power cord that is larger and fits more firmly;

16. in CW the monitor pitch tone frequency should go lower than 500 Hz.

The end result is that I'm currently not using the G90. Let's hope that a firmware upgrade in the near future addresses deals with these some more some less imperfections.

73, good DX
Gust ON6KE
4X1ST Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2019 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Excellent SDR transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is Xiegu's follow up to the X108G portable. The G90 is also a 20W 160-10m transceiver, in the same small form factor. But there the similarities end. The G90 is an SDR, with a small bright display including a bandscope and waterfall. It has a remoteable head, and the separation cable is included. It has a simple built-in antenna analyzer, and a capable automatic match.

I bought the rig from Radioddity. I was surprised by the sturdy build of the unit.

The rig is really easy to use. The display is bright, and easy to read despite the size.

Over the past couple of days I've managed 20 QSOs (my first ever from the home QTH, something my ancient IC706 was never quite capable of...). Antenna is a 16m endfed with a 9:1 unun. It's very much a temporary compromise antenna strung off a 2nd floor balcony to a tree across the car park. Despite that, it's been so easy to make QSOs. Best DX so far 6300km.

There are a few quirks. Lack of RIT is one.

I wish the 100kHz step was selectable in the same way as the smaller steps instead of using the multifunction knob.

I wish there was a way to set the FFT scale without tieing up the multifunction knob.

I wish the rig came with a prop stand or legs. But again, it's easy enough to come up with a way of propping the thing up.

I wish the audio for digital modes would route over USB instead of using the accessory socket (and I wish they'd have included a plug...)

But at the end of the day, these are all fairly trivial things, and don't get in the way of making QSOs. Overall, the G90 is sensitive, selective, and doesn't seem to overload even in a band chock full of contest QSOs. Frankly, there are other great portable rigs available that might perform as well as this one, but are nowhere close in terms of feature set. You get a LOT of rig for $499.

On top of this, the manufacturer seems keen to fix bugs, and responsive to feature requests. A CW decoder arrived in the latest firmware release, for example. There is also a Facebook "user group" who are very supportive.

One note, the supplier does seem to run out of the G90 quite quickly, but they provided an estimate of when they would have new stock. They kept me updated and despatched the rig exactly when they said they would. It was delivered by DHL direct from China in about 4 days from them receiving new stock.


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