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Reviews For: Elecraft XG2 Three-Frequency Receiver Test Osc.

Category: Tools & Test Equipment for the amateur radio work bench

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Review Summary For : Elecraft XG2 Three-Frequency Receiver Test Osc.
Reviews: 10MSRP: 59
The XG2 is a three-frequency, crystal-controlled signal generator with very
accurate 1 microvolt and 50 microvolt output levels. The 50-microvolt output
can be used for S-meter calibration.

In addition to receiver testing, the XG2 can be used as a reference to calibrate
other lab instruments. Output levels are accurate to better than +/- 2 dB
(typically +/- 1 dB), making the unit an excellent alternative to expensive
lab-grade signal generators.

Nominal crystal frequencies are 3.5795, 7.040 and 14.060 MHz, allowing
determination of the actual sensitivity (MDS) and receive gain of any HF
receiver that covers the 80, 40, or 20-meter bands. The XG2 also provides
reduced output levels at harmonics of these operating frequencies, so it can
be used for receiver alignment and qualitative tests on or near most HF ham

Like Elecraft's other "mini-module" kits, the XG2 is easy to build, as well as
small: the PC board is just 3.5 x 1.5 inches. It includes an on-board 3-Volt
battery (standard coin cell) and a low current power-on LED. The unit typically
draws just 250 microamps, resulting in an estimated battery life of 850
hours. The unit is protected against brief accidental transmit.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N7MG Rating: 2010-09-18
Quality piece of gear Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Not sure if its just cause I got lucky or what but when tested with a simple BNC-BNC male adapter my unit is within .25dB when tested on a recently calibrated Agilent PSA spectrum analyzer. Its a very handy accessory for K3 owners and allows you to do a better job of keeping things in cal.
AD5X Rating: 2007-07-11
Great piece of test equipment Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I picked up an XG2 at Hamcom in June, and have found this to be a great signal generator. I use it with a MFJ-762 step attenuator for an accurate signal source for receiver calibration. I packaged my XG2 into an aluminum case with all controls available externally, which makes it much more rugged and easier to use. Info is in the "Equipment Modification" section of my website at
N6GQ Rating: 2007-03-16
Nice tool! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a super easy, quick build. It's one of those things that's just a fun project for a weekend afternoon. Assembly is Elecraft-quality, manual is good, and it just works.

N4UE Rating: 2007-02-10
You have GOT to get one of these!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
An ad from Elecraft for the XG2 caught my eye a while back and I finally got around to ordering one.

UPS had 'trouble' (??) finding my house but Pam at Elecraft refused to give up.
The kit has an excellent PCB and went together in a snap.
One change I made was to replace the 40 M xtal with a pair of gold plated ultra minature wire sockets. This way, I can put different freq. xtals in the 40 M position.

Using the XG2 connected to my 756PRO makes it a cinch to find the output near the expected range.

I was pleasently surprised to see S-9 EXACTLY on the 50 uvolt output setting. Too cool!
Since I have a bunch of radios, it's going to be fun checking s-meter calibration, as well as MDS.

I only wish that they offered an optional enclosure for it. It's too nice NOT to protect it....


VE3GLA Rating: 2007-01-21
Wonderful test bench accessory! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I build the receiver test oscillator (and the step attenuator kit, too) in a few hours over the weekend. It went together with no problem at all but that was no surprise because I have built other Elecraft kits.
I used it to check out the receivers, both old and new, in my shack. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well my 40+ year old Drake 2B compared to my FT-1000MkV/Field. That old boatanchor is almost as sensitive as my new gear.
All in all, a nice addition to my workshop.
M0MRR Rating: 2006-12-11
Easy Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After playing with an SDR1000 radio for a few weeks, I decided to aquire the Elecraft XG2 test ocsillator which arrived as a kit from the USA about 7 days after I ordered it. The kit was easy to build going together in about an hour. Within a few minutes of hooking up the SDR and the XG2, my SDR signal meter was calibrated. What a neat device!
AK2B Rating: 2006-11-22
Things just got better. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
When I reviewed the XG1 I commented that if Elecraft came out with a generator for each band I would buy them. They didn’t exactly come out with one for each band but they did manage to get three bands on one board with the XG2. That was good enough for me so I bought one figuring I wouldn’t have any problem selling the XG1. I never did, though – I just changed the crystal in the XG1 to 30 meters. Now I have four bands. I can’t image why any ham wouldn’t want one of these. There are just so handy. I build a lot of rigs and find them indispensable for alignment and trouble shooting. Now that Elecraft has a new step attenuator (the AT1), you have the ability to see how sensitive your receiver really is. The best part of these mini-modules is the portability. Well, actually, the best part is the price. You’d pay a good buck, plus, take up a lot of extra room for something equivalent to this test equipment. I have a drawer full of mini-modules but use the XG2, AT1 and DL1 more than anything else.
Building the XG2 is a no-brainer. It is a very simple kit that is suitable for beginners.
Elecraft has excelled well beyond any kit manufacturer past or present. It is the good fortune of the ham radio community to have them around.

Tom, AK2B
AA6E Rating: 2006-05-28
Useful & fun to build Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
A nice little project that gives you the ability to check receiver performance on 80, 40, and 20 M. Easy to build and a nice decoration for the operating table. The unit claims to be able to take up to 10 watts of power for 2 seconds if you mistakenly key your Tx, but I don't think that will save me if/when I do it.
K9YEQ Rating: 2006-04-27
Simple, inexpensive and effective Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Agree with the previous review except the selection feature. I found for the price it does what is promised and the price for these features and controls is exceptional, within the average or above ham budget. We only have so much $'s so thank you Elecraft for offering a product within some amateur's budgets.

I tested my receivers and found some issues which some can be fixed some cannot and the lousy equipment goes out the door. I found it accurate, simple to build and very helpful for the shack.
VA3UXB Rating: 2006-01-30
Does exactly what it's supposed to Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a great little tool for helping to align receivers or test / align S-Meters. Having three crystals gives a lot more flexibility and makes it much easier and faster to do the alignments.

The compact size means it's handy to have around, and can be carried easily in a pocket, to test rigs at flea markets etc.

As a kit, it was super-easy to build. The documentation and assembly steps were up to Elecraft's usual high standards. It's a one-hour project, if that.

The only complaint I could make is regarding the three-position rotary switch. The shaft is a bit tough to turn, and hard to grip. A small knob is, in my opinion, almost a requirement. Otherwise I was using pliers to turn the switch, which probably is a risk for damage to the switch or plastic shaft. Once I'd found and added a knob, the project felt complete.

For anyone who builds / repairs / works on radios, but can't afford a big expensive signal generator, I'd say the XG2 is a must-have. Relatively inexpensive, but can be invaluable in the shack or on the bench.