After my experience with G900/Ailunce HS2, you would have thought I had learned my lesson, but no. I go and buy a Xiegu X1600, at first nice piece of kit, straight out of the box, great. It worked a treat on my Delta loop and EFHW for 20 meter, good audio reports etc. I used it around three or four times on TX, last Saturday, then turned it off went downstairs to make a coffee, and when I came back, it would not turn on! Well to be true, it did turn on, the screen flashed, the logo came up, the cursor flashed about ten times and then nothing, “the lights are on but no one is home”. It is the same on the internal battery or external PSU. So, it is going back to the well known main dealer, do I want another? I don’t think so. I must have been mad to have sold my IC 705. So it looks like I will be buying another IC 705 for my portable exploits. I think when it comes to Chinese kit, it is buyer beware. Len G8LXI
I can’t comment on any Chinese radios other than Baofeng, but I wouldn’t expect miracles from any of them.
I have two Baofengs, both are deaf in presence of transmission towers, I had massive problems with chargers just blowing up etc. My trip to Black Hill was a nail in the coffin when I couldn’t hear anyone at all on both, luckily Yaesu saved the day. Right now I’d rather not buy anything at all if I can’t afford proper gear.
Buy cheap, buy many more times than necessary .
Right now I’m using FT-70D and instead of buying Baofengs I got few spare batteries. At least I can be confident my gear won’t let me down.
When’s a bargain not a bargain, when is a copy at vastly reduced cost the quality just not there.
Just reflash the firmware. It takes 2 minutes. My experience with Xiegu has been excellent, first with the G90 and then with the X6100. In 152 activations i haven’t had a single issue.
My first radio for activating was a Baofeng UV5R. Yes it has its issues but it cost £17! It is a great way of getting into the hobby. I now use a Yeasu which hasn’t been without its issues. On some summits the front end gets swamped (cured with a bandpass filter).
I think the issue for some people is expectations, you can buy almost three X6100s for the cost of a Icom 705 and in additon the X6100 has a good ATU.
You pays your money and take a chance
I don’t want to be rude or disrespectful, but luckily it was just a rig and not a car…
It is good of you to test these products on behalf of the SOTA family Len… !
If the IC-705 is too expensive now, ML&S are doing the FT-818 for just £575 at the moment (Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal I think). Mine has been great and Nic & I have activated almost every summit together with it using the standard 6w; currently we are almost at the 500-activator points mark using this rig, so it does work well on HF when combined with a simple linked dipole.
If you want a little more power than 6w, you could combine the FT-818 with an MX-P50M amplifier for about £100, so all in that’s still approx half the cost of a new IC-705…
‘So, it is going back to the well-known main dealer’
I bought mine from Sinotel, and haven’t had any problems with it so far
This has happened to me once before, as @2E0BIA Martin says, just re-flash the FW! My Xiego X6100 has done well over 100 SOTA activations in all types of wx all over the UK and some in EU. I have only ever had one slight mis-haps. Switching it off and on fixed this! Remember, you pay £550 for the X6100 with a built in tuner and internal mic. The 705 is in a different price category being £1200 with no tuner - big difference. If you have to re-flash your X6100 FW once to get it back on track but save yourself £600+ on not having to buy a 705, I know what I’d be doing! The audio reports I received were all very good and it does have a good receive - It’s not a bad radio at all!
73, GW4BML. Ben
“S**t happens” - but I have to say after many SOTA activations my Xiegu G90 bought via radioddity has been a bargain, for the price, the features are great and it has been very reliable. The one problem I got early on - was a mechanical switch problem and Radioddity replaced the complete radio without question.
I’m glad to hear that you bought the X6100 via a dealer (if I remember correctly you bought the Ailunce direct from an AliExpress dealer - I personally don’t have confidence in that platform (other people’s experiences may vary)).
At probably about half the price of the IC705, the X6100 - is not going to be as good however as others have said, it sounds like the radio has gone into firmware update mode - something that the dealer can fix quickly. The X6100 is the only radio that (as far as I know) runs Linux under the hood and there are a lot of implementations of data modes being developed by the open source groups, that let you run data modes such as FT8 or WSPR etc. without needing to have a laptop/mini-PC in addition to the radio. In short many people who buy an X6100 are those with computer hacking skills and would fix the problem you have in a heartbeat however if bought through a dealer there’s no reason that it can’t be a good radio for everyone.
I hope the replacement radio from your dealer, if you do decide to accept it, gives you no further problems. Don’t turn the radio off (or on) with the CAT cable plugged in and this problem shouldn’t happen again. Of course a later firmware update could fix the issue as well, this being (as is the IC705) an SDR radio.
Good luck with whichever make/model you end up with for portable operations Len.
73 Ed DD5LP.
Take a look-see at what BG2FX has been putting out. Some solid well built rigs. Think he was the one behind the LNR rigs a few years back. I have the FX4C, which is now discontinued and replaced with the FX4CR, as well as the FX-4L. bg2fx.com for more info. For the CHICOM rigs, have a look at what KM9R has been putting out on youtube. Lots of good info on the X6100, and he’s now in the process of tearing into the FX4C radio. Great stuff! Temporarily Offline Ham Radio - YouTube
73, Todd KH2TJ
I can second DD5LP’s vote for the G90. Mine has also reliably performed in all its SOTA activations. I almost only do SSB, though, but this is due to the hassle of carrying a laptop / tablet to the summit and all the accessory cables.
If you stick to the advice of not having a CAT cable plugged into the G90 (also X6100?) while booting, you’ll avoid having your radio going to FW update right on a summit. (I hear that with newer FW? HW? versions you need to press the volume? button if you want to do a FW update – all the support questions and my ranting on groups.io seem to have had an effect).
@ KH2TJ: The FX4C and and its younger brother FX4CR look interesting, but instead of >15W I’d prefer having a tuner. On many summits my EFHW is out of tune (ground effects? too much into the trees? - I don’t know yet), on most it is working ok.
I have done now two activations with a (tr)uSDX only (and only light gear - two ropes and EFHW, no mast) and while I may not get as far as with the G90, I hear the usual suspects quite clearly. All this with only about 3-5W, so under the conditions of rising sun activity, you don’t need much power.
73 de Martin / HB9GVW
I can say I’m grateful for Ed @DD5LP’s blog review on the G90 for kindling my interest in the Xiegu G90, which I’ve used on my 1/2-dozen or so activations this year. From the start, I was impressed with this little radio, and received good reports on the audio: I only use the rig for SSB. I did have a tiny problem installing the latest firmware, but after re-installing, things are working fine again.
I can only say that, for the price (a rig like the IC 705 is out of the range of my collection of pennies) and for the max 20W output and the simply brilliant onboard tuner, I’m very happy with the radio. Being a member of the G90 groups.io group, I am aware of the problems a few others have had with their G90’s, but the group often comes up with decent solutions to those problems. As ever, YMMV…
To be honest I don’t use or want to use my G90 for data, I have my FT-818 for that
I’ve had my G90 over 2 years now. Great rig for the money. It goes places where I wouldn’t risk my kx2. It came with 1.6 firmware which I haven’t updated as it works fine as it is.