I havent got a fantastic radio budget, but would love something compact and portable for “hill top” use, been looking at one of these for ages, but not sure weather or not to take the plunge!
Just wondering what other peoples thoughts are, and what accessories would be useful to get the best out of them? obviously a tuner/suitable antenna (im thinking of cutting several EFHWs, so tuner not needed) any ideas??
They are marginal performers, much like the truSDX, but worse. Lots of internally generated noise. Add to that inconsistent quality, particularly for the Chinese clones. At least the truSDX is more consistent, but while I own three of them and genuinely appreciate the novelty, they are not radios I like to use very much.
I own this model and the tiny 40/20/15 m unit and they are both worse than the three truSDX units I have. I had to completely rebuild the filters on two of the bands for the tiny unit because they weren’t built correctly.
If you want a project and don’t expect much for performance, they’re fun to play with. But don’t expect a good rig.
I‘ve used my (tr)uSDX since March 2023 for a couple of SOTA and POTA activations mostly with a resonant EFHW on 20 and 40 m in cw. It is a good and nicely priced radio in my opinion. I wouldn’t compare it to my KX2 though and never tried to use it in SSB.
fairly easy to build
software under active development
low current consumption
audio ok with headphones
swr and pwr display
relatively high noise floor on receive makes it difficult to copy weak signal stations
nearby signals come through the cw filtering (don’t use it on contest weekends)
speaker much too weak and tends to howl
keyer sometimes susceptible to rfi sending stray code (mostly with non-resonant antennas)
Bought mine as a kit from the official vendor on AliExpress and received it within two weeks.
I have both the Xiegu G90 and the Xiegu G106 - they are at different ends of the spectrum as far as features go and originally when the G106 came out, it was only about $70 cheaper than the G90.
Now with price reductions and package deals with the digital Interface DE19 it starts to be closer to the (IMHO) correct price point.
That being said the USDX is still a lot cheaper with all of its features.
The G106 is designed to be a basic, simple to use “Knock-a-bout” radio in a good solid case. The radio itself has no “bells and whistles”, as the G90 for example has.
If you are looking for a radio you can buy through a dealer who will give support if there are problems, I think the G106 fits that category better than the USDX. If you are happy to support the radio yourself or through social media lists, then the USDX will most likely give you “more bang for your buck”.
Please note I don’t own an USDX, I am only going by what I have read.
Interesting responses. I’ve used both the (tr)uSDX and the uSDX+. Although it’s a bit of a spoiler, I’ll take my uSDX+ over a (tr)uSDX. It’s not perfect by any means, but here are my thoughts based on my experiences of using them for SOTA and general portable usage.
Poor form factor and weak SMA connection.
Required power connector that appeared to be a weak point as far as strength of connection goes.
Poor CW filtering.
No internal battery.
Enclosure did not feel as robust as uSDX+.
And #1 pet hate… the screen is truly appalling. You cannot see a thing in outside light and for this alone, I would not buy one. It was a very frustrating being stuck at the top of an Alpine mountain on a recent SOTA activation, and not knowing what frequency I was on. Truly awful screen,
Plus point… internal microphone did a great job.
CW filtering is pretty good, certainly a lot better than the (tr)uSDX.
Internal battery lasts for hours.
Rugged case (I’ve dropped mine on the floor, it’s been drenched with sea water ona recent /P expedition) - works just fine.
Excellent screen, easy to see.
Covers all HF bands.
To be fair, my unit hasn’t been without problems… the rear microphone connector was poorly soldered and the mic stopped working. I reflowed the solder joints and it’s been fine. The internal speaker has stopped working but that’s not an issue (for me) as I always use headphones (although the speaker/mic works as it should when h/phones are not attached).
Overall, for me, the uSDX+ wins easily. I’ve had a 10m SSB contact to Brazil using it, plus contacts to the US, Asiatic Russia, etc. It performs well and has never let me down out in the field. It’s not perfect, but for what it is, I am a very happy customer. I couldn’t say the same with the (tr)uSDX and I was glad to hand it back to its owner!
I use the uSDX “red corners” on CW. It has some quirks but the full hf band coverage, good power output, strong battery, swr/pwr meter and virtual indestructibility of the IRF510 PA are very favorable. Yes the rx front end is wide but attenuators can help, and in my case a magloop antenna is a high-Q bandpass filter that has let me operate under field Day conditions.
@G7BEH About year and half ago, I tested one of the models od uSDX and found that it doesn’t meet criteria for suppression of harmonics. I looked inside to see if I can remedy the problem and if was all covered in white stuff. I gave up and sold the unit.
(tr)uSDX meets harmonics suppression criteria.
I might be unlucky, but I read number of posts of people who had harmonics issue with uSDX.
…and it’s definitely not covered in white stuff inside!
The (tr)uSDX may meet harmonics suppression criteria, but for me, I found it unusable for all the reasons I listed previously. The uSDX+ is in no way perfect and has some annoying traits, but for portable operation, I’ve found it reliable, usable, lightweight and small.
Well, i finally made a decision and went COMPLETELY leftfield! and got myself a Xeigu G106! currently perfecting an EFHW for it, so i can use it tunerless and not have extra bulk! made a couple of contacts on it, on 40M form outside the house while tweaking the EFHW, needs a bit more tweaking that I aim to get onto this weekend (IF its dry) them, the countdown will be on to a 1st HF summit activation!
Thanks for tall the advice guys, but some excellent youtube videos swung it for me… a little more money yes… but a massively better radio!