On one of my activations I meet a hiker and photographer. He was very interested in amateur radio in nature and now actually wants to get the license.
He wants to spend as little money as possible. I suggested the Xiego G106 as a starter kit without knowing the device. But there are many clips on the internet.
I have the Xiegu G106 and the G90.
The first (pre) release models had some emmission quality faults but later ones were fixed.
It’s important to realise the G106 is deliberately a SIMPLE radio, without features - I call it my HF-Handy-talkie.
What it doesn’t have:
protection circuit for bad VSWR (rather it has an over-specced output stage).
What it has
5-10 watts output depending upon band (officially “at least” 5w)
Sensitive SDR with mini-spectrum scope on higher visibly LCD monochrome screen
Digital data modes support (when using with a computer)
As a second radio, for example for when travelling, where space and weight are critical it’s fine but for €90 or so, more, the Xiegu G90 is a far better-equipped radio. I would rather suggest the G90 to a newcomer than the G106. That extra power (20w) from the G90 along with its speech compression will make those first contacts easier to make.
73 Ed DD5LP.
UPDATE after posting - I had not realised that the price of the G106 has been reduced (it was around €330 originally)- it is now quite a bit cheaper than the G90 (which has also come down a little in price I think).
At this reduced price, I can see how it becomes an attractive price to “try” HF with, but for someone totally new to amateur radio (unless you are going to show him step by step), I would still say the G90 is a better option for a first time HF operator.
There’s also the FX-4L that will be in production once Yu, BG2FX, has worked out all the bugs in the new FX-4CR. It was listed as of a while ago at $385 USD. Not a bad price for a 5W QRP rig with built in sound card for the digi modes. I have the orig FX-4C and it’s been a pretty good rig so far…Have him look at bg2fx.com for more info…
I have to say that I am happy that I started out with a Xiegu G90. The ATU makes it so much easier to adapt to less.than-optimal circumstances. The spectrum display is better than that of the G106.
For the price difference (and I know that for a beginner this is quite an in investment - when you don’t yet know whether you’re really going to enjoy it), you’ll get much more radio with the G90.
Also, if he doesn’t like it, I think the re-sell value will be higher.
But, maybe by the time, he’ll have his licence, Yaesu will have a successor to the 817/818 or the price on an IC-705 will have dropped significantly …
Tnx for the detailed information. My friend has now the plan to buy a FT-818ND in summer after the license exam.
I fell in love with the g106 with its simple concept. There is a clip on Youtube that shows the internal structure, not bad. A small tuner with SWR display and a compressor built into the microphone - like the one available for the Yaesu MH-31 - would not be a problem.
If I didn’t already have the MCHF and FT-817 and my KX2 isn’t that damn good I might be weak.
good luck to your friend getting the FT-818ND. It’s a good choice even at over three times the price of the G106. He’ll need to be quick and buy one of the last ones out there but it’ll give him 2m and 70cm as well as HF.
I presume he’s not going to wait for the DN class to be introduced and will be going to a DO call straight away. With the DN call no HF privileges are included just 2m and 70cm.
I have added a DF4ZS mini-PEP RF-clipper speech processor externally to the G106 and it has given me the improvement I expected. The Box-73 unit would be another option but in my tests, I found that less effective. The stock microphone with the G106 is too small to build either compressor board into.
I didn’t know the clipper. I have had very good experiences with the ELV Microphon preamp including the microphone capsule. It makes sense to boost the higher frequencies using a capacitor on the input.