Xiegu X6100/6200, the real FT-817 successor? (Part 2)

Continuing the discussion from Xiegu X6100/6200, the real FT-817 successor? (Part 1) - #101 by G3CWI.

Previous discussions:

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Continuing the discussion from Xiegu X6100/6200, the real FT-817 successor? (Part 1):

It’s a fundamental architecture change too. All the popular recent QRP rigs such as the Xeigu are SDR’s usually running open source foundations like Linux. More software, less hardware.

As a Xeigu user, the 6100 is a great radio. I love it, for the money it’s lots of bang for your buck.

Very interested to try the 6200 to see if the extra $$$ is worth it. I don’t believe it will be heavier than the 6100 unless you get more battery and going down to 8w is stupidity - even if just for Xeigu’s marketing, it will probally make sod all difference the field.

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Hi Tim,
As the X6200 has a plastic case rather than a metal one - even with the battery, it is lighter than the 6100. An advantage, as well as less weight, of going to a plastic case, is that the WiFi and Bluetooth (whose antennas are inside the radio) should work better. I believe that as previously the case formed part of the heatsink, one reason for reduced power is heat dissipation.

We’ll know more as the early purchasers get their radios from mid-June and report back via social media as to their findings. I would be surprised if the 6200 is a much better radio than the 6100, it’s more an upgrade than a new radio as far as I can see.

73 Ed.

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Is this stops RF ingress on unchoked, unbalanced antennas into the Mic via (I assume) the casing then it’s a big upgrade :joy:

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Plastic is well known in engineering circles for its unique RF shielding properties. :wink:

@DD5LP Ed you’ll know this and it will save me Googling and getting sidetracked and going down a rabbit hole of internet curiosities… Is there a decent review of the RF performance of the Xiegu radios? Something you can use to compare RF performance with the KX2, 705, Lab 599 etc? And not some talking head on Youtube reading out the marketing material! To me there’s a few things you choose between… RF performance, UI usability, physical aspects (weight, shape, waterproof etc.) , long term support/parts. If a radio has 2/3rd the RF performance of its nearest competitor but is only 1/2 the price it rises up the selection ladder etc.

I’ve had my KX2 a year this month and my wallet is still crying after having to pay so much. That’s despite the fact I’ve sold 2x 817, 1x 706, 1x 817 CW filter for more than the KX2 cost as I bought a 705 as well : :money_with_wings:

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Of course you can also give the KX2, KX3, LAB599 and QMX a plastic look :slightly_smiling_face: :wink:

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I saw the link to that website on groups.io too. The designs and colours were so totally lacking in style and taste that the images burnt my eyes!

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Hmm, Yes good point Tim, - I was thinking in the other direction as my understanding is that the 6100 has limited WiFi and BT range, but you make a good point regarding RF Ingres. Not a problem with a resonant dipole but I know that when using an EFHW or even an EF-random wire Common mode currents can be a problem.

Andy - for receiver tests (and I had heard there were going to be some transmitter tables in the future) - one well-known reliable source is Sherwood Electronics: Receiver Test Data
However, it looks like the X6100 (let alone the X6200) has not been reviewed/tested as yet, only the G90.

I would expect the Elecraft radios to be higher up the table than Xiegu given the price difference.
In fact, if the X6200 came out above the KX3, I think a lot of KX3 owners would be rather upset (and I’d say it’s unlikely to happen).

Price is not factored into the Sherwood table as far as I know.

73 Ed.

UPDATE:

In case someone is on the verge of ordering an X6200 - I just got this email from Radioddity (7th June 24):

Xiegu X6200 HF Transceiver | Full Mode Full Band | RF Direct Sampling | Replaceable Battery | Built-in ATU | SDR Structure | WFM AIR RX

They also have some package deals on the X6100.

I wonder if we’ll see an X6200 “in the flesh” at Passion Radio, at HAM RADIO Friedrichshafen?

UPDATE: - it seems Passion Radio will not be at FN this year - they’re not listed in the traders list.
Flex looks like they will miss again as well but Yaesu, Kenwood, ICOM and Elecraft will all be there.

73 Ed.

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Tests in the video below indicate that the X-6200 has the same computer board in it as the X-6100 had, meaning that the various “hacks” to run programs such as WSJTx (on Tx as well) inside the radio without an external computer will likely still work - and that’s good news. Whether running digital modes or logging contacts or following spotting clusters, the days or integrated computing within the radio instead of needing an external computer are with us.

73 Ed.

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Are there any tests of the RF performance published? We have 2 videos, one from the UK importer saying it’s a good radio (because d’uh he sells them and isn’t going to say don’t buy this) and one from another guy who looks like he’s just had a snort from the speed he talks. Only the last one says “it’s not a great radio”. I get the advantage of having the radio run Linux and that I can put my own software on the radio so no tablets,laptops needed etc. What is missing is how well the RF stuff works. If it’s 33% price of a KX2 but has 60% of KX2 performance then that makes it worth considering and the price look even better.

Maybe I’m weird in wanting to know how well the radio bit works in a new radio?

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No, you’re not wierd - at least in that sense! :wink: It is commonsense to trust hard figures over opinions. Another aspect that is often neglected is long-term stability. A radio that is going to be humped about in a rucksack and used in rough country will have a hard life. The FT-817/818 has proved itself up to the job, any partial replacement needs to be as good.

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At the moment, it seems that those who do in-depth measurements on receivers and transmitters have not yet got an X6200 and they should test the production model ideally, so I think we’ll have to wait a while.
There was one (non-scientific) comment in one of the videos comparing the X6100 with the X6200 that the receiver “seems” better.
One change between the two radios is that the X6200 radio has an “advanced RF Direct Sampling System” whatever that is supposed to mean - given that the 6100 was also an SDR, did it not have this?

I guess its really a case of “wait and see” when the radio is released for sale. I had hoped Passion radio (the French agent for Xiegu) would have one at FN but they’re not coming this year.
73 Ed.

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The X6100 is described as

direct down-conversion and sampling architecture

so this is down converting a block of frequencies to baseband and then digitising these. I see it has a spectrum display bandwidth of 96kHz so that suggests it is running the ADC at around 200kSps.

The X6200 uses

advanced RF Direct Sampling System

so that is digitising the whole RF spectrum. So for coverage up to 30MHz you have to run the ADC at 60Msps.

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Thank you Richard for the straightforward and clear explanation of both approaches. Much appreciated.

So this could make a difference to the receiver - it’ll be good to see what those with the needed test equipment can tell us, whether this switch in approach makes the 6200 a better radio (selectivity & sensitivity) than the 6100.

73 Ed.

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I should have added the caveat that that is my interpretation of what Xiegu say. Since marketing have been involved it could all be BS!

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Here’s the first review, I have found comparing the production model of the X6200 against the Prototype model:

73 Ed.

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But digitizing 30 MHz all in one go means:

  • that the strongest signal within 1.8-30 MHz determines the dynamic range
  • the ADC will be much more expensive than one with less BW
  • the display shows only about max 500 kHz, so you’re throwing away almost all data
  • the initial (1st stage) computing burden is quite high, as you have to get rid of >29.5 MHz of samples

I’d very much like to see how the X6200 behaves when confronted with strong signals, both in-band and out-of-band. My G90 (which I like very much) doesn’t fare very well in this respect, I fear (at HamRadio 2022 the whole world was activating Höchsten DM/BW-854 and I had to cut my activation short, because I could hear all activators at once …).

Equally interesting to see would be schematic or at least photos of the boards.

I think Xiegu are breathing fresh air into this shack-in-a-box-for-the-field, but their attention to detail and care of existing products can still be improved.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

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Hi Martin,
I don’t know about everyone else but my understanding of the term “shack in a box” refers to a multimode transceiver that covers MF, HF, VHF and UHF. Even though Martin Lynch in his promotional video refers to the X6200 as a “Shack in a box” I believe that is incorrect and that the term does not apply to the X6200 as the only VHF band it covers is 6m, and has no 4m, 2m or 70cm coverage.
As regards Höchsten, I did not experience the problem you mentioned when I was there with my G90 during HR FN 2022, but maybe I was there at a less busy time. I have heard that the antenna can act as a sort of filter to stop some overloading from out-of-band signals but you were dealing with in-band overload.
Now the production version of the X6200 has become available (at least in the US) it will be interesting to see what results on all receiver parameters are measured by those with the professional testing equipment.
73 Ed.

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No.

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