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Data modes help for the Xiegu G90

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, May 6, 2020.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    K0VMX, MW1CFN, K8XG and 5 others like this.
  2. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very Nice Julian. Since I have 3 signal links already I ordered the Special 8 pin G90 cable from TigerTronics. It is setup to work with the jumper settings for 6-pin radios so my setups for my FT-891,FT818 should work fine.

    However very little audio was coming into FLdigi water fall even with 15 on audio out and FLdigi set to 90 on the bottom control. For the benefit of others I had to use jumper JP2 inside the Signal link to boost the audio and with a setting of 75 in FLdigi the waterfall is getting the same level of signal that was observed on the FT891.

    I also run FLrig for Multi-Mode , FLdigi, JS8, other programs all at the same time with Pulse Audio on the Raspberry Pi.

    I am going to look at that interface you use here, it seems it has lower db ratings for weak signal work.

    What data cable radio did you chose to work with the G90?
    KF6IF, MW1CFN, KC5HWB and 2 others like this.
  3. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the awesome feedback and kindness.
    I had to send an email to ask for the G90 cable for the miniprosc. It wasnt any more expensive, he just had not added it to the website yet. he said several g9 cables had been delivered already. Being quite blind, letting him make that cable was a geeat deal.

    I wish I would have included this in the video, but forgot. I had a JS8Call qso with a station in the Phillipines with the G90, JS8 slow mode, 1700hz filter setting from my home station. That was pretty insane. Honestly would not have thought it possible.
    thanks again and be safe.

    Julian oh8stn
    KC5HWB and K8XG like this.
  4. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very nice video, as always. Definitely a market for more explanatory videos like this.

    Accepting the 'what you think doesn't matter' spirit of things, nevertheless, it would be slightly easier and tidier for in/out volume control from/to the rig to use the alternative version of the ZLP interface that includes manual controls for each of those on its front panel.

    Maybe I missed it, but is the G90 a rig worth considering?

    73 de MW1CFN
    OH8STN likes this.
  5. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do look at that site (and the units with manual volume controls), because it's an outstanding interface line-up. You are right about the low noise circuit. When I put time aside for 24/7 listening on WSPR, I am always in the top 10, and can reach number 1 globally. Also super-reliable interface, worked here for 8 years without a hitch thus far.
    OH8STN likes this.
  6. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's definitely personal preference. From experience incoming signal levels rarely need to be changed on the audio interface once the software is set up correctly. It is the outgoing audio from our own computer into the radio, which needs to be adjusted for zero ALC, depending on our output power, the band we're using,... This can be done right on the slider in wsjt-x, js8call, or fldigi. I also try to keep things as pragmatic as possible for field communications. Avoiding all of the fiddly bits makes things easier to manage.
    It's definitely nice having different options though.
    Julian oh8stn
  7. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I totally agree with this. All interfaces are not made the same. I've promoted these cheap USB sound cards as an alternative for budget-minded operators. However, recently I've discovered my zlp can decode much weaker signals, than my sabrent USB audio dongle. I suspect we normally don't notice this, because we're operating strong stations. Doing some really weak signal DX work with JS8Call slow mode, really puts things in perspective. I wish zlp or even tigertronics would make an ultra small version of their audio interfaces with short cables, for the portable operator.
    Julian oh8stn
    MW1CFN likes this.
  8. WA2LXB

    WA2LXB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is the G90 worth a look? Opinions are here goes:

    I have a buddy who was an early buyer of the G90. Right after he bought it he started reading about it's early teething pains and questionable long-term manufacturer support (early on, not sure if that's improved) and threatened to sell it. He held on to it, and he's warmed up to it and now plans to keep it.

    My opinion only: It has 20W out, which I consider to be the minimum for reliable HF DX for QRP voice and is more than adequate for many digital modes and CW. It's 1KG (2.2 lbs), which is pretty good for what you get. It has a waterfall display and 'should' operate down to 10.5 volts. It has an integral "wide range" autotuner-that's neat, but I'm not sure how wide range it really is. It's receive current draw is 500ma, which is high compared to a KX3 draw of 150ma. It lacks 6 meters, but has AM, FM, SSB, CW and obviously digital modes when paired with an outboard computer. The control interface (head) is also remoteable.

    It's price point is about $450, which is ridiculously reasonable for what's in the box.

    Is it worth it? Depends on what you already own. If you have a KX3 with PX3 and antenna tuner, I'd say don't bother. If you have an 817 you'll have a decision to make. If you don't have a portable HF QRP rig and you want one with 0.5 to 20W out, then I don't think you can go wrong with it. But take a look at as many Eew-tube videos as you can, read blogs to try to suss out rig reliability and the quality of manufacturer support and do your pro-con analysis.

    When I do POTA or SOTA I throw my IC-7300 in a backpack with a 20AH LiFePo and operate SSB. Needless to say I don't travel very far.
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    G3SEA and MW1CFN like this.
  9. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Honestly I'm not a Salesman, and in the
    end, your opinion is the only one which matters. I simply provide as much information as I can about building batteries, using solar panels or operating a new radio. Then the operator can make up his/hers own mind using that information.
    Here's something to think about. There is no such thing as the perfect portable radio, not even that kx2 which only does 150ma, only under very specific conditions . We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of the portable radios we're considering. How much power are you hoping to run!? Can the radio you're considering run that power level without bursting into flames!? Is it light enough to carry!? Does it require an external battery pack!? If it has an internal battery pack, can that be recharged in the field!? So think about what you want from the radio, and then decide if it's the right one for you. My video show the good, bad and ridiculous without judgment. , but please do your research.
    Here are the three videos I've done on this radio so far.

    Xiegu G90 SDR Transceiver:

    Julian oh8stn
    K0VMX, KD2TTM, G3SEA and 1 other person like this.
  10. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, understood Julian. The question I was trying to ask was mostly about the physical and electronic reliability over a fairly long period, I guess.

    For the money, the G90 can, in financial terms, last half as long or less than the usual suspects, and still come out on top. I may well try one.

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