XIEGU G90,a great little radio

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W9WQA, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    its more than a fun little toy.it really works well. this not a full bore review
    but a mention of my impression after a few weeks.

    first, it is easy to learn the operation,not a lot of deep menus.
    the receive audio is clear/crisp and strong from a small speaker.
    add a slanted card over it and it really talks. transmit audio reports are as good as i get
    with any rig. and even though any rig should do the same,i worked rhode island from indiana on 1 watt ssb!!
    and it was good copy...my 7300 will tune small parts of bands on my 6btv vertical.

    the g90 will tune ex ALL of 80 meters,3.5 to 4.0 ! effeciency? who knows but i can transmitt the whole band.
    this evening i tuned thru 75 meters with stations squeezed together. the g90 sliced the 3khz stations as well as the 7300. in fact side by side i can hear on the g90 anything i can hear on the 7300. and clear no adjacent station qrm.
    band and mode changes are ez and even memory use is straight forward. thats always a bugger for me.
    tuning is ez. that may not sound right but my 7300 is fast and touchy on any speed. too fast at 1khz and a littl messy at .100 khz. the g90 at at all speeds is just right with distinct knob movement befor the digit changes.
    the auto tuner is quiet,fast, and wide range. i dont have details but its wider than the 7300it obviously lacks some frills and display functions but the display is more useful than the 991a that i returned for that reason.

    power,one to twenty watts. it will drive my amp to 300-400 watts, keying line wired to an rca plug ez.
    its heavy for a small rig. must be solid inside. i havnt been in there ,,,yet..

    the receiver idles at 680 ma,NOT the 500 the book says so it will eat batteries faster but its fun on a 6 amp lithium as a portable. im working on some field stuff in the woods.
    the little display is fine, shows more than you think1, everything you need and i dont need my reading glasses
    so im glad i got it, well worth the 450( some say 400), a fun rig and great backup...
    more later, 73
    oh btw, the mic is very good, it IS THE ICOM 7000 MIC...
    KN4EQG and KN4YHP like this.
  2. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got mine about a week ago from the Radioddity pre-Black Friday sale, at a lower price which included the accessory port breakout box (haven't used that yet but it may be useful later on).
    I agree with your impressions regarding the receiver. It's a huge improvement over my 817, which was no slouch itself. The lack of a proper external speaker jack is a minus, but I've addressed that using the same setup I had for the 817- the headset connector feeds a Radio Shack DSP which serves as an outboard speaker amp to a small Hallicrafters speaker (nice little hamfest find a while back). This gives great rx audio to a front-facing speaker.
    No contacts so far but my setup here is less than ideal, indoor loop antenna in an apartment. At least I'm putting out close to the maximum signal possible now, the loop is rated for up to 25W. The SWR scanner really helps with fine-tuning the loop, and the tuner will match it to go out of its band range although I'm not sure how much signal it will actually radiate using the tuner.
    I 3D-printed a spinner handle for the knob which makes tuning a lot easier. I also printed a stand for the panel so I can "remote" it to a closer operating position on the table. Haven't finished setting that up yet.
    I briefly played with rig control using FLRig, it does work but with only a few limited functions using the recommended IC-718 emulation. I don't know if it would be different with any of the other rig control programs, not a big deal for me at this time but it would be interesting to find out.
    While the mic sure looks like an exact Icom clone they are NOT identical- pinout is the same, PTT and audio are compatible but data is not and the buttons don't do anything if you connect it to an Icom (or if you connect an Icom mic to the G90). If you look inside the mic and compare the circuit board to an Icom mic they are different.
    KN4EQG likes this.
  3. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    interesting you use radio shack dsp!! i have 3 and mounted 2 directly on my 450d AND my 7300! that is a great unit. i bought on closeout for 5 or 10 bucks.
    one i modded for high z input for audio tracing or general use.
    so i was fooled on the mic! i never swap mics so id never know...
    i guess they bought the icom closeouts for the case..
    yes the g90 is good for the money and not just a cheap china rasio...
    im impressed..
  4. N2DJS

    N2DJS Ham Member QRZ Page

    What Radio Shack DSP Model are you using?
  5. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    DSP 40, I think it's the only one they sold?
  6. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    great unit if you find one...
  7. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yup, it was a hamfest find. NOS brand new in the box.
  8. N2DJS

    N2DJS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just missed one yesterday on Ebay.
  9. KD2TFM

    KD2TFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    As with all Chinese products, this one is unfortunately hounded by xenophobic claims of low quality and lack of quality assurance. The comments, if that's what I'm forced to call them in lieu of a more accurate term for biased antagonism, seem universally weighted. Newer hams, hams looking for budget radios, and hams who are generally courteous and helpful tend to love the G90. Greybeards with a lot of time, money, and decades in the hobby look at the G90, look at their $10K+ of equipment they've invested in, and crap all over it.

    Even ARRL's review of the radio is mostly favorable. So who am I to trust? A bunch of crusty curmudgeons on the internet, or a reputable source of ham news and information? Tough decision.

    It's a matter of perspective. I own the G90, and I'm a new ham. It's got a lot of features I'd have otherwise paid a premium for, and it fits a niche for portability and low power that I needed. I've seen all manner of claims about "chincy Chinese" production, and other than needing a more robust power cable this thing doesn't meet those descriptions at all.
    K7LZR, VE3RLW and KN4EQG like this.

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