Xiegu X6200 First Activation: What do you want to know?

Yesterday, I popped by the post office and picked up a parcel containing a prototype of the Xiegu X6200 (thank you for the loaner, Radioddity).

In truth, it arrived on Friday via DHL, but the post office was closed over Memorial Day weekend, and frankly, I would have been too busy to take a deep dive with it.

I’ve got the battery charged and plan to hit the field with the X6200 today—perhaps a local POTA activation.

As I explore the X6200, I’m curious if you have any questions you’d like me to answer in the process. I don’t know anything about delivery times or any of the retail-side stuff, but I could possibly answer your questions about the radio itself.

Labeled “Prototype”

Keep in mind that the unit I received is labeled as a prototype. I assume this is a pre-production model, thus with early firmware and likely a bit rough around the edges. We’ll find out in due time. Likely by the time the X6200 starts shipping to those who pre-ordered it, some issues will have been sorted out in firmware updates (assuming there are issues).

Today, I plan to test the X6200 in CW and possibly SSB. I’ll probably run CW from the internal battery, which will yield four watts output. For SSB, I’ll try hooking it up to an external battery for eight watts of total output power.

Solar conditions will likely be rough, but I look forward to hearing what the audio is like and how the receiver performs. Also curious if the keyer will have good timing/spacing.

X6200 Questions?

Leave me a comment if you’d like me to check out something on the X6200. If I fit in a POTA activation, it will likely be near noon today (EDT). I may not be able to address all questions, but I’ll do the best I can.

36 thoughts on “Xiegu X6200 First Activation: What do you want to know?”

  1. Greetings, Please let us know about the heating for the unit during use. I had the 6100 and with either CW or FT8 modes that transceiver case would heat or get warmer than I thought it should.

    I would also like your opinion on the internal ATU. I found the 6100 model tuner worked very well with my end-fed antenna.

    73, Jeff K9JP

  2. I am thankful that K4SWL is in a position and of an inclination to evaluate all these radios coming in from around the world so I don’t have to 🙂

    Seriously Thomas, you provide a valuable service to the amateur radio community.

    1. Are we getting value for the money?
      Can you add extra bands to the radio as they become available?
      Can you add an external monitor to the radio?

  3. Good morning, Tom
    Looking forward to seeing your youtube activation. I have a X6100 and really struggle to enjoy using it. I would like to know the “Fun” factor of the new X6200 radio. With the X6100 it seems it always need attention. Re-load the firmware, sometimes slow to boot up with out using external power, Birdies on some frequencies. Just not “FUN” sometimes…LOL . Probably it’s me as the operator but other radios I own are really just plug and play…so to speak.
    All the very best from Nova Scotia – VE1JAX

  4. Interested to hear about current draw, realistic battery life, and effectiveness of the tuner on random wires.

  5. The retail price of the radio was a surprise. The 6200 is 46% more expensive than the 6100, and 79% higher than the G90, both of which, despite some flaws and quirks, are really good performers. Taking into account today’s inflation across most cost sectors, is the price tag of the 6200 justified? Does its performance and value over previous models justify the cost?

  6. Hi Thomas – I’d like to know if (like the X6100) a “CW Modem” selection has to be invoked in order to enable CW memories. In the X6100, the enabling of this menu item disabled several receiver parameters often needed when operating CW. Your comments (and upcoming videos) of QSK operation would also be appreciated. Thanks much and 73!

    John AE5X

  7. More and more digital activity on the bands so please comment on it’s abilities with WSJT-X if possible. Thanks

  8. I’d like to know if the display is readable in outdoor daylight. In particular can you easily see the CW speed settings and various other settings one might change in the course of a QSO? In the x6100 the settings were small and were often difficult to see to make changes.
    Thanks ,

    Pete WK8S

  9. What’s the audio quality like?
    Any observations on the rig’s ssb operating characteristics would be appreciated.

  10. Frontend receiver desensitisation due strong out of band signals, harsh receiver noise, rf microphone feedback, battery charging issues, random birdies on the waterfall, were all issues my friends came across.

    Are we looking at a polished product or are people going to purchasing another beta product?

  11. Birdies, bc stations bleeding through etc was noted on my friends x6100. Are they still exist here too?? Hope you will upload a video clip soon after you check everything.

    Thanks 73


  12. Hello Thomas

    I would like to know whether the X6200 can produce its own WiFi network in order to make connection to a tablet

    Thanks very much
    Best regards


  13. There are many talented engineers in the PRC. Unfortunately, none of them work in the Ham Radio business. Xiegu also has a bad habit of using their first product releases as a test bed. I have purchased several of their product and either returned or sold them quickly. The 6100/6200 series is a copy of the KX3 by committee. I guess that there is a minuscule percentage of China’s population with ham radio licenses, because their gov’t controls both external and internal communication. Soooo, there is no internal market. I apologize for bringing politics into ham radio, but customers are entitled to understand their purchases. I have spoken with quite a few Russian hams and they are all bright and multilingual and obviously KGB which makes it more fun because we both know the game. China is making too much $$$ in other areas especially using Amazon as their distribution arm…who can resist that!?!?

  14. Hi Thomas. I would like to know how the speaker sounds. The 6100’s is really awful. I don’t like to wear headphones when I activate, but have to if I am using the 6100 outdoors. The speaker enclosure for the 6200 sure looks like the speaker may have been upgraded, but only hearing can tell. Thanks. de K2PMD.

  15. Thomas, great reviews. Follow up to AE5X, how easy are the cw memories to use. I had a 6100 but sold it because I didn’t like the CW performance. Anxious to hear your impressions.

  16. Hi Thomas,

    Just from your personal point of view, does it actually feel like a better radio. Are the ergonomics the same, how does the tuner knob feel, does it spin freely and feel like a quality product etc.

    Is there anything about the radio which helps justify its new price ?

    Does it decode CW better than the X6100 ?

    How accurate do you find the SWR Scanner.

    Does the tuner work as well as the X6100 and/or G90 ?

    Can iut be used and does it charge the battery at the same time when plugged into an external source. The X6100 forces you to switch of the battery charging otherwise no output…


  17. Just curious if I should cancel my KX2 that is backordered for another ~6 weeks++. Fun aside, I can’t say thank you enough for the way you post information and uncut videos. Kudos! I’ll be watching the first activation.
    73 KK7GJM

  18. Other people have asked the immediate questions I’m curious about already, particularly the tuner performance.

    Beyond that, I’m curious what Xiegu plans to do with the two expansion ports on the device, and if the possibility of eventually adding additional frequency range exists. I know many people would be excited to see SSB on 2m and 70cm. I’d be excited about being able to work L band satellites with it.

  19. Given how difficult the X6100 was to read the s reen in sunlight, is the X6200 any better?

  20. What’s inside the expansion port? Are there any documentation entries in the manual provided? Anything in the menus that indicate its capability? This could be a decent transverter opportunity, if it’s ever supported.

    Is the tuner any good? It’s specified at a fairly narrow range (pointed out in the QRZ thread on this rig).

    For SWL and general receive quality, are there as many (internal) birdies as the X6100?

    Of course, we’ll have to wait for the hackers to pull the firmware and explore the external boot capabilities down the line. Many opportunities await on that potential route, but not on the first pass evaluation!

  21. Thomas,

    First of all thank you for all the work you put into your reviews I’ve always found them helpful. I would echo the comments about if the bc interference is still an issue and if there is enough of a performance increase over the 6100 to justify the cost increase.

    In addition though, I’m curious about how well the receiver holds up in more RF dense environments. A friend and I activated as a team. Him running his G90 and I on my 6100 and even at QRP levels we found we couldn’t work even on different bands without overloading each other’s receiver.

    I was very pleased overall with my 6100 except for that issue as I do a lot of camping and hiking and the pairing of a 6100 with an EFHW made for an excellent field package IMO.

    I appreciate any thoughts you have after testing.

    73 de KD8VHS

  22. Thinking about this as a POTA rig for CW activations, I would want to know how well the receiver does at handling a pile-up… filtering capabilities, audio quality, sensitivity, overloading, etc.

    General usability issues as well…. for example, is it easy to quickly control keyer speed or is that buried in a menu?

    Basically, all the things that you mention in your typically awesome reviews!

  23. I am waiting on Icom to release an IC-706 so can buy the 705 at lower price :). Xiegu using an actual Linux OS for this type of device is an actual downside imho. Too much interference from other components in the X6100. I will not be surprised if this one has the same bugs.

  24. I bought a Icom 705 a few months ago after reading/viewing a lot of reviews. When I got the radio my most aspects were exactly as I had expected: audio, rx quality, usability, bk-in noise, size.

    One thing that has completely surprised me however is how much the WiFi connectivity and especially Marcus/DL8RE’s SDR-Control app adds to the radio. Without cables, just my phone, I can quickly add a few ft8 contacts in a park, hunt other activators by tapping their spots, it’s awesome. At home I have the radio constantly on, even though the Yaesu next to it is a better ‘radio’, since I can check spotted activations or dx now wherever I am.

    I guess I’m trying to say is some attention to the connectivity, or the ‘software’ aspects of the radio could be helpful.

  25. My 2nd comment (sorry). Why on earth don’t these guys just make a much better designed piece of hardware and load their “you’re just a guinea pig” firmware (needed to comply with FCC import regs) and ship it BUT open source the platform. They could do what they do best [cheap production] and then the tiny amateur SDR code contingent could make it super. The Pi Compute Module [not the SBC], as now used by Anan, would make a great core to work around. Next? DUAL RX!! They could sell >>10x product and create a very interesting community/framework and even expand the number of hams writing SDR code. The Hermes has taken far, far too long to get to where it is and ALL of the other tx/rx SDRs are massively overpriced. Everything should’ve plummeted in price with SDR. Instead it’s tripled in price. There’s a big hole waiting to be filled and it could come from CN or from QRPLabs [hint!].

  26. Hi Tom! Glad to bump into you at Hamvention.

    I’m curious if the new rig uses relays for cw switching or pin diodes. Does it support full QSK?

    Matt K9EI

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