The New Xiegu X6200: First POTA activation in CW with a production unit!

If you’re following the new Xiegu X6200 closely, you might recall that I took a prototype version of the radio out two weeks ago for a POTA activation. Propagation was so challenging–as in, a complete radio blackout in North America due to an X-Class flare–it took about 90 minutes of calling CQ POTA to snag the ten needed for a valid park activation.

I had planned to post the activation video on YouTube, but learned shortly after the activation that this particular unit was a proper prototype instead of an early production run radio. This is a detail I misunderstood prior to the unit shipping.

I only shared the 2+ hour video to Patreon supporters, but not on my YouTube channel for this reason.


This past weekend, I received a second Xiegu X6200: this time, a production run unit!

Again, this unit was supplied to me on loan by Xiegu via their distributor, Radioddity who (in the spirit of full disclosure) is also a sponsor and affiliate.

[Note: Also check out Steve’s channel if interested in the X6200. He’s been testing power output, OS accessibility, and other aspects on the bench.]

POTA Time!

Two days ago–Tuesday, June 11, 2024–I took the new X6200 out for a POTA activation on the Blue Ridge Parkway (US-3378).

I had a couple of hours that morning to fit in the activation, including a round trip from the QTH. The best site for a quick activation was the Folk Art Center picnic area.

Thanks to the early hour, there was no competition for picnic tables.

I decided to pair my PackTenna 9:1 End-Fed Random Wire with the X6200. This provided a chance to test the ATU with a readily matchable antenna (in the future, I’ll make it sweat a bit more by using a transformerless random wire antenna).

This production run X6200 has the same firmware (version 1.0) as the prototype, but the hardware has received noticeable updates. I spotted two changes–one cosmetic and one that had a positive impact on performance–almost immediately.

In the activation video below, you’ll see that I spent a few minutes doing an overview of the X6200.

One of the first things I did was set up the X6200 for CW Message memory operation. I demonstrated (after a bit of head-scratching) how to input the CW message using the X6200’s built-in on-screen keyboard. (If the CW Message Memories confuse you, check out the short primer in my previous post).


Note: All Amazon, CW Morse, ABR, Chelegance, eBay, and Radioddity links are affiliate links that support at no cost to you.

On The Air

The last time I hopped on the air with the X6200, it was proper work making any contacts. It was a struggle and it wasn’t the X6200’s fault. It was our local star!

I decided to start on 40 meters since it was still mid-morning. After calling “QRL?” and hearing no reply, I pressed the second CW message memory button where I loaded “CQ POTA DE K4SWL” and the radio started transmitting.

After only a few calls, I started receiving replies–woo hoo!

I ended up working my first ten contacts in nine minutes. Excellent!

I then logged seven more stations for a total of 17, then QSY’d to the 30 meter band.

Turns out, 30 meters was also pretty healthy.

I worked a total of ten more stations. Success!

This brought my total to 27 contacts in 39 minutes (noting that eight minutes of that was me chatting with the camera between band changes).

Overall, excellent results!

I had hoped to have enough time to give SSB a go, but I simply didn’t. Still, CW was the mode I was most interested in testing.


Here’s what this five-watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map:

Here’s a close-up since these contacts were clustered together:

Activation Video

Here’s my real-time, real-life video of the entire activation.  As with all of my videos, I don’t edit out any parts of the on-air activation time. In addition, I have monetization turned off on YouTube, although that doesn’t stop them from inserting ads before and after my videos.

Note that Patreon supporters can watch and even download this video 100% ad-free through Vimeo on my Patreon page:

Click here to view on YouTube.

First Impressions

The X6200 definitely held its own during this activation.

While I didn’t have pileups, per se, there were times when there were competing stations on frequency.

The internal speaker’s audio quality isn’t exactly exceptional (I think it’s a bit weak) but then again few QRP field radios have exceptional speaker audio fidelity–the Icom IC-705, Yaesu FT-818, and Penntek TR-45 being three notable exceptions.

As I expected, the ATU easily handled the PackTenna 9:1 UNUN EFRW. Of course, the 9:1 is easy to match even with mediocre ATUs.

This Tufteln random wire antenna has no transformer, thus will be a great test for the Xerox 6200’s ATU.

Soon, I will test the ATU with more challenging wire antennas, but I suspect it’ll match them. Xiegu is known for having exceptional, wide matching-range ATUs.

As noted, there is still a bit of a keyer timing issue, but Xiegu is working on that and, as I say in the video, I know they’ll sort that out since they did on their previous radio models.

Also, only minutes prior to publishing this report, I heard that Xiegu will make it possible to change the default filter widths of the three filter options in the next firmware update. Good news indeed.

The X6200 battery also seemed to hold up well for the full activation. If I recall correctly, it still had roughly ⅔ of the battery capacity (7.9V) at the end of the activation.

I plan to take this loaner X6200 on various field excursions over the next few of weeks or until Radioddity asks for it to be returned. I’ll do my best to handle it with care, but I fully intend to put it through its paces with some POTA and even SOTA activations in CW, SSB, and possibly (if you can believe it) in FT8. I’d really love to see how it handles SOTA DX pileups.

As I mention in the video, I’ll give a full, detailed review of the X6200 likely in an upcoming issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine.

Xiegu tends to roll out a lot of updates early in the product life cycle, so I expect numerous firmware updates ahead. I’ll always mention in the field report what firmware version I’m running.

Thank you…

Thank you for joining me during this POTA activation with the X6200!

I hope you enjoyed this field report and my activation video as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Of course, I’d also like to send a special thanks to those of you who have been supporting the site and channel through Patreon, and the Coffee Fund. While not a requirement, as my content will always be free, I really appreciate the support.

As I mentioned before, the Patreon platform connected to Vimeo makes it possible for me to share videos that are not only 100% ad-free but also downloadable for offline viewing. The Vimeo account also serves as a third backup for my video files.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me!
Cheers & 72,
Thomas (K4SWL)

12 thoughts on “The New Xiegu X6200: First POTA activation in CW with a production unit!”

  1. Interesting radio, one that I have my eye on. Listened to you on 40 meters could only hear enough to know someone was there, so no dice. Then when you moved to 30 meters and you had a decent signal. Glad to have made into the log.

    73 WN1E

  2. Thanks for the activation. I am still up in the air about picking the X6100 or the X6200. Do both have sound cards built in? What would I miss if I went with the X6100?
    Ordering the ABR industries 25’ RG316 cable it has 5 in line ferrites. Any reason you went with 3?
    Using your affiliated links is a plus. Thanks

    1. Hi, Tom,

      No real reason I have three ferrites–five is FB!
      It would be too early for me to decide which I’d prefer X6100 v X6200. I believe they both have built-in sound cards.
      Thanks for using the affiliate link!

  3. I only wish it was 20 watt like the g90, or even 15 such as my KX3. The extra sure helps in SSB. Nice looking rig. As always, FB OM, and thanks for the activation!
    72 DE KN6UIZ

    1. Yeah–I’ve always felt like 10W is a good QRP level for SSB, but 20W will certainly help!
      I doubt they’d ever exceed 10-15W with one of the portable field radios like the X6200 because it would make it much heavier and bulkier.

  4. Sounds like fun! It has been several years since I got on HF for any kind of POTA or SOTA, but I miss it.
    Now that I’m no longer volunteering, I might be able to take time from writing to get outside and do it again.
    I still have a few antennas that I haven’t yet tested! At the time I built them, I thought I would be using them very soon. I have multi-band and a few random wire antennas that need to be put through their paces! So it’ll be nice to finally try them out. I hope to ragchew with all of you soon.

  5. I think I saw a “SPACE” virtual key on the screen you passed on the way to entering the 4 in your call sign. At 22:35 in the video is the virtual key above the virtual “BACKSPACE” key labeled “SPACE”?

    1. Yes, you’re correct, Mark.
      In the end, though, it’s actually less accessible than the Space key you find when you simply close the keyboard (as I do in the video). Just like the other Space button, it requires 3 button pushes: Number Button => Space => Letter Buttons. In addition, though, you have to use the encoder to scroll through the numbers to get to the Space button and then select it. I’ve encouraged Xiegu to put a space on the letter keys as they did (if I’m not mistaken) on the X6100.

      1. Oh! I didn’t realize it is not a touchscreen. Doing that navigation with the encoder would be really slow, so I agree your way is better for now and hopefully they can squeeze it onto the main page in a firmware update.

        I really enjoyed the video and your format. Even the trash collection at the end. And it made me want an EFRW.

  6. The Number ONE characteristic I want to know about a QRP rig is the current consumption in low-volume receive mode.

    For multi-day backpack operations high receive current consumption will rule out use of MOST available QRP rigs. Values between models can vary by a factor of four or more.

    Mike / KK5F

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