Xiegu X6200: Second POTA activation with rough propagation, but CW saves the day!

On Tuesday, June 11, 2024, I took my production run Xiegu X6200 (on loan from Radioddity) to the Blue Ridge Parkway for its first POTA activation. The activation was a success, with good band conditions on 40 and 30 meters. You can read that field report by clicking here.

Later that day, I had a second opportunity to use the X6200. My daughters were kayaking near Lake Powhatan in Pisgah National Forest, so Hazel (my activational support animal–!) and I went for a quick POTA activation.

Pisgah National Forest (US-4510)

I usually set up near the lake at Lake Powhatan, where there are picnic tables and shade. However, mobile phone reception is poor there. Since I planned to operate in single-sideband mode, I needed a way to self-spot or have a friend spot me, thus a little mobile phone reception (else, use my Garmin In-Reach).

I decided to set up at a picnic area at the top of the hill near the main parking area for the lake/beach. I’ve never seen anyone use this site before, likely because it’s not close to the lake.

The site is surrounded by trees, making it a great spot to deploy a wire antenna.

Setting up

I used my PackTenna 9:1 UNUN random wire antenna, which was already in my pack from the morning activation. It’s a good choice for the higher bands (20 and 17M) I planned to use.

I set up the PackTenna so it wouldn’t interfere with anyone walking through the site. Hazel found a sunny spot to relax.


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On The Air

I began by attaching the X6200 microphone and spotting myself on the SSB portion of the 20M band. I called CQ POTA for quite a while with no response.

Once again, propagation conditions were poor.

I moved up to 17 meters and tried calling CQ POTA in SSB again, but still…no response.

I then switched to CW on 17 meters and started calling CQ POTA.

Within eight minutes, I worked four stations, though none were very strong.

I then QSY’d to the 20-meter band and called CQ POTA in CW. I logged 16 contacts in 23 minutes.

I ended the activation when a fellow named Bob stopped by to ask about what I was doing. He was genuinely curious, and I prioritize these opportunities to introduce people to field portable amateur radio, so I called QRT. I left some of my conversation with Bob in the activation video below.

In total, I logged 20 contacts, all in CW. I believe operating in CW made a significant difference due to the noisy bands and unstable propagation.

That said, I plan to try SSB again with the X6200 soon!


Here’s what this ≈5 watt activation looked like when plotted out on a QSO Map:


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.

More X6200 time

I understand Xiegu may have a new firmware update ready very soon. I plan to upgrade my radio when it’s available and hope the keyer timing has been improved.Power output: Also, Steve and I both have noted that the X6200 isn’t pushing out full rated output power. When I have an external power meter connected to the X6200 and carry one comms in CW at 20 WPM, I’m only getting about 50-70% of the full output power on average. If this is an ALC issue–I hope it is–it can be fixed in a firmware update.

Hazel jumped on the picnic table in order to watch Bob work on his laptop.

So far, the internal battery seems to provide a decent amount of operating time after a full charge. Charging takes a long time, so I usually start charging 24 hours before going into the field. It’s not a rapid charge, but the supplied power brick or a good power supply get the job done eventually.

It’s still early days with the X6200, so I’m hesitant to recommend it over the X6100 until the firmware is fully developed.

I’m curious: I no longer own an X6100, but I’ve heard many owners are concerned Xiegu will no longer update it now that the X6200 is available. What would you like to see updated, fixed, or upgraded via firmware for the X6100? Please comment, and I’ll compile a list to share with Xiegu.

Thank you

Thank you for joining me during this activation!
I hope you enjoyed the 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! Have an amazing week!

Cheers & 72,
Thomas (K4SWL)

4 thoughts on “Xiegu X6200: Second POTA activation with rough propagation, but CW saves the day!”

  1. As a well seasoned Pota QRP activator. I will tell you activating mid day your on your own. I have done it before and you better bring a lunch. SSB is from 7-10 am and 5 through well past dark. In those time slots I have killed it on 1 watt SSB. Even 1/10 of a watts will work. Mid day in the summer is a true struggle. CW is your life raft. Just a note I tried to get you on SSB during this activation. You were not reaching me. But I see we made the QSO on CW.
    73 My friend

  2. Watching with interest. Noted that 6100 owners are worried that they may now be at the end of their firmware upgrade cycle. As a 5105 owner I can say….welcome to our world !

  3. I’m concerned whether the 6200 will be supported and for how long?
    Also has Sherwood done a look at this radio and where is it on the list?

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