Ultimate Audio and CAT Control Xiegu G90/X5105

Hello Operators.
Today we turn our attention to audio interfaces and CAT control for the Xiegu G90 and X5105.

We are often discussing the “cable mess” on the channel. Wires going every which way, getting tangled, getting lost, or simply just getting in the way. For some reason audio interface and CAT control manufacturers have failed to grasp the concept of “portable communications”. When was the last time you took a look at the size of a Signalink USB compared to the radio it’s being used with? Or the Xiegu CE-19 Tentacle monster, which is supposed to make data and CAT control simpler. Really? It’s all quite ridiculous!

CE-19 compared to XGGComms Digimode-4

Recently I was browsing ebay to see if there were any new or interesting gadgets out. Things to help make working portable easier. In fact there was one item found, which I previously begged another popular audio interface specialist company to produce. They told me “there was no market!”. There is definitely a market in getting rid of the cable mess, and here it is.

The device is a combo Audio Interface and CAT control from XGGComms in the UK. XGGComms is a family owned small business, manufacturing lots of excellent audio interfaces, audio cables, and CAT control interfaces, for a variety of different rigs.

This new interface is called the DigiMode-4. It has CAT control and audio interface built into a very small enclosure. There are two cables going to the radio. One for CAT, the other for DATA. Then a single USB cable going to your computer, or raspberry pi. Here is a short video showing FT8, JS8Call operation with the Digimode-4 on WSJT-X, with the Xiegu X5105 setup with FLRig for CAT control. It all works like a charm!

Here is another short video demonstration with the x5105, using it in winlink session with Vara HF. The Figimode-4 is handling audio, CAT control and PTT, fast enough for a full bandwidth Vara session.

I just wanted to get this device out there while it was stocking stuffer time. We can all use help reducing the wire mess, and small businesses will certainly appreciate the order.

You may notice my Digimode-4 cables are shorter than the ebay version. When ordering, I sent a note asking for a shorter cable length, more compatible with portable work. They very kindly made up this one. It’s working extremely well.

If you see this "The listing has ended, please try back again in a day or two. When we share posts like this, Gear can sell-out pretty quickly. XGGComms assures me the Digimode-4 will be bak in stock.

You can find the Digimode-4 from XGGComms on ebay  This link will also help support this blog without any cost to you. (XGGComms Digimode-4 on ebay http://ebay.us/S7AtYf)
If the listing has ended, just try again in a day or two. These posts sometimes overwhelm manufacturers, but wil be back in stock soon.

Julian oh8stn

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  1. On your advice I ordered a Digimode-4 and am just now getting around to hooking it to my G90S.

    Problem: VFO A is stuck on N/A whereas VFO B allows me to select the Mode.

    In Tune rig appears to switch out of Receive but no tone heard or output seen on an external meter.

    I have fldigi set to close flrig – sometimes it works and sometimes it stalls halfway across the status popup.

    Also, should I need to manually open flrig then fldigi or should fldigi automatically open flrig? (flrig is the default rig control app.)

    I’m using Ham-Pi on a RPI4 with my g90.

    Can you think of an obvious error that I’m making somewhere to cause these symptoms, please?

    Thanks, David KD4E

    • Hi David
      I haven’t tried it with the ham pi. It does work fine with fldigi and f lrig with a standard raspberry pi flavor. definitely open FLRig first.
      Haven’t seen this problem before so if you figure it out, please comment again to help others.
      Julian oh8stn

      • Tried pi-build as well. It loads the fldigi suite. I have it PSK-31 working via flrig and fldigi – except for very low output (1/4-1/2 watt). I tried setting the G90 Aux In and Aux Out levels to max (15) with no impact on transmit power output. WDYT, please?

        • You’ve just given a clue David. Have you increase the output level in the Raspberry Pi settings itself? If you click the speaker icon at the bottom right of the desktop you’ll get to list of inputs and outputs. One of them will be USB codec input and USB codec output. Increase that output setting with the slider. Does input and output settings are directly related to the in and out setting internally on the g90. But the Raspberry Pi has to put out enough audio Level for the g90 to work with. I suspect that’s what’s going on now. Please give it a try.

          • Right clicking on the Speaker icon pops up:
            Audio Outputs
            Audio Inputs
            Device Profiles

            Mouse-over Audio Outputs pops up:
            AV Jack (selected by default)
            HDMI (not selected by default)
            USB Audio Device (greyed-out)

            Mouse-over Audio Inputs pops up:
            USB Audio Device (selected by default – no options)

            Clicking on Device Profiles pops up:
            AV Jack
            Analog Stereo Output
            Digital Stereo output
            USB Audio Device
            Analog Mono Input
            Clicking on Analog Mono Input pops up:
            Analog Mono Input
            Analog Stereo Output
            Analog Stereo Output & Analog Mono Input
            Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output
            Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output & Analog Mono Input
            Digital Surround 5.1 (IEC958/AC3) Output
            Digital Surround 5.1 (IEC958/AC3) Output & Analog Mono Input
            THE WINNER IS … Analog Stereo Output & Analog Mono Input
            And … I have 20W into both the dummy load and my 43′ ZeroFive vertical.
            Hooray! Thanks, David KD4E

  2. I’m using the CE-19 with mine because I thought I might eventually buy the compatible amp as well but I’m leaning toward not needing to do that. Currently I’m having an issue with one specific mode causing my flrig and g90 to lose comm on control interface and the radio stays in transmit when waveform completes. It seems like it must be a specific EMI from that mode interfering. It works simultaneously running quad mode; fldigi running Contestia 4/250, JS8Call, gARIM (ARDOPC) and vARIM (VARA) all listening and intermittently transmitting until I turn on fldigi on FSQ4.5 also (receive is ok, some messages transmit ok). As soon as I enable FSQ sounder it will hang in transmit after the sounding and G90 sits there in TX until powered off and flrig is restarted.

    I have a Linux laptop running PulseAudio for sharing the audio streams and an ICUSBAUDIO2D usb audio card with volume knob, connected to the CE-19, then DIN cable to the back of G90, and the USB FTDI cable provided with radio for control, and the head remoted with provided cable. It is a neat issue to figure out… took awhile to just find which of them was doing it. I already have a pretty good covering of ferrite, beads and rings, in this mess of wires and I don’t think that is going to do it.

    So I will be buying and trying one of these with that specific craziness and see how it goes! I’m convinced for now that the audio cable must be the entry point for the EMI that is effecting the control. We will see. Since this is bought for future portable or mobile, and I will want digital with it, this will be a welcome cable reduction either way even if it does not fix the weirdness of multi mode persistent digital.

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