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Author Topic: SDR's and contesting..what are some good radio's to investigate?  (Read 1608 times)
AA9G
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Posts: 111




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« on: December 27, 2017, 08:47:38 PM »

hi, just looking for leads on SDRs that make good contesters, especially as SO2R configuration.
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Ex KC9EEV.
K3TN
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Posts: 582


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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 02:35:26 AM »

If you are looking at the high end (performance and $$$) K9CT has done very cool stuff with the Flex 6700. His is for both Multi-2 and single op, with a good description here.

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
KC0W
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Posts: 338




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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 12:56:15 PM »

If you are a true enthusiast here ya go:

 Flex 6700..............................$7,500
 Maestro Controller................$1,200
 4O3A Power Genius amp......$7,000
                                               $15,700

 I stayed at the home of Ranko (4O3A) last year for 3 weeks. Ranko is the designer of the Power Genius amplifier among many other amateur radio goodies. His team was putting the final touches on the Power Genius amplifier which is undoubtedly the best SO2R amplifier available. Not that the SO2R amplifier market has a lot of competition. Part of the amplifiers testing process was sending dueling SO2R CQ's at 1,700 watts for 24+ hours straight. No, you could not cook an egg on the amp's cabinet after 24+ hours in fact it was pretty much cool to the touch.

 I have never used a Maestro controller apart from the shack of 4O3A. Super, super slick unit though. You can use it to remotely control your Flex from across the room or across the world. I'm NOT a proponent of remote operating but I guess I could make an exception for using a Maestro in a different room of your house.  Smiley  

 For the budget conscious operating SO2R via SDR could be done inexpensively. There are several inexpensive SDR radios out there right now. The only drawback would be the inability of linking the radios together. A great way of getting ones feet wet in SO2R via SDR might be a pair if these: https://www.hobbypcb.com/rs-hfiq  

 For $239 each you get a 5 watt output SDR radio. Most amateurs are pretty creative so setting up a SDR station for SO2R could be done for under $500 I think. By using a vertical antenna on one radio & a Yagi/dipole antenna on another radio there's no need for bandpass filters thus saving you some more money.  

 Personally I have zero interest in SDR but I gotta admit it will probably be the wave of the future. If/when the Chinese start pumping out SDR transceivers prices will drop like a rock. Admittedly the newest crop of 5 watt SDR radios won't let you keep up with the guys running QRO. One might be surprised though how many watts out your can get driving an HF amplifier with a paltry 5 watts though. I believe on my KPA500 it was around 120 watts or so.


                                                                 Tom KC0W                                      

 

  
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VA3VF
Member

Posts: 1088




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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 03:31:59 PM »

If/when the Chinese start pumping out SDR transceivers prices will drop like a rock.

I'm surprised it has not happened yet. Market size, and cost, may have limited Chinese interest in HF superhets, but SDRs may finally bring them in.
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WO2X
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 07:18:14 AM »

Flex 6600M and Flex Power Genius XL amp.

The 6600M has the display and control right on the font (same layout as a Maestro (no, it is NOT a Maestro glued on the front).
The 6600M has better contest band bandpass filters than the 6700 (7th order filters).

Very easy to set up for SO2R.

The amp easily does legal limit with plenty of headroom to keep heat dissipation in check. For the serious contesters you can set the fans from normal mode to either contest mode or broadcast mode. So cooling is not an issue.

Since amp is connected to radio via Ethernet network cable for band data and PTT the amp can be remotely located.

I have the 6600/PG XL/maestro combo here. I wanted the Maestro for remote operating from the deck or family room.

Dave wo2x
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