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Author Topic: Flex 5000a - Can Not Take it Anymore  (Read 107576 times)
KF7GFL
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #165 on: May 13, 2011, 09:52:13 AM »

Except for Microsoft is in the process of buying Skype and if anyone can figure out a way to screw up a good thing, it will be Microsoft.

Matt - KF7GFL
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G8WRB
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« Reply #166 on: May 18, 2011, 06:25:19 AM »

This morning I put my 1 yr old Flex 5000 up for sale on eham and qth.com. The reasons are many.

<snip>

FM mode is not functional and no repeater splits/tones for 10 mtr FM fun.
Stan K9IUQ


I know a couple of people who have given up with the Flexradio - there does seem to be more hype than performance with Flexradio. 

I have some ideas why FM might not be too good on SDR unless a very fast sample rate is used on the ADC. To measure frequency you need to measure the rate of change of phase. The "rate of change" of something is affected strongly by noise, as noise has a rapid rate of change.

It's noticeable that the top-end ICOM and Yaesu rigs use an FM discriminator chip for FM demodulation and not the DSP, despite the DSP is used for SSB, CW and AM.

It seems to me there may be hardware issues here, which are best overcome in hardware and not software.

Check on the newsgroup comp.dsp for a recent post by me on this topic, and some replies by some who know a lot about digital signal processing.

Dave G8WRB
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K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #167 on: May 18, 2011, 05:31:40 PM »

Well, those who "have given up with Flexradio" certainly aren't selling them in the eham classifieds.

Just looked and I found only three Flex-related ads in the past month, 2 WTB and one estate sale Flex for sale. 
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N9RO
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« Reply #168 on: May 18, 2011, 09:04:54 PM »

Quote
Well, those who "have given up with Flexradio" certainly aren't selling them in the eham classifieds.

I tried selling a 3000 and I found the resale value far less than current model knob radios, I sold a FT-950 to purchase the 3000 and had hams knocking down the door for the FT-950 and I lost very little money on it.  It appears to me the Flex resale values have declined a bit recently as hams begin to see some of the many problems the company appears to have.  Some (not all) of the WTB ads I believe are bottom feeders looking to low ball a very frustrated Flex owner.
73,
Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
K0OD
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« Reply #169 on: May 19, 2011, 02:48:25 AM »

I see more ICOM 7600s for sale than all Flex models together. A 5000 was offered on the Flex reflector recently-- it was loaded and the price was good-- and several potential buyers asked about it.

You'd think there would be 1500s, which is something of a toy, but you don't. IF 3000 prices are weak, the advent of the cheapie 1500 might explain that. 

When I bought my 5000 I fully expected a weak resale value. After all, software, which generally has little resale value, is much of a Flex's cost. OTOH, Flex hardware has proven trouble free. I occasionally see blown SWR bridge circuitry (a cheap repair) mentioned on the Flex reflectors, but that's about it. 
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K0OD
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« Reply #170 on: May 19, 2011, 07:36:43 AM »

Quote
The Icom is a popular mainstream radio and probably sells 10 times the radios that Flex does.

I've worked and heard more Flexes on the air recently than 7600's and I'm looking for both. My decision to buy 20 months ago was between the 7600 and the 5000.

Eham has 65 reviews for the 7600 (average 4.7), 72 for the Flex-5000 (4.8 average). The Flex-3000 has 49 reviews (average 4.6). The < year old 1500 has 35 (4.2 average). SDR-1000 has 52 (average 4.9 Huh).

The 5000 came out in 2007, the IC7600 in early 2009. BTW, the K3 has 139 reviews (4.9 average) since it debuted in '07. The strength of the 7600 would be outside the U.S.     
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G8WRB
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« Reply #171 on: May 20, 2011, 08:39:46 AM »

Well, those who "have given up with Flexradio" certainly aren't selling them in the eham classifieds.

Just looked and I found only three Flex-related ads in the past month, 2 WTB and one estate sale Flex for sale. 

I know of three people that have them. One is happy, the other is unhappy but has not sold it and the third is unhappy and sold it. I think all thought they were great at first, but the novelty wore off.

A friend of mine in playing with an SDR now, but remarked to me that he uses the volume control on his speaker, not on the software.

It's clear the SDR approach can provide impressive filters and implement lots of interesting things in software, but using a mouse to operate a radio is not really very user-friendly to me. No more than it would be to navigate a car with a mouse and change gears with the mouse. Of course, a modern car has many computers in it (engine management systems , breaking system etc), but these are mainly hidden from the user. The interface of a car has not changed much for a very long time and I doubt it will for a long time to come. 

I have spent a lot of my time developing computer software, so I'm not anti-software. But I'm not convinced a mouse/keyboard/touchpad is the optimal interface for a communications transceiver.

Anyway, I won't be buying a Flex radio myself.

BTW, do you work for Flexradio? Do you have any comments about what I said about the fact the DSP based commercial rigs don't do the FM demodulation in the DSP, and my reasons for postulating why that might be?

Dave.
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K0OD
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« Reply #172 on: May 20, 2011, 09:01:55 AM »

New Flex knob controller looks very nice, if costly. It is one of several new interfaces that have come out.  

http://cart.flexradio.com/KNB-FlexControl-USB-Controled-Tuning-Knob_p_833.html

My experience, and I actually own a Flex,  is a good free wheeling type mouse works well... except when making broad frequency excursions, and in some contesting situations.  I MAY order one of the FlexControls.
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K0OD
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« Reply #173 on: May 20, 2011, 05:39:48 PM »

Quote
Right about CW, don't use it much anymore...it is fixed now though

The CW sidetone still needs work especially on 6 meters where the problem is obvious to the ears and on the Flex scope. It's better on some bands than others. Transmitted CW is fine. A top Flex exec told me the problem is to be addressed after the official release, which means now. Many of the other items on that list were corrected.

I'm thinking that CW quality got pushed way up the to-do list today!
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WB6RQN
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« Reply #174 on: May 23, 2011, 03:49:47 PM »

Myself personally, I do not own a 5K anymore so I don't care either............

But you still talk about it incessantly.

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL
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KA4KOE
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« Reply #175 on: May 23, 2011, 07:14:57 PM »

Mine is getting better! With the latest update, CW is actually usable.

Philip
KA4KOE
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K0OD
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« Reply #176 on: May 24, 2011, 07:01:15 AM »

Mine is getting better! With the latest update, CW is actually usable.

Philip
KA4KOE

I agree but... How is it on 6-meters? 

I'm not talking about the transmitted code which is fine. How does the sidetone sound to you in your headphones or speaker while sending? I hear (and see on the scope) thumpy sounds after every tap of the key.

I've been talking about CW quality on six for months and no one comments. Just use whatever antenna is attached to the radio; a few dits won't damage anything. Or use a dummy load. Heck, this month you can make nationwide contracts on six with just about any antenna.

I cite six only because the problem is most annoying there. But it exists on other bands to varying degree.
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WA2ELZ
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« Reply #177 on: March 26, 2012, 11:21:22 PM »


To me the most important things are basic receiver and transmitter function. After all, things like NR and ANF won't help you if you can't hear the station in the first place. In that respect I find the outstanding filtering to be much more useful and important than NR or ANF. And I like that I can separate a really weak signal from a strong one right next door, like only 100 Hz away. I don't know of any other receiver that can do that.


If you think about about it, you can do everything on a KWM1 that you can do on a K3 or an Orion, but none of them can run CW-Skimmer ... except the Flex.
73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL


Yes there is, the QS1R! It runs the CW-skimmer. It also provides razor sharp brick wall filtering. Best of all it works on shortwave and ham bands with superior specifications. http://qs1r.wikispaces.com/QS1R+FAQ . No roofing filter needed and no RF band pass filtering needed; except to filter under sampled spectrum. With the internal filter the receiving range is about  10Hz to 60 MHz and using the under sampling mode, 60 MHz to about 500 MHz. Two separate Fourier displays are provided. One for the current sampling rate and one wide band spectrum display continuous from about 10Hz to 60 MHz, with point and click tuning. Until now there is no transmit capability.
However, the QS1R will soon talk. There a exciter board being built with power output adjustable from -60 dBm to +3 dBm. Amplification will provide any power level. I only need 10 watts to drive my linear amp to full power.
I would love to have had the FlexRadio. I've been following the FlexRadio story since the "software defined radio for the masses" article was published. However the need for band pass filters to reduce the QSD second harmonic image, required not only ham band but also shortwave band pass filters. Space is at a premium and as far as I know only ham band filters are implemented in the FlexRadio. I did a complete spice simulation of the QSD demodulator and decided to abandon the QSD approach.
The QS1R has a 16 bit A/D 125 msps connected at the front end, just after a 0 to 60 MHz LPF. Its output is fed to the down converter. Down conversion is performed in the ASIC chip to reduce the data rate and passed to the PC via the USB 2 bus for further decoding and other magical stuff. Eventually I believe all radio elements will be digital. Digital mixers, digital oscillators, digital filters and with superior precision performance. It is stunning to tune a garbled mess to full clarity using digital filtering. This is not feasible with analog parts.
Also it works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Users have successfully compiled the code for all Os's with QT.
I share your enthusiasm for digital radio, it is the future!
 




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NI0Z
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« Reply #178 on: March 29, 2012, 06:47:41 AM »

I always am miffed with these posts and radio wars.  When I bought my 5000A I had researched it high and low and knew what it was and what it wasn't.  All dealers I have seen thus far sport some hype, I mean come on, it's called marketing.  I called and asked Flex about all the short comings that I had researches and they answered truthfully on all of them.  I bought the radio without false expectations and as a result I have had more fun with it than I could have ever imagined.

What I see is people not doing their research and buying these radios and getting mad that it didn't meat their expectations.  It would be like me buying a ICOM 7800 and expecting it to work like an SDR, just not going to work like that, but in itself a very fine rig.

Yes, there are always a few horror stories, but I think many times its a matter of people not getting a refund or something like that and getting upset about feeling burned because they didn't get what they expected.  People need to be more accountable for their actions.  Flex gives a 30 day period to evaluate the purchase.  There comes a point one just has to move on and enjoy the hobby rather than worrying about revenge.

I just ordered a new radio and I am going into that purchase with little info as its a brand new product.  I don't have too high of expectations for it and if it ends up not being what I want then I will BR accountable for selling it and taking the loss.  This was how it was with my Yaesu 897D, I was hasty and so it was on me to take a loss on it.  Great radio, but just not what I wanted.  That's not Yaesu,s fault, it's mine for not researching it enough.  Same goes for Flex buyers.  I had read countless posts of how Flex didn't live up to their promises and what those promises we're and decided still to buy it and have never looked back since.

73's
NI0Z
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #179 on: March 29, 2012, 09:40:41 AM »

It would be like me buying a ICOM 7800 and expecting it to work like an SDR, just not going to work like that, but in itself a very fine rig.

The ICOM 7800 is just as much a SDR as the Elecraft KX3 that you just ordered is.  They both use DSP IFs. 

Gene
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