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Author Topic: To SDR or not! That is the question!  (Read 19529 times)
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1626




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« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2013, 02:02:17 PM »

I personally have not experienced any problems with either of  my Flex radios and have enjoyed each of them.
Makes no sense.
I guess I'm just lucky.

 Shocked
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NI0Z
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Posts: 560


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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2013, 06:14:33 PM »

Indeed Stan! 

And I am amused by the reasoning demonstrated by a few recent posters to this forum.  For instance those who have had issues with Flex radios must be malcontents who don't know what they are doing.  But if the same posters can't get their Q1SR working, then those who are not having similar difficulties must be dishonest. 

And there are those who suggest we not pay attention to those "negative" hams who point out facts.  I enjoy this forum because I am challenged and learn a lot from those "negative" individuals.  I sincerely hope they are not deterred by the "don't confuse me with facts" crowd.  eHAM and this forum would be poorer if that were to occur.  I've seen that happen on the Amplifiers forum.  A very knowledgable ham rarely posts anymore, which is a loss.
I could care less who pays attention to who, no matter what their opinion is. I just object to being shouted down and insulted because I have the nerve to state the true fact that I personally have not experienced any problems with either of  my Flex radios and have enjoyed each of them. I guess I'm just lucky.  There are a couple of posters here who I have on ignore and now  see their calls in this thread who cannot stand for anyone to relate a positive experience. I don't doubt their experience was bad, we've heard about it over and over from them but to this day I can't understand why it infuriates them and others like them for me to say I enjoy my radio. Makes no sense.
Michael, W4HIJ


You have to understand the underlining issues here to understand the behavior.  I am going to simplify this as best as I can.  Before hand I will say I am neither a flex fan or hater and am an active owner user.

Here is the summarized version.

Ham buys Flex Radio and does so full of excitement and expectations, plunks down good money!
Ham starts to use the radio and the illusion slowly crumbles.
Ham contacts Flex and Flex says they are working issues.  Support seems friendly and genuine.
Ham waits
Flex says its coming!
Reasonable time passes, no solutions yet.
Ham is past 30 day return and becomes dissatisfied
Ham reports issues to other Flex users and Flex tells them to stop
Flex bans them from reflectors for rocking the boat
Ham sells radio at loss
Ham vows that he will never let another ham say anything good about Flex Radios
Ham makes it their mission to do all they can to discredit Flex

Other hams buy radios after flex systems fix the issues and like their radios
Other hams don't have issues disillusioned users had

Original owners continue to slam radios and new owners get offended.

It's not personal, so don't take it that way.  They are on a mission with nothing to loose!

Remember, it's not personal!  It's the fanatic fans and the fanatic haters that are the problem.  Both groups misinform other hams.
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




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« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2013, 05:18:54 AM »

Remember, it's not personal! 

Well you got that part right. For whatever reason Flex lovers take their radios entirely too seriously. I have never been able to understand it. Unfortunately Flex Lovers do take it personally.

Personally, I think hating and dis-respecting each other has become a national pastime. Republicans hate Democrats and vice versa. We forget we are all Americans.

We see this same kind of hate in our hamradio pursuits..... Remember, it's not personal!  Wink
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NI0Z
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« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2013, 08:28:36 AM »

Remember, it's not personal! 

Well you got that part right. For whatever reason Flex lovers take their radios entirely too seriously. I have never been able to understand it. Unfortunately Flex Lovers do take it personally.

Personally, I think hating and dis-respecting each other has become a national pastime. Republicans hate Democrats and vice versa. We forget we are all Americans.

We see this same kind of hate in our hamradio pursuits..... Remember, it's not personal!  Wink


People have to remember that companies are ultimately responsible for their reputation and how their product users feel about their products.  The problem here is that the complaints have merit.  Flex has to own that.

Meanwhile I have my 5000 up and running on Windows 8.  CommCat just seems to not like the way I want to use it anymore so I moved to HRD Log.  I will take the blame for CommCat not working since I know others and previously myself had it working and liked it a lot.  I had the same issues before I moved to Windows 8 where it just runs super slow.

Windows 8 appears to be vastly more stable on the beast of a computer I use.  I did see the infamous PowerSDR freeze once and had to adjust the core allocations for the software I am running.  HRD Log seems to use more resources than CommCat.  Possibly Windows 8 itself as well.

As far as Flex's current design structure goes, the major beef is the real HP it requires to run it smoothly.  Might have to build BigBertha 2 later this year.  Thinking that will be my last desktop computer/server I may ever buy.  PC's are turning into boat anchors in today's evolving world.  I might just wait for the next version of the QSR1 and go that route as well.  I like Studio 1 a lot and would ultimately like a good SDR that would just use it.  Still playing with the KX3 and that software as well.  I have to redo everything now under Win8, its a project unto itself.

If I could use a QSR1 off the back of the Flex5000 for receive and use the Flex for transmit, I would be okay with it.

Decisions decisions! Smiley
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W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #49 on: January 04, 2013, 12:43:47 PM »

I don't see getting rid of my desktop PC anytime soon. The tablets are nice, we got my son a Google Nexus 7 for Christmas and it's cool and all but I enjoy the flexibility that building my own desktop PC's give me. It's not like you can put together your own tablet or laptop. I'm sure I'll own a tablet at some point but not at the expense of my desktop PC.
Michael, W4HIJ
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NI0Z
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« Reply #50 on: January 04, 2013, 12:53:05 PM »

I always get a bad reaction to the dying PC remark, just don't see them being around much longer. Give it 4-5 years and that mark will be shrinking rapidly. 

Today I do most stuff from my iPad, surf, print, write, create, ect.  Of course, there is software I still like on Windows and use occasional but even there, that stuff will all be runnable on a tablet soon.

I respect anyone who wants to disagree.  Mine is but one of many opinions!
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W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2013, 01:02:04 PM »

I don't necessarily disagree. I think the big manufacturers of pre packaged systems will phase them out but I think the parts for building them will still be available from the NewEgg's and TigerDirect's of the world. It already takes me two monitors to run Power SDR and my digital and logging programs all at once and personally I abhor having to click one window over the top of another and I think I would even with a touchscreen. I want all my info right in front of me at once and I just don't see how you do that with a tablet or a laptop.
Michael, W4HIJ
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1626




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« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2013, 01:52:56 PM »

It already takes me two monitors to run Power SDR and my digital and logging programs all at once and personally I abhor having to click one window over the top of another

There is a price to be paid for running PSDR on a computer and part of that price is the necessity of 2 monitors. I foresee the future having a  tablet built-in to the front of the radio. This is where the future of SDR lies. No fuss, no muss and all in one - almost like a knobbed radio, but much more versatile. For those that don't like that , consider the Tablet via Bluetooth to the SDR. Sit back reclined in the Lazyboy and operate.  Wink

20 years from now we will look back and laugh at all the hurdles we had to jump thru just to run SDR's with a separate PC.

The new car I bought recently has Bluetooth builtin to the car radio. When I get into the car my cellphone (which is always attached to me somewhere) automatically connects via Bluetooth to the radio. When someone calls me on the cellphone the call goes thru the radio. I just talk, never touching the cellphone in any way. Heck the thing even has voice recognition. I say call home and it does.

Can anyone besides me see some hamradio uses for voice control? My Asus Tablet has voice recognition builtin and it works excellent. It even has a language translator with about 16 different languages. I foresee working DX in languages other than English.  Cheesy 

The line between a laptop and tablet are blurring. I was in BB recently and they had a tablet on a table running Windows 8. I played around with it for a while. I own a Asus TF-700 Infinity (Android) and am very comfortable using a tablet. I noticed that the Tablet I was demoing had a much larger screen (at least 13") than my ASUS tablet which has a 10" plus screen. After further inspection I found what I thought was a tablet was in reality a Laptop. The keyboard had been folded back on the screen and the whole thing was so compact and narrow that the laptop was doing an excellent job of being a tablet. It sure fooled me.

Pc's are on the way out, even Microsoft is starting to bailout of the PC market, hello Tablets and Win 8.
Since some companys like Flexradio still cling to the PC, I fear the SDR revolution via Tablet control will not be much fun for them.

Stan K9IUQ

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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




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« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2013, 02:04:56 PM »

I always get a bad reaction to the dying PC remark, just don't see them being around much longer. Give it 4-5 years and that mark will be shrinking rapidly.  

Bingo! Nail meet hammerhead.   Grin

Thanks to the rapid acceptance of Tablets, the PC is going to be dying very soon. A company like Flexradio that relies on PC's needs to rethink their business plan right now or they will soon become just a bad memory.

The Future in hamradio is NOT a $7K SDR that has to rely on a PC to operate.

Stan K9IUQ
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #54 on: January 04, 2013, 04:01:01 PM »

I always get a bad reaction to the dying PC remark, just don't see them being around much longer. Give it 4-5 years and that mark will be shrinking rapidly.  

Bingo! Nail meet hammerhead.   Grin

Thanks to the rapid acceptance of Tablets, the PC is going to be dying very soon. A company like Flexradio that relies on PC's needs to rethink their business plan right now or they will soon become just a bad memory.

The Future in hamradio is NOT a $7K SDR that has to rely on a PC to operate.

Stan K9IUQ

Do you think the software for those tablets are written on a tablet?  Nope.   They are written on a desktop PC.  Any serious work to be done is done on a desktop PC.  Desktop PCs will be around for quite some time.  It is only those who don't do real work (like browsing the web or getting their email) are saying the desktop PC is dead soon.  Just try to do 3D modeling, mechanical/electrical/architectural drawings, or schematics on a tablet - you will get nowhere fast.  Try developing any software application, whether for a tablet, smart phone, or PC on a tablet - not possible.  Try running ANY of the scientific software on a tablet - NO GO! Try programming a SCADA system or PLC system that runs assembly/production lines in manufacturing on a tablet - nada.

Gene
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 04:03:40 PM by KE5JPP » Logged
WD5GWY
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #55 on: January 04, 2013, 04:10:53 PM »



Bingo! Nail meet hammerhead.   Grin

Thanks to the rapid acceptance of Tablets, the PC is going to be dying very soon. A company like Flexradio that relies on PC's needs to rethink their business plan right now or they will soon become just a bad memory.

The Future in hamradio is NOT a $7K SDR that has to rely on a PC to operate.

Stan K9IUQ

Stan, you might want to read up on the 6000 Series a bit more. Everything is contained within the radio itself, other than the display. Using a browser based interface, it won't matter if a person is using a PC or tablet or even a cellphone. They have said that they will make available an API for outside developers  to write interfaces(apps) that can be used on all those different devices.
  If the radio is hooked up to a local network that is connected to the internet, then it will be able to be operated over the internet or thru a home network(hardwired or wireless) with all kinds of devices.  I think that the Flex 6000 Series radios are just the beginning of what will be coming.
(and not necessarily from Flex either)
james
WD5GWY
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1626




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« Reply #56 on: January 04, 2013, 05:32:27 PM »

 It is only those who don't do real work (like browsing the web or getting their email) are saying the desktop PC is dead soon.

Yes!!!!!!!!!! For the end consumer the PC desktop is on life support. It is happening right now. Few end consumers worry about programming. Programmers do it for them. It is becoming difficult to differentiate between a laptop or Tablet right now. Tablets are and will get more and more powerful. I lived thru the PC era and remember how impotent the original IBM PC XT was compared to the desktop PC power we have today. The same thing is gonna happen to the tablet computer. If a laptop can do it, there is no reason a Tablet will not be able to do it too.

Right now the Tablet is in it's infancy just as the PC XT was. I foresee no need for any keyboard input in the near future. Computer Voice Recognition is fast approaching with useful applications.

Hams are slow to embrace changes. Probably because most of us are old and set in our ways. Most hams I know locally still run and think Win XP is the only good OS.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ

 


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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




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« Reply #57 on: January 04, 2013, 05:45:02 PM »


Stan, you might want to read up on the 6000 Series a bit more.

  If the radio is hooked up to a local network that is connected to the internet, then it will be able to be operated over the internet or thru a home network(hardwired or wireless) with all kinds of devices.  I think that the Flex 6000 Series radios are just the beginning of what will be coming.
(and not necessarily from Flex either)
james
WD5GWY

I have not read too much about the Flex 6K series for the simple fact that it is too expensive. I would never spend $6-7k on a radio and certainly not one with a Flexradio nameplate. A radio that expensive is never going to be a game changer in hamradio. Most Hamradio Ops simply will (can) not spend that kind of $$ for a dying hobby.

What would be a hamradio game changer would be a SDR that does not require any desktop computer whatsoever and costs under $2K.

I am of the understanding that Flexradio is not going to release the radio with internet capability - only local Ethernet Network?
What are the facts? When is it going to be released? It is already overdue which is not a surprise.

Stan K9IUQ



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W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #58 on: January 04, 2013, 11:46:52 PM »

 It is only those who don't do real work (like browsing the web or getting their email) are saying the desktop PC is dead soon.

Yes!!!!!!!!!! For the end consumer the PC desktop is on life support.

Few end consumers worry about anything except Facebook and perhaps Twitter these days. Even email at the consumer level is rapidly dying in favor of doing everything in Facebook. For that, a tablet is probably all anyone really needs. Communications at this level are reduced to brief sound bites anyway and there's no need for a keyboard for text entry when the text is at most one or two sentences.

That said, there will always be a market for desktop PCs for the enthusiast market and the business market. The keyboard and mouse are still the best input devices in a business environment. Voice recognition, no matter how good, will never fly in today's typical business environment: ever shrinking cubicles with people crammed in like sardines. Can you imagine the cacophony of dozens of workers constantly speaking to their computers in this kind of setting?
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2E0ILY
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2013, 02:40:02 AM »


[/quote]

I have not read too much about the Flex 6K series for the simple fact that it is too expensive. I would never spend $6-7k on a radio and certainly not one with a Flexradio nameplate. A radio that expensive is never going to be a game changer in hamradio. Most Hamradio Ops simply will (can) not spend that kind of $$ for a dying hobby.

What would be a hamradio game changer would be a SDR that does not require any desktop computer whatsoever and costs under $2K.

I am of the understanding that Flexradio is not going to release the radio with internet capability - only local Ethernet Network?
What are the facts? When is it going to be released? It is already overdue which is not a surprise.

Stan K9IUQ
[/quote]

I am in agreement with you Stan. I also believe that using a PC to do things it wasn't really designed for, especially if it involves sound cards and USB ports, (and I appreciate the new Flex may well need neither), is asking for hassle. I have gone through hoops with not the hardware or the building of several Softrock receivers and transceivers, but with the software and the interfacing of them to a PC or laptop. Magically changing soundcard settings, USB port gremlins, frequency agility freezing, blah blah. My  "conventional" Kenwood TS-590 has Kenwood sourced software for remote operation. The control of the rig itself, remotely, works well, but the voice over IP either doesn't work at all, or is so flaky as to be unusable. This integration of umpteen different bits of "stuff" leaves the makers with the easy cop out of blaming your PC, the installation, the operator, the internet, whatever. A fully integrated SDR transceiver that merely needs a conventional monitor of choice connecting, and an ethernet connection, is the way forward. I hear people murmuring "But it's coming.... the new Flex". But will the software work properly, or will we still be looking at issues, glitches, crashes and never ending firmware changes? Or will it just work? I for one will not be shouting for the first box, but awaiting with interest, rather than trepidaion, to see how the fisrt band of pioneers find they operate in the real world, long time. Here in the UK we have never ending evolution in cellular devices, but the basic cell infrastructure is still not able to supply a reliable SIGNAL to large swathes of this supposedly developed country. But despite the basic infrastructure being in need of development the manufacturers would rather add gizmos, bells and whistles. I see SDR being like that at this time, with the software that interfaces to a PC being basically lacking development in core areas, yet having bells and whistles added rather than making it 100%v stable and user friendly. And of course coders love writing code, but abhor writing decent user manuals... It is however an INTERESTING time Smiley
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Best regards, Chris Wilson.
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