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Author Topic: Looking at 2nd hand Flex 5000A  (Read 9107 times)
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 346




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« on: September 30, 2012, 12:10:37 AM »

A 2nd hand Flex 5000A ;has come to my notice.  Many questions.

1) Are they any good.

2) What do I have to look out for, in terms of sn problems etc?

3) It has stickers that say ATU installed and 2nd RX installed. is this good.

Roughly what should it be worth? thanks
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
ZL1BBW
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 12:38:09 AM »

I should have added, main interest 99% CW, no digital data modes required, mainly low band 160/80/40, contest capable is a big must have.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
KA4POL
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Posts: 1852




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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 02:20:39 AM »

It'll be fun to read the zillions of opinions coming in here  Grin
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W4ZV
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Posts: 84


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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 03:00:09 AM »

I should have added, main interest 99% CW, no digital data modes required, mainly low band 160/80/40, contest capable is a big must have.

Caveats to consider:

1.  On 80 & 160, an unmodified F5K has serious transmitted spur issues.  This has since been fixed by Flex, but it requires return to the factory which may be expensive from New Zealand.

Dear FLEX-5000 customers,

I made an error in my earlier post below. I was mistaken in saying that you
can use the TRX revision level to tell if this modification has been
installed. The first new production TRX boards that include the revision
were date coded 1048-xxxx, which means the 48th week of 2010. I do not have
exact dates but they would have begun going out in radio shipments sometime
in January of this year. We have done a total of three retrofits to date,
two of which were the prototypes. This is a complicated, expensive, and
time consuming retrofit but simple to do in production.

Sincerely,
Gerald

Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR
President and CEO
FlexRadio Systems(TM)
13091 Pond Springs Road, #250
Austin, TX 78729
Phone: 512-535-4713 Ext. 202
Email: gerald@flexradio.com
Web: www.flexradio.com <http://www.flex-radio.com/>


2.  If you use QSK, it has keying issues.

3.  When using Windows-based contest programs (e.g. N1MM), the problem of switching focus between N1MM and PSDR causes serious ergonomic issues.

73,  Bill  W4ZV
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1621




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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2012, 04:12:16 AM »

I should have added, main interest 99% CW, no digital data modes required, mainly low band 160/80/40, contest capable is a big must have.

Look elsewhere. CW and contest capability can not be used in the same sentence with Flexradio.  Cheesy

Any used Flexradio 5K that does not have the 160/80 meter spur modification is not worth buying. Used buyers need to ask if this modification has been performed!!

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 04:15:43 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
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Posts: 1621




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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 04:14:55 AM »

We have done a total of three retrofits to date,
two of which were the prototypes. This is a complicated, expensive, and
time consuming retrofit
but simple to do in production.

Sincerely,
Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR
President and CEO
FlexRadio Systems(TM)


Sorry about that.....  Wink Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

Stan K9IUQ
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 09:46:18 AM »

Stan is right about the CW abilities of a Flex-5000A. Its architecture just isn't conducive to good CW.

Here's how CW works on a 5000A-- The key is connected directly to the 5000A, but rather than using something like a $0.50 PIC MCU to generate the CW waveform right in the box, the keying signals get put on the Firewire interface and sent up to the PC where the CW waveform gets generated by PowerSDR. Once it's generated, the waveform is sent back down the Firewire cable to the rig where it's finally converted to RF and transmitted. This lag is unavoidable in the current architecture and the non-real-time nature of Windows certainly doesn't help matters.

I find that sending high-speed CW (>20 WPM) on the 5000A is problematic because the lag described above throws my timing off enough that I start sending erroneous code. A workaround that many people use is to avoid the built-in keyer and plug an external keyer into the rig and use its sidetone rather than the rig's sidetone. This gets around some of the issues with CW on the 5000A.

For these reasons, and others, you'll find very few competitive contesters using the 5000A.
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ZL1BBW
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2012, 01:05:17 PM »

Any used Flexradio 5K that does not have the 160/80 meter spur modification is not worth buying. Used buyers need to ask if this modification has been performed!!

Stan K9IUQ

I have asked, will be interesting to see the reply.

After the original post I did a bit more digging, and was appalled at some of the reviews.  I cannot believe that a several thousand dollar radio would be allowed to go to market with some of these issues.

BUT, this is a cheap flex about $700 USD and its semi local, but what use does it have, that is what I am asking myself.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
WD5GWY
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Posts: 390




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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2012, 01:41:05 PM »

If it's selling for $700 locally and you have the money to spare. I would
say buy it. But, don't expect to get the performance you are hoping for.
The latest version of PowerSDR does help the problem. But, it does not
eliminate it. And a good, FAST, dedicated computer would be ideal as well.
  Used Flex 1500's (qrp) are selling for around $500 or so here. So, paying
$700 doesn't seem that bad to me. And it should bring much more than that
should you decide you don't like it.
  OR, if you don't want it and the seller will ship to the US, I'll buy it!!  Grin
Seriously, if you get it and download the latest version of PowerSDR which
includes new firmware for the 5000A (and others as well) you might be
surprised at how well you like it. As a general ragchew radio, the Flex's are
hard to beat. IF you like fooling with computers. I think they are fun and
at the right price, worth having around. BUT, I still like radios with knobs
and radios that glow in the dark!!
james
WD5GWY
 
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1621




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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2012, 02:11:26 PM »

BUT, this is a cheap flex about $700 USD and its semi local, but what use does it have, that is what I am asking myself.

My scam alert light just came on. A Flex 5K with 2nd RX and ATU is worth much more on  the used market than $700.

BE CAREFUL, very careful.

Stan K9IUQ
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ZL1BBW
Member

Posts: 346




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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2012, 03:06:21 PM »

Yep, this is local ZL, and many used gear prices are determined by other factors, like there are not many hams down here to scrap over the price of a bit of gear.

Will watch and see what happens,. have asked for the sn#, it has the latest software loaded.
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ex MN Radio Officer, Portishead Radio GKA, BT Radio Amateur Morse Tester.  Licensed as G3YCP ZL1DAB, now taken over my father (sk) call as ZL1BBW.
W4ZV
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Posts: 84


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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2012, 07:18:04 PM »

BUT, this is a cheap flex about $700 USD and its semi local, but what use does it have, that is what I am asking myself.

For $700 including the 2nd RX, it would make an excellent receiver.  Most of the 5K's problems are on the TX side (e.g. spurs, CW stuttering and focus issues).  If you have another rig for TX, I'd be tempted to buy it strictly for the receiver.  If you have room for multiple antennas, true diversity receive on the low bands is very worthwhile.  The F5K and K3 are the only rigs available today with identical receivers for diversity.

73 & GL!

Bill  W4ZV
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KX0O
Member

Posts: 49




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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 07:02:16 AM »

that is $2800 worth of radio and at that price will sell in 1 day here.  I know.. I just sold one for that.

Doc
KX0O
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 672




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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 06:50:02 PM »

One tends to question the reasoning of wasting time on eHam asking about the value of a nearly $3000 rig for $700, given the plethora of information available on the web concerning this radio.

Stinks of trolling. Sure to put the OP on my IGNORE list.
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2012, 02:53:14 AM »

One tends to question the reasoning of wasting time on eHam asking about the value of a nearly $3000 rig for $700, given the plethora of information available on the web concerning this radio.

Stinks of trolling. Sure to put the OP on my IGNORE list.

Actually your posts stink of trolling.  Roll Eyes

Gene
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