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eHam Forums => Software Defined Radio => Topic started by: K9ZW on September 13, 2012, 06:38:37 AM



Title: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 13, 2012, 06:38:37 AM
Just finished a nine-part series on my personal take of the new Flex-6000 Series, the up & downsides, impact of the technology, and my predictions:


Flex-6000 Series – Newsletters, Armchair Speculators and My Impressions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Thin Client Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-thin-client-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-thin-client-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Ethernet Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-ethernet-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-ethernet-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Slices Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-slices-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-slices-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Diversity Reception Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-diversity-reception-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-diversity-reception-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Net Ready Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-net-ready-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-net-ready-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – The Down Side
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-the-down-side/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-the-down-side/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Deep (and Total) Impact – Predictions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/)

Off to the W9DXCC this weekend, where I hope to listen more to what Flex-Radio has to say about this paradigm shift radio series.

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: N9VV on September 13, 2012, 07:23:45 AM
Hi Steve,
I am enjoying reading your 9 part series about the new FLEX Radio 6000 series.
Have you seen the new DDC/DUC Transceivers from Apache Labs?
https://apache-labs.com/1001/Ham-Radio-Products/1001/Radio--Accessories.html

mny tnx,
73 de Ken N9VV
http://www.n9vv.com


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 13, 2012, 07:45:40 AM
Hi Steve,
I am enjoying reading your 9 part series about the new FLEX Radio 6000 series.
Have you seen the new DDC/DUC Transceivers from Apache Labs?
https://apache-labs.com/1001/Ham-Radio-Products/1001/Radio--Accessories.html

mny tnx,
73 de Ken N9VV
http://www.n9vv.com


Hi Ken N9VV

TAPR/HPSDR will always produce some very neat stuff.

The use of Automotive Industry FGA is really neat.

Expect other new entrants over the next five years.

Whether one or the other excels above the pack on any particular performance axis will keep changing.

I touch slightly on this in my predictions article.

all best and 73

Steve
K9ZW  (edits for typos)


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 13, 2012, 04:48:46 PM
I read through your articles and there is a lot you are hoping this radio will be.  If all they have pitched in their brochure comes to be, it will be quite nice for some.  

I started the biggest nay say thread here on this forum I think.  Lol, I guess ironically that makes me captain killjoy!  I have to laugh though, not at you, but just at the whole irony of it and how hard it's been to have what I believe are honest conversations on these forums about SDRs.

While some may find that thread and this response to yours offensive there are merits to threads like those as well as threads like these.  People speculate about what a product can be and what it might not be.

I think three things got people revved up here.  

The cost of the radio
The upfront ask for money
No working prototype to show
The paradigm shift advertisement
Charging for software updates


The software fees don't bother me personally too much as long as bugs are fixed without cost and the upgrades are real upgrades.  They should have handled the communication on this differently and packaged it as upgrades will require you purchase them and left it at that.

Here are my thoughts summarized.  

I think that learning more abut home networking may be in the cards for future owners of these radios.  Especially if they have kids in their house.

I wonder if these radios will have better RF shielding than my Flex 5000 does,  because at the price they are asking and the number of users that have had issues, it would be inexcusable not to have addressed it in this new line of rigs.

I wonder if we will have a new term called slice fatigue!  This is meant to be somewhat humorous, however, seriously, will the super ham of tomorrow really be able to monitor all those slices without external code doing it for them?  And if we get to that point will it ruin the fun for those hams and other hams because contests will be more about the robot you build to compete with verses your skills.  Then you'll see someone write the software and sell it to owners of these radios.  Then they'll sit in their chairs and watch their robot run their radios for them.  Then you the ham become pretty much a financier for the robots.  Not so funny a vision is it, but, nothing anyone may be able to do.  Put in this light the high price tag is almost a grace for us.  I speak from some experience on this one from having built an Internet accessible and controllable robotic observatory in my back yard over 10 years ago.  It was so cool!  And then it lost its fun because I became a slave to my creation. All those simple manual things I automated turned out to be the things that made it all enjoyable.

The journey will be long and painful for those that have high expectations out the gate and everything they advertised better work as advertised, because it all will get tested extensively.  Hams love to test!  And hams will bash them hard because unlike the KX3, a radio unfinished, we are talking $900-$1600 verses $7500.  We are going to see an unfinished radio hit the market.  My flex 5000 might barely be called finished. Existing flex users will be wise to heed their past experiences.  The radio will go out the door in 2013 sometime and the software is not done yet.

Sitting in the living room hamming on my iPad is intriguing, but then again, I might as well just use Hamsphere or a similar program and use the money to buy a nice tablet.  We sort of had this discussion in another thread here.  It will be cool for some, but not for others.  To really do that the users will need an an auto switching amp if they want to run power as well.  I got back to my robotic observatory, I could have just rented someone else's!  And then I am guessing that the magic of hamming on an iPad won't have the feel and nostalgia that going to the shack has and using all that you assembled.

I was surprised when I asked a flex engineer about network security and they said they were not even addressing that yet.  You need to plan ahead for stuff like that or you end up like Microsoft pushing patches every week. the potential for someone to reap havoc with one of these radios is going to be there.  There is someone with an ego out there just waiting to have there fun!

So while the skepticism might seem like a kill joy, there is fair reason to discuss all this.

It's not personal, please don't take it that way.  I am a current Flex owner and user.  It's a decent rig at this point and I have had a lot of fun with it and working past all it's quirks.  Look at my setup, you'll see I have quite a bit of time and money wrapped up in building my station around the Flex.

I just don't support the way they are rolling this one out. Why take the money upfront if they are on such solid footing?  It's a very valid and fair question.  Why claim paradigm shifts when the goods are not even in a working prototype yet?  The answer to this section question is obvious to me, the answer is because when you collect money upfront you have to provide justification and words like paradigm shift resonate with investors.

I hope you get some of what you want without it meaning that us others don't get messed up by the negative possibilities.  The good from them succeeding could far outweigh the bad and the cloners and fast followers will get the rest of us hams something similar at a much more affordable cost.  

The pioneers for this will wear their blood stained lab mocks with pride as they charge forth towards ham radio paradise boldly riding their Flex 6000 series radios to the next horizon for us in the spirit of progress!

Have fun and again, hope your dreams work out and all of us killjoys end up wondering how we got it wrong.

I hope you don't mind that I tried to add some color and humor to my response.  Stick around and we can have a fun discussion about all this if you like.  


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: W6UV on September 14, 2012, 10:35:29 AM
IMO, the 6000 series is overpriced by about $2000 across the entire line.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 15, 2012, 05:06:34 PM
Just finished a nine-part series on my personal take of the new Flex-6000 Series, the up & downsides, impact of the technology, and my predictions:

I started reading your links but did not get far. It was kinda like a Democrat trying to watch the Faux News Network.  ;) :D

You wasted your time. Only a true blue dyed in the wool Flexer would appreciate Anything you write. There are not many of them here on eham any more since unlike the Flexradio Reflectors, eham supports the truth and both sides of an issue.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 15, 2012, 05:14:28 PM
IMO, the 6000 series is overpriced by about $2000 across the entire line.

SDR's will never be mainstream with Flexradio like prices. To crack the everyday ham market the price must be between $1k-$2K. Flexradio SDR's at $4K plus prices will only attract Flexers, hams who already own a Flexradio.

At those prices Flexradio SDR's will never be Gamer Changers.. Game Changer radios must be affordable to an average ham. 

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 15, 2012, 05:38:38 PM
I think Gene has had it right about the QS1R.  

From what I can see, with a QS1R and Studio 1 you could run multiple virtual receivers already today with it and let's just say you bundle a 100 watt amp with it, your around $2000 verses $7500.  Apples to apples, maybe not but..

That's a lot of jack left over!



Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 15, 2012, 05:53:41 PM
you could run multiple virtual receivers already today with it

My thought is how many receivers does a ham need running at the same time? Two. One for the xmit freq and one for the pileup freq. Any more RX's is just too hard to keep track off. One RX in the right headphone and the other RX in the left headphone. What the heck does any normal ham need with more than TWO RX's running at the same time ?

CW hams already  have CW Skimmer decoding/watching gosh knows how many stations. On Digital modes you have HRD/DM780 doing the Supersweeper dance - Decoding 3KHZ worth of digital stations at once.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 15, 2012, 06:18:48 PM
you could run multiple virtual receivers already today with it

My thought is how many receivers does a ham need running at the same time? Two. One for the xmit freq and one for the pileup freq. Any more RX's is just too hard to keep track off. One RX in the right headphone and the other RX in the left headphone. What the heck does any normal ham need with more than TWO RX's running at the same time ?

Stan K9IUQ

I agree Stan, it would just wear a ham out trying to personally use all those slices. It might look pretty, might seem cool, but not seemingly all that practical. 

To me the receiver spec claims on it are the most intriguing part of the new Flexes, but even there, what kind of antenna system does a ham need to leverage it?

It's going to be interesting to see what really happens with them.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 05:45:39 AM
I would have replied to this post earlier but I had 8 tabs open on my IPad and I was so stressed that I had to take a nap!
Information overload! All those tabs at once.....
What was I thinking?
I think I will sell my IPad, maybe go back to a simple, reliable Commodore 64.
Anyone want to trade a nice IPad for.......
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 06:26:53 AM
I just don't support the way they are rolling this one out. Why take the money upfront if they are on such solid footing?  It's a very valid and fair question.  Why claim paradigm shifts when the goods are not even in a working prototype yet?  The answer to this section question is obvious to me, the answer is because when you collect money upfront you have to provide justification and words like paradigm shift resonate with investors.

Mark, this is a very valid question.  I certainly would not pre-order something this expensive without at least seeing a working model. That's putting a lot of faith in a company whose past reputation does not deserve it.  An unfinished radio for $7000+?  No way.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 07:01:08 AM
Gene
How ever will you be able to continue your constant flaming of Flex if you don't at least try one?
You will loose your credibility!
I am sure Flex would be happy to offer you a radio to try (or maybe you'd better ask Stan to get it for you)......I believe you can probably use the radio one slice at a time. Don't be afraid!

You are going to be relegated to history if you don't get one.
Of course you can still pick on the 5000 so not all is lost!

I believe I have said this here before but I'd like to repeat it again. I actually owe you and Stan a debt of gratitude. It was your constant complaining here on EHam that led me to try my first Flex radio. I just had to see for myself if anything could be that difficult to use or that awful.
Anyway, for me it was love at first try, in fact I have never been happier with a radio!

Got any other beefs with companies I should know about?

Thanks,

Bruce
AB1KC
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 07:32:43 AM
Gene
How ever will you be able to continue your constant flaming of Flex if you don't at least try one?
You will loose your credibility!
I am sure Flex would be happy to offer you a radio to try (or maybe you'd better ask Stan to get it for you)......I believe you can probably use the radio one slice at a time. Don't be afraid!

You are going to be relegated to history if you don't get one.
Of course you can still pick on the 5000 so not all is lost!

I believe I have said this here before but I'd like to repeat it again. I actually owe you and Stan a debt of gratitude. It was your constant complaining here on EHam that led me to try my first Flex radio. I just had to see for myself if anything could be that difficult to use or that awful.
Anyway, for me it was love at first try, in fact I have never been happier with a radio!

Got any other beefs with companies I should know about?

Thanks,

Bruce
AB1KC
Bruce
AB1KC

Bruce, I am not a fool with my money like some of the Flex Fanboys.  I prefer to see a working demo of the Flex-6000 series before I purchase.  Flex has yet to even demonstrate a working Flex-6000.  I do not purchase on 'faith' alone like many of the Flex radio kool-aide drinkers.  I call it being prudent and cautious before buying into super-hyped marketing nonsense.  

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 16, 2012, 07:57:13 AM
I would have replied to this post earlier but I had 8 tabs open on my IPad and I was so stressed that I had to take a nap!
Information overload! All those tabs at once.....
What was I thinking?
I think I will sell my IPad, maybe go back to a simple, reliable Commodore 64.
Anyone want to trade a nice IPad for.......
Bruce
AB1KC

No, that's not the analogy at all.  How about surfing on 7 iPads while having a Skype conversation on the eighth.  That's more like what I am talking about.  Your eyes and brain are going to process more like the analogy you provided, one tab at a time. Let's tie it all together now.  If you only use one tab at a time, why do you really need 7 additional virtual slices all open and running at the same time?

Like I said before, you can do this today with a $900 QSR1 and Studio 1 if you want to be able to glance band to band, or tab to tab.  Why pay $7500 for that capability?

Here is a link where you can see this capability already.  You don't have to pay big dollars!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOjHTS5AhCc&feature=channel&list=UL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhf6Zb-Xn40&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 08:19:48 AM
Oh Gene!
Spank me, spank me I've been bad! I have tasted the "KoolAid" and I like it!
They do offer a 30 day return if you are not happy with what you get you know.....
Pay no attention to me, my wife tells me I am just "difficult" ...
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 08:30:28 AM
I would have replied to this post earlier but I had 8 tabs open on my IPad and I was so stressed that I had to take a nap!
Information overload! All those tabs at once.....
What was I thinking?
I think I will sell my IPad, maybe go back to a simple, reliable Commodore 64.
Anyone want to trade a nice IPad for.......
Bruce
AB1KC

No, that's not the analogy at all.  How about surfing on 7 iPads while having a Skype conversation on the eighth.  That's more like what I am talking about.  Your eyes and brain are going to process more like the analogy you provided, one tab at a time. Let's tie it all together now.  If you only use one tab at a time, why do you really need 7 additional virtual slices all open and running at the same time?

Like I said before, you can do this today with a $900 QSR1 and Studio 1 if you want to be able to glance band to band, or tab to tab.  Why pay $7500 for that capability?

Here is a link where you can see this capability already.  You don't have to pay big dollars!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOjHTS5AhCc&feature=channel&list=UL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhf6Zb-Xn40&feature=youtube_gdata_player

You miss my point.
Who says you need to open all slice receivers at once?
Just because tha capability is there does not mean it is an optimal use of technolodgy in every case. I certainly would overload. This argument as a reason to avoid this radio is just kind petty.
I own a QSR1. I know what it can do.
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 08:43:58 AM
I would have replied to this post earlier but I had 8 tabs open on my IPad and I was so stressed that I had to take a nap!
Information overload! All those tabs at once.....
What was I thinking?
I think I will sell my IPad, maybe go back to a simple, reliable Commodore 64.
Anyone want to trade a nice IPad for.......
Bruce
AB1KC

No, that's not the analogy at all.  How about surfing on 7 iPads while having a Skype conversation on the eighth.  That's more like what I am talking about.  Your eyes and brain are going to process more like the analogy you provided, one tab at a time. Let's tie it all together now.  If you only use one tab at a time, why do you really need 7 additional virtual slices all open and running at the same time?

Like I said before, you can do this today with a $900 QSR1 and Studio 1 if you want to be able to glance band to band, or tab to tab.  Why pay $7500 for that capability?

Here is a link where you can see this capability already.  You don't have to pay big dollars!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOjHTS5AhCc&feature=channel&list=UL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhf6Zb-Xn40&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I find I use a maximum of two receivers in my operating.  I agree, there is no reason to try to manage listening to a multitude of receivers.  It may be a neat gee-wiz, look what I can do feature, but it is not very practical in daily use.  The max receivers I have used is three, and the third one was squelched to just monitor a frequency for activity.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 08:45:55 AM
Oh Gene!
Spank me, spank me I've been bad! I have tasted the "KoolAid" and I like it!
They do offer a 30 day return if you are not happy with what you get you know.....
Pay no attention to me, my wife tells me I am just "difficult" ...
Bruce
AB1KC

Bruce, I could care less what you spend your money on.  If you want to pre-pay for a radio that has not even been demonstrated yet, then that is your prerogative.  I just think it is pretty foolish.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 08:49:00 AM
Like I said before, you can do this today with a $900 QSR1 and Studio 1 if you want to be able to glance band to band, or tab to tab.  Why pay $7500 for that capability?

IMO, Flex Radio had to go way overkill on the Flex-6000 series to keep it priced considerably above the Flex-5000a.  Otherwise it would just be a replacement for a 5000a. 

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 09:13:18 AM
Oh Gene!
Spank me, spank me I've been bad! I have tasted the "KoolAid" and I like it!
They do offer a 30 day return if you are not happy with what you get you know.....
Pay no attention to me, my wife tells me I am just "difficult" ...
Bruce
AB1KC

Bruce, I could care less what you spend your money on.  If you want to pre-pay for a radio that has not even been demonstrated yet, then that is your prerogative.  I just think it is pretty foolish.

Gene


Oh no, he has spanked me again!
Bad Bruce, bad bad bad!


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 16, 2012, 09:29:54 AM
I would have replied to this post earlier but I had 8 tabs open on my IPad and I was so stressed that I had to take a nap!
Information overload! All those tabs at once.....
What was I thinking?
I think I will sell my IPad, maybe go back to a simple, reliable Commodore 64.
Anyone want to trade a nice IPad for.......
Bruce
AB1KC

No, that's not the analogy at all.  How about surfing on 7 iPads while having a Skype conversation on the eighth.  That's more like what I am talking about.  Your eyes and brain are going to process more like the analogy you provided, one tab at a time. Let's tie it all together now.  If you only use one tab at a time, why do you really need 7 additional virtual slices all open and running at the same time?

Like I said before, you can do this today with a $900 QSR1 and Studio 1 if you want to be able to glance band to band, or tab to tab.  Why pay $7500 for that capability?

Here is a link where you can see this capability already.  You don't have to pay big dollars!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOjHTS5AhCc&feature=channel&list=UL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhf6Zb-Xn40&feature=youtube_gdata_player

You miss my point.
Who says you need to open all slice receivers at once?
Just because tha capability is there does not mean it is an optimal use of technolodgy in every case. I certainly would overload. This argument as a reason to avoid this radio is just kind petty.
I own a QSR1. I know what it can do.
Bruce
AB1KC


No, I get it.. So now we get to my other question in my other thread.  How are you going to make use of this radio verses your QS1R that's going to make it worth the extra dollars?

Now, if you just say its because I want one and that's really all there is to it, I am good with that.  I am seriously looking for reasons other than coolness and newness that people might think having this radio in their shack is going to make a huge impact over what's currently available. 

No need to even reply if you don't want.  It's the answer to that question I am seriously interested in.  I don't care about flex or not to flex, I still own a 5K and it does a fine job for me for the most part.

Gene, I agree about the slices, even Studio 1 can be overkill.  I have been playing with it on the KX3 and I had three all running and it was overkill already.  Two had some real utility in being able to look at a wider swath of spectrum in the extra slice.

Again, I have no problems with people buying stuff because it looks fun and cool.  I am certainly guilty of that on occasion. :)


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: N8FNR on September 16, 2012, 09:42:24 AM
I am a Flex Fan Boy TM and am proud to admit that I have drunk gallons of their Coolaid (yum!!).
On 9/14 I worked NH8S via CW on 17M at 00:37 when the propagation was poor from my QTH near Detroit. Was using my 5000a at 80 watts and a SCG-239 tuner to a wire of unknown length (the far end broke in a wind storm). By watching who he was operating last I was able to make the QSO even with a lot of big guns around me. Without the panadapter I would have been operating blind and no amount of knobs on a regular rig would have been able to help me.

Zack


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: W6UV on September 16, 2012, 09:53:23 AM
I am a Flex Fan Boy TM and am proud to admit that I have drunk gallons of their Coolaid (yum!!).
On 9/14 I worked NH8S via CW on 17M at 00:37 when the propagation was poor from my QTH near Detroit. Was using my 5000a at 80 watts and a SCG-239 tuner to a wire of unknown length (the far end broke in a wind storm). By watching who he was operating last I was able to make the QSO even with a lot of big guns around me. Without the panadapter I would have been operating blind and no amount of knobs on a regular rig would have been able to help me.

The "VFO-B" knob on a regular rig works fine for me. I just tune around until I hear the station currently working the DX and bang! there I am. No magic or mystery about it, and DXers have been doing this for fifty years before Flex came on the scene.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: N8FNR on September 16, 2012, 09:58:17 AM
Well that is a nice thought to use VFO-B but he was bouncing around like crazy. Without the panadapter I would have never been able to figure out his pattern.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 10:17:16 AM
.......

No, I get it.. So now we get to my other question in my other thread.  How are you going to make use of this radio verses your QS1R that's going to make it worth the extra dollars?

Now, if you just say its because I want one and that's really all there is to it, I am good with that.  I am seriously looking for reasons other than coolness and newness that people might think having this radio in their shack is going to make a huge impact over what's currently available. 

No need to even reply if you don't want.  It's the answer to that question I am seriously interested in.  I don't care about flex or not to flex, I still own a 5K and it does a fine job for me for the most part.

Gene, I agree about the slices, even Studio 1 can be overkill.  I have been playing with it on the KX3 and I had three all running and it was overkill already.  Two had some real utility in being able to look at a wider swath of spectrum in the extra slice.

Again, I have no problems with people buying stuff because it looks fun and cool.  I am certainly guilty of that on occasion. :)
[/quote]

That is a fair question, I will do my best to answer.

No radio is perfect, they all have issues! I love my Flex 5000 though and I could live with it for a long time. It does exactly what I want and it does it pretty well.
I see the Flex 6000 series as a natural progression of the line. It will go a long way to correct some of the weaknesses in the other series. Cw should be great with this radio, many of the issues I have sucessfully conquered with the help of Flex tech support will be more easily accomplished with this radio. Virtual audio cable set up, remote set up, CW Skimmer set up etc.

The challenge of setting the Flex 5000 up is what defeats many of its would be users.
I have a terrier like tenacity when it comes to  challenge. I find the answer!

In the end I love the way the radio (Flex5000) works. The receive audio is just lovely, you can do exactly what you want with transmit audio, the visual display of the spectrum is just like a drug, I can no longer live without it.....

The 6000 will do all of this and it will make the task of getting there easier. Yes it will take time and  there will be "issues" along the way, yes it is an expensive radio.  I have the antennas I need to take advantage of the 6000's wide, wide receiving abilities already in place.

The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet. That is just icing on the cake!

If the radio is a dog, I will take my punishment like a man. I doubt it will be!
I have certainly made bigger mistakes in my life than this "gamble". Flex has been nothing short of outstanding in their support of its products when I need help. Like TenTec and Elecraft, Flex gets just the best marks from me. I am not worried at all.

As for the QS1R, although it is a fun radio it never fulfilled its promised role as the software promised was never delivered for my use. It is fun and capable but not what I am looking for. I want a  transceiver not a collection of radios and the associated issues of timing a switch to protect receiver front ends during transmit.

By the way, I would happily sell it if anyone is interested....

Finally the 6000 has a cool factor and I want one! I ordered it on the first day it was announced!
I can't wait!

Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 16, 2012, 10:22:05 AM
On 9/14 I worked NH8S via CW on 17M at 00:37 when the propagation was poor from my QTH near Detroit. Was using my 5000a at 80 watts

Without the panadapter I would have been operating blind and no amount of knobs on a regular rig would have been able to help me.

Uh excuse me but I have worked NH8S NINE times. On Different bands and different modes. Did you get that? NINE TIMES. I did it without any panadapter or second receiver. I was operating blind  :D with a Kenwood TS-590s and only used TFset control to help  me find the right freq. It was easy. NH8S is certainly not DX I would brag about as it is one of the easiest recent Dxexpeditions to work.

However you brought it up. So what does this mean? I worked NH8S NINE TIMES and you with a Flexradio worked them - - - ONCE? Only once? And you publicly brag about it???

Kenwood -9      Flexradio - 1

http://www.nh8s.org/pages/log.html

Go ahead and plug K9IUQ into the log. Then plug your call into the log.

LMAO
Stan K9IUQ

No magic or mystery about it, and DXers have been doing this for fifty years before Flex came on the scene.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: N8FNR on September 16, 2012, 10:24:24 AM
Uh well that was the ONLY time I tried to work him.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 16, 2012, 10:26:38 AM
Are you saying you could only do that with a Flex radio?  

You can add Panadaptors to many radios today.  Heck, I even have one on my little KX3 and can do dual Recieve in the same band.  A $40 Softrock can do Panadaptor 101.

They are all just radios to me, I don't get brand loyalty, I really don't.  You give up money and someone gives you some sort of box in return with a limited warranty.  And if it breaks outside the warranty, then you pay.  That's why in my humble opinion brand loyalty is a one way notion in today's world.  It's a business after all, the purpose of which is to make money.

So bottom line seems to be it looks cool and that's ok for now if people want to plunk money down on that.  Just keep in mind that the new software might take a while to steady out and develop.

When someone comes up with how these new radios will help me over what I have now, let me know.  I am interested in how people will make use of them.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 10:31:14 AM
On 9/14 I worked NH8S via CW on 17M at 00:37 when the propagation was poor from my QTH near Detroit. Was using my 5000a at 80 watts

Without the panadapter I would have been operating blind and no amount of knobs on a regular rig would have been able to help me.

Uh excuse me but I have worked NH8S NINE times. On Different bands and different modes. Did you get that? NINE TIMES. I did it without any panadapter or second receiver. I was operating blind  :D with a Kenwood TS-590s and only used TFset control to help  me find the right freq. It was easy. NH8S is certainly not DX I would brag about as it is one of the easiest recent Dxexpeditions to work.

However you brought it up. So what does this mean? I worked NH8S NINE TIMES and you with a Flexradio worked them - - - ONCE? Only once? And you publicly brag about it???

Kenwood -9      Flexradio - 1

http://www.nh8s.org/pages/log.html

Go ahead and plug K9IUQ into the log. Then plug your call into the log.

LMAO
Stan K9IUQ

No magic or mystery about it, and DXers have been doing this for fifty years before Flex came on the scene.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!

Ooooh Stan,
You are such a virile man! So strong, so capable....
You are my hero!!!!
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 16, 2012, 10:35:02 AM
Ooooh Stan,
You are such a virile man! So strong, so capable....
You are my hero!!!!

It must be my Knobs....

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 10:40:26 AM
Ooooh Stan,
You are such a virile man! So strong, so capable....
You are my hero!!!!

It must be my Knobs....

Stan K9IUQ

And here I am with just a little mouse..... :(


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 16, 2012, 10:53:52 AM
The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet. That is just icing on the cake!

LOL!  What a great reason to buy one!  You don't even know what you can do with it yet.  But, of course, no one else knows either since Flex has yet to demonstrate a working unit.
 
Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 11:14:27 AM
The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet. That is just icing on the cake!

LOL!  What a great reason to buy one!  You don't even know what you can do with it yet.  But, of course, no one else knows either since Flex has yet to demonstrate a working unit.
 
Gene


There are only two companies that let you try a radio and return it if you do not like it, TenTec and Flex. If it does not live up to my expectations I can return it. There is no other way to figure out exactly what any radio will do unless you try it other than rely on internet reviews. Then you are subject to the hack jobs like Gene here who takes his lessons on quoting from the nightly news. Ill stick with what has worked for me.
Gene, you never answered my question from this morning, are there any other companies that you really hate? I would love to try their products.....
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 16, 2012, 03:00:29 PM
Just finished a nine-part series on my personal take of the new Flex-6000 Series, the up & downsides, impact of the technology, and my predictions:


Flex-6000 Series – Newsletters, Armchair Speculators and My Impressions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/)
.......
Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Deep (and Total) Impact – Predictions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/)

Off to the W9DXCC this weekend, where I hope to listen more to what Flex-Radio has to say about this paradigm shift radio series.

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)

Excellent W9DXCC!  Very educational SDR & Flex presentation. 

Will have a follow up post on my blog later this week. 

Very - VERY - pleased to be in early on these advances.  This is going to be FUN!

73

Steve
K9ZW


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 16, 2012, 04:49:20 PM
The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet.
Bruce
AB1KC

If I was you I would be hoping the new 6000 series Flexradios can do the simple things. Like work CW with a paddle, or allow one to have a SSB conversation without motorboating, or the ability to xmit without having spurs, or the ability to reject RF from getting into the radio, or the ability to not have the computer freeze ruining a QSO, etc etc etc.  ;)

What good are new capabilities if it cannot do the simple basic stuff that any knobbed radio can do?

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: AB1KC on September 16, 2012, 05:26:02 PM
The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet.
Bruce
AB1KC

If I was you I would be hoping the new 6000 series Flexradios can do the simple things. Like work CW with a paddle, or allow one to have a SSB conversation without motorboating, or the ability to xmit without having spurs, or the ability to reject RF from getting into the radio, or the ability to not have the computer freeze ruining a QSO, etc etc etc.  ;)

What good are new capabilities if it cannot do the simple basic stuff that any knobbed radio can do?

Stan K9IUQ

I can do all of that with my Flex 5000 now........
I know you had your issues but I really do not.
Bruce
AB1KC


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 17, 2012, 02:52:29 AM
The radios new capabilities will allow it to do things I can not even begin to understand yet. That is just icing on the cake!

LOL!  What a great reason to buy one!  You don't even know what you can do with it yet.  But, of course, no one else knows either since Flex has yet to demonstrate a working unit.
 
Gene


There are only two companies that let you try a radio and return it if you do not like it, TenTec and Flex. If it does not live up to my expectations I can return it. There is no other way to figure out exactly what any radio will do unless you try it other than rely on internet reviews. Then you are subject to the hack jobs like Gene here who takes his lessons on quoting from the nightly news. Ill stick with what has worked for me.
Gene, you never answered my question from this morning, are there any other companies that you really hate? I would love to try their products.....
Bruce
AB1KC

I don't 'hate' any product or manufacturer.  I am sorry that you are too developmentally challenged to understand that.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 18, 2012, 03:24:53 AM
Just finished a nine-part series on my personal take of the new Flex-6000 Series, the up & downsides, impact of the technology, and my predictions:


Flex-6000 Series – Newsletters, Armchair Speculators and My Impressions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/)

......


Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Deep (and Total) Impact – Predictions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/)

Off to the W9DXCC this weekend, where I hope to listen more to what Flex-Radio has to say about this paradigm shift radio series.

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)


I've posted my post W9DXCC Updated Predictions are up at:

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Lessons Learned and Series Wrap Up   
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/)

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 18, 2012, 03:41:56 AM
Just finished a nine-part series on my personal take of the new Flex-6000 Series, the up & downsides, impact of the technology, and my predictions:


Flex-6000 Series – Newsletters, Armchair Speculators and My Impressions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/)

......


Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Deep (and Total) Impact – Predictions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/)

Off to the W9DXCC this weekend, where I hope to listen more to what Flex-Radio has to say about this paradigm shift radio series.

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)


I've posted my post W9DXCC Updated Predictions are up at:

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Lessons Learned and Series Wrap Up   
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/)

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  With Varying Frequency http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)

Why waste all this time and effort?  Why not wait until the Flex-6000 series hits the streets and we have concrete evidence of how much of a 'game changer' it really is, instead of silly speculation and wishes?   ::)

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 18, 2012, 04:13:46 AM

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!


Really that says it all. Dreaming and Promises all at a huge down payment Co$t...
To be delivered later.  ;)

Stan K9IUQ  


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 04:15:13 AM
True and false.   The qs1r and studio 1 can run multiple receivers but they have to be within the tuned bandwidth which if I recall is 2 MHz.  The stock fpga code isnt capable of multiple receivers on multiple bands.  There may be some way to use cw skimmer server fpga code in conjunction with studio 1 but this would take some serious fiddling and may or may or work.

Soo... If you want to monitor 8 bands simultaneously, or 8 signals separated by more than 2MHz you don't have many options.  The USRP, hpsdr stuff and the flex-6700.  The 6700 will be the first off the shelf receiver with this capability that I am aware of. You would need 8 qs1r's to monitor 8 bands.  I have one and it is neat.  It just won't do what I want to do. At least or easily...but I am still fiddling to get as much out of it as possible.

If anyone knows how to spread out the virtual receivers on the qs1r please let me know.

Doc
KX0O


I think Gene has had it right about the QS1R.  

From what I can see, with a QS1R and Studio 1 you could run multiple virtual receivers already today with it and let's just say you bundle a 100 watt amp with it, your around $2000 verses $7500.  Apples to apples, maybe not but..

That's a lot of jack left over!




Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 18, 2012, 04:21:52 AM
Soo... If you want to monitor 8 bands simultaneously, or 8 signals separated by more than 2MHz you don't have many options.  

So what . Who really needs 8 bands at once? What ham really wants to pay extra $$$$ to have that 8 bands?

The 6000 series is a solution looking for a problem.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 04:38:31 AM
Stan,

So now it will have too many capabilities.  Ok...so nobody should make anything that exceeds Stan's ability to comprehend a use for it?  A lot of people want to look at 8 bands at once.  I am sure you can come up with some reasons.  Beacons, psk, cw, ssb on multiple bands simultaneously would come in handy for a lot of people.  Not everybody camps out and chit chats..  There are a bunch of hams that do very technical things with these receivers.  Ionospheric monitoring, frequency measuring, very long baseline interferometry etc etc etc.

Let us spend our money and do our thing, you are free to do the same.  You like your horse and buggy, flip phone and windows ME..fine.  Many others are trying to make advances and are keeping their brains moving forward.

The 6700 is not over priced... It's capabilities cannot be had for any price right now.  They can be cobbled together but will cost more and will result it numerous cables, software and will not have native network connectivity.

Doc
KX0O

Soo... If you want to monitor 8 bands simultaneously, or 8 signals separated by more than 2MHz you don't have many options.  

So what . Who really needs 8 bands at once? What ham really wants to pay extra $$$$ to have that 8 bands?

The 6000 series is a solution looking for a problem.

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9IUQ on September 18, 2012, 04:48:51 AM
 You like your horse and buggy, flip phone and windows ME..fine
Doc
KX0O

Why oh why do Flexers also find a need to attack me personally?

I drive a brand new 2012 car with all the latest technology goodies including voice control, have a smart phone and run Win 7. What else would you like to know?

Stan K9IUQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 18, 2012, 05:08:45 AM
The 6700 is not over priced... It's capabilities cannot be had for any price right now.  
Doc
KX0O

You are 100% correct on this one!  You can not even get the supposed "Flex-6000 series capabilities" in a Flex-6000 right now.  Flex has yet to demonstrate a working Flex-6000.  LOL!

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 18, 2012, 05:22:31 AM
True and false.   The qs1r and studio 1 can run multiple receivers but they have to be within the tuned bandwidth which if I recall is 2 MHz.  The stock fpga code isnt capable of multiple receivers on multiple bands.  There may be some way to use cw skimmer server fpga code in conjunction with studio 1 but this would take some serious fiddling and may or may or work.

Soo... If you want to monitor 8 bands simultaneously, or 8 signals separated by more than 2MHz you don't have many options.  The USRP, hpsdr stuff and the flex-6700.  The 6700 will be the first off the shelf receiver with this capability that I am aware of. You would need 8 qs1r's to monitor 8 bands.  I have one and it is neat.  It just won't do what I want to do. At least or easily...but I am still fiddling to get as much out of it as possible.

If anyone knows how to spread out the virtual receivers on the qs1r please let me know.

Doc
KX0O

This is not correct.  You are behind the times.  I am able to tune up to 7, 192 kHz wide independent receivers tuned anywhere within the 10 kHz to 62 MHz range of the QS1R, not just 2 MHz.   Soon the code will allow wider bandwidths of 250 kHz in each receiver.  I only typically use 2 receivers though.  I suggest you contact the manufacturer if you want to know how.  

The USRP stuff can do this if you are a programmer and know how to code.  There is no out of the box solution for the USRP without the user having to code.  The HPSDR multiple receiver stuff is based on the CW skimmer FPGA code that was originally written for the QS1R by Alex, VE3NEA.  There is software for HPSDR that supports up to 7 receivers, but it is not fully functional.  The Flex-6000 is TBD because there is no working demonstrations by Flex.  Flex has also stated the the initial release of the Flex-6000 series will not have the full receiver functionality.  Who knows how long the Flex Guinea Pigs* will have to wait for this!

Gene

*Flex Guinea Pigs - those who have pre-purchased the Flex-6000


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 06:03:44 AM
Gene,

I am glad I am wrong.  Are you using Studio 1 to do this?  I contacted them (Woodbox) and they were light on details because they don't have a QS1R to test on.  When you say contact the manufacturer are you referring to Phil Covington?  Let me know how you get that done....it would be sincerely appreciated.  I would like to start grabbing data.

Doc
KX0O


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 18, 2012, 08:16:23 AM
Studio 1 is pretty new to the market, since just this July I believe.  I believe they are a real small shop so the fact that their software is as nice as it is seems amazing to me.  Unfortunately small and new equal a bit of bleeding edge and so what it really means is that unless someone has Studio 1 and the QS1R, we are not likely to know.  

I am planning on a QS1R as soon as my IC 7000 sells.  I have Studio 1 on the KX3 and short of not having the cat control, I am impressed so far.  Their user interface paradigm is a bit different, but it does grow on you and makes sense once you get the hang of it.

WoodBoxRadio is asking quite a bit for their software. $200.   I suspect it's because it's so polished and supports a variety of different radios.  Keep in mind, for some SDRs Studio 1 now represents the best choice of Software, Or it will if they finish it all up and add more radios to their supported collection.

Here is some food for thought and the small gamble I amtaking if you look for justification.  Understand though, it's a gamble and what I am saying next may be wrong.

When I get the QS1R I'll always have SDRMax for it, so if Studio 1 doesn't pan out I won't have regret with regards to Studio 1.  Studio 1 was purchased for my KX3 and the gamble there was that they will deliver the Cat control.  I believe they will since I think their code source is from HDSDR. ( this is where I could be recalling things incorrectly).  HDSDR already has Omnirig support for cat control.  On occasion I like to listen to shortwave as well, I have a nice Wellbrook loop 0-30mhz that needs a radio to go with it.  Studio 1 will do very nicely for that when I get there.

From what little I have seen, SDRMax is quite a nice SDR interface, so no great issues if QS1R support is not perfect in Studio 1.

The IC 7000 was only in my shack until the 2M module for the Kx3 arrives.  So, basically I loose 2M until Elecraft delivers which is probably next year Q1 if I had to guess.

I am lucky also that I will procure a 100 watt amp as soon as I decide which makes most sense for me.  This will then position me to run these lower watt rigs in the future.  There is a genesis kit I am eyeballing for mid 2013 as well.  There are several other low watt SDRs that are starting to emerge.

It's my belief that Flex in no way will have cornered the market with their new arrival.  I say that based on both the Ethernet connectivity and the slice receivers.  There are going to be far cheaper options which might not even be lesser offerings either.  Some offerings might have Internet support before Flex does and all of these radios I am referring to are sub $2K US.  Some in theory already exist, I have no experience with any of them, so it's hard to say what's real and what's not.  Keep in mind as well, you can already share your radio on the Internet today with SDRRadio by Simon.

If I had to speculate, and that's all we outside the inner Flex circle can do, the actual specs on the Reciever might top the charts when the dust settles.  That may be the true real upshot of their new radio.  They also have an opportunity to make their new software super nice, however, we shall see what is delivered.

Virtual receivers will be cool, but not all that people believe they will be.  Internet support will take a while for Flex so that idea of sharing slices is going to take a while as we'll.  Plus, the real benefit of sharing ones receivers for the average ham is limited in my mind.  Clubs might be able to leverage it far better in terms of real value than a single ham. 

Thing is though, you can already use someone else's receiver today with SDRRadio by Simon.  It's not like you can have more than one person using the transmit capabilities of the slice effectively with the new Flex.  If you have ever used multiple slices before you quickly see there are two utilities with them in my humble opinion.  Watching signals on another band or bands and using one on the same band to tune to two frequencies.  

I have used 3 receivers before with the Kx3 and one was really useless, it was more of an experiment at best to see if I could make use of it.  Again, if I wanted for example to watch 20, 17, and 15 so one could see if propogation was picking up on the other bands They like then I could see it being useful.  Keep in mind though you can also use a band spotter for this as well.

This hopefully paints a realistic picture of how Slice receivers might be of value to the average ham.  Again, I think you can already do this with the QS1R and hopefully in a month or so I will know for sure.  Honestly, my draw on this for the QS1R is its wide spectrum support.

My biggest belief in all this though as far as sinking big bucks into receivers is that it's wasted if you don't have a great antenna to go with it.  A ham on a cheap radio that has a great antenna is likely to fair far better than a ham with a super  rig on a cheap antenna.

By far the best purchase I made so far is the hex beam and roof tower. It's worth as much as 3 S Units of gain over the vertical dipole I was using before it.

Best of luck and fun with your quest for knowledge on this!


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 08:23:13 AM
I am hoping gene enlightens me on how he is doing it.

I too sold my 7000 to get the qs1r... I wish i still had the 7000 though.. i really liked it.

I will for sure get studio 1 if I can verify it can do 7 receivers widely spaced with the qs1r.

Just waiting for the methodology gene is using.

Doc


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 18, 2012, 08:29:43 AM
Doc,

 If the 7000 was your main rig then I can understand the anxiety.  Knob withdrawal is difficult for many.  Do you have your QS1R yet?  Have you tried out SDRMax?  If so, let us know what you like and don't like, many here would enjoy hearing about your experience.



Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 09:00:47 AM
SDRmax is fine.. just different.  I am used to powersdr.  I would say it is sufficient although I am not comfortable doing all I can do with it.  but I have sseveral thousand hours on powersdr.  The radio was fairly easy to characterize regarding frequency offset and it is very precise when driven by an external precision 125MHz clock. 

I currently have it hooked up to a Jackson Labs Fury via a valon 5007/3008 synthesizer divider for clocking.  I show a frequency stability somewhere around 100 nanoHz.  Which is pretty good.  I think my weak link is the synthesizer but I havent found a foolproof method of providing a more stable conversion of my 10MHz (mid 10-13 ADEV at 1 second).  I do have an apollo VHF which makes a pretty good 125 MHz clock (still synthesized).  I have a 125MHz VCO that i think I can get locked to 10MHz but it is a rainy day project... I have a guy that is refining CPLD code to lock it.   I think that will provide the best clock.

Now I just need to figure out how to do the multiple independant receiver thing... still awaiting n explanation.

Doc


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 18, 2012, 10:53:14 AM
SDRmax is fine.. just different.  I am used to powersdr.  I would say it is sufficient although I am not comfortable doing all I can do with it.  but I have sseveral thousand hours on powersdr.  The radio was fairly easy to characterize regarding frequency offset and it is very precise when driven by an external precision 125MHz clock. 

I currently have it hooked up to a Jackson Labs Fury via a valon 5007/3008 synthesizer divider for clocking.  I show a frequency stability somewhere around 100 nanoHz.  Which is pretty good.  I think my weak link is the synthesizer but I havent found a foolproof method of providing a more stable conversion of my 10MHz (mid 10-13 ADEV at 1 second).  I do have an apollo VHF which makes a pretty good 125 MHz clock (still synthesized).  I have a 125MHz VCO that i think I can get locked to 10MHz but it is a rainy day project... I have a guy that is refining CPLD code to lock it.   I think that will provide the best clock.

Now I just need to figure out how to do the multiple independant receiver thing... still awaiting n explanation.

Doc

Thanks Doc.

Doc, Gene,

This sounds kinda of complex.  Since you two own and run one, can you tell me what a person really needs to run one of these right in addition to these base items QS has listed on their site?


QS1R Receiver, with enclosure and USB cable
QS1E Exciter, add-on board for the QS1R receiver
SMA to BNC Adapter, gold plated
USA Power Supply, 5 VDC, 1000 mA, 100-130 VAC Input

So if a guy like me wants to know the real full laundry list of what needed to run the bands from 0-60Mhz, what other things are needed and do you have good commercial reccomendations for them.   

Doc, my guess is for Studio 1 to be able to run multiple virtual slices accross bands that obviously the spectrum you want to create the slices from has to be available to it all at once.  If that is the case then you would simply spawn Virtual Receivers and tune them to that part of the spectrum you want to recieve on.  So if we wanted 40M, 20M and 15M then we would need 7000-21450 available to Studio 1. 

On  the KX3 for example, I can only create slices on part of one band because I only have 40K of spectrum available to Studio 1 through the 16Bit driver right now. 

Thinking about this, Virtual slices with a full transceiver will be interesting.  You would probably in this model want to create one slice that you use as both Send and receive and then monitor in the others because clicking on a slice with some sort of rig control in place would likely change the VFO.

Anyways, this is all pure speculation on my part and I am not sure how much spectrum the QS1R would make available through the EXITIO.

Thanks for any help you can offer on whats really needed to run a QS1R.

 


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 11:51:18 AM
I dont use the qs1r as a transmitter.  Only as a receiver.  So I cant help you on that.  In perusing the yahoo group for qs1r i do know it is not trivial using the qs1r as a transmitter.

On studio 1 ... I am waiting for some verification as to how it works (if it does).  I have asked woodbox and they dont know.  and I am waiting on the respose from the yahoo group.  Was hoping gene would chime in.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NI0Z on September 18, 2012, 02:25:03 PM
Looking at things a little closer today, I would say that Virtual Recievers from the QS1R in Studio 1 will be limited to the 2MHZ window unless the EXITIO lib is updated to support more.  I plan on asking some questions in the group to try and better understand what is needed on my part to go along with the QS1R.  Its hard to tell at this point if I need an external clock reference or not.

Lots to learn, this is a different paradign to live it!

As a side note, if your QS1R is recent and you want to trade for my ICOM 7000, let me know.  Maybe thats a win win for both of us. In fact, I see we live fairly close so a radio exchange in person could work pretty easily.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 18, 2012, 03:37:41 PM
You can do better than that for the 7000.  No...I like this little receiver... Just wish I had kept my 7000.  Ask me again when I get my 6700...lol.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: NK2F on September 21, 2012, 11:37:02 AM
These guys are definitely moving forward with their product line:

https://apache-labs.com/al-products/1027/ANAN-100D-HF---6M-100W-ALL-MODE-SDR-TRANSCEIVER-KITPREORDER.html

It will be very interesting to see who will survive the soon to be very competitive commercial SDR transceiver market.

Rudy N2WQ


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 22, 2012, 04:08:28 AM
That is a neat radio.  I have been watching as that has been developing.  I was going to get one then got concerned.  I am not sure who is realling running things... TAPR/HPSDR/Apache labs?  I think it is structed such that HPSDR developed it and have a cooperative relationship with TAPR and then they farmed out the finish work to Apache.  Now here is why I didnt buy one.  I worry about this whole structure or lack thereof.  They software is all over the place but I could have endured that albeit very little guarantee of continued cohesive development.  Also, the board was supposed to be released in February or March... it didnt happen...then there were several months of silence about production (there was an interest list you could sign up for) but then whammo there was a week long window to order then orders were closed.  Yep... wait for months then a very short window for ordering through TAPR.. then all turned over to apache for any other orders.  It seems like a very odd way to do things to me.  Apache Labs may end up being a very viable commercial vendor for the radio... time will tell... I dont set my hopes too high though.


DOC
KX0O


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 05:20:12 AM
That is a neat radio.  I have been watching as that has been developing.  I was going to get one then got concerned.  I am not sure who is realling running things... TAPR/HPSDR/Apache labs?  I think it is structed such that HPSDR developed it and have a cooperative relationship with TAPR and then they farmed out the finish work to Apache.  Now here is why I didnt buy one.  I worry about this whole structure or lack thereof.  They software is all over the place but I could have endured that albeit very little guarantee of continued cohesive development.  Also, the board was supposed to be released in February or March... it didnt happen...then there were several months of silence about production (there was an interest list you could sign up for) but then whammo there was a week long window to order then orders were closed.  Yep... wait for months then a very short window for ordering through TAPR.. then all turned over to apache for any other orders.  It seems like a very odd way to do things to me.  Apache Labs may end up being a very viable commercial vendor for the radio... time will tell... I dont set my hopes too high though.
DOC
KX0O

What happened is that the guy who runs Apache Labs (Abhi) did the PCB layout for the HPSDR HERMES.  He got tired of the excuses and waiting for TAPR to produce the HERMES, so he decided to produce them through his company Apache Labs instead.  TAPR had a fit over this but there is nothing they could really do because Abhi owns the copyright on the PCB layout.  This put TAPR into gear and there was a compromise where Apache Labs would wait until TAPR got the orders they needed for a single run of the HERMES.  A deadline was set sometime in July so after the deadline expired, Apache Labs could take orders for the HERMES and supply it with a warranty (something TAPR does not do).  Apache Labs also developed an enclosure and PA for HERMES since the HERMES board only puts out 0.5 watts.

My concern is that Apache Labs is still depending on HPSDR volunteers to develop the software with the problems that you mentioned - software pieces all over the place with no coherent explanation of what you need or where the software is going for it.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 22, 2012, 06:11:29 AM
Gene,

Ok.. yeah... I was pretty excited about it until it went haywire.  I agree on the software issues.  Near as I can tell the HPSDR group and TAPR have some personality problems.  Case in point resulted in Phil defecting with QS1R.  Glad he did because it is a more coherent product.  What I don't get about TAPR.. they discontinue products people still want and they are apparently gone forever.  The 10MHz distribution amp is the main one I would have liked to get but missed the boat.  If you want something they have you better buy a few of them when available because they may vanish never to reappear.

Doc


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 22, 2012, 07:20:35 AM
Gene,

Ok.. yeah... I was pretty excited about it until it went haywire.  I agree on the software issues.  Near as I can tell the HPSDR group and TAPR have some personality problems.  Case in point resulted in Phil defecting with QS1R.  Glad he did because it is a more coherent product.  What I don't get about TAPR.. they discontinue products people still want and they are apparently gone forever.  The 10MHz distribution amp is the main one I would have liked to get but missed the boat.  If you want something they have you better buy a few of them when available because they may vanish never to reappear.

Doc

 I agree, there is a lot of stuff that TAPR offered at one time and then discontinued.  No one seems to take up the discontinued projects.  I think part of that is because TAPR produces those things at just a little over cost (since all the design work and prototypes are done for free by volunteers) and the cost expectations are set way too low to where no commercial for-profit entity can compete if they wanted to take up production.  At least not in any country other than China or maybe India.

TAPR's time has come and gone if you look around.  With places like KickStarter and others, funding projects is much easier than it was a few years ago.  If you look at it over time, TAPR seems to have pissed off most of the people who actually made substantial and prolific contributions to HPSDR projects in the long run.  Starting with the guy who founded HPSDR (Phil) all the way up to now (2012) with Abhi, who is now producing the HERMES under the Apache Labs name in India.

You've got to wonder about the long term viability of open hardware projects anyhow.  With China becoming a place where those things can be produced so cheaply, any business outside of China is going to have a hard time staying in business producing open hardware.  Recently, one manufacturer of an open 3D printer decided to make its 3D printer hardware projects closed now since some place in China started producing cheap versions of the original 3D printer that they put a lot of research and design work into.  It might be seen as good for the consumers, but for those who actually do the work and have to try to make a small living on it, the entrance of cheap China producers is not great news.  Someone has to foot the bill for research and design.  China just makes copies of stuff.

My other concern is that buying stuff from India and China is not helping to keep anyone here in the USA in a job.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 24, 2012, 11:02:06 AM
Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Doc


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: W6UV on September 24, 2012, 11:25:08 AM
Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Also please explain how you use 7 independent simultaneous receivers... Are you recording the streams for playback later, or are you a mutant alien with 7 ears?


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 24, 2012, 12:18:34 PM
Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Doc

Please contact the manufacturer for info.  The capability is still in beta testing I believe.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KE5JPP on September 24, 2012, 12:20:17 PM
Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Also please explain how you use 7 independent simultaneous receivers... Are you recording the streams for playback later, or are you a mutant alien with 7 ears?

If you are asking me to explain it,  I have said repeatedly that I typically use two receivers and sometimes three.  Only when I use the QS1R with CW Skimmer Server do I use 7 bands.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 24, 2012, 12:57:27 PM
It will be interesting to see if limited availability products appeal to the same market that the new Flex-6000 Series is targeted at?

There will always be some really neat "roll your own" products in the market.  Often limited availability is a price one pays for "nerd-ware" and other limited availability product.

The bigger question is at what point the Amateur Radio transceiver market shifts towards SDR that a big name conventional communications transceiver manufacturer launches a significant SDR product?

It is neat to see all the developments and to imagine what the end game capabilities of the various platforms might be....

73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)

Flex-6000 Series Postings:

Flex-6000 Series – Newsletters, Armchair Speculators and My Impressions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/flex-6000-series-newsletters-armchair-speculators-and-my-impressions/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Thin Client Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-thin-client-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-thin-client-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Ethernet Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-ethernet-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-ethernet-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Slices Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-slices-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-slices-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Diversity Reception Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-diversity-reception-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-diversity-reception-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Net Ready Impact
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-net-ready-impact/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-net-ready-impact/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – The Down Side
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-the-down-side/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-the-down-side/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Deep (and Total) Impact – Predictions
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-deep-and-total-impact-predictions/)

Flex-6700 Fantasies – “Dreaming What Might Be!” Series – Lessons Learned and Series Wrap Up   
http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flex-6700-fantasies-dreaming-what-might-be-series-lessons-learned-and-series-wrap-up/)


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 24, 2012, 01:57:08 PM
I monitor time carriers measuring the frequency precisely (microhertz and better) to get a feel for what the ionosphere is doing.    So I collect all that data simultaneously.  There are numerous reasons people use radios other than cw and ssb.  Ionospheric monitoring, spotting in digital modes and cw are a few.

Doc
KX0O

Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Also please explain how you use 7 independent simultaneous receivers... Are you recording the streams for playback later, or are you a mutant alien with 7 ears?


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on September 24, 2012, 02:17:49 PM

Flex-Radio's presentation included some talk about how they have made huge tx output requirement reductions for Ionosphere Sounding - If I caught this correctly they dropped the typcial power needed from 1.5kW to less than one watt !!

Active ionosounding is a whole 'nother world! 

Neat stuff!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com/ (http://k9zw.wordpress.com/)


I monitor time carriers measuring the frequency precisely (microhertz and better) to get a feel for what the ionosphere is doing.    So I collect all that data simultaneously.  There are numerous reasons people use radios other than cw and ssb.  Ionospheric monitoring, spotting in digital modes and cw are a few.

Doc
KX0O



Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 24, 2012, 02:28:33 PM
milliwatts are all that is needed for overhead with direct samplers.  My signal generator hooked to a dipole will even show tracks from airplanes.


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: KX0O on September 24, 2012, 02:31:38 PM
Yes the qrss grabber.. I have been using that ineffectively so far.  Hardly seamless although hopefully it is getting better.  Tried cwsl also.  Nothing works nicely so to represent it that way is clearly misrepresentation unless the project is much further beyond the initial alpha that I am using.

Hopefully you are saying that it has advanced, you are using it and it works well.

Doc

Gene,

Can you explain how you are running 7 independant receivers with the QS1R?

Doc

Please contact the manufacturer for info.  The capability is still in beta testing I believe.

Gene


Title: RE: Thoughts on the Flex-Radio Flex-6000 Series
Post by: K9ZW on October 07, 2012, 10:15:09 AM
Rather upbeat FlexInside #4 newsletter.  The well written GPSDO article puts some great (future) reasons to consider the GPSDO option).

73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  With Varying Frequency - Amateur Radio Ponderings http://k9zw.wordpress.com (http://k9zw.wordpress.com)