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Author Topic: Flex Site: "Imagine a transceiver that changes Ham Radio - Forever.."  (Read 27953 times)
N8FNR
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Posts: 149




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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 01:22:14 PM »


KE5JPP:
Quote
Get ready to see a bunch of used 5000 and 3000 radios hit the market.  You'd better unload it before it is too late!

Where are all the SDR makers that were supposed to bury Flex a year or two ago?


If you are directing the question towards me, I never said anything about other SDR manufacturers burying Flex.   You must see "Flex bashers" around every corner!

I am hoping that Flex comes out with an Ethernet interface DDC transceiver and I wish them much success with it.   Hopefully it will be much better than the 5000.

Gene



I sure hope that it is better than the 5000. After all the 5000 only has the 4th best receiver in any ham rig. That is pretty pitiful if you ask me. The 3000 is number 8 and the 1500 is 11th. Why can't the make a better receiver?
http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

Zack
N8FNR
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N3EVL
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2012, 01:49:23 PM »




In fact, the smart guys offloaded them pretty quickly because Flex slowly fazed out support for the SDR-1000 from its software.  You can't even run a SDR-1000 on Windows 7 64 now.  If history is any teacher, guys should offload their 5000, 3000, and 1500 models before Flex starts fazing out support for them in future software just like they did with the SDR-1000.

Gene

While there are some limitations on what the SDR-1000 can do since it obviously doesn't have all the hardware capabilities of the later models, I'd hardly say Flex fazed out support.  I run the latest PowerSDR (or close to latest) on my SDR-1000 and do benefit from many of the more recent features such as the Tracking Notch Filter.  I think you're correct about Win7 support but in my case I still have XP and no incentive to go to Win7 currently.  When such time comes I can likely run the SDR-1000 via hpsdr janus and ozy over USB and avoid any issues due to lack of parallel port driver support, although this obviously isn't an option for everyone - I just happen to have janus and ozy sitting around.  In general, I think Flex did a pretty good job of maintaining support for the SDR-1000 over the last few years considering the differences in hardware.

Pete
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N9RO
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Posts: 124


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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2012, 03:11:35 PM »

Unfortunately, no matter how nice the  rig appears the Flex record on delivery is not good.  They announce it May 18, 2012 with some close delivery date but the REAL availability of a reasonable working unit may be some time in 2014?  The 3000 and 5000 may have a good year or two of life, but I agree once this new generation  is announced this week the 3000 and 5000 are dead devices like the Firewire they use, old Flex radios become paper weights just like old PCs.  I know I will take a hit but will probably keep my 3000 and 5000 until  all the smoke clears on the new SDR.    This new design may also provide Gerald the opportunity to follow up on his commitment to begin charging for software?  If I remember correctly his quote on the Flex reflector was "no free beer".   I believe the Flex market has now been defined, it is a expensive experimenters radio for those who enjoy playing with technology more than operating (a techie radio), and definitely not for those who insist their radios exhibit stability, reliability and longevity.  I will be purchasing the new SDR and accept the fact that my 3000 and 5000 may be placed in the heap with my home brew 4040, Kim-1, and other computer related devices with their short life span.  Interesting, a old Collins S-Line I sold a many years ago I think is still on the air and worth more $$ than ever before.  Don't insult me by calling me a Flex Cheerleader I am NOT, I just enjoy writing radio software and SDR's provide a good platform for that.  If you do not like to throw away your radio's stay away from any SDR!

Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 03:40:12 PM »


I sure hope that it is better than the 5000. After all the 5000 only has the 4th best receiver in any ham rig. That is pretty pitiful if you ask me. The 3000 is number 8 and the 1500 is 11th. Why can't the make a better receiver?
http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

Zack
N8FNR

This is what I posted in the Station Building Forum and it applies here as well:

Be careful not to fall into the specsmanship game by chasing after the Sherwood receiver test numbers.  A few decibels here or there is not going to be noticed by your ears.  The only place you may notice it is with very expensive test equipment as long as the testing is done correctly and in a way that is repeatable.  They are non-real world tests. They are lab numbers under tightly controlled circumstances.  Just realize that these tests are a poor substitute for performance comparison in the real world. 

As far as the real world goes, a receiver can have extremely good numbers on the Sherwood tests but have the ergonomics of an old smelly pig.  You would not want to live with it every day no matter how high it rates.   Forget the specmanship and actually try out some radios to see if you can live with them from day to day.


Gene
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 03:45:51 PM »


Also, You can not equate the used price of Knobbed (Kenwood) Radios with SDR radios like Flex. Even a very old Kenwood TS-440s has more value than a Flex SDR 1000. Old SDR technology is as worthless as yesterdays computer. 20 years from now my TS-590s will have 5 times the value of a Flex 5K. And that is the truth.

Stan K9IUQ

Stan, this is exactly the truth!  It is ridiculous when guys try to compare a black box computer dependent Flex-5000 to a knobbed radio like the Kenwood as far as value in the long term.  In 10 years time Firewire will be a distant memory and there will be a bunch of valueless Flex 5000 and 3000 rigs sitting in guys basements, garages, and closets.

Take our advice... SELL NOW!

Gene
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ZENKI
Member

Posts: 960




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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2012, 03:51:45 AM »

Well if its a radio with knobs and::::::

TFT screen
Direct sampling receiver
DUC transmitter
200 watts of low IMD output
High voltage FET PA with in built power supply
Adaptive predistortion PA
Built in ethernet remote
Removable front panel for remote
Calibrated S-meter
Ability to monitor your TX signal or use the RX as a spectrum analyzer or VNA

These features will give the Flex a edge over the competition, anything else will just be a me too radio. Besides the hams who like the concept of a PC controlled radio will  look at all the other cheaper alternatives on the market, alternatives like the Open HPSDR Hermes etc

I would buy 2, however I seriously doubt that Flexradio has the engineering expertise to deliver such a radio. If Flex produced something close to the ADAT with 100 or 200 watts all the hams  who like real radios with knobs might buy it.  I suspect it will juts be a Ethernet controlled direct sampling SDR receiver with a DUC transmitter thats controlled via Ethernet. Basically something similar to the HPSDR Hermes, it will still be a PC driven radio.

The past rejection by the ham radio market place of PC driven radios should be marketing lesson for Flexradio. The majority of the market place wants a boxed  radio with knobs. I seriously doubt that Flexradio has any interest
in producing any radio with a front panel and knobs. They will always be a minority player for this very reason.

As for the TS990S its going to be a runaway success if the rumor about its price is right, its going to be  a category killer. Besides who is going to be silly enough to pay double the price for a IC7800 or FTDX9000, or worst still the ultra expensive Hilberling PT8000. You  would have rocks in your  head to ignore the TS990S. If the radio has a receiver  like the FTDX9000 the market will reject it. The days of playing hams for suckers is long over!.

Good luck to the Flexradio people, I hope they can truly release something that is actually better  than  competition. I hope its just not a bunch of hyperbola  and marketing BS. This years Daytons looks like its going
to be a interesting year for new products.  Maybe Elecraft will surprise everyone and announce the K4 they have been working on it for a while now, they must have some idea of  what the radio is going to be.






All of you Kenwood owners better sell all of your rigs! The new TS-990 makes it obsolete! And you know it is better that any Flex rig could ever be because it has 148 buttons and knobs. If it had 150 I would buy one. Now that would make it a Real Radio TM. I bet that everthing that Kenwood has ever sold will be going to firesale prices on Craigslist before the weekend is out. But then who is going to buy them since everyone will be ordering a TS-990?
http://dx-world.net/2012/new-kenwood-ts-990/

Zack
N8FNR
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N9RO
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Posts: 124


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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2012, 07:22:05 AM »

Quote
Say this on a Flex Reflector and you will run the risk of being banned.

I once made a less than positive statement of what appeared to be obvious on the Flex reflector and was called names.   

Tim,  N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2012, 08:03:34 AM »

 I believe the Flex market has now been defined, it is a expensive experimenters radio for those who enjoy playing with technology more than operating (a techie radio), and definitely not for those who insist their radios exhibit stability, reliability and longevity. 
Tim, N9RO

Its funny that most of the Flex-fans take this as some kind of insult.  I do not believe it is.   It is just a truthful statement of the situation.  I purchase a lot of stuff that would be considered for the experimenter that requires endless tinkering and coercing to get set up correctly.  I purchase this equipment knowing full well what I am getting into.   This is a warning to those who think Flex radios are plug and play transceivers.   If you don't enjoy experimenting and tinkering, then stay away from the Flex.

Gene
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2558




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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2012, 06:36:31 AM »

Here's the full list of clues from Flex:

Imagine a transceiver that changes ham radio forever.
Imagine networking as forethought not afterthought
Imagine complex things made simple.
Imagine digital starting at the antenna connector.
Imagine signal processing limited only by your dreams.
Imagine dynamic range so high...

---
Just a thought...

A shortcoming of Flex is its inability to hear much of anything on LW. It would be neat to have a really hot receiver for the new 600 meter band and <<<perhaps>>> some limited transmitting capability there.... a first for any transceiver.
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NI0Z
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Posts: 569


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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2012, 08:57:15 PM »

Maybe it's a box you can put as close as the antenna if you want, built in wireless router so you can access it without even cables.  You use your PC for the microphone if you want.  If you place it in the shack you can still hook up your amp and everything else like a regular flex.  The point is, you won't need a wire going to your PC.  Bet it has a built in ATU as well.  First offering probably more like a flex 3k but better dynamic range, ect.  This way it's always on because it's a network appliance and so if you want you can access it anywhere.  Think of SDR Radio as the model for the software interface.

I think it's that simple.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 09:01:05 PM by EVERSTAR » Logged

ZENKI
Member

Posts: 960




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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2012, 01:22:01 AM »

All interesting the Flexradio 6000 brochure and details are on their web page. A step in the right directing.

I am disappointed that they are using a stone age PA 13.8 volts DC RD100HHF1 devices, and as usual no IMD specifications. Generally when no IMD specs are given and the devices are 13 volt devices  the IMD performance is marginal.
A real shame. Opportunity squandered  by Flexradio to build a first class transmitter.  WIth all that processing power  you would have thought that adaptive pre-distortion with decent RF fets could have been squeezed into the Flex6000.

The receiver in the Flex 6000 is a game changer, however the transmitter is a disappointment.


Maybe it's a box you can put as close as the antenna if you want, built in wireless router so you can access it without even cables.  You use your PC for the microphone if you want.  If you place it in the shack you can still hook up your amp and everything else like a regular flex.  The point is, you won't need a wire going to your PC.  Bet it has a built in ATU as well.  First offering probably more like a flex 3k but better dynamic range, ect.  This way it's always on because it's a network appliance and so if you want you can access it anywhere.  Think of SDR Radio as the model for the software interface.

I think it's that simple.
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W4ZV
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2012, 03:02:23 AM »

Questions for someone at Flex's Dayton booth:

"Except for the most demanding large signal conditions, Slice
Receivers are free to operate in wide-band mode without the need
for RF pre-selection filters."


1.  What does "most demanding" mean?

"Further, the
dual Spectral Capture Units can be optimally combined on the
FLEX-6700 and FLEX-6700R to increase Blocking Dynamic Range
up to 3 dB and IMD DR3 up to 2 dB."


2.  Increase BDR 3 dB better than what?
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2012, 03:34:25 AM »

Now all you have to do is wait 2-4 years for Flex to get all the bugs worked out and then you'll have a nice SDR (except for the crappy CB type MOSFET PA).

Gene
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2012, 03:48:25 AM »

The newest blub says "Imagine digital starting at the antenna connector..."

So I am now betting it will be a direct sampling transceiver with Ethernet connectivity to the PC.

Gene



Quote
Yes, but Firewire existed long before they released the Flex-5000.  USB 3 is relatively new.  It will be Ethernet... just watch...

Gene

Direct Sampling - Check!
Ethernet - Check!

The DSP is done with a TI DSP.  I imagine the software will be for the GUI and control of the radio.  Smart move.  All closed source, of course.  Still no knobs... Expensive... But so is a IC-7600/7700/7800 or the top of the line Yaesu (and the TS-990 Kenwood)...

Gene
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 03:51:32 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2012, 03:53:06 AM »

I'm guessing it is not hardware.  

Noooooooooooooooo  Check.  Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ

Yeah, but later I said "The newest blub says "Imagine digital starting at the antenna connector..."  So I am now betting it will be a direct sampling transceiver with Ethernet connectivity to the PC."  Double Check!  Grin  I could only go by Flex's daily hints.

Gene
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 03:54:41 AM by KE5JPP » Logged
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