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Author Topic: Flex Site: "Imagine a transceiver that changes Ham Radio - Forever.."  (Read 26063 times)
NI0Z
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« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2012, 08:27:35 PM »

After looking at the brochure and specs these are interesting new radios.  I wish the price were not so high though, however, that said, for the right Ham the radio might be worth it's asking price.

Basically it looks like they have a digital sample of the bandwidth that they can split into 8 views, so saying it has 8 receivers if that's truly the case would seem misleading.  I think the limit of 8 is simply a matter of raw computing power.  What your really probably getting is a meta data graphical view of a slice of bandwidth.  It's clever but not rocket science.  So if you wanted to be monitoring 8 slices and bounce to a signle in any view on the drop of a dime, it's pretty slick.  

What's slick too is the computing requirements for the end user should be much more reasonable.  Why today with my Flex 5K dual receiver and all the junkola I run with it I am chewing up 8 zenon 2.66 cores.

I don't see why though if Flex had a competitor that as far as hardware goes why this couldn't be done cheaper.  What we need is more SDR transceiver competition.

As to the notion about all these comments on obsolescence I think at preset with the current price tag it would be like saying the latest Ferrari makes your VW Jeta obsolete.  What we are really talking about here in my humble opinion is more impact on Flexes competition that would compete in that price range.  IE, if I cant afford a Ferrari I cant afford it and it means little to me that it changed the game, as at that price it cant change my game.  And when we go there we just get back to SDR is not for everyone.

My definition of a game changer is something that the masses can access.  The price tag on this is for a minority.  In terms of price it's no more a game changer than the IC 7800 or FT 9000.

I try to shoot straight about all this stuff.  And SDR's are cool and fun, but I can't help but wonder in terms of pure haming if a rig like a IC 7800, or FT 5000 would discriminate and dig out some signals better head to head.  

So anyone got a place to see more info on the new Kenwood rig, I am curious about it?

I am going to let all the early adopters bleed the edge for me as far as the new offerings go and see if the market doesn't yield a lower price or a second gen offering before I leap.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 06:24:56 PM by EVERSTAR » Logged

KE5JPP
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« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2012, 06:02:47 AM »

It is funny to see that the Elecraft Fanboys are already trying to trash the Flex 6000 and direct sampling receivers on the Elecraft list.  Their ignorance of, and arguments against, direct sampling receivers is even more hilarious.   Good that Flex is making the Elecraft boys sweat a little.  Competition is good for us users.

Gene
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2012, 03:46:20 PM »

Well, Flex reps on the Yahoo group say they are not abandoning
the 1500, 3000 or the 5000 radios. And will continue to support
them and PowerSDR. They consider those radios their lower end
market radios now. For how long, who knows?
  I asked about them offering a 6000 Series radio that is equal or
somewhere near the price range of the 1500, with fewer options
and features, and they said it was unlikely to happen as the parts
even for a basic 6000 radio exceeded the cost of the 1500.
That is understandable to me. But, I was hoping for something in
the $1000 range that had some of the abilities of the 6500.
Not a deal breaker for me either way. I like my 1500 just fine.
But, my old radios are more fun to use. I still like knobs and
tubes that glow in the dark!
  Also, each of the big 3 have high end radios that cost more than
the 6000 Series.  $10,000 and up! The highest priced 6000 series
is $7000. Not chump change (well not for me) but, much cheaper
than the competition's high end radios. It will be interesting to see
how they do in the real world and to actually work one.
james
WD5GWY

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KE5JPP
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« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2012, 06:00:26 PM »

Well, Flex reps on the Yahoo group say they are not abandoning
the 1500, 3000 or the 5000 radios. And will continue to support
them and PowerSDR. They consider those radios their lower end
market radios now. For how long, who knows?
  I asked about them offering a 6000 Series radio that is equal or
somewhere near the price range of the 1500, with fewer options
and features, and they said it was unlikely to happen as the parts
even for a basic 6000 radio exceeded the cost of the 1500.
That is understandable to me. But, I was hoping for something in
the $1000 range that had some of the abilities of the 6500.
Not a deal breaker for me either way. I like my 1500 just fine.
But, my old radios are more fun to use. I still like knobs and
tubes that glow in the dark!
  Also, each of the big 3 have high end radios that cost more than
the 6000 Series.  $10,000 and up! The highest priced 6000 series
is $7000. Not chump change (well not for me) but, much cheaper
than the competition's high end radios. It will be interesting to see
how they do in the real world and to actually work one.
james
WD5GWY



A new Yahoo group just popped up dedicated to the Flex 6000 series radios.  In the description is says its a place to "openly" and "freely" discuss the new radio.  It also says it is unmoderated.  I wonder how long it will stay that way?

Here's the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flexradio6000series/

Gene
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NI0Z
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« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2012, 07:36:18 PM »

Just keep in mind that on some of those transceivers you get a real second receiver you can plug into a second antenna.  I am already finding that having a horizontal beam and a vertical dipole has benefits when seeking DX's.  It's really sweet to be able to here both at the same time!
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N3HFS
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« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2012, 04:28:56 AM »

Hams are notoriously cheap. The majority of hams want nothing to do with a computer controlling a SDR. They want and buy knobbed radios.They also hold onto radios and computers forever, this limits the SDR market even more.

I am reminded of Icom's PCR-series receivers.

No, they aren't PCRs, but they have proprietary interfaces (which were eventually reverse-engineered?) and relied on software and RS-232 for control. 

And no knobs.
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2012, 07:04:31 AM »


Flexradio is going to have a very difficult time marketing a $4-7K SDR and a $200 a year software fee to hams. It may be their downfall. They are taking a huge gamble. Something the BIg 3 would never do.

Stan K9IUQ


I don't know about that.  According to some unofficial reports, Flex took HUNDREDs of pre-orders at Dayton for their Flex-6000 series radios.  That is at least 6 months before they even start shipping.

Gene
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NI0Z
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« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2012, 07:48:44 AM »

Digging in further, seeing videos from Dayton, ect.  It really is a cool radio.  The 6700 does have a second Real Reciever, I was mistaken there.  The SDR crowd will end up buying more of these than people think and the cost will be rationalized, financed, ect. 

And G Wiz Wally, you get the jacket if you order now!  Smiley

Seriously, it's some pretty cool stuff, which it should be at these prices.  If you look at the other traditional offerings from big 3 and their prices tags it's not so bad.  I think I saw last night in a video that the new Yaesu DX FT 30000 will run between $5000 and $10,000 ( interesting that they quote such a large range, guessing closer to 10k than 5k).  Guessing the Kenwood won't be cheap either.

Interestingly the Russian SunSDR has interesting specs, but it's still a sound card Reciever.   The funny thing about most of these radios is that you end up paying a ton for the receiver portion of all these radios and the transmit sides seemingly look really light on specs.  The poor man could easily couple a second SDR Reciever with their lower end HF Rig and have a comperable makeshift solution.  Even more interesting is that they may even have fewer issues than the full blown SDR rigs have.  These next gen SDRs in particular with Ethernet and wireless access and thin clients on the computer will make that even more true with regards to battling RF.

But, of course, you won't get the limited edition signed box and jacket going that route!
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NI0Z
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« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2012, 09:33:19 AM »

They probably already have made a million bucks or more in preorders but they probably have sunk some serious dollars in product and software development as well.  One of the videos I just watched had a developer saying the software displayed at Dayton was a mock up.  My guess is that they will have some delays finishing that portion of the development.  I look for a q1 2013 release rather than late this year.
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ZENKI
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« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2012, 02:44:33 PM »

Looking at the current market pricing.

SDR Receiver $1000 dollars (Winradio G31)
SDR Transmitter $1000 dollars(Fleapower)
MRF150 PA 600 watts $600 with filters(homebrew kit)
50 volt power supply switch mode $300 dollars (Taiwan)
 
Thats 2900 dollars if Joe ham did it with off the shelf hardware.
You could build a fantastic panel with ARM processor and TF screen for $1000 dollars.

That brings our super off the Shelf SDR radio to 3900 dollars,  ADAT Charges $5000 dollars.

If the manufacturer built everything himself, the real manufactured cost for the above  would be about 1200 dollars.

There is no reason why we cant have a  sub 3000 dollar SDR transceiver. The above if integrated very would l outperform all the current high end 10K radios in both RX and TX performance.

SDR radios are really about the businessmen not wanting to change the business model. When they finally make the change and wake up, the opportunity will be lost to other smaller manufacturers like ADAT, Chinese or the Russians.

Kenwood had the opportunity with the TS990S, however they have decided to stick with horse and cart technology.

The SDR crowd will end up buying more of these than people think and the cost will be rationalized, financed, ect. 

No doubt. The problem of course is the "SDR crowd" is very small compared to the whole ham radio population. I know dozens of hams where I live. Not one owns or has owned a SDR. Except me...

Since knobbed radios dominate the ham market, I would guess that my area is not unusual..

I also do not know any ham in my area that has a radio that costs more than $4K. The majority of them have $1-2K radios

Stan K9IUQ


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KA4KOE
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« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2012, 09:41:21 AM »

I like my 5K. I also like my Plessey UK/RT320. I like them for different reasons. However, the pricing of the new Flex, plus the exorbitant software licensing fees, means that my 5K will the last SDR I own, unless someone else comes up with a better box. I don't like SDR THAT much; not for 4-6K.

I keep waiting for Quicksilver to market their exciter. Where is it?

Philip
KA4KOE
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KE5JPP
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« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2012, 10:04:00 AM »


I keep waiting for Quicksilver to market their exciter. Where is it?

Philip
KA4KOE

Here: http://qs1r.wikispaces.com/QS1E+Exciter

Gene
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HAMMYGUY
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« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2012, 09:36:24 AM »

I was able to get a look at this "game changer" at the Seaside Oregon hamfest.  Seems to be a well built box with some circuit boards stuffed inside.  The software running was showing two very small panadapters and nothing else.  However the display with the Flex5000A running PowerSDR was VERY impressive and well presented.  Most people were looking at the 5000A. 
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2012, 10:11:32 AM »

I was able to get a look at this "game changer" at the Seaside Oregon hamfest.  Seems to be a well built box with some circuit boards stuffed inside.  The software running was showing two very small panadapters and nothing else.  However the display with the Flex5000A running PowerSDR was VERY impressive and well presented.  Most people were looking at the 5000A. 
I guess they still have not got a working version of SmartSDR (the new software for
the 6000 Series) ready to show yet. Bummer, I was hoping that they would have
something to show by the time they get to HAMCOM in Plano, TX this coming Saturday.
 It sounds as though they won't. Too bad, I know a couple of guys that might pre-order
one if they could see an actual demo instead of mockup software running. Won't be me
though. I have just about decided that there is no advantage for me, to sink 4K - 7K
in an SDR radio. But, then again, who knows? I might win the lottery!
Then, I'll buy two!
james
WD5GWY
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N8FNR
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« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2012, 06:13:59 PM »

Yeah, yeah, Flex makes the WORST radios in history according to you. In fact I bet that from your point of view that Flex makes MFJ look like mil-spec.

I know that I have been glad to learn the One Great Truth that you posess. Perhaps you could give seminars at TED next year and share your revelations with the world at large?

After reading your missives I have sold my Flex-5000 and replaced it with a Sugiyama F850 rated 1.3 on eham http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3633.  Are you happy now? Or does everyone need to sell all of their Flex rigs then you will shut up?

It would be nice if this forum could actually be about SDRs including Flex rather than being a forum for your personal vendetta.

Why not just move on with your life? It seems as if that this is all you live for.

Geez, either go back on your meds or resume your electroshock treatments please!

Zack
N8FNR
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