Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Keep Flex-5000A or Sell and Buy K3?  (Read 17073 times)
W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




Ignore
« on: August 29, 2012, 02:33:05 PM »

I've had a Flex-5000A for 18 months now, and haven't had any issues with it, but I'm starting to miss real knobs. I already have an Elecraft K3 that I use at my other station and I'm thinking of selling the 5000A and getting another K3.

I'm used the K3 almost entirely on CW -- how is it on phone and on digital modes? Is the RF performance close enough to the Flex-5000A that I won't miss anything?
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 560


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 02:38:16 PM »

Guessing you want a real knobbed radio, but just in case, this is what I did for my Flex 5000A.  I have a KX3 I am comparing, but I am not far along enough to offer a good opinion on performance.

http://www.dh1tw.de/how-powersdr-ui-users-set-up-their-dj-consoles

Lol, I just placed my bet in Vegas that you will receive a majority response to sell tha Flex here.

Just kidding!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 02:55:38 PM by NI0Z » Logged

KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 03:03:08 PM »

I've had a Flex-5000A for 18 months now, and haven't had any issues with it, but I'm starting to miss real knobs. I already have an Elecraft K3 that I use at my other station and I'm thinking of selling the 5000A and getting another K3.

I'm used the K3 almost entirely on CW -- how is it on phone and on digital modes? Is the RF performance close enough to the Flex-5000A that I won't miss anything?

I guess it all comes down to which radio you enjoy using more.  Since you already have a K3, you should try it out on SSB and the digital modes to see how it plays against the Flex-5000a.  Other than the lack of knobs, is there anything else that bothers you about the Flex-5000a?

Contrary to what the NI0Z said, I don't think you will get a majority telling you to sell the 5000a.  At this point the Flex and its software is just about as stable as it is going to get.  Unless you come up with a compelling reason for YOURSELF to convince you to sell your 5000a, I would keep it.  If you are just missing knobs, there are solutions to that for the Flex Radios as mentioned.  I owned a K3 and it has its own downsides.  Remember the grass is always greener...

Gene
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 03:07:43 PM by KE5JPP » Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 03:06:56 PM »

I've had a Flex-5000A for 18 months now, and haven't had any issues with it, but I'm starting to miss real knobs.

Jerry, somehow I knew you would eventually go back to knobs. Gotta give you credit, you lasted a lot longer than I did with Flexradio.  Wink

I do not have a K-3, right now I have a TS-590s. I can honestly say performance wise the Flexradio has nothing over the Kenwood. The Kenwood filters and RX front end are very good. Honestly the only thing I miss is the Flex panadapter and point and click and I don't miss that much.

I do not miss the Flexradio database resets, computer rebooting, RFI, all the ferrites on everything including my dogs tail (that was for you Jari  Cheesy) and the frustration level that one must endure owning a Flexradio.

The K-3 is a very good radio, in fact most knobbed radios these days are very good. Buy a knobbed radio, You will be very happy.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 03:13:53 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 03:09:41 PM »

this is what I did for my Flex 5000A.

Probably this is not new for you but:

You can put lipstick on a Pig. Put clothes on a pig. Even housebreak a Pig. But when it is all said and done, you still got a Pig...

LMAO
Stan K9IUQ
Logged
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 03:13:34 PM »

Guessing you want a real knobbed radio, but just in case, this is what I did for my Flex 5000A.  I have a KX3 I am comparing, but I am not far along enough to offer a good opinion on performance.

http://www.dh1tw.de/how-powersdr-ui-users-set-up-their-dj-consoles

Lol, I just placed my bet in Vegas that you will receive a majority response to sell tha Flex here.

Just kidding!

There is also the FlexControl knob: http://www.flex-radio.com/Products.aspx?topic=F5K_accessories that might help you with knob withdrawal.  If its that that Flex requires a PC to use it, then there is not too much you can do about that.

Gene
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 560


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 03:27:09 PM »

this is what I did for my Flex 5000A.

Probably this is not new for you but:

You can put lipstick on a Pig. Put clothes on a pig. Even housebreak a Pig. But when it is all said and done, you still got a Pig...

LMAO
Stan K9IUQ

Smiley As I suggested, sounds like he will want a real knobbed radio and not a pig with lipstick! Smiley
Logged

K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 01:47:58 AM »

I'm used the K3 almost entirely on CW -- how is it on phone and on digital modes? Is the RF performance close enough to the Flex-5000A that I won't miss anything?

The SSB xmit on the K-3 sucks. I have worked and heard many and have not heard a decent SSB K-3 signal yet. Some of the recent Dxexpeditions using K-3's on SSB sounded absolutely horrible. If SSB xmit is your priority stay with the Flex 5K. It can excel on SSB  xmit.

If you want a knobbed radio for SSB get a Kenwood or Yaesu. They sound much better than any K-3.

For digital modes just about any radio does well. However if RTTY is your priority get an Icom. They have twin peak filters on FSK which is far and away better than anything I have ever used on RTTY. In fact those twin peak filters are amazing on FSK, however they do not function on AFSK.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 01:53:31 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
W4ZV
Member

Posts: 84


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 02:40:05 AM »

The SSB xmit on the K-3 sucks. I have worked and heard many and have not heard a decent SSB K-3 signal yet. Some of the recent Dxexpeditions using K-3's on SSB sounded absolutely horrible. If SSB xmit is your priority stay with the Flex 5K. It can excel on SSB  xmit.

If you want a knobbed radio for SSB get a Kenwood or Yaesu. They sound much better than any K-3.

For digital modes just about any radio does well. However if RTTY is your priority get an Icom. They have twin peak filters on FSK which is far and away better than anything I have ever used on RTTY. In fact those twin peak filters are amazing on FSK, however they do not function on AFSK.

Any radio (including Flex) can be made to sound horrible on SSB if not set up properly.  Expeditions often have ops unfamiliar with the rigs they're using who misadjust the settings (e.g. knobs all the way to the right).  How many expeditions have you ever heard using Flex 5000s?   Wink

See N1EU's page below for setup hints:

http://n1eu.com/K3/K3_notes.htm

Note also that there were some changes to the DSP in 2009 to improve the TX/RX audio range.  As with all Elecraft mods, the mod is available for older units produced prior to the production changes.

Any K3 DSP board Rev D or later will have the extended low end audio response enhancement on RX and TX and the LPF audio roll off above 4 kHz.

http://www.elecraft.com/K3/mods/dsp_rev_c_information.htm

Regarding RTTY, the K3 also uses a dual peak filter.  W0YK, who uses two K3s in SO2R, regularly sets world records from P49X.  He used IC-756PROs before switching to K3s in 2007:

http://www.w0yk.com/p49x_contests.htm

73,  Bill
Logged
KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 04:52:23 AM »

The SSB xmit on the K-3 sucks. I have worked and heard many and have not heard a decent SSB K-3 signal yet. Some of the recent Dxexpeditions using K-3's on SSB sounded absolutely horrible. If SSB xmit is your priority stay with the Flex 5K. It can excel on SSB  xmit.

If you want a knobbed radio for SSB get a Kenwood or Yaesu. They sound much better than any K-3.

For digital modes just about any radio does well. However if RTTY is your priority get an Icom. They have twin peak filters on FSK which is far and away better than anything I have ever used on RTTY. In fact those twin peak filters are amazing on FSK, however they do not function on AFSK.

Any radio (including Flex) can be made to sound horrible on SSB if not set up properly.  Expeditions often have ops unfamiliar with the rigs they're using who misadjust the settings (e.g. knobs all the way to the right).  How many expeditions have you ever heard using Flex 5000s?   Wink

See N1EU's page below for setup hints:

http://n1eu.com/K3/K3_notes.htm

Note also that there were some changes to the DSP in 2009 to improve the TX/RX audio range.  As with all Elecraft mods, the mod is available for older units produced prior to the production changes.

Any K3 DSP board Rev D or later will have the extended low end audio response enhancement on RX and TX and the LPF audio roll off above 4 kHz.

http://www.elecraft.com/K3/mods/dsp_rev_c_information.htm

Regarding RTTY, the K3 also uses a dual peak filter.  W0YK, who uses two K3s in SO2R, regularly sets world records from P49X.  He used IC-756PROs before switching to K3s in 2007:

http://www.w0yk.com/p49x_contests.htm

73,  Bill

I depends on how picky you are about your audio.  I had the K3 and while it can be made to have better transmit audio, it is still outdone by other radios costing half as much.  If you don't mind the typical contester type audio, then you won't mind the K3.  For all the hyped features of the K3, receive and transmit audio quality is not one of them.  There were enough complaints by K3 users that Elecraft made a mod to the radio and also to the DSP firmware to attempt to address this with only mediocre results.

Gene
Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2012, 05:12:21 AM »

I depends on how picky you are about your audio.  I had the K3 and while it can be made to have better transmit audio

If you don't mind the typical contester type audio

If you own a K-3 you are not going to get unsolicited Great SSB Audio reports.  Cheesy

It seems most Contesters want nasty SSB audio. The K-3 can certainly provide that..

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 05:17:15 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1626




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2012, 05:21:46 AM »

How many expeditions have you ever heard using Flex 5000s?   Wink
73,  Bill

ZERO
You can not use the words contesting or Dxexpedition and "using a Flexradio" in a sentence without lying.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 05:25:18 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 05:45:23 AM »

ZERO
You can not use the words contesting or Dxexpedition and "using a Flexradio" in a sentence without lying.  Wink

On a DXpedition that's completely understandable as the computer needed to run a Flex is another point of failure you don't need when out on some windswept antarctic island. At least with a rig like the K3 if the computer fails you can still log with a pencil and paper. If that happens with a Flex you're dead in the water.
Logged
NI0Z
Member

Posts: 560


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 08:03:41 AM »

I depends on how picky you are about your audio.  I had the K3 and while it can be made to have better transmit audio

If you don't mind the typical contester type audio

If you own a K-3 you are not going to get unsolicited Great SSB Audio reports.  Cheesy

It seems most Contesters want nasty SSB audio. The K-3 can certainly provide that..

Stan K9IUQ

Two of the five total QSOs I have had with the KX3 yielded great audio reports before they even knew it was a KX3.  What did I change on settings, nothing at all.  I just followed the advice of setting the Mic gain to mid level.  I was told I sounded great and asked what I was using.  They were shocked when I told them it was a KX3 with the Elecraft hand Mic.

To make this even more interesting, one of the QSOs was at a whopping 12 watts from east KS to the CA coast and the other was just 5 watts.  I did London on 30-40 watts SSB as well.

I keep hearing from people that K3s have bad audio, but I would say the 3 or 4 QSOs I have had with folks were average to good.  I have really nice receive audio, people have heard it on a video I made of the station and commented on it so I don't know if that has anything to do with people's perception or not as well.

I hear a variety of good and bad audio and as a flex user and I have people ask me to help them straighten it out a lot.  Lol, one of the seemingly interesting facets of being a flex owner.

Mostly I see people running too hot or compressing too much or trying to add too much frontend audio FX if they are running it.

I am not am expert, so my feedback here is just that of a newer ham based off observation and my experience making SSB QSOs.

By the way, even as an infamous flex user, I have had bad audio at times, especially when I added front end processing and I had to sit with other users who graciously helped me iron it all out.  This is what I would say is key to having good audio on any system, it's to get feedback from a variety of users and adjust it accordingly.

Best of luck, this is a tuff decision.  Follow your heart and I'd follow the advice of getting it working on your existing K3 before making a final decision.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 08:09:10 AM by NI0Z » Logged

W6UV
Member

Posts: 536




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 08:31:04 AM »

I'm a DXer, not a rag chewer, so good audio isn't too high up on my priority list (as long as it's not so bad as to be unintelligible).

I'm not wedded to the idea of a K3 yet, either, but I want to keep the budget right around what I'm likely to get from the sale of my 5000A. I've looked at other rigs in roughly this price range, like the TenTec Omni-VII, but they all seem to have quirks almost as annoying as the Flex. The market is small--the Japanese big three and various American boutique brands (Elecraft, TenTec, Flex)--so the choices aren't unlimited.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!