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Author Topic: As someone who listens about 95% of the time and talks 2% of the time..... (SDR)  (Read 2557 times)
KG4WXP
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Posts: 165




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« on: October 18, 2012, 07:28:32 PM »

Okay, so heres the situation:

I listen most of the time.... not just on the ham bands but to shortwave, utility stations, and so on and so forth... I don't talk too often.

Most of the time, when i DO transmit, my transmissions are Data (PSK 31, Hellschriber, etc..) and other similar modes, and maybe about 2% of the time I actually use voice.

I currently have an Icom 746 (Original Version).

For any of you who have used the flex radios, would getting a Flex 1500 be much of an upgrade on receive?

I know that it has the panadapter which seems awesome, and of course I could get an amp if I didnt want to run QRP, but mainly I'm wondering how the listening capabilities of the 1500 would compare with the 746 and similar rigs.

Thanks!

Chris

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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 08:51:13 PM »

Hello Chris:

I can only offer you an impression, having never had or even tried an original 746. That said, I suspect you would enjoy the 1500 very much. It's a lot of receiver  for $700. It is most certainly not as good a receiver as the multi-kilobucks rigs, but it is, outside of 6 meters, better than my TS-2000(faint praise?) and compares well over all, especially on the lower bands, with my IC7000. The panadaptor and the rig as a whole are a blast to use.

You can compare specs from Sherwood or in past issues of QST for empiric data. But my impression is that you would like the 1500.

73,
Bill WA8FOZ
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2338




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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 12:53:01 PM »

I would not give up an IC-746 for a Flex 1500.

The 1500 is not going to magically pull in 30% more signals.   The 746 has all the performance necessary for even difficult conditions on the HF bands.   It will work every time you push the ON switch.  Flex does offer software updates on a frequent basis, but that brings you into the Tinkerer-Experimenter category.

Personally I think band scopes are over rated, and find them distracting.  Many times I find signals aurally, that don't show or are easily missed with a band scope.

Understand that SDR technology is still evolving and should be considered developmental/experimental, much like heterodyne/superheterodyne in the 20's and 30's.  The Flex offers the opportunity to play with new software that can take advantage of the SDR interfaces and processing.  The 1500 will probably be discontinued and "obsolete" much sooner than the 746, as Flex introduces new models.

I think these two radio are in completely different categories.  Do you want a rock solid traditional radio that will still be running 15 years from now, or do you want to be closer to the leading edge of SDR and fiddle and experiment.

BTW, I've been following SDR for over ten years and participate in the HPSDR Project.  I've met the folks from Flex several times and have great respect for their achievements.

73, bill



« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 12:56:59 PM by KB4QAA » Logged
N0YXB
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Posts: 304




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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 03:23:57 PM »

I'd keep the 746 and consider adding an SDR to my station.  Something like the QuickSilver QS1R.
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Vince
STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 859




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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 04:02:42 PM »

I would also keep the 746.

For someone who wants to dip their toe into SDR radio's, the FLEX1500 is a great solution.

But it is (like other SDR solutions), dependent on the computer it is connected with.
With Microsoft changing Windows frequently, it may become more cumbersome to use than a traditional radio.
I am thinking of their drive in Windows8 to go to a more tablet approach, which means continual updates from FLEX to keep things real.
Remember - the PC is the other half of the radio, and so it is not as small as it first appears.

In my opinion, if you want a panadaptor type display, splash out for Ham Radio Deluxe, which allows scanning frequencies in a radio.
You can get a pseudo pan adaptor while still keeping a stand-alone radio.

I am a great fan of SDR radio's but understand their limitations and dependency on computers - with all the problems that entails.

Good luck either way, 73 - Rob
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KG4WXP
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Posts: 165




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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 06:10:56 PM »

But it is (like other SDR solutions), dependent on the computer it is connected with.

Alienware X51, Intel Core i3-2120 @ 3.30 ghz

4.0 mb ram

Nvidia GeForce GT 545 Dedicated Graphics Gaming Card.



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STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 859




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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 09:48:36 PM »

But it is (like other SDR solutions), dependent on the computer it is connected with.

Alienware X51, Intel Core i3-2120 @ 3.30 ghz

4.0 mb ram

Nvidia GeForce GT 545 Dedicated Graphics Gaming Card.


Nice system!
I assume you mean 4.0Gb ram - I have the same problem with moving from Gb to Tb on hard drives.
Your PC is plenty powerful enough to drive any SDR radio.
By the way, how do you find the Alienware PC?
Thinking of getting one myself.

73 - Rob
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KA4POL
Member

Posts: 1967




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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 10:12:18 PM »

You might consider the Perseus SDR. It is high on the Sherwood list, offers coverage to 40 MHz and is off the shelf. You just hook it up to your computer.
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W7SMJ
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Posts: 120




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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 01:23:41 PM »

I'd keep the 746 and consider adding an SDR to my station.  Something like the QuickSilver QS1R.

+1 QS1R

73,
Scott
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KE5JPP
Member

Posts: 0




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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 06:26:54 PM »

You might consider the Perseus SDR. It is high on the Sherwood list, offers coverage to 40 MHz and is off the shelf. You just hook it up to your computer.

Forget the Flex-1500, it only gives you +/- 20 kHz of spectrum in the panadapter display.  PowerSDR is old and clunky too.

Skip over the Perseus since it only covers up to 40 MHz and is not supported well by the manufacturer anymore.

Like N0YXB and W7SMJ, I suggest the QS1R.  It covers up to 62.5 MHz, has nice software, and can record/playback and display up to 2 MHz of spectrum in the panadapter.  It is similar in price to the 1500 and the Perseus too.  I just noticed that the QS1R manufacturer has put up a YouTube channel where you can watch videos of the QS1R and software in action http://www.youtube.com/user/SRLQS1R  Check it out, it is pretty cool.

Gene
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KA4POL
Member

Posts: 1967




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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 10:02:08 PM »

... and is not supported well by the manufacturer anymore.

This is not true. They just have made a new software available.
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KE5JPP
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 04:02:15 AM »

... and is not supported well by the manufacturer anymore.

This is not true. They just have made a new software available.

After well over a year or two, after many complaints by customers, after saying that the Perseus is a 'legacy product', and the software update did not address the issues that most users have long wanted to see addressed. Do you consider this "supported well by the manufacturer"?   I don't.

Gene
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