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Author Topic: Thick-Pipe vs Thin-Pipe SDR Configurations  (Read 13059 times)
NI0Z
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« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 06:26:22 PM »

"If you don't have a great antenna and a clean low noise shack, you'll see little performance difference between radios because the noise floor place a limit on performance"

Case closed. In real life, real operation in a non-ideal environment, the difference is insignificant. Thanks for coming around to my point.

That wasn't your point, lol... You claimed it was the best radio for the money.  A good number of us have invested in our antennas and shacks, and do see the difference between radios so you just proved my point by admitting your radio is just average.  Not to mention you trashed your credibility on the topic.

See, we can play this game all day!
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K5TED
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« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 06:36:28 PM »

"If you don't have a great antenna and a clean low noise shack, you'll see little performance difference between radios because the noise floor place a limit on performance"

Case closed. In real life, real operation in a non-ideal environment, the difference is insignificant. Thanks for coming around to my point.

That wasn't your point, lol... You claimed it was the best radio for the money.  A good number of us have invested in our antennas and shacks, and do see the difference between radios so you just proved my point by admitting your radio is just average.  Not to mention you trashed your credibility on the topic.

See, we can play this game all day!

Yes, we can. The difference is that you are on the verge of name calling.
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NI0Z
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2013, 06:45:27 PM »

No worries Ted, I don't engage in name calling.  I am going to sign off and let this rest. 

Seriously, I wish you no ill will and am glad you are enjoying your Flex 1500.  I enjoy my Flex as well as my KX3 and have no idea yet if I will enjoy the Anan.  There is one thing you can count on though, like the new radio or not, I will do my best to report on it objectively.  If its not a good radio I will report on it.
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K5TED
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2013, 06:52:54 PM »

No worries Ted, I don't engage in name calling.  I am going to sign off and let this rest. 

Seriously, I wish you no ill will and am glad you are enjoying your Flex 1500.  I enjoy my Flex as well as my KX3 and have no idea yet if I will enjoy the Anan.  There is one thing you can count on though, like the new radio or not, I will do my best to report on it objectively.  If its not a good radio I will report on it.

It's just recreational banter. I don't have a 1500.
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2013, 07:05:10 PM »


There are many SDRs on the market (many of which I have personal experience with) that use the PC for DSP processing and DO NOT have the latency issues/hiccups that Flex had.....If you would venture out of your little Flex-colored world into the larger world of SDR, then you would see that there are many successful PC based implementations without the issues that Flex has had.



Please entertain us with a comprehensive list, or even two examples of mainstream SDR's on the market comparable in overall TX/RX performance to the Flex 5000, or even the 3000. In fact, if you know of one with the performance, and fit/finish of the Flex 1500, please document here.



The KX3, much nicer fit and finish and near the top of the charts for receive capability.  Fully decked out it only cost around $1500.

Anan 10
Anan 100
Anan 100D

All of which can out perform the Flex 5000.  Possibly may out perform the Flex 6K series as well.  Have to wait and see!

Quick Silver QS1R ... out performs the Flex 5000.

They are all cheaper new than a used Flex 5K.  In most cases even if you add a TenTec or Elecraft 100 watt amp they still end up being cheaper.

And here is the kicker, lol, they are all Fat!

Those are just a few off the top of my head.

 There are a few German ones that probably will measure up as well.  Flex 5K is old stuff.  Most of the new SDRs are going to make it pale in comparison.

Starting at the bottom, There's a $17000 German SDR that comes to mind. Definitely not mainstream, nor are there any other German offerings in the world of SDR transceivers that can be considered "mainstream".

Quick Silver QS1R is not a transceiver.

The Anans are possibly the only contender for the coveted position of "mainstream", even though they've only been in production for months. That's not quite what I would consider "many" transceiver SDR options currently available.

As for the KX3, it's priced closer to a Flex 3000, and has 1/10 the output. To give it the full output, one would have to bump the price up at least $400 for a reasonably good amp. That's up to almost $2000 with TTL. I just saw a used Flex 5k with 2nd rRX and ATU go for $2375 right here on eHam. Have you ever compared the rearend of a Flex 5k with 2nd RX and ATU to the few available connections on a KX3? Hardly in the same class of radio.


So far, I haven't seen "many" other mainstream SDR transceivers comparable to the Flex radios in price point/feature set. There are a couple of dissimilar sets that offer some of the same functionality and features.

It's just a matter of time, of course, before some mainstream manufacturer unveils a true competitor. I suspect Flex has something in store to replace the 3000.

Oh, about that Flex 1500 comparison... Oh wait. There is no other mainstream manufacturer ready to go out of the box $700 5 watt 160-6m USB SDR with dual antenna ports and IF out. Is there? I may have missed one...



The 1500 does not even come close to a KX3 for Reciever performance, even if you take all the options off it outright whoops the 1500.  Plus you get knobs, a display and lots of options.  Lets not get ridiculous now!  The 1500 looks like an old toaster with jacks on it.

The QS1R does have an exciter now, again, no comparison on the receivers here, the Flex 3000 and Flex 1500 aren't even close to their big brother the 5K and certainly none of them have better receivers than the QS1R or the KX3.

The Anans are now mainstream.

You asked for examples and now that there are scores of them the argument has changed.  I won't waste any more time on the discussion.  You asked and it was provided.  I'd say its time to admit you were off base with your challenge.  


Price wise there is not a transceiver that comes close to the 1500 as far a dollar for dollar performance.  I haven't used a KX-3 but I highly doubt it has much on the 1500 as far as RX performance and even if it did, it cost several hundred more dollars.  Plus, I have absolutely no interest in the knobs and the display on a KX-3. If I used it as a base radio, I'd have it hooked to my PC and be using something to give me a GUI anyway. In that case, the knob and display are just a redundant waste of money. Having owned a 5K, I can tell you that there is not that much difference in real world performance between the RX of my 1500 and that of the 5K. Sure, the numbers are better and there's more bells and whistles but in just day to day use, I don't really miss my 5K all that much compared to the 1500. I know Flex probably hates it when people say that but it's the truth. There is absolutely no better bang for the buck in the entire ham radio market than the 1500. Follow it up with a small solid state 50 watt amp like I have here that I built plus an antenna tuner and you have a very capable SDR station for less than 1000 dollars.  Plus you don't have to live with one of the substandard piece of crap RX's that the big three Japanese companies will stick you with on any of their  lower dollar lower end offerings. Like I said, if Elecraft could have delivered the KX-3 at the price point of the 1500 like they BS'ed they were going to then it may have been worth a second look but for the money they actually want, I'd just as soon go ahead and buy a Flex 3K.
Michael, W4HIJ


If you don't have a great antenna and a clean low noise shack, you'll see little performance difference between radios because the noise floor places a limit on performance.

It would be a little like pouring low grade,fuel into a Ferrari.  

If your 1500 works for you and you feel great about, disengage from this silly conversation.  Trying to compare it to top receivers and claiming its the best when it obviously is not makes little sense unless..... Wait for it.... You are a  brand biggot.

Fan boys have zero credibility with me because they end up being one dimensional in conversations as their sole purpose is to claim they own the best brand of radios.  I don't say this to be rude but its a little like asking Bill Gates for dead Steve Jobs for an objective opinion on PCs verses Macs.  Ain't going to happen!

Fan boys are bad news for other hams, bad bad news because they provide biased slanted views to other hams.  Honestly, part of Flexes problems are do to unrealistic expectations their fan boys created without Flex's permission.  They made lots of false claims that new buyers trusted and got burned by.  That is shameful in my humble opinion.  Bad for the ham and bad for the brand!
I've owned a lot of radios in the 35 years I've been a ham. I also worked in the retail end of ham radio for years and saw every new radio that came out. All I can go buy is what my ears and years of experience tell me. I didn't say the Flex 1500 was " better" than the 5K, just that in day to day usage I didn't notice much difference.  As far as most of the low to mid end offerings from the big three, in my opinion it is a better RX as far as overall performance and questions of listening fatigue over long periods of use.  All the low to mid end Japanese radios I've ever owned are uncomfortable to listen to for long periods of time. My 1500 nor my 5K for that matter has ever caused me that issue. Personally I put a big premium on that.  I never said that the 1500 was better than top receivers. What I did say was that in order to get a decent receiver from the big three, you had to go up into their high end radios.  Their low to mid end line radios that are closer to the Flex 1500 price but still more expensive are substandard in every sense of the word. I said "dollar for dollar" performance. Are there better RX's out there? Yep...but they cost three times or more what the 1500 does.  If you read anything more into my comments than that you missed the point. I still highly doubt the KX-3 is much better than the 1500 based on what I've read about it but then again the KX-3 cost several hundred dollars more than the 1500. You can call me a fan boy or whatever else you want. I have long years of experience in this hobby and I know what makes a good receiver in my eyes.  You don't get it from the big three unless you spend thousands.  You get it from Flex for 600 bucks. Pretty simple point actually.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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NI0Z
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 05:41:18 AM »

I've owned a lot of radios in the 35 years I've been a ham. I also worked in the retail end of ham radio for years and saw every new radio that came out. All I can go buy is what my ears and years of experience tell me. I didn't say the Flex 1500 was " better" than the 5K, just that in day to day usage I didn't notice much difference.  As far as most of the low to mid end offerings from the big three, in my opinion it is a better RX as far as overall performance and questions of listening fatigue over long periods of use.  All the low to mid end Japanese radios I've ever owned are uncomfortable to listen to for long periods of time. My 1500 nor my 5K for that matter has ever caused me that issue. Personally I put a big premium on that.  I never said that the 1500 was better than top receivers. What I did say was that in order to get a decent receiver from the big three, you had to go up into their high end radios.  Their low to mid end line radios that are closer to the Flex 1500 price but still more expensive are substandard in every sense of the word. I said "dollar for dollar" performance. Are there better RX's out there? Yep...but they cost three times or more what the 1500 does.  If you read anything more into my comments than that you missed the point. I still highly doubt the KX-3 is much better than the 1500 based on what I've read about it but then again the KX-3 cost several hundred dollars more than the 1500. You can call me a fan boy or whatever else you want. I have long years of experience in this hobby and I know what makes a good receiver in my eyes.  You don't get it from the big three unless you spend thousands.  You get it from Flex for 600 bucks. Pretty simple point actually.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

$650 for the Flex 1500
$899 KX3 - World class leading receiver in a very cool portable package.

Hook them to a great antenna system, the 1500 will pale greatly in all categories but cost.  The extra $150 buys you a lot more radio, and a modern one at that!

No audio fatigue, American made.

None of the radios I listed were Japanese.  For the record though, I have no issues with radios being Japanese.  That's just more bias in my opinion and pollutes ones options for finding a great radio.

Have fun, enjoy your radio, I'll enjoy mine!  Hang out here for a while, learn about other radios, get some objective feedback while your here.  If nothing else, if you have the need to defend a certain brand of radio you'll debate with the best of them.  Their are plenty of bashers here that equally are fan boys of other brands that merely pretend not to be.  And as another poster said, it's all entertainment and learning.  Lol, I just happen to own some of the radios I have used in my examples unlike many others here.  I also happen to be hanging on to my 5K right now and the only major regret I have is not getting the VHF card.  I need to look for a good XVTR now.

Peace!
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SWL2002
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 07:46:10 AM »

I've owned a lot of radios in the 35 years I've been a ham. I also worked in the retail end of ham radio for years and saw every new radio that came out. All I can go buy is what my ears and years of experience tell me. I didn't say the Flex 1500 was " better" than the 5K, just that in day to day usage I didn't notice much difference.  As far as most of the low to mid end offerings from the big three, in my opinion it is a better RX as far as overall performance and questions of listening fatigue over long periods of use.  All the low to mid end Japanese radios I've ever owned are uncomfortable to listen to for long periods of time. My 1500 nor my 5K for that matter has ever caused me that issue. Personally I put a big premium on that.  I never said that the 1500 was better than top receivers. What I did say was that in order to get a decent receiver from the big three, you had to go up into their high end radios.  Their low to mid end line radios that are closer to the Flex 1500 price but still more expensive are substandard in every sense of the word. I said "dollar for dollar" performance. Are there better RX's out there? Yep...but they cost three times or more what the 1500 does.  If you read anything more into my comments than that you missed the point. I still highly doubt the KX-3 is much better than the 1500 based on what I've read about it but then again the KX-3 cost several hundred dollars more than the 1500. You can call me a fan boy or whatever else you want. I have long years of experience in this hobby and I know what makes a good receiver in my eyes.  You don't get it from the big three unless you spend thousands.  You get it from Flex for 600 bucks. Pretty simple point actually.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

$650 for the Flex 1500
$899 KX3 - World class leading receiver in a very cool portable package.

Hook them to a great antenna system, the 1500 will pale greatly in all categories but cost.  The extra $150 buys you a lot more radio, and a modern one at that!

No audio fatigue, American made.

None of the radios I listed were Japanese.  For the record though, I have no issues with radios being Japanese.  That's just more bias in my opinion and pollutes ones options for finding a great radio.

Have fun, enjoy your radio, I'll enjoy mine!  Hang out here for a while, learn about other radios, get some objective feedback while your here.  If nothing else, if you have the need to defend a certain brand of radio you'll debate with the best of them.  Their are plenty of bashers here that equally are fan boys of other brands that merely pretend not to be.  And as another poster said, it's all entertainment and learning.  Lol, I just happen to own some of the radios I have used in my examples unlike many others here.  I also happen to be hanging on to my 5K right now and the only major regret I have is not getting the VHF card.  I need to look for a good XVTR now.

Peace!

Very reasonable advice.  And a reasonable argument. 
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2013, 09:05:33 AM »


 Plus you don't have to live with one of the substandard piece of crap RX's that the big three Japanese companies will stick you with on any of their  lower dollar lower end offerings.

I've owned a lot of radios in the 35 years I've been a ham.

I have been a ham for 52 years and have owned way more radios than you have ever dreamed about. I never wasted my time on substandard QRP rigs like the 1500.

Before I got rid of the Flex 5K I did a side by side test of RX performance against my TS-590s. I could detect no performance differences. The TS-590s has RX performance equal to any 5K. This actually surprised me. The highly touted and ballyhooed Flexradio "Brick Filters" were no better than the Kenwoods. In fact I liked the Kenwood filtering better because of the simple and easy way to adjust the filters.

Keep promoting your puny 1500, few here on eham believe Flex Fanboys any more.

Stan K9IUQ
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K5TED
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 09:48:59 AM »

Bad math.
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2013, 10:33:10 AM »

I've owned a lot of radios in the 35 years I've been a ham. I also worked in the retail end of ham radio for years and saw every new radio that came out. All I can go buy is what my ears and years of experience tell me. I didn't say the Flex 1500 was " better" than the 5K, just that in day to day usage I didn't notice much difference.  As far as most of the low to mid end offerings from the big three, in my opinion it is a better RX as far as overall performance and questions of listening fatigue over long periods of use.  All the low to mid end Japanese radios I've ever owned are uncomfortable to listen to for long periods of time. My 1500 nor my 5K for that matter has ever caused me that issue. Personally I put a big premium on that.  I never said that the 1500 was better than top receivers. What I did say was that in order to get a decent receiver from the big three, you had to go up into their high end radios.  Their low to mid end line radios that are closer to the Flex 1500 price but still more expensive are substandard in every sense of the word. I said "dollar for dollar" performance. Are there better RX's out there? Yep...but they cost three times or more what the 1500 does.  If you read anything more into my comments than that you missed the point. I still highly doubt the KX-3 is much better than the 1500 based on what I've read about it but then again the KX-3 cost several hundred dollars more than the 1500. You can call me a fan boy or whatever else you want. I have long years of experience in this hobby and I know what makes a good receiver in my eyes.  You don't get it from the big three unless you spend thousands.  You get it from Flex for 600 bucks. Pretty simple point actually.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ

$650 for the Flex 1500
$899 KX3 - World class leading receiver in a very cool portable package.

Hook them to a great antenna system, the 1500 will pale greatly in all categories but cost.  The extra $150 buys you a lot more radio, and a modern one at that!

No audio fatigue, American made.

None of the radios I listed were Japanese.  For the record though, I have no issues with radios being Japanese.  That's just more bias in my opinion and pollutes ones options for finding a great radio.

Have fun, enjoy your radio, I'll enjoy mine!  Hang out here for a while, learn about other radios, get some objective feedback while your here.  If nothing else, if you have the need to defend a certain brand of radio you'll debate with the best of them.  Their are plenty of bashers here that equally are fan boys of other brands that merely pretend not to be.  And as another poster said, it's all entertainment and learning.  Lol, I just happen to own some of the radios I have used in my examples unlike many others here.  I also happen to be hanging on to my 5K right now and the only major regret I have is not getting the VHF card.  I need to look for a good XVTR now.

Peace!
I don't have a KX-3 so I don't know first hand but I find it interesting that you would mention the lack of audio fatigue.  One of the main complaints I've read about the KX-3 and Elecraft in general is uncomfortable RX audio. Again as far as the KX-3 being "more radio", it depends on what you want.  I'm not much on trail or portable radios and I much prefer the GUI of a PC screen to operate.  The fact that a KX-3 has a knob and a display is of absolutely no value to me. The 150 dollar difference ( I thought it was bit more) is better spent somewhere else in my shack but hey, to each their own. I quit using front panels on radios sometime ago. I ran my Kenwood TS-2000X on HRD and also SatPC32 and never hardly touched the tuning knob or looked at the display either. The 2000X was a nice radio btw, just too many birdies and really not as good a receiver as it should have had for the money it cost. My main issue with Japanese radios, especially the low to mid range ones is that they are significantly overpriced for the performance they deliver. Both the Flex 1500 and the Elecraft KX-3 prove that point. I hate to be put in the position of  "defending the Flex"  but it's hard not to do considering that it and SDR in general brought life back into the hobby for me and that there are some here who have a very definitive agenda of trying to trash the companies reputation. Sorry, I just think that's wrong and unjust and I'm not one to turn the other cheek and let the bullies go at it unchecked. Not to insinuate you are one of those people, just that they are here.
The funny thing is I can show you old post on the Flex reflector where I posted asking questions when first considering purchase of a 5K and one of the bullies here would post raving about how great it was. Then he apparently had problems and couldn't figure how to solve them so he got bitter and full of sour grapes towards folks like myself who have enough intelligence and computer savvy to make their Flex radios work properly. They are like little children who are upset because the other kids toys work and their's don't.  It would almost be comical if they weren't so pathetic. Probably 90% of the problem Flex has is that we have a bunch of hams who are stuck in the past and they don't know jack about PC's even though they think they do. As I said in an earlier post, I think Flex went to thin pipe technology in order to save the ignorant from themselves.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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W6UV
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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2013, 01:44:18 PM »

there are some here who have a very definitive agenda of trying to trash the companies reputation. Sorry, I just think that's wrong and unjust and I'm not one to turn the other cheek and let the bullies go at it unchecked.

I haven't seen much of that going on in this forum. You need to differentiate between someone who is pointing out the shortcomings of a product and someone who is actively trying to trash a company's reputation. The former may be hard to swallow for those who can justifiably be called fanboys, because they often see such criticism as undermining their need to justify their purchase decision.

Quote
Probably 90% of the problem Flex has is that we have a bunch of hams who are stuck in the past and they don't know jack about PC's even though they think they do.

That is unfortunately true in some cases. There are hams who proudly proclaim they don't own a computer and never will. For what they do in ham radio, mainly ragchewing, there's nothing wrong with this, as they don't need a computer for that.

Flex's problem really boils down to using a PC as a component in a data-intensive real-time system when neither the hardware or operating system was designed for that purpose. It is possible to use a PC this way, but, as we've seen, it's very sensitive to configuration and choice of components. Configuration, in particular, is something that the average ham doesn't understand very well and is not good at getting right, even with assistance.
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K5TED
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« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2013, 03:16:59 PM »

Meanwhile, back at reality...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRL4W9ZTbQ0
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W4HIJ
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« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2013, 03:59:37 PM »

there are some here who have a very definitive agenda of trying to trash the companies reputation. Sorry, I just think that's wrong and unjust and I'm not one to turn the other cheek and let the bullies go at it unchecked.

I haven't seen much of that going on in this forum. You need to differentiate between someone who is pointing out the shortcomings of a product and someone who is actively trying to trash a company's reputation. The former may be hard to swallow for those who can justifiably be called fanboys, because they often see such criticism as undermining their need to justify their purchase decision.

Quote
Probably 90% of the problem Flex has is that we have a bunch of hams who are stuck in the past and they don't know jack about PC's even though they think they do.

That is unfortunately true in some cases. There are hams who proudly proclaim they don't own a computer and never will. For what they do in ham radio, mainly ragchewing, there's nothing wrong with this, as they don't need a computer for that.

Flex's problem really boils down to using a PC as a component in a data-intensive real-time system when neither the hardware or operating system was designed for that purpose. It is possible to use a PC this way, but, as we've seen, it's very sensitive to configuration and choice of components. Configuration, in particular, is something that the average ham doesn't understand very well and is not good at getting right, even with assistance.
I have no problem with those that point out shortcomings in any radio, be it Flex, Elecraft, Ten Tec or "the big three" because EVERY brand of radio has them. There is no such thing as a perfect rig. However, if you haven't seen much  trashing of Flex's reputation going on in this forum then I think you need to look a little more closely. There are a couple of disgruntled posters here who have seemingly made it their life's mission  to trash Flex radios and the people that use them at every turn. I have been the victim off their ongoing vendetta on many occasions simply because I've  made comments about how much I enjoy using my Flex or when I have commented on not encountering some of the problems they had. They seem to take it as a personal affront when you tell them you don't have the same problems they did with RFI or CW or whatever computer issue they might have had. You automatically are derisively labeled as  a fanboy or worse, a liar. I admit that I am a huge fan of Flex and SDR but the only person I've ever had to worry about justifying my radio purchases too is my XYL! Wink Grin I could care less about justifying them to Flex bashers.

I cannot ever imagine anymore what it would be like to not have a PC in my shack. I cannot think of a much more backwards attitude than being proud of not owning a PC. I've been building my own for years, not only for ham radio but for gaming and flight sim as well. I have to remember that stuff that is second nature for me is still beyond the grasp of a lot of hams out there.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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K9ZW
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« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2013, 12:25:12 PM »

Some of the practical differences between the older Thick-Pipe and newer Thin-Pipe in remoting are covered in Stu K6TU's first June post on his blog EtherGeist

He also writes about how he works around some issues in the "No-Pipe" alpha tester configuration.

73

Steve
K9ZW

BLOG:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com/
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NI0Z
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« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2013, 01:15:10 PM »

I have been thinking about all this more and I am not thinking the thin client is a big deal right now.  

I for example can operate my Anan on my MS Surface over Wifi in the house with just a USB Headset if I wanted.  VAC will allow me to use a USB Mic and the PC Speakers over Ethernet without any additional wires if I wanted.  No remote control worries because I have full control of the whole radio in the fat client. No hype, no waiting, its already here now.

Thinking about it more, I see no reason why anyone would have to wait to use it over the Internet.  I still think the limiter there will be internet traffic competing against the Ham.

Is flex planning on using any data compression for their data stream?  Will it come at the cost of latency if they do?

Until the thin clients manifest themselves where you have full control on iPads, Androids, ect, I don't see a real advantage right now.  In fact, a full fat client running on a PC may always have the edge over thinner more limited clients.  

Owning and starting to use one of these new fangled radios has greatly changed my mind on some things, particularly on this subject.  And it makes sense because this is not the first time I have seen this in my life.  Its happened in other spaces and places where people feel limited by thin clients.

Feel free to correct me if I am wrong here or am missing something.  

Check out the Anan 100D early review I did for my progress with the new SDR.  Having lots of fun!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 02:02:48 PM by NI0Z » Logged

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