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Author Topic: Flex = native hi-fi audio  (Read 16685 times)
K5TED
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Posts: 748




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« on: August 11, 2013, 05:48:05 PM »

Lately I've been fooling around with hi-fi audio. Now, right up front, I'll tell you I'm not interested in "Voodoo Audio". That is another branch of the hobby altogether and those guys are magicians. My interest is in more of the classic, powerful, "AM" sound. Not so big on the bass, but loud and smooth, in-band and intelligible, all within 2.8kHz. The "gotcha" is that I don't run an external amplifier. Everything has to work with 100 watts. And, I don't buy into the Heil Mantra. Bob is an admirable innovator, and has a thing, but it's not my sound...

What I've found is that the Flex PowerSDR is tailor made for audio experimentation. Much more so than any typical comparably priced conventional radio. With the built in 10 band equalizer, infinitely adjustable compressor/expander, noise gate, etc., the software radio itself will do the job of a rack full of external equipment..  But wait... Racks are Fun!!  So, the Flexwire interface features a line-level audio input that will accept professional grade audio processing equipment levels, including mic preamps, compressor/limiters, exciters, mixers, etc.

If you are an audio experimenter, the Flex Radio is the transceiver that has the native capability, no mods needed.





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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1964




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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 06:12:30 PM »


If you are an audio experimenter, the Flex Radio is the transceiver that has the native capability, no mods needed.

I agree, the Flex 5K is great for SSBers and I have posted this several times. I used many of my Vintage Mics on the 5K and they all sounded great with tweaking.

I use the AM mode a lot in the winter. I use vintage AM plate modulator xmitters, A Viking Valiant and a Ranger. Both have that great sounding AM of years past. I experimented with AM when I had the 5K. I ran it thru my amp (25 watts does not cut it on AM) so I could be heard, usually 150-200 watts. Few hams could tell I was using a SDR and not my Vintage gear. That is a compliment as the AMers mostly do like new radios running AM.  Smiley

Personally I agree with you about the Heil mics. I have had many different Heil mics and with my voice they all sounded bad. I have a bassy voice and it does not matter how I setup the Heils they just make my voice too bassy. I have a D-104 in which I installed a Heil mic element back when Heil would sell just the element. Even the 5k could not make it sound like I wanted. If you have a whiny voice or a woman's voice you will probably love the Heils.  Grin

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 06:16:06 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
SWL2002
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 06:21:17 PM »

That is really the only reason I hold on to my F5K, the SSB and AM audio quality.  A modified D 104 is my mic of choice for the F5K.  Never really had any interest in the Heil mics.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1964




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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 06:22:17 AM »

The "gotcha" is that I don't run an external amplifier. Everything has to work with 100 watts.

Do NOT run the Flexradio at 100 watts carrier on AM. You will be sorry. The Flex 5K is rated at 100 watts PEP and 25 watts AM carrier. 25 watts AM carrier= 100 watts PEP for most voices. Also you should check 5K specs for the Duty Cycle on AM. You may not be able to use 25 watts for very long. AMers are long winded and a 10 minute transmision is not unusual. In fact I know some AMers that talk for 10 minutes, ID and keep on talking...  Grin

Legal limit is 375 watts carrier for AM. 375 watts X 4 = 1500 watts PEP....

When I used the Flex 5K on AM I used about 200 watts carrier from my amp. 200 watts carrier = 800 watts pep...... My amp is high gain and I ran the 5K usually ran around 10 watts or a little less.

Stan K9IUQ
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WE0Z
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Posts: 42




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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 05:04:07 AM »

AM sucks and it is a waste of spectrum and it's use should be discouraged after all your transmitting simple voice not music and theuneeded  space it consumes is a disservice to  the bands!
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SWL2002
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 05:23:35 AM »

AM sucks and it is a waste of spectrum and it's use should be discouraged after all your transmitting simple voice not music and theuneeded  space it consumes is a disservice to  the bands!

Yeah, it's a waste of spectrum on bands that are already so sparse that you could run 50 kHz wide sometimes and not bother anyone.  If/when the bands are crowded, good operating practice is to cut back on the bandwidth, but when there is plenty of room, who cares (other than someone like you with an axe to grind).

If you are so concerned about not wasting bandwidth, you should not even use SSB.  Use CW only, using SSB is a waste of bandwidth and a disservice to the bands!  Or better yet, how about you stay off the Ham bands entirely and not waste any one else's bandwidth at all!

« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 05:26:37 AM by SWL2002 » Logged
W6RMK
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Posts: 657




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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2013, 07:40:41 AM »

CW isn't particularly bandwidth efficient (if for no other reason than it is about 50% duty cycle). It is easy to build transmitters and receivers for CW, though.

However, as you point out, the idea of ham radio isn't to do the most with the least. It's a hobby and a place for experimentation, relatively unfettered by regulation.
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SWL2002
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Posts: 346




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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 07:49:46 AM »

CW isn't particularly bandwidth efficient (if for no other reason than it is about 50% duty cycle). It is easy to build transmitters and receivers for CW, though.

However, as you point out, the idea of ham radio isn't to do the most with the least. It's a hobby and a place for experimentation, relatively unfettered by regulation.


You don't have much of a sense of humor, do you?
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1964




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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 12:49:17 PM »

AM sucks and it is a waste of spectrum and it's use should be discouraged after all your transmitting simple voice not music and theuneeded  space it consumes is a disservice to  the bands!

You must be a newly minted Ham......

Let us get rid of CW too. You probably can't do it anyway. Out of Date. JT-65 mode = stupid mode. PSK31, MFSK and all their variants, Get rid of those too,, all them guys send is canned macros over and over again.. RTTY WAY outdated.. Get rid of it.. SSB = 90% A-Holes and jerks. Get rid of them I say. Contests? no one likes contests. Ragchewing? I get tired of hearing rednecks complaining about Obama. Get rid of Ragchewing. DXing? Pileups suck and I get tired of hearing  UP UP UP.Get rid of them too. ESSB - wider then AM. get rid of them. FM mode? FM is good for listening to music, let us get that mode off the bands too.

Why not just get rid of Ham Radio all together, it is rooted in the past. We got cellphones and the internet and eham, we don't need no stinking Hamradio to communicate.  Wink

AM mode. Yeah let us keep that mode. All old guys who know what they are doing, Real Hams and they fix their own rigs.  Wink  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 12:52:51 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
AB2YC
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Posts: 53




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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »

It also makes for a pleasurable listening experience (SWL) being able to widen out the filters.

plus a lot better for Digital modes (I wish they would open the TX filter up to 4 kHz for jt-65 + jt-9)

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AC8NS
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 11:59:08 AM »

Yeah! Bring back AM and hundred pound modulation transformers and finals with glowing red-hot anodes in real vacuum tubes! I remember that. Those were the days when a kilowatt was really a kilowatt (and maybe a smidgen more), and if your vertical didn't require a red blinking light on top per FAA orders, you weren't up high enuf yet. My cousin Eric bought property on top of a small hill in Bristol TN just to get his antennas up higher. He was a "full boat" AMer right up until he died.

Hop AC8NS
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AB2YC
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Posts: 53




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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 06:37:16 PM »

Yeah! Bring back AM and hundred pound modulation transformers and finals with glowing red-hot anodes in real vacuum tubes! I remember that. Those were the days when a kilowatt was really a kilowatt (and maybe a smidgen more), and if your vertical didn't require a red blinking light on top per FAA orders, you weren't up high enuf yet. My cousin Eric bought property on top of a small hill in Bristol TN just to get his antennas up higher. He was a "full boat" AMer right up until he died.

Hop AC8NS



I grew up listening to the old AM guys, I really enjoyed listening to them

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KA4KOE
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 10:18:46 AM »

AM and CW are antiquated modes and have no place in our modern hobby. Time to set up some death camps for violators.
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K5TED
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Posts: 748




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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 06:45:50 PM »

AM and CW are antiquated modes and have no place in our modern hobby. Time to set up some death camps for violators.

Here's what a meager 25w carrier signal sounds like with nominal conditions at 1200 miles:
http://k5ted.net/mp3/mojaveAM.mp3
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KE7TMA
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Posts: 471




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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2013, 07:47:00 PM »

AM sucks and it is a waste of spectrum and it's use should be discouraged after all your transmitting simple voice not music and theuneeded  space it consumes is a disservice to  the bands!

I suppose one could extend your argument to all of ham radio and we wouldn't have to waste any bandwidth nattering on about antennas, the weather, and so on.  Just give it all to the telcos so they can sell more services to people, right?

AM experimentation has a long history, and with the almost empty bands one sees these days there's no point in complaining about this.
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