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Author Topic: Want to move to Flex.. but a few Questions  (Read 46730 times)
WN4E
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Posts: 8




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« on: August 14, 2013, 01:25:23 PM »

OK, Been thinking about trying a SDR but after hours of research reading, still confused.  Maybe a few good guys can throw some helpful info my way.  First--> 1500 , 3000, 5000.  I know the 1500's are less expensive but I think I would rather have a higher capability unit.  Right now the 3000 would probably be all I need but what about a year from now.  It's not that money is no object but I don't mind spending more to get more. I see several 5000's listed for sell at good prices. My question would be.. If able to get a loaded 5000 with or without vhf/uhf module for $2200 - 2800 depending on mods is it worth a $1000 more than a 3000. If I spend $1400 on a 3000 now then 6 months decide I would rather have had the 5000, seems I should go ahead and get the 5000 now and not worry about out-growing the 3000.  Hope this makes sense. Also trying to figure out a good computer that will handle SDR efficiently.  So fellow hams , can you help or point me in the right direction.
Tnx, de  WN4E     O.C.   licensed in 1966 at 13yrs old
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 08:38:35 AM »

So fellow hams , can you help or point me in the right direction.

Sure......

https://apache-labs.com/index.php

The Flexradio 5K is obsolete and out of production which is why you see so many for sale at Fire Sale prices. Smart Hams are dumping them. The Flex 3000 and 1500 have severe limitations - Do your homework.

Do research on DUC/DDC SDR's.....

If you do any mode besides SSB/AM stay away from any SDR. CW, Digital, FSK modes do not perform well on SDR's. If you are a contester stay away from SDR's

Save yourself much Frustration - - Buy a nice knobbed radio,

Stan K9IUQ

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HAMMYGUY
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 09:54:51 AM »

Good advice Stan.  Especially on the Apache Lab rigs.  Though I'm probably a little biased since I own an Anan-10.  I've owned my share of Flex radios and they are all out the door. However PowerSDR was what drew me to the Flex products to begin with.  With the Anan series of rigs I can have my cake and eat it too.  I have a version of PowerSDR that is modified to use with Ethernet which gets rid of all the lag issues that the Flex rigs are famous for.  Plus if you want the dual receiver experience the same as the Flex-5000, it's all there. Thanks to the hp-sdr gurus who spent loads of personal time developing this version.  Plus with the software and hardware being open source new software is being worked on.

My experiences with sound card based SDR radios has been less than impressive.  Frankly they aren't worth the effort unless a person wants to waste loads of time experimenting just to make them usable.  So I've stuck to a  Perseus and SDR-IQ as my favorite receivers.  To interface them to a transceiver is extremely easy.

I'd probably disagree with you on digital modes though on SDR rigs.  Once they are set up they work quite nicely.  But the key is getting them configured which can be a real challenge.  Knobbed radios are definitely easier to configure to use on digital modes.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 10:03:18 AM by HAMMYGUY » Logged
N0YXB
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Posts: 309




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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 10:04:18 AM »

You may also want to consider a knobbed radio paired up with an SDR like the QS1R.  You'll get the best of both worlds and avoid some of the problems.  There are some posts on this forum by KE5JPP and others who have done this.  I was tempted by Apache Labs for awhile, but have decided to get the QS1R afterall. 
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 10:59:41 AM »

You may also want to consider a knobbed radio paired up with an SDR like the QS1R.  You'll get the best of both worlds and avoid some of the problems. 

Yes, indeed. I have considered this approach myself. I am in the market for a new radio before winter. If the radio I choose has an IF output I will get the QSR1 or similar also.. The ONLY thing I miss about my old Flex 5K is the Panafall.

I'd probably disagree with you on digital modes though on SDR rigs.

The reason I do not like Digital on a SDR rig is because there are too many programs and windows to keep track of, since you need one window for PSDR. Then there is a logger, DX Cluster, and a digi program that need windows too. "Focus" is a problem also. Now if you have 4 or 5 monitors like NI0Z it might be less frustrating...  Smiley

Yes, I did digital and CW on my Flex 5K but did not enjoy using either mode on a SDR. I have had "little birdies" tell me it is not much better on a Anan 100...

Stan K9IUQ
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WN4E
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 11:38:39 AM »

Thanks guys, you have lifted the cloud.  After reading the suggested posts , plus a lot more, I have at this time decided against any of the SDR type units. Seems all have pros and lots of cons. Appears to be way more work than I want to put into it.  Just thought I would try something different. I run a lot of digital and some cw.  Getting to old to have to fight with a radio, not afraid to learn something new, but now trying to forget unused things.  Been electrical engineer for 38 years and been developing integration and hmi software for robotic laser welding for last 20 yrs. Hope to retire in a couple more years.
So Thanks Again, guess I'll just pick up another HF rig and continue to turn knobs.
WN4E  de O.C.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 12:02:31 PM »

Thanks guys, you have lifted the cloud.  After reading the suggested posts , plus a lot more, I have at this time decided against any of the SDR type units. Seems all have pros and lots of cons.

So Thanks Again, guess I'll just pick up another HF rig and continue to turn knobs.
WN4E  de O.C.

There are more Cons then Pros with present SDRs. I learned the hard way. I have not given up on SDR's altho, I Will never have another radio with Flexradio on the front.

IMO SDR's are for the experimenters or those that need their Egos stroked. At this point in time they are NOT ready for the average ham. Someday they will be, but Future SDRs will not need a separate computer and will have knobs. The whole SDR will be all in one nice case. No worries about DPC's, database resets  or Focus problems. They will have  Digital and CW decoders builtin and a wireless keyboard or ipad like controller. Some knobbed radios already have this. I believe Icom with their touch screen new radio is headed on the right track..

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/7100/default.aspx

Stan K9IUQ
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PJ2BVU
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 01:09:01 PM »


...
At this point in time they are NOT ready for the average ham. Someday they will be, but Future SDRs will not need a separate computer and will have knobs.
...
Stan, the future is today:

http://sunsdr.com/ru/forum/16-international-forum/4937-stand-alone-software-defined-radio-sunsdr-mb1.html#4937

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 01:30:35 PM »


That is very interesting Jean Claude. I wonder why American SDR Companies have not gone in this direction? Instead of producing flawed bug ridden unfinished $7K SDR's that few can afford - with no knobs and still require a computer.

However until I can buy  a "HAM Stand Alone Radio based on new DUC/DDC technologies" from AES or HRO with a credit card,  - - instead of a Russian or Indian dealer, I will hang on to my knobs.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
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PJ2BVU
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 05:21:45 PM »

What about Italian?
5W QRP DDC/DUC with knobs

http://ecom.eladit.com/FDM-DUO-1/en

But you will have to pay for the Italian design, I heard 800 Euros.

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU
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PJ2BVU
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 06:05:32 PM »


... I wonder why American SDR Companies have not gone in this direction? ...
There aren't that many American companies producing SDRs. Besides SRL LLC which produces the QSR1 (and optional QSE1) which is excellent but geared towards a very specific market I know of only one.
Some years ago their main motto was "Look Ma! No Knobs" or "Knobs are only for the spark gap type hams" or something like that.
Now imagine:
Dayton 2012 - New SDR radio announced: the GameChangerSDR (now with knobs) coming real soon to a dealer near you!
Dayton 2016 - First shipments of the GameChangerSDR with knobs but still without panafall (update coming real soon). There is also a dummy plastic plug in the key jack: under no circumstances should you remove this plug until Dayton 2030.
 Grin Grin Grin

Jean-Claude PJ2BVU
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K5TED
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Posts: 730




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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 01:41:06 PM »

W4NE - eHam forums is the wrong place to go for Flex information, as it is completely rotted by anti-Flex trolls who either do not own a Flex radio, couldn't figure out how to run a Flex radio, can't read manuals, can't understand computers, or are trying to validate their own foible of investing into what amounts to a Yugo.

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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1777




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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 05:34:52 PM »

W4NE - eHam forums is the wrong place to go for Flex information, as it is completely rotted by anti-Flex trolls who either do not own a Flex radio, couldn't figure out how to run a Flex radio, can't read manuals, can't understand computers, or are trying to validate their own foible of investing into what amounts to a Yugo.

You wish. There are at least 6 EX Flex owners who participate here on this forum. This is a NO SPIN Flexradio zone, where Flexradio myths get exposed. This eham forum is exactly (maybe the only) the place to go for honest Flexradio Info, something Flexers hate with a passion. Flexers hate this forum because they can not argue with facts.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 05:50:54 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
SWL2002
Member

Posts: 281




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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 05:43:08 PM »

W4NE - eHam forums is the wrong place to go for Flex information, as it is completely rotted by anti-Flex trolls who either do not own a Flex radio, couldn't figure out how to run a Flex radio, can't read manuals, can't understand computers, or are trying to validate their own foible of investing into what amounts to a Yugo.



WRONG again K5TED.  I own a F5K and I use it often.  I'll match my knowledge of SDR, reading comprehension, and knowledge of computers with you any day, friend.
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K5TED
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Posts: 730




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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 06:31:54 PM »

Since none of the eHam Anti-Flex trolls will step up with anything more than childish prattle..

WN4E - If you are a SSB'er, then you will not find a better HF radio in the range than the Flex 3000.

The 500 is discontinued and the new high end Flex is the 6500/6700.

I would suggest, if you are bent on trying SDR, to either  buy a Flex 3000 and enjoy a superb HF SSB/Digital experience, or wait for the dust to settle around the new crop of DUC/DDC radios. Don't waste your time on the Anan, unless you don't mind shelling out twice the price of the Flex 3000 for an intermediary technology shim.
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