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Author Topic: another flex 3000...  (Read 15070 times)
K5TED
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Posts: 699




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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 12:33:39 PM »

Random thoughts in sequential order...

1. It's not as if a Firewire card is some sort of consumable item that has to be replaced on a regular basis. If it does, you are doing something wrong. I bought my Flex 3000 used from a guy who supplied the used Firewire card with it, as I would, should I decide to sell it. The 3000 actually worked fine with the onboard Firewire port on my PC, but I used the card when I upgraded to the latest PSDR rev anyway just on principle.

2. What will indeed become scarce is replacement parts for the actual SDR, no matter what brand. This will be apparent in about 10 years with ALL radios, just like it is now with some specific chips and other components used in vintage 2000 rigs, vintage 1990 rigs, 1980 rigs, 1970 rigs. etc.

3. Firewire cards are cheap now. Buy an extra one if it makes you feel better.

4. I have several OLD PC's in use today, right now, using USB, Firewire, Serial, Parallel, interfaces that are between 7 and 13 years old. Some of them run 24/7 (Dell GX-280 that runs my two PCR-1500 Globaltuners radios was discontinued in July, 2004. It's running Win7 pro. 24/7/365 Like a champ)

5. The Firewire scare argument has no bearing on the reality of how we use the radios or how we expect to use them going forward, and is a strawman.

6. Hams will buy whatever it takes to get their favorite rig up and running if they so desire.

7. Will any of this change my mind about Flex radios? No. Will it change the anti-Flexer's minds? No.

8. If in 10 years it is simply impossible to keep a Flex 3000 running, then it will go to the parts bin or trash heap. So what? Same with that $2500 42" Plasma I bought back in 2005. Gone.
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 06:46:01 PM »

I got my 3000 today.
I loaded the software while soldering ends on the power cable and had it running in 10 minutes.
Trouble free install, no issues at all, made up some mic connections, set up the EQ and the rig sounds good.

I see that flex gives you a microphone now, a hand mic that sounds very bad...

I notice they have improved things a lot, I tried cw and checked the latency on voice, and it seems to be real time.
My dpc's are running under 30us, mostly around 15, cpu is running 17 to 22%.
$300.00 small form factor wall mart computer.

Comparing Power sdr to the other programs I use (HDSDR and SDR-RADIO), there are things I like, and things I don't.
I like the band stacking registers and the fact that most controls are on the screen.
The panafall is lame compared to the other programs, and no selectable sideband in AM sync detection is a big shortfall.
I also wonder if there is a way to keep the frequency of the display fixed, and click on signals, instead of having the entire display move.

The fan in the 3000 still sounds like a truck at idle. You would think that would be an easy fix.

Overall, it seems like flex has improved things over the last year or so, install was quick and easy, latency is way down, the antenna tuner works well.
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W5ZZT
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Posts: 70




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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2014, 03:00:51 AM »

Just got my new 3000 on New Year's eve day.  i was in Austin and stopped by the factory and picked one up.  I also picked up a firewire card while I was there.  This is one cool radio.  I just love the tracking notch filters.

What's up with the silly comments about not being able to get firewire cards.  They are available and will be for a long time.  Check out all the conventional readio that you can't get parts for.  Final transistors for Icom's IC-756 are no longer made.  Every radio has a certain life cycle. 

Anyway, I have been a ham since 1969 and had tons of radios.  i have 2 other HF rigs now and don't know when I'll turn them on again.  I have never had so much fun with an HF rig as I am having with the 3000.

Enjoy the new radio.

Hal
W5ZZT
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W5ZZT
Member

Posts: 70




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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 07:55:46 PM »

Tim,

If you are really looking for the firewire card that Flex sells here it is on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/3-Port-Firewire-Adapter-Card/dp/B000HDKVDQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391313082&sr=8-1&keywords=Siig+firewire+400+400012-S8

It's the exact one.  I bought mine when I bought the radio new so I know it's the same SIIG part number.  Hope this helps you.

Harold


I don't know, I just googled firewire card with TI chipset and came up with pages of them.
The one I got was $22.00 off amazon and has the TI chipset.


Hi Brett,

When I do a search on Amazon for Firewire cards I get 5219 results, when I specify TI I get 614 (11%), if I specify a bus such as PCI-E it goes down to ONLY 31 (around 0.005%). These are in my opinion very poor numbers and reflects a not too good future.  Good discussion.

73,
Tim

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N9RO
Member

Posts: 124


WWW

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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2014, 09:09:44 PM »

Thanks Harold,

I no longer need Firewire cards, sold my last Firewire rig in December.   Moving to the 6000 series now that SmartSDR is a bit more mature.  Good luck with your 3000, if you do not mind not having the second receiver the 3000 in my opinion is almost as good (very close) to the 5000 and today it has better resale value.
 
73,
Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
W5ZZT
Member

Posts: 70




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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2014, 09:32:52 PM »

Tim,

I really am enjoying the 3000.  I also have a Icom 7600 but hardly turn it on since getting the Flex.  I will admit the Firewire technology is at the end of it's life cycle. When I picked this radio up at Flex last month I did ask them what was the future of the 3000.  They did say that when they can't get firewire cards anymore that will start the end of the 3000. 

I would like to be able to see more of the spectrum than the 3000 shows but did not want to buy a used 5000.  Lately buying used equipment has not been a good experience for me so I am going to buy new whenever I can.

I plan on moving in the 6000 direction in the future.  I was reading about the other radios that use open source software.  I am not sure I would want to buy a piece of hardware from a company that doesn't write or support it's own software.  At least not for my main rig.  I know the investment for a Flex is more but you are also paying for the software and the support that will come with it.  Hams seem to have a problem paying for software or support. I was in the software for my entire career and fully understand that a good piece of software, just like a good piece of hardware, is not free. 

Anyway I just wanted to let you know about the cables. I look forward to reading some comments about your new radio.

Thanks,

Hal
W5ZZT




Thanks Harold,

I no longer need Firewire cards, sold my last Firewire rig in December.   Moving to the 6000 series now that SmartSDR is a bit more mature.  Good luck with your 3000, if you do not mind not having the second receiver the 3000 in my opinion is almost as good (very close) to the 5000 and today it has better resale value.
 
73,
Tim, N9RO

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WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 863




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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2014, 10:09:32 PM »

N2DTS - you were wondering about this:

<I also wonder if there is a way to keep the frequency of the display fixed, and click on signals, instead of having the entire display move.>

This is not a capability in PowerSDR, although it IS in SmartSDR for the 6xxx series.

Now, you can do a workaround...put the main VFO in the center of the bandwidth you want to monitor, and click VFO LOCK.  Then activate the second VFO with MultiRX, and use it to click on the signals.  You need to turn down the volume of the primary VFO so you only hear the secondary VFO.  But it does work.
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2014, 05:45:27 AM »

That and the loud fan bugged me enough that I sold the radio.
Also, power sdr is very plain jane looking, other programs have more options and look much better, at least on receive, which is what I mostly use sdr for.

It was real time, CW worked great, the receiver worked very well, quiet, good filters, etc.
But psdr was making me dizzy the way it works.

I like putting 100 or 200 KHz on the display and then picking signals to listen to, and I hated the jumping around of the display.
Most other programs have the option to pick one way or the other, and much nicer displays to look at.
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WD4ELG
Member

Posts: 863




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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2014, 11:04:34 PM »

N2DTS, are you saying you already sold your Flex 3000?  Two months since you bought it?

Yep, I agree about the fan noise.  I just got used to it.  The 5000 is a lot quieter.
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2014, 07:23:55 AM »

I think it was a month before it was gone.
I had forgot how much I dislike psdr.
The radio was fine (besides the loud fan), and I rubber mounted the fan assembly to cut some of the noise.

I took the money and spent it on an icom 756 pro2 and a ten tec Argonaut 5.
The pro 2 is handy because it has two antenna outputs and a seperate RX antenna input.
The Argonaut 5 is just fun in a small attractive package.
Both work well as all mode all band rigs.

The Flex 3000 was got because of the low latency through the firewire interface, but since I dislike psdr, I went back to using the sdr-iq and the Peaberry V2 as receivers/band scopes.
They work with many programs the way I want, the spectrum/waterfall fixed.

I really did not like putting 100 KHz of bandwidth on the psdr display then clicking on CW signals, the entire display jumps around and gets confusing.
With the other programs, you can click on this or that signal, and remember what is where, and go back to it.
My search was for slow well sent CW to practice on...
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NO9E
Member

Posts: 382




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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »

Quote
I think it was a month before it was gone.
I had forgot how much I dislike psdr.

Reads like a poem but does not rhyme.... Can you rewrite?
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2014, 05:26:54 AM »

Well, for me, its all about the software.
I do not like psdr, and I did not like sdrmax5.

Every program has its good and bad points I suppose, it just depends on what bothers you or what is lacking with a program.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 699




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« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2014, 06:44:18 PM »

What is this preoccupation with Firewire card availability? Over a decade of using Firewire and yet to have a card go bad. Stock up now and put a match to this straw man.
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