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Author Topic: Help me make plans?  (Read 10377 times)
KD8TUT
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Posts: 59




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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2013, 07:52:58 AM »

There are a lot of people still using the old sdr-1000's, even though flex no longer really supports them.
And there is no reason why they won't be running 10 years from now.

Well, when you consider that with an SDR you have to have a computer available, and that computer needs to be maintained- I'm not so sure. After considering it, maybe it's not a good idea to bank on having a 1394 interface available, let alone the question of whether the software will work on an operating system 10 years from now, or if I have to use old computer equipment should I buy ten hard drives, a few extra processors, and two logic boards to be prepared for the inevitable failures on the computer side.

Quote
If you are looking at it from a radio standpoint, just getting a radio that works well (or can work well if you set it up right), the $1600.00 flex 3000 is a good radio (its on sale now).
100 watts, antenna tuner built in, its high in the Sherwood lists.

I like the 3000, and at that price point I might jump as a first radio.

Quote
I blew out the output devices in a 3000 I owned a few years ago, my fault playing with a homebrew amplifier, and I TOLD flex that it was my fault, and they sent me a brand new radio next day air, and included a shipping label to send the old one back.
I was down for 2 days, and I think that was very good customer service.

My experience was the opposite, but I contacted them as a non ham... so they were not terribly responsive to me. I did not look like a sale.

Quote
Radios like the sdr-iq hook up to most ham rigs, and give you lots of abilities at low cost, another receiver, the panafall display, point and click tuning, all mode demod, great filters, and it runs with at least 3 different programs.
The programs are important, since that really is the radio.

Which might lead me elswhere.

Quote
To see how you like sdr, a low cost kit like the peaberry V2 for $150.00 works amazingly well, and it includes a 1 watt to 4 watt transmitter.

If you know what you are doing, its no problem having the radio and computer in the shack, as long as you do not have massive amounts of RF floating around from using unbalanced antenna's.
I run full power with the antenna's right over the house with no issues.

Not sure I want to start that small, since I'm really looking to build a formidable (by my standards) HF station.

Well, I know what I'm doing on the data side for certain. And would want to keep the RF, as far as possible away from the computer. Flipped bits... suck.... and lead to data loss.
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N2DTS
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2013, 08:05:40 AM »

Per the Sherwood list, the Kenwood TS590 is just above the flex 1500, and its really about the same spec's.
People report a lot of audio hiss as well as harsh digital sounding audio, TX spikes, low power output and a loud relay in CW.
Not MY idea of a good rig at all. The audio out of a rig is very important to me, and I never heard good audio out of any modern ham rig other then an sdr.

If you are interested in advanced features, like say selecting one sideband of an AM signal in sync detection, I do not think the Kenwood offers that, and if you want a good band scope, you have to spend a good amout of money for a 2nd sdr radio.


You may not like flex, or sdr rigs, but features and spec's of the receivers speak for themselves.
And in the real world, I find the spec's of the sdr receivers to be very usefull, and no other ham rig really comes close.

While the Elecraft stuff is very good at CW, it lacks on other modes, like wide bandwidths and wide quiet audio systems.
Its also more expensive.



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KD8TUT
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2013, 08:17:03 AM »

Per the Sherwood list, the Kenwood TS590 is just above the flex 1500, and its really about the same spec's.
People report a lot of audio hiss as well as harsh digital sounding audio, TX spikes, low power output and a loud relay in CW.
Not MY idea of a good rig at all. The audio out of a rig is very important to me, and I never heard good audio out of any modern ham rig other then an sdr.

If you are interested in advanced features, like say selecting one sideband of an AM signal in sync detection, I do not think the Kenwood offers that, and if you want a good band scope, you have to spend a good amout of money for a 2nd sdr radio.


You may not like flex, or sdr rigs, but features and spec's of the receivers speak for themselves.
And in the real world, I find the spec's of the sdr receivers to be very usefull, and no other ham rig really comes close.

While the Elecraft stuff is very good at CW, it lacks on other modes, like wide bandwidths and wide quiet audio systems.
Its also more expensive.





Please don't mis understand me. I'm not bagging on the Flex. From my standpoint it's amazing.

You guys are just participating in my thought process as I work though making a *decision*.
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N2DTS
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2013, 08:35:18 AM »

Well, for many, trying new things is the fun part.
I buy used mostly, use something for 3 to 6 months, then move it along, mostly for very little loss in money.
I look at it as a rental fee.

In the last 5 years, I have had:
Icom 756 pro 1
Icom 756 pro 3
Flex 5000 (2)
Flex 3000,
Old rigs like drake TR-7 and Ten Tec Corsair, and older ones,
SDR-iq receiver,
qs1r receiver,
Peaberry V2 (kit),
Elecraft K2 (built 2 of those, much fun)
Elecraft K1 (kit),
Wilderness radio Sierra (kit),
A Yeasu ft102,
And others I forgot.
That is just for the last 5 years or so.

The home brew stuff I built stays around, receivers and transmitters, because you can not buy stuff like that, and it works well.

The idea I would build up the dream station and then use it for 10 years is beyond me, cool new stuff comes out all the time, and/or my wants change.

And you know, 99% of sdr users have the computer in the shack with the rig, amp, etc, since they use and tune it all.
With a good computer (metal case) its not an issue with a good antenna.
Run a kw into an end fed long wire and you will have problems.

My transmitter can do over 3KW pep, the antenna is right over the house, and I have no issues on my $300.00 wall mart computer.
I just had to put filters on everything coming out of the computer.
Its more where the antenna is in relation to the computer, not the rig to computer layout.
In my case, its 40 feet directly overhead.

There is no doubt that electrical ethernet is the best way to go between radio and computer, but there are only two choices that I know of, and both are expensive unfinished products.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 727




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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2013, 03:13:06 PM »

We should note that in any eHam discussion involving Flex radios, the following points are strawmen:

1. Demanding Hams - Is there a standard level of demand that defines this? What about less demanding hams? Chopped liver?
2. Serious Contesters - Actually, I can't say that I actually know any serious contesters. What are they? Why should I care what they like?
3. Firewire - When you can't buy a PC with PCI slots for Firewire cards, buy last years and store it for a spare. Should give you another 10 yrs.
4. Kenwood TS-590 - Often used as a supposed comparably priced and capable radio. It's actually not as good as the smallest Flex on receive.

Yaesu probably sells FT-857D's at a 50:1 ratio to FTDX-5000's  So much for the "demanding hams" driving the market.

Serious contesters are guys who are serious, seriously. They are not playing around, so you'd better not mess around when it comes to talking about radios and other serious things. Serious contesters don't waste time with SDR's that interface with Windows PC's because they've spent so much money on their serious contesting systems they can't afford even one other extra cheap PC to do logging. That's how seriously serious they are. Seriously.

Firewire. Do you have any idea how many musicians and studios routinely use Firewire in their day to day business? Do you believe all these people will simply throw away all their Firewire gear in the next 10 years? They're musicians. They spend their money on tight jeans and coke. Firewire's been around for 18 years now. My Kenwood TS-140s was built in 1988. It still works. I put an aftermarket serial adaptor on it for CAT. Imagine that... Someone actually makes a computer adapter for a 25 year old radio.

Kenwood TS-590. A fine radio. Reportedly not as good a receiver as the Flex 1500. Or the 3000. Or the 5000. But, neither is the TS-990. Or IC-7800. Or FTDX-3000. So, it's in good company.


Did Flex set the standard for amateur radio SDR systems? Yes. Were/are the radios a technological breakthrough? Yes. Can the average ham use one and enjoy it? No. Of course not. You'd have to be a masochistic, computer genius, no-code, PC hardware luddite with stock in a ferrite mining company. Few can meet these requirements.

If you are going into your first SDR purchase as an important life changing investment rather than an expenditure to further your enjoyment of the hobby, then best not go with any sort of SDR that uses a PC interface, thin or thick. Best to go with something safe from any potential pitfalls or obsolescence. Like, a billiard ball. Not much can go wrong there.

If you want to have fun with radio and run your station in most any conceivable mode or configuration of audio I/O, CAT control, logging (besides, of course, Serious Contester Demanding CW) with certain aplomb, then you'll want an SDR.
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KD8TUT
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2013, 03:45:01 PM »

We should note that in any eHam discussion involving Flex radios, the following points are strawmen:

1. Demanding Hams - Is there a standard level of demand that defines this? What about less demanding hams? Chopped liver?
2. Serious Contesters - Actually, I can't say that I actually know any serious contesters. What are they? Why should I care what they like?
3. Firewire - When you can't buy a PC with PCI slots for Firewire cards, buy last years and store it for a spare. Should give you another 10 yrs.
4. Kenwood TS-590 - Often used as a supposed comparably priced and capable radio. It's actually not as good as the smallest Flex on receive.

Yaesu probably sells FT-857D's at a 50:1 ratio to FTDX-5000's  So much for the "demanding hams" driving the market.

Serious contesters are guys who are serious, seriously. They are not playing around, so you'd better not mess around when it comes to talking about radios and other serious things. Serious contesters don't waste time with SDR's that interface with Windows PC's because they've spent so much money on their serious contesting systems they can't afford even one other extra cheap PC to do logging. That's how seriously serious they are. Seriously.

Firewire. Do you have any idea how many musicians and studios routinely use Firewire in their day to day business? Do you believe all these people will simply throw away all their Firewire gear in the next 10 years? They're musicians. They spend their money on tight jeans and coke. Firewire's been around for 18 years now. My Kenwood TS-140s was built in 1988. It still works. I put an aftermarket serial adaptor on it for CAT. Imagine that... Someone actually makes a computer adapter for a 25 year old radio.

Kenwood TS-590. A fine radio. Reportedly not as good a receiver as the Flex 1500. Or the 3000. Or the 5000. But, neither is the TS-990. Or IC-7800. Or FTDX-3000. So, it's in good company.


Did Flex set the standard for amateur radio SDR systems? Yes. Were/are the radios a technological breakthrough? Yes. Can the average ham use one and enjoy it? No. Of course not. You'd have to be a masochistic, computer genius, no-code, PC hardware luddite with stock in a ferrite mining company. Few can meet these requirements.

If you are going into your first SDR purchase as an important life changing investment rather than an expenditure to further your enjoyment of the hobby, then best not go with any sort of SDR that uses a PC interface, thin or thick. Best to go with something safe from any potential pitfalls or obsolescence. Like, a billiard ball. Not much can go wrong there.

If you want to have fun with radio and run your station in most any conceivable mode or configuration of audio I/O, CAT control, logging (besides, of course, Serious Contester Demanding CW) with certain aplomb, then you'll want an SDR.


Thanks very much for taking the time to reply, however as a new, non-demanding, computer expert ham... the information presented is useless because you're trying to argue with someone (other than me).

Here's what I'm interested in:

1. Flexradios, non Flex SDR radios, and SDR in general.

2. Radios that are not primarily SDR, but have interesting ways that a computer can be put into the mix, or are capable of being controlled through software.

Personally, I don't care about arguing what rig is better. I care about getting a radio that will hold my interest for a while and not become obsolete before I'm willing to throw it out.

I AM concerned about the 1394 connections being readily available in 10 years. Heck I did beta testing on the provisional standard for Apple Computer. 10 years is a long time... there's a lot of dead technology in ten years. And it's important to note that Ethernet is going nowhere, because ieee8023 is used *everywhere*.

Maybe that lowers my stock as a ham... because you guys seem to be pointing out big important arguments and related fallacies... when I'm just trying to buy a radio.

My first radio.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 727




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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2013, 03:52:43 PM »

You'd probably be well served with a TS-590 or other "knob" radio and SDR receive setup like Stan's. Best of both worlds.
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1740




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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2013, 04:54:51 AM »

Per the Sherwood list, the Kenwood TS590 is just above the flex 1500, and its really about the same spec's.
People report a lot of audio hiss as well as harsh digital sounding audio, TX spikes, low power output and a loud relay in CW.
Not MY idea of a good rig at all.


You may not like flex, or sdr rigs, but features and spec's of the receivers speak for themselves.

You are being silly. Specs especially Sherwoods chart that group rados by ONE spec mean nothing. Real world performance and satisfaction with the radio are the priorities that knowledgeable hams use. I want a radio I can be comfortable with and enjoy operating. A radio that boosts my ego because it is high on Sherwoods list has no place in my shack.

Have you ever used a Kenwood TS-590s??? My opinions on radios is formed by ACTUALLY using the radio, not someone elses flawed opinion.

I have had the Flexradio 5000 and TS-590s side by side in my shack at the same time. I have been able to check performance between both of them. I speak from personal experience. I have owned many radios in my long ham career. including some you have on your list, the Pro II, ProIII, Yaesu FT-1000D and countless others in the last 53 years. I know what works good and what does not live up to the hype. The Flexradio failed miserably..

Stan K9IUIQ
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 05:03:33 AM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1740




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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2013, 05:01:00 AM »

My first radio.

Unless you like frustration and headaches,  DO NOT buy any SDR for your first radio.

Stan K9IUQ
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N9RO
Member

Posts: 124


WWW

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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2013, 02:53:17 PM »

What is the advantage of a remote radio network consisting of 9 radios using QT vs the various other remote xcvr sites that also have a few remote controlled xcvrs of various makes and models?

ARCHITECTURE!  CS Network-enabled by design.  You are in serious error if you consider Radio Networking the same as Radio Control.  A very simple example: one server can handle multiple RX and TX channels. 
73,
Tim, N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
K5TED
Member

Posts: 727




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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2013, 04:43:18 PM »

What is the advantage of a remote radio network consisting of 9 radios using QT vs the various other remote xcvr sites that also have a few remote controlled xcvrs of various makes and models?

ARCHITECTURE!  CS Network-enabled by design.  You are in serious error if you consider Radio Networking the same as Radio Control.  A very simple example: one server can handle multiple RX and TX channels. 
73,
Tim, N9RO


How is that an advantage to me or the vast majority of hams? Who cares?
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K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1740




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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2013, 04:59:01 PM »

How is that an advantage to me or the vast majority of hams? Who cares?

Networking SDRs could be a huge advantage. One server serving more than one ham. That sounds very intriguing to me, especially for Contesters and Dxexpeditions.

Networking makes remoting very easy too. oops I forgot the Flex 6000 series does not support remote networking - yet. It is a promise though.......  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

My present setup does not support networking as is. However my QS1R along with CW Skimmer Server software will automatically scan up to 7 bands and feed the Call letters to any DX cluster including the local cluster on my Computer. This is just a small example of a Ham oriented Server being extremely useful. I think like N9RO - seeing (remote or local) Radio Servers that can TX/RX on many bands at once to be the future of SDRs. This is mind boggling if you can be rational and think about it.

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 05:08:48 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
K9IUQ
Member

Posts: 1740




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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2013, 05:06:49 PM »

You'd probably be well served with a TS-590 or other "knob" radio and SDR receive setup like Stan's. Best of both worlds.

I would agree with you. Since the poster is a newbie ham and it is his first Radio, He would not be well served by buying any SDR. SDR's take patience and more than a little hamradio knowledge.

My advice: Start with a knobbed radio and learn how to use it properly. Then get a RX only SDR (even a cheap one) and set it up like I did. Sync the Knobbed radio and SDR. Enjoy the freedom of 2 RXs and a Panafall.  After figuring that combo out and if you still like SDRs and feel comfortable using one, then go all SDR..

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 05:09:35 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
K5TED
Member

Posts: 727




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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2013, 10:13:53 PM »

How is that an advantage to me or the vast majority of hams? Who cares?

Networking SDRs could be a huge advantage. One server serving more than one ham. That sounds very intriguing to me, especially for Contesters and Dxexpeditions.

Networking makes remoting very easy too. oops I forgot the Flex 6000 series does not support remote networking - yet. It is a promise though.......  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

My present setup does not support networking as is. However my QS1R along with CW Skimmer Server software will automatically scan up to 7 bands and feed the Call letters to any DX cluster including the local cluster on my Computer. This is just a small example of a Ham oriented Server being extremely useful. I think like N9RO - seeing (remote or local) Radio Servers that can TX/RX on many bands at once to be the future of SDRs. This is mind boggling if you can be rational and think about it.

Stan K9IUQ

How does all that provide an advantage to me? Would I need to become a serious contester? ;-)
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 873




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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2013, 11:31:05 PM »

KD8TUT,

As an owner of knob and SDR radios (Flex 5000, Flex 3000, TS520S, TS570, TS480, FT817), I agree with K5TED and K9IUQ - STRONGLY urge you to get a simple knobbed radio to start with.  Don't buy any high-capability rig that costs $$$$ either, with fancy featurs.  Just get something so you can get experience with.  IC718 is a great and quite capable rig to start with.  TS590S is a terrific rig that has some advanced features but won't cost the mortgage.  Also, consider spending $ on the antenna before you pick the rig.  The best radio won't be worth a pile of horse manure if you hook it up to a sub-standard radiator.

Also, try to get your hands on a couple of rigs.  Join a local club and see if some of the hams will let you try their rigs.  Heck, if you were local I would let you just come over and borrow one of mine.  Always happy to help out newer hams.
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