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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ELAD FDM-DUO Help


Reviews Summary for ELAD FDM-DUO
ELAD FDM-DUO Reviews: 39 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1450
Description: HF+50MHz SDR QRP transceiver with direct sampling technology.
Product is in production.
More info: http://ecom.eladit.com/epages/990298944.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/990298944/Products/%22ELAD%20FDM-DUO%22
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KA1API Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2017 16:51 Send this review to a friend
Amazing  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Elad FDM-DUO is incredible. It works great as a stand-alone QRP rig with knobs and buttons for the most common adjustments, long presses on buttons and knobs for less frequent adjustments, and a full, easy to read and navigate menu for infrequent adjustments. The filtering is amazing and the QSK on CW is great.

Using it with your computer is amazing. I've used PowerSDR, SmartSDR and other SDR software. The free software that you get from Elad is very powerful and easy to use, and may even outshine the others. It allows you to have four concurrent receivers and easily change the TX to either of them, to make working pile-ups easy, Just find the station that the DX is working on the panadapter, click and pounce. Plus, you can open another panadapter with four more receivers. I haven't even scratched the surface of its capabilities but I could use it to break through a couple of pile-ups, with little seat-time with the software.

The rig has eight watts of output power, which is generally enough to work the world, but you can easily mate the rig with an amplifier to provide extra oomph. I am using an Elecraft KXPA100 amplifier and have it daisy-chained with my ALS-600 just in case.

Integration with HRD for logging and DM780 for digital modes couldn't be any easier. It uses the Kenwood rig control interface so just tell HRD that you have a TS-480S and you are good to go. Plus, with digital modes, all the audio goes through the USB cable so no need for an external interface. The Elad USB device shows up in the configuration.

Another plus is the Blue DUO Android app. It allows you to control various rig functions through an Android smartphone or tablet, plus it displays the panadapter and you can click on signals with your finger or a stylus to change to the frequency. In my opinion, this is more powerful than the PX3/P3 options, plus you probably already own/are carrying a smartphone so all you need to pay for is the Bluetooth dongle for the rig.

About the only knock I have on the rig, and it is a minor one, is the tilt feet. They work but it is the only part of the rig that doesn't look as high quality as the rest of the rig. They work fine but I wish they were sturdier. Also, I am using powered speakers and must plug it into the front panel. Ideally, there would be an auxiliary speaker connection on the back. I got a ninety-degree adapter so it keeps the cable largely out of the way.

I've been on the fence about getting an Elad FDM-DUO for a while so I regret not getting one sooner. The recent ARRL review seems to agree with my initial reaction to the rig. I've you've been considering getting one, or are on the fence about getting into SDR, the Elad allows you to dunk your toe in the water. Providing knobs and software, plus the Android app is very versatile, allowing you to choose how you operate the rig.
 
N8WGM Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2016 00:00 Send this review to a friend
A year now and still lovin it  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
It has now been a year since I got my Elad FDM Duo.

It has been an interesting year. The radio itself is incredible. I hear signals that I never heard before. Brings weak signals out of the noise unlike any analog radio I have owned and I have owned quite a few.

I use two microphones at the same time with this radio.....a Blue Yeti Pro and a Marshall MX990 that is highly modified. That seems to be a great combination as I get great reports about my audio.

I did have a problem with the control software that I had to reload. Other than that, it has been fool proof.

I would love to get this radio working on a Linux based computer. They do have software that will allow that now I understand.

I still highly recommend this radio. Excellent factory support and they get back to you quickly if they do not answer the phone.

I just can't see spending almost $3K for a software defined radio that performs about as good as this little $1200 radio. Yeah it is only 8 watts....but you can get a nice solid state amplifier that can put out almost 1.5K watts with only 5 watts or you can get a smaller 100 watt solid state amp and run that monster tubed amp that you still have.

This radio is the best one I have owned so far.
 
GD6ICR Rating: 4/5 Oct 3, 2016 01:29 Send this review to a friend
Superb receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought the ELAD a few months ago and have had lots of fun on HF at low power with JT-65HF and PSK and occasionally on 18MHz phone. Superbly simple to use as a stand alone radio but excels when connected to a low noise PC. Small problem is than when the radio is turned on - it occasionally exhibits no audio feeding to the PC software. Other than that - I couldn't ask for better
 
K4LY Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2016 13:16 Send this review to a friend
Recommended SDR   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Elad DUO works quite well as a stand-alone transceiver and very well with the free Elad FDM-SW2 software. Having used the many SDR and QRP transceivers including the Flex 1000, Flex 5000. Flex 1500, Elecraft K2, Elecraft KX3, and others, I'll offer some comparisons based on my own experience and after studying of the product reviews in QST.
I'd rate the DUO as good++ for a stand alone rig, almost plug and play. I had it up and running with my first QRP CW and SSB contacts within an hour using a ladder line fed 60M dipole at 60' tuned with an Elecraft T1 antenna tuner. On CW there was no noticeable latency, unlike my older Flex transceivers which also have no stand-alone capability.
In the QST product reviews, the DUO rates well, better than my Flex 1500 and K2, but worse than the Elecraft KX3 in most receiver dynamic testing categories. The QST reported noise floor was a little below the others, including my TS-590S, especially on six meters, so I did a some A/B tests with my TS-590S, known for its excellent receiver. I found no discernible noise floor difference on any band except 6M where the Kenwood seemed to be about 3 dB better. On other bands, signals were equal on both radios. Quick A/B tests of dynamic range on 20 and 40M showed the DUO to equal my Kenwood. There was no overloading or IMD in my limited tests. The QST review gives the DUO very good marks for transmit IMD and phase noise with keying bandwith not as good.
Ergonomically, the DUO is probably almost as good as it gets for such a small radio. The main tuning knob is large and a joy to use. All the knobs have multiple functions, which requires good memory or a cheat sheet! The small Elad LCD display is less than 2 1/2" by 1" with characters almost too small for my old eyes, but using it with a computer obviates this criticism. As a stand alone rig, I prefer the K2 and the KX3, but they are both more expensive and have fewer features than the DUO.
Both manuals, bElad DUO and FDM-SW2 software, are on the USB stick included with the radio and online. There is no no hard copy. They are good, but might be a struggle for the first time SDR owner using the computer configuration. Like the DUO's firmware, the manuals are continually improved. The newest firmware can be downloaded to the DUO, but I have not done that yet.

As an SDR radio with the waterfall monitor and partial or almost complete computer control, the DUO is outstanding. I was already familiar with the FDM-SW2 software which installs quickly from the USB stick included with the radio. The driver was also found and installed quickly. A single, supplied USB cable to a USB port on my old, inexpensive Acer Aspire X301 with an AMD II X3 425 processor and Windows 7 Home edition had everything up and running in a short time. CPU usage was about 15- 20%. I can't say the FDM-SW2 software is better or worse than the Flex Power SDR software. Both are terrific, but different.
A day later I also connected two more USB cables which came with the DUO to my computer for additional transmitter and CAT control. You need three free USB jacks on your computer for complete control although just one cable is sufficient for the waterfall and receive computer control. However, I wanted to use N1MM contest software. The drivers were found found and installed quickly as soon as the CAT USB cable was connected and DUO was turned on. I did some sleuthing on the Yahoo Elad group forum and found the following Elad and N1MM configuration from posts by G4DBN which I'll include here since they worked for me-
On N1MM configuration, choose the generic Kenwood with 3800, N,8, 2, DTR= CW and RTS= PTT. In the DUO menu #37 set CW IN to P+DTR for a paddle or K+DTR for a straight key. In the DUO menu #54 set PTT= IN + RTS. I was able to use all the N1MM CW keying features after doing that. The same settings will work for many other software programs. I have not yet tried to set up N1MM voice keying with virtual audio connections which will also work for many other software programs such as WSJT. G4DBN's setup is audio stream 1 (VAC line 1) connected to AUX output of VRX1. Audio output is 13, the DUO audio device. PTT is set to RTS.
All of the worldwide DUO distributors are highly recommended. I bought mine a week ago, Friday, from ML&S Martin Lynch and Sons Ltd in England the day after Britain voted to leave the EU. The Pound dropped relative to the dollar! It was shipped same day and arrived 3 days later on Monday. I was amazed. I have had a ton of fun and only a small amount of frustration in setting it up and using it QRP on CW and SSB. I'll post a second review after using it a while and setting it up for digital modes and voice keying.
 
G7NKS Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2016 08:03 Send this review to a friend
Excellent purchase and well pleased  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my ELAD FDM-DUO about a year ago from a well known UK dealer. Very impressed with it. I run it through my SPE1K to get about 200 watts out. Running as a standalone it is good and when run via the software it is awesome. No real faults to find and for the money, great value. Jim G7NKS IO92ub
 
W2NER Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2016 05:54 Send this review to a friend
For the money, hands down best bang for the buck!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had my ELAD-DUO for a few weeks now and it a fantastic radio. I also have a Flex 6300 so I do have a base line to compare it too. It powers up fast, RX is VERY good and the TX audio is close (but not the same) as my flex. I'm using a RODE NT1A mic on both radios. Not saying the audio is not good, as good if not better than any radio I have had, except for the flex.

Power output is 8 watts and into my ALS-1300 I get 175 watts output. I am building a 75 watt amp to use with it so I can drive my 1300 to 1kw. For the $1050 USD this radio cost shipped from the UK, its a fantastic radio. I would not hesitate buying this again or recommending it to a friend.

GREAT WORK ELAD! I also want to say the support from ML&S Martin Lynch & Sons Ltd in the UK was second to none..
 
N8WGM Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2016 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Small but big!   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've heard good things about the Elad FDM Duo and I've heard them on the air. They sounded excellent. It is a QRP rig (5 watts max) but.....there are amplifiers that are relatively inexpensive and can bring this radio into the QRO world. Some folks buy 100 watt Solid State amp and then drive a standard tube amp. That seems to be the norm for now. There are some Solid State amps that put out 1KW + with only 5 watt drive. Tubes seem to be dying and so is the standard rigs. SDR and solid state is the future.

The receive on this radio is excellent. It can stand alone or run through the Elad FDM-SW2 software that makes this radio a Flex fighter. The Flex radios are great. This radio is every bit as good and sometimes better. Being a dual system....either stand alone or computer controlled. No extra stuff needed to make it a stand alone.

The small foot print is really nice on the desk. The menu system takes some getting used to but eventually you learn the way around. It is nice to have this radio hooked to a computer as the short cut keys make running this radio fast and easy......as long as you learn it. The computer control really makes this radio stand out and perform.

Elad USA was quick to ship and had the radio to me in one day. (had to pay extra of course!)

This little box is absolutely amazing. So much in such a little box. Receive is awesome. Transmit, I get great reports.

If you are looking for an SDR radio that won't break the bank, then the Elad FDM duo is worth a look. I really love mine.
 
VK3MEG Rating: 4/5 Feb 20, 2016 04:54 Send this review to a friend
great value awesome tx awesome rx.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned my Elad Fdm duo for 4-6 months for the dollar resticted ham this is a great radio.
I cant justify $4+k for a simgle radio this is much cheaper. great rx especially on the low bands
and the audio reports i get very good (sm30 mic). i use mine mainly in standalone but do use the water fall.
the split function of having the dx in one ear and the pile up in the other is why i bought the radio.
the display cw decoder is very handy for a cw learner like me. having knobs and buttons is great.
the software is good i use mine in ssb and cw. why only a 4 not a 5 due to the fact i am
struggling getting rtty and digi modes running . i have them working on my ic 7100 so go there.
i use dxlabs to control the radio and generate cw through a winkeyer for keyboard cw. 7 watts
drive and i run a smal mircoset amp the signal is very clean. i'm not a portable operator but
wouldnt hesitate to take it out as it is very light and works great. btw i worked zl on 6m
barefoot with 5-6 watts cw (1500 miles). for swling it is very good the mf and lf bands are
great to explore this rig is staying in my shack and has become my main radio.
this radio also workes great for transverters etc. so many possibilties for such a small radio.
cheers
 
N5WJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2016 07:45 Send this review to a friend
Cool Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well I Have had my Elad FDM-Duo for a couple months now and It is truly a neat radio.. After using many different Flexes it is a little different to operate and I think the Software is not yet on par the SmartSDR on the 6000 Series Flexes but performance wise it is really close to them and much much cheaper hihi... I sold my Flex 1500 to buy this one and it is far superior to that rig for sure... Pros on the rig.. Great Receive and the audio is amazing... on Transmit I am using an Icom SM-50 Mic and it performs great with rig.. I also have a Logitec USB headset that I use running the audio through the Computer and that has been excellent also... Some of the Cons on the radio.. Mic plug is in the back of the rsdio as is the On off switch which is also not the best type switch.. Software is updated pretty frequently and works well I use mine mostly with the software although the radio works fine standalone.. just used to Flexes I guess and the Panadapter is pretty addictive as anyone who uses them will attest...the Software is not up to flexes but they have had many years to perfect theirs I will see how this software moves along... As this is a 5 watt radio I use an HLA-150 Amp and then an Alpha 78 amp to get about a KW out when needed by inputting about 1.5 watts into the HLA Amp and getting about 50 Watts out to the Alpha which loafs along at a KW... Pros outweigh the small Cons so I am able to give it a 5 try this rig and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it performs..

Frank.. N5WJ
 
SM4GRP Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2016 22:28 Send this review to a friend
The very best  Time owned: more than 12 months
The ELAD FDM-DUO is the very best transceiver I've had. It is a big big rig in a small package when used together with the SW2 software. As of today, the software needs further development and ELAD is continously working on it. It's very good that it can be used stand-alone but it shines together with the SW2 software. I'm using it extensively both as a SWL receiver on MW and SW bands and as a ham rig. Summary: The best rig I've ever had (licensed 1974). Highly recommended.
 
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