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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | FlexRadio FLEX-1500 Help


Reviews Summary for FlexRadio FLEX-1500
FlexRadio  FLEX-1500 Reviews: 67 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $649
Description: The FLEX-1500 is a low-cost, QRP SDR that is positioned to allow ham radio operators the ability to experience the incredible capabilities and just plain fun of operating an actual software defined radio without breaking the budget. It comes packed with features that make it ideally positioned to be the ultimate low cost, high performance QRP rig and IF deck for VHF-microwave transverter operation.

* Two-tone, 2 KHz spacing third order dynamic range measured @ 14 MHz of greater than 80 dB
* Full HF/6m transmit capability - General coverage receiver
* Built In Test Equipment (BITE) for hassle free calibration
* Multiple RF outputs for transverter IF or "full gallon" QRP operation
* Dedicated Receive only antenna selection for use with the transverter IF or the 5W PA Transceiver port
* Simple USB interface to the computer eliminates messy cabling that plagues other QRP software defined radios.
* External connectors for band data, asserting PTT, headphones, key and microphone
* Simple USB interface to the computer eliminates messy cabling that plagues other QRP software defined radios
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.flex-radio.com/Products.aspx?topic=F1.5k_features
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K7UQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2014 14:27 Send this review to a friend
For the money Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my second review of the Flex. One of the issues I had on my first review was low psk output. a fellow eham.net member helped me resolve that issue. You get what you pay for if you are lucky. In reviewing the Flex, one thing stands out. It has a fabulous receiver. The receiver alone should be worth a 5.0 rating. Prospective buyers should have a modern multi-core computer. Also be prepared for a pretty steep learning curve. With some patience I am sure you will love the unit.
 
W5HFS Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2014 11:36 Send this review to a friend
A great Radio with only Two Problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
My ham experience began in 1954 with a Heathkit AT-1 transmitter and National NC-125 receiver. I moved sporadically through intervening years building a Heathkit Marauder I used with a Collins 75S-1. Eventually I acquired a full Collins S-Line, KWM-2, and 30L-1. My only “modern” radio has been an Icom 706MKIIG, but even with the Icom I found I spent most of my on-air time with the Collins. Then a couple of years ago I saw and bought the FlexRadio 1500 QRP rig. I was immediately amazed that this small, $600 software defined radio has a far better receiver than anything else I have ever heard. Even with its lowly 5 watts I have great success on CW and digital. It handles digital modes with software on your computer and no added hardware, and I’ve made a number of DX (ZLs etc.) SSB contacts with 5 watts. Connected to my Collins 30L-1 it gives me a powerhouse 50 watts. The 1500 totally changes my understanding of radio with the great flexibility and exceptional quality and variety of visual displays. While latency with its internal keyer is a concern as many have noted, I solve that with an external keyer. The two problems I mention in the title? 1) After using the 1500 I find my Collins equipment is gathering dust (please excuse me Collins Collectors Association). 2) Having discovered the joys of the 1500 I was compelled to buy a FlexRadio 6700 on announcement day – actually this is not a problem, just a warning: You’ll love the 1500 so much you won’t be able to resist going for the latest and greatest. (See my review of the 6700.)
 
N6GEO Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2014 07:50 Send this review to a friend
Good for RTTY Contesting  Time owned: more than 12 months
We used a FLEX1500 for the 2014 ARRL RTTY RU when we operated from Radio Reef in St Croix as WP2/WQ6X. Although Radio Reef had antennas and transceivers, we believed that the SDR offered better filters and S&P capabilities for a RTTY contest. The modular qualities of separate FLEX1500, a THP45B amp, and a MFJ 4115 power supply made it easy to pack into our luggage. In receive, the FLEX1500 provides extremely narrow (300 Hz) filters without any ringing that might influence the 2Tone decoder. Conversely, we were able to shape the skirts on our transmitted signal to keep from offending our neighbors on the band. Because of the demanding continuous duty cycle of RTTY, we ran the FLEX 1500 very conservatively. We were -3 dB on the ALC limit, and dropped the RF power to something under 1 watt. This in turn drove the THP HL-45B to less than 10 watts. The Alpha 89 at Radio Reef took us to 125 watts without breaking a sweat. A second FLEX 1500 (-10 dB preamp and dummy load antenna)viewing the output as a spectrum analyzer confirmed the lack of IMD products. The entire system ran continuously for the allotted time yielding ~1080 contacts. S&P is a joy, you simply put the cursor between the RTTY "tracks" and click. We could "walk" down the band rapidly making contacts without touching our FLEX knob. The FLEX knob was useful when running a frequency. We could turn RIT "on" and and dial the 2Tone window into sync. This became useful in handling pileups. Overall, we were quite satisfied. We still have a bit too much latency, but replacing our ca 2009 AMD Turion 64 laptop probably would have helped! Overall, I was very pleased with the performance of this little radio under demanding conditions. Before and after the contest I ran this system "barefoot" on PSK and made numerous contacts into Europe and NA. Reports said my waterfall looked clean.
 
KB3LSM Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2014 18:53 Send this review to a friend
It's better than....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since I bought the flex 1500 I immediately lost all interest in hardware radios completely. I sold my icom to a beginner ham for $100. It is a whole new world to see all of the signals across the panafall and then drag, click and scroll the mouse to select what signals I hear and dont hear. It only took me a few days to get the hang of everything and interface all of the digital modes programs seamlessly. The 5 watts is plenty for digital modes. Short wave listening is amazing. The receiver is phenomenal. There is no conventional radio that I would trade this for.

I need to recommend a somewhat powerful pc to run this radio. I have a dual core hp with 4 gig of ram. It stumbles a little bit if I try to do too many other things while running the radio. As good as the Flex 1500 is, it will only be as good as your computer. The next computer I am going to buy is a quad core w 8 gig of ram, and the flex will run smooth as I do 10 other things at the same time.

Aaron Miller - KB3LSM - Evans City, Pennsylvania
 
KA1API Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2013 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Unbelievable  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up a used Flex 1500 from a local ham. It is incredible. I had a Flex 3000 and sold it a while back and wanted to get another Flex. Once you've used a radio with panadapter, it is hard to go back to knobs.

The panadapter is a big help in breaking through pileups since you can literally see the station the DX is working and click to set your TX frequency.

I have the 1500 connected to a THP HL-100BDX 100 watt amplifier and it works FB. I work primarily CW and I use an external keyer with sidetone and semi QSK and it works great.

All it takes is one USB cable to your computer, some software, and a little time and you are ready to work all modes. The receiver is great too. Check out the Sherwood site for how it ranks against other much more expensive rigs. It even has dual watch so you can listen to two frequencies on the same band at once.

I was able to put it through its paces this weekend and worked 40+ countries including BY, JA, ZD8, JW, and ZL9.

I highly recommend it and the price is right.
 
KD9Y Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2013 17:31 Send this review to a friend
Fine SDR transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you like computers and ham radio, this is the rig for you. It is almost plug and play. There is a comprehensive manual covering every aspects of the of the SRD software and radio. When I first tried it on CW it did not work well. After tweaking the SRD program, I got it to work very well. You do need a powerful computer, and the smarts to figure it all out. But, that is the challenge. On 5 watts this evening, I made a QSO with CO8LY on 17 meters with a 599 report. Good luck and keep trying. QRP for ever!
 
PA3UL Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2013 12:49 Send this review to a friend
great receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love the receiver(s) they are very good and have all the filtering you need.
If you keep the power output below 3watt your IMD (3e order) will be okay.
But its better to use a IMD meter.

73!
 
RA4SD Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2013 06:21 Send this review to a friend
Great for VHF transverters  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my Flex 1500 back in December of 2011. This is my first ever SDR radio in the shack. Flex-1500 mostly used as an IF Deck for my VHF/microwave transverters (HA1YA, DB6NT) on 144/432/1296 MHz. I very successfully use the setup in CW QSO via Aurora,Tropo and VHF-contests. I can see the band and work more new VHF DX!
Have a great fun on HF bands: listen Broadcast AM, military, marine, pirate, HAM radio.
Conclusion: good small SDR Transceiver at a reasonable price for many aplications!
 
W4HIJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2013 08:38 Send this review to a friend
Can't be beat!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am now on my second Flex 1500 after also having once owned a Flex 5000. I had to sell the 5000 because of some family medical issues and bought my first 1500 then. I eventually sold that first 1500 with plans of upgrading to a 3000 but that never happened because of the recurring medical expenses. Early this year I was able to finally get my hands on another 1500. The point is that I want nothing but SDR's anymore and I specifically love the Flex line. Over the years I have owned many entry to mid level radios made by the "big three" and none of them comes close to a 1500 as far as having a quiet comfortable to listen to RX. As much as I loved my 5000, I cannot really tell that much difference in the RX quality of it and the 1500. I used to work in the retail end of the ham radio business and always had access to the latest and greatest high dollar rigs coming through the doors and I can tell you that this little $650 rig equals or blows away anything else I ever was able to use. The 5 watt power level may scare some away but I've never really had much problem working most any station I could hear, even on SSB. To be honest I do have a small 5 watt in/50 watt out amp on the desk for when conditions get a little tough but I'm still surprised sometimes with just how well 5 watts does. The 5 rating is mostly because of the RX. I find that most TX's are equal on all radios but that RX performance is lacking on lower end offerings of most manufacturers. Not the Flex though, you really have to hear it to believe it.
I know some folks have a problem with Flex and CW. I don't use the mode that often and when I do I use a straight key rather than any type of keyer, internal or otherwise. I can tell you that working a comfortable speed for me which is in the 10 to 13wpm range, I've encountered no problems. I do have a fairly powerful PC though because of other pursuits I use it for so YMMV. In summation I'll just say that I've had kind of a roller coaster ride buying and selling Flex radios but it's been no fault of the equipment, just finances but they will have to pry this 1500 away from me..never going to be without one again!
 
WA3VAT Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2013 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first SDR (software defined radio), having spent 40 years on the air. Honestly, I want to always have an SDR going forward. Qst's review missed the mark- yes its not a plug and play rig. However it is fairly straight forward in the setup and operation. The filterings are the best I have seen- heard. There is plenty of support info. on the net for those who seek. I would buy this again. 73 de Wayne -WA3VAT
 
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