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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | FlexRadio FLEX-1500 Help

Reviews Summary for FlexRadio FLEX-1500
FlexRadio  FLEX-1500 Reviews: 84 Average rating: 4.3/5 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.
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KD7SU Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2014 06:23 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great radio so far, had a month, only bad point the bnc connector on pc board not very strong mine came loose and is being repaired as I am posting review. will be more carful when I hook up antenna from now on, weak point>
73 Ron
N2DTS Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2014 05:41 Send this review to a friend
very nice!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had the flex 5000 and the 3000, and now have the 1500.
I liked the 5000's a lot, the 3000 not so much with its loud fan, and with a fair computer that is only doing sdr, they were delay and trouble free.
The 1500 has some delay because the cheap ssmall computer I run sdr on has a slow usb system.
There is always delay, with the sdr-iq, the qs1r, and the other usb based sdr's I have used.
I agree, they should have made the 1500 with a firewire interface, or Ethernet if they could.
But as it is, it works very well if you do not monitor yourself. Even on my poor computer I could set buffers low and get very low delay through the system, but it would be easy on my computer with a firewire interface which does not have as much delay.

The radio itself works very well, I do not notice much difference between the 1500 and the 3000 and 5000 on receive, they all have great filters and very good fidelity, low noise, low distortion, low background noise.
The 48 KHz band scope is enough.
CW sent with a straight key seems fine to me, with my slow speeds, I do not notice any serious delay with semi break in, so maybe the 1500 is ok for casual CW operators, real CW guys will want a good computer or an Elecraft I suspect.

Nice small box, no fans, the software just works, I have installed these radios on various computers without ever having a problem.
An old slow dual core lap top runs 30 to 50% cpu usage, the $300.00 quad core wall mart small form factor computer runs 17%.

Its a very nice and fun radio, I got mine used for about 1/2 price, and as a receiver its well worth the money.
As a rig, it all comes down to the delay through the computer, and that seems to be pot luck with usb ports.
LZ1ZJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2014 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Fine receiver!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Same story as KD7ST! Excellent transceiver with my HP 430 probook, i-5, 8 Gbt RAM.Good CW to 30.
I tried with my old P-4 Dell, but latency was too high.Low noise reveceiver, better than my TS-480.
Enjoy it!
KD7SU Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2014 09:50 Send this review to a friend
Great SDR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not the best with computers but bought used flex radio, on the air in lest then 30 minutes. First contact was with W1AW/7 QRP. Just stuck in spare mobile and mic and worked, got good signal report, going to try cw later this afternoon
73 Ron
W5JZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2014 11:30 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Flex 1500 is my first experience with SDR radios. I have been so taken with the performance of the Flex 1500 the other equipment in my shack has remained idle for the last 6 months. The receiver performance and the filter flexibility of the radio is outstanding. My operating conditions with the Flex 1500 is as follows:
Computer: - Intel based iMac 2.5 Ghz i5 Proc 4GB Memory
Software: - VMware Fusion and Windows 7
Ancillary Software: Power SDR v2.7.2, Virtual Audio Cable (VAC), Virtual Serial Port (VSP), Mini Deluxe, DM80, HRD Logbook, and JT65HF.
Software setup is straight forward and software reliability has been excellent. The order in which the various pieces of software is implemented is very important! Other than the aforementioned condition, The radio performance is exceptional and Flex 1500 is a pleasure to operate.
KC4BYB Rating: 5/5 Jul 26, 2014 20:39 Send this review to a friend
I love this little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned many radios. This one has been so much fun on so many levels. I have an older Icom 756 Pro-II, which I use with an Ameritron amp. But I keep finding myself going back to the little Flex. I've talked all over the world on it as a QRP station. Always good reports. I like SDR so much that I'm taking the leap and have purchased the Flex 6300 (waiting for delivery). I'm now torn on whether to sell the 1500 or keep it as a backup. The Icom may go instead.
W5WAA Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2014 06:23 Send this review to a friend
What else do you need?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had it over 2 years, whenever I visit another ham operating old fashioned standard transceivers it makes me appreciate the 1500 even more. I really can't add anything that has not already been said. I love it. If I were going to change anything it would be the mic connector and speaker/headphone connector, minor complaint.
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 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.
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