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Show all reviews of the FlexRadio FLEX-5000
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of the FlexRadio FLEX-5000.
Mar 24, 2013 08:39
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2 Years on. . . (4 years total)
Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had a 5K for quite a bit more than 2 years but my first brief review was 2y ago. What's changed in that time? It's got better, that's what!
Since PowerSDR 2.2.3 the tracking notch filters arrived and what freedoms they bring! Up to 18 on one active location and an infinite number can be permanently stored (not just in the ham bands either - so good for SWL). Gone are the birdies and local carriers I detest so much.
I've seen some claims that the TNF is not inside the AGC. This is untrue. Whilst FlexRadio haven't at the time of writing implemented the TNF to include the S-meter, the TNF most certainly IS inside the AGC. I've also seen some naysayers bleat about the lack of real-world application of the TNF. Here's one. I like DX. I like the weak ones - you know like on PSK - when all the weak ones disappear inside the AGC pump from the numerous strong stations. On a legacy radio (Y/K/I) one might try folding down the DSP or taking out the AGC and putting in an attenuator. It might work but the attenuator will most probably kill your DX, too. Some decoders can't cope if the audio passband is too narrow, so choosing which stations to null and leaving the noise floor intact is another victory for the TNF (works well for JT65).
So I enable any number of TNFs and selectively mute all the strong signals which recovers the weak ones. Doing this I can work anywhere amongst the strongest of stations and still work stations on the limit of PSK decode capability(IMD/QRM permitting). At times I've closed down the filters and eradicated irritating adjacent signals to my CQ down to 10Hz either side and continued working my QSO partner, imperviously. The TNFs can even be stacked progressively to take out S9++++ stations. Alternatively keep the audio bandpass fully open to, say 4Khz and watch the entire PSK band with the strong ones notched out. You can't do that even with the latest legacy radio (2013)from Kenwood.
I've not had or operated any other radio with this kind of capability and flexibility - to completely notch out as many or few adjacent stations as one desires.
Add to this the superb selectivity and excellent transverter support, 10MHz reference input, RX2 making it a triplex receiver, full duty 100w TX (blah blah, it's all been said).
And now there's going to be a 6000 with even better performance? Ouch.
FTR I do not have any affiliation with Flex nor receive any incentive for writing this. I can't help how I feel and that is - that there simply isn't a radio out there than can better this - for me at least (maybe a 6k. . .)
I still maintain though that there is a demographic whom will never take to the Flex workflow of a radio entirely inside a PC - and quite understandably. One must never forget that with a Flex, the radio is the PC (except the 6000 series' altered architecture) and if the PC is unhealthy that can easily impinge on one's enjoyment. It doesn't help to load up the Flex onto the office PC with a dozen other major applications running. That said, on my i7 3960x I can operate both receivers on the Flex @192kHz and transcode an HD movie, so processor power does matter!
I can't say 'go buy one, you'll not be disappointed' because we're all different. I was convinced to get an Icom 7600 and didn't like it come the end. I was convinced to get an FT-2000 and hated it. Horses for courses!
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