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Flex 5000A

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by k2cm, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. WY6K

    WY6K XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nope. This is a common misconception, but we run servers that are doing lots of things - running different apps and they are pretty robust.


     
  2. WY6K

    WY6K XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good point. That would be a 23 INCH screen.

    I, have at times had large computer screens in the house. I had for several years a 52" monitor in the bedroom. I also had a ten foot projection monitor in the family room and we made spreadsheets a group activity. :)

    But not now. Just 23" screen in shack.
     
  3. K3ROJ

    K3ROJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Getting a 5000A soon

    Will be getting the 5000A soon but in the meantime I found an SDR1000 on E-Bay which has the 100 watt amp, tuner and external Delta 44 sound card. A separate computer is a must, so bought me a used HP Presario desktop running XP, added more ram, installed a large second hard drive for IQ recordings and all is well. For one thing, the PC should be stripped down as far as running any programs in the background and the internet connection should be disconnected until updates are needed. Free AVG virus software is used but scans are done only when not using the Flex Console. Never had any problems after calibration but a certain sequence should be followed when starting the software and turning on the SDR1000. By using a good quality balanced studio microphone plugged directly into the Delta 44 inputs and adjusting the software equalizer, my audio sounds terrific or so I've been told. It won't be long until ICOM and YAESU will be hitting the market with SDR units.
     
  4. VK6YAE

    VK6YAE Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I first got my Flex I was experiencing all the things described above, lock ups, hangs, etc..never had to reboot and was always able to recover by switching off and on the SDR program.
    Then 2 things happened: Firstly I got a new computer with 2gb Ram and a quad processor and a clean install of Windows XP pro.
    Secondly Flex released new firmware and ver 1.14 SDR.
    Since then I have had no problems...the computer and the flex have stayed on and in use for up to 12 hours at a time with no problems and that is running in the normal mode...not the safe mode...OH yes..it helps enormously if one runs a dedicated PCI firewire card and turns off the onboard firewire port, along with anything else the radio doesn't require. This computer runs nothing but the Flex 5000A and is not connected to the net or have antivirus installed. It runs the flex and runs it good...No complaints...
    VK6YAE
     
  5. VE1CHS

    VE1CHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Considering 5000A

    Thanks to the operators who have posted on this thread, VK6YAE, WY6K, G4ILO, KE5DTO, to name a few. The comments have provided more useful and in depth information than the reviews in CQ and QST.

    We are considering a Flex 5000 A, and have had excellent pre sales support. But there are concerns.

    We would like to build a new computer, both for Flex 5000 A and and to do some biostat consulting in our retirement. We want to run math and statistics legacy programs, and use Small Business Server 2008, though this op sys is more expensive than XP. (We have some confidential cancer patient data, and need superior disk, ram, security, etc., that comes on this op sys). This op sys has been well reviewed by computer professionals, and may also offer superior stability for Flex SDR.

    Currently, Flex requires the use of XP, because the current Firewire driver is "unsigned", and from what we understand, cannot be loaded onto Vista or Small Business Server 2008.

    Flex does not have plans any time soon to get their Firewire driver signed for other op sys. (Yet MS Seven is due to be a release candidate 1st or 2nd quarter of 2009.)

    It would seem that Flex would want to make their SDR available on other op sys, to gain wider acceptance for the 5000 A and other models.

    1) Why is Flex limiting use to XP, which is now significantly aged, and won't be supported by MS much longer?

    2) The QST review mentions using Flex 5000 A on a Vista machine, but with dropouts. How did QST get the unsigned driver to load?

    3) Do thread contributors know of any work-arounds that would permit the loading of the Firewire driver on other op sys?

    Thanks for comments.
     
  6. KC4RAN

    KC4RAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would install both operating systems in a dual boot configuration. A quick Google search for "dual boot xp vista" shows how to do it. Get both operating systems working before you start loading software and tweaking everything, just in case you have to back out and do it again to get it "just right".

    Minimalize the XP install. Kill services you don't need. If you're behind a router or NAT device, maybe turn off the firewall services. Pare it down as much as you can.


    Unless you need to be able to access your patient data while you're on the radio, this is probably the best way to do it short of some sort of VM software.
     
  7. K4NZB

    K4NZB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My complaint is that Flex has put their emphasis on features rather than usability issues.

    Features are the selling point. So much of that is used to sell us items that do not and are not worth having, do to the unusability and serviceability that is later found in that product.

    Reboot in the middle of a qso. I think I would be upset.

    Simplicity in usage still has a wonderful place in our radio world.
     
  8. K3ROJ

    K3ROJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Flex 5000A Computer

    I presently run a SDR1000 which works well with my older XP PRO computer but hate the outboard Delta 44 Sound Card. Want to get a 5000A without having to build my own computer. Only computers available now are all Windows Vista running 64 bit processors which I understand will not work. If I were to get the 5000C which uses XP PRO, I wonder how long Windows XP will be supported?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  9. KC4RAN

    KC4RAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I love the Flex corporation, honestly unless you really need the PC in the same case as the radio and in a rackmount, I would take the extra money and build/buy a new machine and put XP on it.
     
  10. WY6K

    WY6K XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, me too. I agree.
     
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