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Flex 5000A

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

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  1. K3ROJ

    K3ROJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Windows 7

    Things keep getting better as far as computers and Windows software. Am now using Windows 7 on a QUAD 4 machine and absolutely no hangups or hiccups. It is connected to the web at all times since nGENLOG requires it for instant lookup of stations as we work them. Just for the heck of it, I streamed television as the 5000A was in operation and nothing happened. I can check E-Mail and just about anything else and the 5000A keeps on going. It took some doing and got expensive finding the right PC but now with two 22 inch monitors, my Grandson says it looks like NASA in my radio room.
     
  2. K7TNT

    K7TNT Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, can you tell us more on what computer you have? I thinking of getting a Flex 5000 here. So what works best? I don't know if I can fix up old computer or just go get a new one that would do all my ham stuff off of one computer. Anyone! Thanks Richard
     
  3. IK2ULV

    IK2ULV Ham Member QRZ Page

    importance of Personal computer capability..

    In order to receive week signal well expecially on 40 meters which is the importance of PC stuff like: sound blaster; Processor Speed; RAM memory size and so on?

    thanks

    gd dx de ik2ulv
     
  4. KC4SG

    KC4SG Guest

    Hope everyone has had enough patience to scroll down and read WY6K's and Julian, G4ILO's post. Makes a lot of sense to me. Although I am 70 years old, am still actively employed as an IT Tech here in upstate SC. I have installed Flex-Radios Power SDR on 4 different computers with 2 different operating systems and have had different results EVERY time! Having owned a Jupiter for 3 years and never having a bit of trouble, my interest in SDR's has been "jiggled" for sure. But, after reading most of Flex-Radio's web site a few times over, it becomes evident that the Flex products are nowhere near ready for the general Ham Radio operator. Yup ...... if you like tinkering, they are probably OK. BUT, the design of the modern amateur radio transciever has all but halted the average ham radio operator from even trying to work on, or even understand, how that new thing works. So, when a new piece of equipment does come out, it should be ready to turn on and operate with no hassle at all. I am a ARRL member and read with interest their recent review on the Flex 3000. In a nice (political) way, I had the feeling they were not exactly impressed with the radio. They even found some bugs in the 3000 that were reported back to Flex (and promptly corrected by the way).
    Yes, my feelings are the Flex-Radio systems are a neat idea but will really take some time to become a really good product. Too much - too soon. KC4SG
     
  5. W6SDM

    W6SDM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am in love with my Flex. I have used Ham Radio Deluxe and Ham Station Ultra on my Yaesu FT-450 so I had some idea what to expect from computer control. However, there's a big difference between the radio being controlled by software and being defined by software.

    Nevertheless, for a guy who's used to dipping the plate on 6146 finals, getting a radio which has an on/off switch as its only control takes an open mind. :)

    I agree with the previous statements that it's better to have an outboard computer. Computers, even high end ones, are cheap. I bought a refurbished HP Quad Core with 8 Gigs of ram and Vista for under $500. New operating systems are going to come out and sometimes, as in the case of Vista, they're hardware dependent. I would hate to have an obsolete computer in my rig when that happens.

    Steve
    W6SDM
     
  6. K3ROJ

    K3ROJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 5000A is still the best


    Sure there are still some issues with Flex software but they are getting there. My PC is an ordinary HP QUAD 4 running Windows 7 64 bit which is plenty fast enough for future software updates. The PC should be dedicated for SDR use only by deleting all programs you will never need such as MS Office, video editing etc. A LAN connection instead of wireless, a dedicated video card for 2 monitor use and a separate Firewire card. You quickly get into the habit of turning the 5000A on first, then the SDR software then vice/versa when shutting it down. I have worked well over 4,000 stations since getting my 5000A 5 months ago, mostly working contests. There is not a transceiver on the market which can equal the noise reduction/limiter as the SDR software does and what other rig can give you 25 Hz bandwidth on CW with no ringing? Am presently installing 2 each 43 foot 160 meter verticals since the 5000A has dual diversity reception capability. Maybe see you on 18.020 MHz soon?
     
  7. K4CAE

    K4CAE Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    To the original poster, it sounds like you are not happy with your Flex... Is it for sale and how much???
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  8. K3ROJ

    K3ROJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Flex 5000A Computer

    Nowadays any new computer, especially the HP QUAD 4 desktop with 4 or more GBs RAM will work fine with Flex radio. It may take a few bucks but you should install a new Video card made by Nvidia (actually a gaming card) which will then require a heavier power supply (550 or more watts). Even though it may come with Firewire 1394 from the Mother board, I recommend a new PCI Firewire card to eliminate sharing with other resources. I would also recommend 2 matching monitors at least 22 inches each such as the LG brand where you can drag programs around the way you want them to be displayed. Having a direct ethernet connection instead of wireless is great for using the QRZ XML service when logging. Not a day has gone by in the last few months since using this computer where the Flex software didn't load properly without any latency problems at all. Using my Flex 5000A since the summer of 2009, I have worked over 14,000 stations, all on CW.
     
  9. AB2CD

    AB2CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Simply the best!

    I have had my Flex 5000A for exactly one year and it has been an absolute joy. I am not very computer savvy so I don’t experiment with beta software releases. The radio works flawlessly with a Dell machine I ordered online. It’s my hunch that certain tests should be made prior to purchasing a Flex. The first being a computer with the processing power to run the Flex needs to be tested in the exact RF environment you are in now. There is no sense trying to operate a SDR if your current set up doesn’t support a computer operating correctly. High SWR on feed lines and poor common point grounds are not good in any installation and will create havoc with other electronic devices. Once you have verified that the computer (including its sound card and speakers work well) you can be sure the Flex will work. Be prepared to work out a few issues with ground loops and have good supply of split RF beads on hand. The flex is by far the easiest radio to operate and hands down the most fun. If you haven’t had a chance to operate the Flex find someone who has one. They will more than likely invite you to their stations and let you operate the Flex. Most likely you’ll want one, and like me, never look back. It’s not uncommon to find a ham that has never operated a Flex commenting on the radio in a negative way. I am not sure how I feel about those who would knock a product without trying it first. Trying a Flex couldn’t be easier because they have a no hassle 30 day return policy.
    Jim & Shelly Phillips
    AB1&2CD
     
  10. WD5ABC

    WD5ABC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't found anybody around here that has one so I'll ask you - do you ever operate it on CW? I know the early ones had some problems with CW so I'm staying back from them so far. I build a couple of the little Softrock kits and work CW, the filtering is amazing even on a little $40 rig. The delay on TX is unnerving so I turn off the sidetone in the software and use the sidetone in my keyer, then it works fine.

    Have you ever done any CW on your Flex? If so, what do you think about it?

    73,
    Kerry, WD5ABC
    Waiting for my FT990 to die and give me an excuse to get a Flex...
     
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