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Flexible HF+ rig

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE8KDU, Nov 23, 2018.

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  1. KE8KDU

    KE8KDU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looking at picking up a flexible HF+ rig with potential to expand use. Looking at ic-7300, ftdx-3000 and ts-590sg due to great Black Friday deals. I'd like to be able to interface with 2nd rtx or sdr rx and drive via computer. My plan is to use for general rag chew, digital, possibly linking with other rtx for repeat capability. I may pick up cw but probably only if software driven on a linked computer. Not really interested in contesting.

    Read a lot on icom and Kenwood, they seem pretty close with Kenwood having more receive width in lower frequencies and icom possibly easier to pull weak signal with less messing with settings, which is nice for a new ham/general like myself. Sounds like sg may have better internal tuner which is a big deal to me. I also like flexibility of all the connections on sg and ftdx. I know very little about ftdx and running out of Black Friday time so figured I'd jump in here. I also like 3 yr warranty on ftdx vs 1 yr on others. I'm in Michigan so not many stores nearby and most are 3+ hours from me. Looking for something I can expand and grow with as I'm not a buy and sell to upgrade guy.
  2. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You will not find a rig with more expansion capabilities than a Flex. It has a wealth of features that no other rig can match.

    Because the Flex is an SDR, new features are added with each new release of the software called Smart SDR. This ensures that your Flex will never be obsolete. With a conventional radio you're locked into the features that are in it when you bought it with very little chance of enhancements or expansions.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can an end user add software or plug-ins without the need for Flex's intervention? That is, is the interface to the software modular enough to allow third-party add-ons?
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be a toss-up between the SG and the 7300.

    They both did well in Sherwood reviews.

    The SG has a port for a dedicated RX antenna, which is important if you want to work longer wavelengths (which is most of what you have to work with for the next few years). Adding such a port to another radio isn't expensive, since MFJ makes an inexpensive RX antenna switch box, but having it in the rig is a big plus for me.

    The 7300 has a panadapter built into it, and it's a real on that runs at a reasonably fast frame rate. Adding that to the SG involves at least an RTL-SDR connected to the DRV output.

    The SG has roofing filters standard, which is nice if you want to work contests.

    The 7300 uses a touch screen, which may be a plus or minus, depending on your preferences. The SG uses discrete buttons and dials for all user interface stuff.

    They both have a CAT port, and a rich set of computer commands, so automation and remote control should be fairly straightforward.

    It's really about what you want.
    N5AF likes this.
  5. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The end user has the ability to interface via API. That is how one user created Slice Master. It's a great software package that allows spots to be displayed on the panadapters among other features.

    Also there is another great utility called DDutil which shows many different environmental reading from the rig including temp, input voltage, etc.

    There are a number of other user created interfaces. Check the Flex Community board for additional information.

    So yes, you can interface with it if you wish.
    KK5JY likes this.
  6. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Those rigs are popular for a reason. I have the FTDX3000. HRO has it on sale for half the price I paid for it.
  7. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's one of the screens of the utility DDutil that interfaces with the Flex via API

  8. W5TTW

    W5TTW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What kind of black Friday sales is flex having?
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's very cool.

    I was actually thinking more of ways to add modulation schemes, or to modify the behavior of existing modulation schemes -- that's really the only way for the Flex to be more flexible than a box with a knob.
  10. N6PAT

    N6PAT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    As I said, check the Flex Community group where you can interact with developers who have created a number of interfaces that not only retrieve information from the Flex but control it as well.

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