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What's with Flex radio receivers?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WB2WIK, Apr 30, 2020.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been reasonably active and it seems every single time (literally) I work anyone on CW using a Flex 6300, 6500, 6700 or whatever they have, they never seem to hear well.

    Most recent example in the past hour: KG8V in MI on 40CW. I copied him fine. Robin reported running 450W although didn't say what the amp was, but copy "got most, missed some" and all that, with his Flex 6500. Meanwhile, I'm just running an old Ten Tec Orion and my AL-80B amp at 650W output and copied him fine, 100%, never missed a dit. Both using similar antennas (his was a dipole at 65', mine is at 55' but otherwise no real difference).

    Easy to blame this on cockpit error (not adjusting everything correctly) or maybe local noise issues. But "every single time?" I've never worked anyone using a Flex who heard me as well as I heard them, even if I was running more power than they were.

    "Sensitivity" on a frequency as low a 7 MHz shouldn't even matter. It can't be that.

    This isn't a swipe at any operator, it may be a swipe at Flex rigs...but I haven't owned one in years (had an old Flex 5000 years ago, ditched it).

    Flex owners? Is it difficult to set up parameters to receive CW well?
    K0UO and K1OIK like this.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Flex have low sensitivity compared to most rigs.
    K1OIK likes this.
  3. W5IEI

    W5IEI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have one sitting next to an Icom 7700 and can't tell a bit of difference.
    In fact,can't tell any difference between it and my Orion II,FTDX 5000,Omni V,ad nauseum !
    W1BR and K2XT like this.
  4. W3ATV

    W3ATV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Maybe Flex Boys can't copy CW? :D:p:cool:
    K7MH, KA4DPO, WC5P and 3 others like this.
  5. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is because displaying the waterfall on a Imax Cinema makes you go deaf from looking at feathering on the signal, the other problem is its very hard to get presence and sparkle on a CW tone, even the zero oxygen copper speaker wires, tube audio amp and other audiofoolery cannot compensate for a 600hz tone not sounding like broadcast FM.
    N0TZU, WZ7U, KA4DPO and 5 others like this.
  6. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It might be that, buy the time they buy the radio, they can’t afford a decent antenna.
    KA4DPO, KA0HCP, M0KBO and 2 others like this.
  7. K2XT

    K2XT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Look at all the variables, Steve. In fact you know this better than anyone:
    His local noise level may be high,
    He may have the selectivity set too wide (unlikely),
    There may be local qrm,
    His dog may be begging to go out, kids screaming, xyl nagging,
    You may be sending too fast for him (very possible, and he didn't tell you),
    It may have been his first cw qso in 20 years,
    Your outstanding ability to copy weak cw, lousy fist, etc. which exceeds every other cw op.

    But the fault of a Flex radio? Zero chance. I have one. You have not one single, valid piece of data to come to that conclusion. So why write a headline bashing Flex?
    Not good, not fair.
    KG5THG, W4RAV, K4AGO and 2 others like this.
  8. W5IEI

    W5IEI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Because that's what he does.
    Always"look at how smart I am"
    Gets old !!
    ND6M likes this.
  9. K4PIH

    K4PIH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Flex, says it all.
    NE1U likes this.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, as I wrote, this isn't a one-case thing. The new 6x00 series rigs seem pretty popular and I believe people like them, and the "copy" issue has occurred many times, with pretty much everyone I've worked on CW using one.

    But nope, no actual "data," as I don't have one here for any measurements.

    I was opining that perhaps setting the rig up for best CW reception may not be so intuitive and ops are just getting some settings wrong. Not everyone can have a high noise level or a barking dog or nagging XYL. And I match my code speed to the other op as closely as possible.

    Are there a variety of settings that can be used and easy to choose them wrongly? I never spent any time with these rigs.

    I did own an original SDR1000 a long time ago, and wasn't thrilled but that was many years ago; so, I tried a Flex 5000 a couple years later and wasn't thrilled with it, either, so sold it. But this new-gen stuff I have not tried. They "sound good" on SSB for sure, and the ARRL Lab reports are favorable; so I'm just guessing they have a learning curve that many haven't fully figured out.

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