EtherGeist: FlexRadio 6700 – LF Reception Report and Video 19 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K6TU, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, SmartSDR
add a comment
FlexRadio 6700 – LF reception
Another interesting test for any receiver is to see how its LF performance functions. Although we haven’t got low frequency allocations at 137 KHz or 497 KHz yet, hopefully we will in the not too distant future. I was curious to see how the 6700 would perform at those lower frequencies.
Stu K6TU again shares his Flex-6700 explorations.
Dayton 2013 – Saturday Report 18 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, FlexRadio Systems, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Dayton, Dayton Hamfest, Dayton Hamvention, FlexRadio Systems
add a comment
Continues to be an interesting Hamvention.
Tonight was the FlexRadio Systems Dayton Hamvention Dinner where I heard much more about the new series.
During the day I attended some of the Forums and did a bit of a Flea Market walk.
As I have promised to do a Radio Club Meeting presentation Monday night, my main Dayton recap will wait until after that presentation.
Tonight it is off to get some sleep before the seven hour drive home tomorrow.
More on my Dayton observations soon!
Dayton 2013 – Friday Report 17 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Dayton Hamvention, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, Hamvention, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Alpha 4040, Alpha Radio Products, Array Solutions, FlexRadio Systems, Green Heron Engineering, Hilberling, Hilberling PT-8000, Hilberling USA, LUSO, TenTec, TenTec Rebel, VNA, W2IHY
Been an interesting Hamvention so far.
There are some new products – the IC-7100 successor to the IC-7000 and the TS-990 was being shown.
Interestingly the Kenwood was somehow locked up and the floor team didn’t have a way to reboot it.
My first focus was a visit with Julius at W2IHY where I was having a very serious look at the new line of switch gear. I’ve always admired the quality of his gear and this new range of products doesn’t disappoint. http://w2ihy.com will fill you in on the new gear. I already have a lot of his audio gear and will be adding some of the new line.
A visit at Hilberling found that they fully up and running for the USA market. Never intended to be “everyman’s transceiver” they have delivered over $1million of these new “uber-radios” so far.
Long chat at FlexRadio Systems and one has to admire their willingness to trickle out radios even while the eagerness and requests to ship are so huge. It was hard to get up close with the crowd, but i did get some time on their Flex-6700 simulators. Tim W4TME was kind enough to give me a guided tour of the inside of the visual Flex-6700 – and I obliged by pretending I knew what all that stuff was (actually it is pretty neat and straight forward.) FlexRadio Systems has put the Flex-5000A on end-of-life status with a when stock is sold, they are all sold noted on their website. Flex-5000A critical components have become unavailable and it was fairly easy to see their was a product line overlap (a fully loaded Flex-5000A was within five hundred dollars of the new Flex-6500).
Very nicely the FlexRadio Systems team explained to me that when my radio is ready to ship, it will be ready. Tomorrow is the FlexRadio Systems Dayton Hamvention Dinner where I hope to hear much more.
Over at Alpha the long awaited Alpha-4040 Tuner was being shown in working form. The tuner looks well worth the wait. The touchscreen display is awesome!
I was really taken with the dual port VNA (Vector Network Analyzer) at Array Solutions. This “black box” connects to your PC to create a full test lab doing much more than I can recollect. Jay (Array Solution’s owner) showed me how to do a TDR (Time Division Reflectometry) examination of a feedline and antenna system (including the VNA even measuring a human hand touching an antenna element), how to do a full in depth coil measurement, and a bunch of stuff I am going to have to brush up on. This look like my next test gear addition.
The Japanese LUSO tower people took the time to explain their very cool crank-up towers. Really amazingly serious amateur radio gear.
I was surprised at a couple vendors living the past. Some of the big name rotor/rotor-controller folk have amazing new technology (Green Heron Engineering is a personal favorite, and they sold me one of their new station control modules) and other are promising to catch up to market norms by adding computer control to their rotor-controllers in perhaps a year….
TenTec was showing off their latest and a new Model 506 “Rebel” QRP transceiver I hadn’t seen before. Apparently this new radio has the guts of an Arduino running the show – very cool!
EtherGeist Report – Flex-6700 Unboxing and First Station Report 14 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K6TU
add a comment
First reports trickling is as expected:
FlexRadio 6700 – out of the box and how it sounds
I’ve been tracking personal milestones in my journey with the FlexRadio 6700:
Alpha hardware delivered ✓
Alpha software releases ✓
Production hardware delivered ✓
For anyone with experience in system development and manufacturing, committing the build of production hardware is no small decision – it simply has to be right! Of course the science is in the “simply” – just like “oh, it’s a simple matter of programming” – wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that!
So when I got the automated notice from FlexRadio that my production version of the 6700 had been shipped, I was even more excited that when the alpha was shipped… first customer ship was approaching!
LINK for full article by K6TU: EtherGeist.
With reports of the Flex-6700 supporting 56 Mhz (!!!) of simultaneous band monitoring… well this is “way cool” beyond expectations!
FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700′s Major Announcement – Soup’s On! 14 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K5SDR, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, N6V, SmartSDR
add a comment
FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700/6500 radios will start shipping within six weeks of Dayton.
In a major communication Gerald Youngblood K5SDR updates those with deposits on the project status.
The hardware is done.
Production software is not.
With the GUI SmartSDR out on the thin-client the updating procedure module is to be finished.
They are recruiting a limited number of Flex-6700 Software Beta testers who will receive their radios shortly.
I of course have volunteered.
The panadapter module is also being tweaked.
Original commitment was eight slices at 384 kHz for a 3.1 Mhz combined panadapter coverage.
Current implementation is four slices at a whopping 14 Mhz – each!!
This 56 Mhz ( an 18 fold bonus beyond the spec) capability is being reworked into a eight slice configuration. (Four for the 6500).
Gerald K5SDR’s communication provided a lot more information, and a commitment to weekly FlexInsiders starting end of May.
FlexRadio Systems will have four running demonstration units (unfortunately into dummy loads) and a live station in the Ecomm van at Dayton to give customers a hands on feel for the new radios and software, along with 16 of their staff being at the show.
Soup’s On! Almost ready to serve too!
SmartSDR and Flex-6700′s missing link “The Connector” 12 - May - 2013Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
Tags: Flex-6000, FlexRadio Systems, K9TU, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, N6V, SmartSDR
add a comment
There have been some very interesting discussions about SmartSDR and the new FlexRadio Systems Flex-6700/6500 radios.
One of the concepts that is becoming clearer is how the architecture is designed – the radio has a “connector” linking software bit between it and the GUI SmartSDR out on the thin-client.
From a Flex-6700 Alpha/Beta tester answering a concern that the links were not in activated for the N6V special event at the recent DX Convention:
Tue, 7 May 2013 13:52:04 +0000
From: Stu Phillips K6TU
Subject: Re: [FlexEdge] FlexRadio 6700 at Visalia IDXC 2013
Key extract from my post:
Some things to keep in mind? this was alpha level software ?
AND it was 3+ weeks ago. The world moves a lot in 3 weeks and so does
software development – if you haven’t experienced the productivity and
development rate of modern software teams, a) your missing out on a great
experience and b) you don’t have a frame of reference.
There was a MIC gain control and it was used to set the MIC level – but it
was externalized by the client (SmartSDR).
Unlike PowerSDR where all the UI and DSP software are combined in one
piece of software, SmartSDR is a THIN client – its basically a user
All the DSP functionality runs on a dedicated processor within the radio
So you have three key elements.
- Functionality (like Mic Gain) in the radio
- A connector to allow that to be driven over the Ethernet
- A control on the user interface to provide end user control
For Visalia, the piece that was “missing” was the connector.
It was a simple matter to add it but changing the spark plugs on the car
the night before the race is ill-advised.
Oh, BTW, the connector appeared the day after Convention.
On 5/7/13 5:48 AM, “radioart” wrote:
Boy, sounds like the SmartSDR has a long way to go if it doesn’t even
have mic gain or EQ capability….
Very selnsible that FlexRadio Systems used a level of software that was a known good deal at the demo station, even it meant that the controls were partially in software other than SmartSDR.
And it was great to hear the missing pieces were adding in within days of that show.