Have ordered a new radio for the K9ZW shack.
The version I’ve selected is the Flex-5000A with optional Antenna Tuning Unit (ATU) and optional second receiver (RX2).
I’ve been interested in SDR radio from my start as an active Radio Amateur, having TenTec’s Pegasus and Jupiter radios under software control in my shack for years.
I’ve been looking at and have hours of operating a TenTec Omni-VII, seriously considering making that radio my next move.
At the same time I’ve been admiring the on-air signals from the Flex-Radio SDR-1000s and Flex-5000s I’ve had QSOs with. They have sounded excellent!
Being a Digital Mode fan I’ve also followed the integration of Digital Modes into the desk-top when operating the Flex SDR software.
The Panadapter kind of clinched it for me. This is a fantastic presentation of the band showing where signals are.
Of course there is a “dark side” to the Flex SDR – the CW-Skimmer controversy over very tight integration of wide bandpass software, CW Identification Software and how that plays out in CW Contesting; the present lack of a Portable version (the Flex-3000 has been announced for early 2009 which addresses that need; and the requirement to have the computer & software running to do anything.
I don’t imagine myself as a CW player. On a good day I might recognize CQ and my callsign, as I remain in the learning phase where I’m concentrating way too hard to do Morse Code.
The shack will still have a Pegasus, Jupiter and SGC SG-2020 (I’ll be selling the spare ones though). The Jupiter and SG-2020 fill my portable/no-computer needs.
All this sounds great, but is really self-justification of the simpler reason behind placing the order – I wanted to try a Flex-5000 and was swayed by the 12.5% discount of their current offer.
The new rig should arrive anytime in the next few weeks – from their webpage it could ship as early as this week!
I’ve asked my eldest son Tom KC9JGD to help select an “assemble your own” selection of computer components to upgrade the shack operating computer to rise up to the new level of SDR functionality.
More to follow, much more!