Ok, the Flex-Radio works, but dang the computer side is giving me grief.
I have it running reasonably well from a Toshiba Laptop running Vista (32 bit).
Wanting to power up the system correctly, I bought an HP AMD Phenrom Quad Core desktop, loaded to the gills.
BUT I didn’t pay attention to the couched Windows 64 bit operating systems don’t play well warning on the Flex-Radio website, and the warning completely lacked a statement like “and Flex Radio doesn’t play AT ALL with Vista 64 bit SP1 or other fully updated Vista 64 bit versions.”
There is no working & signed driver for Vista 64 bit for the Flex Radio.
So the suggestion is to dual boot with Windows XP until a signed 64 bit driver is available.
Having a legal XP install bought for a machine since dismantled for parts, I set off to do this.
Bluntly it beyond a pain and after four-five hours of grafting at it all I have done is upset the original Vista install enough to ask if it should boot Vista on power up.
So off to “Plan B” and ordered a Firewire Card for the old Dell. Figure that I could get it to play with the Flex-5000A enough to hold me over for a bit.
How about old Dells putting out different PCI Buss voltages than the modern card expected and XP failing to recognize – or apparently even sense – the new hardware card.
Another hour or so wasted screwing around.
So back to the new HP for another attempt, this time carefully researching the SATA drivers needed to install XP as a second operating system.
While not a fiasco, it was another hour frittered for naught.
Having had enough of this rubbish – crazy Windows “Three Bears” fairy tale nonsense where the respective machines were either too new or too old, operating systems to advanced or too behind, hardware either too feeble to give any rear umph or too speedy to allow older hardware to be added…. and so on.
Rather than chucking it in, as the Flex-5000A really DOES look like the rig I want to do my next 5000 QSOs with, I broke down and ordered a new Dell Desktop to the Flex-Radio specification of what they know will work. Intel Dual Core, lots of cache in teh version I upgraded to, lots of RAM, dual hard drives (with my hard drive luck the second one will be kept mirroring the first one), factory IEEE 1394 Firewire ports, running Windows XP Professional (32 bit) and so on….
Should be here this week yet.
The HP is going to my office to be my workstation/media center, replacing an old Pentium 4 box and giving me a chance to learn more about working with a Vista 64 bit machine.
The old Dell will be retired once everything is up and going with the new Dell.
The new Dell should be ready to go except for set-up, installing the software packages I use and installing a PCI card that will add a bunch of serial ports (shack control) and single Parallel port (many SO2R boxes use parallel for various reasons).
To think that I could have had upwards of 8 hours more on the air without all this bother.