Flex-Radio Flex-5000A – the Computer Goes!

The switch to the Dell Core Duo machine has done just the trick.

Was up in running in less than 15 minutes, including all the Dell set-up gyrations.  

Absolute screamer of a Windows box.   Silly messages came up “This next step will take 3 to 6 minutes depending on your machine” and the new Dell had it done in seconds.  

Fast enough on the installs that I worried it wasn’t taking right.

No problem installing the Flex-5000A drivers or Software.

Was on the air in moments.

Yeah – this is the way it should be!

More after the weekend – I will sit in the woods for a few hours hunting, so the new computer will likely sit until end of the weekend.




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4 thoughts on “Flex-Radio Flex-5000A – the Computer Goes!

  1. Jeff, KE9V says:

    Happy to hear things have finally passed the shakedown phase for you and the Flex-5000 Steve and I appreciate reading your experience with it.

    But I have to tell you, it is a little disconcerting to find that in order to have a smooth start-up process you had to specifically setup a PC-based system with an OS that is not only nearly a decade old, but one that in another 12 months will be not one but two steps behind.

    Of course Vista was problematic at first but those days have mostly passed and as we turn the corner and enter the land of Windows 7 next year, it would seem that Flex-Radio is going to have to face the reality that the world won’t forever run on XP. I mean, if this was 2002 and the Flex stuff didn’t necessarily “require” but worked better and easier on DOS 6 then I don’t think most folks would find that acceptable…

    Apparently, this is one weak link in the SDR concept. Whenever a new version of an OS is released, there is the distinct possibility that it will break whatever SDR application one may be using — unless the user is willing to setup and maintain a brand new PC running an older OS specifically for the SDR.

    While I don’t think that’s completely unreasonable, it does serious damage to the cost analysis. Part of the supposed “feature” of SDR is that the PC (that’s already in your shack) does much of the processing work which means you already own a significant part of the “radio”.

    That sounded like a good argument but it further supposes that the PC that’s already in your shack runs a very specific, and in this case an aging operating system.

    Just more to chew on I suppose…

    73 de Jeff

  2. k9zw says:

    Jeff KE9V you are EXACTLY right that with the Computer and its OS being part & parcel of the SDR unit, that any changes in the Computer or OS could be critical.

    I have bought seven or eight computers in the last few months and demanded that they be “downgraded” to XP Pro from various versions of Vista.

    The servers I bought I used my downgrade rights to shift down to a stable Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, as the 2007 & 2008 versions are known to not “play well” with the software our net exists to run with in the first place!

    I didn’t read the Flex specs very well – it does say that 64 bit Windows isn’t working. That is both XP 64 and Vista 64.

    I do have the Flex software running on a Toshiba AMD Turon laptop with Vista (32) as the operating system.

    Thinking I may buy a Flex-3000 to make the Toshiba/Flex-3000 combination my portable travel package.

    Conceptually in an SDR set up the computer is no longer a shack accessory, but is an integral part of the radio.

    Better off to think of it more like the removable Head of a rig with remote abilities.

    It has to suit the purpose very well, be a tight fit and as I have found the reward for “paying attention” to get it right is huge!

    I’ll be writing more about the Flex-5000A, but I will easily say the PanaFall display (Wide Bandwidth Panadapter with a Waterfall synced under it) is worth the investment alone.



  3. fjrllc says:

    What Flex needs to do is get serious about a stable Linux version of the software. As a Mac user (Mac is UNIX-based) it pains me to bring a flawed Windows box into my house. But that’s what I’m doing to get a FLEX up and running in here, because I want one! XP Pro, of course. Letting Mr. Gates into my house is bad enough without bringing Vista into the picture.

    Hopefully it won’t be long before I can format Win XP right off the hard drive and set up a UNIX/Linux version of the SDR software.


    • k9zw says:

      Very much would look forward to an OS-X Flex-5000 Software package.

      The other forward path Flex-Radio would want to expand its market is a “Plug-n-Play” software suite.

      With a P&P Flex Software Suite the radio would become a serious option for any Radio Amateur with a shack computer (of right type, interface and spec of course).

      I’m ok with installing several programs that interface with each other, but can think of dozens of potential Flex-Radio owners who wouldn’t have the confidence to install four-five programs to make this thing work well.

      Thanks for your reminder on the need for a Linux/OS-X version.



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