When I bought my Flex-5000 I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to computer specifications, having been unwisely lulled into the logic of newer, faster, bigger had to be better for SDR use.
Simply put “Not!”
Once I stopped playing “Three Chairs” with this computer has too new of a 64-bit system to be supported, and this old system doesn’t have the horsepower to run PowerSDR correctly, and when I purchased a dedicated tailored system, well then I was in business.
Buying my new system from Dell I spend a fair bit.
I also spent some time installing software, configuring it and re-doing stuff once I purchased a paper manual to read. Time I could have been operating, rather than fiddle-faddle playing technician.
Flex-Radio has announced a partnership arrangement with a custom builder, who will pre-install, configure and test run a machine to run for your Flex-Radio!
From the Flex-Radio announcement:
“FLEX Ready” PCs for a complete turn key solution.
Posted by: “Tim Ellison” w4tme
Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:31 am (PDT)
Over the past several months, there have been many discussions on the Reflectors regarding PC setup and configuration for use with the FLEX family of software defined radios. For those who are not very “PC savvy”, this may seem like a daunting task and may have prevented you from experiencing the new and exciting world of software defined radios.
Several weeks ago, Neal (K3NC) put together a parts list of components for the DIY ham who might want to build a cost effective high performance PC for use with FlexRadio SDRs. At that time there was some interest in having Neal provide a system that was already integrated for the non DIY crowd.
With the blessing of FlexRadio Systems, Neal is providing these custom systems for sale through his company, Abroham Neal Software. In addition to having the computer components integrated into a ready to boot system, Neal is providing additional “value added” services to his “FLEX Ready” line of PCs. These include installing and optimizing a systems specifically for the Firewire based FLEX software defined radios. Each system is assembled and configured specifically for a customer and the SDR hardware they will be using with it.
This includes loading the current FLEX Firewire driver, PowerSDR, FlexLoader, HotWheel and all of the necessary .NET software needed for it to operate. He will also connect either a FLEX-3000 or FLEX-5000 to the system and perform a 24-hour “burn in” to make sure that the system is a true turn key solution.
In addition to the core PowerSDR software, there are options for installing VAC, virtual serial port software, freeware loggers and digi mode programs as well. For the SDR experimentalist, there is also an option for installing and configuring SVN so that you can easily download the latest alpha and beta code in order to test the new cutting edge software.
With any turn key provided system, there is always the chance that you may inadvertently mess up the PC configuration some how and not be able to get it back to a working configuration. This is not a problem with the Acronis Secure Zone option, where you can easily recover your system back to the exact default configuration as it was when you received your “FLEX Ready” PC.
If you are interested in the “FLEX Ready”, use the following URL to find out the technical specifications of the systems along with pricing http://www.abrohamnealsoftware.com/proddetail.php?prod=answc001
From Neal K3NC’s website:
“One of the critical success factors in using modern software-defined radios (SDRs) is often overlooked during the decision process of buying a new radio: your computer. In the early days of experimentation with SDRs, we thought that processor speed and overall computer utilization was the critical success factor. A holdover of this school of thought is that many SDR consoles show the system utilization on the main panel.
It was a bit of a shock, however, when new SDR owners, who do not spend days tuning their systems, started running into troubles. They would buy the latest desktop computer from the local big-box store, plug in the radio and start seeing problems. These problems are evident by the console freezing up or losing communications with the radio (which is just on the other end of the FireWire cable!) These computers normally had the latest in CPU technology and their computer system had every bell and whistle ever imagined, yet it couldn’t run a program that a small system such as an Intel Atom 330 could run with no problems (if set up correctly).”
Definitely a solution worth considering!