A HUGE thank you to Howard VE3GFW for his YouTube and write up!
Direct LINK Visalia DX 2013. Flex 6700 – YouTube.
Visalia DX Conference – Youtube Video – Flex 6700 in Action
Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:29 pm (PDT) . Posted by: “Dr. Howard S. White”
I have posted a video of the Visalia DX Convention with the First Public Demonstration of the Flex 6700
Not too much about the Convention but mostly the radio in operation…
The Flex 6700 radio was definitely working but clearly it was a beta test unit.
I did manage to crash the software at least once and many features are yet to be fully operational.
For the uninitiated… the radio software is now a simple browse that does NOT need a major computer system
All the processing is now done inside the radio with its own computer power…
it should even ultimately be able to run on your iPad or other simple device…
Interestingly it was interfaced directly to N1MM Contest Logger, a SteppIR DB-18 and an Alpha 9500 so it clearly was set up for contesting.
While I am not the contest Ultra Maven… I personally found the clean simple interface much more intuitive for contesting than my Flex 5000
as you really never need to have your hands leave the logger keyboard. I can see where the Flex will finally be more than competitive, if not excel the K3 for contests.
In spite of the limitations of the beta test software, the receiver performance was astounding.
It appeared that the radio was hearing down to -142dBm (or about S0 – 15db or almost 2 ½ S Units below S0)
BUT what was more astounding was that they introduced DSP gain into the system so that it could hear down to -149 dBm or about the phase noise levels. I am not sure how to measure down to those levels as the thermal noise in my test equipment is higher than that. (The figures are un-calibrated- we will see what Sherwood says)
Adjacent Channel rejection appeared be out of the world….you could totally block an S9+40db signal 100Hz away…..
This would be especially important in multi-stations…. AND you do not Need to use any Roofing Filters
Of course it was really cool to be able to listen to several slices of the band at the same time and easily jump from band to band without losing any information.
They had 4 spectral operational but could only receive on 2 slices… (It will be 8 slices in the final model)
Real World Performance…
Several times we had Armchair copy in QSO’s with Hams who had could barely copy our signals due to their poor antennas and outdated equipment
We definitely could easily copy the very weak DX Stations…
Although I am not a CW Operator .. The CW ops I talked to said it was full QSK with no delays whatsoever…
Flex said they hoped to ship production units within 30 days (maybe by Dayton anyone?) however I am skeptical that they can get everything 100% by then as clearly there is still a lot of software to get right. I suspect that in order to meet that tight schedule, they will ship the first units with a reduced feature set. The good thing about a SDR is that you can easily upgrade in a matter of seconds.
When I read the specs and placed my order at Dayton 2012, I knew that this was going to be the radio that will set the bar for the next standard in Ham Radio
However, I was personally astounded by the performance which even in Beta far exceeded my expectations.
Howard S. White Ph.D. P. Eng., VE3GFW/K6 ex-AE6SM KY6LA
Enthusiasm to get my hands on a Flex-6000 series radio? Yeah!