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New to thinking about SDR radio, not sure what to choose, I need objective advice?
The magnetic field from a loop, even during tuneup on 5 watts, has caused interference in the household electronics as well as my wife's medical assistive devices. Her medical assistive devices are non-negotiable.
There is no tuning of a fixed diameter RECEIVE ONLY antenna. This has been said in this thread several times.
The funds from the purchase and resale of the TS990 have been earmarked for other far more important priorities and purposes. Discussing the funds isn't really why I started my inquiry here and really is nobody else's business.
You brought it up... I am not sure why. You made it everyone's business when you posted about it. Why are you now telling all of us that your resale funds are earmarked for far more important things?... no one has asked! You are volunteering this information, again.
Right now and for the future, purchasing a 6000 series SDR radio is unaffordable so there is no other choice but to go towards a used Flexradio which can be afforded. It is not so hard to understand.
I totally understand and that is exactly what you should have written to start with. Something like I have $1000 dollars I can spend on a radio, which might get me an older Flex. I have lots of QRM and very limited space? Any advice? Is it doable?
And regarding the offer to help, an arrangement has been made.
Then I apologize for that and kudos to Bill to offer you to see a Flex 6500 in action even though it is pretty clear from your post that you cannot afford it right now and for the future.0
You are very hostile sir. No positive benefit can be gleaned from any further correspondence. I bid you a good evening.0
Too bad you see it that way, I truly think I was providing very positive benefit to this thread. Have a good night and tomorrow, maybe, reread the whole thread, including your original post, then maybe you will understand my postings and you might then replace "hostility" with a more accurate "clarity" quantifier of my posts. I also guess this will be your last response as you stated that further discussion provides no benefit. I have the opposite opinion. It is through discussion (I prefer to call it dialogue) that anyone can achieve enlightenment.1
Ken - VE5KC Member ✭✭Hi George...
When I first got my 6500 I was living in a seniors housing project, I had an antenna but it was very short limited space.. and a lot of QRM, often worse than S9. I went through a lot of radios before getting my Flex 6500. I tried Kenwood, ICOM, Elecraft and even the Yaesu FTdx3000. One of my main goals was to find a rig that could handle my severe QRM. The 6500 was the best radio for operating in this environment. The noise limiting & reduction was fantastic! Besides the the noise handling, it's great not being tied down to any particular part of the house... I can operate on my laptop from anywhere my WiFi can reach and in future over the internet.
The money I wasted on other radios could have bought a few 6500s.. I should have bought the 6500 in the first place, it would have been cheaper.. I still like playing with some of my other radios from time to time but the Flex 6500, it is my favorite rig. Now I'm waiting for the Maestro that I have on order..
I moved into my new QTH - I bought a house this fall... very little QRM now.. no antenna restrictions... I even had the power, phone & cable lines buried... Now I can play all I want, I'm a happy camper!
73.. Ken - VE5KC
Sir, I think you've received a lot of input in this thread. Quite a few people have taken time to tell you what they think and even offer you a chance for a test drive.
I would hope that your post was sincere and before you make up your mind at least go and do the test drive offered by the gentleman above. I mean you post was asking the base question of should I go for 3000, 5000 or jump all the way to the 6000.
It seems to me the overwhelming response in this forum was do the 6000 series. You won't regret it.
Well no one of use can know your personal situation or financial situation so we all need to push that aside. Only you can decide on those issues and you are right, they really are not any of our business except I think several people mentioned things like price differences and antenna costs etc.
Anyway here is my final point and I think if you are interested in this hobby and clearly you face not only noise challenges but also perhaps antenna and space and financial challenges that you do at least one thing for the benefit of yourself:
Take the gentleman that offered up on his proposal to come to his place and run the 6500. That can't cost you much more than a little time and effort to get over there.
You might still come out of this deciding as you mention above about the 5000. But before you lay any money down I think you owe it to yourself simply by making this post in the first place to investigate (at almost no cost) the 6500 running at a local hams shack.
In the end you will probably enjoy whatever you get but don't go into your 5000 series deal wondering if you should have at least test driven the 6000.
Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭Regardless of which SDR radio the single most important issue is can you live with being tethered to a Microsoft Windows app in order to run it? The only way to know for sure is to take up Bill on his offer, or see if you can 'borrow' one of those used Flex's you mentioned for a day or two.
You probably understand the people answering your question have a decided perspective not only on vendor but model. There are advantages to SDR and there are disadvantages. The only way you will know for sure what works for you is to play with one, either Bill's or one of the used 3000 or 5000 or even 1500's, which used are around $500. If you fall in love with it you can always get the 3000 or 5000 and the 1500 is a ''second rig". If you don't, you likely can sell it for what it cost you.
Gosh Simon, TWO 6500's!?!? Wow... I can't even figure out what to do with four slices not to mention two radios and 8 slices!!!
I agree with you on the pileups. I don't have the ant to work them very often but I go and watch and what is cool is to fine one, expand the pan so you can clearly see everything and in my case most of the time the weakest signal is the dx station. I drag my filter down to just him and it's very cool.
Being as US station I'm on the pile up side of things. I think you being a ZL are probably on the receiving side more than I'll ever be.
I get your point on QRZ. I get frustrated there too. I'd love to see info on your station and use of two 6500s!0
Simon Lewis MemberI do a lot of EME work Mark so one is dedicated to a stack of transverters and will act as a second contest station in my new shack
yeah I can create a mini pile up .. just by calling CQ !
So hence the 6500's one gets run on HF alone and 6m .. the other a stack of transverters for 144 thru 10 GHz from Kuhne and some dishes and a stacks of yagis .. or will be once we get moved into the new QTH after the builder has finished
My new station will be IP enabled as much as I can .. a real 21st century shack!
WOW! Anywhere I can go to see pictures of your setup? Sounds awesome!0
I think you are getting a lot of bad, biased advise here. Your QRN will not go away by simply buying a new radio as your TS990 experience has shown. My recommendation to you is to deal with the noise first, by building a better antenna (e.g., a loop) and even buying a dedicated RX-only antenna. Only after you eliminate the noise you should consider buying a new rig.
Rudy I dont agree. No one here has said the 6000 would solve his noise issue. It has simply been said it might handle it better. Without any doubt solving the noise will make a big difference with any radio. But his question was not about noise but about if he should consider the 6000. The posts here have been related to that for the most part with perhaps some steying into antennas and noise. But i would not go so far as to say "a lot of bad advice". I think that is being a little harsh considering the original question.0
Here's the original problem statement:
I live in a high QRM urban area where outdoor antennas and clotheslines are not permitted so I'm getting by with an attic fan dipole connected to an automatic tuner mounted in the attic.I'm presently using an FTdx3000 with good results but I'm interested in improving things more."and later:
My FTdx3000 and it handles the QRM quite well at a much lower cost than the Kenwood failure. I don't wish to repeat that costly exercise in seeking this SDR technology.So the truthful answer is that SDR will not solve his problem. Keep the FT3000 and work on reducing the noise level.
For these conditions which SDR radio would work best and still save some money for me?"
Yes but you omitted this:
"But I'm not sure whether I should get a used Flexradio such as a 3000 or 5000, or should I go wholehog and get the 6300? Or should I look entirely at something else?"
Don't get me wrong. I whole heartedly agree that noise is an issue and nothing will help that until he solves it. However it may not be totally solvable. He mentioned solar controllers etc. He may not be able to solve those things entirely.
So based on his first statement above many of us here said, hey... we think the 6xxxx is a superior system. It will help. Not it will NOT remove the QRM. It many handle it a little better. I don't remember anyone stating that if he buys a 6xxxx that his problems all go away.
Without any doubt there is passion here. We all feel that he would benefit from a 6xxx series radio on many fronts. It is certainly not bad advice. Is it perhaps the best advice? Maybe not as you suggest that he could use some other radio, solve his QRM issues and be happy. Yes that is possible. But he didn't ask for a solution to his QRM problem. He asked whether he should buy a used 3k or 5k or go whole hog for the 6300. The answers here are mainly based around that question.
I respect that you took his entire post into account and said, hey... if you have QRM maybe you should solve it first. But don't call the advice here bad. It would be bad if we all were saying hey the 6300 will ignore your QRM and you'll be good to go. No one here is saying that.
Anyway this is all moot as he seems to have decided after asking this very question to go and do his first option of buying a 5k. Whether he does that or reconsiders for a 6300 he will still have QRM and he will still need to solve it. I need to do the exact same thing in my QTH but it didn't stop me from getting a 6500. I did not buy it assuming it would cure my noise problem either.1
Kevin Va3KGS Member ✭✭
Hope your still following this thread you started.
Read all the comments made and sort out the great advice given. Everyone of us has unique situations, and we all seek out the best solution as you are trying to do. Your antenna is doing what it is suppose to do, and that is receive noise. Its up to the radio to filter out the noise. To aid in filtering out the noise, a resonate antenna away from power lines is the best recommendation I give.
I Googled Earthed your street, not sure if you are on the inside or out side where the green belt is. However, for an outdoor antenna, think about using a SteppIR vertical (Put a British Flag on it!!). As one person above said work on your antenna, then buy the 6500 or 6700. (Also search out Youtube videos)
I run all bands on both the 5000A and 6500. My 5000A is now delegated to VHF & UHF SSB. The negative comments you hear in our local 80 meter chat groups are from people that 1) don't understand the new technology, or 2) maybe cant afford the radio and the extra stuff that needs to make a great station. I will be updating my QRZ and internet sites soon and I do post stuff there. you are welcome to contact me for station setup......Good Luck OM
You might want to consider a Zerofive Flagpole Vertical. I'm sure it will be far less in price and you will get it much sooner than ordering from SteppIR. That would be my recommendation when it comes to a vertical that you don't want your neighbors complaining about it. I have a zerofive vertical, not the flagpole version, but the 33 foot model I have works quite well on 10-80 meters. Give them a try, you won't be sorry you did. Mark Griffin, KB3Z
Restricted environment, HOA, covenants. Flagpoles, clotheslines, antennas are not permitted here.0
Hi, Check this one out http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/94410
dlwarnberg Member ✭✭After everything you have been through and the money you've spent here is what I would suggest (being I'm in an HOA and feel your antenna pains).. spend 150.00 and get yourself a simple SDRplay, SDR radio but receive only... then see how it does with existing attic antenna, when you are done testing start playing with outside end fed wire antenna's (another cheap way to test), a simple balun with one end grounded and the other a random length of wire will do pretty well depending on where you have it, so again experiment. Then once you figure out your antenna situation then check into an SDR radio, I chose FLEX-6300 but have upgraded to the 6500.
As Mark has suggested, a vertical disguised as a flag pole works very well. I too have a zerofive vertical, I started with a 29' hidden in the back corner of my yard (spoke to neighbors first). It was up for about 2 years, I have since graduated to the 43' vertical with fold over so that it can be easily folded down and hidden.
My only other suggestion would be this. Seeing that you really can't hang anything outside, perhaps you might want to consider Dstar!. I'm sure you have heard of the mode. Icom manufactures the rigs and all you would need is either a local Dstar repeater or DVAP. You can talk to the whole world via all the Dstar reflectors.
I realize HF is great, and I agree with you that you would like to stick with it. But at least with Dstar you won't have to worry about interference or your Housing Community getting all bent out of shape because you do something that might destroy the supposed scenic beauty of the area. When you said that you can't even hang up a wash line with them getting their **** in an uproar I can't believe a community would be that narrow minded.
I certainly hope you knew about all the restrictions before you moved there. Trying to be polite, but that would be too much for me to take, even if I wasn't a ham. George, best of luck with what you are trying to accomplish. There are HF antenna's that you can attach to the side of your house. But I get the gut feeling that you can't even do that. Not to be nasty but I'm surprised they even allow you to breath the air in the community because of the purity it seems they are trying to force on the people. I certainly hope I have not offended you. If I did, I apologize with all sincerity! Mark Griffin, KB3Z0
Our move to such a restrictive area was not an easy choice. It was done for a lot of medically complex reasons surrounding my wife's fragile health. I knew there would be challenges in ham radio when moving here. Her health and well being trump any "CQ" I might like, but there's nothing in the covenant which states I cannot run an antenna in my attic.
73s geo VE3GZB0
I get health concerns. When i was a teen my mother was horribly ill and my father had to travel to keep his job at least 2 weeks out of every month. This was very hard for a 17 year old to take. I spent most of my evenings caring for her and more than once i turned down a party or even a ham contest because her needs came first. So i get you completely. But dont lose yourself either. Clearly you are passionate about radio and if you keep pushing you will find a workable solution that will keep you happy and sane! Best if lick and let us all know how things turn out with your station options. Mark. ws7m0
Larry Loen WO7R Member ✭✭Being strictly indoors is about as strict as it gets.
If you stick with your attic antenna, I would have a long, hard look at JT65 and JT9. These are also friendly to lower power and even indoor antennas.
I've also known that several other approaches that have worked are:
1. Extremely low dipoles. Here in Arizona, most properties are contained by masonary walls. Some amateurs have had surprising success by stringing dipoles, quite stealthily, just under the top of the bricks.
2. Some strictly operate low bands, such as 40m or 30m and simply put their vertical up by hand in (literally) the dark of night and take them down before morning. What nobody ever notices, nobody can object to.
You might ask around the local amateur and DX community. Or even spend a hundred bucks or two on the right lawyer. These kinds of restrictions may not be as absolute as they appear. For instance, if you do #2, it isn't a permanent antenna and that means the HOA can't really tell you (in Arizona anyway) you can't have it even if someone does notice. You may have to roll the coax out the window and put it all away every night, but that may well get you more fun than just the attic antenna. In winter, you can wedge in a board and run the coax through that to avoid trying to heat all of Ontario.
I do not have personal experience with rules that strict, but I know of members of my DX club that have done things like this with success.
I fully understand. Your family comes first and amateur radio falls to wherever you want it to be. Best of Luck!
If you are interested I have a Flex 6300 with ATU installed in mint condition. all original boxes and still 10 months left on warranty from flex . $2800.00 canadian dollars. I am in or near Montreal thats 1400.00 cheaper than new from radioworld with taxes and shipping0
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