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Answers

  • Sam Johnson
    Sam Johnson Member
    edited July 2016
    I have been thinking about buying a flex and followed this community for some time.  Are you the official spokesman for Flexradio?  Are you an employee?  If not who nominated you as the official Flex spokesman?

    I see people who come here with problems and questions and you are noticeable in your constant putting down of anyone who might question the operation of the radio.  I am afraid to inform you that no radio is perfect and people deserve the right to discuss their issues and concerns with being intimidated by forum bullies like you.

    If I were Flex I would be concerned about someone like you being my spokesman.  You represent a hostile voice on this forum and if I had a Flexradio I would be concerned about posting my problems because of people like you.

    I do not expect any answer from you except another of your arrogant responses.

     I hope your not an employee as if you are, Flexradio is the last radio in the world I would purchase.  

    A friendly helpful user group is important to many and this seems to be a cuastic group because of posters like you.

    I am glad I came here before buying a radio.


  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Sam, I am not sure you were talking to me. I have never cut anyone down for asking a question or talking about a problem they have with there radio.

    But I do take issue with people passing poor or wrong information along. Even after Gerald takes the time to educate, some still argue with him. It is when some complain about something and not accepting help from Flex. Some have mentioned that Gerald does not know how to run his company, and that they know.

    I do not talk for Flex, I am for a fare playing field. I post statements made by Flex radio to help clear up misunderstandings. It is possible to miss a post from Flex. As I did above, I re posted Geralds reply because some feel that Flex has been misleading people with published specs.

    Thank you for your opinion, I will try not to re post more comments from Flex. Last thing I want is look like a bully.
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    @Mr. Johnson... I'm not sure to whom your comments were directed, but you should know that posters who are Flex employees are clearly identified. For example, Gerald K5SDR's ID here says "Official Rep"... he's in fact the founder and president of Flex Radio Systems. Tim W4TME, the Flex staffer who posts here most frequently has an ID that reads "Customer Experience Manager." Any other identifier such as "Elmer" or "Champion" is merely an honorific provided to community members who have proven particularly helpful in the past. Speaking from my own experience, I don't think you'll find a more respectful team than the one from Flex, OR one more interested in customer feedback. We all may not love every answer we get... but at least the Flex team is here to listen and provide those answers. Peter K1PGV (To be 100% clear: Not a spokesperson for Flex)
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    @Sam

    I am an Official Rep for FlexRadio.

    As Peter has said, the only official FlexRadio personnel who have posted to this thread are Tim Ellison and me.  Peter has done a good job of describing Elmer's and Champions who have no official role in FlexRadio but have been very helpful to many in this Community.

    I truly wish this everyone would speak and listen with respect.  This is the downside of social media is that we are not all face to face and it is easy to misinterpret meaning and intent.  I would ask all parties to treat others as you would want to be treated.  I am not always perfect to that end but I am willing to admit when I fail.

    Sam, you are welcome here and will find that there are a lot of helpful people in this Community.

    73,
    Gerald
  • Sam Johnson
    Sam Johnson Member
    edited July 2016
    I have been looking at pages of postings and yes those people identified as flex officials are mostly courteous and surely helpful.  

    Those people who respond to this community need to know people like me who are on the fence between buying a Flex or K3 may look at this type of venue,  the help and attitudes of those posting as a positive or negative influence on our buying decision.

    If I buy a radio, a community of helpful people who will not make me feel uncomfortable if I have a problem is important to me.  If  you look at this community with an outsiders eye you will see people belittled because they did not agree with how their Flex radio works.  This discussion is an example.

    I have owned a lot of radios and I expect them to meet specifications without black magic like cranking power supply voltage up to make power.  I would be upset after putting out a chunk of change for a radio that did not put out proper power.  I do not see the posters who brought up this issue as unreasonable.  But the  outright rude or terse comments made to not shed a good light on this forum.

    These answers that do not show even common courtesy reflect negatively on Flex as a company and as I read more makes me rethink my decision to purchase a Flex 6700.


  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I am a moderately intelligent but unsophisticated user of many things.  There are many topics within radio design to which I remain unsophisticated.  It boils down to knowing what I don't know and deciding if I have the time, energy and inclination to go deeper into the subject matter.  I even learned some things while preparing some of my posts to this thread.  I am thankful to still have a thirst to learn as a guy who has hit retirement age but doesn't want to retire.

    I truly understand how even a career EE can be unsophisticated in areas of electronics where knowledge is surface level.  That describes me.  90% of what I know about radio design, I have learned in the last 15 years of my life and I have been a ham since 1967 and got my BSEE in 1973.  I worked all of my career in technology.  

    To me, being unsophisticated is not a pejorative word.  My brother in law is a neurosurgeon.  I am extremely unsophisticated in his field but I enjoy carrying on a conversation with him whenever we get together.  If I hear a word I don't understand I stop him and ask that he explain what it means.  I learn a little each time.  

    My hope is that in this thread I have shed some little ray of light on radio design.  That is very hard to do in this venue.  I have provided an open discussion of how we calibrate our radios and the inherent design trade offs between power and distortion.  There is much more to the topic than can be covered here.  In fact I have found that there is very little good information in print on the topic of HF power amplifiers available.  Believe me I have done the research.

    73, Gerald
  • N9VC
    N9VC Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    H%#% No,

    Leave things as they are. I prefer quality
    over quantity. A clean signal is one to be
    proud of. If I want more power, I turn on
    the amplifier. I learned much from you,
    Gerald about transmitter cleanliness. Last
    night I worked with my system and now have
    a voltage drop of .2 volts, like you. I had
    a voltage drop of .8 before and decided I
    needed to do more. So, thanks, and leave the
    set-up procedure just as it is. I would defy
    anyone to tell me they can hear the difference
    between 90 and 100 watts. Thanks for all your
    guidance.

    73, Jim N9VC

  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    @Peter
    Our specifications "1-100 Watts nominal" at a DC input voltage at the radio of 13.8 V.  Nominal means within a normal range of.  No ham manufacturer I know of specifies transmitter IMD performance for class AB operation.  Some might for class A.  IMD performance will vary with the impedance of the load and the band of operation on virtually all manufacurer's radios.  

    The +/- 15% voltage range from the 13.8 VDC nominal does not mean that you can get the same power output at 11.8V as you can at 15.8V (P = E^2/R).  It means that it will continue to operate and not be damaged over that range.  Power will go down and distortion will go up with decreasing voltage.  Power headroom goes up and distortion typically goes down to the limit of transistor performance with increasing voltage.

    This thread has just about convinced me to have the software engineers change the power slider to go to either 105 or 110 and just recommend that you run it at 100 for best IMD performance.  The other manufacturers appear to have been doing this without saying so.  In their cases 100% equals 105-110.  I actually just learned this fact recently when digging into some of their service manuals.  

    Oh well, live and learn.

    73,
    Gerald
  • Ned K1NJ
    Ned K1NJ Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
      101 would be nice.  To remind us that you are trying to give more than 100%

    Ned,  K1NJ
  • K4MT
    K4MT Member
    edited July 2016
    Thank you Gerald for your responses to this group.  It is great to know someone is listening even if we are wrong or right.  This transparency is great and is much of the reason I chose one of your radios over others.  You have wonderful products and  certainly enjoy operating my radio. 

    I run an amplifier much of the time and rarely run more than 50 watts anyway.  A clean signal is important and I monitor mine as a trap whenever I am on the air.

    Thanks you for taking time to educate us.  I learn something new every day from people like you. Thank You!
  • Stefano - W2WTZ
    edited June 2017
    As unsophisticated user and not an EE as Howard is, I finally understood that Flex projected the 6500 without compromise about the signal purity. To achieve this, Flex sacrified some W.
    Well done and I agree, infact as I wrote, I use 6500 with very low power. Why Gerald don't ask to Flex to write this on yr interner site and catalogues? I think that 90% of Flex buyers are not sophisticated users as Howard...
    I also suggest to write that for maximum output power (anyway below 100W) you have to provide 14,5VDC. That's all for myself.
  • Stefano - W2WTZ
    edited June 2017
    Gerald thank you a lot for yr lessons, very useful. Believe me, it's time well used with benefit for Flex image.
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Sam,

    I am truly saddened that you took offense at some of the comments made here.  That is one of the downsides of social media that I just hate with a passion.  I am here spending my Sunday afternoon trying to give reasoned responses to this thread with my wife giving me the evil eye just a few moments ago.  

    Every radio manufacturer has protagonists and antagonists.  I know because I read their reflectors as well from time to time.  I understand from others who know that one of them you reference shuts down the threads much more quickly that we do.  It's hard to have a life and monitor the Community that is this active closely all the time.  We err toward the free speech end of the spectrum than maybe is healthy some times.

    There is no black magic as you suggest.  I have given a full and complete description of how we calibrate our radios and the philosophy behind it.  If someone has a problem with their power output, enter a help desk ticket and we will bring it in for factory calibration.  I am going to consider changing our philosophy in power control calibration to be similar to all of our competitors who calibrate the 100% setting to 105-110W.  It's probably only a few lines of code.  Know I truly understand why they do that.

    Sam, I hope that you will keep in mind that we at FlexRadio truly care about our customers and want each one to enjoy our products.  We love what we do and are not satisfied with the status quo.  The vast majority of the people here are exceptionally helpful.  Sometimes we all make mistakes in how we word things in print.  I certainly have from time to time.  We all need to give the benefit of the doubt sometimes.

    No matter what decision you make on purchasing a radio, we wish you well.  I certainly hope that you will give FlexRadio a chance to be your radio company.  

    73,
    Gerald
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Thanks Gerald,

    I'm personally happy with my radio the way it is. I also appreciate your willingness to participate in the group and help us understand not just the way things are but why.

    Jon...kf2e
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    The road goes on forever, and the party never ends!
    Who's turn is it to drive?
    Buckle Up!image

    73, Jay - NO5J
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    @Gerald,
    I think we all appreciate the efforts made by you guys at FRS and I definitely do not have the patience that both Tim and you display in this forum. Please do not get discourage... this, having you guys here talking to us, is one of the most valuable resources of FRS.... that and FREE technical support through Help Desk Tickets. 

    @Sam, I think it is unfortunate if you associate FRS ,as a company and their products, with the likes of myself or any other user of this forum. Remember that there isn't even a requirement to post with real name and call sign.... so you can find all kinds of opinions and attitudes. I have found myself frustrated with some threads and even responded with my own dose of attitude.

    However, I have been on this forum for over a year and I have learned tons... some of these threads... (they mostly happen on weekends with low propagation) tend to deviate a bit and we all present our opinions.

    By the way, when I was reading your post I was thinking about the Honda ad....

    image

    I guess we cannot say the same with Flex radios..... (Hi Hi)

    I have to say that the vast majority of threads are very helpful and if you stick around you might also find this to be true.

  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016

    @Peter

    You comments about not being a 100W Radio intrigued me.

    So I got out my test instruments, precision power supplies,  precision 50 ohm non inductive loads, calibrated digital watt meters  and network analyzers (I have inherited several different precision ones over the years) and set up a precision test bench..


    Without boring everyone with the details..

    13.92V measured at the input terminals to the radio - Flex Meter reads 13.78

    Frequency 14.2MHz

    Load:  50 ohms non inductive confirmed with network analyzer

    Initial Power Out:  100.12 Watts

    Power Out after 5 Minutes Key Down.  98.79W

    (Caveat - I use a Laptop cooler under my 6700)

    For all intents and purposes it seems pretty close to 100W


    I did not run any other frequencies but it definitely came close enough to confirming what Gerald stated


    @Gerald.. Please leave well enough alone.. I would rather have a precision instrument than a device that conforms to consumer mythology

  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Because that is the nature of software revision.  Likely some other aspect of the radio's transmitter was addressed for improvement which resulted in some variation in power out

    73  W9OY
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Salvador

    I've also been noticing a very suspicious lack of "always".

    Nothing ever seems to be "exactly" the way I think it should be.

    Maybe next time!
    But I really doubt it.image

    I've had to struggle to adapt.

    73, Jay - NO5J
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I am learning quite a bit in this thread... I guess I want a very clean signal that is 100w or more....
    I probably prefer 90w clean than 105w dirty... ideally 100w clean will do. LOL

    I do have a question though.... does an increase in voltage improves linearity regardless of power out? I mean.... I only need about 10 to 20w to drive my expert amps... am I better of running a dedicated PSU at 15v even if I only want 20w out of the Flex than a 13.8v PSU?
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    My guess is yes. Will it be noticeable? Maybe not.
    But will others applaud you for going the extra mile.
    Yes, some will.
    Most, won't even notice.

    73, Jay - NO5J 
  • SuperFabian40 .
    edited July 2016
    I vote for further improvement, even if it means climbing a little power, and everyone is happy, greetings.

  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Jay

    that's the problem with logarithms :)
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I don't see it that way Walt. Gerald is the CEO of Flex. There are people such as Tim who answers questions on here, Gerald does not have to be involved. But like I said, that is who Gerald is, a people person, taking the time in his time off to educate, Nice touch....
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2020

    @Paul, @Steve- G1XOW @ Stephano De Pra @ Bill Buchanan

    It was not my intention to insult anyone by my use of the word "unsophisticated"  Rather I was trying to find a single word that might best describe the situation "A little knowledge can be dangerous" .  

    I have been a member of this community for several years and I have tried my best to correct misunderstandings of a technical nature where my years of professional engineering experience [ I have **** up most things up some time or another which is a good way to learn]  might just benefit those who have not **** up yet.

    Accurately Measuring power output of a transmitter is just not as simple as many of the non engineers on this community assumed it should be. Reading manufacturers specs always need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Just ask VW.   Even when you get a number that you think is accurate such as published by the ARRL, you still need to consider things like IMD when finalizing your results.

    As Gerald so ably explained..  the other guys put their sliders to 105% or 110% and inaccurately call them 100%  so that they can always produce 100W on all bands no matter how much IMD that 100W will produce. It takes some experience in the real world to understand what those numbers really mean.

    BTW... if you guys can think of a better word than "unsophisticated" that does not insult anyone I would be happy to use it...

  • K3ZJ - Dave
    K3ZJ - Dave Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    FACT CHECK.  Amateur transceivers using 13.8v devices can and do produce 100 watts output with cleaner signals than the Flex-6700 at its lesser power.  Identical testing at the ARRL Lab demonstrates this fact. The Elecraft K3 ARRL test running 100 watts on 14 MHz is at figure 2 in the K3 QST product review published January, 2009. The same test for the Flex-6700 is at 87 watts on 14 MHz at figure 5 in the QST product review published April, 2015.  The K3 tested is a 2008 K3, years before the 2015 synthesizer improvements.  The original K3 transmitter is about 14 dB better at 2 kHz than the Flex, and maintains a clear advantage throughout the 10 kHz shown (5 kHz either side of the signal).  It's misleading (at best) to state or suggest otherwise. (In the ARRL review, the note on p.51 under "Transmitter", Power output", clearly states that spec is 100 watts output but that in the ARRL lab output varied between 87-99 watts; on 6 meters it was 82 watts.  You can compare these charts with any other radio reviewed recently by the ARRL.  The facts are in the measurements and charts.
  • Stefano - W2WTZ
    edited June 2017
    David.....ARRL lab uses unsophisticated intruments in the hand of unsophisticated EE. Now II am glad that if my 6500 is in reality 100W,my 991 is 115W. Only Flex takes care of purity emissioni, rest of unsophisticated producer of 100W radios don't know that it's impossibile to reach this power with a clean radio.Flex knowing we are not prepared to accept this truth, avoid to indicate in the catalogue, read only by unsophisticated buyer, whose money is not so unsophisticated.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Eh, try telling someone who's been a ham for 50 years they are inexperienced and watch what happens.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    You do realize, don't you that colloquially unsophisticated equals rube.
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Lets make sure we are politically correct here. . . . Right

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