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Best way to end Flex 1500-3000-5000 sudden PowerSDR lock up

Steve smith
Steve smith Member
edited June 2018 in New Ideas
I had a problem with my new to me Flexradio 3000.....and I have been reading that a lot of folks have the same problem. Everything went fine with installation of the firewire card and the PowerSDR 2.8.  The problem popped up where PowerSDR would just lock up. I was adjusting all the settings trying to stop it but found that it was not the software's fault....it was the wires going into the Flexradio 3000. They make excellent receive antennas for lots of noise and interference.

So what I did was purchase from DX Engineering a set of snap on ferrite beads/chokes....they come 10 in a pack. I also ordered a 10 foot Firewire cable from Granite Digital. The six foot cables are out of stock and are no longer available so 10 foot is all that is available. These cables are the ones that Flexradio recommends.

After installing the beads and the cable I did not have any problems with lock up any more. I ran the radio in receive mode for 24 hours and not once did it lock up. So if you are having PowerSDR locking up then it is the wires going into the radio......snap ferrite them all and make sure that you have a good Firewire cable. Firewire is getting scarce and there are only a few cards available that are compatible with FlexRadios.
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  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    All that is correct, I did the same after buying my Flex 3000, It never crashed or flinched for 12 years. Rock solid.
  • John
    John Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Better stock up while the going is still good. This probably applies to a lot of other stuff as well such as lead/ silver  solder.
  • Dave Routzon Sr.
    edited February 2018
    Just checked DE Engineering and there's no listing for snap on ferrite beads/chokes. My 5000 crashed - mostly on transmit. W5GT

  • Steve smith
    Steve smith Member
    edited February 2018
    Try https://www.dxengineering.com/search/product-line/dx-engineering-rfi-suppression-snap-on-ferrite-bea...

    They are right down the road from me......the owner of DX Engineering is also the owner of Summit Racing, Paul Sergi, NO8D.....he has quite an antenna farm with seven 100 foot towers and many other antennas.....he is quite an engineer and has nothing but quality products. I do not work for or own stock in DX Engineering.....but I wish I did!

    My 3000 did the same thing...locking up on transmit and locking up after a while on receive.  It was getting kind of frustrating having the 3000 locking up....I was almost ready to sell until I did some research. Glad I did....the 3000 is an awesome radio.

    After getting the Granite Digital firewire cable and installing 20 of the ferrite beads, I've run the 3000 and have done a lot of rag chewing with it in the last few days and it never locked up. Seems that the 3000/5000 series have a tendency to be affected by stray RF.......Keep any cables away from wall warts...at least a foot.....and run the fire wire cable away from other cables as far as possible....and finally, quality coax......I am running DX Engineering 400 Max coax and that also helped a lot......put the ferrite beads on the firewire cable, the mic input, the power supply wires, and any other cables going into the Flexradio.  A good ground is also mandatory to keep this radio working well......

    I'm running a highly modified Marshall mxl 900 microphone into an Ibox W2IHY adapter and all the cables from that are fitted with snap on ferrite beads. Any possible entry of stray RF must be addressed and so I would recommend at least 20 of those beads. 

    As far as fan noise goes....which is a complaint of some 3000 owners.....I have my 3000 mounted on a vertical aluminum plate 24 x 24 x .125.....and then held in place with a wood stand.....on the back of the plate I have a computer grade fan that cools the plate. The 3000 has a very thin aluminum base that is also part of the cooling system. It is not really good enough to prevent the two 60 mm fans inside the case from turning on.....they are kind of loud at times..... By installing the 3000 on the larger aluminum plate, the fans never have been on since I did that mod. The 3000 became as quiet as the 5000 which is totally silent.

    The PowerSDR V2.8 from KE9NS is highly recommended. When you download that program, everything you need to set up your 3000 / 5000 is there. I also recommend you send KE9NS a little donation....he is keeping the 3000 / 5000 series alive and relevant. His software is way better than the offering from Flexradio.

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