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**** Flex Tricks

Hi all,

TL;DR: I'm new to Flex and I'm wondering what "**** Flex Tricks" people have? What neat things can I do with my radio that only Flex can do? Have you found any non-traditional ways to operate that Flex enables for you?

Background...

I've been a licensed Ham since the mid-90s. I didn't do much Hamming in the 2k's, but had a few "Ham Adjacent" hobbies that kept me involved with Radios. During COVID I figured I should renew my Tech (which accidentally lapsed due to address changes), and then figured I'd go for General.

I got my FlexRadio (Flex-6400) about a week ago, and this thing is amazing - as someone that works in IT (Networking specifically) for the last 25 years it's everything I want Ham Radio to be. I had a moment the other night where I had SmartSDR running on my windows machine listening to 20m, while I had another SmartSDR client running on my Mac with WSJT-X running FT8 with GridTracker. So cool. As someone that dabbles with Python and such I'd like to look at playing with the API at some point, but that's for another day.

My current setup is a Flex-6400 and a DXCommander 6-80M vertical in the back yard. I also have an FT-991a with an end-fed wire antenna.

Comments

  • lol ... apparently using a play on the name of David Letterman's bits gets the title censored. Maybe that's my first *Silly* Flex Trick? :smiley:
  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    Hi Brian, one great source is YouTube.

    Mike, VA3MW, Ken, NM9P, Dave, WO2X and quite a few others have posted very informative videos about Flex radios.

    My favorite tricks came from Ken, NM9P. He shows you how to adjust your mic audio (TX Equalizer) using Full Duplex mode. Not many radios can do that.

    Dave, WO2X has quite a few posts here about Node Red and customizing your own dashboard for your radio.

    Mike, VA3MW has some great videos on remoting your station. Mike runs his remotely nearly full time and has a lot of great insights into remote operation.

    Tim, W4TME has some excellent posts here about adjusting your AGC-T and RF gain that will allow you to get a LOT of performance out of your radio. Once I followed Tim's advice, my noise went down and signals came up.

    Finally, go through the SmartSDR user guide. There is a wealth of information in there that will help you to get the most out of your Flex.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    Brian, for some really neat capabilities with the flex, view the node red threads. Pretty easy programming “language”.

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    We have a group Node Red for Ham Radio which focuses on using Node Red, a low code programming environment written by IBM, to integrate devices in the shack into a single web based dashboard. Radio, amp, tuner, rotor control, AC and DC power control, antenna switching, and more.

    It started out primarily Flex Radio centric but there is support for other radio, amp, tuner, antenna switch manufacturers also. About 1650 members worldwide with lots of talented people.

    Also check out Lynn, KU7Q’s CTR 2 project. Cool stuff.

    Links to both below.

    73

    Dave wo2x



  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    As for “tricks”.

    • I like the panadapter and waterfall. Very high resolution and ability to have spots on the panadapter. Useful for assisted category in contests.
    • DAX and CAT included with free SmartSDR for Windows download. xCAT and xDAX available for MAC. Easy to do digital modes, skimmers, multiple virtual com and TCP ports?
    • Remote. Set it up and try it out.
    • LAN integration to Flex PG XL amp, TG XL tuner, and AG antenna switch. Less rat’s nest of cabling.
    • FRStack, SliceMaster, and DDUtil to name a few utility programs written to work with the Flex API
  • John K3MA
    John K3MA Member ✭✭

    Use the WNB and adjust it (even close to 100) when you encounter a noise source that seems to **** the band. It does not fix all noise types but the ones it does work upon make it look like black magic. Literally, it takes the band noise from S9+20 and virtually no signals to a S7 with a busy band full of signals.