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One week with my Flex-6500... the first anniversary impressions!

Ken - NM9P
Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
edited January 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
It has been a fun week playing in my spare time with my new "toy." Here are some impressions running SSDR v.13.10. SSB Transmit: With with my Heil PR22UT mike fed into the balanced input, I am consistently getting reports of "Excellent audio" "Outstanding audio" "Broadcast quality" "Studio quality." I know it isn't my "studio quality voice" so the praise goes to Flex! The TX EQ is a wonderful thing! I can't wait until we get TX bandwidth control, multiple TX profiles, expanded Compander control, DX processor, AM & FM, and antenna selection control. It is going to be a GREAT rig for DX, Contest, or Rag Chew. SSB Receive: This baby is smooth! The receiver is so much more quiet than my Kenwood 850 or even my Flex-1500 that I have discovered three new noise sources around the house that I must deal with. One of them is one of my two ham shack computer monitors! Receive dynamic range is very impressive. Even my fellow ham down the road who is 40-60 DB over S9 doesn't cause me problems, except for a little phase noise bleed over. Tuning with the FlexControl Knob is a snap, and will be even better when expanded functions are added to the knob. (Tim, you were right when you said I would really like the Flex Control Knob!) The AGC time constant on "slow" could stand to be a bit longer. The decay after AGC hang should be adjustable - it is just a tat too abrupt for me. I hope all of these parameters eventually will be adjustable, as they are in PowerSDR. Filter bandwidth adjustment: It is a little difficult to hit the exact frequencies I like with the mouse. I keep overshooting it and having to go bask. Hopefully the various bandwidth buttons will be customizable so I can hit 2.9K and always have it 50hz to 2950Hz for example, and not need to constantly grab the slider at the bottom of the slice. The filters themselves are good, and will be totally awesome when they fine tune the skirts! I am anxiously (but mostly patiently) awaiting additional enhancements like display averaging, Pan-fall, persistence, NB, NR, ANF, TNF, CWX, adjustable tuning steps, and many of the others on the roadmap...(I wonder what will be in the next pre-release?) CW Receive: Smooth, the pan display is extremely sharp and clear. It outshines my 1500 by far! I didn't know so many signals could fit into the same bandwidth! The enhanced filter skirts will bring this baby into some serious competitive edge. Thanks for reducing the tuning step automatically for this mode. CW Transmit: Seems to be pretty smooth to me, especially after running the 1500. I used to be a pretty fair CW op but had 4 years off the air until a year ago and I am pretty rusty. Certainly not worthy of my new rig! I haven't experienced the dropped "dits" that others have mentioned, but I don't send fast enough yet to notice. I have experimented briefly with cross mode and cross band transmissions and they seem to be very smooth, too. Further tests will reveal more. AM Receive: Good fidelity, especially when the filters are adjusted to match the transmitted bandwidth. But, the audio level of AM signals is always much lower than the same station when tuned with SSB, regardless of which AGC speed I use. I have found the best AM receive audio when switching AGC off completely and adjusting it carefully. I don't know if anyone else has commented on this or not. The Bottom Line: I am really pleased with this rig so far. Kudos to the whole Flex team! You have really produced a fine product. And it is only going to get better! Thanks a lot. And thanks for letting me get in on the "early release" program. It has been fun exploring the limits of the current version and, hopefully, giving some feedback that will help to perfect it. Here's to the future!

Comments

  • DonS
    DonS Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Gee, sounds like a kid with a new toy :-)
  • W4EY
    W4EY Member
    edited January 2020
    Ken: I can say the same things after one week of using the new FLEX 6500. Still have not been successful with my Navigator Interface on Digital. Ordered a cable from Clint KK7UQ, because my homemade cable seem to give me interface issues. Mainly it seems like the issue between me being mostly blind and the SmartSDR CAT and the Navigator Comm ports settings. Overall the FLEX is great and now my FLEX 5000A is about to be sold on the web. Thanks to FLEX, the wait was worth it. Bill W4EY
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited March 2017
    And it is only going to get better as the software evolves and matures too!
  • DonS
    DonS Member ✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Bill, I also have the Navigator and the 6700. It took me several days, however, I was able to get everything to work. If you need any help let me know. Don - kx9q

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