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Sherwood Engineering rates Flex 6700 as #1

As a soon-to-be owner of a Flex 6700, I was delighted to see that Sherwood Engineering has just published (14 hours ago) their new ratings on rigs after finishing their evaluation. And the winner is ...  [wait for it ...]  Flex Radio 6700!  Congratulations to the engineers, developers and testers that made it possible.
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Comments

  • GI4FZDGI4FZD Member
    edited April 2017
    Well done Flex
    Cheers
    Paul
    GI4FZD
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited May 8
    Thanks for heads up on new data...  Great report!!  

    What does the first column note "hardware updated" mean??  Was there a hardware update required to get these numbers??  Does that mean 6700 and 6500 need a hardware update to get this performance??
  • edited August 2016
    Nope; its means that Rob tested a unit that had already had the product enhancement per the notice.  

    Stu K6TU
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hi Stu,

    Does that mean my older 6500 would need this product enhancement to meet those specs?   If there was a notice to this effect from Flex I missed it....

    Anyway, THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS!!!!!
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    The PEN (product enhancement notice) is only applicable to the FLEX-6700 and was sent specifically to 6700 owners.  The FLEX-6500 and FLEX-6300 do not need the modifications to improve the heat dissipation for the FPGA.
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Thank you Tim!!  Great news indeed....
  • Al_NN4ZZAl_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Congrats!   We knew it would be in the top few but #1 is great. 

    Looking forward to the QST product review when it comes out later this year also.   It will be interesting to see how the 6700 ranks on the other metrics they measure. 

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com


  • Joe WD5YJoe WD5Y Member
    edited May 8
    As a 6500 owner, could someone please explain the PEN and what this means with respect to the 6500. The 6700 and 6700 are pretty much the same hardware layout for the most part except the 6700 has two scu's and additional preamp, more logic cells in the FPGA, and a little faster cpu; these items still accommodate the 2nd scu. I agree too that this is great news but the article's statement does make it sound like the PEN had something to do with the numbers. Thanks and 73's Joe WD5Y
  • Joe WD5YJoe WD5Y Member
    edited January 2017
    Tim, Just saw post, the last items came in while I was posting. Thanks, makes all the sense in your post. So, from what you are saying except for the additional preamp setting the numbers for the 6500 should coincide with the numbers posted here for the 6700? I did see something posted earlier on the PEN that there was a power supply change also? Thanks Joe WD5Y
  • edited August 2016
    The enhancement notice addresses the 6700 ONLY - it plainly says so.  It is to provide FUTURE ADDITIONAL HEADROOM as FlexRadio exploits more capabilities within the 6700 and drives the FPGA harder.  As it is driven harder, it needs more current and generates more heat.  Hence the product enhancement notice.

    Rob is a stickler for detail and simply reported what he tested.

    Stu K6TU
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The FLEX-6700 has twice the FPGA resources and A/D converters.  It dissipates almost twice the power of the FLEX-6500.  When we first shipped the FLEX-6700, we were only using a fraction of the FPGA but now we are using significantly more.  For that reason we have added additional cooling on the 6700 to give more headroom for future software enhancements on that radio.  

    Even at maximum rated temperature, the FLEX-6300 and FLEX-6500 do not need the additional cooling since they both draw a fraction of the power.  

    The PEN increases the cooling capacity and the voltage control range for the FPGA.  In my experience, the added cooling can may or may not make a slight improvement in dynamic range (1-3 dB) on some radios.  Your mileage may vary.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Yes, Just for bragging rights, I am wondering where my 6500 and the 6300 would fall?
    Not far behind, I would assume.

    It is interesting how even my "lowly" 1500 rates on this scale!  

    Well done, FRS!


  • Joe WD5YJoe WD5Y Member
    edited September 2014
    Thanks Gerald and Stu, great news. I am a numbers person and this is great, as the saying goes - numbers don't lie. The 6000 series has hit a home run way out of the park! Anyone owning a 6000 radio ought to be proud of the Sherwood listing and even more so of the commitment that Flex has done with the PEN recall. Thanks Joe WD5Y
  • Norm - W7CKNorm - W7CK Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019

    I'm hoping that the cooling modification does not increase the fan speed or temp cut in.  Unless I'm running digital modes, my fan doesn't come on high very often.  When it does, it is obnoxiously loud.  I'm actually considering moving the rig and my Elecraft KPA500 (even louder) a little farther from my operating position. 

    I'm not complaining, I love the rig and would not want to part with it.  I'm actually fretting about the time when I will have to send it in for the PEN!   Its going to be painful going back to a knob rig while its being modified!

    Yes, congratulations to FRS for a job well done!   We're number one, we're number one.....


    Norm - W7CK

  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I would expect the 6500 would be the same as they are the same SCU unit....
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The PEN has no effect on the fans at all.  They are controlled by the PA temperature.
  • Ted  WA3AERTed WA3AER Member
    edited July 2015
    I'd like to see the contesting community take notice! When I operate at the M/M stations with Knob Radios, for the most part I feel at a disadvantage even relative to my Flex5K. Great job, FRS.
  • Joe WD5YJoe WD5Y Member
    edited September 2014
    If you read notes related at the bottom of sherwood's list, you will see all preamp and filter settings, etc. are the same as the 6500 abilities. So, I would take it that these numbers are the same for both 6700 and 6500. 73's Joe WD5Y
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    With the exception of the fact that the FLEX-6700 has a 30 dB preamp setting, the numbers for the FLEX-6500 will be comparable for a given gain level.  
  • Barry N1EUBarry N1EU Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Can anyone explain the note: "DR3=108 dB with 20 dB Preamp ON. (99 dB Preamp OFF) Otherwise dynamic range independent of signal spacing.
    NOTE: This data does NOT imply you should generally run the preamp! This is a testing anomaly of a direct-sampling receiver."

    Does that mean the narrow spaced DR in real use is 99dB or ???
  • Al_NN4ZZAl_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Gerald,
    Does your note (from above and pasted in below) mean that the PEN may have a noticeable/measurable benefit even now before the new software is released?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The PEN increases the cooling capacity and the voltage control range for the FPGA.  In my experience, the added cooling can may or may not make a slight improvement in dynamic range (1-3 dB) on some radios.  Your mileage may vary.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com




  • Alan, K2WSAlan, K2WS Member
    edited February 2015
    Congratulations to Gerald and crew! Dennis, K0EOO mentioned the news during a 15 meter AM QSO earlier today. Both Dennis and I ran 6500's with excellent AM quality. Dan, W7NGA was also in the QSO with a brand new 6300 and sounding FB. It was a pleasure helping Dan get started down the SDR road!
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The added cooling may provide minimal ADC dynamic range improvement on the FLEX-6700.  You will never know the difference in the real world on an antenna.  We are in the stratosphere here on performance.  It is like asking will you die quicker hitting a brick wall at 200 MPH or 210 MHP.  Who cares?  ;>)
  • Gerald-K5SDRGerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    As Rob Sherwood has stated publicly on a number of occasions, most legacy radios are designed for 10 meter sensitivity (MDS), which means you are using too much gain for the lower bands.  This also has the side effect of providing a "sweet spot" for 3rd order IMD dynamic range for most high end radios. Turning on the +20 dB preamp on the FLEX-6700 normalizes the sensitivity and system gain into the same range as that of the legacy radio measurements on Rob's chart.  Note that the +20 dB gain setting is about right for 10m operation at a quiet rural location.  This makes it apples to apples with the legacy radio measurements.

    Once again it is worth noting that we agree with Rob that under normal operation on the lower bands you will get better system performance with the preamp off.  This is because you don't want to amplify all that antenna noise present on the lower bands.  There is no need to have sensitivity at -135 dBm when the band noise is at -110 dBm or higher.  Typically you want the receiver noise floor to be around 8-10 dB below antenna noise for optimal performance.  

    Dynamic range is independent of spacing on the FLEX-6000 Series radios.  IMD DR is as good at 100 Hz spacing as they are at 100 kHz spacing.  They do not degrade at close spacing in the same way as legacy radios.
  • np2gnp2g Member
    edited November 2015
    Kudos !!! Kudos !!!!

    Bow down you mighty Knobular dogs .


  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Oh now now guys, we all know knob radios can't keep pace with Flex in any area of performance. But this will get the attention of people using other SDR radios. If flex did not make it to number 1 with the radios tested there then I would think something would be very wrong.
    The most interesting test is with other SDR products that have more in common.
  • Bob G   W1GLVBob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited June 16
    Kudos to the Flex Team.
  • Sergey R5AUSergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Hi All, I did't got propely PEN is HW or SW item for 6700 owners? I did't recieved any notice yet.
  • np2gnp2g Member
    edited November 2015
    Now all we gotta get is "Pure Signal"  

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