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RF Amplifiers - Is Flex considering building?

Ernest Member
Is FlexRadio System considering building RF Amplifiers?

Seeing that knobs and knob less companies are selling RF amps under their Company labels: Will this be something that may be coming down the pipe in the near future? 



  • K2CM
    K2CM Member ✭✭
    edited September 2019
    How about a 4 element, tri band beam too. We would have one stop shopping and get the high Flex quality too!
  • Patrick Greenlee
    edited June 2015
    I'm not a Flex insider but if I were CEO Flex would probably not build an amp.  Amps is not what sets them apart in the market place.  Amps are not their area of excellence.  They have more than sufficient work to fully engage all their technical talent.  If by some miracle they were to "get caught up" will all facets of their new line and needed something to gainfully employ some of their tech troops then maybe amps would be a topic to consider.  Do what you do best and let others do what they do, such as build amps.  Amps are more of a commodity than a cutting edge development  with significant programing required.  

    Short answer:  Nope.

    Patrick  NJ5G  (Still loving my F5K)

  • elan
    elan Member
    edited February 2018
    http://www.dc9dz.de/en/aladin.html the best of the best been test with the flex 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    I think it is a good idea to build an amp for the 6000's. It complements the product line very well. Flex is working with 403A who have the know how. This amp I would think would have features that mate with the Flex 6000's and should work together seamlessly.

    If we look at the market, I think some would buy and amp from Flex who other wise may not be inclined to buy a Flex radio. Some just don't care for SDR, but an amp? Maybe. If it shows to be a good amp and I was in the hunt for one, why not look at it?

    It was suggested that Flex is not caught up, I don't know what that means but it looks Like Flex is doing very well in the progression of the 6000's radios.

  • Patrick Greenlee
    edited June 2015
    I guess that pretty much ensures my predictive powers are widely known to be defective.  I do hope this does not dilute the pursuit of what made Flex the force it is.  Broadening the product line is an attractive diversion but it won't move the XCVRs forward.  Hopefully the tech talent involved in amps are "surplus" due to their XCVR development being concluded.

    Pastrick   NJ5G
  • K9DUR
    K9DUR Member ✭✭
    edited September 2016
    Patrick, sounds like 4O3A will be doing the development, so it will not detract from FlexRadio's SDR development efforts. -- 73, Ray, K9DUR
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited February 2016
    Just be a man, to pose and post the question and I will support it!
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited February 2016
    Having not attended Dayton ... How would we have known?
    How would producing an amplifier dilute the Flex work force? 
    The engineers that are working with the transceivers; I would think, they are versed in software development and not necessarily needed to develop amplifiers. 
    Open your horizon; so far that is a very narrow thinking!
    Producing amplifiers is nothing new!  
    For your edification's they have been in use for more than a century and their has been little change.  With the exception of controls that are switch on or off.
    I think that a professional software engineer can design and develop the controls in a very short period of time.  Once that is done, how much update do you think will be required to up date or add a switch here or there? 
    I do not even own an amplifier at this time by preference. However, I would consider one if and when Flex adds then to their store.
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited February 2016
    Thanks Elan,
    I looked at the spec's and they look good but it's lacking "FlexRadio System" endorsement or label!
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2015
    I published comments about the Flex Amp in my Dayton Report
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited January 2017
    4O3A will be doing the development work. The major advantage of the Flex Amp is that FINALLY someone will make an AMP that is 21st Century Ethernet controlled with all the wonderful connectivity possibilities of the Ethernet rather than being stuck with the severe limitations and incompatibility of old 20th Century CI-V or Serial CAT morass
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited November 2016

    I was trying to say the same thing as you stated in paragraph one.
    Would the naysayers said the same to Icom, Yause or Elecraft? 
    I don't think so!
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited February 2016
    Thanks Howard, 
    I failed to noticed or I ran short on long time memory.  
    Guess, I need to go to Fry's or Newegg to get some more!
    Now active mobile from IOTA- NA-138
  • Duane_AC5AA
    Duane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Yes, compare to Elecraft where they have not only designed and sold an amp, but panadaptors, transverters and tuners as well.  Not to mention test equipment (signal generator.)  I think the way Flex is doing it is a smart approach, as long as the partner has been selected carefully.  
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited February 2016
    Thanks Duane ...

    You made my point!
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    If it was affordable (relative term) it would be really nice to have an amp in a case that compliments the 6000 series.  Better yet, with control functions that equal the potential of 21st Century ethernet API, etc., as Howard and others have said.  

    Would I be able to afford a contest quality SO2R amp such as proposed?  After the expense of the 6500 and tower project (almost completed), probably not.  But I think it would be nice, especially if it contained a legal limit ATU and antenna switching as well.   

    I might even start saving to get one post-retirement when I settle into my "semi-final earthly home."

    Ditto for transverters, especially if we could get two or three bands (2M/70cM +one) in the same box, all ready for API or SSDR switching!  (perhaps even controlled via the USB port on the back of the 6000, as long as it would link to the full WAN remote with no other computer necessary.)

    Ken - NM9P
  • spopiela
    spopiela Member
    edited July 2019
    Power Amps and SCRs are not the same technology and require a whole different level of expertise to sell. Flex, please stick to your knitting!! That's the first rule of Corporate success! Unless, of course, you can buy the expertise and integrate it into the Company. Stan N1THL
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I think that is a laudable goal, in and of itself. But would it be available from other sources like Force 12? Would it work with other rigs? If it is a 1500 watt linear that only works with a 6000 series, I see no value in it.

    And, I agree with the others, companies that stray too far from their core competencies, run the risk of being over extended.
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Yeah, picking on Elecraft was a bad tactic. Elecraft has a linear that works seamlessly with the K3 (presumably KX3), the KAT-500 works seamlessly with both, From the linear one can change the band of the K3, from the K3 as you move through a band the KAT-500 constantly adjusts the matching. I have a 6500 and both a KPA-500 and a KAT-500, both work fine via DDUtil but not nearly as fine as they were directly connected to a K3. Too much Kool-Aid my friend. I'll need your car keys now.
  • Drax
    Drax Member
    edited June 2015
    Big companies rent their brand names all the time.
  • Drax
    Drax Member
    edited June 2015
    They are sticking to their knitting.  Companies rent out their brand names all the time.   Now if we want innovation in the amp market I'd like to see Moore's Law catch the RF transistor and have a sub $500 1,500-watt amp be invented.

  • KM6CQ - Dan
    KM6CQ - Dan Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    Seems to me that a Flex amp, Would allow Smart SDR to take advantage of it with pure signal. 
    What a nice way to promote an upgrade and bring in a useful feature. 

  • Martin AA6E
    Martin AA6E Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Station integration counts for a lot, and a range of products built around SmartSDR makes sense to me.  (I really don't like ad hoc add-ons like ddutil.) This is the moral from Elecraft, where they've been very successful with their K line.  I'm not interested in SO2R particularly, and 1.5 kW is overkill.  A 500 W amp would be about right IMO.

    This may be a problem with Maestro.  In its initial form at least, it does not play with any hardware or software other than what's in the 6000 box. No logging, web access, user apps, etc. (AFAIK)
  • Joe
    Joe Member
    edited August 2015
    The option to use a serial to IP converter has been available for years. Ethernet is nothing new I've been using a digi serial port server since 2001 to do Ethernet control of my rotor and PA
  • Ned K1NJ
    Ned K1NJ Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

      How is that effort coming along?

    Ned,  K1NJ

  • Norm - W7CK
    Norm - W7CK Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    Well all I can say is I hope they provide control as well as a way to power on and off the amp via a USB or Ethernet connection like my IC-7100, KAT500, KPA500 etc., etc.... I'm hoping the 6000 can eventually provide that feature thru the USB port..... 
  • Mark Griffin
    Mark Griffin Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    My feelings are once the Smart SDR issues are taken care of, which may be an on going thing, then look at hardware enhancements. The Smart SDR issues seems to be greater then 75% of the postings on this community board. Just my personal feelings! KB3Z
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    In my opinion, the best solid state amp out there is the new SPE Expert 1.3K (up to 1.5kw) with 4 antenna outputs, 2 TX inputs, 1 SO2R antenna port, ATU, USB and RS232 connectivity (no ethernet). It is a $4000 amp that weighs 18lbs. The amp also allows the automation of band pass filters for a smooth SO2R operation.

    If Flex is to co-develop an Amp with 4O3A they should take a look at this amp and try to match or surpass what it provides. http://www.expertampsusa.com/1-3k-fa/

    I own and operate the older SPE Expert 1K while I patiently wait for the new one to arrive (backordered a year!!!). I can only praise this amp which complements my Flex radio perfectly (as long as you use DDUtil).
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Correction on the price:
    • 1.3K-FA = $5495
    • 1.3K-FA w/o ATU = $4195

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