Dayton 2015 Report - Unofficial

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  • Praise
  • Updated 3 years ago

Still catching up with the world...as we flew back late yesterday and of course, XYL and I are now rushed out of our minds as we head off for 6+ weeks back to Europe next Sunday.. 

 

Weather was the usual muggy and rainy Dayton crap weather.. glad I no longer live near the center of the continent

 

Dayton.. usual FILTHY disgusting arena with overflowing toilets.. As an American I am shamed that Foreign visitors have to see Ham Radio's Mecca as such a worse than 3rd world place..

 

FLEA MARKET
Flea market was clearly down about 25% less vendors this year and virtually everything for sale was garbage that you would not normally pull out from your own trash.  Even the usual hat embroidery places were down to one vendor.  I suspect old age plus a lousy weather forecast was a contributing factor.

 

FORUMS

I attended 2 Forums  = Ham Law.. which was terrible this year without Fred Hopengarten.. and SDR - which was excellent with a number of new ideas and concepts being shown...

 

JAPANESE

The Japanese had their usual Legacy HF radios which clearly are no longer selling very well.. Kenwood and Yaesu HF Both areas were totally dead.   Icom - who are better showmen.. had some interest in the Overpriced IC-7851 - but it still lacked a modern display capability.. they were misrepresenting the 7851 as an SDR.. which it obviously is not as it is legacy Superhetrodyne technology with a DSP.. Circa 1980 design.. albeit they have tried to address the phase noise issues they had with the 7800.   

 

It was pretty obvious that the Japanese have almost given up on selling HF equipment in the face of superior US Offerings from Elecraft and Flex Radio.  The Japanese seem to moved heavily into the VHF/UHF and various incompatible digital modes.  Talking to HRO.. they admitted that they hardly ever sell a Japanese HF radio anymore but the VHF/UHF Radios sell well...

 

CHINA

However the star of the VHF/UHF were the Baofeng Chinese Radios selling for $24.95... Hard to justify $400 for a Japanese radio that does the same thing.  Needless to say the Baofeng were selling like hot cakes.

 

STEPPIR

SteppIR introduced a portable Antenna analyzer for $389 which is visibly superior to the MFJ269@$399.  Several of us bought the SteppIR analyzers.  Rob WA3IHV and Ben N6MUF bought the CrankIR portable vertical Antennas for DXpeditions.

 

ELECRAFT

Elecraft introduced the K3S which is the old K3 with a new synthesizer board to fix the poor RMDR issues that had the K3 down on the Sherwood List.  Like the Japanese, Elecraft tried to misrepresent the K3S as an SDR but clearly it is a Legacy Superhetrodyne Radio with a DSP audio stage.. Circa 1980 design...  With the new synthesizer board the K3S still ranks second to the Flex 6700/6500 on the Sherwood list.   The sales table at Elecraft had 3 sales stations and were lined up 3-5 deep waiting to place orders.  Clearly Elecraft still make winning products.

 

FLEX RADIO

Flex Radio introduced their $999 Maestro Portable Front Panel - Contest Optimized Knobs and Display for their 6000 series.. Clearly it was the star of Dayton 2015. Flex is making a major push into the contest world.. more on that later...  Maestro's were selling spectacularly.. both over the sales counter and online.. in fact the order flow online was so heavy that the on line sales site clearly slowed down under the load.  Flex had several stations set up that each include a Maestro Front Panel - One demonstrated close integration with N1MM+ Contest Software,  One Demonstrated the Application Programming Interface where users are now connecting all sorts of interesting and cool things to the Flex 6000 series.. WITHOUT WIRES.  Since all the Flex 6000 series have 95 dB antenna isolation, Flex introduced a SO2R box to enable full duplex in all the 6000 radios.  The major benefit is that now a Single Radio can now be used to SO2R contest at about 1/2 the cost and much less complexity of the comparable two K3S that would be needed to accomplish the same result.

 

Rob WA3IHV and I put in orders for the Maestro.  

 

ITALY

Italy was very strongly represented.  Begali Morse Code Keys are definitely still the #1 CW Key.  Expert Amps had their 1.3K-FA Amp on display.. only 16lbs and 1500 Watts.. Only $4,695 Show Special...Backordered by shows end to at least January 2016.

I was particularly impressed with the $1099 Elad SDR-DUO.. (I saw it also at Friedrichshafen 2014) with is a complete Second Generation SDR 5 W Transceiver in a very portable box with Knobs..it runs stand alone or with a computer.. More impressive was when hooked up to a Expert 1.3K-FA it drove 1000W with only 5 W drive...  Charlie NN3V bought one.

 

FLEX BANQUET

We normally avoid events in Downtown Dayton...too yucky and dangerous

... But this year the draw was Ranko 4O3A and Craig K9CT - two renowned world class contesters who were the guest speakers..

Top Contesters are like Formula One Drivers.. They push the technological envelop to achieve better and better results.. We all benefit from the technological improvements that trickle down from their competitive experience.

 

Gerald Youngblood, President of Flex, told us of his design process for the Maestro in which he visited with and listened to top contesters to try to understand what they needed to be able to perform better.  With the help of Craig K9CT they design the Maestro box .. with only the absolutely needed knobs and controls and put it in a small enough package that it could fit at  the most ergonomically optimum angle for contesting for minimum operator fatigue  He then went onto explain the rapid development process where they literally backed the molds in an oven to produce working models for the show in 4 weeks.

 

Ranko 4O3A's company is well known for making devices such as the Station Genius to integrate any and every possible peripheral device into a contest station.   Most important all the new devices are 21st Century Ethernet Speed Connected rather than 20th century slow serial ports.   He went over the joint development of the Flex SO2R box to give it the features of the Station Genius as well as enable the Flex 6000 operate as a Full Duplex SO2R station.   Ranko's contest station set the new European Record for the 2014 CQWWDX CW contest.  His plan is to use the Flex 6000 with the SO2R in the 2015 CQWWDX contest and hopes that the improvements will enable him to shatter the world record.  He then surprised us all by revealing that Flex was working with him on the design a Full Legal Amplifier (using 2 - 1400W transistors) - This will be the first totally Ethernet Connected Amplifier.. Flex gave NO PRICES or DETAIL or Delivery Dates.. but likely the main stumbling block will be the usual bureaucratic regulatory approval delays associated with Amps ..rather than engineering or production...

 

Craig, K9CT, started his talk by stating that "Elecraft should be worried that he was over at the Flex Dinner"   He explained the concepts and designs behind K9CT contest station and how the new Flex Contest Suite would not only cut his costs of a SO2R station in 1/2 but more important greatly simplify station configuration, design and contest work flow.   K9CT is committed to using the Flex Contest Station Suite in the Fall Contests.

 

 

FINALLY

Ken NN9P and I got a totally unexpected award at the Flex Radio Banquet at the Dayton Hamvention as the 2014 Top Flex Radio Elmer.

 

In case you are wondering, I am not paid by Flex nor do I own any of their stock.  All my life I have worked at the Bleeding Edge of Technology and I really enjoy working with others who also invent new things.. Flex has put fun back into Ham Radio for me by pushing me to consider new things all the time...

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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  • excited

Posted 3 years ago

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KM4CQG

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Thanks Howard

Great summation appreciate you taking the time to post since I don't have the luxury of free time for events such as this.

Safe travels back to Europe.

Ian
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W5XZ - dan

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same thoughts...73 guys
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Thanks for this Howard, very interesting and informative.

Tim
G7GFW/F4VQP
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Simon Lewis

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Howard .. when you refer to the 'flex SO2R box' you mean the Maestro or something else??
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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The SO2R Box (No Official Name yet)is a different box.. It will be the size of a 6000 series...
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Simon Lewis

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soooooo glad I held off buying the 7851 :)
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km9r.mike

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Thanks for the insight Howard. I was considering the purchase of a second 6300 to join the almost essential so2r group but wasn't certain how well the two would play with say a microham so2r controller. I know other brands play very well with it so I was becoming conflicted. However with your very informative post it appears the conflict was all for naught and the FRS team is/has developed an excellent so2r solution that will require only a single SS rig. When I first contacted flex to purchase, a single 6700 seemed to be the only option for this but alas so2r at a very modest price w/o sacrificing leading edge performance seems to be right around the corner. I am now considering selling my 6.3 to upgrade to 6.5 .


(Edited)
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William Hein

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FYI - you may not need an external controller such as the microHAM to operate SO2R with a Flex 6000 radio (but will need the forthcoming Flex SO2R accessory). I am looking forward to this!
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km9r.mike

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Yes understand Bill and I am confident that the FRS team so2r box will be a reliable tool vice the uncertainty of using the MH product to accomplish the same.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I believe that there may be a public data sheet but I do not know where to find the Link..
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, Employee

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Literally anywhere else.  

Every year after Dayton, we discuss 1) can we as a company do anything to help move participants away from Dayton to other conferences, 2) can we get DARA to move -- many of us have requested very firmly to have the venue moved.  Cincinnati came up as a viable place, but DARA says their volunteers won't go to Cincinnati to help.  3) We generally have employees that come back sick from Dayton.  The combination of the high mold in the environment and the humidity is an issue.  We don't have this problem at other shows.  4) We are doing what we can to invest in other shows hoping another show will take off and take over as the big show in the states.

It's worth saying that all of the DARA people and the facility people are awesome.  They go out of their way to make sure we are taken care of.  It really is just an unmaintained facility problem.

In my opinion, the root of the problem is the economy in Dayton.  Several large companies have pulled out of Dayton and as a result many of the facilities in Dayton are struggling.  Any other large city would have other businesses that keep things like Hara and all the hotels busy and well maintained so that when we arrive, everyone is on good economic standing and we just add to the economy of the area.

I agree with Howard -- as a country it's just embarrassing.
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Bob G W1GLV

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Huntsville come to mind.
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Steve - KD8QWT

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I came back sick as well.  This was my third year attending.  I think it may be the last. I expected Hara to be the hole it has been the last few years, but I didn't expect the Grand hotel to be much like Hara, especially when it comes to the restrooms.  I've attended many catered events over the years, but never have I seen the venue run out of food.  Was that a cost saving measure or just incompetence?  I felt bad for FRS.  They paid for a service and clearly didn't get what they paid for.  I accepted a free drink ticket rather than a refund.  I figured I'd feel better after a beer.  Unfortunately they ran out of the one beer I liked.  I still enjoyed the banquet.  The speakers were awesome.

It's clear that Dayton is in a state of rapid decline.  There are many things that make Hamvention such a great event.  However, there is a point when the sad state of the venue starts to overshadow the event itself.  I still heard conversations about the infamous sewer line incident.  I'm glad I missed that.
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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I think that HamCom should be the premier Ham radio venue.

...Just sayin'.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Boxborough (Boxboro), MA comes to mind. FRS goes there anyway!! Lots of conference room. TMK nobody has gotten sick there and the sewers don't back up and neither do the toilets.
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Simon Lewis

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Where's the info on that I must missed it?? Flex need to video these events for us overseas types :)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I am not sure where the public link is?
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Outstanding information Howard.   I an actually forwarding some of your report to N6RO where I am also testing the Flex signature series in contest conditions. He also sees the Flex as a potential platform for his station.

 I have also ordered a Maestro and had also made the cost reducing observation for SO2R. Allthough the amp sounds intriguing, I will keep my focus on the transceiver functionality and performance for now..  and just to be sure..

I agree with K9CT that Flex stands enabled to take a chunk of the Performance(Contest) Radio market.. Ironically because it simplifies and reduces cost yet produces top performance.  If 4O3A busts some records citing Flex radio SO2R(3R.. 4R.. term now obsolete  maybe Single OP 2 Pan hihi) stations.. The rest of the contest world WILL take note.  Elecraft has an extremely loyal fan base..  Because of their outstanding support and well developed ECO-System to compliment their best of class performance,   I know this aspect of the business is on Geralds radar scope further solidifying the future of the Flex radio in the Contest shack. 

K9CT and 4O3A see the future.  I assure you N6RO (who also was interviewed by Gerald) see's the future.  Others are watching.  I think its time to dial this thing in and win some contests.

Good stuff.  thanks again Howard.

Chris

N6WM

(N6RO team member, K6LRG station co-owner)


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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Oh and one more thing.  Maestro may be just the thing to enable Flex in a DXpedition environment(grand prix performance setting #2).  If Scott takes a few of these boxes along with him along with a Maestro, switch and laptop and the interfacing shows simplified with less cabling/hassle in the field... well as they say.. the sky is the limit. 
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Great report, Howard! I look forward to the HamRadio at Friedrichshafen and hope that we'll see the Maestro there.
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Alan WA4SCA

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While not part of the public announcements, Gerald did confirm in a discussion at the Flex booth that the Key fixes to PowerSDR which he had promised had been cancelled for cost reasons.  Only fixes needed to accommodate new versions of Windows, if needed, will occur.  Disappointing for those of us who took Flex at their word, and something to keep in mind for the future.
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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On the other hand, as a Power SDR user, I find myself wanting to see Flex move even faster on the new technology:  0.01 to 256 Mhz Flex 7xxx, Maestro, Flex 1.5 KW amp, S02R, etc.  Not that I need such things at the moment but that is where the action is.  Flex has the opportunity to become a much more successful company with products such as these and I'd rather see them succeed amazingly well with my Power SDR on the sideline than see them stagnate while focusing on old technologies.
(Edited)
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Alan WA4SCA

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Richard,

I agree with you, except that there is a key feature missing, called Digital FM in SmartSDR, which is found in any VHF/UHF rig over $1k or so.  It is something which was promised at the highest level, Gerald, and which I and a few others need

Think if you bought a rig for DXing, only to find that there was no narrow CW filter, and were told that it would be added later.  Imagine later never came.  That is what happened to us.  I would have liked to see one final wrap-up of PowerSDR to fix a few deficiencies and bugs.

73s,

Alan
WA4SCA
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Steve - N5AC, Employee

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Alan, we released Digital FM in v1.4.3.
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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Steve,
You mention 1.4.3, and the Software manual says 1.4.3, but the download page says 1.4.11. Can you explain the discrepancy?

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Would it be that v1.4.3 was the first to include the digital FM, the following release is v1.4.11 which would retain that feature, unless FRS noted a feature drop?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Clay N9IO

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Well done Howard, excellent account.
Soon it will difficult to deny Flex' s spot at the top.
Also wish I had met you at the dinner.
As always looking forward to your next post.
Clay N9IO
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I second all the praises Howard, great post!!
Can't wait to start seeing these products make it to the online store.
I am one of the hams waiting patiently for one of the new SPE 1.3k amps, several months still to go, but I would consider leaving that cue to get in the Flex/4O3A/Amp one.
(Edited)
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Mark Griffin

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Good post Howard. K9CT has a very nice station. I myself am a Elecraft K3 owner and I really like it because it is the only radio I have ever used for contesting as well as day to day operating. I have plans in the future of purchasing a 6500 when the budget permits.

I can understand his thoughts about reducing cost as it seems the Ham Radio market seems to be increasing in price year by year. Yet, I'm sure his hardware on the outside is far more expensive then the gear that he has on the inside.

I have always heard that it's not so much what you have in the shack as to what you have on the outside. I have a decent antenna system for where I live and what I can afford. I will not pass judgement on either Elecraft or Flexradio. I can say that I like the simplicity of operating my K3. As to whether the Flexradio is just as simple, I can't testify to that. I gather from all the responses from Flexradio and operators that Flex is trying to get over the stigma of not being what one would call a contest radio.

I believe any radio can be a contest radio as long as you have a decent antenna system connected to it. I'm sure there will be those that agree and those that disagree. Mark KB3Z
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Ned K1NJ

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       Used Heath AT1 - 1958, $27.00.  Zenith swl rx my brother found in the
town dump 0$.  Got jobs in a local ham store.  Conditions improved rapidly.

Ned,  K1NJ
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Aha!  You ARE an old... well... never mind!   <grin>
1958!  You've  got me beat by 15 years.  It must have been very interesting operating during the sunspot peak of all peaks!  I wasn't born 'till 1959.  Perhaps sunspot activity got ingrained into my DNA?
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Bill W2PKY

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I was first licensed in '63 and the old timers talked about working JAs on 6 meters with 20 watts AM. I remember my friends father had a DX40 in an upstairs bed room using a bow tie antenna on the wall and working all over the planet! Imagine if anyone had great equipment then.
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K7FU

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I loved my A-2516. It was a good little receiver.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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You are the first person I have heard that also had one! I liked it. If only I had known enough to modify the AGC timing and slow the hang time down, it would have been great!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Well done Howard, It makes me wonder if and when Yaesu and Kenwood will pull out of HF.
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SteveJ

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I find it very hard to believe that Kenwood, Icom and Yaesu are not selling HF radios well.  SDR is not being as well adopted as some of you might think.  New models of knobbed radios may not be introduced as often as in the past but they will be.  SDR still has a long way to go.
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Ned K1NJ

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   Flex has the technology to go that "long way" and they are doing the work
to get there.

Ned,  K1NJ
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Walt - KZ1F

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Kenwood just upgraded the TS-590 to the TS-590SG.
Elecraft had a K-3 recall for the synthesizer months ago but recently introduced the K-3S.
"Superhet/SDR Architecture  The K3S delivers the best of both worlds: a hybrid of software-defined radio (SDR) technology and our proven, high-dynamic
range superhet receive architecture. The optional KRX3 high-performance, fully independent sub receiver offers true diversity operation to reduce fading. 32-bit DSP provides stereo effects, NR, EQ, notch, and built-in PSK31/CW/RTTY decode/encode."

The P3 now does transmit monitoring.

I realize this is a FRS site and discussion board but it isn't as if Kenwood and Elecraft are falling over DOA.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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My opinion on contesting from my very limited experience and from chatting with more experienced OM is the need for consistency. In order to get to the top of the world contesting Flex radios have a ways to go, and it seems they are going in the right direction. 
However, for the casual contester like myself, and casual DX hunter the Flex is difficult to beat. The amount of filtering and the visual aspect make contesting with the Flex a breeze. I can easily find a spot where to transmit just taking a quick look at the screen. I can easily "marked" worked stations with the TNF and I can peak into other bands to see ALL the activity in mere seconds.

If you are "running" then is all about blocking neighboring signals, if you are "Search & Pounce", the panadapter has no rival in the market.

Once integration in the station is figured out with connectivity to passband filters, antennas, amps, etc... and you can easily do SO2R with a single 6000, it will be interesting what the top contesters can do with it.

Ultimately, the radio is only , maybe, 5% of the equation. Location first and antennas second are king in contest scenarios.
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Bill W2PKY

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I sat in on a presentation by Larry “Tree” Tyree, N6TR, Is Remote Contesting Ready for Prime Time?

Flex was not mentioned in the presentation. It's embarrassing that an American company is snubbed by so many.   

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Gerry Hull

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Hey Bill,

Snubbed?  First of all, if you were in the talk, you would have said that Tree was not there... Dennis, W1UE, and myself did the talk.

We simply don't have any experience with Flex radios.  I've been a ham 40 years, and been a contester more than 35 of them.  I've operated from many of the best stations in the world -- and have yet (up until this Dayton) to see anyone who has come across a very serious contest solution running Flex hardware.  That does not mean it is not possible or a great solution -- it just means we (Dennis and I) had not come across it yet.  403A may prove us all wrong.  Ir certainly is intriguing. 

I say to all: Beware of those preaching religion:  Both Flex and Elecraft (just mentioning the American manufacturers)  have fine radio gear, and have Zealots among their fans. Trashing a competitive technology of vendora is no way to win over people, especially as a marketing strategy.  Flex should be ashamed of this post above.

It presumes the rest of the Amateur Community, including vendors, are all "idiots" because they don't use a pure SDR strategy.   There is room at the table for many technologies.  Flex's strategy looks very good: the proof will be in the pudding.   Contesters are the most demanding users... if it works, they will flock to the Flex -- without all the bashing.

73,

Gerry  W1VE | VE1RM | 6Y6C | 8P1V | VY1AAA among many others.,,
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Bill W2PKY

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Sorry for the mistake on the talk, I just copied the title from the program. Was not paying attention to the announcement of the speaker. I don't subscribe to any religion I just think we should embrace our American companies.
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William Hein

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I am sorry I couldn't make it to the remote op forum, had to do booth duty!

Personally, I am thankful for all manufacturers who support our wonderful hobby which includes Flex, Elecraft and many more.

I have a 6700 (shack) and a KX3 (car). Both FRS and Elecraft are wonderful organizations with excellent products.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Nice report, Howard.
I hadn't hear about the SO2R box. I am intrigued, even though I have not yet had the courage or equipment to try SO2R style in a contest. I can think of a few other uses for it.

I am disappointed that I had to miss the Hamvention, and especially the Flex banquet.

Congratulations on the award. One of the things I have appreciated about Flex is that they encourage so many to become elmers. We have many, many very skilled colleagues on this board who could share it with us.
It is a great bunch.
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William Hein

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N6TR didn't make it to Dayton this year, FYI. "Tree" is very technically adept however I think he is still using superhets in contests. But bear in mind Tree once built a robot that operated Sweepstakes (or was it Field Day) and this was 25+ years ago so he is hardly a luddite. Tree's TR logging program was the best contest logger of the DOS era.

I enjoyed Howard's Dayton report and really liked the Formula 1 analogy. A few notes:

All of the new "Genius" products from 4O3A Signature ("Genius" being a tip of the hat to Flex's "Smart" SDR branding) are built to be network products from the ground up and to work harmoniously in the Flex ecosystem, communicating with the Flex API and so on. All the new 4O3A products are controllable from Android and Windows apps. It is our desire that SmartSDR itself is able to directly control these new devices which would be especially nice on Maestro for people operating remotely.

I am updating all the 4O3A Signature product pages on Force12inc.com this week.

The Station Genius (SSC XL) is a network device that will do advanced LAN and WAN control of antenna switches, phased vertical arrays, Yagi stacks, etc. It is available now from Force12inc.com (pardon the plug). It does a lot more - amp control, programmable PTT delay, etc.

Rotator Genius is a network based dual rotator controller that will manage any two rotators from any manufacturer. It can use legacy reed relay and potentiometer circuits for direction sensing but also has its own optional, highly precise magnetic (azimuth) and accelerometer (elevation) sensors which will always report the precise directions even if your mast slips in the wind.

Interface Genius is a universal rig interface, SO2R controller, and remote radio modem. It is likely to be more useful to non-Flex hams as Flex has built / is building a lot of this capability into the 6000 Series and SSDR.

The 4O3A amp is indeed real. The capability and modernity of Flex Radio's transceivers helped inspire its design. it will do 1500 watts full duty cycle 24/7 160m through 6m (with possible coverage of 4m at reduced power for EUs - this is under test). Note that the SPE amps cannot deliver their rated power for more than a few seconds before folding back. The SPE 1.3k, as far as I know, can only deliver something well under 1kW for a mode such as JT65. Ranko's amp is spectrally very clean and weighs under 20 lbs. There will be units in the USA for testing very soon.

73
Bill AA7XT
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Ned K1NJ

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   That amplifier with the control interfaces are the "killer app" (pardon my abuse
of the term), that will be a huge step forward for Flex.
  What a wonderful partnering combination this will be!

Ned,  K1NJ
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Ernest - W4EG

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Thank you Howard!
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Ed, K0KC

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I wonder if DARA has considered a local community college or university for the Hamvention?

Universities normally have large indoor sports facilities and lots of parking. They also have classrooms for presentations. The dates for the Hamvention could be adjusted to fall into the period between spring semester and a summer session.

As a bonus, I bet the contents of the toilets travel in the right direction!

Ed, K0KC
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Robbie - KI4TTZ

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Great post! Great responses in this thread too.
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John McCabe - KD8K

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One option in the Dayton area might be the Nutter Center at Wright State University.

http://www.nuttercenter.com/building_gallery.aspx#0
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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How about Las Vegas instead?   Plenty of facilities and I could get my XYL interested in going there.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Love the people, but the place is a shit hole that doesn't deserve the people in the first place.

Plain enough Walt?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Walt - KZ1F

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Steve that's a saying, when someone goes off on something. You never heard it? It a distant cousin to, "Well, aside from that Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play"?
Yeah Steve, I got it the first time.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Long ago I learned to treat every question as legit lest someone really have a question.

Dayton is foul compared to the dozens of other cites I visit each year, and it is only the people that kept me coming back.

Missing this year I realized the ROI of the people can be easily substituted by attending a different event, and have no intent of returning to the Hara swill.

Right now the main reason to consider an override would be to attend FDIM, but again is it worth it?  There are other QRP events in places worth visiting, aren't there?

To be honest Walt that you asked wasn't a strong indicator that you "got it" and hence the simpler words.

All best and 73

Steve
K9ZW
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Walt - KZ1F

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Whatever. I have never been to Dayton, though I did my undergraduate work in Ohio. But, literally ever person I've spoken to that had been to Dayton hated it there but they do the annual pilgrimage there anyway. Now I know I'll never waste my time. There was an awful lot of imagery in your description, I could visualize perfectly what you were describing, plus there was Howard's description of the raw sewerage...nuff said.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I have been going for thirty years, about every other year.
I have seen not only Hara Arena, but the whole neighborhood around it deteriorate severely during that time. The Salem "Mall" is now just a crumbling parking lot. There few quality restaurants close by.

Indeed, just as many cities in the Midwest, Dayton has taken a severe hit.

I like the idea of moving to Indianapolis. I grew up 20 miles east of Indy, and now am about 2 1/2 hours away. The Indianapolis convention center is a great place, but parking downtown can be expensive. I also don't think that a where in Indy would tolerate the illegal dumping that is the aftermath of the thousands of flea market vendors leaving their unsold junk on the parking lot.

Yet, I keep going to Dayton because it is close (only about 3 1/2 - 4 hours away. It is familiar. It has become a tradition. And it is still the place where manufacturers reveal their newest product first, and vendors give the best deals on all manner of equipment.

When I go, I usually sleep in my mini RV at a secret spot nearby where I am the only one parked.

If they pass the baton to a better location that is not too much further away, I will gladly move with it.
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Ross Biggar

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Howard deserves his award, his was a well written and enlightening report , it gave me a very good feel of what happened and what was available at Dayton. Thanks Howard.
And yes I have ordered a Maestro, and a verbal order for the new amp, even tough they are not yet available.
At the rate that Flex are bringing out new products, they will soon surpass Elecraft.
Regards Ross
ZL1WN
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Gerry Hull W1VE

I am sorry to hear that you misinterpreted my post as "Trashing a competitive technology of vendora" 

I would suggest you read my presentation "SDR-101" which can be found at:

https://db.tt/0ALtyaj9

So that you will get a proper historical and technological perspective on the evolution of radio technology.

It is a FACT that Superhet with DSP were invented circa 1980.  It is a fact that these technologies have been developed as far as practical and that even small performance improvements become extremely expensive. such as the Hilberling and the 7851 come to mind. 

It is a fact that the term SDR has captured the imagination of Ham Operators... So much so, the both Elecraft and Icom have started to misrepresent their Circa 1980 technology Superhet with DSP as SDR's  to try to capture the uninformed market.   

Finally it is a fact that due to "Moore Law" SDR's have started to pull away from the Superhet technology with not only better performance but much better price performance.  Although I have not studied the Baofeng, I suspect that they are using an SDR to so totally beat the Japanese on price.

In the longer term it MY OPINION that it is pretty obvious that SDR's will dominate the radio market on Price Performance alone.

I am currently working on a Presentation for Friedrichshafen
"Four Generations of SDR and Products"  which i will also publish on this forum after I present it on June 27th 
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Lee, Elmer

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Steve  

Sherwood's list was referred to and the point becomes if you spend $15000 for the #3 listed radio and then have to put 10 toroids on it to make it work what did you really buy?  What you bought was a radio designed specifically to reach #3 on Sherwood's test.  This is called marketing, not engineering. Sherwood's test is something designed to simulate something so comparisons on some parameters can be made.  A simulation is not a perfect analogue of "the thing" it pretends to simulate.   It merely generates some numbers on a spreadsheet.  Sherwood himself repeatedly cautions to this idea regarding over interpreting what he publishes.  

Walt, 

As to Elecraft's opinion why would I pay any attention?  They promulgate the delusion the K3 is a SDR!  This is also known as marketing.  I'm sure it's a very good radio but it is what it is.  The K3 is a roofing filter radio.  A fine roofing filter radio that generates really good numbers for Rob's spreadsheet.  So why not just be proud of designing man's best analogue roofing filter spreadsheet number generator?   Even the KX3 is a roofing filter radio.  I find that hilarious.  

73  W9OY
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Walt - KZ1F

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I know Lee, I know...why would one ever let facts get in the way of a comfortable,  heart felt opinion. I've already ceded to Howard that everything that FRS markets is the new best thing, all other's distant seconds or far worse.

One mistake I've made and, apparently, have been making for awhile now, is trying to discuss anything with a cult member. I should probably stop trying to discuss stuff with people on here also. So, today is as good a day as any to say, that stops now.
Really, right now.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I quite agree with Rob on reading WAY too much into testing vs. actual field use.

In the case of #3 I think it more that the quirks of the designed, including a need to be in the top group - if not the actual top - in testing, drive the design.

I guess I wanted to point out in a well designed shack without self-inflicted problems from over complexity, that the Toroid-Treatment most likely wouldn't be needed.  At the shack written up if all the other gear were disconnected and only the test radio cabled up, there would still be problems as there is almost no actual ground available because of the type of bedrock the shack is built upon.  Not pretty and not unexpected to have to put Toroids on the mic cable in that shack. 

We also have to remember there are a lot of QSOs made and awards/contests won with radios that don't even fare that well in Rob's testing.

I prefer the 6700 to the test radio, though if I were to do an "all in one box" & computerless shack the test radio would be tops in my short list of transceivers.

Of course YMMV,

73

Steve

K9ZW

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Lee, Elmer

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Walt. Did you read anything I wrote? I said the k3 tests the best for it's design style. Why does it have to pretend to be a sdr?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Lee, seems to me Elecraft feels threatened by the SDR radios and they need to sell their radio as one. I don't understand why there is so much discussion about the K3 Vs Flex. I would think it would be other SDR radios we can compare with, not Elecraft.

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