Flex 1500 possible replacement?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
I was wondering if there is any discussion of a possible replacement for the Flex 1500 now that the Signature series is out and the 1500 is the only product left in the Flex Series? I am building up my station now with equipment and will be purchasing a Flex low output radio like the 1500 to use on 6M with an external amplifier and 2M with a transverter. I don't want to purchase this and next year at Dayton hear about a replacement being released. Just curious if there are any rumors circulating around that might hold some merit.
Photo of 4thapack .

4thapack .

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9013 Posts
  • 3413 Reply Likes
I was wondering if there is any discussion of a possible replacement for the Flex 1500 now that the Signature series is out and the 1500 is the only product left in the Flex Series? 

Let me quell the rumors.  The FLEX-1500 continues to be a strong selling product for FlexRadio and occupies a unique price/performance market niche that no other radio can rival.  Since all of the processing in the FLEX-6000 line is inside the radio hardware, it is currently impossible to make a direct sampling FLEX-6000 type SDR at the same price point as the FLEX-1500.  As long as it continues to make good business sense for us to manufacturer and sell the FLEX-1500, we will continue to do so.
(Edited)
Photo of 4thapack .

4thapack .

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thank you so much Tim. I appreciate the response. I was afraid this might be the case but this makes my decision much easier. A Flex 1500 will be in my future. I can't wait to delve into the SDR realm with my VHF/UHF operation(s).
Photo of Richard McClelland, AA5S

Richard McClelland, AA5S

  • 268 Posts
  • 50 Reply Likes
Maybe an $1800 12 watt replacement.  No need for the same price point as another, unrelated rig.  I'm partial to 12 watts vs 5 watts because 5 watts isn't enough to tune my KAT500 tuner.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9013 Posts
  • 3413 Reply Likes
Walt - any RF amplifier can by pushed beyond it design targets; the result is a transmitter that will most likely be very dirty and will possibly damage the filters (excessive heat) or transistors.

All of the PAs in our products are engineered with headroom.  To not do so would be very shortsighted on our part.

The FLEX-1500 is a 5W radio and at that power output level meets or exceeds the FCC specifications. If your radio is producing a higher output level, the radio needs to be recalibrated by our service group to ensure it is operating within FCC specifications.  If you want to send it in, please submit a HelpDesk support ticket and we'll issue you an RMA number.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 641 Reply Likes
Powersdr vs open source? Yes, God forbid any on here actual admit to owning an Anon, much less liking it! Heresy I tell you, heresy!
Photo of Richard McClelland, AA5S

Richard McClelland, AA5S

  • 268 Posts
  • 50 Reply Likes
I don't care about heresy as much as I care about vendor involvement and support.  I want to have good support for my primary radio, so I choose Flex.  This is analogous to me choosing a Microsoft OS even though there may be some advantages to running open source.  Warm and fuzzy is good.
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9013 Posts
  • 3413 Reply Likes
PowerSDR is an open source application.  Has been from day one.
Photo of Richard McClelland, AA5S

Richard McClelland, AA5S

  • 268 Posts
  • 50 Reply Likes
Yes, but the inference that I wanted you to make is that there is a teeny-tiny hole in your QRP SmartSDR offerings.  Grin.  Plus, you seem to support PowerSDR rather well so I don't perceive this as being "in the wild" so to speak.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 641 Reply Likes
I didn't realize that Tim, thank you. With ssdr, at least on 10m, output hits 100w when the slider hits 100, moving the slider further to the right, towards 125w, does not iincrease output past 100w. I thought that was how iit was supposed to work... Software not allowing bad sh*t to happen. So on the lower bands where going to 125w produces 125w, is that inadvisable too?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9013 Posts
  • 3413 Reply Likes
Walt - the 1500 does not have an SWR bridge so it cannot read power directly.  The limit is based on the bias and PA calibration data in the radio.  If a component(s) has gone out of spec or is blown, that calibration data is no longer correct and can result in a higher wattage output.  The net of all this is if the radio is putting out 10W, then it needs to come in for service.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 641 Reply Likes
Very quickly then, as talking about the 6000 is off topic, to the second question, is the fact the 6500 can put out 125 watts equally bad? Should the software be changed to no allow that?
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9013 Posts
  • 3413 Reply Likes
Not as bad as a 100% overage like with the 1500 ;-)

My 6700 will do 105W PEP on a few as per a calibrated PowerMaster wattmeter.  Assuming your MFJ wattmeter is calibrated (not making any assumptions, but...) and you are getting 125W PEP on most bands at full drive levels, then I would probably send it in for a recalibration just to make sure.  Better safe than sorry.  Again, a HelpDesk ticket is the place to start.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 641 Reply Likes
And that is a very good point Tim, thank you. No, actually I may have made the most gravest of errors assuming anything MFJ is calibrated. How does one go about getting an MFJ quality product calibrated. That is a side issue though.
That 125 comes from the RF Power output meter going full scale, which, according to the little teeny print is 125.

The over-arching question here though is, is it safe if SSDR allows it? I do understand what you were saying about PSDR not being able to determine power output. But, given there is an RF Power Out meter, I assume that means SSDR can. (tongue in cheek there). I can't say for sure on 160-80-40 as it's been so long since I've been there. On 17 and 15 though, I can peg the output meter (on SSDR).

Walt
Photo of Jon - KF2E

Jon - KF2E

  • 620 Posts
  • 179 Reply Likes
How does one go about getting an MFJ quality product calibrated. "

The best way would be to trash it and get an LP-100A which has NIST traceable calibration. It is a great resource in the shack. I understand the PowerMaster is very nice also but I have no experience with them.

I suspect if you did calibrate the MFJ it wouldn't stay that way.

Jon...kf2e
(Edited)