I'm primarily a SSB phone operator in public service so I sometimes spend several hours on the radio. Good noise reduction and listening comfort are important to me. I believe several years ago there were some issues with the NR and NB features in SmartSDR. How well has that matured since then? How well the NR and NB features currently work? Does the NR and NB work different in the Maestro than in SmartSDR?
The Flex 6500 and Maestro combination look like it would be awesome to operate, I just wouldn't want to spend that kind of money and be disappointed in features such as NR and NB that are very well implemented in radios such as those I referenced above.
73 Chris AK4SK
The 30 day money back guaranteed is a fantastic deal and probably the very best way to see for yourself if NR and NB.... and don't forget WNB, work at your location with your antennas and local noise sources. My personal experience is that all of them work great. WNB works extremely well for me.... but it doesn't for others...
Even if you get the Maestro you will need a PC to get the best out of the radio as some features (Band data) require a computer to be interfaced with an amplifier.
A well behaved maestro will also require a solid network... more so if you plan to use WiFi.
All of these things will present themselves as either insurmountable problems or as non issues once you try the combo for 30 days in your radio shack. It is by far your best option, I am not sure if you have the 30 day money back guarantee with the other radios....
Per your previous postings, were you ever able to resolve your problems with your Flex 1500’s NR and NB? Generally I’m happy with the NR/NB in both my 6700 and ICOM 7410. But while I much prefer the 6700 in most other respects, I think banking on one radio’s NR or NB to be better than another’s in addressing noise issues at a specific location and for a specific noise source is a crapshoot.Howard
The main thing, which David suggested if find som who can let yoau play with theirs.The main obstacle you'll have is the ergonomics (no knobs or switches) which of course Maestro addresses.
Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" noise mitigation solution. This is exemplified by comments made here where some say the NR , NB or WNB works great, where others do not find it as effective. This indicates that that generally, there are not systematic issues with the current noise mitigation features. Are they perfect? No, there is always room for improvement and fortunately, these features can be completely replaced with a software upgrade.
So, while your A/B comparison question is reasonable, providing an absolute answer is not achievable as there are too many variables in play.
I would say the best of the bunch by far was the 5000. It has a NR function that can be set from 1-15. I would typically set it around 5, sometime 8, or maybe 10-12 in really challenging conditions. At 5 the background static was reduced significantly enough that I could comfortably listen as long as I wanted assuming I didn't have the RF gain too high. I didn't exactly experiment, but at settings higher than 5 weaker signals would start to get subtly get harder to hear. In the presence of high noise and strong signals I could set it as high as I wanted, but typically 10-12 was more than enough. If the noise was very high I would set it around 8. I may loose the weakest stations but most still came through. At 15, I would say background noise wasn't detectable at all but it also took out signals that weren't at least reasonably strong. Also, there were absolutely no artifacts introduced by the noise reduction, none. To me the only way this could have been better would be to reduce the noise without gradually reducing the signal strength. That is obviously the challenge people who design NR face,
The IC-7600 that I have now is probably second best with the 1200 close behind. The 7600 will not kill all the noise regardless of the setting like the 5000 will (which I didn't use anyways). However, so far it has been able to reduce the noise for me adequately and without any artifacts either. I've only had it a short time so I'm still learning. It's also my first Icom so I'm not very used to the controls yet.
It would be hard to rank the rest. 2000, 991, 1000MP, 817 (with BHI), 897 maybe. Although I just didn't like the sound of the 991. I could get it to be quite but what remained was harsh and sharp.
So maybe this info will help people understand what I'm thinking about if they didn't already. None of this has to do with a lot of the specs that are out there for receivers, ability to reject close adjacent signals, etc. It has to do with listening comfort in a noisy environment. There are people that would still take a 1000MP over many more modern radios but for different reasons than me.
73 Chris AK4SK
There is No Squelch on anything except FM. So if you are used to using squelch on the other radios, you will not have one with this.
There is an add-on third party software that does this, but not the radio itself.
I did not read all the posts so if this was mentioned earlier, sorry to repeat it - just got off the boat. (literally)
Always fun picking a new radio.
I live next to a neighbor that has a Solar Attic Fan ( last 3 years) that puts out
RFI Fast Impulse Noise S9 +10dB signals during the day from 20meters thru 6 meters.
RFI Worst when the Sun is directly over us ( S9 +15dB).
The RFI has gotten so bad, I thought of quitting Ham Radio because of this RFI.
Even the FCC & even the ARRL have not been of any help when the neighbor says go pound sand !
The FCC can not keep up with all the RFI issues today !
Sad state of affairs when our government, FCC, only gives lip service and
does not do it's job anymore for the people.
To the rescue, came FlexRadio with their WNB and NB Signature Series Radio's Features are truly the answer to Fast Impulse Signature type Noise that plagues most hams today.
Decided I try all the top end radio's out there to find a way to win the battle against this RFI beast of interference !
Flex Radio Systems provided a loaner Flex6300 for me and I tried it out and the WNB feature, the ability to get a clean Waterfall with all the Noise RFI at my QTH was simply amazing.
No other rig can give clean Waterfall in presence of Fast Impulse Receptive Noise
from Motors, Power Lines, etc, especially at 25-30 fps fast frame rates for a amazing looking Clean Unpolluted Display Waterfall.
None of the Big 3 Japanese rig manufacturers can do this along with the top contenders on the Sherwood List for Super Clean Display Waterfall and Display Scopes with S9+ RFI Fast Impulse Noise.
On other ( Non-FlexRadio ) rigs, you have to slow down the fps display rates so much and average the sampling to the Maximum to approach a semi-clean Waterfall that you start to miss seeing the rare DX signals in the Waterfall Display !
The Flex6300 was the only rig where signals literally came out of the Noise and with WNB turned On.
The dBm Noise floor drops 10-12dB in the presence of this man-made noise Increasing the Signal to Noise Floor ratio when WNB Feature is turn On.
The WNB, Waterfall Noise Blanker to be more specific is different than the NB
Feature, I use both NB & WNB both turned ON with the FlexRadio here in the shack.
The signals appear stronger on Both the Waterfall & Spectrum display with the WNB Feature On.
It is amazing, the Mathematics & Engineering going on inside that Flex Signature Radio, like Steve at FlexRadio said, it's like having a Cray Super computer under the Hood of the FlexRadio
Other manufacturer's just do it the old way, blanking the receiver and causing distortion and doing nothing for the Display Waterfall.
After using a Waterfall, I will not use a radio without one, especially for finding weak DX !
Believe me, the WNB ( WaterFall Noise Blanker) for the Waterfall is worth it when searching for DX with the Display Waterfall.
In my shack, I tried all the top DX Flagship radio's, Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom and
Elecraft, a few come close to the FlexRadio but with some distortion " artifacts" when
traditional Noise Blanker's are used.
Resorted to using a DXE-NCC-1 to null out Noise with a Secondary Noise Sense Antenna.
Only problem, If I turn my Main Antenna (beam) or the Sun changes position, the RPM of Attic Fan making RFI and with the Sun in the sky constantly moving), the Intensity of the RFI Noise changes and the noise Nuller box needs constant readjustment and as well causes a minimum of 6dB loss.
For super weak signals 6dB can be the difference between making out the DX callsign for that rare DX contact.
Plus the Noise Nuller DXE NCC-1 (Magnitude & Phase Adjust Unit) only works
(160-10meters) up to 10meters maximum.
For Six meters, you are in serious trouble since a NCC-1 type Noise Nuller does
not work at this frequency !
The mathematical way the FlexRadio removes the Fast Impulse from the Waterfall
is amazing, I know I can find DX even when I get this severe RFI Noise now.
I could name all the latest radio's I have tried. Clean display waterfalls at fast fps rates can not be achieved with severe RFI, only with the WNB feature of the FlexRadio 6xxx series radio's.
In my shack, have K3S/P3, IC-7851, IC-7300, had TS-990S, IC-7700, only the Flex
Radio can give me a Clean Waterfall with WNB feature and Distortion Free Noise Blanker NB.
Used the Flex6300 for a week from Flex Radio (Steve), thru the SCDXC DX club, a week later got a Flex6500 been using that, great rig, maybe later may get a Flex6700.
All the DX guys at our DX Club that got their hands on this loaner FlexRadio 6300 have the same reaction to the WNB feature, pure math & science that came together, hams has been fighting RFI Power Line issues, Fast Impulse Noise as us City Dweller's that live in noisier locations, HOA's with hidden antennas and Noise becomes and is a big problem.
The age of the perfected SDR Noise Blanker NB and Clean Display WaterFall Noise Blanker WNB with Fast Impulse Noise RFI is simply the best, specially from the Engineers that understand Communication Theory and Mathematics for coding into the Flex Radio Signature Series Radio's at FlexRadio.
The other rigs sit idle, what does that say !
These are real life experiences and the FlexRadio WNB & NB is the best out there against Fast Impulse Noise Interference.
Why get a radio that may have an so-so effective NB but to find that your Display Waterfall & Spectrum Scope get destroyed ( washed-out) by Fast Impulse Nose RFI
( Power Lines, Motors, etc).
You might as well be a blind person with a cane walking down the street if you trying to find weak DX on your Display Waterfall on your DX radio.
Having a Handicapped Radio (Working in the Blind ) with No clean Display Waterfall & Spectrum Scope is no fun in order to find those weak DX stations !
Belive me Chris, the Flex Radio is the solution, if you like Knobs, then get the Maestro
Unit with it !
Been in Ham Radio over 50 years, this Flex Radio Signature Series 6xxx radios's are simply amazing !
Also, for listening pleasure, the EQ receiver equalizer is great on the flex Radio Signature Series 6xxx radio's.
Hope this will help in your decision to get a Flex Radio.Chris,
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.