Many Options... Whats your Opinion?

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  • Updated 10 months ago
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I learned  yesterday of the KE9NS PowerSDR software upgrades. I am impressed with what I see. Unfortunately I sold my 5000a in October to fund the new 6600. I really miss my flex!! I purchased the Icom 7300 to put in the shack while awaiting the release of the 6600. Nice little rig... but not a flex radio!!  But after seeing all the great things that have been added to PowerSDR I am reconsidering my thoughts! I have operated a 5000a since 2011 and loved it.... with this... I have multiple questions!  

I wanted to reach out concerning the Flex VU5K modules... I am considering purchasing a 5000a that will give me the ability to operate 2m/70m. Unfortunately Flex did not make this module long and there is very little information on the internet regarding reviews... Have you had any experience with them? Would be fun to talk locally as well as some VHF SSB work on a Flex!?

I am mainly a DXer and a occasional rag chewer... never a contester... I use 2m to talk local..  I was thinking dual receiver with the 2m on the second receiver.? Can this be?

Have you had any experience with SmartSdr? With never using the SmartSDR software I am reaching for your opinions. Is it worth a 2,000-3,000 upgrade from a 5000a that works great to a 6600? 

My thoughts are mixed as to my options...

Buy another 5000a with the VU5K module....

Buy a 5000a without module, with or with out second receiver... which I used very little on my first 5000a except running split for dx.....

Buy a 3000 for half the price of a 5000a so I can experience and enjoy your software and still buy the 6600 so that doubt is not in my mind. ....

I have my self in a quandary at the moment... 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! 
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Jeff-W7NEE

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Posted 10 months ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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I still have my Flex 3000 hear ready to start any time, I like to keep up with the software updates for it and play with it sometimes. But then it keeps reminding me why I like SSDR better. Lots of reasons.

You are getting a lot of more radio with the 6600 as nice as the 5000 was.
Two FPGA 
Native Remote
V2 with all the up coming upgrades for it.
And a much better receiver then the 5000.

As for 2M. You could add a transverter for that, but more money. I am a little surprised Flex did not offer 2M in the 6600 as is in the Flex 6700.
When the 6700 radio is no longer produced then Flex will not have a radio with 2M in the fleet.
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WX7Y

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I have a 6700 with the 2 meter 2 meter AMP and I also have the FLEX5000A V/U and both are fantastic radios 
The KE9NS is good software with lots of creature features. 
The 5K V/U make a great cross band duplex satellite radio which is what I bought it for but used very little because of my lack of time and good satellite antenna's.

If your going to be purchasing a 6600 and you aren't stuck on creature features then I would suggest getting  VHF and UHF inverters from down east Microwave or some of the others out there.

I still have my 3000 that I have on a remote base here and it is a fantastic radio to, I think I would rather have a 3K then a bare bones 5K because it has the built in Antenna tuner and with KE9NS software has about the same band width. 

I am thinking of selling my 5k V/U to help pay for a 6600M so thinking a long the lines I mentioned above.

Just my opinion
73's
Bret
WX7Y
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WX7Y

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I have a 6700 with the 2 meter 2 meter AMP and I also have the FLEX5000A V/U and both are fantastic radios 
The KE9NS is good software with lots of creature features. 
The 5K V/U make a great cross band duplex satellite radio which is what I bought it for but used very little because of my lack of time and good satellite antenna's.

If your going to be purchasing a 6600 and you aren't stuck on creature features then I would suggest getting  VHF and UHF inverters from down east Microwave or some of the others out there.

I still have my 3000 that I have on a remote base here and it is a fantastic radio to, I think I would rather have a 3K then a bare bones 5K because it has the built in Antenna tuner and with KE9NS software has about the same band width. 

I am thinking of selling my 5k V/U to help pay for a 6600M so thinking a long the lines I mentioned above.

Just my opinion
73's
Bret
WX7Y
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Mike Miller

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8JQ0SIUlI8  $75 transverter for all Flex 6000 series radios comes in 2M , 220 Mhz and 440 Mhz
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Jeff-W7NEE

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Thanks Mike!
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KF4HR

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I recently purchased a 5000A (with dual receiver and ATU) mainly because I'm became interested in NE9NS's v2.8.0.xx excellent software efforts.  I use my 5000A as a backup to my Flex-6700.

I was NOT interested in the VHF/UHF Flex 5000A module (Flex VU5K) mainly because its UHF range is limited to 430 to 450mhz.  This is fine if all you want to do is UHF FM work.   Unfortunately the Flex VHF/UHF module does not cover 420 to 430mhz, which is where you find UHF SSB, weak signal, EME, MS, etc.

The main claim to fame for the 6600 is the 7th Order Contest Filters.  Since you are not a contester and you do operate VHF, you might want to cancel your 6600 order and consider one of these options:

Buy a 5000A (ideally with the 2nd receiver so you can take advantage of its Antenna Diversity feature) and take advantage of KE9NS's excellent software features.  Then add transverters from either from UT5JCW, Kuhne, Downeast Microwave to cover the VHF bands and up. 

Or.... purchase a used Flex 6700.  A used Flex-6700 is approximately the same price as a new 6600, and you'll be picking up VHF, an 8 slice receiver, known top rated receiver specs, and the Antenna Diversity feature.  And between the VHF capability of the 6700, and its Inverter Port you'll have the ability to drive two transverters for UHF and above.

KF4HR 
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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Actually I am enjoying them both.  I've used SmartSDR (currently v2.0.19) for a few years now and it's operation has become 2nd nature to me.  I just started using PowerSDR (NE9NS v2.8.0.64) last week so I'm still getting used to it.  I've found many operational differences.  For example, adjusting the average noise floor with SmartSDR is simple, you just click on the left side of the screen (-db levels) and slide the noise floor up or down where you want.  With PowerSDR (KE9NS software) it's necessary to work through a couple of menus to reach a slider to accomplish this task.  And there are differences on where you click on the screen to change frequency.  I prefer how SmartSDR works in this regard.  Then again, there are many unique features the KE9NS/PowerSDR software can do that SmartSDR can't, although it's a safe bet that newer versions of SmartSDR will be adding more features as time goes on.  

At this point, for day to day operation I find myself leaning towards SmartSDR, mainly because I'm more familiar with it, plus I enjoy the 6x00 series much wider pan adapter range (over the 5000A).  

As for differences in receiver performance between the 5000A and 6700, I have the 5000A and 6700 on an A/B switch and have run numerous weak signal tests between the two rigs, (ear only, no instruments).  Given the same settings (preamps off, AGC-T set to max, bandwidth settings the same, etc) I can't tell any difference at all between the two rigs.  But the 6700 does have the weak signal advantage due to its +30 and +40 db preamp settings.  Bottom line, both rigs have the capability of weed out very weak signals.  Same goes for adjacent signal interference between the two. 


 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Jeff, their are many of us that are very fond of PSDR because of all the years of development behind it, and yes it has some features not found in SSDR.
How ever, SSDR can do much more then can be done in PSDR coding. Mostly wide band programming. We are just at the beginning of feature development for V2, still many are coming.
The 6700 has a much better S/N then the 5000. So it will hear weaker signals much better.
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Jd Dupuy

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Hate to bust your bubble but 432.100 is the SSB  Call frequency. I have had my 5000A with built in transverters on 432 Moon bounce, and long haul SSB since they started selling them. 432.080 is a common frequency I use for most if not all of my Moonbounce contacts on CW and JT65.
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Burch - K4QXX

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I too have worked alot of 70cm SSB.  I worked VUCC using the Flex-5000 on 2 meters and 70cm.  Even with my older UHF/VHF radios (Yaesu FT-736r and Kenwood 790a) I have never had a need to go below 432mhz.
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KF4HR

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Oops!  UHF frequency range utilization mistake.  My bad.
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KF4HR

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Jeff - check out the actual spec differences at: www.sherweng.com/table.html