About to become a flexer
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Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 6:41 AM
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I am thinking about becoming a flexer and leaving the Icom crowd. Presently I have a IC-756 Pro III. I absolutely love it! But I want to get in to the American Made radios that seem to have better performance. The only problem is, what computer should I get? I mean the flex ready computers are overly priced for what they are. I see better systems from HP and Gateway that are cheaper. I understand LATENCY is the issue here. I have my eyes set on a AMD Phenom X4 8gig DDR3 system. I understand I will need to uninstall all the garbage these machines are installed with from HP. My point is I do not want to get into buying a 1599.00 piece of equipment and 1200.00 on my new computer system if this is not going to work without flaw.

My main interests are,

ESSB (I really want to get into this mode)

The top notch reciever that I saw on the youtube videos (which was a flex 3k)

Also how do these things play in an RICH RF ENVIROMENT. I am not far from my antennas (live on a city lot)

Any replies will be very helpful. I am very very interested in you product; I just need to feel assured. 

Jason M. Griffin Sr.

de NB3K

Post #2155
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 3:11 PM
Supreme Being

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Last Login: Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:13 AM
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Jason,
My limited experence is that most modern Desktop computers have more than enough Horsepower and Ram to work with Flex. (Laptops are a bit more problematic but many work) It is almost impossible to guarentee a make and model that will work ( They may vary from one production run to the next for the same model. ) I have good luck with very little optimization and normally run everything on the Flex PC concurrent with PowerSDR.

There are two types of LATENCY that are of concern.
First is latency with respect to how quickly the Firewire interrupts are handled. This is primarily effected by other things that may contend for interrupt service and how fast an interrupt is handled. This is where the specific computer hardware and drivers can make the difference ( but there is very little way to tell if you have a bad hardware configuration until you try it ( most have no problems)). Turning off unnecessary services can also help.
The second latency that may effect PowerSDR relates the DSP portion of the software. This latency can be somewhat controlled by how you chose to configure the PSDR sample rate and buffer sizes and once you have a fast enough computer it is little effected by the hardware. Most modern PCs are fast enough.

I don't know if you have see the PCs K3NC offers .. http://www.abrohamnealsoftware.com/Hardware.htm

Operating in an 'RF RICH' situation can be a challenge. The solutions can vary from one situation to the next.
It may be necessary to improve RF grounding at the Flex/computer and add clamp on ferrites to the Flex/computer cables. I have had minimal problems but have a somewhat above average lot size and RF separation.

The Flex is a fun radio to operate.



AL, K0VM
SDR-1000, Flex5000, Flex user since 2006
Post #2156
Posted Tuesday, December 14, 2010 4:32 PM
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Last Login: Monday, May 19, 2014 7:07 AM
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Jason-

I have been "working with" interface issues here for a month. What I can tell you is this:

Speed does matter. A Dual-Core Intel box in minimum if you want full performance.

On a tower, you have the choice of Firewire interface cards and can choose one easily that will work.

On a laptop, you must use a Texas Instruments chip-set Firewire card. Those are Belkin and older Syba's.
You HAVE to be sure you are getting TI.

Beyond that, it is the draw of the cards when you interface it. Will you have to "work" with it?
There is an over-whelming chance you will. Will it finally work? High probability. Will you love the results?
Yes you will. I have a IC-7600 and it is no fun compared to a flex... any flex. If I was starting from scratch, I'd fab up an Intel motherboard with a fast dual-core processor (I5 or such). Memory size is not critical.. 3GB would be fine. XP Pro or Win 7 is required. On-board standard video is fine.. small hard-drive is fine..and one of the Firewire cards shown on this site. You can build that for $300 plus monitor.

The 1500 Flex is a blast...real fun, but if you want to talk to people, get the 3000.

The reason Flex is still in business is because of Dudley- their tech support guy.

You are in for an adventure!

Bob-AB5N


Bob-AB5N Hot Springs
Post #3564
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2011 8:17 PM
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I use all SDR trx (sdr-1000 and flex-3000) with simple mini-itx Intel motherboard 945gclf and 1 gb of memory. Haven't any delays/problems with full performance. CPU loading is about 20-25 presents (hrd&dm780 are also loading).
Post #3990
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