To buy or not to buy: FLEX 1500 or QS1R?
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To buy or not to buy: FLEX 1500 or QS1R? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 12:20 PM
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I am torn between purchasing a Flex 1500 and a QS1R and adding the necessary interface to use an existing transmitter. There are several things I wish to discuss before finalizing my decision.

1.  Bad AM transmit audio:  Is this the norm, and if so, how does one overcome it? I am an AM operator and expect to put out a clean intelligible signal. With some of the name brand 100w solid state radios I overcame their bad AM transmit audio by adding a W2IHY EQ-Plus. That took marginally acceptable AM audio and changed it to excellent quality transmit audio, that of which I regularly receive comments like "great audio", or "If you didn't tell me, I'd swear you were on a vintagle tube boat anchor", etc.

2.  I am an Air Force MARS operator and need to transmit outside of the amateur bands, throughout the spectrum. How difficult is it to get the necessary adjustment to the Flex 1500 in order to do MARS?

3.  I've read past posts about difficulty doing digital modes with the Flex radios, mainly as a result of needing a major educational degree in setup of VAC. Is it actually that difficult? Is there any relief for that problem?

4. I have also read post posts about un-acceptable latency on CW. I also do much CW and if this is a problem that cannot easily be overcome, I may go another route.

5. I do Intruder Watch and OO work and am looking for an ample means of spectrum analysis, moreso than my Icom IC756 Pro II can give. With the appropriate software package, is the Flex 1500 up the the job, or would I be better off with the QS1R in this case?

6. I am interested in the possibility of later adding a solid state all mode amplifier to get up into the 100 - 150w range. Can someone make a suggestion about what has worked for them? I hope it is not going to cost as much as the Flex or QS1R :-)

Thanks for your time. I look forward to  hearing from you.

Best regards,

Gary, K7EK


Best regards,

Gary, K7EK / AFA0IU / AFE0DM

Post #6664
Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:51 PM
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Last Login: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 12:47 AM
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Gary,

See my answers in line below


1. Bad AM transmit audio: Is this the norm, and if so, how does one overcome it? I am an AM operator and expect to put out a clean intelligible signal. With some of the name brand 100w solid state radios I overcame their bad AM transmit audio by adding a W2IHY EQ-Plus. That took marginally acceptable AM audio and changed it to excellent quality transmit audio, that of which I regularly receive comments like "great audio", or "If you didn't tell me, I'd swear you were on a vintagle tube boat anchor", etc.

[color=3]The DSP was write to follow the industry standards for AM broadcast standards. A properly setup Flex SDR will have an excellent AM signal, and you should have heard many on the air on AM, key word is proper. [/color]


2. I am an Air Force MARS operator and need to transmit outside of the amateur bands, throughout the spectrum. How difficult is it to get the necessary adjustment to the Flex 1500 in order to do MARS?

Easy, submit your request to http://helpdesk.flexradio.com , Request MARS update, with your authorization to operate from your MARS Director ..



3. I've read past posts about difficulty doing digital modes with the Flex radios, mainly as a result of needing a major educational degree in setup of VAC. Is it actually that difficult? Is there any relief for that problem?

There are only two parts for making most digital programs work on PowerSDR, VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) and a virtual serial port generator like VSP manager or VSPE .
A good source of setup information is the FlexRadio Wiki.. http://flexradiowiki.com Of course there is the Knowledge Center and the Assistance Center on the FlexRadio Help Desk, http://helpdesk.flexradio.com


4. I have also read post posts about un-acceptable latency on CW. I also do much CW and if this is a problem that cannot easily be overcome, I may go another route.

Most CW latency issues are computer related, finding the correct settings that help is dependent on the type of latency in the overall computer system.. Sloppy system, means sloppy latency and poor radio performance. Remember 90% of the radio is running in the computer, so computer efficiency is important .



5. I do Intruder Watch and OO work and am looking for an ample means of spectrum analysis, moreso than my Icom IC756 Pro II can give. With the appropriate software package, is the Flex 1500 up the the job, or would I be better off with the QS1R in this case?

Any of the Flex radios will do fine.



6. I am interested in the possibility of later adding a solid state all mode amplifier to get up into the 100 - 150w range. Can someone make a suggestion about what has worked for them? I hope it is not going to cost as much as the Flex or QS1R :-)

A good FCC certified amp is not going to be a CB type amplifier. Stick with a good amp for less operational troubles, particularly if you are going to operate on MARS frequencies.


Hope this helps Gary,


73,

Dudley

FlexRadio Systems Support
512-535-4713, Option 2
http://helpdesk.flexradio.com
Post #6665
Posted Friday, May 31, 2013 9:35 AM
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Thanks Dudley... I appreciate your quick response. I have purchased a FLEX 1500 with optional mic and the Flexcontrol USB controlled tuning knob.

Although I carefully chose a shipping method that would suggest delivery today or tomorrow, I'm advised that it won't arrive until Monday. Grrr... The suspense is killing me . I can hardly wait to get the rig.
 



Best regards,

Gary, K7EK / AFA0IU / AFE0DM

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