Tag Archives: Flex

Flex Maestro Available Again, and now Shipping

Good news from FlexRadio Systems…


Dear Maestro Customers,

First of all, we would like to offer you our sincere thanks for your patience while we resolved a major issue with a critical subsystem supplier for Maestro! Unfortunately, last year the supplier changed a critical interface component but did not meet their own specifications. Proper adherence to the industry standard specification is critical to proper operation of Maestro. The spec compliance problem was escalated to the highest executive levels within the company but the issues still took significant time and expense to resolve.

We are thankful to report that the issues have now been resolved. Maestro has been released to manufacturing and all the parts are either in house or on order. We currently are on track to resume shipments in September. The production line should be in full force within a couple weeks after startup.

As we approach the actual start of shipments we will begin reaching out to those who have been waiting the longest. We expect that it will take us several weeks to make it through the substantial backlog. When we contact you we will provide you with the opportunity to modify your order as needed as well as submit any remaining payments.

Thank you once again for your extraordinary patience and continued support of FlexRadio Systems!

Gerald K5SDR

You can see the FlexRadio Maestro, available from Radioworld, here.


FlexRadio Meet & Greet at Radioworld

FlexRadio Systems and Radioworld are pleased to announce a visit by Gerald Youngblood K5SDR, and Matt Youngblood KD5FGE, on Friday , March 18, 2017 from 2 – 5 pm.
Come see them at Radioworld, 4335 Steeles Avenue West in Toronto. If you need directions, please click here.

flex-6000There will be a meet and greet for FlexRadio owners, however everyone is welcome to join us. You can also hear about the new FlexRadio PowerGenius XL amplifier !

FlexRadio Maestro

If you can’t make it to Radioworld on Friday, you can see Gerald and Matt at Ham-Ex 2017 the following day, at the Brampton Fairgrounds.
There will be live demonstrations of the FlexRadio 6000 series radios and Maestro controller.

For information and directions to Ham-Ex, please visit the Ham-Ex website here.

FlexRadio Systems PowerGenius XL Full Legal Limit Amplifier

FlexRadio Systems has introduced their PowerGenius XL HF amplifier.

You can see Gerald Youngblood K5SDR tell you about this amazing product here.

The PowerGenius XL is a 100% duty cycle, legal limit (1500W ICAS) 1.8-54 MHz RF amplifier intended for both amateur and government use.  It incorporates a pair of modern NXP 1K5H LDMOS transistors that are individually capable of 1.5 kW thus providing plenty of headroom for lowest IMD and spurious output. Efficiency and spurious performance are also enhanced through the use of diplexed filters.

Multiple band selection methods are supported including CAT, CI-V, BCD band decode and Ethernet.  When connected to a FLEX-6000 transceiver, band selection is fully automated through the Ethernet connection.  Even T/R control is provided over the Ethernet connection to further minimize wiring. In addition, all amplifier status reporting including power levels, fault conditions and resets are reported to the FLEX-6000 Signature Series transceiver using the SmartSDR API.  SmartSDR client interfaces such as SmartSDR for Windows, Maestro and others can display power levels and other reported statuses.

For remote operation with other HF radio exciters, an Ethernet API or friendly Windows and Android applications can control the PowerGenius XL. For contest operation, the PowerGenius XL is SO2R capable with two inputs and two outputs for two sources and antennas and the rapid band switching eliminates the need for two amplifiers. A single FLEX-6700 and PowerGenius XL comprises a complete SO2R station at half the cost of competing solutions.

The Power Genius XL amplifier will be priced competitively with specific pricing and availability announced after FCC and CE certification has been achieved. Power Genius XL will be packaged to complement FlexRadio’s FLEX-6000 Signature Series transceivers.


PA Specifications

  • RF Power Output: 1500W (ICAS)
  • Exciter Drive Level: 50W
  • Transistors: NXP 1K5H x 2
  • Exciter Inputs:1 SO-239 x 2
  • Antenna Outputs: SO-239 x 2
  • Antenna Impedance (w/o tuner): 50 Ohm Unbalanced
  • Cooling: Thermostatically controlled fans


  • Height: 5″ (13 cm)
  • Width: 13″ (33 cm)
  • Depth: 17″ (43 cm)
  • Weight: 33 lbs (15 kgs)
  • Operating Temperature Range: TBD


  • Input Voltage:2 90 – 250VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Power Supply: Modular internal switching

Specifications subject to change without notice.
1-SO2R configuration
2-Maximum RF power output achieved using 220 VAC

SmartSDR for iOS announced by FlexRadio Systems

FlexRadio Systems and Marcus Roskosch, DL8MRE Partner to bring SmartSDRTM for iOS to Market


SmartSDR for iOS allows operators to run SmartSDR on an iPad® or iPhone®

Essen, Germany and Austin TX – August 5, 2016: FlexRadio Systems and Marcus Roskosch, DL8MRE announced today a partnership to develop, market and sell a client interface application for both iPad® and iPhone® devices. SmartSDR™ for iOS was designed to offer FLEX-6300, FLEX-6500 and FLEX-6700 owners the ability to operate from home or remotely through their mobile device.   SmartSDR for iOS provides many of the great features of SmartSDR for Windows® plus a few extras.

Full and Remote Control

SmartSDR for iOS can almost fully replace SmartSDR for Windows® and most of its features can now be used from your mobile device without the necessity to use a PC. You can operate in any mode, such as SSB or even CWX including sidetone.

In addition, the application can run along with programs on your PC such as N1MM or CW Skimmer or even along with SmartSDR for Windows as Remote Control.


On top of that, SmartSDR for iOS offers a visual Band plan and DX-Cluster integration. Band limits, modes and DX-Cluster spots will be displayed right inside the panadapter.

SmartSDR for iOS supports multi-tasking on newer iPads so it can run side-by-side and concurrently with any other app on your device.

To run SmartSDR for iOS the operator will need a FLEX-6000 series radio, an Apple device such as an iPad®, iPhone® or iPod® Touch running iOS 9.0 or greater. A newer iPad (3, Air 1 or newer) or iPhone (5s or better) is recommended.

To run this app at your home, nothing else but a regular Wi-Fi connection is needed. You can immediately start using the app.

To run the app and to operate your FLEX-6000 series radio from outside your shack, you need to have a VPN connection to your home network.

SmartSDR for iOS will be available from the App Store starting August 5, 2016 and is priced at US $49.99. Optional features such as the DX-Cluster and Band Plan are priced at US $4.99. For more information on SmartSDR for iOS client or FlexRadio Systems visit www.flexradio.com.


About FlexRadio Systems

FlexRadio Systems is a pioneer in the design and development of software defined radios (SDRs) for the amateur radio market.  Founded in 2003, FlexRadio was the first to introduce an SDR radio to the amateur community allowing for personality, functionality and performance of the radio to be upgraded through simple software downloads.  This revolution by FlexRadio Systems allowed for the evolution of amateur radio as we know it today.  FlexRadio Systems is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA.  For more information, please visit www.flexradio.com or follow FlexRadio Systems on Twitter or Facebook.


About DL8MRE

Marcus Roskosch, DL8MRE, was formerly the global head of a multi-national discount chain’s IT department for almost 15 years. He has been a developer of application software since 1985 and has been developing iOS applications since 2008; when Apple first introduced the App Store. He currently has more than 50 applications on the Apple App Store and Microsoft Windows Store including the popular Electronic Toolbox. In 2010 an application he developed for NXP on the prestigious EMMAs award and in 2013, his NetworkToolbox app was awarded as Best of Year by PC Magazine.



FlexRadio Systems is a registered trademark and FLEX-6000 Signature Series, FLEX-6300, FLEX-6500, FLEX-6700 and SmartSDR are trademarks of FlexRadio Systems. Apple, iPhone iPad, iPod are registered trademarks of Apple.   Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft. All other marks are owned by their respective owners.   Stated specifications are subject to change without notice.


FLEX RADIO Promotions – Just in time for the Holidays


Buy a Flex 1500 QRP Transceiver and SAVE $60 NOW

Buy any Flex 6300 or 6500 Series Transceiver and receive a FREE Flex Control Knob ($125 value)

Buy a FLEX 6700 Transceiver and receive a FREE GPSDO (a $900 SAVINGS)

Buy a FlexRadio Transceiver at Radioworld receive FREE SHIPPING during this promotion!

Flex Radio Seminar a Huge Success !

On Saturday, September 28th, Radioworld welcomed Greg Jurens, K5GJ, of FlexRadio Systems. Greg spoke about software defined radios – from how they work to the entire FlexRadio lineup.

We would like to give a huge thank-you to Greg, and the many amateur radio enthusiasts who came to Radioworld to hear Greg educate us all on these great products.


Thank you all for a great day !

flexradio2  flexradio3



Flex Radio Seminar Itinerary – September 28th, 2013

flexseminarOn September 28, 2013 Radioworld will host its first FlexRadio Seminar and Sale featuring guest speaker Greg Jurrens K5GJ.
At this time we ask that you register via telephone call to Radioworld at 416-667-1000 or by email to leo@radioworld.ca to ensure you have a seat at this event.

All registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Doors open at 9:30 am, store closes at 3:00pm

Special pricing on FlexRadio products will be offered that day only!


SECTION 1: Introduction to Software Defined Radio:

a. What is an SDR?
b. SDR vs. traditional radio
c. SDR architectures
d. SDR history

2. FLEX-Series SDRs

i. FLEX-5000
ii. FLEX-3000
iii. FLEX-1500


SECTION 2: Recent Advances in SDR
a. Introduction to Direct Sampling SDR technology
b. Features and Design Challenges
c. It’s all about Horsepower
d. Introducing the FLEX-6000 Signature Series
e. A “simple” introduction to Digital Signal Processing
f. Ham Radio meets “The Net”
g. Complex made simple


SECTION 3: Radio Demonstrations

a. FLEX-Series PowerSDR Demo (FLEX-5000)
i. Introduction to PowerSDR
ii. Tips and Tricks
iii. The perfect tool for DXers and Contesting

b. FLEX-6000 SmartSDR Demo

i. Introduction to SmartSDR
ii. Slices and Panadapters Galore!
iii. Harnessing the Power of Bandwidth

After the seminar concludes, all are welcome to hang around and enjoy the day.

Complimentary refreshments will be available all day.


The Flex Insider – August 30, 2013 Edition

August 30, 2013


A Word from our CEO –QST QRQ QSK Operators: Game Changer ahead de K5SDR Seeking testers with the following qualifications:

  1. Minimum proficient code speed of 60 wpm.  Desired 100 wpm.
  2. Able to operate with separate receive antenna.
  3. Ability to operate with both paddles and external keyboard keyer
  4. Own either FLEX-6500 or FLEX-6700
  5. Current Preview customer or willingness to opt-in for QRQ QSK testing

If you are interested, please email your interest and qualifications to steve@flexradio.com.

QRO cudos to Marco and Steve for their FPGA magic.

Now on to the things you need to know this week:

  1. We are still on track for a September 30 release of SmartSDR v1.0.
  2. We are currently building to stock in preparation for v1.0 shipments.
  3. Limited Edition customers can still opt in for the Preview release at any time prior to v1.0.
  4. We will begin calling the remaining Limited Edition customers around September 23rd so that we can begin shipments the day v1.0 is ready.

Thanks for reading.


FLEX-6000 Engineering Updateby Steve Hicks, N5AC – VP, EngineeringWhen we created the FLEX-5000 more than 8 years ago, we chose the FireWire interface to send data between the radio and the computer.  We looked at other interfaces, but at the time only FireWire had the capability to carry the quantity of data from the radio to the computer that we needed.  How much data?  In the FLEX-5000, we send eight channels each 192ksps I/Q data which amounts to just under 100Mbps of data.  There simply were no other interfaces capable of this sustained rate.  In the computer industry, we call this data channel a “fat pipe” because we liken it to the huge five meter concrete water supply lines running beneath our streets.From the beginning, FlexRadio has encouraged our customers and the amateur radio population to understand the benefits of this architecture.  The two most significant benefits are first: that as computer power has grown, our customers can upgrade and we can create applications that use more of that power, bringing more benefits.  And second, since the public has driven down the cost of computers, the radio itself can be lower cost and still take advantage of a commodity computer.  Those of you that have purchased any one of our FLEX line (FLEX-5000, FLEX-3000 and FLEX-1500) understand this benefit as you have received a “top ten” radio for a fraction of the price of competitive radios.Five years ago, FlexRadio built our first Ethernet radio.  This radio, the CDRX-3200, has what amounts to 32 FLEX-5000s as blades in a rack mount chassis, all of which send their data out a single Ethernet port.  Each receiver sends out 200ksps of I/Q data so just a little more bandwidth than the FLEX-5000.  Each receiver uses 13.5Mbps of Ethernet bandwidth so all 32 together spit out an amazing 432 Mbps of data over a Gigabit Ethernet port.  Now that’s a fat pipe!  Again, that radio was built five years ago.Last year, our government customers asked us to build a radio that has 24 separate wide bandwidth receivers in a 1U rackmount chassis.  It was a tall order, but we did it.  This radio is also an Ethernet radio, but is has four Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports and the radio will saturate these ports with ease — that’s 40Gbps.  It takes a rack full of computers to digest all of the data that comes out of a single one of these radios.  You might not believe some of the memory and disk specifications on these computers either.  FlexRadio has built and knows fat pipe radios well.  And we know that there’s something hard about this architecture.  The fat pipe architecture has two key disadvantages:

  1. The radio is actually a system composed of two parts: the radio and the computer. The computer has significant requirements for processing and network placed on it.
  2. A fat pipe radio is fundamentally limited in networking capabilities

So let’s talk about what these mean.  Over the years, we have “heard it all” on PC’s, their operating systems and how they interact with the radio.  Since a fat pipe architecture requires the PC to digest I/Q data at a high rate, demodulate it and play the audio, the computer can’t miss a beat.  If it does, you will hear pops and crackles in your audio or you will lose signals in your panadapter.  Windows PCs are inherently not real-time devices.  By the time you load wireless software, virus detectors, email programs and the like, the computer can schedule any one of these things over your radio software and cause you problems.  We’ve spent many years working with our customers to find and solve these problems.  And while we solve the vast majority of them, we know when we sell a “fat pipe” radio, that any given customer may require help to overcome an issue due largely to an interaction between Windows and other devices or software loaded on their computer (which we happily provide).  Direct sampling radios are seriously data bandwidth hungry and it seemed senseless to push the envelope and our luck with including the PC in the “radio system” and sending it gobs more data.

We have a test lab that lets us load all of the permutations and combinations of Windows software in under five minutes.  So we can switch to 32-bit Windows XP from 64-bit Windows 8 on the same computer in five minutes.  And we have to do this to test PowerSDR.  At any minute, Microsoft might release a patch that causes an issue in our software that we have to work around.  Or a particular piece of code we wrote might work better on one version of the operating system than another.  Or one of the drivers for FireWire or USB might react differently to a software change on a given operating system.  We have to check all these out and “run them to ground” with our fat pipe radios.  It comes with the territory.

From a networking standpoint, the data that comes out of a fat pipe radio requires massive network bandwidth to transport the signal.  Remember that 200kHz of bandwidth takes about 13Mbps of data to move over the Ethernet.  I bet there are very few of you that have a 13Mbps upload speed on your Internet connection and this is just from one receiver.  This means that you can’t hook the radio to the Internet and operate that way.  You would still have to add a computer in the mix.

With all of our experience in the fat pipe radio architecture, we looked at this architecture long and hard when we were planning the FLEX-6000 Signature Series Line (FLEX-6700 and FLEX-6500).  It would have been easy for us to build an Ethernet fat pipe radio next.  Heck we could have built one that produces 10Gbps of Ethernet for the ham community if we thought the ham community would like that radio.  But we were thinking about what you want.  We were thinking about what we would want — after all, we’re hams too.  And a fat pipe radio was not the answer.  Our customers are buying fun, capabilities, excitement and performance.  They want a radio they can plug in, power on and work someone.  Our customers know the value of a truly visual radio and the highest performance receivers in the world.

So we pulled the computing power back in the radio.  But it’s not the computing power of a PC — it’s many times the power of a PC.  With the advent of the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) we can get many times the power of a PC inside the radio.  And this opened up new capability doors for us and ultimately you.  I was asked in a forum at Hamvention this year if I had it to do over, would I use a multi-core processor instead of an FPGA.  My answer was “no.”  In a direct sampling radio the radio has to consume a massive amount of data very quickly.  In the FLEX-6700 we process over eight Gigabits of data per second.  That’s a terabyte hard drive worth of data every two minutes.  Making this amount of data processing work smoothly on a PC is just unrealistic.  We felt the time had come to abandon this 10-year-old architecture and move to a new architecture that can achieve another quantum leap in performance and capabilities.  Was it going to be hard abandoning the old architecture and starting over? Yes, it was very painful and I have a group of very tired engineers.  But it was the right thing to do for you, our friends and customers.

So I’ve rambled a while and I’d like to summarize some of the key benefits of the architecture we chose:

1. By doing all of the processing inside the radio, we are able to limit the data going from the radio to the PC down to only what you, as a human, are going to consume.  So we send beautiful panadapters at up to 30 frames per second.  A large SmartSDR panadapter, spanning a 1080p  display at 25fps and showing you better than 14MHz of RF bandwidth, consumes about 1Mbps of data.  A fat pipe radio showing you a fraction of that RF bandwidth (1MHz) consumes more than 75 Mbps of data!  That is a thousand-fold improvement in network bandwidth.  And we’re not even done yet — we can and will do better.  I won’t be satisfied until you start sending me letters explaining how you bagged rare DX from the beach on a tablet connected over a cellular network!   Can you do this with a fat pipe radio using Skype, Team Viewer, and an extra computer?  Sure.  Is it fun and easy?  No, not really.  It’s hard and we wanted to fix that.

2. The complete “system” that makes the radio work is all in the radio.  It’s under our control and we know how to make it work every time.  The “out of box” experience of the FLEX-6000 is unprecedented in our history.  We continue to get notes from new customers that say “I plugged it in and it just worked!”  This is the benefit of having everything in the box.  You can run SmartSDR on your computer and in the middle of a contact kick the plug on the computer and continue the contact on your radio (you might have a hard time tuning the radio, though).

3. Networking is at the center of the radio.  SmartSDR was written from the ground up with networking in mind.  Every part of the radio was designed while we asked “OK, but how will that work over the network?”   We are painfully aware that we are not giving you the ability to operate the radio over the Internet today.  Someone even whispered in my ear this week that they had heard that we were not going to deliver networking on the radio.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  This radio IS a network radio.  It’s like suggesting that we were selling bicycles, but that we had decided that we weren’t going to let you ride our latest bicycle — that it was just for sitting on. Networking runs through the veins of the FLEX-6000 and it wants to come out and play.  We’ll get there as soon as we can.

Most of us are used to buying a product from a manufacturer that is finished and will not be upgraded other than an occasional fix here or there.  For most of us it is foreign to buy something that the manufacturer says “will continue to get better” or evolve over time. We understand this.  We know we’re first, that we’re pushing the envelope and that some will scoff at what we’re doing.  But, it’s who we are.  It’s simply too much fun for us to continue writing amazing features and delivering them to you and then watching you say “Thanks for a new radio!”  We know a radio is a big investment and we want that investment to pay off for you in a big way and not just today — tomorrow also.  We are grateful that you, as our customers, share our vision and want to be a part of what we are doing.  Without you, we would not be able to do the things we do.  Thanks for being a part of our family and a part of the future of ham radio.


 Don’t forget to register for our FlexRadio Seminar !


SEMINAR and SALE – September 28th, 2013

2013-flex-seminarHosted by Greg Jurrens K5GJ of Flex Radio Systems

Greg Jurrens, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at FlexRadio Systems, will be at Radioworld on Saturday, September 28th, 2013, to talk about FlexRadio Systems, and specifically the new 6000 Signature series of software defined radios. Come hear about the entire FlexRadio lineup, find out the latest news and ask questions to Greg.

Email leo@radioworld.ca to reserve a seat

Greg earned his novice license at age 15 and has been actively involved in most aspects of the amateur radio hobby since. While completing his BS degree in Electrical Engineering Technology at  Kansas State University  , he was very active at the KSUARC – W0QQQ. After graduation, Greg held engineering roles in the aerospace and semiconductor industries then senior level management positions in Field Applications Engineering, Technical Marketing, and Product Management. Along the way he earned his Amateur Extra Class license. In 2002, Greg became a partner in a Manufacturer’s Representative firm. He joined FlexRadio Systems in July 2009. When he’s not working, Greg is usually playing ham radio. He is an ARRL member, Life member of the TX VHF-FM Society and Central States VHF Society, founding Board Member and Public Service Director for a statewide FM linked repeater system in Texas, an APRS infrastructure builder, and a rabid multiband VHF/Microwave “ROVER” contester. Greg is also a licensed pilot and airplane owner plus likes to spend time on the lake with his wife Karla – N5KUR of 30 years and the rest of his ALL HAM family.

Also on Saturday, be sure to check out the rest of our Amateur Radio products:

  • Yaesu
  • Icom
  • Kenwood
  • FlexRadio
  • Alinco
  • Alpha Amplifiers
  • Heil Sound
  • Comet
  • Diamond
  • MFJ
  • Daiwa
  • Ameritron
  • LDG
  • West Mountain Radio
  • & More

The Flex Insider – February 2013 Edition

Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR

In last month’s January 2013 FlexInsider, I reported the following update on our plan for production shipments:

“Our plan is to ship the Limited Edition radios during Q2 2013. That means that we expect to ship early orders near the beginning of the quarter and late orders toward the end of the quarter.  It is possible that some of the later orders could spill over into early Q3.  Post Limited Edition orders will begin shipping in Q3.”

I am pleased to report that we are still on this schedule. While no schedule is 100% perfect, accuracy does improve as one nears the goal line. Our team is very proud and excited about what we have accomplished. We can’t wait to get the new FLEX-6000 Signature Series radios into your hands.
Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR
President & CEO