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!
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.
There 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 !
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.
CBC News features Ron Huybers, VY2HR, in an article on the special event station VE100VIMY. The special event callsign celebrates the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which occurred 100 years ago this year.
You can read the CBC article entitled “Ham radio operators spread the word about Battle of Vimy Ridge” here .
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.
- 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.
2-Maximum RF power output achieved using 220 VAC
We have heard this numerous times from our Amateur Radio customers. Whether you are just starting out, or an oldtimer who has been hamming for years – and everyone in between – this is a fairly complicated and in depth subject.
What does an antenna do ?
This is what radiates your signal out to the world. This is the most critical part of any amateur radio station. If you are going to cut corners or save some of the budget, this is NOT the part to do it on.
So how do you select the correct antenna, when there are so many to choose from ?
Let’s look at the types of antennas available.
Verticals – Basic, can be single or multi band. Relatively inexpensive as well. Should be ground mounted with ground radials installed, which is what turns most people away from this type of antenna. An absolute minimum of 4 radials are required, but don’t expect huge results. Typically 32 or more should be installed, on the ground (they will settle in and disappear over time) or you bury them yourself.
Ground mounted verticals are good for DX because of their low angle of radiation.
The same vertical can also be installed on a roof or tower, but they require some form of counterpoise system. This is typically accomplished by hanging the radials from the base of the antenna. A good example would be installing the antenna on a roof, and laying the radials across the roof.
Radials always connect to the base of the antenna , and are run outward in equal divisions, much like the spokes of a wheel.
Here is a typical vertical antenna: https://radioworld.ca/but-hf6v
You can add some options or homebrew your own.
This radial kit by DX Engineering includes radial wire, fasteners, and “staples” to staple the radials to the ground. The staples will decompose naturally on their own.
DX Engineering also manufactures a base plate for mounting the vertical to a post, and then securing the radials to the plate.
Radioworld sells verticals by Butternut, Comet, Cushcraft, DX Engineering, Hustler, Hy-Gain, and MFJ.
Some are single band, two band, or multiband up to 9 bands. In general, the more bands that the antenna covers, or the smaller an antenna is, the more of a compromise the antenna is. Where most multiband antennas employ coils and/or traps to allow extra bands, antennas like this 43 foot vertical from DX Engineering use no coils or traps, but utilises a remote tuner (sold separately) at the base of the antenna. And you still need those radials.
Then, there are vertical antennas that employ a matching network on the antenna, with a few very short radials at the base of the antenna. These are much better for tower or roof mounting, as you don’t have wire radials hanging and drooping down, and looking messy. This is again a compromise antenna, but they do work reasonably well. Typically they cost 1.5 – 2 times more than a ground mounted vertical.
Here is an example of a multiband vertical with a matching network.
Vertical antennas are very popular due to their reasonable cost, multiband coverage and ease of installation. They are ideal for small lot sizes. They offer a uniform radiation pattern, but tend to be noisier than horizontally polarised antennas. Yes, you can work DX, but you’ll be blending in with everyone else when you’re calling that rare one.
And be sure to keep an open mind – this CB antenna covers 10, 11, 12 and 15 metres, and requires no radials.
Wire Antennas – The easiest and least expensive of HF antennas. You can purchase commercially made and pre-tuned single, or multiband wire antennas, or build your own. Typically wire antennas are configured as dipole or inverted V styles, but can also be slopers, inverted L’s, long wire or various other styles.
Some popular wire antennas, like the G5RV, require a matching network (tuner) to work properly. This would also apply to non-resonant antennas like longwires, inverted L’s and slopers.
Because of their low cost, low profile, low maintenance and decent performance, many hams build their own wire antennas. You can build everything yourself, or use some commercially made parts like this inexpensive centre and end insulator kit. Add your own wire, special dacron rope to tie off the insulators, and feedline (cable), and you’re all set !
Beams, or directional antennas, are a step up from the others. These antennas direct the signal in one direction, and reject signals from other directions. They are basically a dipole antenna with reflective and directive elements added on to a common boom. They can be for single bands or for multiple bands, but because of their size do not (usually) cover lower frequencies.
A single element antenna is a dipole. The signal radiates from the sides, but not the ends. Adding a director(s) and a reflector(s) alters the radiation pattern into one direction. The more “elements” (director/reflector elements) the more gain an antenna will have, in one direction. The antenna is aimed at the station you wish to contact. This is done with a rotator on the tower, accessed from a control box at the operators station.
Here is a three element beam for 10, 15 and 20 metres
In this picture, the signal is aimed to the left. The centre element, called the driven element, radiates the signal. The element on the right (the reflector), reflects the signal to the left. The leftmost element (the director) directs the signal to the left. Directors are physically shorter than the driven element, whilst the reflector is physically longer than the driven element. And there is plenty of math to calculate all those dimensions.
Beams can be quite large, and usually need to be supported by a tower. Some smaller beams can be mounted on smaller structures, like tripods or stand alone masts.
Here is an example of an extremely large antenna system
Like any antenna, the higher up it is mounted, the better it will perform.
To the left is a 5 element beam for 20 metres, on a 78 foot tower. Quite expensive, it requires some serious work to put up, but will give a really big signal.
So when customers come in saying they want an antenna for HF and what do we recommend, it really isn’t an easy answer. We have to ask many questions to find what works for you.
Come on in and let’s talk.
WAC, WAS, DXCC
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.
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.
Join Radioworld this weekend for one of the largest Hamfests, we will be at Ham-Ex on Saturday March 22 at the Brampton Fall Fairgrounds..
We will have some of the best deals on amateur radio gear…
Radioworld is having its biggest and best Boxing Week Sale from December 26 thru December 31st, 2013. Take advantage of HUGE SAVINGS on all of your favourite stuff now!
Plus some *GREAT DEALS on selected Garmin GPS products:
(*in stock items only)
Approach S1 $170 Edge 500 Bundle $270 Edge 800 $375
Etrex 20 Bundle $170 ForeRunner 10 $140 Forerunner 110 $140
ForeRunner 310 $270 GPSMAP 62 $170 GPSMAP62S $200
GPSMAP 78 $180 GPSMAP78S $275 Oregon 450 $195
Oregon 450TC $250 Oregon 550 $275 Oregon 550T $400
Nuvi 54LM $130 Zumo 350LM $600 Echo 100 $ 70
Echo 150 $85 Echo150 Portable $160 Echo 200 $145
Echo 300C $200 Echo 500C $225 Echo 550 $300
GPSMAP 421 $325 GPSMAP 421S $385 GPSMAP 521S $399
GPSMAP 541S $525 GPSMAP 546S $650 GPSMAP 720S $800
GPSMAP 740S $899 GPSMAP 5012 $2800 GPSMAP 5015 $420
GPSMAP 5215 $4400
The Amateur Radio Station at Radioworld, VA3RWI, will be on the air Saturday December 28th during the Radio Amateurs of Canada Winter Contest.
Come and join us from 9:30 – 15:00 on Saturday.
Everyone is welcome to drop by and operate one of the many HF Stations we have set up and on display whether you are a licensed Amateur operator or NOT, we would love to have you visit and make a contact.
For other operators that will be on during the contest, listen for us and give us a hello!
For more information on the RAC Winter Contest, please click here .