Tag Archives: SDR

FlexRadio PowerSDR v2.3.5 is now available for download

FlexRadio Systems is pleased to announce the general availability of the newest release of PowerSDR, version 2.3.5 intended for use with the SDR-1000, FLEX-1500, FLEX-3000 and FLEX-5000 software defined radios.  PowerSDR v2.3.5 has several new significant features, existing feature enhancements and bug fixes.
We recommend that all customers upgrade to v2.3.5 (see the links to the left).  PowerSDR v2.3.5 is not a maintenance release of version 2.2.3 therefore it is highly recommended that you review the PowerSDR v2.3.5 Release Notes, particularly the section “Known Issues or Recommendations with New Features Included in this Release”, before installing and operating your software defined radio with PowerSDR v2.3.5.  This release contains significant changes to PowerSDR’s internal database schema and as such, there are some caveats related to importing data from previous versions of PowerSDR along with new database import requirements and compliance measures.
While the improvements are too numerous to detail, the following is a list of major changes since the previous official release, PowerSDR v2.2.3

  1. Support for new channelized 60 meter band changes and the addition of a visual Channel Mode for PowerSDR
  2. VAC for RX2 (VAC2). VAC2 is available only for use with the FLEX-5000 equipped with a second receiver (RX2)
  3. The maximum VAC sampling rate (SR) has been upgraded to support 96 and 192 KHz
  4. Expanded TX Profiles now saves all significant transmit related PowerSDR settings
  5. RX2 disconnect on transmit
  6. TNF now works properly with ANF so both can be used in a complimentary manner
  7. Expanded TX Profiles now saves all significant transmit related PowerSDR settings
  8. The management of Memories in PowerSDR has been improved to include an automatic DB backup and recovery mechanism in addition to committing memory changes to the memory DB on copy, add and delete operations
  9. Session specific and previous database backups are created for recovery purposes
  10. PowerSDR Database import requirement compliance to prevent applications errors and anomalous behavior of your radio
  11. There are six (6) new PowerSDR skins available. There are five new IK3VIG 2012 skins and a new default skin
  12. New CAT commands to support PowerSDR features
  13. Updated FLEX-1500 USB driver

Thanks to so many of you who have provided constructive feedback during the development process.We would like to express our special appreciation to our internal alpha/beta team for their tireless testing of internal test releases.
– The FlexRadio Software Development & Product Management team

 

You can download PowerSDR v2.3.5 here.

Test Driving the Flex-5000A

Flex 5000A - from my iPhone

I decided to borrow the Flex-5000A from our showroom display for a day this past weekend.

My computer situation at home is a bit different from most. The PowerSDR software is for a PC only, and I am a Mac guy. I have Windows XP SP2 (not the current SP3) running under Apple’s BootCamp, so I was somewhat concerned about having enough computer for the Flex setup. What’s nice though, is my 24″ iMac has the Firewire interface built-in, so no need to add any hardware.

I set up the radio hardware, grounded, power hooked up, firewire plugged in, antennas connected, ready to go. I installed the software, booted it all up, set my preferences, hit the start button, and I got the choppy audio at startup issue !
No problem, hit the start button again and everything is fine. Whew !

Right away I realised that my Apple mighty mouse’s swipe-to-scroll feature does not work under Windows (at least I haven’t figured out how to make it work), and I had left the USB VFO knob back at Radioworld, so I was unable to tune around, other than clicking with the mouse. I quickly discovered you can use keyboard keys to tune the vfo. Although a bit awkward at first, once you get the hang of it all, it is pretty easy to do.

Tuning around the bands, there were many stations working the ARRL Sweepstakes contest, of which I had zero interest. But this makes a good test for the Flex, as there are big signals with big splatter and bad operators. Perfect.

Off to 10 metres I called a number of Europeans, netting none of them. Hmmm. I didn’t connect my amplifier, maybe the 100 watts isn’t enough. No, couldn’t be. I noticed the power meter on the radio is staying at 0 or at best a watt or two. Hmmm. I see my audio shows really nicely on the scope, what’s wrong ?
Over to 10 metre FM, an OK2 station calling on simplex with a booming signal. I give my call and ….. no answer. Then the OK2 says he sees a carrier but there is no audio. DOH ! Mic gain is down at almost nothing. Turn it up, equalize it, and the OK2 remarks on how fantastic my audio is – five different times during our QSO. YAY ! Of course the Heil PR-781 helps too – what a fantastic microphone.

After working a few guys, it happened again. No one answered my calls, even strong stations I should work easily. Why? I was baffled. Those that have seen the PowerSDR software know there are a lot of controls on that screen – a little overwhelming at first. And after looking very closely at all those settings, I noticed my split was on and I was transmitting 5 kHz away from  my listening frequency. Turn off the split and everything is good again.

Throughout the course of the day I tested the Flex on every band 160 through 6, and contacted a number of stations, avoiding the contesters. Even poking around the AM broadcast band and shortwave bands I was amazed at just how great the receiver is.

The ability to sneak in between two splattering contesters and work weak DX amazed me over and over. I saw a cluster post for T2T in Tuvulu, tuned to his frequency, and there he was around S4 working Asian stations. There were no North American stations calling him – I guess he was too weak and they couldn’t hear him through the splatter. I called one time and worked him.

“WOW”. I literally said “Wow” out loud.

Then I saw a cluster post for a station in Rarotonga. Again, weak, but surrounded by big stations, no North Americans calling because they couldn’t hear him. It’s like I have a secret weapon and they don’t. Worked him on the first call. I said it out loud again – “Wow”.
Then ZL2WX on 10 metres, really early in the day for ZL’s but there he was calling CQ with no takers. In the log, thank-you. Awesome.

Then I hear FP5BZ in St. Pierre & Miquelon working a European pileup. I thought that he will never hear me if he’s beaming Europe. Worked him on the first call.
Okay, that was easy, but now there is a pileup for D2AM in Angola, Africa. No way I’ll crack this one. Au contraire – you know where I’m going with this – worked him on the first call. Again – “Wow”.
Was this all due to conditions, my average antenna, or the FlexRadio ? Probably all three. Most of these guys are weak or surrounded by the contesters, so this is where the Flex 5000 really shines.

This went on for the rest of the day. Whether they were new countries to me or not, if they seemed weak and unworkable, I worked them all. The Flex really flexed it’s muscle. All at 100 watts and a modest triband beam at 30 feet – nothing special.

My iMac did not have any issues running the Flex setup, never showing more than 30% CPU load, even with both receivers active and all the bells and whistles on. I had web browsers open, logging software running, and antivirus software running at the same time.
After the initial plug in of the firewire cable, I never had to think about it again.

After packing it all up to return it, I must say it was a fantastic experience. I definitely was a “big radio with a VFO” guy until I gave the FlexRadio a chance. There are one or two comparable big box radios, but none at a better price or even close to it.

Flex 5000A
FlexRadio Flex-5000A

Now excuse me while I write a letter to Santa.

 

See the entire FlexRadio setup here:

FlexRadio Canadian debut at YRARC Hamfest

 

 All amateur radio operators seem to love a hamfest… a chance to run into ‘over the air’ friends and find new radio toys. The York Region amateur radio hamfest is always a popular one and this year’s was as great as ever!

Here at Radioworld, we just announced on November 1 that we are the Canadian distributor for Flex Radio SDR’s (Software Defined Radios). What better way to introduce them than by doing a live display at a Hamfest?

Mardy (VE3QEE) at the controls of the Flex5000

So we packed up a complete Flex 5000 station and took it to the YRARC hamfest on November 5. For the whole show, we had an enthusiastic crowd surrounding the display, even coming around to the back of the table to check out how the station was assembled. Some of the hams who stopped by are existing FlexRadio owners. They were happy to hear that Radioworld is offering the complete Flex product line in Canada along with factory authorized service.

If you’re in the Toronto area, we have a Flex5000 set up and ready for you to try in our showroom. We had enough fun at the York hamfest, so I can see us taking this show on the road again!

Check out the complete Flex lineup on our website

73,  Steve (VE3SMP)

 

First FlexRadio Sale

Radioworld is proud to announce the first FlexRadio sale.

 

 

Micheal Freedman, VE3BGE is the proud  owner of a brand new Flex 5000a-RX2_ATU
Deluxe Software Defined Radio with Dual Receive and Automatic Antenna Tuner.

Michael is a long time Radioworld and FlexRadio customer whose opinion and expertise in Amateur Radio is well recognized and appreciated throughout the hobby and within the industry! Michael has owned previous FlexRadio models and every other high end transceiver built over the past 20 years. He absolutely loves the product. In his words “it’s simply the best”.

Micheal Freedman VE3BGE and the FLEX 5000a

FlexRadio Systems Appoints Radioworld as Canadian Distributor!

Appoints

(Toronto, ON) as Distributor for Canadian Market

Austin, TX and Toronto, Canada – November 1, 2011:  FlexRadio Systems, the leader in Software Defined Radios (SDR) for the amateur radio community, announced today the appointment of Radioworld as their distributor for the Canadian marketplace.   This will be effective as of November 1, 2011.

“It was extremely important for FlexRadio Systems to appoint a partner that shares the same views as FlexRadio and has the ability to provide our customers with a first class service and distribution network”, said Greg Jurrens, VP of Sales and Marketing for FlexRadio Systems.   “Radioworld clearly fits the stringent criteria we identified to promote our FLEX line of amateur radios and accessories and to allow us to move our business forward in this key market.”

The Radioworld name and reputation is well established in the Canadian marketplace.  The partnership between FlexRadio Systems and Radioworld is an ideal marriage between two companies committed to making the best products available to radio enthusiasts.  FlexRadio’s product line will help to round out Radioworld’s distribution portfolio, further strengthening their position as the leading Canadian distributor for amateur radio products.

“Radioworld is excited to have secured the rights to distribute the prestigious FlexRadio Systems product line in Canada”, said Jack Summers, General Manager for Radioworld.  “The brand perfectly complements our existing portfolio of high quality products for the discerning amateur radio operator and will be available to our customer immediately”.

About Radioworld
Radioworld is the largest radio store of its type in Canada and known as Canada’s amateur radio and marine electronics experts. Radioworld also specialize in shortwave, marine, avionics, CB, FRS/GMRS radios, GPS, communications scanners and a complete assortment of related accessories. Radioworld is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.  For more information on Radioworld, please visit www.radioworld.ca.

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 allowed for the evolution of amateur radio as we know it today. FlexRadio Systems is headquartered in Austin, Texas.  For more information, please visit www.flexradio.com or follow FlexRadio Systems on Twitter or Facebook.