QSY means frequency changing to...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Flex-5000A: some extra details...

FlexRadio Systems introduces the FLEX-5000 line of open source Software Defined Radio (SDR) transceivers. The FLEX-5000 family follows the very popular SDR-1000, and now integrates all sound card functions and control over a single FireWire(R) (IEEE 1394) cable connection to a user provided computer. A separate sound card is not required. There are three versions of the FLEX-5000 (models A, C and D) each providing higher levels of integration.

The FLEX-5000A model is the base radio and it’s feature set is defined below.The FLEX-5000A Feature Set

■ Better Two-tone 3rd order dynamic range at 2 kHz spacing than the SDR-1000
■ Frequency Stability: 0.5 ppm, TCXO equipped
■ Individual optimized bandpass filters for all Ham Bands
■ Receiver can monitor transmitter spectrum
■ SO2R ready with optional second receiver
■ FlexWire™ interface for external control of rotator, antenna, and much more.
■ 100 watts PEP output 160-6 meters
■ General coverage receiver
■ Separate RX antenna connectors for optimal reception
■ Optional full performance second receiver (dual watch is standard)
■ Single FireWire connection to computer
■ Full Duplex transverter ready.
■ Fully automatic internal test/calibration. No external calibration equipment necessary
■ Internal antenna switching for up to 3 antennas plus receive only antenna
■ Balanced TRS line/microphone input
■ Full duplex RX and TX
■ Quiet high volume fan keeps unit cool
■ Optional full featured ATU 160-6m

Top Performing Narrow-Spaced Two-Tone 3rd Order IMD Dynamic Range at 2 KHz - (Not 20 KHz Like Everyone Else Advertises). An Incredible 105 dB on 14 MHz...
It is becoming evident that close-in dynamic range is the most useful specification to evaluate a receiver's performance. Receiving narrow bandwidth signals under crowded band conditions are where good receivers are separated from the best receivers. Most radio manufacturer's do not publish their 2 KHz two-tone, third-order dynamic range values because it is easier to get better looking numbers at 20 KHz that are not that applicable to real world operating conditions. The FLEX-5000 at 2 KHz spacing, exceeds traditional radio manufacturer's top of the line performance by as much as 10-25 dB, depending on the model.

Industry Leading Narrow Spaced 3rd Order Intercept Point: +33 dBm at 2 KHz Tone Spacing...
A lot of focus in recent years has been put on the third-order intercept point (IP3) to tout a receivers performance. This specification is not an actual measured number; it is calculated from two other parameters. Therefore the IP3 value can vary dramatically based on the tone spacing used to make the measurements. The $10,000 radio manufacturers publish wide-spaced (20 KHz) IP3 values of +40 dBm, but shy away from reporting the "real world" close-in IP3 values. Why? This is because performance degrades dramatically inside their expensive roofing filters.
FlexRadio took a different approach – design the receiver to handle large signals at any spacing. That means that with the FLEX-5000, as well as its SDR-1000 predecessor, IP3 and thus third order dynamic range will not degrade as tone spacing (even at 100 Hz) is decreased. In practical terms, that means you can work the weak ones sandwiched between the high powered locals.

No Sound Card Required!
No longer do you have to worry about interfacing a sound card to your PC. The FLEX-5000 has integrated the A/D and D/A processing hardware built inside the radio. A high quality 192 KHz 24-bit DACs with exceptional performance numbers provides the spectral samples for the DSP to process. The integrated converters also eliminate audio cabling requirements between the transceiver and PC

True Full Duplex Operation for Simultaneous Transmit and Receive...
The FLEX-5000 is a true full duplex transceiver with independent transmitter and receiver signal paths. This means that you can use the transmitter and receiver simultaneously for monitoring one band while transmitting on another when used with the optional full performance second receiver. With external transverters, full duplex satellite operation is also possible. On phone and digital modes, you can hear and see the spectrum of your actual transmitted signal. Full duplex operation also facilitates very high speed T/R switching for CW and TOR digital modes. Additionally, the existing MultiWatch™ capabilities that exist in PowerSDR, which allows multiple receive "windows" within the passband of the DSP is also available for each receiver. This unparalleled capability provides the most flexible receiver configuration of any amateur radio transceiver at any price!

True Diversity Receiving with the Second Independent Receiver...
Using two separate antennas having different orientations with the optional full-featured, second high performance receiver, true diversity reception is a reality. Diversity reception is a well know to "top band" operators for improving the readability at the noise floor. By locking both receivers to the same frequency you can produce "stereo diversity" which allows your brain to more easily sort the signal from the noise.

FlexWire™ Peripheral Interface Bus...
With the introduction of the FLEX-5000 family of transceivers, FlexRadio Systems introduces FlexWire, an intelligent, high speed, bi-directional communications interface that allows PowerSDR to communicate with a host of peripheral devices such as antenna tuners, rotor controllers and band switchers just to name a few. A family of FlexWire peripherals will be forthcoming from the company. Complete specifications and the programming interface will be published to allow home brew and third party add-on products.

Single 1394 FireWire Connection to your Computer...
No longer do you have to use parallel or USB connections to your software defined radio. To fully realize all of the capabilities of the FLEX-5000 and PowerSDR, a high speed RF shielded interface between the computer and the transceiver is a necessity. The FLEX-5000 family of transceivers utilize a single FireWire interface to facilitate access to PowerSDR. FireWire is the optimal technology to interface radio control and I/Q audio with PowerSDR. It will even allow the future connection of multiple radios to a single PC.

Redesigned 100 Watt 160-6m Power Amp...
Completely redesigned from the ground up, the new 100 watt MOSFET push-pull amplifier produces a full 100 watts PEP on 160 to 6 meters. The PA has excellent spectral characteristics with low IMD and exceptional signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio that produces a phenomenally clean signal. The new power amp also has the ability to be variably biased for class A or AB operation for use with external linear power amplifiers.

Optimized 11th Order Filters for all Amateur Bands from 160 to 6 Meters...
The FLEX-5000 utilizes eleven, individually optimized 11th order front-end filters to cover each of the ham bands between 160 and 6 meters. These individually tuned filters minimize potential interference from strong out-of-band signals for ultra quiet receiver performance.

Balanced Microphone Input...
Operators are increasingly making a serious effort to get the highest quality audio within the 3 KHz bandwidth of a SSB signal. The FLEX-5000 easily facilitates interfacing with signal processing equipment by providing a 1/4" TRS balanced audio line input. Using the balanced line-in with a microphone pre-amplifier will allow you to use a variety of ribbon, dynamic and condenser microphones for the configuration that best fits your operating needs. Or you can achieve studio quality audio by deploying a complex audio chain with equalizers, compressor/limiters, aural exciters and other effects processors.

High Stability TCXO for Accurate SSB, VHF+ and Digital Modes...
Frequency stability is critical when operating VHF+ or HF digital modes. The FLEX-5000A incorporates a high stability temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) which reduces frequency drift to no more than ± 0.5 ppm. For even greater frequency stability, the FLEX-5000 has a software switched, external BNC connector for connecting a 10 MHz GPS disciplined or other high stability clock source.

Three Software Selectable Antenna Connectors...
The FLEX-5000 has three independent SO-239 antenna connectors that can be assigned as transmit and/or receive antennas by operating band and mode. This capability provides the ultimate flexibility in contest situations or hunting for that rare DX by being able to change to a different antenna with a click of the mouse.

Separate Dedicated Receiving Antenna...
Not all antennas have perfect reciprocal characteristics, meaning that a good transmitting antenna is not necessarily a good receiving antenna. This is especially true at long wavelengths of 80 and 160 meters. Hams that are serious about "top band" operating know the advantage of using a beverage antenna for receiving. They also know that they are very poor for transmitting. To overcome this dilemma, the FLEX-5000 has a dedicated receiving antenna connector. In fact, it provides both a RX output and a RX input to allow the use of preselectors and preamps "in-line".

Transverter Ready - Full Duplex 28 MHz IF...
The FLEX-5000's incredible receiver is perfect for weak signal VHF+ and WSJT operation as a 28 MHz IF for interfacing to external transverters. The FLEX-5000 will turn your VHF-UHF-microwave setup into the highest performance station around. Full duplex operation opens the door for satellite communications as well.

Three TX Control Lines for Keying Amplifiers, Transverters, Sequencers and other Accessories Keying external amps, sequencers and preamps is always a daunting task, but the FLEX-5000 makes it so easy with three user assignable TX control lines. Each TX control line can be configured for its own TX delay once the PTT is engaged allowing the control of multiple devices.

No External Calibration Equipment Required...
The new FLEX-5000 family incorporates Built-In Test Equipment (BITE). This includes a swept signal generator, power sampler, and transmitted signal spectrum analyzer. The radio is capable of testing and calibrating itself. All models are factory calibrated and aligned to exacting standards.

Audio Line-In and Line-Out Connectors...
The FLEX-5000 has consumer level (-10 dbV) line-in and line out RCA type connectors for a variety of uses, such as recording audio from a contest so you can listen to that rare DX to make sure you don't have a busted call or output streaming audio to the web from your FLEX-5000

All you need for ESSB is a good microphone!
No need for extra preamplifiers, compressors, equalizers and other expensive studio equipment. All these controls are in front of you by using Power SDR™ and in conjuction with the wave file controls you can shape your audio. Make your own audio adjustments without annoying friends about your transmitted audio by the use of recording of your own voice or even 'what you hear' and playback on the air or your headphones. Stop having all those extra cables and interfaces!

Power SDR™ and the FLEX-5000A: An Awesome Combination!

The FLEX-5000™ family, like the ground breaking SDR-1000, comes with PowerSDR software that performs all DSP, modulation, demodulation and control functions for the radio. PowerSDR is the "brains" behind the FLEX-5000's "brawn". With the release of the FLEX-5000, PowerSDR has been significantly upgraded and optimized to use a true multi-threaded architecture that greatly improves transmit and receiver performance. This is most notable when operating full break QSK at 40 WPM where you can actually hear between the characters.