Yesterday I attended the Lone Star DX Association‘s quarterly meeting. The meeting promised a presentation by Greg Jurrens, K5GJ, from FlexRadio Systems to discuss Software Defined Radio (SDR). An exciting addition was a drawing for their FLEX-1500 160-6m QRP transceiver. The BBQ lunch is always good as well. Plus, I brought my QSL cards for card-checking — should have DXCC 200 countries on CW soon.

Greg took us through the principles of SDR along with some comparisons of existing amateur radio transceivers. He also went well into the detail around signal processing and just how the whole thing works — at least as much as I could handle. The versatility is really amazing and the display with panadapter visuals, etc. is really neat.

Then it was time for the drawing. They slowly announced the winner: K-5-N-D. I sat there waiting for someone to jump up all excited about winning. When that didn’t happen, I processed the call sign and found it was me! It was a bit like waiting in a CW pileup and when they finally call your call sign you’re stunned and slow to action. How lucky I am!

I now have the radio at home. Looked up the software requirements — it runs on Windows only and they are noting that you can run it on a Mac using Boot Camp but don’t recommend using virtual machines, like Parallels. I have been toying several different times with getting a Windows computer for my ham shack to support contesting and now RTTY. This could certainly provide the momentum to move in that direction.

This promises to be another incredible ham radio adventure — and this one is just getting started!

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Jim, congrats on winning the Flex! I really have to get used to the idea of a ‘knob less box’ as a radio, but wouldn’t mind winning one!! 🙂

    I do have a Bootcamp partition running Windows 7 for ham related software like HRD, N1MM, morse-runner, APRS, etc.etc. It is very good doable! And when you install VMware Fusion, you be able to run the same partition within OSX as a box (okay, not for Flex apparently, but it runs okay for logging).
    If you run into problems, drop me an email!

    I look forward to posts about your experience with the Flex, especially in comparison with the K3!

    73, Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your encouragement and insight. I have not yet tried bootcamp. Our virtual machine of choice at work is Parallels, which I used with XP and Windows 7. Windows 7 actually seems usable, compared to what appears to be a Soviet-era approach to graphics in Windows XP. What I would like about a Windows machine is the real serial ports and various extras I could install in support of RTTY. Still running over these ideas and looking at my budget —- the last one shuts things down for the moment!

      73, Jim

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