[CQ-Contest] Flex Radio Question

Stu Phillips stu at k6tu.net
Tue May 6 10:23:58 EDT 2014


I can’t comment on the ANAN products - I believe the ANAN is a repacked
version of the TAPR HPSDR system and I don’t have any experience with
either.  There is a strong community of Flex users which you can see at:


which would be the usual place for discussions between Flex owners.

I use the Flex6700 contesting in all modes and haven’t experienced any
problems with latency.  Same goes for cracking pile ups in DX hunting.  In
phone or RTTY contests I typically run more than 100 Qs an hour with
sustained bursts of 240 or better - I’m a less strong CW op and that’s my
rate limitation in that mode.

Actual use in contests is the true measure for me.
Stu K6TU

On 5/6/14, 3:34 AM, "Rudy Bakalov" <r_bakalov at yahoo.com> wrote:

>There was a lengthy discussion on latency on the Yahoo! ANAN group. The
>latency was rather significant and unacceptable in contesting.  It has
>been reduced, but it is still there. Point to consider.
>Rudy N2WQ
>Sent using a tiny keyboard.  Please excuse brevity, typos, or
>inappropriate autocorrect.
>> On May 6, 2014, at 12:16 AM, Tod Olson <tod at k0to.us> wrote:
>> Stu,
>> You may be correct ― I think the thing that I felt was coming through in
>> the email I received was the mechanics of logging entries and
>> the radio. I am curious to know the call of the person in the Bay area
>> whom you are referring - the one who chose to replace their K3.
>> You certainly are correct that successful use of any type of radio in a
>> contest requires thoughtful consideration of workflow to maximize your
>> personal effectiveness.
>> I have only briefly used a K3 at Ken Kopp's, [K0PP] in Anaconda, MT. It
>> a nice radio with good ‘properties’ but I would expect it might take a
>> couple years for me to get everything working together well <radio,
>> switching, antennas and operator>. I would certainly expect the same if
>> were to start using a Flex Radio.
>> Perhaps there is a difference in ‘ease of use’ that depends on logging
>> programs or maybe I just don’t understand all the details. I can imagine
>> that if one is running stations there might be one operating
>> characteristic and if one were doing ‘search and pounce’ there would be
>> another. I don’t have a feel for how quickly one can change frequencies
>> swap radios or swap frequencies in SO2R etc. Somehow, correctly or
>> incorrectly, I would expect slight delays [command latency] between
>> that I might not expect from the non-SDR equipment. Also, Stu, there
>> only a few responses and only a couple from people I generally associate
>> with long term, skillful contest operation. Please note that I am not
>> focussed on the people who ‘win’ contests; there are a lot of very good
>> contest operators who will never win a contest from their current
>> location. 
>> It may be that the cost of the Flex Radio relative to a K3 is limiting
>> number of persons who have elected to use them to contest ― that might
>> also reduce the number of responses to my question.
>> Several years ago I looked at SDR’s for contesting and felt at that time
>> command latency would be unacceptable. With Moore’s law working I would
>> suppose that the hardware is at least 8 times more powerful and perhaps
>> command latency is no longer an issue. Certainly the A/D conversions are
>> faster and a lot of software has been written to take advantage of that.
>> The idea that a single Flex Radio can operate as several independent
>> radios on different frequencies and modes simultaneously [ OK, time
>> multiplexed ] is interesting too. But why do you suppose that we don’t
>> hear more about SDR’s being used as contest radios? Are we at some sort
>> ‘Spark vs. CW‘ or ‘SSB vs.AM’ technology change? I wasn’t around for the
>> Spark change but I remember well the SSB/AM transition and as an early
>> adopter [1955] remember folks on 75 phone making us SSB guys operate
>> 3990-4000 kHz if we wanted them to leave us alone. It only took about
>> years and folks recognized that SSB was a much better choice than AM.
>> same does not seem to be the case for the SDR’s. What do you suppose are
>> the considerations that seem to be slowing the adoption of the
>> Tod, K0TO
>>> On 5/5/14, 8:33 PM, "Stuart Phillips" <stu at ridgelift.com> wrote:
>>> Really?  Who fed you this line?
>>> This is just utterly wrong - computer control of any radio requires
>>> consideration for workflow.  Note - ANY radio.
>>> I successfully contest all modes with FlexRadio products and I¹m
>>> with my 6700.  At least one other serious contester here in the Bay
>>> sold his K3 after buying a 6700.
>>> You never responded to my email offering comments - standing offer to
>>> or anyone else - I am a serious contester with a FlexRadio 6700 and
>>> happy - even happier to answer questions!
>>> Sorry Tod but you didn¹t get the straight scoop.
>>> Stu K6TU
>> _______________________________________________
>> CQ-Contest mailing list
>> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
>> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list