[CQ-Contest] Flex Radio Question
rt_clay at bellsouth.net
Wed May 7 08:31:10 EDT 2014
>There is much much more that could be done to make the human interface of
>SDRs more "tuned" for contesting. One aspect of that is the ergonomics of
>using the computer for both SDR and other functions (N1MM et al) at the
>same time. But another aspect is having contesting software that takes
>advantage of the underlying capabilities of SDRs to do things for
>contesters that can't be readily done with non-SDR hardware.
>One example --- Even the simpler and cheaper SDRs like my Flex-3000 or the
>-1500 are continuously receiving a wide chunk of spectrum (50 to 100 KHz).
> The newest radios are in theory capable of continuously receiving *all*
>of the HF bands at the same time. So everything that any station sent on
>any frequency is inside the computer sitting on your desk. Operators today
>can pick out one or two signals from that spectrum and listen to it. But
>*all* of the signals are inside the computer, all of the time, and the
>computer has enough memory to keep them there for minutes or even hours.
>What could contesters do with that? More specifically, what could
>contesting software do with that capability?
I discussed all of this in my May/June 2013 NCJ article on SDR's and contesting- there
are some neat things you can do to highlight signals that you haven't worked.
I use SDR quite a bit in my operating. My setup is two Elecraft K3's, with simple
audio-derived (LP-PAN) SDR's running on the IF's. This gives you the best of two worlds-
knobs and controls when you need them, and a wideband display to find signals. It is
also cheap. It has changed the way I operate- for example I mostly use the mouse or
keyboard for selecting stations while in S&P, this is more efficient than tuning with a knob.
But you need to write software from the beginning that supports this way of operating- you
will simply never get all the benefits by putting together a regular logging program and
a typical SDR control/panadapter program. My SO2SDR logging program integrated with
SDR is available at
I recommend running SO2SDR under Linux if you can- I have made a Windows port, but
don't really use it myself. I have no idea if a Flex can work with SO2SDR-I don't own one
and have never used a Flex (too much $$$). Can you run two Flex radios SO2R on
a single computer?
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