[CQ-Contest] FTDX5000 Upgrade

Jim Brown k9yc at audiosystemsgroup.com
Mon Feb 23 04:23:24 EST 2015

Jeff, AC0C, has done us all a great service by upgrading his radio and 
documenting the very significant improvement in occupied TX bandwidth. 
While his measurement setup is not ideal, it's good enough to show that 
the new Yaesu firmware is a MAJOR improvement over the truly awful 
performance of prior versions.


Jeff's measurements are not ideal -- AD6E has noted asymmetry in ARRL's 
data for a few radios that are the result of non-ideal analyzer setup, 
and this error is present in Jeff's data for the K3. I also suspect that 
the FTDX 5000 is as close to the K3 as Jeff's data suggests, but it IS a 
MAJOR improvement over what it was. :)  But all of us work with the 
tools we have available, and Jeff has done some great work here.

This is a team effort -- when I published my TXNoise document last fall 
comparing ARRL data for popular rigs, I leaked an early version to 
someone at Yaesu early in the process, and their firmware update was 
issued a few weeks later. All of us can vote with our bank accounts when 
we choose which vendors to support. AD6E tells me that a close-in 
neighbor, KH6CJJ, is running a barefoot TS990 that he can't work within 
15 kHz of, and KE1B is making my life, and that of K6XX, miserable with 
a IC7600 and amp from about 8 miles away.

Every indication is that the new generation of Flex rigs are quite 
clean, although I've also heard that their user interface is something 
that even the programmer's mother could not love. DXer, contester, and 
damn good EE calls the two Flex radios he owns the best he's ever owned, 
but calls the user interface AWFUL. It seems like the guys who write the 
code make a dozen or so Qs a year. :)

This is a big deal -- let the mfrs know that it matters in your buying 
decisions. I approached Ray Novak in the ICOM booth and got icy stares 
in return. This isn't about dollars -- the TX590S shows up in ARRL 
testing as a pretty clean rig, and at a very modest cost. Some pretty 
good ops are using them. If we're not part of the solution, we are part 
of the problem.

Here's a very preliminary, in-progress report of what I was able to do 
with a P3/SVGA looking at the gear I own, plus a vintage Yaesu rig 
borrowed from K6XX. i've been trying to borrow the new Flex and a 
FTDX5000 to measure in the same setup. My test setup is documented in 
the pdf.


73, Jim K9YC

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