Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flex 1500 QRP Radio

Well, a new radio has arrived here at ARS N9PUZ. I've been keeping an eye on the Software Defined Radio technology for a while and this year I decided to take the plunge and pre-ordered a Flex 1500 at the Dayton Hamvention. The BBT ("Big Brown Truck") brought the small package yesterday.

The Flex 1500 is a QRP (5 Watt) version of some of Flex Radio's bigger offerings. There isn't too much in the way of hardware as the bulk of the heavy lifting is done by a high powered digital signal processor ("DSP") and a largely open source piece of software called PowerSDR.

The photo above shows the Flex 1500 perched atop my Mirage MP1 SWR/Watt Meter. I don't think I'll be needing the 2kW range for this one!

The radio itself may be small but that doesn't mean you won't end up with a rats nest of cables. Here you can see the USB cable, headphones, microphone, and key plugged in and ready for action.

Above is a shot of PowerSDR along with my CW keyboard program. Other than powering it on and off, everything about the radio is controlled through the software. Modulation, demodulation, filtering, band changes are all done in software.

That's it for now. I haven't had a lot of time to learn and play yet but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a lot of fun!



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