After working with the 6700 for a few weeks I decided it was time to replace my 6300 back-up radio, with a 6500. The 6300 served me well during my introduction to the 6000 series hardware and SmartSDR. It sold quickly (thanks Leo) and the repaired 6700 and CPO 6500 will be here as soon as the repair is complete. After working my way through all the used listings online, I couldn’t find an available unit for much less than the cost of a Certified Pre-Owned 6500with a 1 year warranty. It made the most sense to buy the CPO from Flex. And in light of my experience with the driftingCPO 6700, I decided not to take any chances. The new addition Flex 6500 should complete my radio hardware requirements for the foreseeable future.
Dedicated to Digital
The plan is to purchase a Comet CHA-250B vertical antenna for use with the 6500, and dedicate the radio to digital modes. I’ll experiment with some new (for me) modes like FT8 and PSK and decide at some point which modes to settle on. And of course, I will continue with SSTV and EasyPal.
The purchase of the Flex Maestro freed up this little Gigabyte Brix PC that I used to run SmartSDR in another area of the house.
I’m going to pair up the Gigabyte Brix PC with the 6500 and see how it keeps up. The Brix ran SSDR ok, but the wireless connection was not the greatest. In the new setup, the Brix will be located next to the router. The question is whether or not several programs will run alongside SSDR. We’ll see…
I’m now #2 on the LP-500 waiting list, so I should have mine next week. It looks like they fulfill about 10 units per week, so I’m pretty confident it will be arriving soon. I joined the waiting list in May 2018. This is one of the nice finishing touches being installed for 2018.
Flex Sales and Service Dept.
I was contacted by Flex Service to let me know they expected to get to my 6700 repair one day this week. As soon as it is ready, it will be shipped back along with the Certified Pre-Owned 6500 that I just purchased. Both these units will be arriving soon and it looks like delivery should coincide nicely with the LP-500
These three units more or less complete the shack. No more improvements for a while. It’s time to get all the shack furniture put back together and get back on the air and get to work!
The Flex 6700 is back from repair, and the frequency drift problem has been taken care of. The radio is now stable and able to decode FT8 and other digital signals. There’s no sign of drift on WWV. The Flex 6500/6700 were installed today, and are now in service on the air!
The new Flex 6500 will be dedicated to decoding the various HF digital modes. I plan to move the Live SSTV Cam over to the 6500 once I have the Comet CHA-250B installed.
The station monitor should arrive this week. I have just enough rack space left to fit the LP-500 between the 6700 and the SPE 1K-FA amplifier. I will install the LP-500 utilizing 4 couplers to enable viewing of amplifier linearity with a trapezoidal display on both channels of the amplifier.
The illustration above shows the configuration for a single amplifier. Since the SPE 1K-FA has two inputs (one for each of the 6700’s SCU’s) I will duplicate this configuration for the second input/channel.