New Flex 6700 - anyone at Dayton?

Terry Fox tfox at
Sat May 19 13:55:15 CDT 2012

Another option is the HiQSDR board from Germany.  It is based on James 
Ahlstrom's (N2ADR) DDC/DUC design that was in QEX a year or so ago.  James 
is the author of Quisk, BTW.  It also uses the AD9744 for transmit, but uses 
a TI 5000 series 14-bit, 125MHz A/D converter.  It uses an Altera FPGA, and 
ethernet connectivity.  The board can be purchased assembled, for just under 
$800, I believe.  I purchased a bare-board, and am almost finished acquiring 
the parts.

There is a Yahoo group for N2ADR, and the websites for the HiQSDR are:

The QS1R is nice.  But, it has been out for a few years now, and some had 
given up on ever seeing the long-promised exciter board, or the 
preamp/filter board.  Now that Phil is delivering the exciter, that's a good 

I have a complete openHPSDR setup, including the case and recently-released 
Alex filters.  It took a few years to get the complete setup.  I'm not using 
it yet, due to some necessary FPGA code upgrades required by the Alex 
filters.  I am also waiting for the Hermes board to come out.  That should 
be a real winner, given the time and attention to detail the project has 
enjoyed/suffered through.  Hermes is NOT delivering yet, except for a few 
beta boards.  It's supposed to be out sometime this summer, but given the 
history of the openHPDSR, it will probably be fall.  Rumored price around 
$900.  None of these "board" solutions is a complete rig.  Lots of external 
stuff required to finish them off (preamps/atten, filters, Tx amps, TR 
switching, etc).

BTW, the "open" in openHPSDR was added because Phil alleged he had the 
rights to the term HPSDR (and the domain name), along with the 
design of the Ozy board.  When the pissing match happened, he took both of 
them with him.  Definitely a HUGE ego clash on both sides, with some obvious 
behind-the-scenes accelerant.  I'm not in the loop enough to know which side 
was more in the wrong, but both sides did some rather bad things.  That 
sparked the Ozy replacement, which eventually led to the Metis ethernet 
board instead of a USB board.

Another recent DDC/DUC design is the Russian ZS1SDR.  I haven't seen any 
reports outside Russia or Europe of actual delivery or usage.  But, it looks 
to be more of a complete design, including filters, Tx amplifier, etc.

There are other designs in the works as well, the above are just the ones 
either on the market, or close to that.

So, there are several exciting new DDC/DUC designs becoming available.  I 
continue wanting to roll our own "AMRAD" design, but it appears this group 
is not interested.  What a shame, as we could be one again leading with 
amateur technology, and carving out our own niche.
Terry, WB4JFI

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Azlin N4ZPT
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2012 10:36 AM
To: Mike O'Dell
Cc: tacos at ; wb4jfi at
Subject: Re: New Flex 6700 - anyone at Dayton?

Hi Mike,

I already have the QS1R so for me would be just adding the QS1E. The
power levels are perfect for the transverter to 1296 that I have. the
HPSDR filter and amplifier boards might be the add on you are looking
for. Some hardware and software integration needed.

HPSDR has been around for quite a while. Web search HPSDR and you find
it. Is a TAPR and others project "High Performance SDR" with boards sold
by TAPR and others. Two versions right now. One is multiple boards that
fit on a motherboard. And a one board integrated transceiver. Same issue
for all of these, i.e. you have to then add in filter boards and power
amplifiers.  Designer of the QS1R and QS1E was part of the original
HPSDR team until they parted ways. to purchase production boards with a wiki at

pre-production interest is gathered at

73, tom n4zpt

On 5/19/2012 8:19 AM, Mike O'Dell wrote:
> Which radio is this? (HPSDR Hermes)
> The Quicksilver does 8 receive channels now in the FPGA.
> It's just a matter of gate real estate. There is the question of
> how to get from the QS-1E exciter board up to power that
> qualifies as QRP instead of the QQQQRP output level of
> the barefoot board. Several folks that have the exciters are
> working that problem. The good part is that the QS-1R with
> the QS-1E "factory installed" is about $1200 all-in (if i remember
> correctly - not off by too much if wrong). Then the xmit PA
> chain can be added incrementally. the Phil's software already
> supports the TX functions.
> it's actually pretty interesting to compare the F-6X00 with
> the Quicksilver. There will certainly be some back-and-forth
> about who did what first, but by my read, the QS did multiple
> receive channels first (that's been working for quite a while
> and the interfaced with the web server so multiple remote
> users can look at multiple bands - i believe the multiple
> channels was first hacked into the Verilog by a user!),
> Phil has had the CW keyer with direct sidetone and waveform
> synthesis all in the FPGA since the very first protos of the exciter.
> Here we have a classic example of "leap-frogging". each successive
> product can move the bar significantly because of the newest
> parts they get to design with. Sometimes the competitor that
> starts 6 months *after* the first-mover has a significant advantage
> precisely because he could design with better/faster/denser/cheaper
> parts than when the first-mover had to freeze the design. They may
> even hit the market at almost the same time in spite of a large
> difference in elapsed calendar and total cash burned. This is why
> being too early to a market is easily just as fatal as being late.
> The new FPGAs are an interesting point of comparison viz this issue.
> I believe the QS uses the FPGA it does because it's the biggest part
> he could get (at the time) that was leaded - everything denser used
> Ball Grid Array. I suspect that decision was driven by the hopes
> of offering the QS as a kit, not to mention the expense of building and
> debugging BGA prototypes on a shoestring budget.
> (BGA debug daughters are available but are not cheap and require a
> seriously
> expensive socket on the prototype board and still precludes a lot of
> "blue-wire"
> and "dead-bug" hacks as seen in most protos.) as the QS is now
> line-assembled
> and given the engineering experience if Phil did it again today (QS-2???),
> i suspect the BGA issue might not loom as large as it did then
> Radio History question:
> i have seen references suggesting that the arrival
> of the Collins rigs with out-of-the-box SSB support (and the adoption by
> SAC!) might represent the tipping point where SSB transitioned from
> the darling of the hard-core hackers to mainstream, as in you didn't have
> to build something to run sideband.
> IS THIS TRUE? What was the first generally-available rig that came out
> of the box with solid SSB support?
> my point is whether the FLEX 6x00 radios is a parallel to, eg, Collins,
> that SDR has arrived at the tipping point. Clearly Very Not Cheap, but
> now clearly packagable as an "appliance" and not an exercise in
> technology exploitation for the industrious.
> -mo
> On 5/18/12 9:03 PM, Tom Azlin N4ZPT wrote:
>> Hi Terry,
>> Yea, the simpler single digitizer unit looks more affordable but I
>> guess they are trying to beat the FT-5000 ( but not 200 watts) with
>> the 6700. The dynamic range possibility is really nice. I too was very
>> surprised about the software. But then if they publish the API and
>> only display/control is via the PC software then maybe will be 3rd
>> party software. Maybe the new HRD guys will adapt?
>> I am likely to just wait for the HPSDR Hermes radio.
>> I presume the software keeps running and you just do not get support.
>> Or pay as you go if all are lucky.
>> 73, tom n4zpt
>> On 5/18/2012 8:06 PM, wb4jfi at wrote:
>>> It appears the 6500, with only one A/D RF deck(?) is only $4,000. That's
>>> more in line with what I might be able to afford. And, I don't really
>>> need to monitor ten bands at once, five would do just fine. For an extra
>>> $3,000, I can give up internal 2 Meters as well.
>>> The other concern is the $200 per year cost for the software and
>>> support. If you forgo the $200/year, does the software still work, but
>>> you don't get upgrades? Or, if you don't pay, you can't play?
>>> Darn, I was starting to tally up what I could sell to get the $4,000,
>>> until the little software fee showed up.
>>> Terry
>>> -----Original Message----- From: Mike O'Dell
>>> Sent: Friday, May 18, 2012 7:50 PM
>>> To: Tom Azlin N4ZPT
>>> Cc: tacos at
>>> Subject: Re: New Flex 6700 - anyone at Dayton?
>>> It does have impressive specs and certainly represents
>>> a high-end design that will have long legs - a real
>>> "stake in the ground".
>>> I believe it will also create what we call a "price umbrella".
>>> I suspect we won't have to wait terribly long for others to
>>> develop product that does some large fraction as much for much lower
>>> cost.
>>> the components used are all going to slide down the learning curve
>>> pretty quickly because of their use in LTE base stations and access
>>> points.
>>> (the success of LTE is going to hinge on Mini-, Micro-, Pico-, and
>>> Femto-Cell
>>> systems. yes, those all exist. The FonHedz have every intention of
>>> co-opting
>>> WiFi in service of their coverage extension plans, so be prepared to
>>> supply
>>> your Internet connectivity free of charge to the Picocell your
>>> carrier will
>>> try to foist on you in the name of "better service".)
>>> -mo
>>> On 5/18/12 4:38 PM, Tom Azlin N4ZPT wrote:
>>>> Plus $200 a year for the software? 73, tom n4zpt
>>>> On 5/18/2012 3:05 PM, Lee Wood wrote:
>>>>> If I interpret their their web-site correctly:
>>>>> the regular price of a FLEX-6700 is $6999, requiring a deposit of
>>>>> $2,100.
>>>>> __________________
>>>>> Lee_Wood at
>>>>> VA7BZZ
>>>>> Latitude : 49.263
>>>>> Longitude : -123.155
>>>>> Grid : CN89kg
>>>>> On May 18, 2012, at 10:00 AM, tacos-request at wrote:
>>>>>> The new Flex radios have been announced on their web site. It looks
>>>>>> REAL good, but someone said the price was $7k, and delivery is 4th
>>>>>> quarter. Can someone at Dayton confirm this, especially the price?
>>>>>> If it?s that high, I will continue to play with the lower-cost
>>>>>> options. It may be worth that (to government agencies and the
>>>>>> independently wealthy), but that?s way beyond what I can/want to
>>>>>> spend on a rig.
>>>>>> Terry, WB4JFI
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