Well I have had the Flex 3000 up and running for awhile now. It definitely takes more work to get a SDR working than a regular hardware radio. Plus there are software glitches/bugs and other annoyances. I work as a programmer all day and really prefer to leave software troubleshooting behind when I quit for the day. However, the Flex has some real positive features, too.
My faster video card helps overall. My old one had a noisy fan, this new one has a variable speed fan and you rarely ever hear it. Thats a big deal when you work at a PC all day. Eventually I’ll have a dedicated PC for the Flex but for now it shares the main PC. I plan on getting a Mac Mini and booting it with Windows 7. I would like to do native Mac but Flex doesn’t have the software finished yet. Of course then I have to find Mac apps to replace all the pieces you need on Windows.
After the new video card was installed I needed to finalize all the other software setup. I have a Yaesu FT-2000 connected to the PC through a USB serial adapter and it connects to Ham Radio Deluxe and it’s logbook. I also use DM-780 for digital modes and CWGet to help me with CW. Now I need to make all of that work with the Flex.
Using HRD with PowerSDR is a little redundant, you don’t need two radio displays but I did need the HRD logbook to connect to the radio. To do that I needed MiniDeluxe by K1FSY and a com port. I would also need another com port to connect to my THP 1.5-K amplifier. Since the Flex only has one CAT port this presents a problem. It would be great if the Flex software had a way to add CAT ports as needed. Anyway, you have to get a program to create virtual com ports and connect everything together. Looking at the Flex forums and posting some question on the DDUtil Yahoo board it looked like I needed VSPManager and DDUtil from Steve (K5FR). Steve was real helpful helping me configure everything.
I had two choices for connecting the amp since the Yaesu was already using one control port. I could use the serial port for a Kenwood or the CI-V connector for an Icom. I chose the CI-V route and ordered a USB to CI-V adapter. When that I arrived I used DDUtil to essentially repeat the Flex CAT port so now my amp will auto band switch with the radio.
To summarize, I needed VSPManager, DDUtil, MiniDeluxe to connect everything and then needed VAC by Eugene Muzychenko to create a virtual sound cable for DM-780 and CWGet. A fair amount of work just to get a radio to work with everything. However, everything is working and I get good audio reports. Now if we will just get some good 6 meter openings so I can use it more.