The back panel on the new Flex 5000A V/U model is somewhat busy. Notice the use of UHF female connectors for the lower bands with heavy duty BNC conecctors for the 144 and 432 bands.
Flex Radio recently discontinued installing the new 432/144 internal units, apparently because of legal issues with some european countries?
My 5000A works great and recently learned to work through ham satellites using the duplex feature. Everything in one box makes for easy operations, especially when working QSK and other fancy CW modes.
For microwave operations, the ability to switch antennas around makes it easy for transverter use. Of course my 10 MHz GPS reference oscillator makes this rig equal or surpass any other transceiver as far as frequency accuracy and stability.
On January 27, 2011, I received a call from Matt Youngblood at Flex Radio in Austin, Texas. He said they are ready to receive my Flex 5000A to fit the new V/U unit inside. I was given an RMA number which will identify my radio when shipped to them. The original shipping box was damaged because of water leakage in the basement where it was stored but UPS can quickly pack it in a safe box with the RMA number on the outside and on the shipping order. He said it will take about 2 weeks and there is no hurry now since my HF antenna is down for repairs anyway. A new Skywire Loop antenna is in progress now which will give me 40 through 6 meters and 80 meters when using it in vertical mode by shorting the center and outside conductor using a tuner. Flex Radio's 144/432 internal 60 watt transverter, must be installed by Flex Radio since it requires a 13 volt power connector to be installed on the 5000A and other fittings including antenna connectors. The 5000A can then be used for all operations in the shack since it will have the ability to monitor VHF/UHF while operating other bands. Of course the HP Z3810A 10 MHz reference will keep the 5000A right on frequency on all bands. Below are the specifications of the V/U transverter unit. Our other radios such as the FT847, IC756PRO and IC910H will be sold since there is no reason to take up room in my radio den. The 3 spare radios are mounted in special rack panels which are installed in a rack panel cabinet. A piece of RG6 cable is already in the shack for 10 MHz frequency reference from the Z3801A GPS oscillator in the basement workshop.
The FLEX-5000 V/U upgrade module (FLEX-VU5K) is a fully integrated all-mode, all-band full-duplex VHF/UHF module that adds both 2m and 70 cm capabilities to the already outstanding FLEX-5000 family of software defined radios. The FLEX-VU5K module transforms the FLEX-5000 into the ultimate satellite or terrestrial weak signal transceiver with enough RF output (60w) on both bands to drive high power V/U amplifiers. Or you can run it in low power mode with its 50 mW output that can drive a wide variety of external transverters for microwave operations. The FLEX-VU5K module's oscillators are locked to the 500 MHz master oscillator in the FLEX-5000, which in turn is locked to the internal 0.5ppm reference or it may be connected to an external 10 MHz reference, such as a Rubidium clock or GPS disciplined oscillator for even greater frequency stability and accuracy.
FLEX-VU5K Module Features and Specifications:
Frequency Range: 2m (144-148 MHz) and 70 cm (430-450 MHz)
Low noise preamp: 1 dB NF
Frequency stability: ± 0.5 ppm (internal) or greater using the external 10 MHz reference
Both V/U oscillators are locked to the 500 MHz master oscillator in the FLEX-5000
Class AB biased power amplifiers
60 watts on both VHF and UHF
PA RF bypass (50 mW output) for transverter operation
All mode support - supports SSB, FM, FM-N, CW and digital modes (ASFK)
Full duplex cross band operation mode - Satellite ready: B and J modes supported
Simplex operation mode.
Same band split operation for FM repeaters
CTCSS encode for FM repeaters and LEO satellites (PowerSDR v2.1).
Separate dedicated antenna connectors for VHF and UHF.
Internally installed in the FLEX-5000
Of course with the Flex Radio gear not having knobs, it is necessary to find a compfortable and accurate means to move the mouse cursor around. The Logikey trackball does it nicely and with just a flip of my right thumb, can be swiftly moved to either monitor.
Whenever I use a voice mode, SSB, FM or rarely AM, the Hiel Model PR40 is fantastic and in fact have seen them used in a few broadcast stations.
Logikey Trackball Mouse
Heil PR40 Microphone
Plans were to use a 1 Kilowatt amplifier, the Commander ll but recently while browsing the Ham Radio Outlet store in Delaware, I noticed a neat medium sized amplifier, the TOKYO HL-350VDX 350 watt unit. It requires 48 amperes at 13 volts for full power. By using 25 to 30 watt driving power, this little amp would be ideal to use with my Flex 5000A and it's 144 Mhz output. Many operators are capable of working Moonbouce, Meteor Scatter etc. with this amp and have read and heard many good reviews about it. It weighs only 9 pounds and is 14 inches wide with a built in adjustable preamplifier. My operating room would have required a 220 volt line for a Commander amplifier which would be difficult to run at this time. Since he Tokyo amplifier has a built-in preamp, plans are to run the amp remotely in the garden shed which is directly underneath the 2 meter antennas and satellite roof tower.