FlexRadio PowerSDR™ Features and Capabilities

The FlexRadio PowerSDR™ software provides all DSP and hardware control functions for FlexRadio Systems' fully software defined radios.  While software experimentation is encouraged, no programming experience is ever required to enjoy your software defined radio.  The complete application is provided in compiled form so that you can simply download, install and run it.  Written in a combination of ANSI C and C#, FlexRadio PowerSDR software is easy to learn and modify.  Source code is available to encourage amateur SDR research and experimentation.  The capabilities of the FlexRadio PowerSDR are limited only by your imagination.  For more detailed information about the FlexRadio PowerSDR software, see the latest FLEX User's Manual located in the Downloads section of the FlexRadio Systems web site for more details.

 NOTE: Please review the  FlexRadio PowerSDR Operating System Compatibility Statementregarding supported operating system configurations for running FlexRadio PowerSDR.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Real-Time High Resolution Multi-Function Spectrum Display with ClickTune™ and "Drag and Set" Filter Settings

The centerpiece of FlexRadio PowerSDR features its real-time, high dynamic range, interactive spectrum display up to 192 KHz wide (dependent on SDR hardware).  The display may be calibrated in dBm for accurate signal measurement and spectral analysis.  The spectrum display offers histogram, waterfall and high resolution real-time modes, such as the Panadapter as seen in the screen shot above.   Other display modes such as Scope and Phase are also available.  CW and SSB signals may be tuned visually by clicking (or click 'n' dragging) on the displayed signal with the mouse.  This capability, know as ClickTune™, is a FlexRadio Systems' exclusive and is available only on I/Q enabled transceivers using FlexRadio PowerSDR. ClickTune works in all modes and works especially well for centering the desired signal in the selected filter’s passband.

The Real-Time Panadapter spectrum display allows you to view signals up and down the band at up to 50 frames per second with ~10Hz resolution. When calibrated with an accurate signal generator, the spectrum display and associated dBm power meter provide signal location and intensity measurement capabilities comparable to expensive lab grade test equipment.

PanaScope™ and PanaFall™ allows simultaneous viewing of signal in the frequency and time domains. Another innovative first from FlexRadio Systems is the multiple signal display consoles. Not only do you get the benefit of the lab grade frequency analyzer console with the Panadapter, you also can get simultaneous time-domain information using the PanaScope and PanaFall features.  The PanaScope combines the Pandapter and the oscilloscope display in a integrated over/under configuration so you can see the waveforms of both the received and transmitted signals.  You can actually see the CW keying waveforms in such detail that you can analyze the RF envelope.  The PanaFall display combines the Panadapter and a waterfall display so you can see a scrolling spectrogram of a signal's frequency and intensity verses time. This allows toy to pick out weak signals in what would otherwise be a spectrum of noise.

Drag and Set Filter Settings allows you to "grab" the receive filter edges with your mouse and dynamically create any filter you want with any offset when using the Panadapter display - as narrow or wide as you want in any mode. With the FilterSlide™capability, a simple slide of the mouse permits precise positioning and bandwidth of the filter passband to maximize receive intelligibility. With another slide of the mouse, the filter edges can be independently adjusted to eliminate QRM. It is intuitive and very fast to create custom filters "on the fly"! And this capability is not limited to receive filters; you can also dynamically adjust transmits filters as well.

Contesting and DX chasing become a snap when you can see the signal, ClickTune and make the contact, and move on to the next one. For VHF and up, the same features let you find off-frequency signals in seconds and work them with ease.

Multiple Independent Receiver Control

FlexRadio PowerSDR when used with the FLEX-5000 Second Receiver (RX2) provides the capability to control multiple independent receivers. FlexRadio PowerSDR is the first multi-receiver "aware" SDR software that can control independent receivers. This opens up a host of capabilities for SO2R in a single radio.

Multi-Threaded TX and RX Operation

FlexRadio PowerSDR implements a separate software threads for transmit and receive operations allowing them to operate simultaneously. When used with half-duplex hardware, such as the FLEX-3000™, the full duplex capabilities of the FlexRadio PowerSDR architecture results in a respectable T/R turn around times since the software does not have to transition back and forth between transmit and receive.

When FlexRadio PowerSDR is used with full duplex hardware, such as the FLEX-5000™ the transmitter and the receiver operate at the same time which decreases the T/R turn around times even more.

Multi-Function Over/Under Spectrum Display: PanFall and PanScope

FlexRadio PowerSDR provides the capability to have multiple displays of the same signals in both the time and frequency domain. You can now use Panadapter in conjunction with either the Scope or the Waterfall display to create the over/under configuration of a PanaScope or a PanaFall. This provides viewing of transmitted and received signals in the time and frequency domain simultaneously.

Operating Modes, Bands & Bandstack Controls

FlexRadio PowerSDR Supports the Following Eleven operating Modes:
  • Lower Sideband (LSB)
  • Upper Sideband (USB)
  • Double Sideband (DSB)
  • Amplitude Modulation (AM)
  • Synchronous Amplitude Modulation (SAM)
  • Lower Sideband Continuous Wave (CWL)
  • Upper Sideband Continuous Wave (CWU)
  • Upper Sideband Digital Mode (DIGIU)
  • Lower Sideband Digital Mode (DIGIL)
  • Digital Radio Mondial I/O (DRM) 
  •  Frequency Modulation (FM)
Band selection or Bandstack controls remember the last 3 frequencies, mode, & filter settings.

To scroll through the most recent settings on the band, simply press the band button multiple times.

It is a simple matter to add more bands, control transverters, and display the correct frequency. The new 60M band is included along with a five (5) memory General Coverage bandstack button.

Revolutionary ClickTune™ and Auto Zero Beat for Extra Fast QSY

Tune to any point in the sampling rate passband with a single click of the mouse and automatically zero beat on the signal. There is no other amateur made that has this capability. It virtually makes a manual VFO obsolete. But if you really been a manual VFO tuning control, there are a two USB interfaces that you can use with FlexRadio PowerSDR; the Griffin PowerMate and the ShuttlePro V2.0

High Performance DSP Impulse Noise, Notch Filter, Subtraction and Noise Reduction

DSP Impulse Noise Subtraction Virtually Eliminates Distortion by digitally replacing noise pulses with an estimate of the real signal. Multi-tone automatic notch filter and DSP noise reduction are also provided to further improve the listening experience. The DSP algorithms have been fine tuned and improved in the most recent version of FlexRadio PowerSDR to provide even better signal processing capabilities.

The Most Advanced Multilevel AGC Available in Any Receiver

All digital AGC is Performed After the Brick Wall Filter and DSP Noise Reduction to eliminate compression or "pumping" of weak desired signals by strong adjacent signals. The AGC threshold may be set by the user to allow quiet operation under varying band conditions.

Customizable AGC Settings

FlexRadio PowerSDR makes the FLEX-5000 the Ultimate S02R with Diversity Reception

FlexRadio PowerSDR is now capable for SO2R with the addition of the second independent receiver. FlexRadio PowerSDR is now single operator, two radios (SO2R) capable. There is no interfacing software or special cabling required. Everything runs under the same DSP engine using multiple consoles. VFO Sync "locks" the VFOs of both receivers to facilitate diversity reception. Easily switch the transmit frequency from one to the other independent receiver with just the click of a button. SO2R has never been easier!
NOTE: Feature available only on the FLEX-5000

FlexRadio PowerSDR Supports Industry Standard MIDI Hardware Control

With the introduction of a FireWire® control interface on the FLEX-5000 and FLEX-3000, FlexRadio PowerSDR now supports the industry standard MIDI control protocol for communicating between the radio hardware and the PC.

Operating Digital Modes Does Not Require a Sound Card!

FlexRadio PowerSDR Allows you to Operate Sound Card Digital Modes without an Additional Sound Card. Digital mode sound card programs only need to convert their digital audio to analog so that it can be fed into your rig. With FlexRadio PowerSDR and Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) there is no need to do this digital to analog conversion since FlexRadio PowerSDR's audio is already in the digital domain. Eliminating the conversion step results in the cleanest digital mode operation possible. No other radio in the world has this capability.

Unlimited Memory Channels

Virtually unlimited memory storage is provided through the simple user interface illustrated below. Each memory may be associated with groups for better memory organization. Mode, band pass filter, and squelch value settings are optionally stored for each memory channel. A call sign and comments may also be stored for easy recall. A memory location is selected by double clicking on the respective row. The number of memories is only limited by the disk space in your computer – literally millions!

Memory Channel Database

User Selectable Meters and RX/TX Output Values

FlexRadio PowerSDR comes with two different styles of S-meters; an LED bar graph and a classic edge style meter. There are many different parameters that can be monitored other than your RX signal strength. You can assign a particular function to the S-meter for receive and transmit.

Edge Style S-Meter

LED Bar Style S-Meter

Receive Meter Options
  • Signal Strength
  • Average Signal Strength
  • ADC L (A to D conversion, left)
  • ADC R (A to D conversion, right)
Transmit Meter Options
  • Reflected Power
  • Forward Power
  • Standing Wave Ratio (SWR
  • Microphone Output Gain (MIC)
  • EQ Gain
  • Leveler
  • Leveler Gain
  • Compander
  • ALC
  • ALC Compression

Built In Support for 14 Additional Bands to Support Transverters

Being able to control and sequence 14 separate devices provides unsurpassed control for the VHF+ Operator. Combined with the phenomenal receiver characteristics and the optional 2 meter transverter, FlexRadio PowerSDR becomes a formidable tool for weak signal, meteor scatter, microwave and EME work.

Being able to control the transverter chain, especially when you have more than one transverter is a big challenge.

Lots of folks have come up with ingenious ways to do all this effectively, but with the UCB – (Universal Control Board) and the integrated FlexRadio PowerSDR software controls, the ultimate microwave interface is possible. A single click of a band button can control which microwave transverter is selected, route the RF and PTT lines, and show the actual frequency of operation. It is a microwave operators dream come true!

Razor Sharp, Brick Wall, No Ring Filters down to 10 Hz and No AGC Pumping

4096 Tap DSP Filters Provide a 1.35:1 Shape Factor for a 500 Hz filter and 1.06:1 for a 2.6 KHz filter (3dB to 60dB BW).  Strong signals simply disappear within a few Hertz of the filter cutoff frequency. It is the ultimate QRM "killer". The radios unparalleled selectivity lets you enjoy the bands with much less interference from adjacent stations.

500 Hz Filter Spectrum

No-Ring Filters Down to 10 Hz Allows You to Pull in Extremely Weak Signals Even Among Strong Adjacent Stations. The narrow filters make on the air CW and narrow mode digital signals sound amazingly clear without changing the note of the CW signal.

2800 Hz Filter Spectrum

Single Control Variable Bandwidth Filter Along with IF Shift and Auto Center allows rapid customization of the filter to eliminate QRM. The variable bandwidth control directly programs one of the custom filter buttons for easy recall.

Continuously Variable RX Pass Band Filters

FlexRadio PowerSDR comes with ten standard bandwidth settings from 10Hz to 10KHz per mode. Each of these filters are easily customized per mode to provide a completely optimized filter setup up to 20kHz wide for AM and DSB modes.

The dialog box below shows the user configurable Filter Setup screen. Each filter bank is mode group specific and the user sets the low and hit cut frequency points relative to the carrier frequency. Since LSB is the lower frequency side band, the filter settings are set with negative values.

Filter Setup Screen

Dual VFOs for Easy Split and MultiRX Operation

Dual VFOs are provided with tuning resolution down to 1Hz. Both VFOs may be tuned with the mouse wheel, the numeric keypad, or by clicking the signal on the spectrum display. You can even work cross-band split operation if desired.

Dual VFO With Band Plan Database Readout

Within the sampling rate bandwidth, FlexRadio PowerSDR has the ability to have multiple bandpass receivers, or MultiRX™ capability. This allows you to place one MultiRX channel on the DX's listening frequency so you can easily see if they are working up or down the band. You can place each FlexWatch receiver in to independent speakers or blend them together depending on your listening preference. NOTE: a second independent receiver is not required for MultiRX capability.

CAT Control & Virtual COM Ports Allow Integration of Logging and Digital Mode Software

Virtual COM Port Software Allows Almost Any Logging or Digital Mode Software to be Used on the Same PC Without Cables. This eliminates external CAT control wiring by creating a software connection between FlexRadio PowerSDR and other amateur radio applications. FlexRadio PowerSDR software emulates the Kenwood CAT command set in its basic compatibility mode, which means that most amateur radio applications run right away. MixW, Ham Radio Deluxe, and WriteLog are just a few of the applications known to work with FlexRadio PowerSDR.

Record and Playback up to 192 KHz of Real-Time Spectrum

Record and Playback Audio on the Air Effortlessly. Now you can go back in time using the wave recording and playback features of the FlexRadio PowerSDR software. All of the signals within the bandwidth of your sampling rate can be recorded to the hard disk to be played back at any time. You can tune in any station within the full bandwidth of the recorded signals. This is handy for recording beacons, contests, selected DX QSOs, and radio demos.  The bandwidth of the spectrum recording is hardware dependent.  192 KHz bandwidth is only available with the FLEX-5000.

Receive Incremental Tuning (RIT) & Transmit Incremental Tuning (XIT) Controls for Precision Tuning

FlexRadio PowerSDR has a ± 10 KHz RIT and XIT tuning range for greater reception and transmit frequency control. RIT is used to fine tune the reception or "zero beat" a station you are listening to without changing your transmit frequency. Occasionally, the station you are in QSO with has a receiver that is off frequency so XIT is used to help the other operator receive better.

VOX, Downward Expander, Leveler and Squelch Controls.

Exactly what you would expect in a top of the line rig. The VOX is a great feature for hands and foot free operation for rag chews and contests. The Downward Expander really knocks down the ambient background noise in the shack for quiet, noise free audio when working phone modes. The Leveler is a FlexRadio PowerSDR exclusive. The Leveler adds audio gain to your mic input when you move back away from the microphone providing constant audio level especially if you have microphones prone to fade out and the proximity effect. Getting fatigue from listening to a noisy band? No problem, just engage the adjustable squelch and knock down that annoying QRN.

Instrument Grade RF Spectrum Analyzer and S-Meter

FlexRadio PowerSDR and all lines of FlexRadio Systems software defined radios are accurate enough to be used as precision RF test equipment. The S-meter is not affected by preamps, AGC or DSP processing. If you are reading S9, there is 50 mV or -73 dB of signal on the receiver right at the antenna connector. No more signal strength guessing. FlexRadio PowerSDR also makes a great AF spectrum analyzer when use in scope and in Panadapter mode.

Built-in Iambic, Keyboard and Memory Keyer

The built in CW keyer provides semi break-in modes for iambic A & B, non-iambic, keyboard, and memory operation exceeding 40 WPM. World-class narrow-spaced IMD performance and brick wall filters, and "no ring" filters down to 25Hz bandwidth make this transceiver a joy to use on CW. The software keyer also provide the ability to send CW directly from the keyboard and from predefined memory buffers

Graphic Equalizer, Compander and Variable Transmit Bandwidth Filter for the Best Transmit Audio Available. Period!

Do you need more "punch" in your audio to break those pileups? The Compander with DX Boost, 3-Band or 10-band Graphic Transmit and Receive Equalizer and Continuously Variable Bandwidth Transmit Filter allows you to customize your signal for band conditions, operating style, and mode. All compression and ALC processing occurs before the final brick wall transmit filter to virtually eliminate splatter. For maximum talk power, the improved feed-forward compander may be selected and adjusted from the console.

Multiple Transmit Profiles that are Mode Independent

Image being able to define transmit profiles for just about any operating style that is not dependent on the mode of operation. It is possible with FlexRadio PowerSDR. You can define the low and high cut points of the TX filter allowing you to center the filter at any frequency. You also control the compander, EQ settings, VOX and noise gate settings per filter too. This allows you to set different phone TX profiles for DX, contesting, rag chewing, ESSB and AM operation.

There is no more guessing on how wide your signal is, you know definitively because you set it! One other feature is being able to define narrow TX filters for digital modes and CW to improve your signal quality by improving the IMD. Sound card generated overtones that are usually low in signal strength are blocked entirely with the brick wall DSP transmit filters. The number of TX profiles you can create is only limited by the disk space in your computer.

Improved MultiBand Transmit and Receive Calibration Routines

Greatly Improved Calibration Routines for exceptional image and carrier suppression. One area that FlexRadio PowerSDR excels in is being able to null transmit and receive carriers and images. And now with the new multiband calibrations, you have a better calibrated transceiver over all of the ham bands.

Self Calibrating Transceivers.

The only transceivers available that calibrates themselves! The FLEX-5000 and the FLEX-3000 with FlexRadio PowerSDR 1.x has the capability to utilize advanced calibration routines along with an internal signal generator to run internal receive and transmit calibrations without the need for external test equipment.
NOTE: Feature available only on the FLEX Family of Software defined radios

One Touch Recording and Playback of Received Signals

One Touch recording allows you to record signals off of the air and easily play them back for others to hear. Easy one touch recording capabilities allows you to receive and play back signals recorded over the air. This is a great tool for allowing other to hear their transmitted audio so they can properly adjust their transceivers of signal processing audio chain.
"Thanks a lot for fixing the DRM problem I mentioned a couple of days ago. With the new version of PowerSDR DRM mode now works perfectly. The service from FlexRadio Systems is second to none. Shame I can't buy a FlexRadio automobile!!" - Brian, VK1BF

"Thank you for the quick delivery; I had the transceiver only a couple of days after ordering it. I installed the [FlexRadio PowerSDR] software and WOW this thing has life!! This is the most fun I've had with Ham radio, I just can't believe the quality of audio can be this great. I can make 75 meters LSB sound like FM!. The filters and the adjustability of everything just makes this thing great. Thank you again for a great and quality product". - Spencer, W4ERC

"Just got the Burkina Faso DXpedition on 30 meters operating PSK31 using MixW2.16 and FlexRadio PowerSDR 1.8.0. It was the first time I'd tried digital modes with FlexRadio PowerSDR 1.8.0 and I got the DX just before he shut down on that frequency and mode. The "new" power limits may well have made the difference -- it was 100 per cent copy both ways, in any event. It's in the log!" - Larry, WOØZ

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