FLEX-3000 Product PDF | Features | Accessories

The FlexRadio FLEX-3000™ Software Defined Radio

An Affordable and Compact Fully Software Defined Radio Built on the Same Solid Foundation of the FLEX-5000™ Family of Transceivers. 
The FLEX-3000 is the high performancemid-range 100 watt all-band, all-mode amateur radio transceiver that achieves receiver performance that rivals all other traditional analogor hybrid DSP transceivers in its price class.  The FLEX-3000 is the perfect transceiver for hams just getting started with high performancefully software defined radios or a companion SDR for existing FLEX-5000 owners who want a more convenient solution for portable operation .

Front View

They say dynamite comes in small packages and nothing could be closer to the truth. The FLEX-3000 is the newest member of FlexRadio Systems' high performance fully Software Defined Radio (SDR) transceivers family.  The FLEX-3000 is a "direct descendant" of the FLEX-5000™, the full-featured, world-class software defined radio transceiver for amateur use.  Engineered using the same core multi-channel Firewire infrastructure as the FLEX-5000, the FLEX-3000 offers ham radio operators a mid-range priced, SDR that will continue to "just keep getting better" with new performance and operating features.  Moreover, these new features can be had with just a simple free software update of FlexRadio PowerSDR™ downloaded from the Internet.

As with all FlexRadio Systems transceivers, the real power of the FLEX-3000 is unleashed when it is combined with FlexRadio's PowerSDR software .  This is the same software that is used by all FlexRadio Systems fully software defined radios including the upcoming FLEX-1500™ entry-level QRP model.

In addition to the information listed above and below, there is also an extensive Product Comparison Matrix on the web site that provides side-by-side feature comparison of all FlexRadio Systems fully software defined radios.

But don't just take our word for it.  See what other FLEX-3000 users are saying about the newest software defined radio.  You can find a collection of unsolicited comments on the FLEX-3000 Testimonials web page .

Rear View

A Fully Software Defined Radio (SDR)

Like all SDRs from FlexRadio Systems the FLEX-3000 is a fully software defined radio.  The accepted definition of a real software defined radio is one "where components that have typically been implemented in hardware (e.g. mixers, filters, amplifiers, oscillators, modulators/demodulators, detectors. etc.) are instead implemented using software running on a personal computer or other embedded computing devices" .  The advantages of a SDR over a traditional analog radio, a hybrid DSP/analog radio or "firmware defined radio" are many.  Versatility, flexibility and immunity to obsolescence are just a few of the inherent characteristics of fully software defined radios.  Don't be mislead by other manufacturer's claims that their radios or accessories are "software defined" when they are just really software controlled or have software defined "like" features. If you are looking for the real deal, a genuine software defined radio, then look no further than FlexRadio Systems and the  FLEX-3000.

Phenomenal Receiver Performance For a Mid-Range Priced Transceiver

The FLEX-3000 utilizes high performance 24-bit A/D and D/A converters thatenables its great close-in receiver performance in the sub $1600 price class of mid-range transceivers.  It is able to achieve this level of performance without the use of additional expensive narrow bandwidth "roofing filters".  Matter of fact there are no additional filters to buy - ever.  All of the RX and TX filtering in the FLEX-3000 is accomplished using digital signal processing (DSP) so you can define "no ring" brick wall RX filter widths from 25 to 20,000 Hz that have amazingly steep skirts to eliminate adjacent QRM. The A/D and D/A converters are sampling rate selectable for either 48 or 96 KHz.

Narrow-Spaced Two-Tone 3rd Order IMD Dynamic Range on 14 MHz Using Any Spacing Greater than 90 dB

There is no need to extol the virtues of radios that have phenomenal two-tone, third order dynamic range (IMD DR3) numbers when tested using a close in spacing.  When bands are crowded with strong signals, the ability to hear a weak signal a few KHz away from an exceptionally strong signal is what separates a decent receiver from a superior receiver.  Software defined radios with high performance A/D and D/A converters really shine in this area and the FLEX-3000 is the brightest star in the mid-ranged priced amateur radio transceiver universe.With the IMD DR3 at a 2 KHz spacing measured with the ARRL test method of at least 90 dB with the preamp off, the FLEX-3000 performs much better than other radios costing seven times as much! See the ARRL or Sherwood Engineering web sites for their detailed testing data.

Narrow-Spaced Third Order Intercept (IP3) on 14 MHz using a 2 KHz Spacing Greater than +20 dBm

Using the same engineering philosophy as the FLEX-5000, the FLEX-3000 is designed to handle large signals at any frequency spacing.  This means that the IP3 at 2 KHz and 500 Hz is exactly the same and the end result is that the FLEX-3000 can hear very weak signals inter-dispersed between very loud signals.The FLEX-3000 obtains an IP3 at a 2 KHz spacing of greater than +20 dBm with the preamp off.  Again, this is an exceptional performance metric for a radio costing less than $1600.

Single 1394 FireWire ® Connection to Your Computer

One of the technological software defined radio innovations that the FLEX-3000 inherited from the FLEX-5000 was its FireWire control and multi-channel bi-directional audio interface circuitry.  This high-speed SDR-to-computer interface is ideally suited for the multiple full-duplex data streams necessary to achieve its outstanding performance characteristics and to minimize system latency.  Convenience and reliability are two another advantages of the single FireWire connection to your computer since it does away with the "rat's nest" of audio and control cables that plagued first generation software defined radios for amateur use.

TCXO for Stable Frequency Operation

Equipped with a temperature compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) to provide the frequency stability needed for digital and CW mode operation, the FLEX-3000 TCXO achieves frequency stability better than ± 1.0 ppm over the operating temperature of the transceiver once calibrated to a known frequency source, like WWV.

100 Watt Full Duty Cycle 160-6m RF Power Amp

The FLEX-3000 utilizes an AB class RF full duty cycle (100 watts ICAS) power amp whose design is taken directly from the FLEX-5000 so this is not a newly developed RF power amplifier, but uses a well-vetted design that is tried and true.  It delivers a full 100 watts PEP on 160-6 meters and does not miss a beat whether you are operating CW, phone or digital modes.

Optimized Band Pass Filters for all Amateur Bands and General Coverage Reception from 160 to 6 Meters Plus a BCB Low Pass Filter

The FLEX-3000 is outfitted with individually optimized bandpass filters to cover both the ham bands and for general coverage reception.  There is also an additional low pass filter for the broadcast bands.  These individually tuned filters minimize potential interference from strong out-of-band signals.

Internal ATU - A Standard Feature with the FLEX-3000

An antenna tuning unit (ATU) is a standard feature on the FLEX-3000 .  The ATU will tune a variety of unbalanced antenna systems (coax) that facilitates its use with multi-band antennas where the SWR is less than or equal to 3.0:1 (dependent on the complex impedance of the antenna).  When used with an appropriate balun, balanced antenna systems can be utilized also.  The ATU, when tuned and enabled, is also in the RX signal path further enhancing reception.  An ATU bypass function will completely remove the ATU from both the TX and RX signal paths.  All ATU functions are automatically controlled using FlexRadio PowerSDR as well as having manual control of the ATU.
  • Network Type: Switched "L"
  • Impedance Range: 17 to 150 ohms
  • Power Rating: 100 watts 160-6m

A Compact Footprint Makes it Perfect for Portable and Fixed Operating Positions

One of the first things you will immediately notice about the FLEX-3000 is its compact (12.25” x 12.25” x 1.75”) dimensions. Do not let its demure size fool you. The FLEX-3000 was engineered from the ground up so that the radio could be used easily for portable or remote operation, but still packs in all of the performance you have come to expect from FlexRadio Systems software defined radios.  One of the advantages of the compact footprint is that it allows for multiple installation configuration options.  It can sit underneath a laptop, it can be installed oriented vertically on its side to save desk space and can even sit underneath a desktop monitor.

No External Calibration Equipment Required

The FLEX-3000 incorporates Built-In Test Equipment (BITE) capabilities, which were first introduced with the FLEX-5000 family of software defined radios.  The FLEX-3000 includes a swept signal generator and power sampler.  The radio is capable of manually testing and calibrating itself if necessary.  Calibration data for the FLEX-3000 is stored in the radio's EEPROM, which eliminates cumbersome re-calibration procedures associated with early software defined radios.  Calibrating the FLEX-3000 is usually not required after purchase since all models are factory calibrated and aligned to exacting standards before being shipped from our manufacturing facilities in Austin Texas.

FLEX-3000 Technical Specifications:

Please refer to the FlexRadio Systems Knowledge Center article, FLEX-3000 Transceiver Specifications for the most current technical specifications for the FLEX-3000 . Please note that the specifications for the FLEX-3000 are subject to change at any time without notice.

Made in the USA

All FlexRadio Systems' products are designed, manufactured, assembled, quality checked and calibrated in Austin, TX USA.

RoHS Compliant Manufacturing

FlexRadio Systems takes environmental issues very seriously making concerted efforts to minimize the impact of our products on the Earth. As such, the FLEX-3000 is in compliance with the RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) directive for minimizing the amount of hazardous materials in its construction by using lead-free components and manufacturing techniques.

PowerSDR and the FLEX-3000 - An Awesome Combination!

The FLEX-3000 , like the world-class performer FLEX-5000, comes with FlexRadio PowerSDR software that performs all DSP, modulation, demodulation, filtering and control functions for the radio in addition to the lab grade spectrum analyzer Panadapter display at no additional cost .  FlexRadio PowerSDR is what provides all of the radio's operational features and capabilities whereas the radio hardware is the RF and AF I/O interface.  To get a comprehensive understanding of the features and capabilities of the FLEX-3000 , you must look at the combination of the software defined radio hardware and FlexRadio PowerSDR as a complete radio system since each element compliments the other. 

In view of the fact that the SDR software is the "brains" of a software defined radio system, visit the PowerSDR Details web page to discover the complete set of features the FLEX-3000 supports.

Unlike other radios whose firmware comes out maybe once a year if ever, FlexRadio Systems provides a constant stream of enhancements on a mostly weekly basis that incorporate both internally developed and customer provided features.  Do you want a new radio every week?  Sure you do!  Users of FlexRadio Systems transceivers simply download and install free software updates from the FlexRadio Systems website in order to get that new radio.  It does not get any easier or better than that!

Don't Wait.  Order your FLEX-3000 Today!


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FLEX-3000 European Union Declaration of Conformity
Download the complete CE Compliance Test Report for the FLEX-3000 (6.8MB)

FLEX-3000 Terms and Conditions of Sale

The FLEX-3000 includes Amateur Radio band transmit capability, which requires a valid amateur radio license; therefore you must provide proof of your Amateur Radio license for all models with transmission capability at time of purchase. (2) Product may be conditionally returned for full credit only within 30 days from shipment if it is returned in new condition with all cables, software, documentation and in the original packing materials. The purchaser is responsible for shipping charges for returned items. The option for returning a product for full refund within the first thirty days from purchase is valid only once per customer regardless of product.  All subsequent product returns are at the discretion of management and may be subject to a 15% restocking fee.

FlexRadio Systems goes to great lengths to ensure that our software defined radio products are compatible with as wide a range of personal computers as possible. Unfortunately, not all computer-to-radio interfaces fully comply with industry recognized standards. For this reason, it is not possible for us to unconditionally guarantee that FlexRadio Systems' software defined radios will work with all combinations of personal computers and computer-to-radio interfaces. We are committed to working with our customers to resolve any incompatibility or connectivity issues to the best of our ability. The proper operation of the real-time audio processing in our radios requires minimum hardware and operating system levels to ensure proper operation. Before purchasing please refer to the minimum personal computer hardware and operating system specifications in order to make an informed buying decision.

FLEX-3000 2-Year Limited Warranty
This Limited Warranty is effective as of the date of first purchase by the consumer. Original equipment warranties and manufacturer support for FlexRadio products applies only to the original purchaser and are not transferable unless a warranty transfer agreement is purchased from FlexRadio Systems. Before requesting warranty service, you should complete a careful review of the most recent version of the Troubleshooting Section of the FLEX-3000 Operating Manual found on the FlexRadio Systems web site or contact a FlexRadio Systems authorized service center for problem identification and triage. Any product returned for service that is out of warranty or has had its warranty voided is subject to a one (1) hour diagnostic bench charge (currently $85). This charge will be applied to any work performed.

What is covered: During the first thirty (30) days after the date of shipment, FlexRadio Systems will fully repair or replace defective product at their discretion.  For the remaining two years after the date of shipment, FlexRadio Systems will replace defective parts free of charge (post-paid) for transceiver components only.  Any replacement hardware parts will be warranted for the remainder of the original warranty period or ninety (90) calendar days from the date of installation or repair, whichever is longer.  FlexRadio Systems will also correct any failure caused by defective parts and materials.  You must send the unit at your expense to FlexRadio Systems.  FlexRadio Systems will pay return shipping.

What is not covered: This Limited Warranty as it pertains to the transceiver or radio components does not cover repair or damage caused by (1) misuse, negligence or user modifications; (2) any performance malfunctions involving non-FlexRadio accessory equipment; (3) connection to improper or unstable voltage supply; (4) improper execution of hardware calibration or test routines; (5) the incorrect installation of any and all cables connected to the radio by the user; (6) the use of third-party software applications or hardware that directly or indirectly controls radio functions and/or operating state by utilizing a communication or control protocol, such as, but not limited to CAT or I2C commands or (7) random acts of nature such as flood, fire, water, weather related storm, lightning or electrostatic discharge damage.

Limitation of incidental or consequential damages: This warranty does not extend to non-FlexRadio equipment or components used in conjunction with our products. Any such repair or replacement is the responsibility of the customer. FlexRadio Systems will not be liable or responsible for reimbursement for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages, including but not limited to any loss of business or profits, loss of property, loss of revenue, loss of use, loss of data, inconvenience or cost of unauthorized service.

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