One of the nice things about the Flex 5k is the way audio inputs/outputs can be interfaced. The front mic connector is just the beginning. On the rear of the chassis is a jack for a true balanced mic input as well as RCA jacks. Since I purchased it I’ve been using a Heil PR-781. This is a balanced studio grade mic that has been optimized for high end amateur radios. Up until now I’ve just been using Heil’s mic cable that goes from XLR to the front mic jack. This basically converts the balanced mic to the unbalanced front connector. With the Heil foot switch attached I found that I’d get RF into my audio on 17m. The addition of ferite beads cut this down but it has always bothered me a bit.
I recently decided to purchase a new balanced mic cable. This one has the required XLR plug on the mic end and the 1/4″ TRS plug on the other end that goes into the back of the radio. I can still use the foot switch as it will plug into the back panel, too. I’m hoping this will be a nice improvement for my station. This will also give me an excuse to go back through the mic setup procedure and verify all my levels are correct. The audio capabilities in the Flex are extensive if one desires to go through all of them.
I know, I could’ve built this cable up myself from pieces. I’m sure it would be cheaper for a couple connectors and a few feet of mic cable. However, this has left me time for some summer fun activities. We went to the Extreme Flight Championship for R/C planes and heli’s. Jared’s plane is fully flightworthy and he’s made several flights with the 4H club. I also found time for some minor repairs to the model rocket launcher. Summertime fun is some good stuff!