Generally, I've been happy with the FT5k. It has some annoying aspects (notably the lack of a fixed stereo audio output for recording QSOs) but in general it's a fine radio. After fiver years I might reasonably be expected to be eyeing up what's coming next but, in general the answer has been "nothing that's good enough to displace the FT5k". As mentioned in my initial post, I continued to discount SDRs even though, from a technical point of view they appeared to be coming along well and were, by now, knocking on the performance doors of top of the range radios.
A chance exchange of e-mails on the CDXC reflector in February 2016 changed all that.
Steve, G1XOW, who is an SDR aficionado and is quite content with mouse clicking his way around the bands, helped me to realise that SDR does not equal no control panel with twiddly knobs and buttons to press. Of course I sort of knew that already - even the Pegasus had an optional external VFO knob - but none of the bolt-on goodies seemed to address the broader issue of a full panel.
|The Flex Radio Maestro|
By degrees, a cunning plan began to emerge. I could build my own custom panel!
And so we come to the purpose of this Blog, as I navigate the route from this simple idea to something that meets my, admittedly demanding, requirements. If I get it right then never again shall I need to complain about the ergonomics of my radio, for I shall have it in my power to make it as I wish it to be. If it works then I shall have that worthy successor to the FT5000 that has eluded me hitherto.
Feel free to join me for the ride.