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Does No Comment = No Problem

Flex_FanFlex_Fan Member
It has been almost a week and I have seen no official feedback on the problems people have seen with the 1.8 version upgrade. I know Maestro comments were made but that was the end of it.  Why no official updates on what if anything is being done to look at these issues?

We users of Flex radios are a patient lot, and used to delays and disappointments where new releases are concerned. and not always getting full functionality of all functions on the radio. I can only speak for myself but my patience is getting a bit thin.

We are after all customers who put a big chunk of change into a technology with the promise of improvements and exceptional functionality. When release problems occur we deserve to be kept in the loop as to what if anything is being  done to correct these problems.  The silence has been deafening. 

The only comment I saw was a restating of the SWR foldback spec that we are all familiar with. It seems that this problem is not being taken seriously.  

I only ask to be kept in the loop the same way I would expect my car mechanic to let me know whats going on with my repair or any other company I do business with.  Silence only causes people to come up with theories and pages of discussion and hypothesis.

I know the Flex can never be wrong  guys will chime in and say there is no problem.  Their comments are expected and offer nothing to the conversation.  We are not Haters because we expect our radios entire feature set to be functional.  We are not haters because we want updates the work!  I would expect that from Icom. Kenwood, Yaesu etc so why cant I expect this from Flex without being labeled a hater?   

We have an investment in FLex and want to tell everyone we have the best radio on the market.  For that loyalty we ask we be treated as part of the team and not kept in the dark.



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Answers

  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    I agree 100%.
  • KC0EMKC0EM Member ✭✭
    edited May 16
    Hi,

    I have never had a problem with any upgrade. I do not consider myself a computer expert. I don't know what to say, but I know how frustrating it can be -- HRD quite working after the last system 10 upgrade and still is not working.

    "VC"
    KC0EM
  • Jd DupuyJd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Lucky for me that I am so busy with running a business that I don't have time to find out what works or doesn't work correctly. My hope is that one day I will come home and see an update in my email telling me that everything is fixed and to have a nice life. I purchased a fully loaded Flex 5000 several years ago only to find it abandoned by the company that built it. Will the 6000 series find the same fate in a few more years?  I still can't figure out where you put the coffee grounds in the Maestro to get that first cup of morning coffee. Where does the filter go?
  • Steve G1XOWSteve G1XOW Member
    edited July 2016
    I haven't had any issues with the SSDR upgrades, nor would I expect to see any show-stoppers as I'm an I.T. tech for over 30 years.

    I keep my own copy of every version of SSDR. So if/when it goes pear-shaped I can sort it for myself by down-grading.

    However, I do 100% agree with the frustration and near embarrassment now being vented about FRS. After 2 releases that were almost entirely Maestro-centric (and the problems/distractions it has created), I personally feel neglected as none of the software has related to my needs or desires for a long time.

    The prospect of v2 is like a rolling stone, lets just hope it is gathering feature rich functionality and effort, and not just moss!

    ps. I am a Flex SDR lover, but agnostic about FRS right now

  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The problem is the "10". In the Cabal there are ten evil spirits, whereas the
    number 7 is a lucky number in China. I'll stay with Windows 7 until there
    is a better OS. Maybe FlexLinux? ;-))
  • John-K3MAJohn-K3MA Member
    edited December 2016
    KC0EM, what you feel about HRD is how many people feel about the recent release.  It is wonderful that you have not had any update issues.  I know several customers (at least a dozen) whom had issues and then rolled back.  They made no posting on the community about the issue.  But I sure did hear them talking about being **** on the air about wasting their time.  HRD now has a reputation in which people openly question what they will have broken whenever they make a new release available.  As such many users who do not speak up have simply abandoned HRD in favor of another package.  I do not want to see Flex go down this same slippery slope.  Other recent fails (at least from my perspective) that add to the frustration is the Maestro not shipping with internal charging which also was not communicated up front.  The Maestro not seeing native VPN in release 1.8 when customers were told it would be in the next release.  Let alone all those that have waited more than a year while the Maestro was under development and still do not have the fixes or functionality they believe were promised or needed.

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    This was from Steve..what? you missed the post were he explains what the plan is and are now working on it?
    We are bringing the affected units in and will update them, create a software fix and then re-enable upgrades as quickly as we can.  We appreciate your patience while we address the issue. 
  • John-K3MAJohn-K3MA Member
    edited July 2019
    VA3WTB his comments were directed towards the Maestro bricking issue.  What? you missed the posts in which people are having other problems?

  • Gene - K3GCGene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    FRS guys I hope you are paying attention.  I,too, feel a bit like an orphan.  I know Maestro is the latest and greatest and needs lots of tweaking but that is no excuse for ignoring the rest of us.
    Why would I spend $200 for 2.0 if the concentration is to remain in the Maestro camp.  I bought my 6500 BECAUSE it has no knobs, buttons or switches.  If I wanted a plethora of knobs, buttons, and switches I could have saved my money and stayed with my trusty Ft DX5000.
    Guys, I do love my flex but there lots of improvements that can be made.  Let's not forget that Flex is not the only show in town.
  • Steve G1XOWSteve G1XOW Member
    edited July 2016
    Alex, even after drugs and strong ****, I still can't find a way to blame the 1.7 and 1.8 problems on 10...am I missing something, or did M/soft invest in FRS recently? :)
  • Gene - K3GCGene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Easier to blame the OS than the loose nut between the chair and the keyboard :).
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    That is correct, what do people want them to tell? A plan is in place. And he said go ahead and use the upgrade on the Flex, not the Maestro
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    What?! Heresy I tell ya, heresy.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    You guys make me chuckle, Are you kidding? In the past Flex has been at the top for communicating with it's customers. And still are. You can write or call Gerald any time and talk to him. Sometimes I'm sure they are busy and don't connect on this forum all the time, But they did make things clear this week what the plans are.
  • KC0EMKC0EM Member ✭✭
    edited August 2017
    Thanks John. I feel a bit helpless when it comes to the fix is in HRD. In the forums there are fixes, but they tend to be for those who are computer literate. I left the computer field in 1979 when it was still in the Stone Age. I remember just enough or know just enough to get myself into deep trouble – grin.
  • John-K3MAJohn-K3MA Member
    edited December 2016
    Walt KZ1F I got a chuckle out of your comment in light of it being the July 4th week.  I saw a funny post of Queen Elizabeth with a smug look and the caption.  "Happy Treason Day......Peasants."

    The Peasants are at the Flex Castle doors with torches ablaze......long live the King.  I guess VA3WTB is right and we are all feeling a little uppity this week.
  • Jd DupuyJd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    My side hurts now from constant laughing. It's "Uppity Thursday"!

  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2016
    The Flex signature series is dependent on the Windows ecosystem. Which, by the way, is a terrible weak link in the system. Your choices are either Windows or DogPark on the Mac, and maybe someday something for Linux.

    In addition, there are a lot of different computers out there with different hardware firmware combinations.

    With the radio so closely tied to the computer via software, prudent use would suggest not updating immediately, but just as we used to be able to do before W10, delay all updates until you know they have skeken down.

    But, what I have seen is that some folks have a lot of problems, and some don't. I've had only one issue in the year or so that I owned my Flex, and that was a minor fonting issue quickly taken care of. A missing font. 

    I'm all for a database of people who have had problems with updates to give input on their computers, their configuration, and the exact steps they took before breaking things. While I could do analysis form that, my own case is not terribly useful except as two systems that have not had problems. 
  • Steve G1XOWSteve G1XOW Member
    edited July 2016
    Steve, I have no intention of buying a Maestro so I have no axe to grind.

    I'd respectfully suggest that a method of doing a full cold reset that allows the unit to be un-bricked without RTB warranty, shipment etc. should be the highest priority for the user base and FRS.

    Even **** phone and ipads etc. don't need RTB for such problems. The nature of the embedded solution scene dictates that this should be development task #1.

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    There are a great many people who are using the latest V.1.8.3 SSDR for Windows without issue. But when an update is released that has a particular feature that is not satisfactory, we are all free to revert to the previous version and wait until the next one.  There are always new versions being tested by the Alpha Team. 

    Unfortunately, the latest release V.1.8.3, which had improvements for BOTH Maestro users and Windows users, also had an unexpected error creep in that bricked a small number of Maestro units before the Maestro upgrade installer was removed from the website. 

    V.1.8.3 for SSDR for Windows remains on the website for those who want to try it.  It hasn't hurt any of the Windows only users.  It has improved performance for many.  But the SWR fold-back seems to be a problem for some with certain amplifiers, or with particular common-mode impedance problems or other RF induced feedback in their systems.  If this is a problem, the user can revert to the previous release without issues.

    Of course the focus of the FRS engineers is now focused upon fixing this problem, rewriting the software, and getting the affected units repaired and returned to their owners, as it should be.

    Software development continues on updates to the current software, both Maestro and Windows-only versions, in order to correct problems and respond to feedback about the last release.

    Development also continues on future Major upgrades. 

    As FRS has already said... They are working on a fix for the Maestro installer error that caused a problem.  They are working on their next update to remedy CW, SWR, and other issues.  They are working on V.2.0.  Alpha Team members are constantly testing new versions of software that will be released when ready. 

    Unless you are wanting inside details about how many alpha test versions have been tested, exactly what problems they have encountered which have delayed new releases, how many man-hours of programming and testing have been spent so far, exactly which features are being tested, who is on the Alpha Team and what their children's names are.......I don't know what else needs to be said to keep the users "in the loop."  Sometimes "We're working on it" is all that can be said at the moment.

    The "car in the shop" analogy is not exactly appropriate in this situation.  We bought a product that is constantly in flux as the software is being developed.  We have been promised continual free updates and occasional paid upgrades to our software.  They will be released when they are ready, with as many features as can be made ready at the time of release, and hopefully with as few bugs as the engineering and Alpha teams can reasonably accomplish.

    But the details of a proprietary operation are not a public "right to know" no matter how much money we have spent on the product.  Added features ad development details are the sole domain of the company and information related to them belongs to the company until the company releases them.

    We have, however been blessed with more transparency and information sharing than most companies I have dealt with.  When my rig is in the shop, FRS service is very quick to tell me what is going on, what is being repaired, how much it is going to cost, and how long it will take to return it....just like my car dealer.  But I don't expect GM to tell me all the details about what their engineers are doing as they develop the next model of Corvette.

    I think the Expectation Game, and the rapid expansion of features during the first couple of years has made us all impatient with the difficulty of solving the remaining issues.

    Ken - NM9P

    BTW...I am not an employee of FRS.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I just noticed that both Gerald and Steve from FRS posted comments while I was editing my own.  Please disregard (or delete, Tim) if they are not appropriate or helpful.

    Ken - NM9P 
  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2016
    I think some throrough analysis is needed to ascertain why some folks have problems and some don't.  On a similar note, I was doing a Teamviewer session with a fellow who was having a Log40 problem getting it to communicate with fldigi and his radio. As I was trying to help, he inadvertantly showed what he was doing wrong by taking control from me and pressing some buttons that illustrated why it didn't work for him. The frustration can be real, but it needs tracked down, and if a lot of folks have no issue, we know at least one thing - is that the software update can work.

    This isn't to say that's the only problem. Especially with W10 there are Microsoft updates, there are hardware differences between computers thrown in the mix as well.


  • Steve-N5ACSteve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited December 2016
    There is no easy way to do this or we would have done it.  This also doesn't exist for the radio.  Solutions like this take hundreds or thousands of man-hours of engineering labor.  This all feels like a no brainier to many customers since their inexpensive cell phone provides this, but those thousands of hours get amortized across millions of units and in those quantities NRE is essentially "free."  More likely, Apple and Samsung worry more about time to market than they do about NRE investment.  Not so at a smaller company.  We need to justify why we would make this investment instead of developing a wideband noise blanker, for example.  In total, there have been less than a handful of returns home of a FLEX-6000 for software "brick," and everyone gets to enjoy the advantages of WNB.  Rest assured we talk about all of these things and the perspective is always "which would benefit the customer most."  The decisions may not always make sense on the outside since there is no visibility to the trade-offs, but we work hard to make the best choices for our customers.

    Incidentally, it's even worse on the government side where most of our government customers expect to occasionally flash a FPGA using a JTAG programmer.  All of our government customers own the tool to JTAG our radios and they occasionally have to use them, just as they do with other vendors.  The more specialized the hardware, the less automation, redundancy, etc. goes in.  The only exception I know is NASA.  This, and the environmental concerns, are why a cordless drill at NASA costs astronomical sums of money.
  • Steve-N5ACSteve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited December 2016
    No it's all good -- Gerald and I were trying to coordinate so we don't post (spend time) on the same thing and I bungled it this time.  I got confused about which post he was going to answer.  
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    Maybe, just a suggestion, (a thought I've been wondering about since last Friday,)

    After the fixed/safe/retested version of 1.8.3 for the Maestro becomes a reality. Could Flexradio, maybe, hold off placing it on the download servers until the support folks are all present at work, on a Monday morning.image

    73, Jay - NO5J
  • KC9NRNKC9NRN Member
    edited October 2016
    Windows is a terrible weak link?? Considering how many customized programs I have to support and portals requiring their own special configs, the Flex Radio poses no big issues with Windows however the user does

    I work for a company that has A LOT of computers and servers to help those users. Windows is very rarely a problem while user PEBCAK is the bane of IT everywhere. In the 80's and 90's PEBCAK was a term used a lot, it's gotten better but I no longer get calls saying my cup holder broke and no, I'm not kidding.  

    Don't get me wrong, I commit my share of PEBCAK and I don't get angry at my users when they do it either. 

    You want support fun, port a config for the Flex in Linux and watch the distro issues, LAN, audio and video issues come up. You want WAN with that? Good luck. Windows is the most used OS out there for a reason, people say it's not the best, well, when you have to be all things to all people you won't be the best but you hope to be good enough for most. People will argue this and debate it, but Apple isn't 93% of the market for a good reason, either is Linux. 

    Windows is fine, what people put it on however might not be, who gets blamed, Microsoft. 

    image

    Anyway, back to the topic, nuts, what was the topic again? 

  • KC9NRNKC9NRN Member
    edited October 2016
    1979 was an exciting time in computing! It was also mind numbingly maddening! 

    73
  • KC9NRNKC9NRN Member
    edited October 2016
    Well, I have spoken my piece enough so I'll just say this, stuff, since I went on more than I thought I would. The Flex 6300 has been such a game changer for me that my Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark V is rarely turned on anymore or if I do turn it on I feel its in the way so I turn it off again and I LOVE that radio. I still use my 746Pro for 2m.

    I use the SDRPlay for listening and the Flex on the bands my license allows or for more listening. I am so stoked for the Maestro even though I have no real need for it.

    What sold me on the Flex was also knowing I could buy a very cool head unit to run it. My wife thinks I'm insane but I saved up for the combo and can't wait!

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