Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please refer to the product documentation or check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

Is it just me feeling like this?



  • Brian Bedoe WD9HSY
    Brian Bedoe WD9HSY Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020


    I had a chance to talk to Eric (Software) at the Flex Banquet Thursday night at Dayton.  I mentioned to him that the average ham pays the bills so they can do all the new R&D and add special features for the "Specialists" Hams

    I hope that the message will be voiced back to the top. Take care of the Regular Ham .... Features = Benefits ---  Who (and how many) will benefit from this feature?

    For Example -- AMSAT missed the boat on Phase III / IV satellites and the average Ham walked.  They did not want small micro sats with 3-10 minute orbital passes, but a bird in a fixed spot in space and long talk times, that promise was never filled.

    73 Brian

  • David Orman
    David Orman Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Software engineers are expensive. They are craftspeople, not really engineers at all. Their care and feeding is complex.  Despite all the hooey about project planning, it is difficult if not impossible to know when they will deliver a feature that has been properly finished and if that feature will meet with near universal acclaim.
    I have to strongly disagree with the statement, specifically the "not really engineers at all" bit. You need to qualify that statement, because the blanket generalization doesn't fit everyone. Your experience may be with developers who are not engineers (I find these are far more common), but there are developers who are (or rather engineers who are developers). I know exactly the type of developer you're describing; I've worked with them and managed them. I've also dealt extensively with software engineers, and it's a completely different group of people.

    Finally, every employee's "care and feeding" is complex (not just SWEs), especially if you think of them as livestock/pets. I realize it was just a manner of speech, but part of the problem with many organizations is the view of the employees as some interchangeable widget in a complex machine, or as a certain type of livestock with a certain type of output. People aren't cows, and software isn't milk.

    I do, however, agree with the project planning aspect, especially with traditional waterfall methodology, and the pseudo-devops/agile/etc implementations where only certain parts of the methodologies are applied and the outcome is quite predictable. A good project manager is nearly as hard to find as a good software engineer, and that is _very_ difficult. Well worth the effort though, and a good SWE org + good project management == features on time or better, repeatability, reliability, and SLOs that are consistently met.

    I'd guess 1 out of every 100 organizations has the latter group. It's expensive to build; it takes a long time to find the right people and design the organization properly, and requires experienced people who cost a large amount of money (or have a very cool problem domain, so people are willing to work on the project(s) for the experience). Not many companies want that huge up-front cost in $$ and time.

    On-topic, I'd be curious to see the inner workings of FRS's development organization. :)
  • KD7CAO
    KD7CAO Member
    edited May 2017
    "I find it interesting that people complain about having to pay for a new release of SSDR. Do you get new versions of Windows for free?"

    Actually yes. Most everyone that took part in the program received a free upgrade to Windows 10.
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Special case. One of America's largest corporations trying to shift an entire market for their own reasons doesn't really count.
  • Ed, K6VMV
    Ed, K6VMV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Ok, I've read the above and I guess I'm a different kind of ham.  First licensed when I was 13 in 1956 as KN6VMV.  Over the years ham radio has played an important role in my life in many ways.  I have had many hobbies and interests that have come and gone but ham radio has held my interest all these years because there is always something new to learn, always a new challenge.  I'm not rich. I can't afford a contest station but i've had a lot of fun, and some success, with my modest stations.  I have to rely on operating skills rather than brute force and stacked SteppIRs.  I currently own a 6300, couldn't afford the 6500, and I've had a blast with it.  It is without a doubt the best radio I have ever owned.  Sure beats the heck out of my Novice station; Heathkit AR-3 receiver and DX-20 transmitter.  I dove into the SDR world because I saw the potential of constantly improving my station with new versions and upgrades to the software without having to buy new radios.  As I'm not a "professional ham", I want a great receiver with sharp filters.  I operate SSB, CW, and all the digital modes.  I am happy to pay for new versions of SmartSDR.  I figure it's less expensive than buying a new radio.  I hope the Flex crew will listen to us little pistols and focus more on upgrading the software.  Thanks.  73, Ed
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Peter I think you're being quite presumptuous about V2.0 being a "new radio" considering FRS hasn't given us any information about V2.0 other than the WAN function.  And let's not forget about the normal new software bugs we'll no doubt encounter.  Heck, forget V2.0... I'd just be happy to have the bugs worked out of V1.0. 
  • NM1W
    NM1W Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Couldnt agree more! Fix the dax corruption and rig crashes..And better honest communication with the current customers.
  • Jd Dupuy
    Jd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I'm with you on this one. I won't be ordering a new radio 6 to 8 months out so they can have R & D money. Fix the basics in Smart SDR first. All of our radios have now been devalued since this new announcement. Flex put no thought into this and the folks who have stood waiting have been overlooked. Smart SDR had better fix some basic issues soon.

  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Off topic thought. Good point about AMSAT Brian.  My thoughts exactly.  I still have my AO-13/40 equipment laying around here doing nothing, and zero interest in FM/data LEO birds. While I understand the major cost involved with launching a bird in an elliptical orbit, and LEO's are much cheaper, I doubt it would have cost much more to include a SSB Linear Transponder in the LEO's instead of a single channel FM repeater. 
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    >I have to strongly disagree with the statement, specifically >the "not really engineers at all" bit. Not wanting to derail the thread, we will have to agree to disagree. I've been a software engineer, writing kernel-mode OS level software (device drivers, file systems, OS components) for many years. I'm not saying there isn't a difference between implementation, design, and architecture. I'm not saying results don't need to be tailored to meet specific needs and requirements. And I'm not saying that in software there isn't good and bad "art." These are all traits of good craft, and not necessarily engineering. Like all art, there can be substantial disagreements over what's good and what isn't. It's not "real" engineering because practically nothing we do is either provably correct or provably optimal. Yes, I agree that you CAN create high performing organizations of like-minded crafts people, who do consistently excellent work, on time and budget. But it is very, very, hard and requires both mature talents (not necessarily in age) and some type of exceptional management (there are several styles that work... but all are exceptional). Apologies for the thread detour. Peter K1PGV
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Information from Gerald in another thread...Mic input on 6400 & 6600 is a 1/8 inch TRS (mini stereo) in pseudo-balanced format.  Wired with Mic+ on tip, Mic- on Ring, and Shield on the Sleeve.  It will function as a balanced input for dynamic mics but has the added bonus of being able to supply bias voltage for electret mics.

    The 6300 and 6500 are bring discontinued and upgraded to the 6400 and 6600 respectively.  Both will have performance improvements over the rigs they replace.

    BUT, FRS will still support the 6300 and 6500 as part of the 6000 family.  SSDR will still run on them, limited only by hardware limitations specific to each rig.  They are being replaced with better units at a lower price, but will not be obsolete.
  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Pat, I certainly wasn't complaining about paying for a new version with new features, and to be honest the cost is not the issue.

    What is clearly upsetting lot of people is the blurred line between bug fixes/performance issues, and new cutting edge developments.

    Flex need to have 2 entirely separate development lists:-

    List 1) (required in v1) stuff that doesn't work right, or is missing, or is lacking in performance and/or configurability. In other words the remedials. Bug fixes, performance and lock-up fixes, usability fixes etc. etc. this will get SSDR to finally provide the kind of radio that we all have a right to expect it to be, without additional cost. Get the basics functionality at least to the level of performance for other $5-7k radios then that is it done - the end of v1.xx   End result: a great solid radio deck with no complaints from average hams who don't want the wizz-**** features.

    List 2) (for v2) features that are clearly over and above what is normal in current radios. Things like So2R, Internet remote, Diversity. You know, the advanced cutting edge stuff that only a select few want, and those people who do want it should expect to pay for its development.

  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    A simple XLR to 1/8 inch TRS should work fine.
    Or if your balanced mic is wired with a 1/4 inch TRS on the radio end, then a 1/4 stereo to 1/8 stereo adapter cable would work well.  I wouldn't recommend simply using an adapter without a short length of cable between the ends, because it might put too much torque strain on the rig's 1/8 inch connector.

    I am looking for some right-angle 1/8 inch stereo plugs so I can wire up several different adapters in anticipation of trading up my 6500 to a 6600.

    Ken - NM9P
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    @KF4HR With all due respect... even if it only adds WAN and undockable windows, that is enough to make it qualify as a "new radio" to me. I wouldn't expect my TS-2000 to suddenly develop similar features, for instance. If I wanted such enhancements, I'd expect to have to buy a new radio. That's all I'm saying. Peter K1PGV
  • Ned K1NJ
    Ned K1NJ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
       It might be a good idea to return a "roadmap".  It would do a lot to restore
    faith in those, who in fact, *want* to have faith in the direction software will
    go.  A few detractors can be ignored, especially considering what has already
    been accomplished.  I think it would do a lot more good than harm.  Remember
    that the new radios will also live in the same software environment, and software
    will still define the radio.

                            Ned,  K1NJ
  • Lee - N2LEE
    Lee - N2LEE Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I am not defending Flex but I will say that buying ANY product on promises is your fault, not the company. I have seen this syndrome in many companies, where they made announcements but never happened.

    Consider the fact that people are making down payments and signing up for an Icom 7610 and they don't even know any of the features or the PRICE !  How is that any different than the complaints about Flex ? People are betting on a promise without knowing anything about this radio.

    Has anyone seen Icom's road map for their sdr products ?  I haven't. And I can guarantee you won't see one. Japanese companies do not work this way. Yet I do not hear anyone screaming about Icom. What about Kenwood or Yaesu owners, those companies haven't even made a peep yet people are still buying their products.
  • K4MT
    K4MT Member ✭✭
    edited October 2018
    I am sure many who claimed us 5000A owners were whining about being dumped but you all said it was great in the spirit of SDR advancement.  

    So guys as you said its a good thing to have change and no whining please. Its all good!
  • Jerry  WA9UKB
    Jerry WA9UKB Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Now on the used market where I could have sold the 6500 for $3000 or so now it will drop to $1000.00 or lower a very steep drop due to the cheaper prices on the 6400, that's my issue as being retired and saved money hard to get dollars purchase the 6500, it's my fault for not being wealthy so no body to blame but me, Being a electronics Tech and working various jobs in the Computer Industries raising families in this day and age has not been easy, but I take full responsibility for my own condition, if I had some insight after a prostatectomy, I would have not retired at 62 per the surgeon and worked on until the end of this year at 66,. What I'm trying to say most products, Cars Motorcycle s, Computers due devaluate over time at a sliding pace, not like a sudden free fall overnight. Jerry WA9UKB
  • Paul Bradbeer
    Paul Bradbeer Member
    edited May 2017

    Paul.  Forgive my poor use of English (no excuse really; it is my first language..). I didn't mean 'investment' in the sense that I expected financial gain.  

    My point was, I was slow coming to the realisation that my ££££ purchase (and therefore its depreciation) is more akin to a PC than it is a 'radio'.  Live and learn, eh?

  • Jerry  WA9UKB
    Jerry WA9UKB Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I understand, so my trade up on the flex 6500 might have been higher not a drastic drop. Be lucky to get 1000.00 used and flex will probably offer 500.00 or less, and I understand devaluation could have sold back in f eb for 3000.00 now less than 1000.00 sudden drop. It wasn't an investment to me as electronics due devaluate, sure I like new innovations And moving up but do to dropping the 6500 and not the 6700 it will cost me a great deal to up to a new radio, oh well they are all throw aways like everything else anymore. Note I have nothing against Flex or employee , or their inovatuons, just wished some of the promised features would have been met, also I new that I would be paying for the 2.0 upgrade, no issue with that. I'll take my losses learn from my mistakes and move on! Jerry, WA9UKB
  • Jerry  WA9UKB
    Jerry WA9UKB Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Would have been fantastic if that had worked out..... Jerry WA9UKB
  • James Whiteway
    edited May 2017
    I understand how some can be upset over the new radios and V2.xx of SSDR. At first, I was too. My 6500, which I got thru the trade up program, is just a year and a half old. (it was a trade up from someone else, but, was near new and I got full 2 year warranty) And my Maestro I pre-ordered when they were announced. Between the two, I paid about the same cost as the new 6600M, which has dual SCU's and the added contest filters. But, it does not have an XLR balanced mic input, which I like having on the 6500.  So, as others, I was a bit upset as I knew that if I wanted a 6600M (and it is appealing to me) the resale value of my 6500 and Maestro would take a hit compared to what I "might" have got for it had I sold them a few months ago.
        I have given a lot of thought to all of this the past few days. And I feel I would rather keep the 6500 and the Maestro, than sell them. I hooked up my Yaesu FT-1000MP MKV and once again did a comparison between the two radios. I love the Yaesu and will most likely never get rid of it.  It has a much more effective Notch Filter and Noise Blanker than my Flex 6500. The audio is wonderful.... but, not near as good as my 6500! Both radios are top notch within their respective technology.
    But, other than adding some filters to the Yaesu, it is at it's peak in performance. The Flex on the other hand, can be improved in so many more ways than the Yaesu. And I can (and have to some degree) added missing features (dockable Panadapters, squelch, different meters) to my own version of SSDR. Which by the way is pitiful compared to SSDR. But, for me, the ability to do that is a plus.
      I will stick it out with Flex Radio and SSDR, simply because I like their products and their customer service. And I do expect that they will in time deliver on SSDR v1.x the things that I was told they would when I purchased my first 6000 Series radio(6300 which I traded up for the 6500).
     Who knows, I might even trade up again.................if the price difference doesn't make my CFO too upset! :-)
      Hopefully, the EU dealers will offer a Trade Up program of their own. I would think that Flex Radio would all but insist that they do. To do otherwise would be unfair to their customers outside of the US.
  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Hey Peter,

    I know what you are saying, but kind of take a different view.

    Putting SSDR v3, v4 etc. on old hardware whilst doing something useful certainly would not give us "a new radio",  just new functionality.

    The hardware will be same, the components will still be aged in the same way both chronologically and through electronic aging. We will not be getting a new warranty, or any new components therefore calling it "a new radio" is something of a misnomer.

    If I loaded Windows 10 on to a 15 year old Windows XP machine, would I get an new PC from it?  Chances are that it will still go **** some time soon, and more importantly it will run like a dog with two wooden legs.
  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    First my Flex history, bought 5000 VUK months before it was discontinued, then a new 6500 and Maestro, then sold 6500 to buy used 6700. So I've taken a hit on valuation just like I did when I dished out $35k for a 1990 Safari van that I sold for $400. Devaluation, get over it people. My opinion as a Flex user is this move to introduce 6400 and 6600 radios should be heralded not condemned. This strategic move has assures Flex not only to be part of the low, mid SDR market but perhaps stranglehold the entire SDR market while retaining it's elite SDR status without compromising anything except price. Am impressed on how well this secret was so well kept.  I agree with Howard regarding this being a 7610 killer, well perhaps not a killer but ICOM and other players will be forced to restructure their pricing, period.

    With all the additional revenue I'm sure we will see additional software staff added. This is a good thing.
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020


    Like you I have run software and hardware companies.   I totally agree with you that Flex is not charging enough for software.

    For years (1960's-1990's) we operated on a project by project basis with sale of hardware (new projects) funding the software development costs of prior projects.  We could get hardware maintenance contracts but the clients assumed that software was free.   Finally we learned that the hardware Ponzi model is not sustainable.  Software has a high continuing support and development cost long after the hardware sales and maintenance money has been used up.

    In the early 2000's we switched to an annual software license fee model and like you, new features had additional license fees... Finally we had a sustainable model and in the long run the clients were much happier as they got the features they wanted by paying for them

    Yes.. I know that Hams are Cheap... and an annual fee model with turn off Joe Ham

    But for the rest of who want features - it is a small price to pay for an ever improving product

  • Arnie
    Arnie Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I agree with you on most points. However, not this one. In this case, the software IS the radio. Software DEFINED radio. SO that is not really comparable to the windows situation. In my view, therefore, the software should have been priority ONE for Flex, and not just something secondary to seemingly their main efforts being directed to hardware development. They have not come close to exhausting the capabilties of the current hardware and they should have focused on maximizing those capabilities. Like I said, the software IS the radio. SDR. I could be misguided but that is what I expected when all the hub-bub about SDR was being put forth, particularly by this company.
    73 de Arnie W8DU
  • James Watts
    James Watts Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I totally agree. You can't draw parallels between Flex SDR and the big 3, other than maybe now ICOM. FRS sold the 6000 series with the promise of software development to bring the features advertised. SOFTWARE IS THE RADIO. They even touted this fact when taking your presell dollars. FRS even stated they were a "Software" company. However, since 2013, by their own actions, that has not been the case.

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.