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Is it just me feeling like this?



  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I think Gerald can see, as most of us can, that the vast majority of complainers are the same ones who have been critical of Flex and staff for some time. And we all know who you are. Nothing new here.

    As far as SSDR is, I think it is fantastic, basic features? if you would just learn how to use the radio you will find there are more then you think. Some claim the noise mitigation does not work. I can tell you here at my station it does. And very well.

    For the record, there is never any reason to buy an upgrade unless it has features you think you need or want. Your radio will continue to work the same way either way. And updates to fix problems will continue as it has been.

    And lastly, as Gerald said the other day,,coming out with new hardware is peanuts compared to creating software. Hardware is easy,,software is hard work and very expensive.

    So for the ones thinking that Flex has put resources into hardware and forgetting about software is simply not true.
  • Jd Dupuy
    Jd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I agree Simon on the VHF thur Microwave interfacing. When a certain employee left Flex, there went any support in our corner. I went back to my Elecraft K3s so I would not **** up my German made transverters with the delay issue. Who cares right? We are a minority up on those bands because the average ham is too lazy to put forth the effort to learn propagation, put up the antennas and work at it for 25 years or more like most of us have. Where Elecraft has made Transverter interfacing a breeze with 4 menu items, Flex and SSDR has not.
  • Ernest
    Ernest Member
    edited May 2017
    Bill -VA3WTB,
    I feel just like you, that's why I no longer comment about those criticism and put down from those few individuals. 
    Enjoyed your comment too.
  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Bill, thanks for telling us all how to **** eggs, like you are the only one that know how to use a radio. I wont argue with most of your statements but just give you ONE simple example of how SSDR is lacking basics:-

    Go to 80m SSB chasing some rare DX. He's working QSX down 5. Here is what you have to do before you can call him :-

    1) Click +RX which creates a new VFO. But its 5 up, yet we all know that most lowband splits will be minus.
    2) Then you have to manually drag the VFO from +5 to -5.
    3) Then you have to switch the TX focus from the A-VFO to the B-VFO with yet another mouse click.

    **** workflow and wasting precious time.

    What does it take to do the same thing on my 12 year old spare rig...one button press, just one!

    To sort this out needs nothing more elaborate than a simple band split table and auto switching to the B-VFO by pressing a new SSDR button labelled "Split"....you'll often find them on ham radio gear!
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I can confirm that the noise blanker works. I live in horse country here in NW NJ and electric fences are a real problem. NB takes them right out. Ria
  • Cliff - G4PZK
    Cliff - G4PZK Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Hardware is just as difficult as software, but depending on product complexity, it's usually less time consuming. I've been doing both for over 40 years and I prefer software as if you make an error you can often fix it remotely whereas a proper hardware error requires a soldering iron and a recall. Luckily modern hardware itself is becoming 'soft' as in an FPGA is soft so the difference is blurring, hence the tremendous success of SDR in general and Flex radios in particular. The real problem is that users can imagine software changes and improvements whereas the hardware is just a thing to them. In neither case can they imagine the effort required.
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Thinking of my JA products, we have JA cars and several JA radios. The cars cost between $30k to $60k. To get the nav maps every year we have to buy DVDs from the mfg. You can't even burn them from the website. $85 to $200 EVERY YEAR. Honda EOLed software updates for one of the cars 10 years in. We still have it as a **** because it's cheap to run and we can lend it to whoever visits and not worry about it being damaged. And that's just the nav. Nothing else gets a software update unless there is some defect that needs fixed. In fact they didn't even fix DST for free. You had to pay for it. As far as radios go, none of my icoms, Kenwoods or yaesus have ever seen a software update. They do the exact same thing they do the day that they were bought. To get additional functionality you need new hardware. No trade in, no nothing. Compare that to Flex?
  • SteveM
    SteveM Member
    edited May 2017

    Steve and Simon,

    It is hard to believe that the lifespans of the 6300 and 6500 didn't last long enough to see the v2 era. I can't help feeling there is an underlying (and unstated) reason why that hardware is being abandoned. I know some here would debate the semantics of "lifespan" and "abandon" in this context, but it seems to me that the 6300 and 6500 are lacking something that is very-much needed in the future development of SSDR v2.x. Maybe there is a very good reason why v2 has been delayed and when it finally arrived, it coincided with the death of the hardware.

    So at this point we have been assured that the 6300 and 6500 will continue taking upgrades with the caveat "hardware permitting". However, we know how the development cycle will work: the target will be the latest hardware revision and from there it will be back-ported to the older hardware, if it's not too much trouble. I mean, how much effort can be given to a platform that generates no revenue? Sure, they may generate the initial $200 in revenue for SSDR v2.0, but what about v2.10, 2.11, etc. Pretty sure that's a big zilch.

    I suppose with all of the various new hardware lines coming out with the Flex logo, what we are witnessing is a set of business decisions that boil down to a sink-or-swim decision for them. If that is the case, obviously, I vote for their survival even though it may not coincide with my own best interests.

  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member
    edited July 2017
    Bill - you must be a vendors dream that's all I can say, you should take off those flex coloured glasses sometime.

    So... "So for the ones thinking that Flex has put resources into hardware and forgetting about software is simply not true".

    All I will say is ... 6600(M)/6400(M), Maestro, amps, SO2R ....  And SSDR still missing basic features, waiting to fix basic features like split, or a working sidetone on Maestro...  V2 has been promised for how long???  The roadmap fiasco showed Flex can't deliver to a timeline, or stand the heat it creates when you miss a promised delivery. I know how that feels, I've been on the end of it but your team then learns how to plan better, estimate better and deliver better from the pain.

    I don't care about paying for upgrades, quite happy to, if it delivered, but woe betide any vendor that takes money and fails to deliver the goods. It leaves a bitter taste long after ... 

    After putting $10K+ into Flex hardware ... I think I paid for the right to criticise ... just as I have in the past when Elecraft delivered defective hardware ... or Yaesu PA's failed time after time... And I have had plenty of headaches with SSDR/F6K using it for real world applications.  

    Without criticism Flex will never understand what customers want/or how they feel. Criticism can be constructive or destructive. Remember the old adage "the customer is always right.. even when he is wrong" - My $ can very easy go somewhere else as I am sure many others will consider too.

  • James Watts
    James Watts Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I have been a Flex supporter/user until last year when I sold my 6500. I've had the SDR-1000, 5000, 6300 and 6500. No way is their current course sustainable. Hardware is what pays their bills. The simple solution is concentrate on hardware, provide API's to the software experts, OPEN SOURCE. Look at PowerSDR as a model 'Nuff said.

    Jim, W8GN
  • Michael Coslo
    Michael Coslo Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I've written before about my legacy radios. Each one of them has an inherent problem. And none have been fixed. In general, any problems, like my Kenwood  D-700's cold weather "siren" were  denied as a problem, and then not too long afterward, the D-710 came out.  Which did have an impact on the resale price of the D-700.  I never even thought about Kenwood messing up my "investment".
  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member
    edited May 2017
    Steve, all good and agreed.

    I guess my nerves get niggled when I see some less than honest things going on.

    A bit like the battery charging issue on the Maestro, last minute there is "oh wait we can't charge the battery in unit now" - it only comes out later when pushed, and same for the sidetone on the Maestro, doesn't work really, more of a buzz, never fixed and I doubt it will.

    Same for my WiFi issues, while some don't have any issues, I know 4 people with Maestro and ALL have WiFi issues that make it unusable. I've given up trying to use it. Yet not one other device I own has any issues. 

    I doubt very much I would get any decent trade in on a 6600 that would not cost me significant amounts, and I am right now loath to spend any $ after the SSDR progression we have seen. 

    I hope your wrong, I really do, especially given the previous statements around the future of the 6300/6500 hardware.
  • Larry - WA7LZO
    Larry - WA7LZO Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I wish Flex would charge more for software, so they could be funded at the level a company of this caliber deserves, and needs for sufficient software R&D funding. I for one would be totally happy to pay $500/year, on an ongoing basis, for software funding.

    That's about $40/month, which is a fraction, I mean  a tiny fraction, of what I spend each month at Starbucks. I spend maybe $8/day at Starbucks, which is $240/month, which is 6 times what I am recommending here for software fees. And, I'm not counting what additional funds I spend on ****, going out to dinner, etc., plus all sorts of other entertainment activities. I'm not the only one who does this, that's for sure, and I don't think ppl who can afford to buy a radio in this price class are considered to be some kind of a poor person. I notice Starbucks is always extremely crowed, folks are opening their wallets, and the same thing is true whilst I wait in very long lines to pay my cover charge just to get into the joint, let alone buy the high priced **** and food. So, puhleeze don't tell me Flex Hams can't afford to pay a lousy $40/month to support software development efforts at Flex. Let's remember, Flex is not in existence to be a bunch of nice philanthropists.

    Hams are so darn cheap, and then all they do is vociferously complain about what is virtually a toy (it is not a Part 90 commercial radio, ppl), so it's a wonder these Ham radio companies don't say the heck with it, and throw in the towel.

    I urge Flex to consider some kind of a software pricing model that gives them a reasonable rate of return, which would be a lot more than what they are currently charging their Ham customers.

    IMHO, JM2C, and YMMV.


  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2017

    I know some here would debate the semantics of "lifespan" and "abandon" in this context, but it seems to me that the 6300 and 6500 are lacking something that is very-much needed in the future development of SSDR v2.x.

    Your assumption is just patently incorrect.  We ran the SmartSDR v2.0 alpha SmartLink all weekend on 6300s, 6500s and 6700.  They ran flawlessly on the Hamvention Internet access network.

    We are no longer manufacturing the 6300 and 6500 SDRs because there are lower priced models that exceed the performance characteristics.  Period. It really is that simple.  There is NOTHING nefarious or underhanded going on. 
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I for one would be totally happy to pay $500/year, on an ongoing basis, for software funding. 

    You say we complain about what is virtually a toy, But you expect all of us to spend $500 a year?
    Are you high ;)
  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member
    edited May 2017
    Larry - agree the model should change IF it helps them deliver better, more often... I don't recall seeing anyone upset about paying for a 2.x or 3.x upgrade, **** I'd have my wallet out now ...  

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