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New Flex-2400M owner observations.

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Comments

  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Contrary to some opinions, I consider having the connectors on the back an advantage - it makes it much easier to construct a separate connector box for the front of the radio. Let’s face it, if you want connectors on the front, it is because you connect and disconnect often (why else care about connector location?) Most (many) radio connectors these days are either not of the greatest quality, or are board edge connectors exposed through the radio case. These are not designed to withstand frequent connect/disconnect operations, nor even the stress of flexing cables. Replacing these connectors on the radio is not convenient, and probably not cheap. Plugging in your own connector box once saves stressing the radio’s connectors, and allows you to use connectors of whatever quality you wish. And if you just plug the external equipment in once and leave it, rear connections make everything much neater.
  • Leo Nessing
    Leo Nessing Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I am baffled by your comment.  If you have really read my response on ergonomics you might understand what I am stating. I am not going to get involved in the battle of the BRANDS.

     Again the basic premises of this post  is that Flex advertises the 6400M/6600M as stand alone platforms and this is not really the case.

    I agree that the Flex has a clean layout on the front panel and how dare I suggest that there should be ugly ports for connecting accessories like other radios.

    I would not have purchased my 6400M if I didn't think it was very good radio and as I have stated many times,  I enjoy using it.  I guess you haven't look at my QRZ page to make a comment that I really don't seem to own a Flex.   Very Defensive!
    Leo NK8L
  • Burch - K4QXX
    Burch - K4QXX Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I am confused by your comment that the 6400M/6600M are not stand alone platforms because they don't have a built in clock or CW decode.  I have several radios that don't have these functions but they are certainly "stand alone".  I can turn them on and work other stations without the use of a computer or any other hardware (except for an antenna, coax and power supply).  Are you saying you can't do this with your 6400M?

  • John - AF3K
    John - AF3K Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    George - Thank you for your great response.  I couldn't have said it better.  
  • Leo Nessing
    Leo Nessing Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    This class of radio $3k to $4k should be able to match what the competition is offering as standard operational software.
    I also have a radio without CW decode and no clock, A 1974 SWAN 700CX.  I have recently had a newer Kenwood and Icom in the shack and of course my Elecraft all of which have clocks and  CW decoders except for the Icom and Yaesu has the decoder built in. I guess the competition just doesn't understand HAMS by putting these in their radios.
    Yes I just turn on the 6400M and use it  with the powered computer speakers attached.  Why isn't there an amplifier built in the radio so standard speakers can be used?
    Much of what I have stated in this post has been covered in QST review and other independent reviews.
    Enough time has been spent on this subject.  
    Leo NK8L
  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    If you are serious about CW, a decoder in the radio does not add much to your operating experience. What you really want is high-end capabilities available with cwskimmer and a contest logger / macro facility - and those demand a computer, you can’t run those from the radio alone. The same applies to psk31 and rtty - the facilities you get in the radio firmware are not really all that helpful - and the size of the display and what you can see on the K3 are not adequate, and not even available if you are actually using the second vfo (the decodes show up on the VFO B display). I own both Elecraft and Flex gear - the built-in decode does nothing for me, although I will concede it may help others in some way. I will also concede that if operating without a computer, it is possible to do basic RTTY on a K3 by using a Morse key, but to do more requires a P3 Panadapter with VGA card and a keyboard - not exactly portable, so you may as well have a computer along.
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The Feature set of the 6400M is rich enough that people are opening them wallets to buy.  

    With the amount of reviews and information out one's decision making can be handled well in advance of any purchase.  

    If a clock and CW decoder are significant barriers to a new rig working in your shack, then your choices are to not select from radios that lack these features or figure a way around what you feel are shortcomings.  

    I tend to do a matrix where I evaluate different equipment options when I am making a purchase decision.  In complex buys it is useful to score the desirability of each option.

    Some options are go/no-go - the potential gear HAS to have the feature to be included in further consideration. In some methodologies these are termed "needs." 

    The rest make working through selection choices better defined by evaluating what some methodologies term as "wants."

    It appears that neither the lack of a clock or a CW decoder ruled out buying the 6400M on the basis of not meeting "needs" and is irksome if your perceived "wants" favor these features.

    Personally I am all for future version of SmartSDR, especially the M-model/Maestro-centric SmartSDR for Maestro, to include more regular shack functions.  That desire I am sure is tempered by the available hardware resources in the M-Model/Maestro embedded system.  Unlike the old 5000C which included a full PC within the radio, the M-Model/Maestro have an OEM IO/Touchscreen Unit that may be already largely utilized with its intended purpose.

    Here I am guessing, as for GPSDO equipped radios accurate UTC time may just need to be presented in the GUI.  Doing localizations may be more involved.  

    Decoders expect a lot more resources and may be contraindicated by the available hardware resources after doing the rest of SmartSDR.

    My present personal solution is to run a Laptop or Tablet alongside.  This gives me a decent platform to running logging, digital and other shack tasks.  Less elegant than an all-in-one solution, but then I hadn't expected either my Maestro's or my 6600M to have enough accessible hardware/software excess to handle the things I wanted to do.

    YMMV but as of my writing those are the facts - in March of 2019 SmartSDR for Maestro/M-Model doesn't have a clock or a CW decoder.  

    73

    Steve

  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    This has been a nice tribute to Flex, Thanks again Leo. This shows that even with any short comings of the 6400 it is still one of the best.

    I hope you continue to enjoy it....
  • Bob
    Bob Member
    edited March 2019
    When I received my Flex 6400 M I also missed the clock and the front connections for the mic, key, phone, etc. I quickly realized that it was only because it was what I was familiar with. I now really like the rear connection jacks because the front is much cleaner sans all the wires all over the place that actually always annoyed me with my other radios. I also have QRZ or other software running UTC and I intend to get a UTC clock in the shack just for aesthetics so that also quickly became a non issue. I am sure that adding all these features would make the radio more expensive (but maybe not) I too am getting great audio reports from the hand mic and great signal reports running barefoot. Plus the fact that the rcv audio and filtering are superb the 6400M is giving me all that I could ask for. The only question I ask myself is whether I should have sprung for the 6600M for the increased operating versatility. That said I love this radio.

    Bob W1AGC
  • Leo Nessing
    Leo Nessing Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I also made the decision to buy the 6400M based on the complete features of the radio. Even though I would like to see certain features added, the radio is fun to operate.  The clincher for me was the way AGCT-(What I call Flex's secret weapon against noise) helps to eliminate the serious local noise problem that I have.
    The rig is almost FM full quitting and signal just jump out.
    This my last comment on this thread.
    Thanks to all, Leo NK8L 
  • Roger_W6VZV
    Roger_W6VZV Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    I know what you mean, Bob, about the 6400 versus 6600.  I am at that stage in my life where I can own any radio I want.  I went for the 6400 because I have no prospect of having a big antenna farm, and I only work single operator.  And above all, I like simplicity.  The 6400M is plenty complex for my blood, grin.  6600 is a nice rig though.  I have been uniformly pleased with my 6400M.  It is the first radio I've ever had that doesn't have something about it that irritates me.

    de Roger W6VZV
  • Bob
    Bob Member
    edited March 2019
    I agree Roger. Plenty enough radio for me too. I could spend a lot of time getting to know all it can do which is part of the fun, right? 
  • Doug
    Doug Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Owning a Flex 6400M has been a real problem for me. It has taken all the lust out of my life for another radio. What am I going to do now, no longer do I look at the HRO catalog and wish I had this or that. Yep I have been ruined for life !!  BUT WAIT what about this new Flex-2400M that is the title of this thread. Maybe I can get all the specs on it (.)(.)
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Vapor ware?
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The 2400M is the 6400M minus the bugs.
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Mine reads S 2.5 on a dummy load.  My S-Line and Icom 775 read S 0.  Go figure.  My noise floor on 20 & 40 is -120 dbm, which is very good, so why the S meter disparity?
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I do not use a computer with my 6500/maestro combo.  My computer is a Mac which is not compatible with most 3rd party software.  I would love to have a clock and cw reader.  The clock was the first thing I missed, I mentioned this to Matt at Flex, as when I am operating remote, I have no clock to use for UTC time for logging, which I do with a paper logbook.
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    It would also be nice to have a video out connection with the Maestro.
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I have noticed the lack of quality in connectors these days.  The plug from my West Mountain speakers to the 6500 fits loose and causes problems loosing ground quite often and I have to fiddle with it to make a good connection.  Even Pl-259 connectors are poor these days.  I just put up a 80 meter antenna the other day and the Pl-259 would not properly mate with the SO-239 connector without forcing it to go in.

  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The other night I found the the UTC time on QRZ was 1 hour off, using WWV as a quick check.
  • Rick Hadley - W0FG
    edited March 2019
    The computers in my shack are set to UTC. For local time I have this unique invention I wear on my wrist called a “watch”.
  • Bob
    Bob Member
    edited March 2019
    Gene I also have had trouble with poor fitting PL 259’s. I started buying Amphenols and tho they are more expensive they have worked for me. Also like their barrel connectors vs the inexpensive ones that often gave me grief as well.
  • John N6NTM
    John N6NTM Member
    edited March 2019
    I’m with Roger.....GO FLEX....here you have the Most versatile Radio on the market.....leading the charge in the future of radio......and the majority Of comments are minuscule complaints...why ..?....do you think negative opinions encourage designers to improve ....its my first day here ....I’m somewhat disappointed.....with all the great attributes From Flex and still so many quick to point out dislikes......might I suggest a different approach to suggestions ...something on an upfull note.....help Flex people WANT.....to keep coming up with even more evolutionary ideas....GO FLEX.....I love your ideas...
  • John N6NTM
    John N6NTM Member
    edited March 2019
    Amen........
  • John N6NTM
    John N6NTM Member
    edited March 2019
    Yes ....as with I.....finally H A P P Y......not a single complaint.....If I could only get the wife to agree to a FLEX tattoo for herself......6400 the last radio I’ll ever need......that why I went with the 6600.....just to make sure.....THANK YOU FLEX....

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