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My Take on SSDR v3

1246

Comments

  • Don
    Don Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I purchased my 6600 with my eyes wide open.  I understood what I was paying for.  I understood what would be free and what would involve a charge.  I expect both sides of the agreement to be honored...nothing more, nothing less.  An increase in my expectations would be unreasonable.  I downloaded and payed for V3.  It offers features that are useful to me.  I had been looking forward to it.  If it offered nothing of interest to me, I probably would have passed on it.  There were no surprises in this transaction.  I do not feel taken advantage of.  I am not a mouthpiece for FLEX.  That is their marketing departments job.  Just my observations.
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    That was well stated.
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    No one anywhere matches their customer service.  When it comes to character and decency Flex is the best company I have seen.
  • jerry stern
    jerry stern Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    "...character and decency.."  Interesting comment.  I have no reason to question Flex's work or corporate culture but these terms reflect behaviors not usually apparent to the customer.  Just curious, can you give an example of how you came to this conclusion?  Do they publicly support specific civic - societal ideals or goals?
  • Roger_W6VZV
    Roger_W6VZV Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Yes.  The first day it was available.
    de Roger W6VZV
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019

     I too will pass on V3.0 as there doesn't seem to be any value in it for me at this time. Maybe a later version of 3.x will be more appealing?

    I also would like to see significant improvements to the core of SSDR such as DSP (NB,NR,WBN) as well as improvements to the UI (User Interface) and other basic things like bugs/defects that not have been addressed since V1.0.

    In my opinion $199 is very fair for software updates but I will not upgrade till I see some value in it for me.

    On the “ Ham’s Are Cheap” comment I would hardly call spending up to $7000 on a radio and $7000 for a PGXL HF amp “Cheap”! And when you look at hard core contesters many will spend well over $100000.00 on their stations. So while some ham’s may be on a small budget other hams the sky is the limit. My guess is since contesters seem to be the big spenders FlexRadio caters to them.

    I still love my 6600M and Maestro and will continue to enjoy it as it is today and look forward to a software update that is compelling enough to encourage me to upgrade.
  • Phil Stephenson
    Phil Stephenson Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I'm very pleased with my Flex 6400 but it's not likely I would upgrade to Rel 3 unless I suddenly had a requirement to allow multiple operators.

    I don't know the profile of Flex's customer base, (number of users by model, revenue margins by model, etc.), but I would speculate that the majority of the Flex users don't require this feature. There are probably a minority of DX giants that do require the feature and those same users likely have an undue influence on the product road map because they stand out in terms of revenue per user.

    If I were a Flex Product Manager I would have made this a fee-based option that could be turned on after paying a fee for this licensed feature. I honestly think if they charged $199 for this feature, the big boys would be inelastic to the price, purchase it anyway and the majority of users wouldn't see this as a release that offers very little price per function. I also suspect that the revenue recognized would be the same. 

    Overtime if Rel 3 has more compelling relevant features for a broader base of users then I would be inclined to make the purchase, but price/function/performance is important to consumers.
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited April 2019
    Elecraft regularly provides software updates at no cost. The updates add new features and fix bugs. They have other issues but nobody is complaining about their responsiveness, openness, or added features. Eric's and Wayne's open participation and mediation on their mail list is a breath of fresh air. Betas are for all to test. I seem to remember a recent thread, partially instigated by one of the owners, asking what we would like in a new (hardware) version. I have little doubt that every one of the comments are being reviewed by Elecraft. They engender that much confidence. An Elmer there is someone that really helps others with setups and issues (Ken NM9P is our shining light in this community) instead of the typical Flex Elmer / Champion / Cheerleader found here. Look at some of the dismissive comments that come from those with "Elmer" in their signature.

    Here: little inside participation in the community (hey Mike, it's a huge job), little collaboration with the community, hidden agendas, high tension discussions, divided users (not just different focus but actually us vs. them), long term issues either not acknowledged or not fixed. The best we get from the inside is a lecture or an excuse. Most common, silence.

    The comparison simply points out the difference between two companies with generally similar products and their respect for their customers beyond the paycheck.

    What is really telling is how long this has all been going on. The current discussions are repeats of previous discussions years old now. Why? Because people just like complaining?

    As for significant improvement for many years... that's a promise I've not really heard voiced by Flex. Yep, we can infer that if it is software then it can be upgraded but I think the typical lifespan of a desktop computer is 3 years. Hams hold on longer but that's on the ham, not a commitment by the company. I guess you could say that if they release something significant once every 2 years then maybe these radios can last a long time. On the other hand, there are people out there using an EF Johnson Viking Ranger... probably not because of the new features being added.

    I think there's a lot more that needs to be fixed than the stuff we talk about in these threads. What we're seeing here is the frustration from inaction and apparent unconcern for the ham radio customer base.

    Multi? Most asked for feature?

    73,
    Kev N4TT


  • James Del Principe
    James Del Principe Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Burt, this has been my experience as well....top notch people of fine character....
    That said, now can we please have improved DSP?    
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    One final note, Although I did have some issues with my purchase of my new 6600M and Maestro, In the end not only did FlexRadio correct my problems they went above and beyond to restore my confidence in the company and for that I applaud them!
  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Not so much a list of proposed features from the company, rather there is frequently an inference of a user requested feature list in the community. This would be, new functionality, and upgraded performance to existing functionality, with probably some overlap as requested by users. Don’t we vote on feature requests in the community? That’s the list of interest. Does it exist? Not trying to get into the company’s marketing head but seeing what is requested and the voting would be interesting. The list itself wouldn’t seem to commit the company to do any particular thing on the list, maybe none. There’s just so much speculation about who wants what the most, like Multiflex. I’m going to look closer at the main site files, but maybe it’s considered confidential
  • Phil Stephenson
    Phil Stephenson Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I'm very pleased with my Flex 6400 but it's not likely I would upgrade to Rel 3 unless I suddenly had a requirement to allow multiple operators.

    I don't know the profile of Flex's customer base, (number of users by model, revenue margins by model, etc.), but I would speculate that the majority of the Flex users don't require this feature. There are probably a minority of DX giants that do require the feature and those same users likely have an undue influence on the product road map because they stand out in terms of revenue per user.

    If I were a Flex Product Manager I would have made this a fee-based option that could be turned on after paying a fee for this licensed feature. I honestly think if they charged $199 for this feature, the big boys would be inelastic to the price, purchase it anyway and the majority of users wouldn't see this as a release that offers very little price per function. I also suspect that the revenue recognized would be the same. 

    Overtime if Rel 3 has more compelling relevant features for a broader base of users then I would be inclined to make the purchase, but price/function/performance is important to consumers.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    @Lionel B.

    RE: "Don’t we vote on feature requests in the community? That’s the list of interest. Does it exist?"

    Yes, there is an idea list here on the community.  You can add ideas to it, vote on ideas or just view it sorted by the number of community user votes.   There is also an internal FRS list of ideas we can't see or vote on.  FRS is of course free to decide which ideas on which list get priority.  Although some of the most popular user ideas have been on the community list for years, there is the hope that someday we'll start seeing some of them implemented. 

    Regards,  Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com













  • Lance Rasmussen
    edited April 2019
    The problem with that argument is that software is never "fixed". You will never have a release of any software that is 100% bug free. So then there becomes the argument- well if they at least fix MY bugs, then they can move on. Well. We know how that goes. There are also bugs that are not so simple and involve enough change that it becomes resolved in the next major version to accommodate the major changes.
  • ZENKI
    ZENKI Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    What are you talking about! Icom has provided regular free firmware updates to the 7300 and the 7610.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Phil, it is fee based option now. you look at it, if it does not apeal to you then don't buy it. Why would anyone buy an new version knowing it does not improve your station, why? And if you do, then stop complaining. Their are lots of people still using V1 and are very happy with things as is. Their is no preasure to buy,,,none.

    The bottom line is, the busness model has been very successfull for Flex.
    New versions will not be free.

    Some time ago Gerald wrote a long explaination as to how features and bugs are sellected for a release. There are hundreds of things that come into play in deciding this, And Flex is very aware that they just can't please everyone.

    Also there is nothing wrong with anyone commenting negatively on the community, they should. However some feel that their comments reflect the vast majority of customers and I really question that.

    Keep in mind that people commenting here have no skin in the game, we don't have the company to run, people to pay, we are just customers. And we have no say in the choices Flex makes, in anything. Some think because they buy a product that they have some say, sorry,,nope.

    Flex has their finger on the customer pulse, even though at times it does not seem like it, but they do. They read here when time permits, Gerald talks to hundreds of customers at shows, looks at emails. They hear us, I think It is just silly to say they have no idea.

    Phil, all these comments were not directed to you, some of them were general comments.

  • Ed - W2RF
    Ed - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Al,

    Thanks for the filter config. Very helpful. Makes the results useful!

    73 Ed W2RF
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited April 2019
    Spend a little bit of time reviewing some of the old comments - both requests and responses. You may find nothing much has changed - including the players. You may find the same us vs. them split community and hands-off approach by Flex. it appears to me Flex has backed further away from the community instead of being more active. I'd go so far as to say there's no lack of hot-headed responses from all sides.

    Something has to change. It's hard to maintain a community when we're not communicating.

    One enlightening response from Flex is this analysis of their customers.
    I genuinely appreciate your concern, which I also share.  We at FlexRadio are caught in a major dilemma.  We want to have an open forum but the downside of all social media is that it is very easy to cause hurt feelings either intentionally or unintentionally.  There are also those who live to stir things up or just like to be king of the hill.  There are those who have too much time on their hands or are lonely for attention.  There are those who simply take up too much bandwidth.  Some defend FlexRadio too much and some want to cause us harm and thus harm the entire community.  There are even some I can call by name who have for some reason dedicated the rest of their life to our demise.  This happens in all types of social media - not just ham radio.  However, it makes this job a lot less fun and a lot more challenging.
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Lance they could at least fix what worked in 2.39.
  • Gene - K3GC
    Gene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I would spend $200 in a heartbeat if it gave me anything I want.  V3 gives me nothing but it does leave plenty of bugs that have been there for years.
    I actually researched the Apache offerings.  Their hardware is very impressive but the software is worse than Flex.
    Oh well, the one thing we can depend on is the marketplace.  If there is a hole someone will fill it.  Flex are you listening?
  • Doug
    Doug Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    You don't need a Flex, you  need something with one knob no menu's and no computer hookup. My suggestion to you is sell your Flex's off for your own peace of mind. Honestly I am not being critical of you, but to me it's crystal clear you don't need the frustration of owning a Flex. 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Kevin, nice find, I remember reading that a long time ago.
    Many months ago I sent Flex an email that I sensed something happening to the community, they replied saying yes, we are making changes because some employees are best needed in another capacity.

    I know I get in a lot of trouble on the community with those that complain a lot. It is not my intention to be a Fan Boy blinded bye the light, drinking cool- aid, ..and I know it sure must look that way. I know, I have been called all kinds of things. but I can tell all that we can all be part of this,,keeping information good information. I for one never mind criticle comments of Flex, it should continue I think, there is always a place for that. Let Flex know were they can improve, but it is all in how we say it.

    What I try to do is help correct uninformed and just poor information that some people say out of frustration that becomes very misleading. But I get it, many feel that they are forgoten. I will many times repeat statements made By Flex to correct this. It is not done to shun people from commenting,,just to keep information in keeping with Flex policies. And reminding people of the Flex long term vision.

    After I received this email I decided to try and help with this regard and I know how it comes accross at times, but I don't want this community to fail. it offers things not found in any other radio community anywere.
  • Gene - K3GC
    Gene - K3GC Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Actually fans tend to last longer when they run 24/7.  There are several threads to that effect in this forum.  The annual cost of doing this is far cheaper than the replacement of even one fan.  As I recall the cost of running my 6500 24/7 is something on the order of $17 per annum AND you don't have to wait for it to boot.
  • Phil Stephenson
    Phil Stephenson Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    You obviously have no understanding of product features and release management. I was NOT complaining I merely pointed out an option that is a software approach that is a quite common practice among software vendors.

    Of course, as a consumer, I always have the last right of refusal. I understand the value and cost of production of development efforts and understand Flex needs to recover its engineering effort. I haven't seen a major software release from any vendor that contains so few significant changes and I suspect others have come to the same conclusion rightly or wrongly.

    Your conclusions about my post do not characterize it properly and clearly you didn't understand it I qualified that I did not know Flex's user profiles and therefore revenue model but it is apparent from all the negative comments that a substantial number of users don't find value in the new release so the market will determine the winner or loser.




  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Doug, can you remember the same conversations took place when V2 came out, nothing changes..lol

    And just think, this V3 is just the begining. They will build on this release with all kinds of stuff. Multi Client is simply the first building block.

    Example, if they come out with a way to monitor the client that is connected to you so both parties can be part of a group, that would be very usefull to me. In that way much more can be done outside of contesting.
    I have a feeling Flex is on that right now already.
  • Pat Hamp
    Pat Hamp Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    That is fact Lance. Been working for a software based hardware company of 23 years total and your right, there are not enough monkee's a circus to test every combination of every line of code. PUN: Some companies are just more rev'd up than others....
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    The firmware in the Icom is nothing like SSDR to begin with. Oh and the remote software for the Icom is not free.

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