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SSDR V3 Pros and Cons

Steve Member
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
I have started this conversation as a method of understanding how V3 is doing in the real world.
It is NOT for bickering, do that somewhere else please.  If you can define (in a brief manner) what is good and what is not so good about V3 please do so.  Try to keep it in the Pro and Con
format.  Also tell us whether you have stayed with V3 or reverted back to V2.  Please try to keep it short without personal feelings.  This is again meant to be a productive thread for prospective buyers and Flex alike.  Your help is appreciated.  YES some of this information has been stated throughout the community BUT we all need it in one place,  Thanks again.


  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I’ll copy my reply to another thread here,and modify it to fit the “Pro” / “Con” format: Pro: I upgraded to v3 because I wanted the ability to leave the “M” front panel connected while using the radio from other computers, Windows, Mac and iPad. In the mean time, the ability to (relatively) easily go back and forth means I don’t need to sweat it :-) I’ll just stay on 2.4.9 until everything is ready to move to v3. Con: I would have stayed with v3 except for the fact I cannot run the Mac with it until xDax / xCat / dogParkSDR / MacLoggerDX are modified/upgraded to work with v3. As soon as they are, I will go back to v3.
  • WA2SQQ
    WA2SQQ Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Pro: None (for the general population)

    Con: As far as I know, it does not offer any additional features for the "general population".

    I've stayed with 2.xx until such time as additional feature are added, not related to a multi-client operating mode. I should note, I am 110% satisfied with 2.xx so this is not a complaint.
  • HCampbell  WB4IVF
    HCampbell WB4IVF Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019

    When V3.0 was first announced, I was disappointed also. But from several insightful posts of alpha team members, there’s very likely more to come in V3.x, i.e., the mirror function letting us use SSDR and M/Maestro simultaneously on the same slice/signal.  I’m quite sure that has broad appeal to the masses, and if/when it happens, even in a limited way, I for one will bite and and gladly pay up!

    To me the major “plus” of V3 is what’s potentially the next step!

  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    The potential next step is fine BUT . . . How long you gonna wait. Some of the issues have been issues for a long long time and have been ignored by FLEX. Lets just keep waiting. 

    I just watched a video on the Expert MB-1 SDR and boy is that thing amazing. May be putting the flex on the back burner. 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I am holding off right now because In Canada, we have to pay much more for V3 them they do in the US.
    The features are not really all about contesting, there are lots of comments from none contesters finding lots of ways to use the features, Being able to have a clien running at both ends at the same time is huge.
    This is simply the first install of V3, they will be refining it in the future with point updates.
    And it sets Flex way ahead of competition, that's a good thing.

    From what I have read, the auto save is causing a problem for many.
    At this time we can't hear the audio from each client connected.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Both you guys hijacked the thread...ON TOPIC?
  • Steve
    Steve Member
    edited April 2019
    This is all EXTREMELY important feedback both for Flex and us users.  Please keep it coming.  Remember the point of this is too have all pertinent feedback in ONE place without bickering or debating.  All Pro and Con response is appreciated.  Keep it short and to the point.  Your input is important and highly valued.  Thanks again.
  • Larry Loen  WO7R
    Larry Loen WO7R Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    What are you talking about?  For me, V3 is all "con".  I see nothing whatever that makes me want to upgrade.  I think that's responsive to to thread title.  I am not bickering -- I am stating my requirements (requirements that Flex has, if they remember, known about for years, but yes, I am just one guy).
  • Tim N9PUZ
    Tim N9PUZ Member ✭✭
    edited September 2019
    The upgrade to 3 was included in my 6400M purchase last year so I did not have to make a choice as to whether or not I would spend money on it.

    PRO: I do like the new feature where I can use both the front panel and the SDR software. I set the radio on an area I want to monitor and I can "keep an ear on it" even when I am in my upstairs office when I'm not in the shack.

    PRO: I would imagine, but do not know for certain, that 3.x has some architectural enhancements that are laying the groundwork for additional improvements that would be problematic within the 2.x framework.

    Tim N9PUZ
  • Gary NC3Z
    Gary NC3Z Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    1. Ability to run the M front AND use SSDR for digital and other modes, very nice.
    2. Setting of drive by band matrix, however this is negated by a con below

    1. The over writing of Profiles with no notice or confirmation, not a fan of this at all.
    2. Lack of V3 support of 3rd party software
  • Joe N3HEE
    Joe N3HEE Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I will not be upgrading to V3 at this time.  I might consider upgrading after a few more point releases and wide third party support.   However, if v2.5 comes out before that time I will most likely not upgrade until v4. 
  • K3SF
    K3SF Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    i totally agree with Ted

    i am a Mac user and have 6600M...really really nice radio
    i so wanted to buy V3
    i will wait till more info was available, like s/w compatibility.
    before making any decision to buy or not buy.

    Pro : multi-flex would have allowed me as a single user to exploit the radio in many different configurations...one is letting one client do band surveys ( (aka  cwskimmer and FT8), while i used the radio for more personnel direct communication with friends and nets and even hunting dx directly myself)
    another scenario was still letting the radio survey the bands while i do pedestrian mobil with my iphone.
    a few more that would have extended my utilization of the radio capabilities
    maximized my radio fun

    Most prime 3rd party s/w i would use on my mac's are not compatible with V3. This s/w includes xDax, xCat, macdxlogger, and because xdax and xcat dont work then i cannot use wsjtx and fldigi.

    V3 broke my whole mac eco-system for the flex.

    a member of the general population
    Paul K3SF
  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    It's just me using the radio but being able to leave existing workflows running from my primary computer which also accessing remotely from Laptop or Maestro is a huge advantage for me. I will eventually get into contesting but the radio as-is is working well for me.

    I do have some software compatibility issues but its to be expected as it will take a few months for 3rd parties to update their software.
  • AH0U
    AH0U Member
    edited April 2019
    Con Stayed with V2 until SliceMaster works with V3 but even then reading about V3 from lists, I will stay with V2 as I see nothing in 3 that I would use. Another con is that developing V 3 took resources that could have been used to fix or improve V2 which I use
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I have upgraded to V3.0 as it was a free upgrade.  I am using a CPO 6500 & CPO Maestro A, No external computer.

    PROS: New Multi feature has many interesting features I am exploring.

    CONS: Initially I had no complaints. 1. However, I have had one incident where the radio reverted to the select radio screen for no apparent reason.  I have to say this happened once with 2.4.9 also, so maybe not an issue.  2. The one thing that is important is that when using a cw message stored on the F keys, there is no sidetone when the message is transmitting.  Not sure why I cannot get the sidetone to run with messages.  Strange, since when sending with my key paddle, I do hear the sidetone. 3. Still not WBNB, NB, ANF, these really need to be addressed.  Everyday features need to be addressed, sooner than later.

    My 2Cents, and still very happy with my decision to buy a Flex.

    Gene, K1GD
  • Ed Johnson
    Ed Johnson Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Just my two cents...

    Pros:  None for my operation

    Cons: Now we will need two different softwares each with their own updates and bug fixes.  It would be much better to offer an annual $ 99 license fee and keep us all on the same software. Two softwares will cuase loads of more software support and a great deal of customer support time.  I think most of us would pay $99 to keep our rigs current.  The extra revenue might help Flex address some of the older unresolved software issues people mention.
    Ed W2PH
  • Craig Williams
    Craig Williams Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Unless I hear about improvements to "specifications", noise reduction capabilities, or other things that make the TX and RX better I will be staying with V2.x.x. Not a contester.
  • Robert-KP4Y
    Robert-KP4Y Member
    edited April 2019
    And also take a look at the major firmware and software update recently released for the Anan radios. Did I say, it’s free! Granted, the work is being done by volunteers but they haven’t failed to deliver great results in many, many years. They keep lowering the latency more and more, less than 20ms now! 73, Robert-KP4Y
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    My experience is longer than most, as an Alpha Tester, so some things I initially thought were going to negative have shifted to Neutral or Pro as I have gotten used to the new work flow.  (I think that may be an important point for some.)

    Multi-Flex allows me to leave the rig running, monitoring FT8, CW SKimmer, WSPR, or other modes, while at the same time I can log in from my laptop, iPad, or office computer down the road or in the next room and continue to make contacts remotely.

    I like the TX Band Settings pull-down.  It brings a lot of those settings into view at the same time.  I have even grown to like the "save on the fly" for the TX Profiles.

    They have refined the "auto-start" linkage with DAX and CAT so that it works much more smoothly.

    They have lowered the bandwidth requirements for remote audio.  I am now able to remote to my office, even running two slices, with my home stations marginal uplink speeds of only 700 kbps.  BIG DIFFERENCE in remote performance at my station!

    They have added several commands to the FlexControl Knob menu.

    They reconfigured and tweaked the standard filter choices in the RX control panel and on the Slice Flag Pull-downs.

    The filter drag icon that appears at the bottom of the panadapter with a "mouse over" now slides the filter width in accordance with the slice tuning step.  (but unfortunately not so with the icon on the RX Control Panel).  Still, a net plus.

    They corrected the errors that crept in to V.2.4.9 (and these will be back-ported into V.2.5)

    I am neutral as to the "save-on-the-fly" for Mic Profiles.  I have gotten used to it, but would rather have a way to turn auto-save ON/OFF.  However.  I don't adjust my Mic Profiles much.  Rather than constantly changing the parameters on the Mic Profiles I simply have programmed several different profiles.  If I want one with more punch, I don't change settings, I change Mic Profiles.  So when I get a new mic, I will program my standard set - Rag Chew, DX, Contest, and "Really Punchy" and save them.  Then I switch between profiles rather than constantly turning PROC ON or UP, for example.

    I would like to see some refinements in the Global Profile operation. For example, some say simply to use Global Profiles to save your RX EQ memories.  But since I gadfly about the bands and operate many different modes at random, sometimes at the same time on different slices, changing Global Profiles not a solution.  It does not allow a fast switch from SSB to CW when following a DX station from band to band and mode to mode and back.  it is a clunky way to run a multi-mode station.  I see Global Profiles as a way to change major configurations - i.e. from casual mode to Contest Mode;  From HF mode to VHF/UHF Transverter mode; From audio modes to four-band simultaneous FT8 monitoring mode; From home station to remote operation mode; from NM9P's favorite power user setup to my wife's occasional basic operation mode;  From Barefoot Mode, to Amplifier in line, or a different profile for different amplifiers, etc.

    I could say "They haven't fixed a couple of my pet-peves yet."  

    For example, I am still waiting for mode-specific RX EQ memories.  

    Mirror Mode (the ability to use the Maestro or Front Panel to control the slices that are in use by SSDR) is not included yet.  But if I waited to upgrade until it was included, I would miss a lot of good time with the functions that it DOES have.

    There could be some additional tweaking of the CW TX/RX timing/muting.  Though this is not a show-stopper for me.  (I am aware that others differ, so we don't need to argue about it.)

    I think that there is still a need to revisit the DSP "Science Experiment" -- especially for ANF, NR, & NB.  But I have been pleased with either their function so far, or the work-arounds I use (TNF is a quick way to get a notch, when zoomed, you can visually move it to the right place and drag it to a new one of the carrier drifts.  It is powerful and does not distort the audio like almost every other ANF I have tried, even on PowerSDR.)

    I am aware that there are some functions in some 3rd party software that do not/will not work until the 3rd party developers make the required changes.  I don't use those programs myself, so I cannot comment much about them.   I have another bunch that I DO use. And have had no problems with them yet.  

    However, none of these CONs would keep me from upgrading, even if I were not an alpha team tester.  There was enough to get me interested.

    This is some of my experience gleaned from several months testing before the official release.

    I do not intend to diminish or denigrate anyone else's Pros & Cons.  It is simply my experience and opinion.  Your station may vary.

    Ken - NM9P

  • Robert-KP4Y
    Robert-KP4Y Member
    edited April 2019
    And also take a look at the major firmware and software update recently released for the Anan radios. Did I say, it’s free! Granted, the work is being done by volunteers but they haven’t failed to deliver great results in many, many years. They keep lowering the latency more and more, less than 20ms now! And, talking about PowerSDR, Flex has failed to incorporate beam steering in SSDR. 73, Robert-KP4Y
  • Dwayne_AB6A
    Dwayne_AB6A Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Its totally normal for the general software ecosystem to take a few weeks or months to catch up to major software releases. DogparkSDR has a good maintenance cadence so I am sure compatibility is just around the corner. 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    They have had terrible problems geting the latest version to work properly, it has been better than a year to get things working on the Anan. It is not what your making it to be.

    When will they have Multi Client? Thin client, Plug and play remote.
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I wish people would stop posting threads like this.  Some people are making way too much out of this.  If you don't need V3, just don't buy it.  And if you do, buy it.  It's simple as that.  Everyone's wants and needs are different. 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Ken I love reading things you write,,but man you have got to running out of ink soon...lol
  • Ted  VE3TRQ
    Ted VE3TRQ Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Absolutely no offense meant, but you do need to remember Bill, that Ken is a preacher :-)
  • James Whiteway
    edited April 2019
    Pro: Multi Client (aka: Multi Flex). Lets my app use unused panadapter(s) and waterfalls while running SSDR or the front panel on my M model 6600. Con: DSP functions, ANF, NB, etc. along with several other basic features that have had issues since v1.x, still need improving. The above Con's are the main reason I have not upgraded to v3. Instead, I will wait to see if they.finally receive the attention they have long needed since v1.x , when v2.50 comes out later this year. And hopefully, both v2.50 and v3.x will contain those improvements. Once they do, I'll buy v3.x. Until then, I'll stay with v2.49, warts and all. James WD5GWY
  • Larry Loen  WO7R
    Larry Loen WO7R Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    On the contrary, the value of the paid-for releases is a _significant_ part of the Flex value proposition.  Each owner will inevitably have to evaluate this to decide whether to stick with Flex as opposed to switching to a K3 or perhaps a 7610 where there is no upgrade discussion of this sort.

    Speaking for myself, I would love to stick with Flex.  I have owned one since the SDR 1000 days.  I have a complex enough situation operationally and with hardware that switching would be a pain in the neck.  So, I _do_ care about the value proposition of these upgrades.

    On the one hand, if the upgrades contain features most of us like, then the upgrades are probably worth it as our radio is effectively upgraded and made more "like new" over time.  If new releases work out this way for most of us, it is a clear benefit and worth the money.  It is something nobody else in the industry offers.  That is a clear benefit, when it happens. 

    On the other hand, if most of what is offered in the release is _not_ a benefit to many/most owners, this is a _significant downside to owning a Flex_.  Yes, you can in theory sit on Version 1 forever if you like.  But, especially if Flex keeps breaking software compatibility between releases, there will come a point (maybe every other release?) where one must upgrade for the sake of third party software.  Many of us use a little or a lot of third party code.  In this scenario, the effective price of the radio is higher than the original sticker price because one ends up ponying up for software that one doesn't really value.  The longer one owns it (in this case) the more the radio costs.

    In real life, we hope that at worst, it is in-between for most users.  That said, it has not been so for me.   I did not get much benefit out of V2 (though I am on it) and V3 seems farther afield still.

    So, it is critical for us, for Flex, to know if these upgrades are really delivering to the existing user base.  It's tough, because SDRs have _always_ been, well, flexible and delivered to multiple constituencies in a way few radios do.  But, that doesn't automatically make a release interesting to me.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Ted, very true,,Lol

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