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.

12,000+ reasons I love my FlexRadio

KC9EI - Dave
KC9EI - Dave Member ✭✭

12,000+ reasons why I love my 6600M

I’ve been a ham since the mid-70s, mostly on and off when speaking of HF. Most of my early HF was at sea on an aircraft carrier (U.S.S. America) running phone patches, thousands of them, from the ship to back home. That was it pretty much, with some shore to ship communications when I was shore based.

I operated as WB0MAS and AB0MAS during the bicentennial year. Eventually I left the Navy and went to Fort Wayne, Indiana and the Magnavox company. However, most of my operation was via 2 meter and through the local Civil Defense communications group. Still no real HF. Only a handful of contacts. But I picked up my 9 call because my zero call on a local Indiana repeater wasn’t working out too well.

Eventually I moved to California and did nothing on any band. Work, work, work, 8am to 2am, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I needed to get my life back. I bought a 2-meter HT at a flea market and started hunting for some activity, and I found it locally. Eventually I got back into HF and wow! There is a life outside of work. Who knew? I made some great friends and starting seriously working in HF.

Then I discovered FT8. Oh my! I won’t mention the equipment I was using, but be assured it was good stuff but nearly impossible to remote into. By now. I am traveling around the country and missing my HF habit VERY much. Remote operation was ridiculously difficult and essentially impossible.  Then it happened.  I saw these kids with dish pans on their heads as I remember and it caught my eye. I asked a few people I really respected, “If you could buy one radio, which one would it be?” All three emphatically said a FlexRadio.

OK... I had been working day and night for 15 years and now it was time to gift myself and I did. I put up a tower in the backyard and a beam. Nothing big but more than I’d had. Next, I called Flex and talked with Matt and ordered a 7300 just before the Dayton ham fest but it was delayed; somehow. I was planning to pick it up in Dayton where my sister lives. But it didn’t arrive and I was crushed. But... at Dayton, FlexRadio announced the new series 6000 radios and I understood why. Thank you, Matt.

I got my 6600M and then my ham radio world took a dramatic turn. Whoa, remote operation.... Not remote control... real time remote operation, even from my hotel room, away from home. FT8 started it for me. To me it’s simply a never-ending contest, make the connection, exchange reports, move on to the next.  My first (previously elusive) WAS came easy. Then another band and another, and I realized wow, I might even have enough for DXCC.  Operating from my home office while I work... yeah I know but honest I was/am/still do work with the radio running behind me.

I got my DXCC, mostly running FT8 and heard from more than one nay-sayer, “Yeah but you did it with digital and that’s cheating.” Yes some think that. So... I decided, the second hundred will be with CW. I’m up to 57 CW countries now (151 total confirmed so far). Using CWX as a crutch when needed, my speed has been slowly increasing but... I still like FT8 while I close in on WAS 6 bands.

What is his point you may be asking yourself? Simply stated, “There is no way I could be approaching nearly 13,000 contacts in less than three years without my Flex 6600M.” I can’t even conceive doing that with any other radio, other than a contest station. None. Thank you Gerald and team for a great radio. You put enjoyment back into my life without even knowing it!

73 Dave


  • Robert Lonn
    Robert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Nice work Dave!!! Flex Loyalist are sort of like Apple Loyalist!! We have our reasons for sure... Flex is a good company,, not the radio for everyone,, but then the shack hear does have, Yaesu, Icom, Collins, Hallicrafters, National, Drake, Sony, Grundig, Panasonic, Zenith and the list goes on!! OH, I for got to mention Lafayette Radio!!! OMG,,, Always something fun to play with!


  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    @Dave - your account shares "the proof is in the pudding" enthusiasms from a Flex-6000 extending our operating experiences.  Like you I've benefited from the easy remote capabilities and the ability to operate digital modes from my work desk.  I like your personal challenge and certainly you will succeed at your goals.

    @Robert - Truly agree that <<any>> radio brand is not going to be a fit for everyone.  Thinking you are understating the affinity many hams feel for a radio setup that lets them succeed - thinking it goes far deeper than just a brand preference, as the Flex-6000/SmartSDR operating environment changes how an amateur operates.  Goes deeper than a  preference.



    Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com  
  • John - AI4FR
    John - AI4FR Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Excellent post Dave, loved it!!! I bought a used 6700 coming up on 2 years ago and have put it through it's paces. It has added about 50k qso's to the log here. But the really amazing part is that I've barely scratched the surface on its capabilities. The Flex radio systems are truly amazing in what all it can do. It's a radio that we can grow into for many years to come.
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Thanks Dave for your post!  Most of the time forums like these you hear nothing but negatives.  It is nice to hear a positive.

    Without a doubt, Flex Radios are not for everything and one thing I do know about Hams in general is we are a very picky sort of people.

    I went to our local club meeting on Saturday.  I'm not a regular for many reasons.  Rob Sherwood presented and give a very nice talk.  Of course he show his list with 3 Flex Radios up near the top and this old guy in the group guffhawed loudly and said "Flex shouldn't be on the list!  I'd never own one of those pieces of junk!"

    Rob went right by him and kept on presenting.  After the presentation I walked over and introduced myself to the guy as Flex owner and I wanted to know why he disliked them so much.

    First, he'd never owned one.  But he thought they were way too expensive for a radio.  I asked what radio he had and his cost more than my 6600.  I don't remember the model.

    I asked what his operation habits were like.  He said, we'll I get up in the morning and get some coffee then I head to the shack and stay there until my wife drags me out of hit to do some chores.  I rarely can get back to my shack once that happens (he laughed sadly).

    I asked if he watched football.  He said yes, that is why I'm not in the shack on Sundays.  I said, how would you like to watch football and run a CW QSO at the same time.  He looked shocked and said, well my wife generally doesn't watch football with me so ya that would be a good time to run a few QSOs but I don't have a nice TV in shack?  I said, bring the radio to the TV?

    I said, this is one of the main reasons I own a flex.  I can operate my radio, easily, without needing logs of extra rig controllers and gadgets from just about anywhere.  

    He looked skeptical.  I said, hey the radio is not for everyone but before you slam it you should check it out.

    I doubt anything will come of it but I may have opened his eyes a bit!

  • KC9EI - Dave
    KC9EI - Dave Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Yes I also have ICOM and Yaseu and Kenwood equipment, but my Flex rules the roost here.
  • KC9EI - Dave
    KC9EI - Dave Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Well said and done. We have a senior member of the local club who had pretty much given up on HF. He is approaching 90 years old/young and been a ham forever but... has never earned DXCC. FT8 has given him a renewed interest in HF and he is vigorously pursing the DXCC he has never been able to capture before. You should have seen him smile as he was telling a group of us about it.  So... there you go, that's all he needed.  73 Dave
  • Santiago Mejia HI8O
    Santiago Mejia HI8O Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Thanks for sharing your experience Dave. I also took FT8 as a tool to pick up ham radio again after a few years off. I only been with my Flex 6300 for 5 months, but needless to say I haven’t turn on my Icom 7300 (now a back up rig) since and I don’t think I will return to other radios than Flex.

    Now I’m getting used to the Flex environment and “run with Flex” extras. It’s a whole new world and quite an amazing one.


    edited because of hitting enter before completing the post (iPad’s fault)

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.