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IC-705 or what the Maestro should have been

EA4GLI
EA4GLI SalvadorMember ✭✭
edited January 2020 in New Ideas
When I first bought the Maestro, pre-ordered based solely on hype, I thought it was genius! That was until I started using it to realize it was just a glorified tablet with a FlexControl attached to it. No bluetooth headset? No way of logging any contacts? Thin sound out of a **** microphone? Oh well, expensive little toy.

Back then (3 yrs ago) I thought, and even wrote about it, that the Maestro should have been a Flex 1500 replacement. A 5w QRP radio that allowed you to jump into the Flex SDR world. If you liked it, you could then buy a 6xxx and use it with the Maestro.

Imagine being able to take you maestro, with a battery inside and have a portable QRP radio with a screen!!..... Back then I would have been happy with HF alone.....

Move forward to today and Icom has presented the IC-705. A portable radio 5w (with internal battery) or 10w with 13,8v power source. HF VHF and UHF!!!

Bluetooth!! GPS for logging!! WiFI and LAN capable. Little screen to see the signals and even reception of air band! And for about the same price I paid for the Maestro back then.

I got a square nylon bag for transportation and paid extra for adjustable feet with my Maestro.

The IC-705 gets a cool backpack.





With your purchase you get a whip antenna that works in VHF and UHF.

And the battery that works with the radio is the same one used in the ID51 and ID31 handhelds.


To think that the Maestro could have been that....and much more.....
Kenwood is out of the amateur world. Yaesu is producing **** like the 818 or the 891.
Icom is the only one producing exciting equipment with no significant competition from anyone.

Maybe it is the fact that I have not been able to enjoy my 6700 all Christmas season because I have a "license break" issue that Flex is unable to resolve... or maybe I am just tired of waiting for Flex to become what I thought it could be and I am finally ready to move to greener pastures.

The IC-705 definitely look cool and it might not be a surprise to see it up there in my wish list.


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Comments

  • Doug
    Doug Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Maybe you should have posted this on the Icom user forum OM
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I did and "Icom Doug" told me that I should have posted on the Flex forum.... :)
  • Robert Kearbey
    edited January 2020
    Sorry you just don’t get it Om. But if you had a 6xxx at home I can tell you how much fun it is away from home with my little laptop and maestro. Ft8, fldigi cw logbook etc.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Why would he say to post on the Flex forum? the 705 is not a Flex product...du
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I own a 6700 and a Maestro with V.3.
    I have had a Flex radio since the 1500. Have owned a 6300, 6500 and 6700.
    Used SmartSDR since 1.3
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020



    Maybe it is the fact that I have not been able to enjoy my 6700 all Christmas season because I have a "license break" issue that Flex is unable to resolve... or maybe I am just tired of waiting for Flex to become what I thought it could be and I am finally ready to move to greener pastures.


    A license break? that Flex can not fix? what does that mean? So you could not enjoy your radio all Christmas?
    And moving on means what? your leaving Flex products?
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Personally, I love my Maestro when remote or around the house. Never received any **** sound reports from anyone, whether using a hand mic or a my Shure 55. My brother in California says my audio on the hand mic sounds like I am in front of him.  My iPad also works great with similar reports.

    Gene, K1GD
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I have a trouble ticket opened with Flex Bill. I will give them the opportunity to fix it. 

  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I've done my share of Maestro....




  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    And other means as well.....




  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    As per the Tiny sound....
    The original Maestros came with the FHM-1 which lacks the punch of the FHM-2 which might be what you are using with your Maestro.

    I ended up with a modded microphone with a couple electret capsules in series which work "OK" with the Maestro.

  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I do not know why the defensive reaction right away. I hope, dearly, that Flex can become what I originally envisioned.

    A true merging of the digital domain with the analog domain. A fresh perspective on the tired model that ham radio was becoming.

    But, FROM MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE..... they have fallen short. The Maestro cannot use a Bluetooth headset.... come on!! I can connect a bluetooth headset to a wristwatch now a days. I have to keep it plug to an outlet so it won't die on me and it will boot up if there is a power outage in the house. When it does it won't turn itself off and you can end up producing burn-in on the screen.

    it is far from what it could have been. Again, my opinion.

    I can barely modify anything on SmartSDR..... the beauty of SOFTWARE is customization, skins, avatars, modifying to your needs.

    When I see that Icom comes up with a device that does what I think Flex could have done 4 years ago I feel sad.

    And that is all I am saying.

    I am not attacking anyone. No need to defend them...




  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I view the Maestro as intended for control of a 6000 series radio (a) away from a computer with SSDR; or (b) for those who prefer knobs to mouse control.  I think it serves these purposes very well. 
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020



    I do not know why the defensive reaction right away. I hope, dearly, that Flex can become what I originally envisioned.

    Perhaps because your promoting another product that they suggested to you to post it here? and you did for them.
    Nice to read your opinion here all is good. I think I should mention that the Maestro was never ever to be a stand alone QRP transmitter. It does very well what it is intended to do in spades. And it is a very nice peace of ham gear as well.
    From what your saying it sounds like your on your way out the door. Good luck...
  • Robert Guertin
    edited January 2020
    I'm not agreeing with his gripe but Flex should be pumping out software to keep the radio in the forefront of the industry. I'm assuming they have more than one programmer. I haven't seen an upgrade for a while.
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Perhaps because your promoting another product that they suggested to you to post it here? and you did for them.

    You really need to pay more attention to the posts and reread them a few times before replying. I guess my comment *smiley included* flew way above.....
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    In my opinion Robert, Flex is making software that is industry leading. Some of the features are only found on a Flex and with so much ease.
    Remember they only release about four times a year. So yeas it has been a few months since the last release witch was Sept 17 2019.
  • Gene Duprey
    Gene Duprey Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I’m using a Yaesu microphone, my Maestro was a CPO unit and no microphone included.
  • N1DZ
    N1DZ Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Mmmm... with Flexradio I can enjoy the full SmartSDR  experience on my small Surface go in a hotel room anywhere using my big antennas at my home QTH. 
    Not sure if the Icom 705 can do that.
    Having said that the Icom 705 looks like an amazing little pocket radio for outdoors fun. Kuddos to Icom. 
    I might get one but do not see it replacing my Flexradio 6600.
    Cheers Maarten
  • Robert Guertin
    edited January 2020
    In my opinion Flex has deserted it's closest users in favor of the rich guys. Not everyone can afford a $7000.00 amplifier. Again that's my opinion. The little guy has ask for many nice must have software items but that fell on deaf ears. That list has got to be in the hundreds. Sorry for the venting, but thats how I feel.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Robert, did you take part in the Flex customer survey a couple months ago. There were a number of selections on the survey from data collected from the most wanted features from Flex customers. So you see, the things we are asking for has not fallen on death ears at all. In the last statement from Flex some of those features have already been started. but we need to be fair here, some of those features will take a lot trial and much testing to get it ready for us. It takes time.

    As for the amp? I too will never be able to buy an amp of that level. The PGXL is not one of the most expensive amps on the market, but it is not cheap either.
  • Paul - K6HR
    Paul - K6HR Member
    edited January 2020
    You know what they say about 20/20 hindsight! It looks like the 705 was three years late!
  • David Pearson
    David Pearson Member
    edited January 2020

    The IC-705 is very impressive.   It has computer connection, VHF and UHF.

    Very very nice, butttt the hardware might be nice but what about the software.  Does the IC-705 use the same software as the other models.  I would need to review some more videos and maybe to play with one to get a good impression.    I still like my Flex 1500 with my Surface Pro 3 tablet.  Would like to have VHF and UHF. 


    By the way I am still waiting on a new Flex 1500 replacement, maybe IC-705 will set the bench mark for this replacement.  

    My 20/20 hindsight, I did good getting the 1500 and 5000.  I still use both of them today.

  • HCampbell  WB4IVF
    HCampbell WB4IVF Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020

    Nothing at all wrong with comparing Flex to other make radios on this forum.  Flex has even said so, and that thoughtful discussions of this kind are useful to them.

    Thanks for posting Sal.  I wasn’t aware of the IC-705.  It’s not for me though, I just looked at the brochure.  What I’d really like to see is a replacement for my long-in-the-tooth mobile IC-7000 (with a small detachable front panel that can be mounted almost anywhere, external monitor port, 100W, etc).   I’d buy one in a heartbeat, be it an ICOM, Flex, or otherwise. 

    The IC-705 does look like an interesting little radio with some nice features I agree.  ICOM makes some fine radios and I’m sure it will have a market.

    Howard


  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Finally, someone who can read my post without trying to pick a side! It is not about which radio is better... The post was about my own opinion on what Flex could have done... They just took a different approach.
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I have been using my flex 1500 while the 6700 gets fixed... What a fantastic receiver! I almost forgot how nice the NR is on that radio.
  • Doug
    Doug Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Doug told him nothing of the sorts. This post was started to cause trouble here and he has followed up after this with a lie saying I told him to post here. Nothing but a trouble maker.
  • Val  DM1TX
    Val DM1TX Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Thank you for posting. Wow!
    A very heated topic here. I am a very happy owner of a Flex 6500, a KX3 and dreaming of the IC-705 too. What is wrong with that? I am happy with all of them and it will always be a market out there able to satisfy all. Not trying to replace but to complement. All of them have something that other do not if you see beyond the basic needs of a Ham Op. It is a love and hate story all the way guys, it is never about picking up sides! I have owned Kenwood and Yaesu so far. I needed something else. To be absolutely honest I am now very hard trying to find an old Flex-1500 or a 6300 out there. Looking at numbers the 1500 goes for 400-500 bucks and 6300 for triple that.  I need a 5-10W rig able to send CW and maybe FT8. It would be magic for me if Flex would come with an updated version of the trusty 1500. 
    It would surely take the market by storm. I would preorder in a blink.
    Coming back to the topic we all see that Elecraft also turned the page into a new era.
    SDR is the future of radio. Flex is doing a superb job of leading the pack and I am going to stay and enjoy it from inside the clubhouse of SDR :-)
    Whishing you all that you would be able to find a single rig to make you 100% happy and not to take a peak now and then at the competition.
    It would be the same (for you out there with kids/teens in the family) to try and buy a gaming console these days.
    Which one will you buy? They all play games right?! Ha ha ha! Tough choice. Now go back and try and look at the above topic from a different angle.
    73 with love for ALL from Bavaria Germany
    Val DM1TX

  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Not very sharp... I have 1800 post but I come here to make trouble?... FACE-PALM
  • Jon_EA2W
    Jon_EA2W Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Since Flex signed a 36M$ contract with the US Air Force, we poor HAMs have been relegated to a second step. No update or fresh news have happened since this anouncement.
    Don ́t lose your time thinking Flex Radios will become what you would expect at short notice...

    Just my 2 cents

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