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Over 5 years and Smartsdr doesent have near the options as Powersdr

w2tgr .
w2tgr . Member
edited August 2020 in New Ideas
Over 5 years and Smartsdr doesn't have near the options as Powersdr. Sad that Flex has to depend on 3rd parties to finish their work. AND we have to pay for major upgrades. I have had Flex's from the 1000 to the 5000. Recently bought a new 6400 and am very disappointed with Smartsdr.

2 votes

Open for Comments · Last Updated


  • Cliff Batson  N4CCB
    edited February 2020
    I understand why you feel this way.  For example, why can't SmartSDR have a Spot button that will play your CW sidetone pitch for those of us who need a reminder while tuning by ear?  PowerSDR had that.

    Flex has spent countless hours developing functionality that I will never use.

    That said, my 2.x software gives my 6300 a pretty good ****-for-the-buck and I'm generally happy with it.
  • Jim Gilliam
    Jim Gilliam Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020

    It would be wonderful if Flex could bring Simon into the picture and integrate the Flex radios with SDR Console. That has been an ever-evolving program and is very nice to use on SDR receivers.

    Jim, K6QE
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited February 2020
    As someone who has used both, I would never go back to PowerSDR.  I do find that SmartSDR is far superior in the RF end and the lack of dependency of using Firewire.  It was great when it came out, but in my operation SmartSDR allowed me to really expand my station.

    The 6000 series, which is built on a TCP/IP communications structure allows for a superior communication base.    

    With the 1500/3000 and 5000 series, the computer is 1/2 of the radio solution.  Once you go to the 6000 series, the client is a thin client requiring minimal computing power.  This is why you can use an iPad if you wish.

    Yes, PowerSDR has some cool features and if they are critical for your operating, that is awesome.  It really comes down to what is important for you.  And, since it is opensource you can always code your own changes.

    For me, I could never do what I do now with PowerSDR that I now do with SmartSDR.  

    My personal (non-work) opinion.  :)  

    73, Mike va3mw

  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Some times the longer we have our Flexes we tend to forget how good we have it. I agree.
    When SSDR was first thought of it was hoped that 3rd party software would really pick up and enhance our Flex 6000 enjoyment.
    Because of the way SSDR is made, 3rd party software integrates seamlessly with SSDR as if it was built into SSDR.
    As we have seen digital modes keep changing and more are added. I seems best to let the creators of these software fix, and update them. And other software that do many complicated things for Radio control, amp control, Freq stacks, Slice organization. Just some examples. The creators of all this software keep improving them, and this software is nicely packaged. It is not because Flex does not care to give us these things, it is not something overlooked.

    We can also name several features in SSDR that PSDR does not have. Such as Multi Client, this was a very big accomplishment. it does not matter if you don't need it or want it,,it is still huge.
     AGC-T funtion, wish PSDR had that.
    Wide band noise filtering. WNB, simply wonderful on the noise it is made for.
    Much higher sampling rate to allow a crystal clear zoom.
    Higher res Panadapter.
    The use of Dax instead of the old hard to setup VAC
    Much better PROC.
    Very easy to remote with, out standing.
    I can go on and on with things that upgrade from PSDR.
    I still use my Flex 3000 sometimes, but I sure am always glad to go back to SSDR.

    Bill VA3WTB
  • Steven WA8Y
    Steven WA8Y Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Wow, what a cool feature! This morning (during CWT) I wondered if the stations I was calingl were using the same CW sideband? Was that why they weren't coming back to my call? Maybe I didn't get my usual first or second reply due to one-way propagation? Anyway, sounds t like a cool feature. I've heard that with PowerSDR, you could record the whole band. That would be fun to use.
  • mlstutler
    mlstutler Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020
    I find it difficult to believe any one can be familiar with Flex and not be aware that Feature upgrades are not free.  Bug Fixes are.   You may argue that the feature enhancements are not what you are interested in and if so then don't upgrade.   I don't know of any radio manufacture who comes out with new features and does not charge as they usually involve hardware.   At least with Flex you can wait to upgrade to a feature of your liking when you choose to.   If I recall correctly ( I could be wrong) you could go from V1 to V3 without having to pay for V2.   

    If you look at the enhancements Flex has developed it is obvious they are going after  contest / remote capabilities markets.   I think this is a wise choice long term.   Those enhancements are nearing maturity and maybe Flex will go back and revisit some of the other features requested that don't line up with V2 or V3.   

    As far as zero beating a CW signal I am not sure how a SPOT function would work.   I just place the xmit freq on the same freq as the op and have never had a problem with that.   When working split I just use XIT to move off freq.   I am not a hardcore CW op so if there is something that SPOT would do that can't be done now please advise.


  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited February 2020
    Simon can do this on his own as the radio has an open API.  it's the same API that SmartSDR for Windows is built on.
  • Cliff Batson  N4CCB
    edited February 2020
    For SPOT... I have my sidetone pitch at 600Hz and I want to be reminded of the sound of the 600Hz tone so I can zero-beat by ear.  As a musician, it's simple for me to quickly match the other station exactly when I've heard my sidetone pitch.   To do that now, I have to click Break-in to disable it, touch my paddles to generate an off-air dit or dash, re-enable Break-in and then tune.  This is how I like to tune and I can be drop-dead exactly zero beat faster and more accurately than by clicking somewhere near the other station in the panadapter.  It's not for everyone and that level of precision isn't necessary... it's just how I like to do it and that was available in PowerSDR.  But, I'm not b*tching about it... I love my Flex.
  • dave
    dave Member
    edited February 2020
    Well we certainly know Squelch isn't free.
  • bobby
    bobby Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020
    and we know why bug fixes come very slowly since they do not generate revenue!
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Not true, Flex only releases about 4 updates per year. It is almost impossible to roll out lets say 8 bug fixes release separate from main software releases. Because of this, bug fixes would only come out when a release is done. Reason? many bug fixes make changes in the software, and considerable amount of testing has to happen to see what effect it has. And if a bug happens to be in a driver, then the work takes much longer. Releasing Bugs fixes with the main release makes the most sense.
  • Val  DM1TX
    Val DM1TX Member ✭✭
    edited February 2020
    The other day at work, one of my colleagues was simply staring at a MS XP Pro laptop received back from the field to be wiped and sent to scrap. He said "You know it just works!" But none of the software that we currently use is able to work on XP...Sad but true. We keep looking back and feeling sorry that the future did not learn from mistakes or hang on best of the things (features).
    Well my experience is limited with Power SDR but I have used the SDR receivers and I remember I was always dreaming to have all under one roof. I feel that FRS had just acomplished that. 3rd party software that is flawlessly integrated. What I love about SSDR is that it evolves. For better than for worst. Yes is not able to satisfy everybody. Sorry but I am not going back to a box with knobs. I have nightmares about that sometimes :-) I am looking forward to my next software update. And yes, I am still looking for a preloved 6300 in order to have it installed in a lodge on a top of a mountain here in Bavaria. Anybody?! 73 Val
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    @bobby - while you may feel emotionally satisfied making your statement the facts are that critical bug fixes have happened within mere days of a problem being discovered.

    Obviously bugs are triaged into categories, so yes someone's personal high priority may not be resolved so quickly.

    I think many folk forget that there is a Alpha Team that absolutely hammers away testing the evolving software - bug fixes and feature additions both.  

    This is to minimize the number of configurations and users that end up struggling with updates when rolled out as General Releases.

    As Bill VA3WTB points out the the software is complex and I don't think you can tweak stuff without having to test it thoroughly.  

    @all on the PowerSDR vs SmartSDR discussion.  For the first three years of owning a Flex-6700 (mine oldest one is the 3rd released outside of FRS) I also had a Flex-5000.  At first I slavishly kept PowerSDR and my 5000 running.  Especially during the SmartSDR version 0.x and 1.x days I would switch back and forth.  Once SmartSDR v1.x matured and totally since v2.x came into play the 5000  was first relegated to storage and later sold.  

    I've written about the Thick-pipe and Thin-pipe some years ago, and yes they both offer advantages.  The both also offer some disadvantages.  

    How those issues balance out is in the end a personal choice of an operator.  

    I know from my personal evaluation by PowerSDR gear got sold, and I have several SmartSDR Flex-6000s which I run every day.  

    And every day I run at least one of them LAN-remote (I operate from a different building than the one that houses my station, but they are on a site-wide LAN) and WAN-remote (where I operate via SmartLink from a nearby operating position.

    Regularly I operate WAN-remote via SmartLink while traveling for work.  

    While I could figure a way to do some of this in a PowerSDR ecostructure, motsly by doing a remote desktop variation, I find the SmartSDR/SmartLink solution elegant and more robust.  

    Your mileage may vary, as they say.  

    But your mileage doesn't have any bearing on my mileage.  It just doesn't work like that.  

    SmartSDR/Flex-6000 ecostructure is different than the PowerSDR infrastructure.  

    As the value of surplus 5000/3000/1500 PowerSDR radios is not reflecting a "got to have one" fervor, yet are solidly priced to reflect their continued usefulness, I think we can agree that with the evolutionary improvements PowerSDR remains useful, but is not going to stop SmartSDR.

    Tow great choices, differing architecture & capabilities, and both do well in the right shack.



    Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com 

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