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Incompatibility between FlexRadio ATU and SmartSDR 2.x

Marcio Member ✭✭
edited April 2021 in SmartSDR for Windows
Hello guys, this is my first post here ...

I recently bought a used Flex 6400. The first impression was great. I used to use an IC-7600, great equipment, but I decided it was time for something new. I have a CushCraft A4S and an AlphaDelta DXCC, both compact antennas, due to my small space. Especially at 80m, the band size is very short, and I can only use a small part of the band. So I decided to buy a Flex ATU. Here in Brazil, our taxes are highly abusive. The final price I paid for an ATU of $ 299.00 was about $ 750.00 (ATU + Shipping + Taxes) ... But the problem started when I installed it. Without tuning, nothing. After that, requesting support, I was warned about the incompatibility between ATU and SmartSDR 2.6.2 (the version that comes with my 6400). So, to have a simple ATU option on my radio, I will have to pay an additional U $ 199.00. When I was buying ATU, I did not receive any notice of this incompatibility. I decided to ask the FlexRadio sales department for a simple discount to upgrade my SmartSDR to a compatible version, to solve my problem. What I received was the response from someone who didn't even read my email correctly. When I tried to explain better what I wanted, I didn't get any more answers. The only thing I wanted was a simple answer, yes or no. Sorry FlexRadio, you have great products, but respect for your customers is a very important thing for any company.

Marcio - PY5PR - :/


  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Dayton, OHMember ✭✭✭

    For what it’s worth, thousands of 6400/6600/6400M/6600M owners had/have V2 software and ATUs. Including me. As far as I am aware, none of us received a discount on V3.

  • Marcio
    Marcio Member ✭✭
    edited April 2021
    I asked for a discount, but the answer should be YES or NO, dear Neil. And worst, at least we must be warned about incompatibilities.
  • Dave K5OZ
    Dave K5OZ Member ✭✭


    Looks like they are going to do an update to 2.6.2 for the ATU correction. Look at this thread: https://community.flexradio.com/discussion/comment/20584089#Comment_20584089

  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Eastern Utah, USAMember ✭✭✭

    A fix for the ATU for Version 2.6 SmartSDR is still being worked on, It worked with the older 2.4.9 SmartSDR but got broken with version 2.6 so be patient a update from what has already been announced should fix the tuner and is not far away. You can also follow Flex's recommendations to downgrade to Version 2.4.9.

    Version Step Upgrade purchasing has ALWAYS been part of the FLEX's SmartSDR policy not sure why you would think you should get a discount for simply buying a internal tuner upgrade.

    Sounds like for the amount you paid for the Tuner you should have bought a used 6600 you of been far better off as they have the Tuner built in and a much better radio.

  • Marcio
    Marcio Member ✭✭
    Dear Bret and Dave, it is good to know that we will have a solution to this problem in the near future.
    Unfortunately, the US reality is very different from BR. Here, FlexRadios are rare, and most are older versions, like 3000, 5000, etc. We have a good HAM market, but most platforms are YAESU, KENWOOD and ICOM. It can be clear now why there are so few FlexRadios here.

    But back to the subject, the fact that I asked for a discount is not the point. The point is that it must be clear to the customer whether an accessory will work for him or not. And if you don't want to give a customer a discount, just say NO. If you don't say anything, it may mean that the question means nothing.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin


    If you don't mind, I changed the subject line since we do not ignore our customers.

    We are sorry to hear about your local taxes, but sadly, there isn't much FRS can do about that. Sorry.

    If you bought a new 6400, then you should have V3 included and that has the ATU fix included in it. (you didn't say if it was new or used).

    I'm guessing it is a used 6400 with Version 2. Version 2.7 should be out shortly and it will also have the ATU fix included and that will be a free upgrade for you.


  • Erik Carling EI4KF
    Erik Carling EI4KF Member ✭✭✭

    Community Manager: "...you didn't say if it was new or used" but the opening line of the complaint reads "... bought a used Flex 6400".

  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin

    @Marcio In addition to what @Mike-VA3MW said about the upcoming ATU fix for SmartSDR v2 (it will be version v2.7), you can always downgrade your radio to v2.4.10 and that version does not have any issues with the ATU.

  • Brock
    Brock Member ✭✭
    @Marcio - for what it's worth, I'm in exactly the same position as you. I recently bought a used 6400 and ordered an ATU for it soon after it arrived. Like you, I quickly figured out that it doesn't work very well at all. At the very least, I feel that we should have been warned *before* we authorized payment and confirmed the order. Selling something that the seller knows doesn't work properly should really make them blush. Going back to an earlier release of the software is a kludge at best. If it didn't work, the current version should not have been released. How much beta testing could have been done to not see a problem that I saw in the first 30 seconds of operation? SMH...

    Charging for updated software also seems to be an odd business model, if your business is actually selling hardware. I would have thought that Flex being able to advertise that your radio will continually get better at no extra cost would be a great selling angle. The thing about software is, it doesn't cost any more to develop it for one person than for 1,000 or even a million people. And supporting primarily the latest version rather than earlier versions too, would seem to be easier to manage. It doesn't generate nearly as much income though... because again, once you've written it, every sale is pure profit, with no costs for materials, production, packaging, shipping...

    I've had some email back and forth with Flex about this. I have also been told that the fix is coming 'soon'. I sure hope so, because it really, really, spoils the ownership experience and does absolutely nothing to encourage me to speak positively about the product. It would be great if some of the marketing budget could be directed to R&D, specifically software development...

    So yeah, I share your disappointment!
  • AA5NM
    AA5NM Getting Started Central Louisiana Member ✭✭
    I’m new. I’m waiting for my new 6400 with ATU installed. I am studying all the time. I read all these posts, and I live in the real world and check out info from YouTube, from a zillion sources. I am really kind of shocked that Extra Class Hams are routinely posting all over the internet that “these are known issues for FLEX and SmartSDR” when discussing why antenna tuners don’t work right, or why 6400s have to be rebooted to get them to put out 100 watts, why they mysteriously put out 10 watts? Is there no end to the exceptions to the rule? Are FLEX 6400 radios able to be used without initial and ongoing problem solving for glitches and **** up elements? I wonder should I cancel my order and buy a radio that works right out of the box. I mean, do you, FLEX owners, all have to spend a lot of time problem solving on how to make the radio do what it says it will do in the promotional literature a and all the dandy YouTube educational productions? I want a FLEX but am I buying a can of bugs?

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