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Are there any Flex models that can be setup without a router connection?

Still trying to use the Flex in a very restricted environment and would like to know if there are any current Flex models that can be setup and run without an initial connection (and firmware updates) to the router? The 6600M will not but don't know about other models. Thanks, Bob.

Answers

  • fpmacko
    fpmacko Member ✭✭

    I understand your environment. AFAIK none of the signature series radios must have an outside connection for initial installation or anytime thereafter. (I have a 6500 but for all I know the newer radios are different in this regard.) As long as you sneakernet the SSDR .exe installation file to your PC you should be ok. If your radio's firmware version is backlevel from your installation file the SSDR installation procedure will update your firmware. Subsequent SSDR updates will have to be sneakernetted as well.

    You need to be conscious of your network's IP address allocation scheme. Lacking a DHCP server I believe the radio will self-allocate an address in the 169.254.x.y subnet, and your PC will need to be in the same subnet. Otherwise you can implement static addresses.

    73.....Frank / WA3NHK

  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭
    Not sure what 'AFAIK' or 'sneakernet' are/mean. Does anyone know if the Flex-6700 can be setup w/o the router connection. Specs just say internet access required. WiFi available but not router.
  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    @Dewitt

    You can operate your radio without an internet connection by directly connecting your computer or Maestro. This will not, however allow for software updates.

    So, what I think I understand about your setup is that you have a WiFi connection to your computer, but the radio has no such connectivity. If this is correct, you can download the same version of the software on your computer that already exists in the radio by using WiFi.

    Next, plug the radio internet connection directly into the internet connection on your computer. Power on the radio. When the light stops blinking and turns solid green, start SmartSDR on your computer and everything should work.

    If you get SmartSDR running and it says that you need to upgrade or downgrade, then the version of the software on the computer does not match that of the radio. If that is the case, post back here for help in getting to the right version.

    I hope this all helps. Oh... to answer your question directly, all Flex radios can be connected to operate without a router or internet connection (this is how I operate Field Day every year). All Flex radios DO require an internet connection to be upgraded to newer software.

    Let us know how it goes.

  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭

    Flex-6600M can be connected via ethernet cable to either a Mac (with adapter to mini USBc) running SmartSDR. Or, connected to a Dell running Windows 10 and SmartSDR. Either laptop runs with WiFi to the facility's internet (Comcast). Original problem with Red power-on problem was resolved with an SD card replacement from Flex. That fix led to the current not able to update the firmware problem. Catch 22. The Flex will not run w/o the laptop and I can not update the firmware (front-end ?) on the rig. Hence I wanted to know if any of the current Flex models will run w/o the router cable connection like the 1500, 3000 and so forth. It is getting harder and harder to use modern American equipment. Have not been able to locate someone locally to take the 6600M and do the firmware updates. Thanks for the help, Bob, k9foh.

  • fpmacko
    fpmacko Member ✭✭

    Dewitt.

    1. AFAIK = As Far As I Know
    2. Sneakernet. You download your desired file to an internet-attached computer and then either burn it to CD or write it to an external storage device (e.g., flash drive). You then put on your sneakers and then walk your transfer media down the hall and into your restricted environment. Then copy your file to an appropriate folder on your intended SSDR PC and then install.

    BTW, if you're using WiFi then you definitely do not have a "very restricted environment". If your PC has WiFi but your radio does not then just connect both to a cheap ethernet switch and forget about WiFi. If you only have these two devices then you can even cable them to each other directly with one cable. (If the radio's ethernet port can't swap the TX and RX sides then buy an ethernet "crossover" cable.

    73..... Frank / WA3NHK

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    With the new SD card, did you get a new version of the firmware? If so, then it is only the computers that need to be upgraded to match the radio. Do you know what version the radio is and what version the computers are? I think you are very close to having what you need to make this work.

    Or is the problem that the radio works with the computer, but the front panel needs an upgrade that it can't get?

    Have you submitted a helpdesk ticket to Flex? They deal with these kinds of problems on a daily basis and can give you guidance that is much more focused than I can.

  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭

    "Very restricted environment' refers to COVID restrictions.

  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭

    Flex has been helpful, to a degree. It is the front panel that needs to be upgraded. Which I cannot do without taking the radio (or having someone take it for me) to another location to physically access their router. Apparently, none of the current models of Flex radios can be firmware upgraded w/o the physical ethernet connection. The rig (with the help from Flex) is working fine with either a Dell/Windows or Mac just won't work stand-alone from the front panel. I was hoping there was a model w/o the front panel available that would work in my environment. Thanks to the community for the help. Cheers, Bob

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator
    edited October 5

    Hi Bob, Of the current Flex models, the 6400, 6600 and 6700 have no front panel. It is the M designator that means that they have a front panel (like your 6600M). The 6300 and 6500 are out of production, but are still very relevant and have no front panels.

    EDIT: Here is a link to a Flex product that should solve your issue. Have you seen this?

    FlexRadio Wi-Fi Network Bridge – FlexRadio

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited October 5

    I am not really sure of you setup, however would this WiFi adapter work to allow the radio to connect to your local WiFi?

    If have no idea of what restrictions are on the network you are using, but I suspect your Laptop will function to retrieve updates for its operating system. If so, assuming this can be connected to your WiFi it would work as well. It does require some configuration that you will have to do.

    73


  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭

    I got that bridge in yesterday but have not tried it yet. Also have several other bridging devices that I have not been able to get working properly. Cell phone tethering/hotspot has also not worked. Mac tethering/hotspot has not worked. Consumer Cellular advised it may be a weak signal. More than likely it is cockpit malfunction on the setup. I have not been able to get the Flex to recognize the connection. At least the Flex is working fine with the Mac in control. Bob

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    I think he is trying to upgrade versions. If from v2 to v3, the radio has to phone home

  • Dewitt
    Dewitt Member ✭✭

    The Flex Network bridge did not work. Running version v2.4.10. Think it is time to send my Flex back to the factory. Thanks to the community for all the help. Bob, k9foh

  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭

    You only need to have the 6700 connected to the internet only if you desire to work remotely via SmartLink, or for updates which is what once a year now. You said, "WiFi available but not router". So my guess is your shack has access to WiFi but not the router itself because the router is physically not near the shack. I get it you really don't want to disconnect your computer to 6700 connection every time you need an update.

    A direct ethernet cable between your radio and the router would be preferred but if you can't do that for whatever reason, then a bridge would be a logical choice. A wifi extender with an ethernet port connected to the 6700 should to the job.

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