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SmartSDR

Hello,

Is there no further development and improvement of SSDR? There are so many suggestions and requests...!

73! Uwe

DK3WW

Best Answer

  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    edited March 29 Answer ✓
    Well I am finding that Flex is no longer " Leaders in Software Defined Radio" they are dropping to last place as other companies have gone by them like a freight train.

    And nobody from the company responds on this thread . . . Ignore it and it will go away !!!

Answers

  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    It seems like Flex is sleeping like Rip Van Winkle in that department. I have my 6400m but don't use it that much. I have a SunSDR2DX that has features that **** the Flex out of the water. Their software is getting old and antiquated compared to the other options out there.

    They're too busy with the government work.
    Thats just my opinion
  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for answer...

    That's a pity for amateur radio, but unfortunately reality. Sunsdr is also still under development and we don't know how EXPERT ELECTRONICS will continue now because of the war in UR and the embargo against Russia... We have a very dangerous situation here.

    73! Uwe

  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭

    In general, topic has been around for a long time so flogging a dead horse will likely get a flame or two. Oh well. So, lets see what happens.

    Perhaps I'm mistaken but I thought .39 was released June 2021, less than a year ago. Nine to twelve months to develop and test the next major release (3.3.xx?) doesn't seem unreasonable. We're still at .39 without any minor bug releases and that seems unusual unless they've gone to a once a year release schedule except for major bugs. We don't know how much code is involved in major upgrades and maybe is a much more complex project than one would think.

    Like many I'd really appreciate some upgrades and additions from the "list." There is a degree of "I want something new on the desk." Those thoughts have been around for some time and I'm probably not the only ham considering other options or at least thinking the same old thoughts about, for example, noise mitigation.

    I did see a post, somewhere(?), yesterday from someone I perceive as knowing, that the next release is in testing.

    Long ago I resigned myself to being surprised when a new revision appears though I compulsively check every day. For now, my 6400 does a fairly good job meeting my needs, still, every day........

    Moving on.

  • W2JV_
    W2JV_ Member ✭✭

    Okay, you have my attention from your quote, "I have a SunSDR2DX that has features that **** the Flex out of the water". I have owned a 6400M for three years and just this morning worked a very weak DX station, using the filters and controls that is currently offered, without these software tools it would have been impossible. I would be interested to hear what those features are that you have that make the Sun software so superior, thank you. Peter W2JV

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Lionel, .39 was a "maintenance " release to fix the problems with SmartLink that FRS knew about months before. It contained no new features or updates to basic functions. And the next release v3.3 mentioned in the virtual hamfest recently, is another "maintenance " release. Not an update or function improvement release. From what I can tell (or guess) it will be for SmartSDR to work better with the recent firmware that was released for the Flex amplifier and auto tuner.

    James

  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    > @W2JV_ said:
    > Okay, you have my attention from your quote, "I have a SunSDR2DX that has features that **** the Flex out of the water". I have owned a 6400M for three years and just this morning worked a very weak DX station, using the filters and controls that is currently offered, without these software tools it would have been impossible. I would be interested to hear what those features are that you have that make the Sun software so superior, thank you. Peter W2JV

    It just works . . . The notch filters are amazing and work with no audio degradation and leak thru like with the flex. The noise mitigation is totally adjustable for a particular noise at ones station. You can adjust the taps, delay, rate, leak, of the noise filters and totally adjustable filters. It is like a k3 where you don't think the antenna is connected till you hear a station. That is how quiet it is. It has a 10 band equalizer with clipper, compressor, limiter, noise gate for taloring your transmit audio. It also does NOT save your profiles on the fly like the Flex. It supports TCI (tranceiver control interface) don't need DAX,CAT, set TCI in each program and that is it.

    Maybe you should buy one and try it out for yourself
  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Kind of expensive way to test right now. Other than the Automatic Notch Filter, I find that the Flex software works pretty good. Not great. But, good. There are several things they could improve. I have hoped for a long time that basic features like ANF would get fixed. But, it has yet to happen. In my situation I solved the problem with a Timewave 599zx DSP outboard filter. It works flawlessly taking out tones in qso without distorting the audio or any blowby. But, I find it annoying that I have to use a workaround for a BASIC feature in a $5,000.00 radio that should just work.

  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭

    e.g. the noise blanker

    I use a Flex6600 and the NB is just useless even with a busy band it produces distortions. There is hardly anything that can be done against electric fence disturbances. It may work on an empty frequency band, but that's not the point...

    73! Uwe

  • W2ECK
    W2ECK Member ✭✭

    I think many of us would settle for an honest update from Flex Radio a few times a year as to what is going on for future updates the SSDR functionality. The Elecraft Community gets these updates frequently straight from the owners. Even a much smaller company like QRP Labs keeps all their users in the loop on current and future developments. The Flex Community scrounges for rumors or tibits dropped by Flex employees. I worked for the Fedral gorvenmet for over 30 years, and you can bet Flex is not keeping them in the dark as to what is going on with their products. Please tell us what is going on, why be so secretive and evasie to a large community who has spent big bucks on your products and deserves to be treated better.

    Paul w2eck

  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭

    Trucker, I guess I misunderstood the info in 3.3. Well heck, very disappointed here since neither the tuner nor amplifier are anywhere in any future ham budget. I was hoping for more. Ho hum...

    I've accepted:

    1. Flex will never provide upcoming development updates or provide even the slightest indication of their intentions in the ham market.
    2. The government contracts keep the lights on and keep the company growing. We hams helped them launch by buying their innovative gear but now I think we are a very minor part of the company's mission.
    3. Planned expenditure of labor on ham radio is probably shrinking, schedules sliding due to larger more lucrative contracts, as well as I suppose R&D to meet government's future requirements.
    4. Flex may well be having hiring problems like so many other tech companies.
    5. This is just the way it is and is unlikely to improve in this sunspot cycle.
    6. By embracing the "it is what it is" philosophy I find that I feel much better.

    SK

  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    edited March 24
    > @W2ECK said:
    > I think many of us would settle for an honest update from Flex Radio a few times a year as to what is going on for future updates the SSDR functionality. The Elecraft Community gets these updates frequently straight from the owners. Even a much smaller company like QRP Labs keeps all their users in the loop on current and future developments. The Flex Community scrounges for rumors or tibits dropped by Flex employees. I worked for the Fedral gorvenmet for over 30 years, and you can bet Flex is not keeping them in the dark as to what is going on with their products. Please tell us what is going on, why be so secretive and evasie to a large community who has spent big bucks on your products and deserves to be treated better.
    > Paul w2eck

    I just got my notice today that my K4 will be ready in a week or so but . . . I'm not going to spend $5500 for another radio with the optional tuner then another $100 for shipping. My Sun SDR works great and the flex collects dust.
  • Mal G3PDH
    Mal G3PDH Member ✭✭

    It was interesting to note the above comments. We have been waiting for a fix to the RF drop out on CW operation for more than 2 years now. Also there are many improvements that could be made to SSDR for added operation such as adding access to supply voltages and PA temperature for a start plus incorporating some of the best features from the range of third party software. Why should we have to run third party systems in background? A friend of mine, and previous Flex owner, has a Sunpro2 and is delighted with the performance and range of software facilities available with free updates. I had the opportunity recently to try the radio and admit that it seemed to work well. Where they now stand in view of the current problems is another question.

    Having paid twice now for software updates I feel that we should be be at least seeing major bugs such as the CW power drop out fixed plus additional general features. Having said that I still like the concept and general operation of the radio except for the CW bug which is becoming intolerable after all this time.

  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    I have read all the above comments. It would be nice to have more regular fixes, if not real updates. I have been waiting for over two years for the CW Power drop to be fixed and keep getting the "working on it" response. Not good enough on a transceiver that cost a huge amount of money. The SunPro2 has a very respectable performance with a large amount of features that we can only dream of and our transceivers cost more than twice the amount. I have backdated to version 2.4.10 because I got so disillusioned with the dropout that it was affecting my sending on CW. This is just a minor thing however. Take a look at PowerSDR by Darrin KE9NS: https://ke9ns.com/flexpage.html#videos

    Mouthwatering in comparison, why not offer Darrin the job back at Flex again! Features we can only dream of and some we might not ever use agreed, but good to have them on board and not as "add-ons" I don't want add-ons, I want a great software like the videos above show.

    Oh yes, and while "fixing" things, please fix the CWX messages with a click. I have tried numerous times to get rid of those messages, but they keep coming back............

    At 83, I cannot wait too much longer. Tomorrow never comes.

    73 de Roger, G3LDI

  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭

    One of the main reasons I switched from Japanese equipment to Flex equipment was that I assumed SmartSDR would continue to evolve and become the best amateur hardware/software platform, and I'd anxiously await the next SmartSDR verison.

    Even though FRS stopped projecting future software developments years ago, Flex customers used to be able to get occasional "hints" at what FRS was planning for their Amateur business via their Insider, but the last Insider I remember receiving was back in December of 2020. (Or have there been more recent editions?)

    As far as new Flex hardware goes, it seems 403A is now running with that side of things (PG-XL, PG-XL, etc).

    After hearing a lot of on-the-air praise from the ANAN community I became curious and decided to order an ANAN 7000DLE MkII, mainly to compare Thetis software to SmartSDR. It became quickly obvious Thetis software has some nice features which are lacking in SmartSDR. From what I understand, the Thetis software continues to be improved on a somewhat regular basis by volunteer programmers.

    SmartSDR bug fix revisions do occasionally come out, and I am grateful for that, but new features stopped coming after Multi-Client was introduced. Assuming FRS does not have the time or manpower to add new features to SmartSDR, it sure would be great if FRS could work out business arrangements with programmers such as KE9NS, W3II, and the programmers who continue to improve the Thetis software, so that SmartSDR software could also continue to be improved with new features. This would certainly translate into better sales for FRS and 403A, and help to keep Flex equipment on top.

    Butch, KF4HR

  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭

    Praise for KE9NS - I loved his revs to PowerSDR, and it was fun to see what he'd add on the next revision. His time between revisions as I recall was short, mostly incremental. His PSDR is an excellent development.

    With my 6400, which is good hardware, expectations are very low insofar as Flex future upgrades to SSDR. Spoiled by KE9NS's excellent work, I figured the 6xxx and SSDR would be in some continuous development cycle.

  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    edited March 27
    Sun SDR. Can have 2 slices with 2 receivers in each slice
  • WX7Y
    WX7Y Member ✭✭✭


  • Dudley  WA5QPZ
    Dudley WA5QPZ Member ✭✭

    I am guessing that ww1ssradio has not used SmartSDR on a 6700 remotely and does not post his name or call. No interface is perfect, but with the SmartSDR API you have all the control that SmartSDR has.. But with SmartSDR version 2 or 3 I can run 8 slices in one panadapter , or 8 panadapters with one slice in any combinations three different inputs.. I don't know of any other amateur radio manufacture that do this, and SO2R ..

    Dudley

    WA5QPZ

    OR



  • N1JS
    N1JS Steve . . . N1JS Member ✭✭
    edited March 28
    > @"Dudley WA5QPZ" said:
    > I am guessing that ww1ssradio has not used SmartSDR on a 6700 remotely and does not post his name or call. No interface is perfect, but with the SmartSDR API you have all the control that SmartSDR has.. But with SmartSDR version 2 or 3 I can run 8 slices in one panadapter , or 8 panadapters with one slice in any combinations three different inputs.. I don't know of any other amateur radio manufacture that do this, and SO2R ..
    > Dudley
    > WA5QPZ
    > OR

    Constructive Criticism:

    Thats nice if you want to spend $7500 for a radio with a horrible noise blanker,bad cw interface that people have been complaining about etc. The 6700 is one of the highest priced radio's on the market and has the least features and most bugs of them all. How many items in the bug tracker list?? If other manufacturers can do it certainly Flex should be able to. Flex has been that way since day 1, slow with updates and slow to nil with features. My history with Flex goes back to when the 3000 came out . This SUNSDR was a $2200 radio and outperforms. I use my 6400m for remoting and don't even use Smartlink. I have it set up with remotehams.
    The name is Steve and the call is WW1SS . . . For future reference Dudley.
    And I'm sure it is real hard to figure my call from my user name.

    Steve . . . WW1SS
  • W2JV_
    W2JV_ Member ✭✭

    I feel the critics of the FLEX radios are somewhat justified in their issues on communication and updates from management. We have come to expect robust sharing of information from companies, in the manner that K4 and other manufacturers are doing. If they are satisfied with their growth and market share, very little will change. Flex continues to be an excellent product, but "word of mouth" can be a powerful marketing tool on the negative. All were asking is a platform where they can communicate the improvements that they intend to develop. If not perhaps they should sell this division to an aggressive start up that wants FLEX to beat out their competition with the best SDR. FLEX are you listening?

    Peter- W2JV

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    I have complained long and loud about the state of bug fixes, features improvements and lack of communication by FRS. This past weekend I had the opportunity to once again, share those feelings with the Chairman of the Board of Flex Radio, Gerald Youngblood. As he has always been with me in the past when I have had the opportunity to talk to him, he was patient and polite and listened to what I had to say. He related to me that his involvement in the company's day to day business is not as involved as when he was president of the company. But, he did say that the government contract was winding down. And more of their development resources ( software developers) were transitioning back to the Amateur Radio part of the company. He also stated, as many of their company representatives have stated, that they have a to do list, of issues and feature requests that they are working on. But, as far as those on my pet peeve list, he could not say if or when, they may ever be addressed. That was a disappointing answer. But, at least, it gave me reason to not hold out hope that the issues I and some others are concerned about will ever be addressed. I really like my 6600M and my workaround for the Automatic Notch Filter deficiency, works far better than the one in SmartSDR. It just irritates me that basic features aren't important enough to FRS for them to be willing to make them be as good as,or better than, the competition. Maybe, they will change their mindset in the future. But, it's doubtful that I will be above ground when it happens.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭

    A little less talk and a lot more action.

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    I would be happy if they would be more open and provided some information here in this forum. And started sending out the Insider Newsletter again instead of being so unresponsive to their customer base needs. It seems to me that if you are not a contester with an all Flex station that includes the amplifier and autotuner, your needs and concerns are not important enough to warrant serious attention on Flex Radio's part. So, definitely more action is needed. But,little to no communication doesn't help either. I guess they don't think others considering an SDR transceiver bother to do some research before buying.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭

    Hi Steve,

    It's not going away, it's just being overlooked because HAM RADIO has no priority.

    I would be interested to know what will be discussed at the Flexradio Banquet in Dayton...

    Who still has hope for an improvement? During the last few years it was all just sayings and hardly any actions.

    Yesterday I was very annoyed again about the TX dropouts and that I can't hide the rattling of the electric fence sufficiently.

    GL and 73!

    Uwe - DK3WW

  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭

    There was a post a few days ago relating f-f conversation with Gerald who said the gov't contracts were coming to an end, so more software people could move back to Flex. If accurate, the conversations confirms what many of us have been saying since they took on the Raytheon contract years ago.

    If indeed they do move from gov't to HR we could expect some improvements long requested.

    They're hiring according to the website.

    "FlexRadio is currently hiring hardware and software engineering talent! Submit your resume at [email protected] now!"

  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    I noticed this on the Flex reflector:

    There is news on the grapevine that Flex is coming with a new firmware on April 1. 

    Ignacy, NO9E


    Is this some sort of April Fool's joke? 😥

    If true, let's hope for all the PowerSDR facilitites and a real fix for the CW Dropout!!!

    73 de Roger, G3LDI

  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    Flex is obviously losing face now in the Sherwood table:

    The FTDX101MP is a great radio on the top of Sherwood's list and a dream to use on CW. It has a 300HZ roofing filter installed plus 2 complete receivers. The radio runs 200w and includes a separate power supply with built-in speaker. It has the VC-Tune in both receivers. I'm also including the cable to connect your video monitor to the radio. 

    Quote seen today. Pity we cannot say something like that. I am 83 and would like to see a new update before I die, addressing the CW problem of dropout. Still on 2.4.10 here..........

    73 de Roger, G3LDI

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