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Rel 3.3.29 and SD Card - My experience from Italy

This is my experience following the update to release 3.3.29 ... A short story that may help you.

I am in possession of the 6300 model purchased years ago (one of the first to arrive in Italy).

I have made several software upgrades up to version 3.2.39 without any problems: everything has always been fine. In recent days the new 3.3.29 version was released and, like all previous times, I proceeded to update it.

Following the step by step instructions provided by FlexRadio I found myself, after about 30 minutes of waiting, with the radio no longer working. The symptom is as follows: red LED flashing 3 times, LED off for about 1 second, again red LED flashing 3 times and off... to infinity with this sequence.

In a panic I start a search on the internet and I find that the problem lies in the internal SD card of the radio: practically a digital “hard disk” where the firmware and all the data relating to the license are written. I also discover that I am not the first to suffer from this problem and that, apparently, the “outdated” SD Cards have problems with the new update.

After a few hours of searching on the web, I understand that all I have to do is open a ticket to the Flexradio HelDesk and hope for their help (we are on Saturday evening – Italian time).

The days of Sunday and Monday pass with a bit of anxiety waiting for an answer (unfortunately the weekend and the time zone between Europe and the United States have extended the wait). In the early afternoon of Monday I receive an email from Tim Ellison (W4TME) who, as Customer Experience Manager, guides me with suggestions for doing a “hard reset” of my radio. Obviously I had already done it but, for the sake of scruple, I follow his instructions (including the waiting times between one phase and the next, which are very important); in the end I don't solve anything and the problem persists. I write to Tim again and after about 5 minutes he replies saying that, without a doubt, my SD card has passed away. He write me that he has already informed the persons in charge so that a new SD card will be sent to me. I already think about at least 10/15 days of waiting but… 10 minutes do not pass that a new email is sent to me by Tim who tells me the tracking number of my package with all the instructions for replacing the old SD card.

Just to understand the times (Italian time): I write on Saturday evening…. He replies on Monday afternoon and less than an hour after his first reply, the package with the new SD Card is on its way with UPS... Wow !!!!

Obviously I take note of the tracking number and from the UPS website I note that delivery is scheduled for Wednesday morning (less than 72 hours from departure). A little optimistic I say to myself but... this morning at 10.00am local time the UPS employee rang at my door with the new SD card (the only money spent was € 8.50 for customs duties that UPS wanted… but it doesn't matter).

I replaced the SD card (an easy job that takes few minutes) following the detailed instructions that Tim gave me: in less than 10 minutes the radio was up and running!

All this to say what ?

 FIRST:

Although several years have passed since the purchase of the equipment, I must say that the assistance and professionalism of FlexRadio is unparalleled ... .. If it hadn't been for the middle weekend, in less than 72 hours they solved my problem. WELL DONE GUYS!

SECOND:

If you have an "old" FlexRadio 6000 series be sure to upgrade to release 3.3.29…. What happened to me could happen to you but, in any case, if you want to keep up to date you will have to take this risk; however, know that FlexRadio Team can fix the problem in less 72 hours. So only update if you plan not to use the radio for the next 72 hours (European side speaking).

THIRD:

I specify that the problem occurs on “dated” radios that have a 256 MB SD Card and, apparently, are affected by the formatting being updated. For radios of recent production it seems that the problem has arisen in only very few copies.

FOURTH:

Warning: when replacing the SD Card, carefully follow the instructions that Tim sends you: do not do it yourself (as we are often used to) but strictly follow the instructions for both assembly and software management!

That's all ... The radio started working perfectly again (I use it remotely with the Maestro interface).

I take this opportunity to thank Tim (W4TME) and congratulate him on his unparalleled efficiency and quickness in serving his customers!

73 - Stefano IK2HKT

Comments

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

    Thanks Stefano for the detailed account.

    We do have an amazing service and support team. Our hope is that you never have to work with them, but when you do that it will be a positive experience.

    When it is, we love to hear from you publicly. When it isn't, we want you to reach out to use by phone or personal email so we can discuss it and hopefully make it right!

    73 and I hope to work you on the air!

  • W2JV_
    W2JV_ Member ✭✭

    Stefano,

    Bravo! I'm glad your story had a successful conclusion, not surprised, with Tim and his team supporting us. I want to thank you for taking the time to detail your experience, it will help others.

    73, Peter W2JV

  • Larry _ NY8T
    Larry _ NY8T Member ✭✭✭

    I will add to this, I had a 6700 and 6500 SD Card failure during 3.3.29 update, I did them one at a time to make sure I had a backup radio while waiting for the first SD Card replacement. Both SD Cards arrived to Michigan within 24 hours of my help desk tickets for each radio. Since 2014, always excellent service with flex support.



  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    Flex Radio's customer service is the best I have encountered. I have never had an issue that they were unable to solve.

    One of the reasons Flex Radio and their products are still my favorite to use.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Mike Steventon
    Mike Steventon Member ✭✭✭

    I doubt you will get similar service from “other” radio manufacturers! Kudos to FlexRadio.

    Mike

  • Bernard John
    Bernard John Member
    My Thanks also in the uk .Very prompt and excellent service.Ticket on Thursday last ,new card via ups today .
    Flex do require return of the old card ..???
    TopMarks to all the Flex Team .
    73’s .G0AJZ .
  • VP9NI
    VP9NI Member
    I had my 6400 SD card fail a couple of years ago. So this isn't something that hasn't been dealt with before. Tim and his team were nothing but prompt and professional getting me a replacement to Bermuda during a time when covid was an issue and our mail service was a wreck.

    I can't say anything but for what is essentially a specialist manufacturer building specialist equipment, they do a heck of a good job. They aren't a Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom - but that is what makes the technology special.

    Anyway - unfortunate that the latest update has caused some grief, but an SD card is WAY more easy to ship than a whole radio. Give the guys a break - the sun will indeed rise tomorrow and a day without radio ain't the end of the world. Let the system work for you.

    Good DX all.

    DE VP9NI
  • Richard
    Richard Member ✭✭

    I can echo the issue that people have had in upgrading to v3.3.29. I won't go over the symptoms as they have been covered but after my first attempt and getting the Dreaded "TIMEOUT" and Flashing RED LED I proceeded to send in a Help Request. That by the way was on a Sunday AM. Within an hour Tim contacted me and sent me "Try This" Response. I did what he requested and with the same results Timeout and Flashing RED LED. Once I sent back the results, Tim immediately responded to let me know that Flex would be sending out a new SD Card via UPS. Again this was Sunday.... Monday AM I get an email from UPS Stating the Shipping Label was Printed. In short the SD Card arrived on Wednesday afternoon after 6:30PM. That was when the Bar was Opened ;) so the attempt to do the rework was put off to first thing Thursday (today). Followed the instruction and changed out the Older SD Card with the new. Put back the 6700 and Launched the Software (must be v3.3.29, no earlier), turned the unit on.... Booted right back up... Keep in mind at least in my case the Profiles were missing, CWX had to be set up, some USB Cable Settings need to be redown.... All items I expect to see. All in all.... Excellent Service by both Tim and Flex Radio. Great Product and Great Support... Well done Flex Radio... Well Done!

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    I put in help desk ticket on April 27th Tim confirmed bad sd card. I conformed shipping address and as of today May 6th still have not received a tracking number for my bricked 6500's sd card.

    Maybe they ran out of them.

    Terry, K7NY

  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭

    You might want to contact them again just in case something happened to your request for a replacement SD card.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    I have sent Tim two other email's. Nothing, I just want to know that it is being taken care of.


    Terry, K7NY

  • Mr Radio
    Mr Radio Member ✭✭

    European OMs and YLs,

    There is Flex Service Centre in Gernany. Recently I sent my radio to OM Norbert for a repair of PA in my F 6700

    As a matter of prevention he also replaced the SD card.


    Tom, SP7WT

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

    @Terry K7NY

    We have been sending you emails since April 27th. and we haven't heard anything back. Again on Monday of this week.

    You might want to check your spam folder.

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    Hi Mike, I received 3 emails on the 27th and replied to them. I have not seen anything since, nothing in spam folder. I sent ser number and my address which is the same that u have on file.

    I sent two other emails. I will send u one from a different address and see if that works. I don't know why it would work threes times and then quit. I am pretty sure u have my phone number on file from buying new radios.

    Terry K7NY

  • Craig Gagner
    Craig Gagner Member ✭✭

    This has been my experience. I had opened two tickets one each for a 6300 and 6700. That was on 5/1. Tim immediately corresponded asking for address and to confirm I was comfortable making the SD card swaps. I responded to each ticket. Didn't hear anything back until I pinged helpdesk on 5/5 and Tim replied he had sent an email on 5/4 to inform me he was still waiting for my address and confirmation of comfort in making the SD card swap. I replied I had not received the 5/4 email and resent the emails I had sent on 5/1 with the requested information. I pinged helpdesk again 5/6. Hadn't heard anything back. I also left voice mail on tech support phone on 5/5. No reply. I have no idea if my emails are getting to and from Tim. I have absolutely no visibility in to the status of the help desk tickets at this point. I'm currently sitting on $$$$ worth of e-waste until such time I can get the radios up and running. I am totally ok with waiting if Flex is busy getting things squared up, just need to know if correspondence is flowing.

    Any advice as to how to get an update on helpdesk tickets is most appreciated.

  • Craig Gagner
    Craig Gagner Member ✭✭

    And yes, I checked the spam folders.

  • Larry _ NY8T
    Larry _ NY8T Member ✭✭✭

    Just a suggestion but if you communicate through the helpdesk website rather than e-mail client you may have better luck.

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    That was the problem I was having, nothing from flex until I posted here.

    I know this is not the place to do it but sometimes u have to try something different.

    I know how u feel Craig.

    I got two replies last night but still nothing on shipping.

  • Craig Gagner
    Craig Gagner Member ✭✭

    I conclude perhaps there is something awry with the Flex zendesk implementation and messaging isn't passing. By all accounts, Flex is customarily quite responsive in regards to technical support and that has been my experience up to this issue. It seems initial ticket creation correspondence passes. So, it looks as though the recourse is to attempt communicating by opening tickets. Seems a bit cludgy, but, there appears no other reliable or accessible option to me.

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    Some of it might be from Comcast that I have I don't know.

    I love my 6500 and this is the first problem I have had. It's the third flex for me.

    I even have three fans on hand if I ever need one.

    I hope everyone else has a easy time getting the cards.

    73, Terry

  • Craig Gagner
    Craig Gagner Member ✭✭

    Terry,

    Hmmm...Comcast is my ISP as well. I have a 6300 and 6700 both down for now. I too love them and they have been problem free. Refreshed the fans in the 6300 with like for like so didn't have to remove the heat sinks from the processors and have a couple on hand as well. I did take note of the SD card at the time. Easy to get to on the 6300 and likely easier on the 6500 and 6700 as they are accessed from the bottom as opposed to the 6300 through the top and somewhat under the ATU.

    This will get resolved. Until then we'll just have to live with some separation anxiety.

  • Terry K7NY
    Terry K7NY Member ✭✭

    I think all of my problems has been with comcast's email.

    Getting new card as of today.

    Going to dump comcast.

    Thank u everyone at Flex.

    Terry K7NY

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

    Glad you got it sorted out!

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