Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please refer to the product documentation or check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

Newbie question: newly purchased (new) 6400. Do I need to buy SmartSDR as well?

The subject says it all really. I've just purchased a new 6400. I now see that SmartSDR is available in multiple versions and costs another $190.

So, do I have to buy SmartSDR as well? Is the radio usable without it?

Best Answer

  • Craig_KØCF
    Craig_KØCF Member ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    No, you do not have to buy it. SmartSDR v3 will be already installed on your radio. The SmartSDR GUI is a free download from FlexRadio. And, if this is not an "M" model with the front panel, you must have SmartSDR to operate the radio. I highly recommend downloading all the manuals for both hardware and software from the FlexRadio web site.

    73, Craig KØCF


  • Ha Gei
    Ha Gei Member ✭✭✭

    Just a little correction..

    Some Radios are licensed for 2.X others are 3.x . When your radio is 2.x you can use it with the latest 2.x Version. 3.x Versions add some more features easpecially dealing with remote operations.

    If you want to upgrade from 2.x , you need to buy ...



  • m5kvk
    m5kvk Member ✭✭
    Thanks, Harry.
    So, how do I know which mine is licensed for? It's brand new, so surely it must have 3.x installed.
  • Craig_KØCF
    Craig_KØCF Member ✭✭✭

    You load and run SmartSDR... If your radio is not the same version, it will offer to upgrade it. Please read the manuals that you have (I hope) downloaded from FlexRadio. They explain it much better than I can.

    Being new, your radio is almost certainly version 3.xx, which is why I did not mention version 2 earlier. From the FlexRadio web site, you can also download current and past versions of SmartSDR, manuals, release notes, and a myriad of other documents. There is also a FlexRadio YouTube channel with many helpful videos, as well a a video repository on the FlexRadio website itself.

    If you need to upgrade the radio, upgrades within a major version, i.e. V3, are free. Only higher numbered major version upgrades must be purchased.

    Good luck with the radio! I love my now 7-year old 6500.

    73, Craig KØCF

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    Before upgrading, when you launch SmartSDR you will have a window come up that shows the radio with the word Upgrade underneath. If you hover your mouse cursor over it, it will show information including the maximum license version of the radio.

    if it show max license version 3, you can run latest v3 of SmartSDR (currently 3.4.21) of it shows v2 then download latest version of SmartSDR (2.8.1 currently)

    Dave wo2x

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    The upgrade fee only applies to major versions, version 2.xx to version 3.xx for example.

  • m5kvk
    m5kvk Member ✭✭
    Thanks for all the advice, but I'm still unsure. People have been mentioning downloading SmartSDR, but when I go to do this I am taken to the MacOS App Store and they want to charge me £149.99 for the privilege. Am I being penalized for being a Mac user?
  • m5kvk
    m5kvk Member ✭✭
    Oh, and I can't find a manual for the 6400, only the 6400M. All I can find, and already have, is the Quick Start Guide for the 6400 and that just says download SmartSDR.
  • Johan SE3X
    Johan SE3X Member ✭✭✭

    SSDR for Windows is a Flexradio product. Mac and IOS products are developed and sold by Marcus R, not by Flexradio. They just recommend it as an alternative product. So Yes, as a Mac user you are penalized ;) I use IOS version and have had to pay. Let me say that it's worth it by far.

    GL, Johan

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    And if you are a MAC user and purchase SmartSDR for MAC, Marcus has a very good online help file for it. Just click Help within the app.

    For digital modes on the MAC, you will need a virtual audio cable program. I use Loopback which is not free but works very well. If you want to use Loopback, Marcus (author of SmartSDR for MAC ) can provide you a discount code for Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback.

    Almost in the Apple ecosystem costs more and you pay for.

    73 Dave wo2x

  • KP4IP
    KP4IP Member ✭✭

    The macOS and iOS versions of SmartSDR it's worth it. Not to mention that the macOS version include other "tools" or Apps like FT8, RTTY, etc.. that are really well written and plug and play...

  • Dan Trainor
    Dan Trainor Member ✭✭✭

    Many are moving to the SmartSDR for MacOS. It does cost $, but it is far more stable, easier to use, visually appealing, lower audio latency and has many more built in features. I am a windows guy, but I decided to purchase a 14 MacBook Pro M1 /w large display solely to run the Mac version of SSDR. As it is a far better experience with less issues, super stable and is updated much more often. And here are some of the built in features: CW Keyer, Keyboard mapping, Controller integration, Network Stats, Genius Device Integration, Band Plan, Frequency List, Call Lookup, DX Cluster, PSK Reporter, Recordings, Voice Macros, Alerts, Logbook, CW Decoder, HF-Fax, RTTY, FT8. Dan de WA1QZX

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    I use the iPadOS version for remote access. It works very well.

  • Butch
    Butch Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2023

    Gareth - Buying a new 6400 provides you the license to run the latest Windows version of SmartSDR without an additional charge. Current the latest Windows version of SmartSDR is 3.4.21. You can down SmartSDR v3.4.21 (for Windows) here: https://www.flexradio.com/ssdr/ssdr-for-windows/

    As mentioned by others above, there is an additional charge if you want to run the SmartSDR on a MAC or iOS device, these programs written by Marcus Roshkosh. His link is here: https://roskosch.de/smartsdr-for-mac/

    As for the manuals:

    You can download the Hardware manual here: https://www.flexradio.com/documentation/flex-6400-and-flex-6600-hardware-reference-manual-pdf/

    And you can download the Version 3.x Software User Guide here: https://www.flexradio.com/documentation/smartsdr-software-user-guide-pdf/

    I hope you find this information helpful.

    Butch, KF4HR

  • m5kvk
    m5kvk Member ✭✭
    Thanks all. I guess it's just a bit annoying that there is nothing (that I can see) in any of the sales literature that makes it clear that only Windows is supported by Flex and that Mac needs additional paid-for software.
    Not to worry, I'll buy SmartSDR for Mac.

    And thanks for the pointer to the software manual, Butch.

    73, Gareth
    PS expect many more newbie questions over the next few weeks !
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Good point. I'll pass it on to the Web team.

    But, yes, when you buy a radio, new or used, a working copy of SmartSDR will work with the radio at no extra charge.

    Sorry about that.

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.