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CW RF power Drop Outs

It is disappointing to have to raise this subject yet again after nearly 5 years during which we CW operators have continued to experience the dropping out of RF power whist transmitting.

For anyone new to this old topic the issue is summarised as follows :-

Whilst sending CW using any form of manual key the RF power output stops despite the CW sidetone still continuing thus giving the impression of still transmitting. The power RF output can only be restored by allowing the radio to go back into RX after which the RF power will continue when the keying is continued, that is until the next time which may be within seconds, minutes or even hours. It is happening on version 2 and 3 software and to both 6500 and 6600 series radios and most likely all models. The curious thing is that it never happens when keying is being carried out directly by a macro such as from N1MM, only by manual keying be it straight key or paddle.

This fault has been reported time and time again over the past few years by many CW operators but as yet there is no fix or even proper acknowledgement by Flex about the fault or what action is being taken.

It makes for a difficult CW sending technique with the only solution being to shorten the CW hold time delay to try to overcome it which is not a good solution when using a linear amp and should not be necessary anyway.

All CW operators local to me here in the UK are experiencing this problem and it is nothing to do with our station installations. It happens when using an antenna or dummy load and is nothing to do with RFI in the shack etc.

My own situation, and I know that of friends experiencing this problem, is to seriously consider the continued use of Flex radios. In fact I already have an Elecraft K4 which it looks as though I will have to use in lieu of my Flex in order to restore correct operation at my station. However, I like the Flex radio but unless this fault is fixed I may have to bin it as being unfit for purpose.

A formal response is thus required by Flex radio.

My system is Flex 6500, latest v3 software, Maestro plus PC with W10.



  • Roger G3LDI
    Roger G3LDI Member ✭✭

    My call will also be familiar associated with this FAULT with my Flex 6600. I consider it unfit for purpose and am tempted to ask for a refund. We rarely get any updates worth having, just the usual plethora of remote operation and how good that is. I don't use and will never use remote operation but I DO use CW!!!! Are there any other CW operators out there or are we a dying breed?

    What happened to this "new rig" every year promise from FLex? What has happened to all the DSP improvements, or the predistortion promise on SSB, or other goodies we were promised years ago?

    I have the Flex 6600, version 2.9.1 ( purely because it promised ALL my woes were fixed! yeah right! ) Windows 10 on a 4-core i5.

    73 de Roger G3LDI - still waiting.. and waiting............and waiting

  • AA1SS
    AA1SS Member ✭✭
    edited August 4

    Flex is all talk and little action. Too busy with the government work. I have been seriously looking at the K4. Doing research now. Elecraft fixes their bugs very quickly and does not take years.

  • Mal G3PDH
    Mal G3PDH Member ✭✭

    As a further comment I can confirm that having successfully installed the latest version 3.5.8 that the CW RF drop out problem is still there and just as annoying. No formal response seen from Flex so raising a new ticket for this long term bug

    Mal G3PDH

  • Uwe - DK3WW
    Uwe - DK3WW Member ✭✭

    Even with 3.5.9 this problem persists.In the WAG contest I soon went crazy because of this...

    It was probably only empty promises on the last HAMVENTION. 

    I am surrounded here by some pasture fences that cause pulse interference. The noise blanker just works badly or causes scratchy reception at full band.

    Is there any hope for improvement?

    73! Uwe


  • David Otto
    David Otto Member ✭✭

    I'm using 3.5.9 with smart SDR and windows 11. Same problem as described above. This has happen using manual and N1MM for me. I'm sorry to hear others have the same problem, and no solution. For me, I have to reboot the radio when this happens. In a contest, it's maddening.

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