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flex 8400M VS Flex 8600M.

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KB4OIF
KB4OIF Member ✭✭

Hello all. Is there a comparison sheet out there that compares these two radios. Other than the amount of slices. What is missing on the 8400M that is on the 8600M?

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  • Trucker
    Trucker Member ✭✭✭
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    The 8400 only has one SCU ( physical receiver) capable of producing two virtual receivers ( slice receiver in Flex speak) each panadapter( of two) can only display 7 Mhz of spectrum at one time. The 8400 also has half the sample rate of the 8600.

    The 8600 has two physical receivers ( SCU's) with two virtual receivers per SCU. This gives you up to 4 spectrum/panadapter displays with a maximum of 14 Mhz bandwidth per panadapter. The 8600 has sample rate of 246Million samples per second. Twice that of the 8400. That gives a resolution down to 1 Hz if needed for the display.

    The only real advantage of the new radios is, ( in my opinion) the higher performance FPGA and internal processors. That and the availability of replacement parts should the need arise. Some of the improvements Flex Radio has mentioned such as Adaptive Pre-Destortion may only be available for the 8000 series radios even though Flex Radio claimed to have had it working on the 6000 series radios on their test bench. They have also mentioned improvements to Noise Reduction and the Noise Blanker with the new radios. They have also stated the same thing in the past for the 6000 series radios. So, it is unknown when or if any of these things will appear for either series of radios.

    If I were in the market for a Flex radio and did not want to buy used, then the new radios would probably be the route I would take. But, I would carefully research the history of updates they have made in the past to get an idea of what to expect. I also wouldn't pass up a good deal on a used Flex 6000 radio if one came along. And I was satisfied with the current state of SmartSDR and it's features. My 6600M works fine. Does it reach it's full potential? To me, no, because software development of SmartSDR has only been bug fixes ( which I am thankful for) but no improvements to some basic features that, in my opinion, have been ignored much too long. And now, with new hardware on the ( distant) horizon, those basic features concerns may not be addressed because of a shift in focus to the new hardware.

    Only you can decide whether or not any of the new radios will meet your needs. Or if you might be happy with an older version of the radios.

    James

    WD5GWY

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭✭✭
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    Bear in mind that the 8600 can monitor two antennas simultaneously while the 8400 can only monitor one. Also, the 8600 has two transverter inputs while the 8400 only has one.

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator
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    Here is a link to the feature comparison among the various models:

    https://www.flexradio.com/compare

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭
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    Thanks for your insight fellas. I have a 6600M at present. I enjoy using it. If i go with one of the 8000 series radio's it will probably be the 8400M. Will trade up from the 6600M. Can't justify the 8600M as the price is up there. Another reason is i would not need the extra features for my operating here i n my shack. I do have a deposit on a 8400M at present. As for the parts for the 6600M and the updates, that concerns me too.

  • KB4OIF
    KB4OIF Member ✭✭
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    Is there a comparison list for the 8400M and the 8600M out there like the one Len wrote about for the 6000 Series???

  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Member, Super Elmer Moderator
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    Hi John, at the moment, the feature sets are the same for the 8000 series as for the 6000 series. So comparing the 6400 to the 6600 is the same as comparing the 8400 to the 8600.

    This will change in the future as new software is developed to take advantage of the better processing speeds of the 8000 series radios.

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Member ✭✭✭✭
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    I’m not certain that all prospective purchasers of the 6400/8400 understand that they can only monitor one antenna at a time.