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Paying extra for updates to multiple Flex radios.

Greg - KØGDIGreg - KØGDI Member
edited June 23 in SmartSDR for Windows
I plan on owning two 6300's and either a 6500 or 6700, so a total of three units.  Will I have to pay $200 per radio or will there be some kind of method that I pay once for all three?

Greg - KØGDI

Completed · Last Updated

«13

Answers

  • SteveMSteveM Member
    edited June 23
    I'm not the guy for sound answers. That being said, I think with the way things stand now, SSDR v2.0+ will register with the radio S/N before upgrading firmware. If not, you could run some kind of black market scam - upgrading other people's radios for a smaller fee. In short, I think one pays the fee per radio.
  • Greg - KØGDIGreg - KØGDI Member
    edited June 16
    That would be very costly to the people that legitimately have multiple Flex radios.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    That never occurred to me but it isn't a bad idea at all. To Greg's concern, I suspect they know where each serial number was sent so it would seem to me fair to expect an upgrade per serial number but where one owns multiple a volume discount likely could be arranged.

    I believe I know (how's that for an oxymoron!) there will be security certificates involved with 2.x. If FRS is the CA (certificate authority) then that could be the vehicle used.
  • K6OZYK6OZY Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    In my astrophotography hobby,  I have two telescopes on two different mounts in my observatory.   The software that runs the telemetry (ACP) is subscription based and costs $400 a year to renew each.   I have two pay it twice because I have two telescopes.  The software that drives the telescope camera (MaximDL) costs $150 a year too.  This is how many markets operate.

    I'm confused at how two v2.0 upgrade fees would not be expected since you own two radios?   This seems exactly as it should be.
  • Greg - KØGDIGreg - KØGDI Member
    edited September 2016
    Paying $600 a year for updates on three radios is a bit costly to me.  If you pay separately for something and you are fine with it, that is ok.  But I'm hoping that something can be worked out.
  • K6OZYK6OZY Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    It's not per year, it's per version.   v1 nearly will be three years old before it's finished, likely.
  • PatrickPatrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    Which means you pay your 200 and down load the SW and load it into the computer or multiple computers, since you paid for the software.  That is my guess.  So it may be on a per user basis. 
  • K6OZYK6OZY Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    The v2 firmware update will likely apply to a specific serial number and only update that single radio.   I would expect custom flash binaries for each radio to prevent rampant copyright infringement.   

    The v2 SmartSDR suite installer will likely be generic and not look at anything but radio version.  It would expect to see a v2 radio on the network to run at all.

    That's how I'd do it!
  • Mike WhatleyMike Whatley Member
    edited May 2015
    It should be costly. You bought the radios. If you want additional features you should have to pay for them. This is just the latest Backdoor attempt to get free upgrades.
  • WaltWalt Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    You bring up a standard question, and you should consider the cost-of-ownership before you decide to buy any number of radios.  I am sure you will have to pay for individual licenses.  Only you will be able to decide if the software upgrade is worth the value you receive.

    But without an accurate, up-to-date roadmap of feature sets, you cannot determine what will be included in the basic radio under version one, and what features will be added for version two.

    So you can wait for the product to mature, or jump into the pool and wait to see what actually appears as the versions are released.

    Life is wonderful !


  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Maybe the way potential purchasers of Flex radios should look at it, if money is an object; The radio is what the radio is, buy the radio that is offered. If new features are added, consider that a new (far less expensive) radio and judge whether you want to purchase it for $200. This is very close to what Walt just said  I don't think it is reasonable, at this point, for FRS to release roadmaps, except in the very vaguest of terms, like "these are the things we are looking at...PERIOD". As I've said before, in an Agile software development environment you don't know what will ship when until just before it ships. Some features will not make a given release. And given the ****-storms on this board over late releases or missing features, FRS is not inscented to telegraph intent because the subtle difference between intent and reality is lost on people on this board.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 23
    Walt, you are on the mark. There seems to be misunderstandings about updates. If I understand this, up coming updates for fixing problems will always be free. But updates for adding new features will be charged for. If you like the feature package then buy it, if not, don't.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Perhaps not for free, but I have seen discounts at times for multiple user licenses with various vendors. But those are very high volume operations. I wouldn't expect Flex to offer free upgrades to multiple units. I doubt that their sales volume and profit margin would allow It. Perhaps a token "customer loyalty" discount for volume?
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yes, As far as what I have read, there is a difference between updates and upgrades. An upgrade, a major software and feature enhancement such as going from 1.0 to 2.0 or 3.0 is a paid upgrade. Intermediate updates, bug fix releases, and lesser feature enhancements, also known as "point releases" will be free within the major release. The major updates are to be a single fee per release, not an annual software maintenance fee. (This was the original plan two or three years ago, which FRS wisely changed.) And, yes, a person can skip 2.0 and go directly to 3.0 for the same one-time fee. If it adds significant feature that are competitive and advances the SDR advantage, I do t think $199 is too much for a Magor upgrade once in a while. In fact I already paid for the first one in advance when I bought my 6500. Heck, many hams feel the need to trade in their two year old rig and add another thousand bucks for a "major upgrade" every couple of years.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Burt, I used to help my church, they had a computer lab with about 20 computers. We bought a license from Microsoft that covered them all.
  • Greg - KØGDIGreg - KØGDI Member
    edited September 2016
    Rolling my eyes....

  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017

    Flex addressed this in reflector discussions prior to the community's launch.

    At that time the stance was minor upgrades were included, major upgrades paid, no annual fees, and that a courtesy paid package (cost TBD) major upgrade would be available to bonafide multiple Flex-6x00 owners.

    Like you Greg I will end up with a couple units - most likely I'll retain the 6300 for portable use by replacing it with a 6500 or another 6700 for the weekend shack, and I have a 6700 at home.

    Since the fee is only for Major Upgrades I am personally not worrying about paying it, any different than if I had to send the units in to have benchwork done to install a physical update.  The level and quality of the minor updates (which are far more than "minor" in my book) is a good indicator that I will be getting another fantastic value with a Major Upgrade Version even if assessed separate fees for each radio.

    Like you I am very receptive of a "Frequent Flyer" sort of discount for a Major Upgrading of several radios at once, who wouldn't like a package deal?  But is far from a purchase inhibitor if list price is list price is list price. 

    All best and 73

    Steve

    K9ZW

    Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com



  • edited May 2015
    sounds like someone cant afford 3 radios
  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    2x6300+1x6500=8slices ~ 12000 $
    1x6700=8slices ~ 7000$
    You could save a lot of money and buy a tower and a really
    good beam (why not Tennadyne T-8+TH7DX) for your
    savings...
    The antenna is the most important part of your equipment!

    (I'm also into photography a lot and find people tend to forget
    that the camera is only a black box with a shutter.
    It's the lens that makes your photos great!)
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yes, but...
    WIth three rigs you can have a three operator multi-op station, or take one portable.  With a 6700, you can only transmit on one of the 8 slices at a time, and only one op can use it....so far....who knows what the future holds?

    Ken - NM9P
  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yeah, you're right there, Ken :-)
    I'm just not thinking contest...
  • PatrickPatrick WH6HI KauaiMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2
    OK, if they charge on a per radio basis, how will they secure it. 

    1) can be done via a server, turn radio on and it reports to server.  Only works if WAN is available.

    2) Embedded SW that remembers a registration code and S/N and user name.  Most SW uses variation on this. Each radio would be charged license fee.

    3) Register only in computer running SmartSDR, so that only one computer is allowed to run registered radio.  Any number of radios could be used for one time fee since only one radio could be used at a time, but would allow flexibility for the op and a one time fee for upgrade.

    4) Point of purchase were you pay for the upgrade and then it can be downloaded and it would be serialized to the owner.  This would allow max usage with one time cost.

    If anyone can think of other system, methods go ahead and add it in.  So what ever Flex decides as a method of control for the major upgrade has probably been decided on.  Because it would most likely involve SW within the radio/SmartSDR and at Flex to sell, register and control distribution.  Not a trivial matter in order to secure their SW product as well as computer/radio and server information security. 

    Pat
  • Dan -- KC4GODan -- KC4GO Member
    edited March 2018
    Here is a question. Can you run all those radios from the same computer at the same time? Then is it only one software load on 1 computer. If not the $200 software is quite small compared to the cost of all the additional computers and network hardware  that will be needed to operate them all. If it's a contest or DX station the there are amplifiers and other associated costs. So for a say $30,000 station is $600 a concern?
                Say's the guy who saved almost a year for the 6500, runs wire antennas with 100 Watts. I'll just never know what it's like to have all the gear.... But I LOVE what I've got...
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    $200.00 per person for upgrades? and not all will. I bet that does not even cover the cost to Flex for developing it.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Or DXpedition.  However, both of these extreme examples are outside my budget or realm of experience!  
  • Steve-N5ACSteve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited December 2018
    Our current thinking is that the license is per radio as many here have surmised.  We have not spent any time thinking about this recently, however.
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    That is fair especially as 1) nobody will be forced to upgrade, 2) $200 per radio is cheap for what I know we will get and 3) if people have more than 1 Flex, they can afford to upgrade them all. Just like somebody who has several cars - do they expect a discount for having them all service at the same garage pleading poverty?
  • edited July 2017
    It is a real shame that we have such vociferous arguments about the rights and wrongs of paying for software but until we can educate the masses that software is a tangible entity then I see no end to the discussion.

    Unfortunately I think that it is a problem that will never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. If Flex (or Microsoft or any other software supplier) did things differently, for instance put a dongle on the radio that must be present for it to work with the software, then Flex could give the software away and sell the dongle.

    Until people accept that it probably costs FRS more to design, write and produce the software than it does to design and manufacture the hardware, then this discussion will not go away.






  • Dan -- KC4GODan -- KC4GO Member
    edited March 2018
    I have an RF Design package that has such a dongle... It's only about 7,800 a year. Good thing the company I consult for pays the tab. For FRS I have no problem supporting the $200 for major upgrades and if I had 3 or 4 radios then I should be able to support the software. I guess Howard will need to with the FREE 6300 he won :) 

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