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Dayton 2016



  • John - AF3K
    John - AF3K Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I thought it was one of the most interesting things too. ... the idea of a small footprint SDR transceiver for VHF/UHF with a nice API and UI (hmm...sound familiar) and designed to let you plug in whatever digital mode you want (DMR, D-Star, LTE, etc.), and that lets you easily switch between them, would be a nice complement to my 6500 :)
  • EA4GLI
    EA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    With WiFi and Bluetooth. Think about it. You can have it somewhere hidden in the car and send the front screen to an Android base double din unit in the car. Bluetooth for handsfree operation. And the possibility next year to add HF will make it a worthy replacement of my 857D.
  • W9OY
    W9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016

    You say profitability is based on focus and different market segments need to be addressed.

    Flex offers SDR's to 4 major segments of the ham radio community 

    entry level qrp, 1500
    entry level fully functional SDR, 6300
    mid range contest grade, SDR 6500
    high end SO2R grade SDR, 6700

    They offer an integrated and common software package across the later 3 platforms.  The 3 platforms are not identical and require some specificity per radio but the "feel" across radios is identical.

    The 6700 has been on top of Sherwood's list for almost 2 years so it clearly satisfies your high end requirement with the 6500 and the 6300 performing almost as well.

    Flex developed the Maestro specifically to **** the big time DX/contest market.., which is decidedly high end. That platform is now being integrated into super stations, and Flex works with a team of contesters to better integrate the product into contest workflow and environment.  A single 6700 can do SO2R on its own so no need for a second rig or for the integrator like a MicroHam, markedly reducing the cost of SO2R.

    Flex entered into a contract to sell a full duty cycle 1500W SO2R ready amp from 4O3A which is well into development.  The amp is completely integrated into the Flex ecosystem.  There are also the 4O3A switching systems and filters integrated into the Flex ecosystem.

    Flex has 2 fully functional API's which allow third party integration into the ecosystem.  Every day I run 5 separate software packages which are fully integrated.  For those I merely indicate which radio on my network (I have 2) I wish to connect and the software does the rest.  I have another 5 or so which are specialty, programs like write log and N1MM+ and some digi stuff.  A month or so ago Iran was on 30M RTTY and I decided to see if I could work them.  I've only made 2 rtty contacts in my life years ago on my F5K.  In 5 minutes I had the system set up, memories entered and proceeded to make the contact with Iran and in one call I broke the pileup, my first DX rtty contact.  I was using WinWarbler in the DXLab Suite which is integrated.  I have FreeDV which is third party and completely integrates itself into the radio's client.  A button choice shows up in the mode menu and all the appropriate filter and signal path choices happen automatically using the waveforms API.  This means that a third party program can completely integrate itself into the radio, not just connect to it.  My station is completely automated as far as band change in my amp and antenna system.  I can make my antenna tuner automatically cycle, again integrating my hardware with the radio and I can make this happen from across the house from any computer with which I choose to connect.

    Flex and Maestro were on-board for the recent K5P top 10 DXpedition which generated 75,325 QSO's.  2 6000's and 2 Maestros went and because of the sensitivity of the panadapter several stations on 160 and 80 are in the log that would otherwise not be there.  The ops were able to see stations emerge from the noise and tune them in before they became audible, so maximum time was available to complete the QSO.  All of this seems pretty high end to me.  As I was writing this I managed to work D4Z on 80 and 40, one click on SpotCollector put everything on 80 and one click on the 40M spot put everything on 40, 2 new band fills, in 2 calls on 80 and one call on 40.  On 40 I hit the spot immediately and answered his CQ before the pileup started.

    Flex has another front they need to address and that is cracking the momentum of legacy radios in Ham radio.  This is another focus and is part of the trade up program.  The way SDR enters is through word of mouth and experience.  It enters by getting radios into the hands of users and empowering their excitement and brand loyalty.  Once one Flex is purchased, another is likely to follow and one to a buddy may soon follow also.  Once 2 guys in a ham club have Flex and once DXpeditions are running Flex and once big gun contesters are winning with Flex, that long term focus will pay off and the inroads into the ham radio community made.  The 6700 was introduced at Dayton in 2012.  It was created from a clean sheet.  I had an eyeball with Gerald and he told me about the genesis of the 6xxx series.  The 6300 was introduced at Dayton in 2014, a high performance every man's radio.  The Maestro as a concept was introduced at Dayton 2015 and brought to fruition before Dayton 2016, also created from a clean sheet.   An integrated Amp was introduced at Dayton 2016.  All of these platforms continue under active development.   I would say quite a bit of focused activity addressing multiple markets has occurred.

    73  W9OY   


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