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5000 owners and Power SDR forgotten

JoeJoe Member
Ever since the 6000 series radio were released, I feel aborted by Flex. No updates, no enhancements; forgotten and discarded. I'm speaking of the software support to the 5000.  I know hardware doesn't last forever. I don't want to 'upgrade' to the 6500 since I will go through this all over again. Do you feel the same?

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Answers

  • JohnJohn Member
    edited June 2018
    Joe, look at ke9ns website under the flex5000 tab. Lots of update goodies from him to us on the lower steps of the ladder.

    73
    John
  • Larry _ W8LLLLarry _ W8LLL Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018

    Product/software life cycles are a reality, have you seen the fine work Darrin has been doing to continually improve PSDR?

    http://ke9ns.com/flexpage.html


  • Neal_K3NCNeal_K3NC Member ✭✭
    edited May 2019
    No I do not feel the same way.

  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Every product by every manufacturer, be it HamRadio or DishWashers has a life cycle, growth->maturity->sunset (which is when support gets dropped). For instance, is it still not the case that FRS supports the 3000 and 5000 if there is a Microsoft change that prevents PSDR from functioning? Of course that may be different now with KE9NS supporting PSDR. Of course, I am not aware of the limit's of Darrin's commitment to support.

    As you allude, a point will come when FRS no longer supports the 6000, just as Kenwood no longer supports the 430 and 830 and 930 radios and Maytag no longer supports the washing machine we bought 3 years ago.
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    No I do not feel that way, either.
  • PatPat Member
    edited July 2019
    i feel same thing with my "Old" Flex 1500 whe are alone
    73's

  • Steven HessSteven Hess Member
    edited July 2016
    Nope I don't feel abandoned. My 3000 works better than the day I bought it.
    I haven't even updated to Darin's updated versions yet. 
    It's just that my 6300 works better.  
    My Maestro has shipped. 
    Time marches on. 
  • JDEJDE Member
    edited December 2016
    There has not been a public mechanism to compensate Darren. At least that I am aware of. It's been mentioned in previous messages, but no action taken.
  • JDEJDE Member
    edited December 2016
    I'm not a supporter of planned obsolescense from any company (Ex: Microsoft) unless something is truely bad or dangerous. I'm sure Neal's experienced that.

    It's a double edged sword. Unfortunately, a company almost has to do it to stay relevant and profitable. One side effect that I've observed over time, is that products tend to get cheaper in quality and become almost throw away. It's a royal PIA and even wasteful when that happens (Ex: HP printers or Walt's example of dish washers). I would never volunteeringly support a company that gets to that point.

    I DO however second the work of, and am extremely thankful for Darren's effort in breathing life into PSDR. I was also feeling abandoned and that nobody really cared before he came on the project. I hadn't had my 3K for too long and was thinking that it was really kind of a waste. It's SDR! Not the other side where it is predominantly hardware.

    If FR hasn't already, I would hope that they have (also) compensated Darren appropriately.


    Just my thought.
  • WA2SQQWA2SQQ Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Product (software) development is not an eternal project. What it is, is an expensive and time consuming project.. Can we really expect FRS to develop free software indefinitely? What needs to be recognized is that software is their intellectual property, which they decided to share with a third part developer, AND, provide some support to that third party. They are not being compensated, but they are indirectly supporting their legacy product. When MS dropped Windows XP, the file was closed. I owned a 5000 and it is still a very respectable radio with or without new software. FRS needs to be recognized for what they have done and NOT for what they are not doing.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    There is a huge difference. If someone took payment for supporting a code base, that implies a certain expectation. Where it's an open source project anybody can be making changes to it. Where there is no fiduciary obligation, Darren could decide he'd prefer to do something else and that's OK as anyone can pick up the mantle at any time. There is no ownership on open source projects, ergo open. This is distinctly different than with flexlib where FRS owns the code base.
  • Kuby, N6JSXKuby, N6JSX Member
    edited January 2017
    Same Flex party line, then the slams from overly zealous Flex do-good'ers.

    I've been complaining for +2yrs (when I got the F3K) that PwrSDR SSB DSP/AF is lame and near worthless ---- my IC-7000/746P/9100 canned DSP is far FAR better than PwrSDR multi-adjustments that never hit the mark.

    Flex appears to be a CW company with no regards for SSB (my prime mode) and will NOT expend any more resources "TO MAKE WORK" the DSP SSB functional.  If this is how Flex is going to support LEGACY products I'm not willing to invest in the 6K line to soon fall behind curve when they announce the 7K line (dumping 6K support like they did to 1.5/3/5K).

    Sorry I'm not rich to follow the trend - but these are expensive radios and if I got the gist right Flex now charges for SmartSDR updates (doing the HRD ****). 

    p.s. I just acquired the IC-9100 due to PwrSDR DSP failure and I wanted a full SAT radio too. I did pick up a cheap used 5K - DSP is no better than the 3K (I'm now dumping the 3K and likely the 5K, going back to TT-Pegasus SDR with far better SSB DSP). 

    Kuby, N6JSX/8, MS-EET 

  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017

    Hey Joe

    Where have you been for the last year?   Sorry you missed on all the great work by Darrin KE9NS's work over the last year. 

    BTW what version are your running on your Flex-5000?

    Being saddened three years after a product was discontinued is pretty severe. 

    Did you understand the issues that led to the 5000 being discontinued well before any 6000 series radios were available to ship?  Sad but now three year old history.

    You've implied that someday the SmartSDR radio servers and software might be superseded - so what?  Most likely a good many years before the next "game changer" moves technology available affordably to the ham hobbyist that far forward! 

    Then JUST LIKE YOU, they won't be forced to change.

    Has your out of production Flex-5000 stopped working?  Has the stock PowerSDR program been disabled on you?

    Of course not, because FlexRadio Systems lived up to their promises.

    They never promised a lifetime of software updates or to somehow make production economical obsolete hardware.  

    Actually it is fabulous that an out of production radio still so meets your needs and captures your interest that you are reaching out to find out what is new after apparently being well satisfied for the year since your last inquiry.  That is pretty cool!

    Hope your efforts to update to the latest PowerSDR go well!

    73

    Steve K9ZW




  • km9r.mikekm9r.mike Member
    edited June 2016
    @ Kuby

    I know very little about software development, but I suspect it reaches a point where the amount of effort required increases exponentially to bring about even small improvements.

    I have followed FRS's growth / business practices since the 5k. To me, they have consistently presented themselves as honest and reliable. I have never gotten the impression that they are in business to milk the customer. Paying for software improvements seems fair especially when one considers all the work that takes place to make it happen.

    Finally, if your current radio does not perform as well as others then get the other. It really is that simple.
  • Burt FisherBurt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    Flex is what it is, a great many positives and a few not so positive.
    When I bought the 5000 I expected advances in software to go well beyond what they did. I was fooled, but I bought the 6300 figuring it's time would be about the same as the 5000 so I would not be surprised again. Then came Maestro a great product, but I thought there would not be a one year pause in development of 2.0 while Maestro was being developed. I won't use the word fooled but I was disappointed that there is no 2.0 I am looking at other products now but no one is working on a WAN network other than Flex. I have my doubts if there will ever be a 2.0, not so much that Flex won't try but the problems for WAN far exceed LAN. I have a KX3 and PX3 and rarely use my 6300 anymore, just too much of a PIA to keep it working (random re-boots, having to reconfigure DAX, CAT, no CW copy and the KX3/PX3 just works (both Flex and Elecraft are great to work with)
  • Pierre MartelPierre Martel Member
    edited May 31
    I totally feel like you. got my f3k , one update about a month after owning it and since then. nothing from flex. I do understand that after sometimes company stop supporting there stuff. But in my case it was less then a year after I got the radio. If Flex was looking at dropping developement on the f3k they should have said it. I would have shoosen a newer rig. that is what is making me sad. Still love why f3k but next time I buy a radio. Not sure it will be a flex.
  •   VE6KWA VE6KWA Ken Member ✭✭
    edited May 31
    Pierre... no disrespect intended, but huge numbers of Legacy owners saw it coming and sold their radios at a very good return and moved up to the 6K series. I personally got several years of great service out of my F3K and sold it for approx 75% of it's original cost. It was huge value and a serious No Brainer to move up at that point. And, at last check,  my F3K buyer knew exactly what he was getting and was still using it and very happy. He fully understands that if he wants to stay with current technology then he needs to pay for it...  How is it that so many people don't understand that ?  I bought the F3K ...used it a bunch... sold it to a guy that still loves it,  and for a very reasonable amount of cash bought a 6K series which I love. (sorry Burt) Where exactly does anyone see a victim in this scenario ? Do your research before buying,  people ... and stop blaming others if you fail to do it. This SDR trail is the most fun & the best value I have ever had in amateur radio !   Don't even ask what it cost me to own a 950 Kenwood years ago... ;)
  • JohnJohn Member
    edited June 2018
    Well, out of all this chatter one thing sticks out like a sore thumb. The fact that FRS did not tell us their plans regarding software updates and I dont think they have announced it on their website yet, for all to see. Perhaps they should put it on their website in plain english, lay it all out for all to see, so that we all know where we stand. Having done that, lets see how their sales figures progress from that moment onwards.
  • Peter BentleyPeter Bentley Member
    edited June 2016

    I have a 6700 and a 5000A.

    Taking all the foregoing comments into account, In my opinion FlexRadio has gone well beyond 'the normal call of duty' as a designer and manufacturer in supporting PowerSDR 

    Thank you

    G4BIM

  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    FRS has been so transparent on the End-of-Life of the 5000 and later 3000, and the development switch to the SmartSDR products, and so much information in the hobby's media, reflectors, newsletters and... The FRS website, that certainly you jest in implying this is some sort of secret? I'll let you in on another secret, Ford discontinued support on the Model T! Not on their website! And they did the same on the Model A! Gasp, do you think people buying new Explorers should be told??!! FRS does list the EOL dates of the 5000 and 3000 on its website, though they sneakily skip mentioning the EOL of the earlier 1000. Again kudos to KE9NS for his work, but be clear that FRS continues to support a stable mature version of PowerSDR beyond which there has for years been no promise of additional FRS direct further development of PowerSDR. 73 Steve K9ZW
  • JohnJohn Member
    edited December 2016
    Steve, while there are still f1500,f5000 and f3000's being sold new from shops then its only right. I would think that there are still may of them in stock around the world. Another is whether the sales people at these shops would tell potential buyers that their rig is not only obsolete but that software upgrades have stopped from the company, is debatable

    73
    John
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016

    @John

    Did you get anywhere on your own efforts to update PowerSDR?

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/flex1500-software-upgrade

    Was pretty clear that you bought a second hand 3000 to add to your 1500 at some time after you'd discussed rolling your own PowerSDR upgrade about a year ago. 

    AFAIK there have been no new 3000 since 2014 and no new 5000 since 2013. 

    The FRS dealer network is selling used 3000/5000s taken as trade, and not running promotions of New Old Stock 3000/5000.  Doesn't seem to be any quantity of NOS 3000/5000s out there when folks were trying to find radios.

    73

    Steve K9ZW






  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    At least PSDR is open source and luckily somebody has taken up the baton and decided to run with it. SSDR is closed source and once Flex decides that SSDR has come to the end of the road, that is it unless the source is released.
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017

    In addition to Gerald's statement above, FRS put out an informative about a year ago:

    https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/updated-powersdr

    BTW in the statement is one of the earlier mentions of the "SmartSDR Ecosystem" as a descriptive for the new platform and it's hardware.

    73

    Steve K9ZW


  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    (Continued from post above...)

    Any non-SDR rig will work until components are no longer available for repair. It is a bit like cars. Must of the modern electronics in cars have been placed not for safety or pollution control, but for obsolescence. Will there be any examples of today's cars being on the road in 50 years' time? I would say that it is MUCH less likely than those 50 year old cars currently on our roads. A minor 'fender-bender' makes an air bag or two fire, and the car is scrapped due to the cost of the airbags and no other reason.

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Pierre, consider the reasons for Flex stopping updates on PSDR.
    First off they still continue to support all their older radios. If you call or write them with a problem, they will still offer tech support. And many new updates have been coming out lately, with the help of Flex by a third party.

    Second, The PSDR came to the end of the road. The things that are and can be done in SSDR could not be done in PSDR code. Wide band stuff for instance.

    Third, the new 6000's because of the way it is created needed a new software.

    And, anything Flex did to improve PSDR was used buy other radio's free. that is why Anan is were it is now, they had a free software to use and they have built on it.

    for you it was bad timing I understand that, but that is how any of this tech stuff works.

    So to never buy Flex because you feel they have done you wrong,,I just can't see it sorry.
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016

    End of the Road? 

    Your radio would keep running as long as there were net-aware HUI devices that could run a flavor of SmartSDR Software.

    No different than if you decided to no upgrade to a new (paid for) major point revision, the old software keeps rolling.

    Or perhaps you meant something along the lines of "If company XYZ stops developing product ABC, that then there will be no new product ABC versions after they stop"? 

    PowerSDR had economic and architecture limitations that ended paid development perhaps earlier than liked, but it was still a ten year product cycle.

    Why would we expect anything less from SmartSDR, and perhaps much longer since the commercialization issues that foreshortened the earlier product have been resolved by keeping the design proprietary?

    We cannot expect to have our cake and eat it too!  Either the security of having a Software Firm (FRS) develop commercially future SmartSDR or having an Open Source SmartSDR that would end incentive to commercially develop it. 

    73

    Steve K9ZW 

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    And the problem is?
    You can't expect SSDR to be open to all, that is just silly.
    Not only that, there are very few out there that would be able to work on the code of SSDR even if it was open source. Some claim they could, but that's dreaming.

    It will be several years before SSDR runs out of steam, the code allows them to do many more things yet, I bet there are lots of things still to come and we will all go WOW.
  • Steve (N9SKM)Steve (N9SKM) Member
    edited June 2016
    "but I thought there would not be a one year pause in development of 2.0 while Maestro was being developed."
    ^This is a complete assumption by you.

    Its unfortunate you also are of the opinion that there will ever be a 2.0 release.

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