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Is it just me feeling like this?

1235

Answers

  • Clay N9IO
    Clay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Ken, I couldn't agree more!
    My 6300 is an excellent radio, I don't NEED to do anything with it.
    Since when is a radio, auto or home in this market an "investment"?

    I choose to trade, the loss in that trade is being GREATLY compensated with a much lower price on a VERY high end rig. Plus the antenna tuner is standard, SSDR Ver 2 is also standard, about $400 right there alone.

    I like the current noise blanker it is greatly improved, am I living in a different world?
    This 6K series is the greatest thing to come along in amateur radio "ever"

    No doubt in my mind the other brands are in trouble here.
    FLEX radio did exactly what they should have done, the 6400 / 6600 / Ver 2 nailed it.
    I am so surprised they were able to contain themselves and not let the cat out of the bag, cudos to them, their group is tight and on track!

    If anything some bargains could be passed on to newcomers bringing them into the higher end 6K SDR market, the 6300 is no slouch.
    The same thing happened with every legacy radio ever made.
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2017
    Enzo,

    "In addition I read that SSDR 2.0 will be free only for new buyers while it will have a cost of 199$ for the old rig owners. In my country we say "oltre il danno la beffa" (after the punchline - I hope this is the correct translation). So all people that have an old rig model, will be forced to pay for the features required and promised from about three years. And in many cases, like mine, after having contributed for free in the check and test of dozens bugs in earlier versions of Smart-SDR. I can't agree with this marketing policy."

    This is in line with our software policy that has been published for years.  We will ship radios with the current version of software.  When the FLEX-6400 and FLEX-6600s ship, 2.0 will already be released.  We decided to provide an approximately 30 day "grace period" for those customers purchasing radios now to get SmartSDR 2.0.  We felt this was only fair and reasonable for new customers purchasing radios so close to a major version release date.
  • Jd Dupuy
    Jd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    So let's say late June for SSDR 2.0. Do we know what features will be included at this point? I'm less worried about paying the $200.00 than I am paying for basic features missing in the previous version. New hardware is likely 6 to 8 months out or even more based on future sales and wait time. I like the new models shown at Dayton but just hope the software catches up at some point for the hardware currently in the field.
  • KD7CAO
    KD7CAO Member
    edited May 2017

    I probably should clarify that with grant funds we often have to purchase on the word of a vendor. This has been 3 years since the actual purchase, but this project has been almost 5 years in the making. Keep in mind we had to have local, regional, state, and federal approval to make the purchase which took years to get. We have to spell it all out on what we want to do then ask and wait. I even had to do environmental historical studies for these. I just want what we paid for to work as was promised. We were initially told it was coming with v2 by the end of 2015. Now when asked they use **** word play, it is scheduled to come after v.1.1.3 ask again and now it is after v.1.10.5. Let me tell you answers like that may be accurate but really p!$$3d me off. They know exactly what I am asking.
  • Clay N9IO
    Clay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Stock market 101.
  • IW7DMH, Enzo
    IW7DMH, Enzo Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    "This is in line with our software policy that has been published for years.  We will ship radios with the current version of software.  When the FLEX-6400 and FLEX-6600s ship, 2.0 will already be released.  We decided to provide an approximately 30 day "grace period" for those customers purchasing radios now to get SmartSDR 2.0.  We felt this was only fair and reasonable for new customers purchasing radios so close to a major version release date."

    I do not want to open a debate on your software policy. I respect your decision whichever it is.
    But let me point out that, from the side of the customers, what we perceive is that your hardware policy can on the contrary freely change direction. Some months ago, it was made a steep step back with the SO2R card and today one could expect a afterthought with the upcoming SSDR 2.0. Nothing more nothing less.

    ============================================
    Non voglio aprire una discussione sulla vostra politica software. Io rispetto la vostra decisione qualunque essa sia.
    Però lasciatemi precisare che, dalla parte di noi clienti, quello che si percepisce è che, al contrario, la vostra politica hardware può prendere liberamente qualsiasi direzione. Alcuni mesi fa' è stato fatto un plateale passo indietro con la scheda SO2R ed oggi uno si potrebbe spattare un analogo comportamento con l'imminente SSDR 2.0. Nulla di più nulla di meno.
    ============================================
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Hi Paul,

    You might want to do a review of the firmware release for the other radio you mentioned.  I just did.  The latest beta release has a macro bug fix and a new CAT command.

    Trade in programs across the ocean do not make economic sense for either party but our UK dealers do offer local trade in programs.  You should contact your dealer after the dust settles.

    In the US, we take trade ins of all of the competitors radios.  This means that we have daily visibility into the resale value of those radios, which have almost all dropped dramatically in the last year.  Our trade in partner says it is very hard to move the "big iron" radios.  It is also really hard to get much of the original purchase price if the radio had a lot of hardware options installed.  One competitor pre-announced a model replacement for a still shipping model.  The retail price through distribution dropped about 30% overnight on the still shipping model to be replaced.

    Asking a radio manufacturer not to come out with new models, guarantee the value of the earlier models, and give its software development away for free is the effective equivalent as saying I want the company to go out of business.  Imagine a car company that did that.  

    Respectfully,
    Gerald
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Kirk,

    Sadly, I have to call out your public statement above as libelous.  

    Gerald
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Why are so many 6700 owners upset because the 6600 has a better receiver?

    Perhaps because 6700 owners dished out considerably more for their 6700 (than a 6600) thinking they had bought Flex's hardware flagship and were under the impression that improved receiver performance could be handled exclusively via software changes. After all, aren't these products being promoted as Software Defined Radio's?

    On the plus side, 6700 owners will be able to take advantage of (I assume most?) new software improvements and receiver software improvements are on the way, and I understand external filtering can be added (via the 6700's Port connections) to the 6700 to bring it up to 6600 receive standards. 
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Please show me where it stated that improved receiver performance was promised and that it would be handled exclusively by software changes.

    I never saw that when I purchased my 6700.
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited May 2017
    We have not measured the difference, so this all may be premature.  But if there is a slight improvement in receiver performance that we expect, from a pragmatic standpoint it would most likely be negligible in the rarified air of greater than 110 dB of dynamic range.  You can't hear the difference and it is really challenging to even accurately measure the difference.  Both are world-class receivers and that is the bottom line.

    And yes, any software changes that improve performance that is software defined should be applicable to all radios in the family barring any architectural differences.

    And you can add contest grade filtering to any radio.  Adding filters will not improve the receiver performance.  It just rejects out of band signals from nearby strong signal sources (fundamentals and harmonics).
  • Giulio
    Giulio Member
    edited May 2017
    I bought my 6300 last July...with the promise of a new release 2.0...and now? I feel as a cash cow. I am terribly upset and from your answers seem that for us, in Europe, the best we can do in this situation is ...s*ck. I am speechless.
  • Gerald-K5SDR
    Gerald-K5SDR FlexRadio Employee ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Steve, your concerns are reasonable.  Our engineers have been trying hard to recreate the v1.10.16 crashing problem so far unsuccessfully in the lab here.  The problem is very intermittent and not everyone sees it.  They have been applying resources to attempt to isolate the problem but they need to be able to recreate the event.  This will be provided in a 1.x maintenance release when fixed.  You can back up to v1.9.13 revision if this is causing you problems.  Apparently, the problem has not been seen in alpha testing of v2.0 so it appears isolated to the v.1.10.16 release.  Diagnostic data that will allow us to recreate the problem is what we need most.  

    DAX incorporates third party drivers, which apparently can experience buffer corruption on some PCs with high DPCs.  We plan to incorporate new drivers and provide in a 1.x maintenance release when completed.  

    We consider both of these high priorities for resolution but due to the nature of intermittent problems, we cannot predict the timing.  

    Gerald
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Using a XLR to USB mic adapter into your PC would work for the casual op.  
    But there is a trade-off of latency, as the computer must convert your audio to digital before sending it to the rig.  It is not a great deal of delay, but noticeable, and for competitive stations in a rapid-fire contest or DXing situation may be objectionable.  

    The other possible drawback is that some computers sound cards or drivers have routines that may change the fidelity of your audio unless you are careful with your configuration settings.

    With these in mind, I would say try it and see.....
    But, I plan to grab a few connectors and make a few adapters.

    Ken - NM9P
  • Paul Bradbeer
    Paul Bradbeer Member
    edited May 2017

    Dear Gerald,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and respond.  Well, to be fair, the K3 is now (I guess) about 9 years old - so I'd expect the software updates to have reduced; I was recalling the earlier years of the K3 and making a comparison to the 6300/6500/6700 at the same sort of 'age' . 

    I guessed that it wouldn't make economic sense to try and replicate your well-received trade-up programme here in Europe.  Though I hope you can see that, for some, its absence adds to a potential barrier to brand loyalty this side of the pond. Perhaps that is because, rightly or wrongly, here in Europe we imagine the FRS trade-up centre to be a beacon of 'standardised' fair-pricing for traded-in FRS hardware - I think that would harder to achieve among the various FRS dealers in Europe.

    Finally Gerald, despite our moans I'm sure that people want to see FRS thrive, and I realise that good business/economic sense has driven your new product decisions.  I've reflected (and reset) my expectations on how I should expect my SDR ownership to pan (pun intended) out in the future, and I guess it'd be the same regardless of whether it was a Flexradio, or an Anan, or Expert MB1; equally, perhaps the last few days has added to the data points on the 'customer experience' angle for FRS too?

    Best Regards

    Paul


  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    From your post 4 months ago (below) you seem to be very confused about the upgrade policy. Now you are using the new release of products to act surprised they are asking $199 for the major v2.0 upgrade. 
    Ok you are pricing something that doesn't exist at the moment and you don't know which will be the new features of the version 2. So I don't understand why we are still speaking about $200 if there is nothing ready and the sw upgrades are still unknown is it only a marketing operation to prepare the consumers to spend $200? We are pricing something that is still an idea.. Neither a project.
    As in every previous release they have details the new features and fixes as they will when v2.0 is released. So we all can decide (if we haven't already), to purchase the upgrade. If you are speechless please read re-read the policy and for your convenience I've taken liberty to link to and re-post the policy below:

    SmartSDR Software Upgrades and Licensing

    Key Points:
    • All FLEX-6000 Signature Series radios are shipped with the latest major version of SmartSDR software.
    • Each major version of SmartSDR comes with free updates and maintenance releases for the life of that major release.
    • After a new major version of SmartSDR is released, maintenance releases for earlier versions will be provided free of charge on an as needed basis.
    • The choice to upgrade to the next major version of SmartSDR is yours. Your radio will continue to operate on its current major version of software as long as you choose.
    • Each major release of SmartSDR (v1.0, v2.0, v3.0, etc.) will have an associated license fee (currently $199.00 USD plus applicable tax).
  • Giulio
    Giulio Member
    edited May 2017
    Mike, the problem are not 200 USD, the problem is that this company has zero focus to the client...less than nothing for European clients. Come on, I spent 2300 USD 10 months ago and now I have to spend 200 USD to upgrade a rtx that is not produced anymore? Are you kidding me? FRS is faster than Apple to outdate the products! And all the prototypes as for example the BPF...only to show that something was going on? Absurd.
  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    You do not HAVE to upgrade, it's your choice. You will continue to get free upgrades for life, not just major feature releases. Again, re-read the policy but you already know it, you just want to vent and bash Flex. Now you claim that Flexradio releases new products faster than Apple. You really don't believe that now do you?
    You've got yourself a great radio, and maybe in time when the dust settles you will realize that again. In the meantime may I suggest not to spread lies or what is now commonly called fake news to further an agenda. 
  • Ria
    Ria Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I think we would be further along the software cutting edge if somehow Flex enabled their transceivers to work with third-party software more readily. Let Flex design the transceiver while third part developers go to town on innovative software. 
    The signature series radios simply do not work that way. They are thin client radios. This means that the radio does all of the processing. What you are describing is a thick client radio. I had a chat with the lone person at the Anan booth and asked him how much data the radio would haul over the network. He showed me something like 90GB in a few hours (half day). That is incredible. There is no way you're going to do that to enable remote operation, for one. Secondly, that means that you need a good computer to run the radio. The guy at the Anan booth said emphatically that the better the computer, the better the radio experience will be. Now why on Earth would I want to have to buy a top end gaming machine for $2000 to run their "cheaper" $4000 radio? I have an old computer from 2009 that works pretty good.

    Here's the other thing - if you want to run third party software to receive you can do so. How? Using DAX I/Q. You can't transmit on it but you can absolutely receive. 

    And finally, you're talking about this enabling faster release of features. Not really. You may get some features that you wanted but others may not be developed. 

    Ria
  • Giulio
    Giulio Member
    edited May 2017
    Mike, first of all I am not spreading lies. the problem is not to pay or not to pay the upgrade...the problem is that FRS asks 200 USD for something that is 2 years that we are waiting. I retry to pass you the message: it is frustrating to have a radio, that costs 2300 (or 3990...he he) bucks that is outdated after 9 months and pay 200 bucks to have some upgrades announced 24 months ago. But if this, for you, is normal...is not for me. I am a salesman and in my company, a similar behaviour, would be unacceptable. Client is only a cash cow. It's a pity that is too late to sell my 6300. It is a good radio yes, but I am totally upset with this selling policy. It is my personal opinion, please respect it.
    Frankly,
    Giulio
  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017

    Some of you are missing the point - we are still waiting for basic functions which we were led to believe would be delivered in the first year (or two). 

    The SSDR progress which has been made has been extremely slow. Lately it appears the focus has been more on new hardware, rather than completing the software for the existing "already purchased based on promises" customer base.  Now it is being stated "V1 is feature frozen".  That is nothing short of a "slap in the face" to those who bought in to SSDR early on, and are still waiting for some basic functionality.

    I have no problem paying for a V2 for new and groundbreaking features such as remote access, or contesting / SO2R related items, as that was clear from the beginning.   However, some still missing basic functionality, which others have touched on, is the issue.

    That is the point being made; I do not genuinely believe anyone wants to bash Flex just for the sake of it. We all want to see FRS prosper.

  • Arnie
    Arnie Member
    edited May 2017
    Exactly what I have been saying for a long time! You scored a bullseye, Eric. 

    It's like if you go to a restaurant and the menu describes the main course and side dishes of french fries, salad and vegetables which come with it. The wait-person brings you the main course with one french fry. You ask for the rest of the side dishes stated on the menu and the wait-person tells you "I'll have it for you next year and by the way, you will have to pay extra for it."
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017

    What might be fair and really cool thing to do is to wave the $199 update fee until Version 3.0 to at least ease some of the pain to their valuable customers as some of the new hardware comes to market would also would help with the sale of Pre Owned units allowing more existing customers to upgrade to new radios.

    Would be an awesome show of top level customer service! And as I'm sure FRS already knows Brand Loyalty and Reputation is everything.
  • Mike VE3CKO
    Mike VE3CKO Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I have never read anywhere or have been told or promised by any FRS rep that WAN will be free, in fact quite the opposite. At every turn we were told this would in the next major upgrade (v2.0). What I don't get is how a few are acting so surprised now the v2.0 is less or about a month away.

    I totally agree updates could and should be faster. The key phrase you used was "apears the focus has been more on hardware". That may appear to be the case but I do doubt that very much. Most of us haven't a clue on the amount of software resources it took to develop, implement and fool proof SmartLink. I am convinced now that SmartLink is out of the way, the pace of features coming out in subsequent releases of v.2.x will escalate satisfying most of the skeptics. Well that's what I'm hoping for.

    ARNIE: The whole point is WAN isn't on the main menu yet. It's in the recipe book of the chef.
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    The issue here is not that there is a charge for v2. The issue here is that they did NOT complete the promised features and remove bugs in v1.  Did they add the promised features to V2 . . . We'll see. They jumped right into v2 with the issues still in v1. **** backwards.
  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020
    Gerald says that v1 is now feature frozen. So you will NEVER see those basic must-have things like programmable RX filter profiles, a proper NB and ANF, the ability to do A <> B, A = B, split etc without paying more.

    FFS!  ... every ricebox radio costing $500 dollars has this stuff built-in as standard. No rocket science and no need for upgrades.

    The F6k hardware is the best, period. However, SSDR is largely primitive by comparison, and is surely holding back a great product and thus making a ground swell of deeply unhappy customers.

    My ratings on the F6k journey :-

    F6k hardware...10 out of 10 - a truly superb radio deck.
    FRS people...7 out of 10 - needs work, especially regarding user focus groups.
    SSDR...3 out of 10 - still in kinder garden.







     
  • N6OIL
    N6OIL Member ✭✭
    edited May 2017
    You know Gerold and Steve I did have maybe two instances of lockups with v1.10.16 but after I did a factory reset all was fine. But I really think a lot of it has to do with the OS, as much as we say our OS'es are clean I can't put my faith in saying that, we throw so much software at our computers and things get knocked out of wack but we can't see it by running diagnostics. One thing I did do was run my 6500 using Dogpark and never had issues. So I really don't think SSDR is the root of the problem with the huge delta of Microsoft installs out in the wild, I would put more blame on the users' systems.


      You may ask how I can say this well I work for a school district in IT and we build our images the same for all computers and it's not long before we get problems because of some software will not play nice with Windows, Java and Flash have been our biggest pains, now that more developers are moving away our error rates have gone down and we are re-imaging less and less. 

    I know Steve in a perfect world it would nice if you could just pack up your setup and send it to Texas. Software and hardware is a fine line between bliss and chaos.

    Good luck Steve and I'd say hang in there, so many threads on here claiming the sky is falling.

    73 
  • Mack
    Mack Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    Steve,

    I'll respectfully respond to your post with things as I see them.

    RX filter profiles are completely configurable and can be saved as profiles. The latency and sharpness can be modified in the settings and saved.

    Noise blanker - not needed at my station as I have no periodic noise. Here's a video that shows it works exceptionally well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3bmvKzFwt8

    Wide Band Noise Blanker - works exceptionally well here where I have some power line noise on the higher bands. Here's a video that demonstrates how well it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YPfYFx_2I8&t=172s

    ANF - works exceptionally well here and I use it daily on my SSB net when LIDS tune up on frequency. It completely eliminates the carrier with minimal distortion of the intended signal. Here is a good video on the noise reduction systems and how to set them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqtj8CS_UE4

    A<>B and A=B - I do not believe these features exists but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

    Split - page 69 of the manual. Simpy press RX+ on SmartSDR or on Maestro press RX on the second VFO.

    73,

    Mack
    W4AX

  • Steve G1XOW
    Steve G1XOW Member ✭✭
    edited May 2020

    Okay I get it, and I empathize with the position that Gerald has gotten himself in to.

    On one hand, he’s got the techno-geeks that love all the new gadgets smart tech etc., they will happily throw cash at it to get more bells, more whistles, more chocolate, toys etc. These people will simply ignore minor imperfections and missing basics such as an unreadable S-meter and other basic functionality. These people will pay for anything as long as it’s sufficiently exiting. They invested in F6k/SSDR when it was largely still vapourware, and are enjoying the thrill of the ride no matter what.

    On the other hand, you have those less dreamy hams that have lower expectations and are less demanding. They only wanted the F6K/SSDR combo to make a firstclass operating platform that was to be equal to, or even just slightly better than any other radio in this price class. These people also invested in F6k/SSDR when it was still largely vapourware, but their undemanding expectations have simply not been met. This group are not so excitable about so2r, Remote WAN etc, they just want their glossy swanky new high-end car to actually come with an ignition key, a steering wheel and some tires on, so they can…enjoy the drive.

    So, the dilemma for Gerald is do you turn you back on a large portion of those people who are currently deeply unhappy (those otherwise loyal rock beds of FRS most likely), and just chase the cash wavers instead? Or do you follow your moral compass first by finishing the job properly, before trying to fly higher like Icarus.

    Surely that tipping point should be when SSDR can do *EVERYTHING at least as well as old-school analogue radios could do many years ago*. No exceptions, no missing functions, no less-than-ideal ANF, NB etc. and that’s not even setting the bar high really because all that is expected is to match-up to way older and more basic technology from the decade ago.

    Then and only then have you met your acceptable minimum benchmark, thus making the majority of the user base finally happy….enter v2 and then we all get our flying jackets on!

  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member
    edited May 2017
    Steve your not wrong. I won't be buying another bit of Flex kit until I see MUCH improvement in SSDR.

    While the base 6K base hardware is good - SSDR lets it down badly. Flex control is diabolical so I bought a Maestro, and Maestro has been a BIG disappointment for me, features not implemented right, wrongly sold, WiFi poorly performs, sidetone is horrible, loads of promises made, much still to deliver.

    SSDR while has had some improvements has been lack lustre for me,  as you say it misses the mark for features found even on bottom end radios.  Interfacing at VHF-SHF has been an awful experience, I know my UK colleague lost his transverter due to poor delay implementation, its like it was built without actually asking a real VHF'r what he needs and then tested it to make sure it really worked! 

    I too have had problems with DAX glitches. WiFi connection has never worked for me, its always poor connections, drops out etc. Its on its own dedicated network, **** even a direct connection looses packets! I might as well have stuck with the PC and forget Maestro. That sidetone sucks ... another promise I doubt will ever be resolved at least not in 1.x


    V2 better be amazing, else I will be ditching buying anything else Flex as it is offering very little satisfaction right now. And a true kick in the pants to see a dual SCU offering at less than my 6500 price and my 6.5K isnt that old either.

    I work in software development as a programme manager, I personally think selling hardware to subsidise your software development is a huge risk, it will work for a time, but as people get more upset over lack of delivery of basic features and problematic delivery then the more the message gets round.

    Flex is at a junction here ... V2 will either make or break it for me ... and I bet a lot of others too. Multi client is a MUST, if that takes 2-3 years to come then I'll be removing the last 6500 from the shack. I already sold my other one as I did not see the progress in SSDR I expected. 

    I am sure the coolaid fanboys will be all upset over it. There you go, who cares. Having paid for 2 x 6500s and a Maestro, I think I have had enough of the Flex experience for now .
      

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