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I'm A Bit Disappointed in V2.0

Paul BurtonPaul Burton Member ✭✭
edited June 23 in New Ideas

I would preface this post by saying I'm
very happy with my Flex 6300 and how it performs. I wouldn't trade
it for any current superhet offering. But, I'm rather disappointed in the V2.0 release of SSDR. A few years back it was mentioned the it was up to FRS to make V2.0 worth the cost and keep Flex on the forefront of SDR – something that would make it like getting a new radio. I was eagerly anticipating something that would be really appealing to me.  Maybe v.2.1 will do it.

Reading Tim's account of the new features in SSDR v. 2.0 it appears there is nothing for me.

1.  SmartLink I would never use as I prefer to operate my ham station from home and when I am away I want to get away from ham radio. The smaller screen implicit in remote operation would not be acceptable for me. Why would I want to operate my ham radio from a sidewalk cafe in Rome?

2. Pop-Out Panels would be of little use to me as the only panadapter I use must be docked. If I need another panadapter (I only get two) they both fit nicely on my 24-inch monitor.  My second monitor is filled with add-on software that improve my usability of the flex.

3. Improved Dynamic range for 6300 – This is purported to be included in the V1.11 release and it probably won't make much difference to me anyway.

4. Support for N1MM Spectrum Display – I really don't use N1MM. I tried it and didn't much like it. I'm not a contester and already have a decent logging program.

5. Additional RF Preamp for 6700 – N/A

6. New TURFs – N/A

7. New Flex VSP Driver – I assume will also be in the V1.11 release.

8. SSDR for Maestro – Don't have or want a Maestro

9. SSDR for IOS – Don't have any Apple equipment – something for Android might entice me.

So there's nothing there for me and I'm disappointed in FRS. What would have excited me? Improvements to the basic radio operation - not just remote operation and contesting.

A new “skin” on the operational meters (S-Meter, Power Level, etc) and controls with colors and size that I can read. I find the current implementation poor. I have some add-ons which improve things, but it would be nice to have it integrated.

Improvements in the DSP functions (not that the current ones are bad).

Optional inclusion of dx spots and/or band limits on the spectral display. CW Skimmer-type display for CW/Digital modes.

Integration of Digital mode decoding into SSDR

Some other new ****-**** operational feature that I haven't thought of but really turns me on ;-).

Yes, I know, it's not about me and  FRS is putting their design resources where they perceive the most appeal (and upgrade revenue).  So having gotten this off my chest I'll just stifle my disappointment, go back into the woodwork, and go enjoy my "obsolete" rig.  

Paul

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Comments

  • Jim GilliamJim Gilliam Member
    edited July 2017
    You have affirmed the notion of why there are horse races. You need to bet on a different horse!
  • Mike va3mwMike va3mw Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Hi Paul Your points make sense from your position at this time. There is no requirement that you must upgrade. V1 will continue to be acceptable for your operations. It will not time out. There is no rush to make the move. You can always wait until the engineers cook up something that interests you. 73
  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    This upgrade will not be for everyone and I am thankful FRS is pushing it that way.  IE you can continue exactly as you are without changing a thing.

    I think 2.x opens some new doors.  First yes I might want to op remote to my own fairly lousy antenna station but then again with 2.x I could make a few friends and remote their much nicer stations.

    And if 2.x is as good as I hope it opens up a possibility that I might remote locate my 6500 and amp to a place where the property owner would let me put up a small tower and beam.  Perhaps in exchange for tie on the rig.  Who knows.

    Anyway we'll just have to see what 2.x opens up.
  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Michael's point is exactly the reason that V2.o is a great deal for everyone.  If you don't see anything you like, you don't need to buy it.  You can put the money toward something that does interest you, like maybe a new mic or a new key, and keep using a great radio just like it is.
  • Paul BurtonPaul Burton Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Yes, I know.  But I was EXCITED about V2.0 and something new to play with.  Tha's why I feel disappointed.  
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 22
    Paul, I can understand your frustration. However, remote access has been the #1 requested feature. Besides, 2.0 is just a starting point. To me, cosmetic things like spots in the bandmap aren't really of any use. But that can always be added later, and you don't need to buy a 2.0 license now, you can wait until it has features you like, or 3.0 comes out with features that you like. 
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 23
    As expected, this offering is not for everyone for sure. but you should understand that smart link is ground breaking stuff, a first in the industry, no small deal.

    for me? there is little that I need either in V.2, but I am waiting for 1.11 coming soon with all the under the hood work that was done, I have seen that in action already.

    And there is nothing so far that has made my 6500 obsolete, it still will do what it is supposed to do and very well.
  • Tony TaddeoTony Taddeo Member
    edited March 22

    Currently sitting in my lounge room drinking my coffee and listening to the early morning radio activity using my Iphone. 

    I have been using a 6700 for over 4 years and would have to say it has been the best investment in amateur radio I have ever made. After owning a Flex 5000, I was more than happy to put-up my money and wait for a signature series radio. I love the sound that comes out of the speakers and continuedly get unsolicited positive comments about my transmit audio.

    Personally, I'm thrilled with what ever enhancements I get and whenever they are available. Can't wait to download version 2.0.

  • N5LB - LionelN5LB - Lionel Member
    edited May 16
    I wish there was a more definitive list of, or is this all, the V2 improvements for the 6300.  I find the 6300 to be far and away the best RX ever in my shack.  That said,  I am looking at the 6400, just because I like new toys but am wondering if the improvement over the 6300 justifies the upgrade.  Besides what is mentioned above I believe the transmit audio has been made even better.  

    The wish list looks like the PSDR updates, I feel those are a long way off. 

    I would like to see a side by side comparison of the 6300 vs the 6400.   I know it has front end filters, the 6300 doesn't: it has always been fine without them in my use.  The DR improvement in V2 seems like an always good idea but not sure it would make a difference to me.  I'll take it though, just because. 

    Maybe some more data has been posted and I can build my own side by side.  

    The cost of V2, no issue here.  The resale value drop of the 6300, annoying but not enough for me to be unhappy with FRS.  There's still going to be some splainin to do here. 

    I'm trying to build the technical case to discuss with the CFO, as in "why? you just bought the other one six months ago!" 

    I haven't seen enough technical data.   It's probably going to appear over time. 

    I have no issues with FRS about product development times.  What was the old cliche?  You can have two of the following three:  Fast, good or cheap.  But only two. 
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I was hoping v2.0 was going to address the 6700's 2M craziness (auto band changes).  And was really hoping v2.0 was going to have the ability to link two slices for satellite work. 

    A few years ago I experienced a direct lightning strike at my qth which resulted in extensive electrical damage throughout my home.  I now disconnect my equipment whenever I leave my residence, so I won't be using SmartLink.

    Even though we've waited a long time for v2.0, odds are additional fixes and features will be coming.  It's good to remember the current version of PowerSDR didn't happen overnight.   
  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Hopefully v2.0 will automatically resolve Windows port conflict issues.  That's my biggest headache right now.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Lionel,
    there is good info on the 6400 right now and it's features. Just look at them and compare it to your 6300. May not be features that are important to you on the 6400 so you may want to keep the 6300. The 6300 is still a great radio.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited July 2017
    All global features added to SmartSDR for the 2.0 release and the minor release to come will be applicable to the FLEX-6300.  So no, this isn't all for the FLEX-6300.  Contact our Sales department to see what they will give you for the 6300 towards a 6400.  It may help with your CEO situation ;-) 
  • Harold RoseeHarold Rosee Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    Paul,

    I have to agree about the non-excitement level of V2 but if I knew what was coming in the next one or two V2.X I might feel differently. 

    My real issue is there is no detail on what is coming in the next releases past the standard V2.0.  I was an IT manager at a major insurance company for 26 years and we published our future releases for at least the next quarter in advance.  Sure we changed the content and that was reflected in the future release documentation as soon as it was known.  We also had a complete list of all future enhancement and problems that all could view.

    I love my 6500 a lot and it's a keeper.  What I don't like is not knowing "The Plan" moving forward.  It makes me feel like FRS is running by the seat of their pants chasing problems and every once in a while throwing in an enhancement.

    Also we always met our due dates.  We did whatever it took to meet them.  We really didn't have a choice but we also never gave a date we knew we couldn't make.  Like I have said before on here we stuck to the "under promise over deliver" way of doing business.

    Just my opinions and thoughts.

    Harold
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited July 2017
    It does.  there is a new FlexVSP driver that corrects the issue.
  • NX6D DaveNX6D Dave Member
    edited July 2017
    Ria's comment is a good example.  She says she's not much interested in spots in the bandmap.  OK.  I can tell you from working in the booth at many ham fests, spots in the bandmap is a feature that some people are clamoring for.  FRS has to walk that tightrope, implementing features that are practical to complete, a good return on investment, respond well to competition and to customer desires.
  • John AD6NRJohn AD6NR Member
    edited June 11
    You echo my feelings exactly Paul.  So far I don't really see anything worth my investment in 2.  I really enjoy my 6300 with which I have won a number of contests (phone only) and worked some DX from the west coast that few others accomplished. I don't Maestro and I am not about to leave my 6300 connected to an antenna when I travel.     Some new GUI features or enhanced (simplified) digital mode stuff would be interesting to me and of course improved basic performance.    If FRS fixes the Windows port mess THAT would be well worth the investment but I have not seen that mentioned.   (Yea I know - its MS windows!). I guess I will wait to see if there is something for me in the next upgrade.  It's not like the 6300 isn't the best radio I have ever owed!  
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Honestly, after all of the accusations of broken promises I can't blame them for not being firm/commital on release dates for new features. 
  • N5LB - LionelN5LB - Lionel Member
    edited July 2017
    The 6300 is a terrific radio and SSDR is great in my use.  That said, whether I keep the 6300 or not I'll move to V2.  Then the 6400 hardware has an allure that will be hard to pass up.   

    So many decisions and all the choices seem good.  

    Thanks Tim, I am working on the "business" case......
  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017
    The CAT port issues with Windows 10 updates is addressed in the new FlexVSP driver in 2.0.
  • Paul BurtonPaul Burton Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Very true, Ria, but at age 77 (in excellent health) I'm not sure I have enough years left to see V 3.0 ;-).
  • Tony TaddeoTony Taddeo Member
    edited July 2017
    Further to this - I'm not surprised Flexradio has pulled back on providing any timelines or indications on new features.

    It must be remembered these new enhancements are things that haven't been done before in a thin client SDR environment, with the actual time required unknown due to the technical complexities involved. Further, as with all technology based products the ongoing development priorities is a fluid situation that may require constant change based on the changing environments, both technological and market, in which they operate.

    The purchase of Flexradio products should be based on their offering at time of purchase with an understanding that any ongoing enhancements in the future are a bonus.
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    I think what a lot of people are frustrated about is not knowing what's next. Up to this point we have had a roadmap of new features. It ended with WAN remote and 2.0. I would guess that software development post 2.0 will focus on integration of the new amp and then the new radios. Maybe there will be some new features and bug fixes along the way but what they are is a mystery.

    If people had some clue what else was coming with the 2.X line of updates they might be more excited about the upgrade. I've been trying to read the tea leaves but haven't gotten a clear picture of what's next. In fact I have no clue where we are going from here.

    Jon...kf2e
  • Tony TaddeoTony Taddeo Member
    edited July 2017
    Don't buy any green bananas (with respect and humour intended)  
  • Mike va3mwMike va3mw Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    Sales department ... that would be me.  :)  Seriously Lionel, if you want to talk (yes, we answer the phone), I would be glad to throw some facts your way and then you can decide what is important for you.    BTW, I love the fact that on the 6600, you can now listen to 20M and 6M on 2 different antennas.  For me, that is what I need.    (Now, I need to get back to some FT8 stuff).
  • Steve W6SDMSteve W6SDM Member ✭✭
    edited May 16
    I think what a lot of folks don't consider is that sometimes even Flex doesn't know what's going into a release - that's because some of this stuff hasn't even been invented yet.  There may be a desire to come up with a slick new feature for an upcoming release, but it may take longer than expected to develop it.  If an announcement is made in anticipation and things don't go exactly as expected, the result is a lot of people complaining because it wasn't ready when "promised".  

    Personally, I kind of like the idea of opening Pandora's box.  I've seen some really neat features come out since the early days of PowerSDR.  Some were expected and others were a total surprise.  And there were, of course, corrections.  Bugs are to be expected in software this complex.  This is especially true working in the Windows environment where Microsoft goes in their own direction and expects developers to follow and keep up.


  • DVDV Member
    edited November 2019
    I too have to agree with Paul and particularly support the upgrades in the GUI he presents. For the last year or more, I have been using the free program Softether to connect by VPN to my Iowa station from 1600 miles away with excellent results. I also use SmartSDR for IOS while connecting my I-Pad and I-Phone.  Both are excellent when VPN is used. So, what benefit is 2.0 to me or any of the many others who have already connected their Flex remote systems? I don't need a 40 dB pre-amp on 20 meters, my 6700 and 11 element log have plenty of guts without another crutch. I do not see the utility of un-docking panadapters, don't use N1MM. A fix in the CAT system that doesn't close the ports... isn't that what should have been fixed in version 1.9? I don't think I should have to pay for typical support of an existing flaw in my system.

    So, this release of 2.0 is not for me, but I'll likely jump aboard anyway, hoping that a future 2.0+ version will rectify my concerns.  Now, it is possible that we haven't heard some of the other "advances" the 2.0 software will provide and there may be things I would consider valuable.  But from what I have heard are the "highlights", and from some of the comments I have seen on this board, there are a number of us that are pretty unhappy with this first venture into "paid" support.

    Of course this is friendly criticism, I love my Flex 6700, and I think Flex is a great company, but I hate sun spots. Can't do too much about the spots, but as I user I think I have a right to be critical once in a while. Okay guys, flames on.
  • Michael AustMichael Aust Member
    edited July 2017
    Doug,

        Hoping the new V2.0 is just as stable as V1.9.13 is a HIGHLIGHT for me on my 6700 and not like issues seen with V1.10.xx !

    Writing bug free software is not easy !

    73 Mike
  • NM1WNM1W Member ✭✭
    edited July 2017
    2.0 doesnt appear to bring anything to the table that I want; What I want are a working reliable DAX (I see the mac now has DAX.... Perhaps Flex should talk to the dev), and fix the rig crashes...

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