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6400 Missing Front Mic Connector

I just received my 6400 today. But had to put it back in the box and wait for a 23.99 cable (plus 11.88 shipping) so Flex could save a couple of dollars by not putting the same mic connector on the front the 6300 has. I understand the front being left blank so one the fancier rigs they have their beautiful displays but they could have put it on the back. Why have a 6000 series with different connectors? 

I guess if I had upgraded because I was all excited about the rig it would be one thing but I upgraded because of the heat issues I have had with my 6300 when the fans failed and had to send it in for repair with no real fix just another fan that could fail the same way. Flex told me the 6400 was designed inside for better heat handling so I prerecorded one a long time ago. I do not remember being told I would need the replace the cable I already had purchased from Flex for my PR-40 Mic. I was kind of looking forward to being able to leave the rig on again, I have only had the rig on to check into the nets and then back off so I did not have the same problem with the heat. If I would have know when ordered the rig or even if there was some heads up when they sent me the bill for the rig when it was available I would have just purchased the cable then and it could have road along with the rig. 

I will say with this fine forum I was able to do a search and Tim had the answer right there for me with a link to the correct cable I need. I sure he does good with his surgery I have come to rely on him!

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Answers

  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Tim is a special guy for sure.
    It was up to you to do all your home work when ordering, research. Flex is replacing those fans with newer replacements witch should be a better fan.
    It is too bad you did not know about the type of mic input on the 6400, but you will really like the radio.
  • FRED  W9TBFRED W9TB Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    When I pay good money for something I know what I'm getting.
  • Jim RungeJim Runge Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    It is amazing that HAMS can't even make a microphone cable anymore.
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    Yes it is amazing . . . Or even hook up an amp without getting on a forum and asking how to do it. I remember the old days when you blew up your amp you bought parts from Lafayette and repaired it yourself. Replaced filter caps, bleeder resistors, rebuilt power supplies etc.
  • Rich McCabeRich McCabe Member ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Here is my "junk box"

    I will say, I do think that the manufacturers should send you a packet of connectors needed. DIN, RCA, etc. Icom has always been good about sending this stuff.

    image
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    Nice junk box . . . I need to organize mine like that.
  • edited February 2018
    No not that much. When I purchased something that I am going to have to wait a long time for I just put it out of my mind and do other things. Like my second suppressor for 45 cal I have been waiting for the AFT since September but I do not call them and ask hows it going (you can call but I do not think it does any good) I just go do something else.

    To me this is not a upgrade its a needed replacement for a defective design. I like my 6300 and for the life of me I do not know how they could make it much better. I can hear stations on it I would never be able to hear with my 756 Pro III (and that was a great rig). I was hoping for a unplug the 6300, plug in the 6400 play with the software some and be done with it. 
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited February 2019
    I understand the front being left blank so one the fancier rigs they have their beautiful displays but they could have put it on the back. Why have a 6000 series with different connectors? 

    The answer is twofold.  First is that the 8-pin Foster connector is a panel mounted connector. Whenever you have panel mounted connectors, that increases the cost of assembly and provides greater opportunity for assembly errors.  The second one is that we made a concerted effort to cost reduce the FLEX-6400 so that you could purchase one of the highest performing radios from a major radio manufacturer for no more than $2000. So these factors and design requirement drove the business decision to use pass-through connectors for the mic inputs.
  • edited February 2018
    So do I, I was getting a replacement for the 6300 to solve the heat/ fan issue. I guess I am just silly but taking the mic plug off a transceiver is something I would have have thought of. 
  • edited February 2018
    I am frustrated because I am still dealing with a design flaw in the 6300, The heat. Go read the threads on the people having to return their rigs because of cheap fan failing. Then Flex would not give any information about it until finally a Flex 6300 owner took his apart and posted pictures, then the community had to find somewhere to buy the fans because there was fear they were no longer available.  

    I finally got to talk with a nice man that works for Flex and I am serious he spent the time with me to listen what I use the rig for. He told me the 6400 is a larger rig and has much better heat dissipation which did way with the fans needed inside the RF shielded areas. So I put my deposit down on the rig, I was going to trade the 6300 in on it but after seeing what its worth as a trade in I decided to keep it as a spare or one I can loan out to a friend. I was told it would be a long time OK no problem. I was told everything would be the same just a larger cabinet. 

    I mostly just check into a net daily, why do I even have a flex then? Because for me I can hear what people say (I can understand them better for some reason, I do not have good hearing).  Who knows once I get it up and running I may do more with it now that I can have it on again, ever since I had to return my 6300 for repair (they did a great job and turn around was fantastic) I have only had the rig on long enough to check into the net and then turned it back off. 

    This could have been avoided with a simple note with the invoice that said "Please note the 6400 may need different audio cables depending on how you are connecting a mic to your new rig), then some links for the proper cable for the connection a person was using. I like Flex, I LOVE that they are American made! Hopefully my whining will give someone else a heads up when they order their new rig and they will know to get the proper cables.
  • edited February 2018
    that is true, I am guilty. I looked at it could have slapped something together but all my spare parts are in the basement and my knee is shot so I chose to order one. Also I have found in the long run nice molded cables last longer with a little less problems.
  • edited August 2019
    Tim I thought you are on sick leave getting your shoulder fixed, man this is no big deal go get yourself fixed!

    You are correct it the 6400 is 500$ less than the 6300 GOOD JOB! I will just whine, I am going to go move the big box with my 6400 in it to the outer part of the barn out of my man cave, it will sit on the pile of lead alloy for a week or so while I wait for the cable. I need to coat some bullets and in this man cave there is only one work area. 

    I found the message where you answered another person about this and it had the link in it for the cable I needed thank you for that! 

    Good luck with your surgery!

  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited April 2018
    I am frustrated because I am still dealing with a design flaw in the 6300, The heat.

    To be clear, this was not a design flaw, but a component we used that was failing prematurely. We replaced the component with a different type of fan/heatsink assembly that is more robust.  And we are providing this new fan assembly for anyone whose radio will not boot due to a fan failure and is out of warranty for the price of 1 hr of service (the part is provided at no cost - a savings of $75).  This also includes having your radio fully tested and recalibrated.

    I am sorry that you did not know about the mic connector change on the FLEX-6400 and FLEX-6600.  The connector specs have been published on the web before the products were available for sale.  There have been numerous Community posts about the 1/8" mic connectors and the addition of the 1/4" balanced mic input for the FLEX-6600.  If the person who completed your order failed to tell you about the different mic connector cables that were available, that is an oversight we will correct and we apologize for that.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited February 2018
    I am working a half day today.  Surgery is tomorrow morning.  Thanks.
  • Rich McCabeRich McCabe Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Enjoy the new radio Delbert. Hope you have the new cable soon.

  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Good luck Tim.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited February 2018
    Thank you.
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited February 2018
    Tim
    Hope you have a speedy, FULL recovery.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited February 2018
    Thanks, Jay
  • edited March 2018
    Thanks Rick, man I did not mean to stir up a hornets nest...... I really did not mean to bother Tim now. I hope his surgery gets him back to 100% it sucks when you cant do things you used to do I Know! 

    One of the comments on the forum is correct I do not spend a lot of time here. I only come if I have a problem and lately I only use my Amateur Radio to check into one net. I am working on some health issues caused by I am just to ****. Just turned 60 and mostly retired I just do payroll and a little paperwork for my company's other than that my children have taken over and have done better than I ever could! So now I have the time I never had (worked 60+ hours a week when I worked) and if I want to keep going and enjoy some of it I have to get active. I built this room out here in my pole barn 12x24 and its my heaven on earth. After my problems with the Flex originally (it used to take a month or so before I could go down stairs in my old office / shack (12x24) to restart it. So last summer with some help from one of my employees we trenched over to my Carolina Windom and I brung the rigs out here into the barn where I am 99% of the time now so now I have the amp out here also and my audio is direct instead of going through the computer. I got into hand loading and shooting a lot more and if I can get just a little better I will be able to go to the 185 yard range soon in the next year or so. I have a range here but its not that long but its still fun to go out and shoot almost every day and it gets me walking. I am afraid if I sit and just play on the radio I will never get up, so for now I will just enjoy my friends on the net, its over in a hour and I am going again. **** its 7:45 at night right now and I am standing outside with my lead furnance going and purifying lead so I will have enough to make more bullets. I have found I really enjoy the making of the bullets tinkering with loads. After almost 40 years in the Amateur Radio hobby its just not as exciting as it was years ago. 

    Thanks for to good wishes!!!!!
    73 K8OCN (Changed my call it was KA8OCN)
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Just a general observation - when FRS contacts a person for payment and shipping instructions, that could be an awesome time to ask if you might need to add “mission critical” accessories. FRS won’t necessarily know that you have adapter needs but it sure is easier to get them included in your order up front. I’ve made the same mistake, forgetting to get the adapters I should have known I’d need when I ordered gear before. So I can claim I have the tee-shirt on this one.... 73 Steve K9ZW
  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited April 2019
    Just a reminder to all with radios on order.  When you get your final invoice from us, there is a list of items on that email that outlines some of the critical items like Mic adapters, etc.

    We also want you  to make sure that it is the right radio, any trade in credits got applied and the shipping address is correct.

    You have a time to reply and no need to rush.  We give you lots of time to reply by email with any changes.  That is why we reach out a few weeks ahead of time as we know people are out travelling or just away for a bit enjoying life.

    73 all, Mike

  • LeeLee Member
    edited April 2018
    As to this little 3.5mm audio connector...IMHO it was a big mistake to use it....At least the old 1/4 in audio connections were solid/robust, with very little issue...I already have had instances where I have to plug/unplug the Mic cable to eliminate RF/noise/poor drive level  in the audio. So what happens as it get older?? I am using the Flex cable purchased with the radio. The connector is not damaged it is just a poor connection at best....Right now it's easy to get to the back...but once I get the radio back in it's normal operating position it is not going to be easy to get to. I think others will be reporting this over time as well....and...well, what could be a fix? That connection in the back will in normal operation get bumped, pushed, pulled etc over time and it is not robust. Don't know how they would do a EC to fix this easily.
  • WayneWayne Member ✭✭
    edited June 2018
    Its called "Value Engineering" the Airport does it all the time and usually we end up with an inferior product that is less desired by the customer and does not meet the full needs that the customer desires.
  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited May 16
    Tim did cover the decision earlier in this thread.    The 1/8" connector is on at least 6 Billion active cell phones in the world (yes, I did look that up) and for the most part every teenagers is still working unless they dropped it in the toilet.  I bet the MTBF on the 1/8" connector is the same as the 1/4" and we don't swing the radio around as much as a teenager does unless you are going portable with your 6600 in your back pocket.  

    Mike



  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Of course that is not the case with Flex..
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    What many are doing is making up an extention cable to reach the back and come out the front so as to connect easly if needed. Then they are putting a right angle plug at one end that offers better protection when plugged in the back,,very simple to do.
  • LeeLee Member
    edited April 2018
    Sounds good, but I have had to unplug/replug it 3 times now in 1 month. I think the one they used on a PC board seems kind of loose...in other words. only contact on one side...not a tight fit at all.

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