Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

A conversation needed pre purchase

Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
edited June 11 in New Ideas
I am moving into Flex 6600M from being an avid ICOM 7610 user and I feel for people like us, the first time converts to flex,there should be a special selling process. They should ask what amp Antenna and any other electronics we use in our daily hamming. Then they should produce a list of things we will need to get seemless transition between Flex and whatever else we have. For ex. I used a SteppIR with CI/V control with icom. It was flawless integration and I never had to think twice about it. Similarly I should have been told I’ll need an S12 cable or for my kat-500/Kpa-500 combo I should get a ftdi serial cable with a null modem cable before connecting. That’d have made my life so much simpler. I wish Flex will be a lot more proactive than the current state of affairs. Having said that I must say the quality of reception is better than any radio I have ever seen including the IC-7851 and only behind perhaps a K3S. It pulls up signals that icom and Yaesu don’t even register. Specially in noisy Silicon Valley. Love the idea of spots on pan but would be nice to see them on the main device screen instead of computer screen. Oh well.
«1

Comments

  • Bill RobertsBill Roberts Member ✭✭
    edited June 11
    What you describe is not ham radio. Before making a major upgrade, most of us research, ask our friends or radio club members. Any station upgrades are not without their setbacks. Flex is still a small company. I doubt they have the resources to sell radios like an automobile dealership. They do provide this excellent forum for exchanging information and lessons learned. If you do encounter problems, they support you patiently and professionally. When have the presidents of IKY gotten on a web forum to address sticky issues?
  • N3RCN3RC Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Amlin 
     As a  K3 owner who has moved to a 7610 and considering a 6600/6700, I agree with your points. Seems as if Flex could get some knowledgeable users to put such a program together with a few incentives for doing so.  Elecraft  has much clearer instructions on how to hook everything up compared to Icom and Flex. When you throw in the applications(N1MM+, WJTS-X, Skimmer, DXLab,
    Steppir, Green Heron, etc.) and amps it can get a bit confusing. The 7610  has convinced me that SDR is the wave of the future.

    73 Roger N3RC Sebastopol, Ca.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Bill Not sure how you imagined the idea of blame. It was posted as an idea and a suggestion of a potential improvement of sales process for a very specific set of users encountering this platform for the first time. If I buy a $5K or $8k Radio from any manufacturer I expect a certain smoothness of on boarding and in my experience it wasn’t there in terms of integration. I feel the onboarding experience has some room for improvement. That’s my opinion and I think it’s my prerogative to have one. When I buy an icom or Yaesu I always have to buy it from a dealer, who normally takes care of answering most of the questions of how to hookup everything. Here there is no dealer, so flex have to go the extra mile to preempt a customer service call. However to be honest I have so far not needed to call customer support even once and got my answers from some extremely helpful forum users. That’s in itself an unique and pleasant experience. People only suggest improvements if they care.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    What I posted was not a criticism, it was a suggestion born out of the pain I had to personally endure over last few days after taking the leap into flex platform. I thought the idea of an idea was just that, Improving what exists.
  • Ernest - W4EGErnest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Am a bit surprised that AI6XN did not asked for complete installation with the purchase!
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    What I am surprised about is that a suggestion- an idea (which clearly you are devoid of since you have no posts here) is from me to Flex. Not you not bill not anyone else. It’s my prerogative to suggest and it’s flexs prerogative to ignore or implement. Where exactly do any of you fit in this picture?
  • Ernest - W4EGErnest - W4EG Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    No reply needed.
    He is just seeking attentions.
  • DougDoug Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Amlan - AI6XN Let me give you some friendly advice. People here don't want to hear any negative about their radio's. Sad but true they can't stand the truth. That's not to say they are not good people and most will help you ................ just sayin
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    It might be easier just to ask the question when purchasing . . . " I run this, this, and this. Are there any special cables or accessories I need to connect the radio, etc."
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2019

    @Alman - AI6XN - you've asked in the right place!

    I think it is pretty cool and I have personally gotten a lot of great advice from the members of the Community.

    Wish other products I've bought offered a healthy user community.

    Other resources are the extensive Knowledge base and the many official and non-official videos.

    Transition guidance of a customized basis is a bit tricky though.  I've thought about how receptive hams might be to paid-service on station building, and haven't found a way that I could see it working.

    Building in a similar service into a new product is close to the same economics & logistics.

    Working from your idea it might be helpful to have a sort of "transition guide and checklist" that would bring the best thoughts and videos into a structured form.  Because the nature of SDR is that it always evolves, perhaps the main form of the guide might be on-line, with dated printouts?

    Truth be told navigating through the Community, Knowledgebase, Special papers, and videos is clunky at best.  Something that might provide a unified experience would be slick and helpful.

    Food for thought.

    73

    Steve K9ZW

  • FRED  W9TBFRED W9TB Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Maybe Flex can send some one to his house an set it up for him at no charge. :)
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Thanks for the tremendous value add by your comment.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    True. And I had done some of that. Most of the answers I got was we have a very helpful forum and they’d help you out. Which definitely turned out to be true. I never had to call their customer support. I am not saying it should be customized per customer. Generally some broad guidelines on migration from different major radio families like ICOM, Yaesu, Kenwood, Elecraft etc. I know it can be overwhelming quite fast, but may be even a simple app that keeps such a database might be the answer.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Thank you for your comment. Yes transition guidance is tricky. However I was asking mostly for something like a integration requirements document or something similar that can be a even a simple app or as document which depending on area tries to suggest some integration devices or cables or connectors and such before hand. For ex. If you are an Yaesu or ICOM or Kenwood user there are certain ways you key your amp, send data for band and freq to your antenna or other devices etc. So perhaps it may be possible to have a broad category of such users in a group. Then again, it wont of course apply to each and every case, given the number of models and the idiosyncrasies of the large manufacturers. A paid integration service or transition guidance is indeed very hard to rationalize given the diversity of systems we have. Mostly I think a simple chart will do the trick.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    I see that :) Some other people have warned me about these self proclaimed defenders of Flex’s honor here. Pretty hilarious to see people link their self worth to their radios so they cant even stand constructive criticism or suggestions and instead attack the suggestor personally.
  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    I've owned Yaesus and Kenwoods.  No one told me what cables to buy, etc.  For my Kenwood TS850S the cable I needed did not even exist (8 pin din cable -- Yaesu gave you the bare plug and you got to wire it up yourself) -- with my Flex when I ordered it I also ordered the mic adaptor cable for my Heil headset, and I was on the air with CW, SSB, and Digital within a few hours.  I don't see what the problem is.
  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    All the info about how to key your amp is in the 6400/6600 manual which is on-line.  When I bought my 6400M I had one question about it, I asked it here, and people answered it within minutes.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Amlan, and to all seekers. I was not intending to attack you. You said you had so much pain and frustration because Flex did not give you guidance to connect your shack up. Simply ask, here. As you know Flex employees read the comments all day on this forum and will answer. Then their are hundreds of customers with experience in so many areas that help here as well. It is clear that more research was needed that would have saved so much pain.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    I did Bill, and as I mentioned the forum users were extremely helpful and I solved my issues. That is exactly when I thought it’d be a great idea to pre-empt the exercise altogether. Like I said it was not a complain about Flex being unhelpful, its more for an idea to be more helpful than they are already for certain things. Not sure its worth this much attention :)
  • Alan CAlan C Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly. "The 7610 has convinced me that SDR is the wave of the future" - The 7610 is not a Software Defined Radio. It does have direct sampling, but is not a SDR...

    my .02
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Roger, not every other person may be as good as you with making wires or have as much time as you do. It’s not a big deal, just would have lessened the pain of adapting to a completely new system. Somehow I believe in this crazy idea of making things less painful than I found them :)
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    If it is direct sampling system and does all the filters, mods/demods, mixers, product detectors etc in software, why would it not be qualified as SDR?
  • Alan CAlan C Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    What software? I don't see any software required (on the ICOM Website) for the IC-7610 to operate. Perhaps you are thinking of Firmware. Transceiver Firmware has been around for years.

    The Flex M series does not require software to run it either - but there is software to run it, if you are so inclined.
  • G8ZPXG8ZPX Member
    edited May 2019

    I know plenty of the Flex fans on here hate any kind of criticism, but Amlan’s comments were not a criticism in a way.

    Having had to find out the hard way, he simply wanted to help others to make the transition from non-flex to Flex, which for many is an horrendous leap of both technology and faith in the unknown of SDR. To belittle his comments is just plain sad and small minded. Those concerned do Flex a grave dis-service and make themselves look thoughtless too.

    Many would-be customers come to this forum first for information and clues about what may lay ahead. Okay, maybe he could have done more reading first, maybe he could have gained more help on here pre-purchase, or maybe the ego crew actually prevent sharing, help and compassion towards new users which can ultimately only hurt your favourite radio company. Sickening.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Roger you are absolutely right. There is the information in “USB cable guide” or some such guide not in the user guide or quick start guide but they both have pointers to it. Now a days when I see an USB connection I think it’ll simply use the USB 2.x or 3.x to directly talk to the other device it connects to. Just like thousands of devices do in iOS, Android or Mac realm. I’d have never thought they use FTDI to drive serial pin out on the other device. Again, thats not as complaint, I can see the standardization via serial but just a little odd that’s all. Anyway, i found that a bit confusing. Similarly for Steppir, if you know you need a very special connection (S12) in the serial port, why not sell it? Just like Steppir does for various radios. That’s the kind of thing I was asking.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Alan, SDR is defined (check out Wikipedia under software defined radio) by how the device does its raison d’tre, the reason for existence i.e being a radio. It doesnt technically need a software to run it from outside. Elecraft K3S is also an SDR but doesn’t require a software from outside. All of the processing of K3S or IC-7610 or 6600M are done in fairly standard FPGA, which implements the software that deals with the stream of data thats the output of direct sampling of the incoming HF or 6M radio waves. Technically most of these processing in earlier SDRs were relegated to the PC or Mac running the software. Perhaps you refer to that, if so that is not the case in any of them any more and all of these radios carry their own processors, sometimes many of them. I don’t know for sure but I think even flex doesnt relegate processing to the client software running on PC, instead doing it in the CPUs on the Flex SDR.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    The Flex 6xxx is thin client, no processing is done on the computer, it is all done in the radio.
  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    I assure you that I am less technically inclined than many hams.  I'm embarrassed to say it, but I'm not sure that I could adequately explain Ohm's law any more.  And as a practicing attorney, I am pretty likely to have less free time than most.  What I found about getting the Flex set up is that Google is your friend.  Usually Google led me right back here to this Flex site.  If it did not, in every single case I got my direct questions answered right here on this forum.  I'll agree that understanding DAX and SDR takes a little figuring out, but really, it is not nearly as daunting as you may think.  It is made easier by the fact that these programs just plain work well -- I have had zero bug issues (not that there may not be some).  You can do SSB/CW right out of the box by just hooking up power, a keyer paddle, a microphone and an antenna (and a computer if you have a non-M model). For digital modes WSJT-X and Ham Radio Deluxe were quite easy to configure, and required no cables and no connection to the computer sound card at all -- nada, because the radio uses DAX as a virtual cable and has its own soundcard.  Pretty darned slick and easier to figure out than those cables that all my earlier radios required.   I agree with you that the Flex system is different, but once you figure it out, and trust me, you will, you will likely find that it is different simpler/better not different as in more complicated.  I will allow that it may not seem that way as a newcomer -- I get that -- some new terminology and so forth.  But there are lots of hams here on the forum that will talk you through questions -- ask me how I know, grin.
    If you have any questions we are all here to help.  Even noobs like me.
    de Roger W6VZV
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Roger,,Was just mentioning you on 40m just now..lol
    7.192 with the group

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.