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A conversation needed pre purchase

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Comments

  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    Favorably, I hope, grin.  
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    it was,,lol
  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Amian, thanks for your post and idea, and apologies for many of the responses you received on this forum.  Just returned from a day operating a sponsor station (VE7RAC) on the RAC Canada Day contest (Happy birthday Canada and thanks for participants).

    Back to business:  I totally agree with your idea - A great one.
    Sales could reference a simple download, if they had one, from which "add-on" sales items should be added to an order; especially since the paradigm change to pure digital is foreign to most hams.  For example, our club owns a 6600+Maestro and a 7610; most members are "afraid" (i.e. don't understand) of playing with the flex.  Why - It is mostly digital and a change.
    As a long time owner, many new hardware features are new - I would like a simple page that tells me what hardware (cables, dongles, whatever) I need for adding, for example, a StepIR DB-42 to my system.

    Members of the forum:  Please maintain the latitude to hear ideas from new owners - they are free from learned bias.

  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    BTW I worked you this weekend for Canada Day.  Good 20M SSB signal.  WOrked you on FD too.  Hope you had a nice Canada Day.  Unfortunately my 40M dipole is tuned for the WSJT-X freq of 7.074 and has a high SWR on the phone portion of 40M.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    I expect the same respect as well, I feel there is already a good system in place and some of you wish I had not said that I'm sure.
    I think were the breakdown is. is when people buy a Flex coming from other kinds of radios they don't always know or not understand what this community is here for.

    The community is for just what has been asked for, INFORMATION and help. It's all here, and if you can't find it, just ask. To me I really don't think anything needs to be done.

    No, I am not defending Flex or against criticism, I just feel this forum covers most everything a new Flexer needs.
  • Roger,  W6VZVRoger, W6VZV Member
    edited July 2018
    I concur that the info is all here.  I do sympathize with the OP that initially the new vocabulary and so forth with the Flex can be a bit overwhelming.  Good discussion by all and hopefully no one's feathers are ruffled.  Having just ascended (and continuing to ascend) the learning curve, I know where the OP is coming from.  One point I want to make that I did not see anyone else make: when I bought my Flex I discussed my requirements with the sales rep.  I ordered exactly the Mic adapter cable and power supply I needed such that when the box came I had absolutely everything that I needed.  Pretty much what the OP said he wanted to have happen.
    de Roger W6VZV
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    The K3S is a Legacy Radio NOT a SDR. It uses a multi conversion Legacy technology front end and is not either a First Generation Direct Coverwion or a 3rd or 4th Generation Direct Sampling SDR The KX3 is a first genration SDR Direct Conversion SDR. The K3S is a fine example of how far you can push Legacy technology to almost achieve the performance of a modern SDR Realistically Legacy technology is approaching End 0r Life As digital components get more cost effective. Even Elecraft will have to switch to SDR to sTAY COMPETITIVE. The 7300 and 7610 are Direct SAMPLING SDR Front ends but unfortunately ICOM chose to use cheaper lower performance digital parts to increase profit margins They are primarily targeted to appliance operators who buy brand names not performance. (Toyota vs Tesla) Their backend processing is virtually the same as the old Legacy radios so they lose much of the benefits of SDR by reusing older technology. By the way AMLAN. Your suggestions of a more centralized and efficient information source for Flex is a really good idea as the current Community and website are hard to searchl
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Howard, I don’t know much about K3S, except about its incredible sensitivity and selectivity. I saw on their website it says http://www.elecraft.com/K3/K3.htm SDR architecture so I took it at face value. Wayne (their CTO) is a very honorable man and wouldn’t lie about something like that. Interesting you mentioned KX3. I have the KX3 and I absolutely love it. Its a brilliant little thing.


  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited July 2018
    Amlan 

    "(which clearly you are devoid of since you have no posts here)" 

    Instead of lashing out, maybe take the time to read instead.

    Ernest - W4EG

    • 586 Posts
    • 113 Reply Likes
    This error is kind of on you.

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

       73, Jay - NO5J

  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    Wayne is deliberately conflating the use of software defined parts in the back end of the K3S so he can call the K3S a SDR for marketing purposes to less technically adept hams. The K3S has a LEGACY FRONT END and by any generally accepted industry technical definition is NOT a SDR. When he brought out the KX3, I thought he would soon follow up with a true SDR K4 but so far he is sticking with his Legacy Technology. K3S fixed the poor phase noise performance of the K3 So he could stay competitive with SDR.
  • Amlan - AI6XNAmlan - AI6XN Member
    edited July 2018
    Fair enough. I should have been clearer, I was referring to “Ideas” posts, not posts in general.

    When a stranger says he is surprised that I didn’t order a complete installation with the purchase of a radio, without having the slightest clue about who I am or what I know about radios or absolutely anything else for that matter, I think s/he forfeits the right to be treated in respectful way that I’ll treat anyone else. Personal attacks are just not condonable.

    Just so you know, I have received several emails from long time members of this forum, warning me about such behaviors targeted toward anyone daring to suggest any improvement of the FLEX platform in any way shape or form.

    I am also informed that some of them actually stopped suggesting any improvement whatsoever to avoid such personal attacks. Ultimately all this behavior accomplishes is to make Flex the loser in the process.

    It’s great to be a fan but not a sycophant.

    -A
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    By the way. Used K3S and K3 in contests so I have lots of first hand experience. Personally hate knobs and deep menus onK3 as they are so easy to **** up but ergonomics are very quick for contests as long as you don’t hit the wrong button too long. Filters much sharper on Flex. On the K3 you need to spend a lot of $ to buy filters. K3 was definitely not sensitive due to internal phase noise masking signals K3S fixed that issue and brings phase noise down almost to same level as 6700. Not used a 6600 so can’t comment
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited July 2018
    Free speech is everyone's right, Being civil is everyone's responsibility.

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

       73, Jay - NO5J

  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2018
    Amlan - Take this as a friendly suggestion.  You need to contact Flex Radio directly - if you post in a public forum, Flex has no control over people who disagree with you. This way you will not be upset or angry.

    But to answer your question - A Flex radio operates on antennas just like any other radio, and can be interfaced successfully to a wide range of amplifiers. Obviously the Flex radio will mate with Flex's power amp, but  I'm using a PW-1 Icom Amplifier, and have it bandswitching outside the Icom environment FB. You need the same sort of peripheral equipment. Your desired setup is going to be unique to your situation, and as a Ham, you have the technicical acumen to figure that out. Enjoy the research, that's half the fun.

  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2018
    Okay - let's look at all of these suggestions. I am going to provide some basics.

    What should be included in the Research that Flex needs to to do? Let's take some of the suggestions offered for Flex to improve their service:

    Document the processes to interface Flex Radios with oter digital programs like N1MM Logger, fldigi, HRD, and LogM40. DDUtil, SliceMaster, and others.

    Document and offer instructions on how to move from other radios to Flex Radios. 

    Provide the updated instructions as programs evolve. Provide the personalized instructions for all radios. 

    Add every new radio, and have a comprehensive listing. 

    Provide detailed instructions for as many possible situations as people can provide.

    Okay, first let's get the legal beagles POV. If Flex provides these instructions, will they then become liable for inaacurate information or if a disgruntled customer believes they misled them?

    Next up, Are there examples of other Radio Manufacturers provided this service? This would provide a nice template for Flex to emulate.

    Next up, who will pay for this service? I've written a lot of information packets, rules and regulations, and instructions. This sort of thing does not come cheap - and of course, the obvious answer is that the Customer will pay. 

    Next, each person at the Flex Booths and on phone sales will need to be well versed on many different platforms at a very in-depth level. I could speak with knowledge about Flex Radios and Icoms, but less so on Kenwoods and Yaesu's, and am at this point a neophyte on Elecraft. But to provide the service demanded, I would be required to provide an in depth crossover from possibly hundreds of different radios.

    Each person will need to be really well versed in the new person's location, the surrounding terrain, the possible support mechanisms, and the desired operations. Some of these things will simply have ot be very very generic. And how do we filter for individual preferences, and if say, a Flex Salesperson didn't like say, Steppir antennas - it makes for another whole level of complexity, including what Steppir might have to say if they perceive themselves as not getting a fair shake at the hands of FlexRadio Systems.

    Now it is pretty obvious that I'm quite skeptical of such a thing. It won't work very well. It will increase the price of the radios, and is a whole pile of headaches for all the maintenance required. And in addition to the massive increase in knowledge for all sales personnel, it will require at least one fuul time person to do all the research and writeup.  Now all that being said, that's a job I would Looooove - Imagine getting to play with all those radios, software and antennas! I already offered to do it 8^) And still Flex hasn't taken up my request to have my radio grill a nice beef brisket. 8^P

    Hopefully I have not insulted anyone - I just gave what I believe is a pretty good analysis of trying to accommodate the recently made demands to document how to use software and now other manufacturers hardware and recommend setups as a service provided by FlexRadio Sustems. 

  • edited May 2019
    This has been an interesting thread.  I came into the Flex world 4 years ago after a prolonged absence from ham radio.  My last new main station radio was a Yaesu FT-757 I bought back in 1982, though I did pick up an FT-817 in about 2000 when they first came out.  I was off the air from 2003 until late 2013 when I decided to get back into the game; a then 68-yr old retired banker and hospital CFO.  After seeing the Flex dog-and-pony show at the ARRL Midwest Convention, I bought a 6500, assuming it would be my last radio, with at least a hope of it not becoming obsolete in the foreseeable future.  I think it took me 15 minutes from unboxing to being ready to go on the air.  There are no special cables or connections required for a basic, ready to go station on SSB or CW. I didn't even have to learn about CAT & DAX until I began integrating HRD Log and 2 years later when I added a directional antenna and wanted computer controlled functionality.  The point of this diatribe is that there is nothing inherently difficult about setting up a basic Flex station.  If one is migrating from an advanced station, it might be assumed that the operator has already had to undergo a learning process.  I know my Yaesu's didn't come with any instructions about adding a Signalink, or implementing 3rd party programs, or what additional cables might be required.  This community has been a wonderful resource when questions arose, and I never expected Flex to provide the answers themselves,even though Tim and others have done just that.  Google is your friend, RTFM, Keep Calm and Carry On, YMMV, etc...
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    That is one thing about my 6500, it never became obsolete  , but discontinued. Heck even my Flex 3000 never became obsolete.
  • Jay NationJay Nation Member
    edited July 2018
    My SDR1000 continues to work better than when I bought it, and will probably outlast me.

    #FlexRadio IRC chat

       73, Jay - NO5J

  • David Decoons, wo2xDavid Decoons, wo2x Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2018
    If you had come here first and asked what you would need to interface everything you would have had plenty of people willing to help. Dave wo2x
  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2018
    Exactly, Dave. I can tell someone a lot of info if they ask - I think that occasionally someone will ask for something without completely understanding the magnitude of what they are asking for. So some of our folks will get kinda defensive about it. 
    If the question is simply stated you'd get a lot of answers - although antenna questions will get an inundation of conflicting answers. But connecting logging programs or mode programs - heck most of us are her to help.
  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited April 2019
    I think that Rick Hadley pretty much covered it.   I'm on vacation this week, so I get to respond like a Ham who loves the hobby!  :)  But, then again, integration is my game.

    The integration of a 6000 series radios is in a lot of ways the same it was for any other HF radio and in a lot of ways so much more streamlined.  
    • Amplifiers still need a PTT/RCA cable - still the same.  It was the advent of new band tracking amps that make this more integrated.
    • Antennas connect the same way - PL259s
    • Band tracking - ok, a bit different but so much more streamlined.  Yes, you can still use the 1/2 century old RS232 technology or move ahead to using a LAN.  Not really complicated if you have your basic home LAN/Router setup, but just a different perspective.  Some programs have already made this move, WSJTx for example.
    • Steppir Tracking - From a Steppir, a 6000 looks like a computer except we actually send band automatically and you don't have to do an archaic 'sniff' of someone elses RS232 communications in order to have it track.  Arguably this is so much better.   Just a null modem connector required and the FTDI RS232/USB adapter.
    • 1 6000 Series radios can drive so many external devices on its own without have a PC do it.  Antennas, Tuners, Amplifiers, Bandpass filters, transverters and do it all at the same time.  All you have to worry about (in most cases) is 3 wires, Ground, RS232 TX and RS232 RX.  Instead of having your device connect to a Windows computer, it now connects to the radio.  Just add the same RS232/USB adapter to the radio instead of to the computer.
    No matter what HF rig you buy, you do require some integration adjustments if you change radio vendors.  Heck, I bought 3 ICOM's in a (IC-756 pro series) just so I didn't have to make a bunch of new interface cables

    That being said, the hobby has migrated from one of people of who love the science and the technology to that of an appliance.  A majority of today's  operators want to just get on the air and not care out how it actually ticks.  

    At least today we have forums, YouTube, Google and social media that we can reach out to for help.  20 years ago, we didn't, so we 'tried things' and broke things and we learned lots by breaking things.  Yes, there is magic smoke.

    This community has some amazing people who have pushed the 6000 series radios to the limit and more.  And they continue to do so.   

    This RF Server that we all use is blazing the way to greater and better things.  

    While I have been off this week, I have been ripping apart my Remote Station that started its life as a TS480 and RemoteRig.  I am amazed at the stuff that is landing on the floor that won't make it back into VA3MW's remote station Version 4 (version 1 started in 2005).   It will now be a 6600 and a 4O3A's 2x8 switches plus a RemoteQTH server to handle some of the basic on/off stuff.

    Amlan, welcome to the community.  I know you and exchanged a lot of emails discussing your station.

    Mike va3mw







  • Michael CosloMichael Coslo Member
    edited July 2018
    Used a K3S during Field Day. I prefer the "lowly" 6300. 
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    I think a "switch" guide like what Apple does would be helpful. But that's just me. 

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