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v3 Upgrade Price for Less than One Year Owners



  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Some may think Gerald is not telling the truth about the cost od software dev. But he did state that the cost of software dev is the most expensive part of the business, and that the $200.00 for an upgrade is a long way away from covering the dev cost. They depend on hardware sales to cover the cost.

    Gerald also said that he considers Flex to be a software company. The reason makes sense. Developing the hardware for a new radio may take a year or two then it's all finished for several years. Untill they plan for another radio. But software is every day all year for as long as there are Flex radios. It never ends and is never completed. But hardware is.

    I don't know how much support there is here to sway Flex to change their pricing policy, but I can't see it change no matter what is said here. The numbers just are not there. This policy has been very good for Flex and it is working very well. If it wasn't then Gerald would have made changes a long time ago.
  • KevinKevin Member
    edited March 2019
    Windows 10 has been through 6 major updates since its release in 2015. Each update has added significant features and bug fixes. In addition, other minor updates and bug fixes, including important security fixes are released often. I have not had to pay for a single upgrade. In fact, I was able to move from Win7 to Win10 without cost. Not a good comparison at all. Microsoft gets its money in different ways so it doesn't fit either argument.

    Linux, upgrades all the time. Generally freely available. Not a good comparison at all.

    Apple? I don't know.

    Personally, I'm not asking for free. Actually, I get it for free because upgraded from a 6500 to 6700. But $200 take it or leave it sucks. It will **** for anyone here that decides they don't need the main feature but still pays to get other features and updates. It will **** for anyone that will have spent $400 moving from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 compared with someone that only paid $200 to go from 1 to 3. 

    The options I heard mentioned over the many posts of this similar subject are (no particular order):

    1) make it free (not sure that's necessary or supportable)
    2) charge less for 1 to 2 or 2 to 3, more for 1 to 3. 
    3) charge for specific plugins (multi, remote) but leave the base code common and free (or subscription for bugs and minor features?) for all
    4) charge subscription (flex can't maintain a reasonable schedule)

    On the other hand, the options I hear from those that don't mind parting with the money or don't understand what they are passing up are:
    1) take it or leave it, nobody is forcing you (yet, yes they are)
    2) it's only $200 (only)
    3) everybody else does it that way (??)
    4) flex needs the support (????)

    Waiting for an amplifier for 2 years and still smiling. That's your choice. I can't understand it yet I won't try to tell you that you are wrong and that you should buy a new amp from someone else or give you some other instruction. If that's what you want - wait 2+ years - I can 100% support you.

    I feel a bit sorry for the OP. He hasn't heard from everyone yet.


  • edited March 2019
    God help me Kevin... haha
  • edited March 2019
    Wayne, your post is full of holes. First, minor software upgrades or updates do in fact at times give you new features. Major upgrades like Windows 7 to Windows 10 absolutely give you new features if that's what you mean by "gadgets". This doesn't really make any difference since we're talking about two different products and business models. By the way, MS will end support for an OS at some point (years) down the road but that is after supporting the version with updates and security fixes during that time (even with new versions like 10 being out) but at some point yes they do sunset the OS. They can't support it forever and you have to move on at some point. But that's not the reason for this post.

    Also, if you think your 6700 will last another 7 years and through new major versions of SSDR without having to upgrade to a new radio hardware version, you sir are in for a rude awakening. The same thing will happen to Flex 6000 series as they do in the computer arena, at some point the hardware will not support the software features and then if you want the new software features you'll have to upgrade to a new model radio. Look at the 1500 and 5000... right?

    I don't agree with the argument some people want to bring up about the other radio manufacturers. They are not the same. You can't compare a firmware update on those to a software update like we have with Flex. The beauty of Flex is just that, new features, enhancements and bug fixes are seen in the software. Let's take for instance the band buttons in SSDR. I think the currently selected band should be highlighted somehow like with a different color, when you go into the Band pop-out. That is a software fix that can be easily done. If I wanted a light to light up on a physical band button on say the Kenwood TS-590SG, it would be impossible to do via firmware or software update. The hardware doesn't have an LED there at all. SDR's bring in a new way of thinking. You kind of get what you get when you buy something other than a Flex. It's up front and known when you buy it. Not really the same with Flex.
  • edited March 2019
    I'll add another thought to something mentioned above. Doesn't Flex have a commercial side of the business? Probably government contracts it looks like? I can't believe Flex is hurting when it comes to software development. That's just my uneducated guess. But I digress... 
  • edited July 2019
    Now... let me get back to FT8 and killing the hobby and doing mindless button pushing. haha
  • KevinKevin Member
    edited March 2019
    Ha! I'm trying to get BG3UPA's attention on 20 FT8 right now. S. Korea was up a few minutes ago. So far, nada.
  • edited March 2019
    Oh yeah, I saw him one time in band activity... good luck!!! I'm on the East coast 
  • KevinKevin Member
    edited July 2019
    The coffee feature. That ends all arguments. Where do I sign up?
  • N8AUMN8AUM RETIRED Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I don't mind purchasing "upgrades & new features" but bug fixes should be free for life but that's just my opinion. Being a new 6600 owner I really miss all the features of PowerSDR that my 5000 has. Ya, they need to make $$$$$ to continue with development and pay the bills. 
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    After paying to upgrade to version 3.alpha for each test radio to participate as an Alpha tester I’m thinking the program as standing will continue. Nice thought but the can of worms on individual relative value added by changing cost options would be chaotic. FRS is good in my book running with the announced program as is. There is no other position that is any better for everybody (including FRS). Thinking that those who have an appreciation of the version 3 features will be very satisfied. The upgrade is very “non-trivial” so I’m expecting some interesting challenges as version 3 rolls out when the greater variety of configurations is upgraded. But know the alphas and FRS are “forging” the new release hammering hard at every aspect they can. 73 Steve K9ZW
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Paul’ My point was that this same theme with minor variations keeps on recurring over and over and over again. We all get it. HAMS ARE CHEAP. NOBODY LIKES PAYING FOR INTANGIBLES LIKE SOFTWARE. Fact of life. It costs a lot of money to produce software. Yes some people have limited budgets so $200 after spending thousands of dollars on ham gear may feel expensive especially since it could be spent on tangibles like ****. But like steak. Do you go to the butcher asking for a discount because you bought a steak knife last year? Somebody has got to pay for the software. Development costs. Full Disclosure: I paid $200 for my copy of V3 so I could participate in Alpha testing I have watched months and months of labor going into development. Last time I heard that none of the software guys work for free or get 1/2 their pay because they were on payroll last year Yes it’s a silly argument because it reoccurs every time a new release is on the horizon.
  • edited March 2019
    Steve, I hope Flex is giving the Alpha testers a discount on the release version. Seems odd that you'd pay for an Alpha version when you're doing the testing. Should be the other way around. Nice blog by the way.
  • HCampbell  WB4IVFHCampbell WB4IVF Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019

    “How do you know the $200 only covers some of the development cost?”


    From Gerald:

    “Charging $199 for Version 2 will not fund our software development for any material length of time even if we were to be able to sell software for one of our competitors radios as well.  We must remain competitive selling new radios to fund ongoing software development.  

    We want a mutually beneficial model.  Those are the only ones that work.  A subscription fee model would definitely speed software development - guaranteed.  You can scale the development expense proportionately with the revenue stream.

    How many people would get upset if we used that model instead of the major upgrade model?  

    I have much more to say but this is getting too long to read.  Let me end with this:

    In the new world of true SDR, it is in your own self interest that FlexRadio sell the most radios we can, gain market share, and be able to generate revenue from software so that we can deliver more software.  

    Free software forever without new competitive radios to sell is a going out of business strategy.  

    Innovate or die.  Where are Collins, Heathkit and Hallicrafters today?  Some are more recent examples I won't mention.

    SmartSDR is the radio.  That means as we release new versions of SmartSDR, the FLEX-6300 and FLEX-6500 will get new features and are thus not obsolete.  That's a better deal than any last year's model car I ever owned.” 

  • Matt NQ6NMatt NQ6N Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    The alpha list is a very selective group. I've requested to be a tester and was denied. I suspect there are more than enough testers and so additional ones are not needed.  
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Alpha testers pay the same as the entire flex community does, with the caveat that what is provided in the beginning of the development cycle is very raw.. in fact the entire process of paying and activating the software is a component of the alpha test itself, so the process including fulfillment is well tested and smooth upon its final release.
  • edited March 2019
    Chris, ouch! Not trying to start an argument but I couldn't agree to paying to test new alpha versions, especially alpha, very raw is right. See, this is a different topic but alpha/beta testers should not have to pay at all, that's crazy to me. I could see not getting a perk like discounted release version but to actually pay? Wow.
  • edited March 2019
    Thanks HCampbell, see this is the kind of reply that is helpful. I've never seen or read this before so it answers many questions. I wish the people who have been in this community for a long time would give us "newbies" a bit of a break if we ask questions that have been discussed in the past. We may not realize the history and reason for stuff like this.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
     Scott, Sorry I missed your question, I'm glad HCampbell looked this up as I ran out of time.

    Any comments I make on this community are not usually my opinions but well researched answers from past Flex comments.

    This is the reason I said that the upgrade cost does not cover the cost of software dev...I was aware of this reply from Gerald.

    This is why I mentioned several of Geralds comments as a referance.

    As I see it , there are really never bad questions, keep them comming.
  • edited December 2019
    Hey it's all cool Bill. I'll try and do a better job of searching for the same topics before posting a new one.  Sometimes it's time consuming and hard to find replies on this type of community board. Replies get nested here and there and makes it hard to keep up with the replies and follow the thread.

    I agree... the only bad or dumb question is the one not asked.
  • Val  DM1TXVal DM1TX Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    I do not have yet a Flex Radio but planning to get it soon.
    I have been a Kenwood, a Yaesu and and still an Elecraft owner.
    I am nevertheless following all topics of interest here.
    I love the spirit of this enthusiastic Community!
    I am still amazed that this discussion still pops-up now and then.
    Here in Germany these radios are more expensive than in U.S.
    Because we love their quality/support we are willing to pay the price.
    And the way I see it, Flex is a SOFTWARE company.
    The Software is the Radio as they say.
    As someone here was so well put it, when I am willing to pay thousands (of Euros) for the  radio,
    another 199 would make no difference if I really need the new features.
    And somehow I feel that 199 Euros is a small fee to pay for the hard work of the Flexradio developers. I think that this fee will help Flex get on top fast.
    73 from Bavaria
    Val   DM1TX

  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Scot and Paul I keep coming back to this thread seeing the same points. I too am not trying to insight an argument but I really think you're too hung up on money. I seriously think if Flex did things your way they would find theirselves out of business in short order. I also realize you will likely continue trying to convince me again continuing with the same argument meaning you're not interested in my opinion. The system is with right as it stands imo. This debate is getting old. Does this really need to drag on because you're unhappy? Again, not trying to start something, asking for it to end.
  • Robert LonnRobert Lonn Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    I just sent the head of the Democratic party an important email!!! I told them since they are offing their voters everything for Free,,, can they please add to their platform, free Flex Software, heck why not free Ham Gear for all of us!!! I would vote for that!!! LOL

  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Rock and Roll!
  • K3SFK3SF Member ✭✭
    edited March 20
    maybe need new insight where all the FREE FREE comes from


    just saying

    please note this is intended to lighten up the conversation a little

    Paul K3SF...Some Free ;-))

  • Clay N9IOClay N9IO Clay N9IO Member ✭✭
    edited March 2019
    Of course you do.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2019
    There is really no reason to ask for a discussion to end or a thread closed unless the replies start to become personal attacks. If we don't like the topic or it seems to drag on too long,,then I suggest simply turn the channel to something eles.

    Most discussions die out on there own for lack of interest, but as long as some keep posting, it lives. The life span will take care of itself.

    For me the cost of owning a Flex radio boils down to this.  If one feels that Flex no longer gives good value for the dollar then we have a dicision to make.
    At this time V3 has little to offer me, but that's fine with me, I don't need to upgrade. My radio operation here will continue to be the same without it, nothing changes for me.
    Even without the upgrate I still feel my radio gives me great value for the money spent. I think everyone feels the same way because they still have their Flex radio's.

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