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My Take on SSDR v3

1356

Comments

  • Don
    Don Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Nearly every manufacturer of ham radio gear marketed/markets to the government...Hammerlund, Hallicrafters, National, Gonset, Collins, Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, TenTec, Alpha (Erhorne Technology).  I'm sure I named only a fraction.  Lucky for us they do or the ham radio gear pickings would be pretty slim indeed!
  • Kuby, N6JSX
    Kuby, N6JSX Member
    edited April 2019
    So, guru, you're telling us that FLEX did not do their market research well when creating the 3/5/6.3/6.5/6.7 ?

    "
    using the knobs on the Maestro and M series as a mirror control surface for SSDR"

    Did FLEX not learn any lessons from TenTec - and the first SDR 'Pegasus' (that I still have) later to become the knobbed 'Jupiter' ?

    Now you really have me concerned about FLEX. 

    FYI, when I saw that FLEX required 1394/Firewire port I knew that 3K/5K products were doomed (I just never thought FLEX would kick them off the cliff so FAST). If for no other reason than few if any PC MFG's would carry Firewire ports into their future models.
    6K's had to go to an on board CPU (with proprietary firmware (to keep their lock)) as the Firewire speed could not accommodate any expansions. The 3K/5K got them setup for the big contracts getting them to 6K's. Hey, it's just business.  

  • Kuby, N6JSX
    Kuby, N6JSX Member
    edited April 2019
    So, guru, you're telling us that FLEX did not do their market research well when creating the 3/5/6.3/6.5/6.7 ?

    "
    using the knobs on the Maestro and M series as a mirror control surface for SSDR"

    Did FLEX not learn any lessons from TenTec - and the first SDR 'Pegasus' (that I still have) later to become the knobbed 'Jupiter' ?

    Now you really have me concerned about FLEX. 

    FYI, when I saw that FLEX required 1394/Firewire port I knew that 3K/5K products were doomed (I just never thought FLEX would kick them off the cliff so FAST). If for no other reason than few if any PC MFG's would carry Firewire ports into their future models.
    6K's had to go to an on board CPU (with proprietary firmware (to keep their lock)) as the Firewire speed could not accommodate any expansions. The 3K/5K got them setup for the big contracts getting them to 6K's. Hey, it's just business.  

  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited April 2019
    Sorry guys... my conspiracy theory post was meant in fun. The alpha/beta part was a bit more serious.
  • Delbert McCord
    Delbert McCord Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    I have a 6400 sitting in the box. I have owned it almost a year. I purchased it to back up my 6300's with fan issues. I opened the box once and learned they changed the mic connectors (yes I did not spend time reading everything about the rig before I purchased it, I purchased it before it was ready, like 4 months before). So back in the box it went and I put the 6300 back until the cable came and when it came I was busy. It sat in the box for another 4 months before I had the down time to play with it. It would not work at all installing the software. Computer would not communicate with it (same computer that has been working fine with the 6300. I called Flex and I can not say enough good about them! They connected with my computer and made some changes and it worked. While on the phone with them I learned some of the first 6400's made had a problem and needed to be sent in for correction. They paid the shipping both ways and I did not have to pay for the repair. (I got stuck paying 175$ for the fan problem with the 6300). So back in the box the 6400 went and shipped back to Flex. They had it back to me in a week! Fantastic but guess what, its still in the box. I am not excited to connect it because I just do not need the hassle. I guess it will sit there until the fans die in the 6300 again. I only use the 6300 anymore to check into a net. I do not leave it on very long at one time because I do not want to cause another fan failure. I believe that the Flex rigs have the BEST receivers out there or at least the best I have ever used (coming from Kenwood 2000, ICOM 756 ProIII). I do not mind paying for a software upgrade I do not need the remote or multiple people using it because at this point I am gun shy of leaving it on because of the heat/ fan issues I had and may have again. I may buy the upgrades and just not install them because I do want Flex to make money so they will be there for many more years down the road. 
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited April 2019
    I'm curious where this shadow list of most-requested features exists if not here in the community. I wonder if that other list might show multi as #1 because nobody else knows about that list? Maybe it's an Alpha list?

    Can someone check the shadow list and let us know what to expect in V4? I can't wait to hear what's the next most wanted.

    Kev

  • Michael McGinty
    edited April 2019
    Apple system software is based on open source software. OSX and iOS is based on Berkeley (BSD) Unix macro kernel version taken proprietary because they could. Jobs based NEXT and OSX on BSD Unix because it was free and had a large core of developers behind it. The main programming language for Apple is Objective C which is open source. Carbon, the great Graphic UI is derived from Xwindows which is open source. Apple owes its existence to open source software. They could never have afforded to develop this great product on their own. Their new modern programming language, Swift, is open source. The best software for the Apple is open source and they rely on independent developers for almost all the great apps on their iPhone. Why must Flex do it all themselves. Open it up and let us help. Regards, Mike W6MVM
  • KY6LA_Howard
    KY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    NDA
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Sorry Michael, SSDR will never be open sourse.
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    image


  • Lionel
    Lionel Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    What is the link to the. “Mythical” list of user wants? There should be a big bright flashing link on this site. The DSP improvement thread has been covered before, but, yes the NB needs some work. My old TS850 NB1 and NB2 knocked the tar out of typical in band noise. The Flex NB could do better but I have nothing else current to compare. NR works on some signals but at the cost of desired audio. Needs work. WNB being.a different animal, I don’t know what to think, sometimes it works great, others - nothing. Been covered before. It seems like the entire suite of NR, NB, WNB could stand upgrading if the hardware will support. Someone posted the impression that post processing audio with an outboard box (bhi?) was more effective than V2 SSDR. That doesn’t feel right. But, this has been over flogged for a long time. I really like my 6400 and hope for some upgrades, regardless I’ll stick with my Flex. Like many, I have not found a compelling reason to upgrade to V3, though I am looking for one.
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member
    edited April 2019
    Lionel

    I'm pretty sure that link is on the website.

    https://community.flexradio.com/Flexradio 

    You just posted to it.

    Use it wisely.

         SDRgadgets

    #FlexRadio IRC Chat

       73, Jay - NO5J

  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited April 2019
    We're in The Twilight Zone.
  • Lance Rasmussen
    edited April 2019
    I think some of the misconception is that the Flex is just simply a firmware only device. It's actually two parts. The software on the radio and the software for the computer. Compared to the cost of the radio, the cost of the V3 upgrade is reasonable. If paying to help assure development continues is what is needed, so be it. I have the choice as a consumer to not purchase the upgrade if I dont feel the upgrade is worth it, being it new features or bug fixes. You compare the tiny little company called Sony to the tiny company called Flexradio., with one making photography equipment and the other making amateur radio. My guess is there is a magnitude of consumers far more than amateur radio operators. I can be pretty safe in assuming the team size of developers for one company is far more than the other. Not to mention, one is focusing on a small degree of focuses (no pun intended) than the other. I've had way to many pieces of equipment where I would have loved to spend a couple hundred for upgrades vs having to do a full replacement. And the advantage of software defined radio is that it provides that opportunity.
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    LOL!!
  • James Whiteway
    edited April 2019
    Flex has made their API's open to all interested parties. While it won't give you access to SmartSDR (the PC client) it allows you to create external programs that can work alongside SSDR. And with MultiFlex, you can now use the GUI elements(Panadapter and Waterfall) of any panadapters etc. that are not in use by SSDR (or in the case of the M models, the front panel of the radio). In fact, if you want to, you can create your own Stand alone client that can use all the radio's current features that are available thru the api's.
      Personally, I don't want direct access to the internal firmware of the radio. Developing that sort of software is challenging and could be problematic. I'm happy with being able to create my own version of SSDR if i so desire. There are some here that have even ported the FlexLib api's to LInux. (which he has never wanted to share since, it would be a support nightmare for one person. And there was at one time, a ported to iOS a version of the  FlexLib api's as well. (I don't know if that is shared anymore or not as I have not been much of a fan of Apple products)
    So, Flex has made a lot of info available and there is plenty of people on this forum that are willing to help someone wanting to roll their own software.
    It would be, in my opinion, a mistake for FRS to open up all of SSDR (both the client and the firmware in the radio) to third parties. If people complain about issues with SSDR now, (and there are several things that need attention) imagine FRS trying to determine if an issue with SSDR is something they did or that of someone releasing an offshoot of SSDR. For a small company like FRS, it would be a support nightmare.
    James
    WD5GWY

  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Receiver performance isn’t everything. Most hams wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between radio 33 and a few in the top 5. Especially with a mediocre antenna system. There’s more to enjoying a particular radio than just Sherwood’s ranking. Bob would be the first to tell you that. There’s no perfect radio ; that’s why many of us own multiple radios.
  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Receiver performance isn’t everything. Most hams wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between radio 33 and a few in the top 5. Especially with a mediocre antenna system. There’s more to enjoying a particular radio than just Sherwood’s ranking. Bob would be the first to tell you that. There’s no perfect radio ; that’s why many of us own multiple radios.
  • K2CB Eric Dobrowansky
    K2CB Eric Dobrowansky Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    You get what you pay for. 

    The craftsmanship of the 7800 is like a Ferrari. Second to none as far as amateur gear is concerned .The craftsmanship of the 6400/6600 is more like that of a Chevy. Not bad, but nowhere in the same league.

    Rx performance numbers aren’t everything. The 7800 has a transmitter that is one of the cleanest out there, barring ADP. Ergonomically it is second to none.

    So while the Flex is a decent performer with lots of eye candy, a wide ESSB transmitter, and nice remote capabilities, it is NOT the best radio since sliced bread, like some make it to be. It has it’s pluses, but is also has a whole heck of a lot of negatives.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    Eric, intersting yes. If you were to line up 10 radios all set up the same, in a blind test, could we pick them out to make and model and get them right?

    This is what bothers me about many so called reviews, they don't cover very much that really makes a difference.
  • James Whiteway
    edited April 2019
    You can skip versions. For instance if you have V1.x and didn't want V2.x or V3.x, and along comes V4.x, you can purchase it (when it's available) and have all of the features and bug fixes from previous versions.
    The only reason I have V2.49 is because I traded my 6500 in for a 660M when they were announced. If I still had the 6500 and the Maestro I had, I may very well still be on V1.x as I really have no need or desire for SmartLink.
    I do plan to purchase V3,,,,,,after V2.50 comes out and I can see if some features and bugs that are currently in V2.49 are finally addressed. And the reason for V3 purchase is because I want Multi-Client so one of my home made apps can have a full GUI display ( Panadapter and waterfall) alongside SSDR or the display on the M model radio. I have no interest otherwise in V3 for sharing my radio.
    I'm a long haul trucker and when I'm not home, the radio is disconnected along with the antenna. (don't need a lightening strike to take out expensive equipment)
    James
    WD5GWY

  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    James, one of the big problems for me is that you can't hear the other client transmit audio from the radio. Not at this time, if they soon allow that them I do have a need for V3.
    I am in a group most mornings, a few of the people I can't hear, I want to log onto one of them so I can hear eveyone because he can. But when he transmits I would not be able to hear him, nor would he hear me. That is holding me back at this point.
  • Don
    Don Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
      I'm a competitive contester/DXer and have owned/operated several competition grade radios over the years.  Presently, I have a Yaesu FTdx5000 and a FLEX 6600.  I am a regular guest op at K9CT & WB9Z...usually RTTY or CW.  In the past, at K9CT, we used four K3's & four Alpha 87A's.  With this setup, as the S&P station on 20M, I was able to operate within 10KHz of the run station without ill effect.  With all FLEX radios, I was able to do the same thing within about 2KHz...both of us sitting side by side running 1500W.   Either lab measured or operated in the field, FLEX has the lowest phase noise and consequently, the cleanest transmitter on the air.  Neither Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood are as clean as the Elecraft or FLEX.
      That being said, the performance of these two American brands has brought pressure to bear upon the other three to improve and they are indeed improving.  Competition is a good thing!
      FLEX presently enjoys a substantial performance lead over the field.  That brings us to ergonomics.  Here, I like my Yaesu better.  I have always disliked the imprecise and klunky feel of touch screens in everything!  Humans function best with tactile feedback.  And as a contester/DXer, I want all controls immediately accessible on the front panel...no nested menus!  Menus are great for configuration but lousy for operation.
      I know others who disagree with some of my observations and that is OK with me as I have considerable respect for them.
      
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Don, It will be interesting to see your comments on V3 mostly the new Tx and Mic on the fly settings panels.
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Roger, did you buy V3?

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