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SmartSDR - Annual Costs - ????

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Answers

  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited June 2019
    I bought a 7300 to try out.  I found it to be a very good radio--really a bargain at the price.  I did not experience any front end overloading, but I don't have antennas anywhere near commercial or other loud signal sources.   It may not be a super contest radio, but it works very and there are lots of them on the air.  

    I cannot really understand the continual need to run down the performance of competitive radios?  Flex radios are great, but they also have areas that need improvement.  A 7300 is not a Flex, but it is a great radio for the price.

    I have no issue paying for major Flex firmware/software upgrades.  

    Larry, W1IZZ
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Larry, I agree - the critiques seem to be based on emotion, justified by well-known short-comings of the IC-7300. The IC-7300 was released just over three years ago, and tens of thousands of them have been sold just in the US alone. If it were truly a 'klunker' the swap boards would be flooded with them, and they'd be selling at 'fire-sale' prices. Instead, when they come up for sale they trade hands at solid prices, and rarely linger on the boards for more than a day before being sold. When put on the table at a Hamfest the first question I hear asked is 'why are you selling it', asked with a hint of surprise. For the past two years the Hamfest I run has awarded an IC-7300 as our top prize - it drives a lot of additional door prize tickets. Are there better radios available? Of course, I own several that are better than the IC-7300, but for operating "Picnic Table Portable" it can't be beat, based on cost, size, performance and portability.
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I had a 7300 for a short time and it was a fine radio.  I can't speak to the RF overload Howard experienced but I will say that we used a 6600, 7300, 6500 and Yaesu FT892 in FD and the 7300 did just fine.  Granted no strong RF.

    We will be running various radios up at our WWV 100 celebration literally less than 1/2 mile from the HF antennas of WWV.  I've taken my 6300 out there and it worked fine as long as you stayed a ways away from the big sigs.
  • Dave - W6OVPDave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    The IC-7300 is a lot of radio for the money, and many thousands seem to agree. I keep one here as a spare and always enjoy using it.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I am 2900’ from 8 TV towers and 23 FM radio towers + US Navy secret stuff. I have a big SteppIR MonstIR. It’s RF **** much of the time need a superb receiver. On The Other Hand. I own Asia in Contests.
  • dlwarnbergdlwarnberg Member
    edited July 2019
    Sorry but your assumption is incorrect... to keep your radio current (updates to the software release that came with the radio) is FREE...

    You want enhancements?  More features?  That will cost you 200.00 ONCE for those new features, then free for all updates to that release...

    Wash, rinse, repeat... 

  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Reminder - this is an older thread, which Was kicked back to life earlier today. My 6300 is at release 2.5.1 of SSDR - I don't need MultiFlex, yet, so no need to write a check to Flex yet I enjoy updates to the features I bought with SSDR 2.x a year or so ago.
  • MichaelCMichaelC Member
    edited July 2019
    Version 2.5 more than likely won't bring much as far as fixes and enhancements. People are still complaining about bugs that were in Version 1 of the software and are still not fixed in Version 3 of the software.  Version 2 and Version 3 just had feature that I would never use, so why pay for it, hopping to get a few bug fixes.  I've had a Flex 3000, 5000A and a 6500.  Software fixes were fast and frequent with PowerSDR, and the features continue to continue with PowerSDR since KE9NS started developing the the latest versions of software.  A single person, has made more improvements to the old PowerSDR then Flex has made to SmartSDR.  I keep getting weekly emails to upgrade from my 6500 to a 6600 or 6700, but like Flex Radio says, "The Software is the Radio".  Well since, they have not fixed anything, a new piece of hardware would still be the same old radio,since they haven't fixed any of the bugs.  Well I've ordered a new K4 and am looking forward to getting it, and I've stopped drinking the Flex Koolaid.

    Mike Chasse
    w7wrj
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Sounds good Mike, I hope the K4 never has any problems and it is all you want in a radio. Enjoy. From what I read the K4 will be a radio that should concern Icom, Kenwood, and Yaesu. It is the radio to watch.
    But I really like my Flex and see nothing coming to pull me away.

    I have know idea what bugs your talking about that go all the way back to V1?
  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Of course, KE9NS incrementally improving mature software is EXACTLY like charting a new software development effort on new hardware. In computer terms you are marveling at all the amazing things a lone programmer is adding to stand-alone software on an Apple ][ computer, and struggling to understand why it takes so long to develop a multi-user client-server platform. The two environments are worlds apart. The situation may not be optimal, but countless thousands of owners somehow manage to make contacts on their Signature Series 6000 radios. I hope you enjoy your K4, new radios can be very exciting - and frustrating, just ask an FTDX-101 owner.
  • MichaelCMichaelC Member
    edited July 2019
    Well, I'm hoping it won't be any more frustrating than the issues I've had with my 6500 since the beginning.  Here's a list of some of them:

    1.  For the 1st 30 to 40 days, the radio kept getting a power error,  and then the problem just stop.  Nothing changed, same power supply, same power cables, the the issue just went away.
    2.  My 6500 has never put out more than 75 to 80 watts from 160 to 15 meters and never more than 60 watts on 12 and 10 meters.  That's in any mode, and into a calibrated lab power meter.
    3.  The ATU has never worked or has been able to tune anything on 20 meters.  It even fails when tuning into a resonate 20 meter antenna.
    4.  The radio has also had the issue of just locking up and sending a high pitch sound out of the speakers.  Only way to clear it, is to turn off the power supply, because the power switch won't even turn off the radio when it locks up.  This still happens as of 3 days ago, just something I've got to live with.  I'm sure it's not a network issue, because the radio is directly connected to the 6500, and the computer shows no network packet drops.
    5.  I also get a really neat vibrating noise out of my 6500 every time I transmit,  Some times it sounds like it's getting ready to take off.

    And that's just part of the un-documented features, I've had with this 6500.  I've been running Flex radios since 2009, started off with a 5000A and then picked up a Flex 3000 to use when I travel, and I never had any issues with either the 5000A or the 3000 and loved them.  I actually use my 5000A more then I use my 6500, because it won't lock up in the middle of a QSO with a DX station like the 6500 has done more than once.  

    Bottom line is this 6500 has been a Lemon since day one.  So I don't think the frustration level will go up much with a new radio.
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Wow, I see what you mean. If I ever had any of those problems I would have dumped my Flex.

    But I can share what I know.

    First off, nothing on that list is a bug. They are all problems caused by the envirement of the shack. Nothing on the list are consistant Flex 6500 issues, they are caused.

    #1 was caused from a power supply problem, may not be the power supply but the power connections, somehow it solved it self.

    #2 Low power out is may be due to improper load and it can and will very from band to band. My radio puts out close to 100W into a dummy load on most bands. And the power connections may be effecting the TX power problems.

    #3 The tuner did not work because of a bad load, 20m can not be resonate on 20m as you say. The 6500 tuner is known to have a good tuner.

    #4 There used to be a bug were the radio could freeze randomly. But over the last couple updates this has been mostly fixed. some have had it happen, I have never seen it happen in 3 years.
    It sounds like RF getting to the computer or a disconnect to the computer, even with a direct connection.

    #5 There are 4 fans in your radio. It sounds like a case fan is on the way out. A ventalation problem? It sounds like it's gettin hot. You said each time you transmit?The fans should not run at high speed till the PA gets to a certain temp. The fans are the only moving parts in your radio. Nothing else can make this kind of noise inside the radio.

    The 6500 is a completlty different beast then the 5000 and the possible problems are different as well.
    All the problems you mentioned are solvable. If one wants to bother.

    As I said, none of these problems are common to the 6000 radios, but any of them can happen depending what caused them.
  • MichaelCMichaelC Member
    edited July 2019
    Bill,  I forgot to add one really good un-documented feature of my 6500.  At least once an hour the radio will just stop receiving.  The radio doesn't stop working, the receive signals just drop from around -130 to -150.  But the band does look totally quite when this happens.  The only way to get the receiver to start working again is to click on the Tune button, and key the radio for a few seconds and then un-key the radio, and all of the signals are back.  
  • Lawrence GrayLawrence Gray Member
    edited July 2019
    Michael.

    I was thinking about going to a 6600 before I saw the K4.  I now have a K4 on order.   I'll keep the 6500 for digital work.

    Larry, W1IZZ

  • KF4HRKF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    The other issue is that the resale value of the radio drops by $200 the minute a new version comes out.

    From what I've seen, owners of Flex transceivers that have upgraded to v3.x typically increase their sales price a bit.   

    I can't imagine a Subscription Service would go over very well with those who prefer to continue to run an older version of SSDR.  Why force people to pay for something they may not want or need?

    You always have to option to skip a couple of SSDR major upgrades, then buy an upgrade and catch up, which results in $100 per upgrade.

  • Ken HansenKen Hansen Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    If a Flex owner skipped SSDR 2.X and then bought SSDR 3.X, that SSDR 3X upgrade includes every bit of the SSDR 2.X upgrade.

    Such a person would have every option offered by Flex, their radio would be 'current' if/when offered for sale.

    Personally, I don't have a need to upgrade to 3.X, I'll more likely than not upgrade to a Flex 6400 before I update the software on my 6300, but that's what best suits my personal operating style and budget.
  • FISHULA XFISHULA X Member ✭✭
    edited April 23
     I have the best radio I have ever owned, This is my 4th Flex and my first 6000 series. I just don't understand why all the long drawn out Hub Bub?  Flex gives you the option to buy or not to buy. Then they even show release notes so you know exactly what your getting with the update. Remember, Flex is made in the USA. And If you have an issue, you can call them and they actually call you back, unless you are a lid. I am quite sure they get many many phone calls with issues that can be solved by just reading the manual or instructions. The Flex 6000 series is a complex unit and some old timers have issues with technology. It's true and you know it, Now not all do, but lots do. Let be serious. Some questions in these forums are downright head shaking.. 
     And I been inside all of my Flex radios. I clean the fans and give them a general look about.
     All I see is quality. Is this not what we want?? I sure do. I am a very happy Flex owner and any way  you look at it. with Flex and SSDR. It saves you money. You only need one radio, and you can take your Maestro or laptop and use it anyplace you want that has internet. So, we only need one radio at home, I used to need one at my place of business plus another antenna, another power supply. So in my opinion. When Flex has an upgrade and you see that you need it or don't need it simply by reading the release notes, then don''t buy it.   Nobody is forced. And on the used market guys do look for the latest and the greatest. But I have the greatest and I am very happy. This is just my opinion. I love Flex radio and that is that.

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