5000 owners and Power SDR forgotten

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Ever since the 6000 series radio were released, I feel aborted by Flex. No updates, no enhancements; forgotten and discarded. I'm speaking of the software support to the 5000.  I know hardware doesn't last forever. I don't want to 'upgrade' to the 6500 since I will go through this all over again. Do you feel the same?
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Posted 3 years ago

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@Joe with no call

1. I personally started development of PowerSDR (then called SDRConsole) in 1999 and FlexRadio launched in 2003).
2. FlexRadio as a company performed 11 years of continuous open source development at its expense. With the exception of the DSP module ddtdsp, there is only a tiny amount of source code contributed by volunteer open source developers. Ddtdsp development was funded in part by the US government.
3. We announced End of Manufacturing of the FLEX-5000 in May of 2013 and the FLEX-3000 in September of 2014. We have not shipped new units since those dates. This information has been on our website since that time.
4. We have been completely transparent about the support of our products both in updating their status on our website and many communications here and in other venues as Steve referenced just above this post for example. This is VERY old news.
5. We continue to service and support all of our radios. In fact I saw a SDR-1000 in the repair shop this week being repaired. We ceased manufacturing of the SDR-1000 nine years ago. The oldest units are now 13 years old. We won't be able to repair them forever but we still do so far. I frequently meet customers who tell me they are still using and enjoying their SDR-1000 that still runs on PowerSDR.
6. Quality software development is VERY expensive.
7. No amateur radio manufacturer promises to provide continuous free software updates to their radios forever. I am not aware of any competitor that has ever provided significant improvements after they ceased manufacturing. FlexRadio never promised to do that either. However we did that at our expense for about 11 years on PowerSDR.
8. Other companies use the free open source PowerSDR software we developed to compete against us without their company having any internal software engineering expense.
9. As stated multiple times on the community, we are providing direct engineering support to Darrin in his work on PowerSDR.
10. SmartSDR is a long term architecture with an open API and over 100 developers signed up doing cool things. It is completely based on the Internet protocol, which is likely to outlive everyone reading this post. When we start charging for software at an appropriate time in the future, we will be incentivized to develop things customers are willing to pay for. The fact that SmartSDR is not open source incentivizes us to continue development since we don't give it to our competitors for free.

The bottom line: Free open source ham radio software development in perpetuity is a "Going out of Business model."

Those are the facts reiterated here once again for the public record.

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I'd like to augment Gerald's comments with one very important bullet point that was inadvertently omitted.  I'll add it below for clarity and emphasis.

FlexRadio Systems has NOT stopped the development of PowerSDR. 

Granted it has been a while since the last release, as I type this we have in development PowerSDR v2.8.0 that is slated for released later this year.  Even though we stated publically 2 years ago that new feature development in PowerSDR would be curtailed, we did not stop adding to existing functionality and addressing certain defects.  Specifically for PowerSDR v1.8, we have continued to make code modifications to support the changing landscape of EU band allocations and some other bug fixes.  Since the last PowerSDR release have not felt that there were any defect corrections that warranted an earlier release schedule.

In addition, we fully intend to work with Darrin to integrate the PowerSDR v2.8 changes into his code branch.

When we do decide to stop all software development on PowerSDR, a formal software end of life (EOL) announcement from FlexRadio Systems will be made.  However, please do not confuse or incorrectly associate software EOL with termination of hardware and technical support for the radio hardware and using the last FlexRadio release of PowerDSR.  That will continue for the foreseeable future.  Regarding hardware and service support, the current FLEX Trade-IN! program has allowed us to collect and harvest many FLEX-5000s, FLEX-3000s and SDR-1000s that is increasing our parts and board inventory, significantly extending the serviceable life of FLEX SDRs.