5000 owners and Power SDR forgotten

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • Answered
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?
Photo of Joe


  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Dan -- KC4GO

Dan -- KC4GO

  • 341 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
PowerSDR 2.7.2 ke9ns Revision T4  
KE9NS is updating, adding features etc...  to PowerSDR for your 5000. He has the support of FlexRadio. Keep in mind PowerSDR is open source so anyone can modify if (you/they) wish.
your statement "
I feel aborted by Flex. No updates, no enhancements; forgotten and discarded. I'm speaking of the software support to the 5000." not true. 

Gerald - K5SDR Official Rep profile picture

Gerald - K5SDR (Official Rep) commented on a reply to this praise:

PowerSDR 2.7.2 ke9ns Revision R1

We are not shamed at all.  We have been supporting and encouraging Darrin from the beginning of his efforts and have provided radios to him so that he can develop and test.  I think that those who benefit from Darrin's work should compensate him accordingly.  

Photo of JDE


  • 21 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
There has not been a public mechanism to compensate Darren. At least that I am aware of. It's been mentioned in previous messages, but no action taken.
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
There is a huge difference. If someone took payment for supporting a code base, that implies a certain expectation. Where it's an open source project anybody can be making changes to it. Where there is no fiduciary obligation, Darren could decide he'd prefer to do something else and that's OK as anyone can pick up the mantle at any time. There is no ownership on open source projects, ergo open. This is distinctly different than with flexlib where FRS owns the code base.
Photo of Ken ve7kwa

Ken ve7kwa

  • 103 Posts
  • 32 Reply Likes
Pierre... no disrespect intended, but huge numbers of Legacy owners saw it coming and sold their radios at a very good return and moved up to the 6K series. I personally got several years of great service out of my F3K and sold it for approx 75% of it's original cost. It was huge value and a serious No Brainer to move up at that point. And, at last check,  my F3K buyer knew exactly what he was getting and was still using it and very happy. He fully understands that if he wants to stay with current technology then he needs to pay for it...  How is it that so many people don't understand that ?  I bought the F3K ...used it a bunch... sold it to a guy that still loves it,  and for a very reasonable amount of cash bought a 6K series which I love. (sorry Burt) Where exactly does anyone see a victim in this scenario ? Do your research before buying,  people ... and stop blaming others if you fail to do it. This SDR trail is the most fun & the best value I have ever had in amateur radio !   Don't even ask what it cost me to own a 950 Kenwood years ago... ;)
Photo of Peter Bentley

Peter Bentley

  • 78 Posts
  • 25 Reply Likes

I have a 6700 and a 5000A.

Taking all the foregoing comments into account, In my opinion FlexRadio has gone well beyond 'the normal call of duty' as a designer and manufacturer in supporting PowerSDR 

Thank you


Photo of Gerald - K5SDR

Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

  • 832 Posts
  • 1538 Reply Likes
Official Response
@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.

Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P

  • 4241 Posts
  • 1355 Reply Likes
Thanks, Gerald. 
As I have seen Darrin's excellent work continuing on PSDR and the support FRS has given to him, it ALMOST makes me wish I hadn't sold my 1500! 
But I am really enjoying my 6500 instead!  And I am looking forward to the many new things to come!

Keep up the good work! 

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9271 Posts
  • 3596 Reply Likes
Official Response
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.

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.