6300 and V2.0 Upgrade is it Worth it??

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
I'm thinking of upgrading my 6300 V2.0 and want to know if the benefits are worth the $200 cost.  First of all I'm not at all interested in remote operation.  Secondly my 6300 is playing well and works fine with all features of Ham Radio Deluxe.  Are there any performance enhancements to the 6300 with V2.0.  I have been told both yes and no.  I would appreciate hearing from 6300 users who have upgraded.  Thanks
Photo of Al Reeves

Al Reeves

  • 48 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of KM4CQG


  • 240 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Interested in this as well.

Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 954 Reply Likes
There is a list of the improvements here somewhere but there is definitely stuff under the hood.

Mind you many of the defect fixes will be in a maintenance release.

For now though, 2.0's main appeal is SmartLink and the pop out panadapters. There will be more in the future but you can upgrade at any time.

Oh, and 2.0 supports the N1MM+ spectrum display with spots.
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
The 6300's IMD numbers have greatly improved from Sherwood's test back in April.  This is fixed in V2.0 by a significant amount.

Photo of Kevin


  • 931 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
That's a bug fix that should flow down to 1.x. Not a reason for buying 2.x. Right?
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2311 Posts
  • 950 Reply Likes
It's a performance improvement that will be included in 1.11. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a bug fix.
Photo of Jay Spaulding

Jay Spaulding

  • 66 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
I have a 6300. And I can tell you this. The filtering works a lot better now. Before I would move the DSP sliders up and down nothing happen. With v2.0 they work. 

And well sooner or later your going to spend the money anyway so may as well. Thats how I looked at it cause, its not worth selling it for the 6400. Lose lose no matter what you do. 

But If your on the radio as much as I am and thats all day its worth the money. But I will say for the 6300 not getting the support it is a little pricy for this rig. 

Photo of Danny K5CG

Danny K5CG

  • 343 Posts
  • 56 Reply Likes
Yes, this was my position too. If you want any new features, you're gonna have to pony up.
Photo of Dave


  • 97 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
I am under the impression that fixes and performance enhancements will be included in 1.XX releases. Is this not the case? Only new features i.e. SmartLink will not be included.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 954 Reply Likes
Flex is not saying what will be included in 1.11, but defect fixes should be. Smartlink, popouts and I believe the N1MM+ panadapter will not be. Plus multi client and whatever else that comes down in the future. 
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 3849 Posts
  • 929 Reply Likes
Yes V 1.11 maintenance update will be for all. The new features will not be included in v 1.11 maintenance update.
Photo of Kevin


  • 931 Posts
  • 271 Reply Likes
I have a 6500. I can't use SmartLink because my network isn't up to standards. For me, I could have saved or more likely postponed the $200 payout. The only thing I see that would have been of any value is the pop out panadapters and radio stack and even that's kind of half done.

If they call the fix in the 6300's performance (referring to Sherwood's numbers) a bug and fix it across versions then SSDR 1.x is as good as SSDR 2.x if SmartLink is not required. Consider saving the $200 until something interesting or useful comes out.

Kev K4VD
Photo of Mark WS7M

Mark WS7M

  • 505 Posts
  • 152 Reply Likes
As Ria said,

The primary features of 2.x are remote operation and pop out windows.

As far as if the upgrade is worth it that will always be a personal opinion.

Here is my take on it:

1) Even the 6300 cost over $2000.00.  So the cost of the upgrade at $200 seems like a small fraction of the cost.  I am not sure why spending $200 is such a problem for people when they have clearly dumped 10x that into their radios and stations.

2) By paying the upgrade you are helping FRS with cash flow to provide more features, more fixes, new products etc.  In the long run I think some of these features will be beneficial to you.

3) Don't under estimate the desire to access your radio remote.  Right now you say you are not interested, but that could change and 2.x makes it super simple.  Even if you do nothing more than look it is a feature you might learn to enjoy.

4) It is in FRS best interest to at some point terminate support (addition of fixes) to the 1.x product line.  This might make some angry but quite frankly when you buy any product, there is no manufacturer guarantee of endless support.   If you buy a washing machine you have to pay to have it fixed after the warranty runs out.  In the case of a Flex-Radio, paying $200 for the upgrade ensures you have features and fixes until 3.x comes around.  If you don't upgrade then you will stop receiving certain fixes and updates when FRS decides to stop adding to and updating 1.x.

5) FRS will likely put most development effort into 2.x.  What will happen from this point forward on 1.x is minor fixes.  If you are happy with EXACTLY how the radio performs now then you can run indefinitely on 1.x but don't expect tech support or bug fixes/updates after some certain point in time.  And definitely do not expect new features.  Those will go into 2.x and 3.x etc.

In the end it is your call.    From what I can tell there is no time limit for the update.  So if you are not ready to do it now, wait.  I think you can wait many months then decide to update.  It is unclear what will happen if you are still on 1.x and FRS releases 3.x.  I think you will still be able to update but it might cost more than if you were on 2.x.  No idea on this though but it is a standard way software is sold.  Upgrades from much older versions are usually more expensive than upgrades from the most recent version.

Lastly, for me, it is about supporting FRS.  The $200 for the upgrade supports their cash flow to make new enhancements, new products, etc.  I think that is important if you believe in the radio and the company.

Mark - WS7M
Photo of Mark WS7M

Mark WS7M

  • 505 Posts
  • 152 Reply Likes

Hey we can disagree and that is just fine.

As far as support well let me give an analogy that is maybe not perfect but might help.

Back in 1982 I joined a health club.  I was a "special deal".  For $2800 I had life time membership and the place had all this stuff.

Well the club sold like 2000 of these memberships.  That's like 5.5 million bucks.  But in a scant 4 years the place was bankrupt.  The problem was cash flow.  By selling life memberships they got to a point where after paying employees, fixing the club, paying rent there was no more money coming in the door.  So they closed up shop and all of us lost our money.

A big write up in the newspaper did the math.  Had they charged a $500 initiation fee and $40 per month a user like myself would have paid the $2800 roughly in 50 months.  And each month the club would have cleared like $80,000.

This would have covered all expenses and put money in the bank for expansion.  

So how does this apply to FRS.  Well they really sold you a $2700 radio.  You are not likely to come back in 50 months and buy another. So the only cash flow they have is on new sales and sales of new products.  So the $200 could be looked at as like the $40 per month.  You get updated features in the club and you help to ensure there will be a club to go to.

Now on the flip side most people and I see you are this kind of person evaluates $$$ spend to something personally gained.  You are having issues with spending $200 when you don't see any gain.

I get that and that is why in my final part of my first post I said, you can stick with 1.x as long as you want.  But don't bitch and complain when the bug fixes stop and they will.

On another note I do think FRS deserves a little loyalty.  When compared with Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu you have real people that pickup the phone and stuff actually does happen and get done.

I bought an Icom 7300 during a low point in my personal life.  It quite working 94 days after I bought it.  Just done day was dead.  I shipped it to Icom repair and waited close to 4 months for it to come back.  The cost was close to $250 plus shipping for new main board.

I can remember many posts on this forum for people with dead radios that had a 1 week turn around sometimes at zero cost but often at a very low cost.  Currently FRS repair is backed up and it would take like 4 months but that will even out soon.

To me paying $200 to help a responsive company makes sense.  Plus it is not like a charity as you say, it is for a new version of software which may someday do something you would like it to do.

Another simple reason would be this:

You decide to sell your 6300 with 1.x.  Your asking price is probably going to be something like $1500.  With 2.x you could probably ask for $1700.  I'm guessing at those prices but the point is people always want to buy radios with the latest.
Photo of Peter


  • 79 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Mark, I am wondering if you are employed by FRS, About point #2 in your note, why would someone buy a product to help a company's cash flow? I thought we purchase items because they fit our needs. I wonder when Icom, Yeasu and Kenwood start to produce SDR radio if the will follow the same trend.
Photo of John AD6NR

John AD6NR

  • 34 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes

Mark - I understand your points and to a certain extent I accept them as valid - especially from the viewpoint of FRS.   I bought my 6300 several years ago and one of the selling points was the advantage of having an "upgradeable radio".   While not explicitly stated, when I talked to FRS folks about buying the radio it was certainly strongly implied that they would be putting out fix's and improvements as part of their on-going support of the radio.  There was no mention of a charge or a "subscription" fee.   It is not clear to me what the level of continuing support  will be for 2.X, when 3.x will be rolled out or what the on-going costs will be. (perhaps I missed something?)   Did didn't ask for specifics the first time (my bad) but I will be asking for the details before I buy 2.x.  this time.     

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3752 Posts
  • 1616 Reply Likes
When Flex first introduced the 6000 series back in Dayton 2012? Or 2013? They always talked about an annual $200 subscription fee. Later they modified that to a $200 Version Upgrade Fee.

So clearly you missed it
Photo of Delbert McCord

Delbert McCord

  • 117 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes
When I purchased my first one at Dayton a few years ago (had to wait to have it shipped they did not have them yet) I was told part of the price of the rig was the ongoing upgrades to the software they would be doing. I do not recall anything said about upgrade fee's. I do remember the guy trying to get me to buy the next one up by making comments about me buying the "cheap one". 

I have decided to upgrade the rig to the newer 6400 coming out soon. When 3.xx comes out I will pay for that. I understand it cost money to keep working on software. 

I guess I do not want anything for free, I do like to pay my own way and if they can keep making money hopefully this will motivate them to keep dreaming up new things to put into the software. 

I have two Flex rigs and I do with there was a little deal for people with more than one rig but that just may be to difficult for the licensing. 

I just hope and pray I do not have some of the problems with the license I have read about it not working on the forum here. I love my 6300 but I am upgrading because of hardware issues and I just do not want to have to worry about the fans anymore.
Photo of Charles WO5E

Charles WO5E

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
From my perspective, the answer is a simple YES. I purchased the 6300 for its remote capabilities. V2.0 provides what FRS promised. Are there additional features that I would like to have... yes! And, V2 provides the path for FRS to continue development. I like it and I encourage FRS to continue its progress.
Photo of Delbert McCord

Delbert McCord

  • 117 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes
What I have decided to do is to (and I have put my money down on it) upgrade to the 6400 when its available. I was told it will come with the new software. The upgrade price is around 1000$ with a trade in so the way I look at it that brings the upgrade price to 800$ 

There are some advantages I am told with the 6400 over the 6300. I am looking forward to the popouts and the passive cooling.

I do not see me using it remote (for now).

I have not decided if I will just trade in my 6300 (with tuner) or sell it outright.
Photo of Greg - N8GD

Greg - N8GD

  • 235 Posts
  • 86 Reply Likes
I bought my 6300 when it first came out.  I always thought I might do remote via TeamViewer, LogMeIn, or some other remote control program.  Many remote control programs have Apple or Android tablet/phone apps, so I figured I could do it that way - never did.  I considered VPN, but never got around to it either.

So, when V2 came out I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon.  Boy did I jump on!  I bought a brand new iPad pro 10.5" with Smart Cover for $700 to replace my aging fleet of an iPad 2 and several Android tablets.  I bought the V2 upgrade for my 6300 and the SmartSDR for iOS app for the iPad.  What a great setup!  Everything works great!

So, I spent a LOT more than $200; more like $950 (might as well call it a grand after I got a couple of extra Apple Lightning cables, etc. for the iPad).  I know everyone isn't going the route I did, but some may.  The iPad is really slick and makes me pine to go back to an iPhone eventually (Apple stuff is addictive just like Flex Radios are!).

So, in the beginning, buying a 6300 was a leap of faith for me.  I had a computer controlled radio previously, a TenTec Pegasus (no comparison at all to the 6300), but never really liked operating a radio from a computer - even though I am a die-hard computer guy and worked in that field until I retired.  But, the Flex 6300 changed all that.  The panadapter display alone is what won me over.  So, my $3000 investment in the 6300 a few years ago was a stretch for me after I had already bought my "retirement radio," a Kenwood TS-990S at $8000 when it first came out - a nice transceiver in its own right (the 990 is now my "secondary/backup" HF rig).  I bought the "low end" 6300 because I didn't really have a need for more than 2 panadapters, and the features and performance were more than satisfactory for my needs.

So, anyone paying $200 for V2 is really going to be mainly for remote operation at this point, and, along with the "eye candy" of pop-out panadpters, etc., it might not be important to everyone (you can only move one of the two panadapters on the 6300 anyway).  In the OP's situation, I would say he would be fine staying with V1.  Many of the updates to V2 will be put into V1.11 when it comes out, being "fixes" to original problems in that version.  In fact, according to FRS, they will essentially be taking V2, stripping out the remote, snap out windows, and any other "new" features and calling it V1.11, so you will be getting some needed improvements and fixes if you stay with V1 and update to the latest version of that once it comes out in a couple of months.

I agree with Mark, WS7M, that I have no problem with supporting FRS by paying the $200.  But, if you feel that you need to get something for your money and you won't be using the new features, stay with V1 and update to 1.11 when it's out.  Either way, the 6300 is still a great radio!

Greg - N8GD
Photo of Justin - KL2D

Justin - KL2D

  • 115 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes
FWIW, I didn't think I was that interested in remote, but I like to have the latest version of software since it usually fixes bugs and improves performance. So I was happy to buy v2 of SSDR. Now that I have it, I have started doing remote quite a bit since it is so easy now. I would not have said that was a priority to me, but now that I have it I really like it.

Justin - KL2D

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.