6500 discontinued

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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Why do I feel like I just got kicked in the teeth?  my shiny new (fairly new) 6500 is discontinued?  Do I have to upgrade to an 6600 or some other model to be able to use all the new software being released?  Is there a comparison between a 6500 and a 6600?  Is flex going to do the "upgrade deal" like they did in the past?

No sure I like the 6500M with the radio face on it but that is just me.

Sorry I just do not like purchasing a fairly new radio and spending the money I did and a year later being told that it's discontinued and being replaced by another model, makes me feel like there is something wrong with the model I have...

But I digress
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David Warnberg

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Posted 3 years ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Your FLEX-6500 has not been discontinued or is obsolete.  We have ended production of new FLEX-6500s and Flex-6300s because we anticipate that the demand for them will be low. Your radio is just as good today as it was last week and will be for time to come.  All FLEX-6000s run the exact same software and SmartSDR IS the radio. 

The FLEX-6500 is a world-class transceiver and with future software updates, be them 1.x bug fixes or the new features in SmartSDR v2.0 it will continue to be a phenomenal radio for years to come.

It also is fully supported, from a technical support and service standpoint.
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David Warnberg

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Thank you Tim...
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It's no different than your 2017 automobile which will soon be replaced by a 2018 model. Flex radio System is a business who is there to make money if they don't come out with new products people will look to other companies. If they didn't introduce new products they would be accused of being behind the times.
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Ken - NM9P

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One positive is that your 6500 can get a new "engine" periodically when the next version of software is released.  

Think of it as buying a great car, and then finding out that even several years after it was released you can add anti-lock brakes, remote starting, turbocharger, upgrade the radio, and put heated seats in it for a small charge, less than 5% of the cost of the car.

But after you purchased it, they upgraded the model with a modified body, higher horsepower engine, upgraded controls on the steering wheel, and includes standard some of the features that you paid for as an upgrade.

But the good news is, that both cars can add any upgrades released in the future.  some of them will be minor upgrades, for free.  But there may be additional major upgrades that will cost another upgrade fee for both cars.

Unfortunately, some people can become afflicted with "Prius envy" and can no longer appreciate what a great car they have, just because a new model has been released.

But others will see a few features the new model has and decide that those particular features are highly desired or essential and will trade in for the new model.

Ken - NM9P
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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One way to look at it is that your current car will be "discontinued" when next years' models come out. It doesn't prevent you from enjoying your automobile for as many years as it lasts. It's not "obsolete" or "unsupported." If someday you want a new one with a new capability or style, go buy one. But if the features and price that appealed to you with your current car still hold, ride on!
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I wish I could  feel your pain but its just so predictable.

New law: No company can come out with a new product I have purchased within the past 18 months (and even then I might post the email saying I feel like I have lost something). Of course they will likely not be able to meet competitive products trying to encroach on their product line and will go out of business, but I have an email about that situation also.

Come on guys, forums and the internet give everyone the opportunity to post a picture of every meal and text every interior thought but we do not have to do this. Let the company thrive so it can give us the great support we currently get and introduce new products that maintain their technological lead!

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This is your expert advice (Elmer)!?! Just point him to the new hardware FAQ and move on. Most of his questions are answered within.
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Steve,  you are right, my response was too snarky but this is the 4th generation of Flex radio  and I have seen some form of this note 3 times now, almost always the Monday following the  excitement of a great weekend of announcements. 

No manufacturer tries harder than Flex to bring new features to their buyers than Flex and yet they get pinned with these notes. I just wish people would let Flex have their moment of excitement instead of this type of sentiment.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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When folk neither take the effort to read the current threads, read the official data sheets, nor take the time to watch the interviews pointing to the FAQs is appropriate.

Sometimes we all miss or misunderstand a bit of information, and asking for clarity is appropriate.

I've heard the term "High Tech Luddities" applied to both those who won't do a spot of research, and those who would have progress halt until they give permission for an advance.

Reality is some of our community members do not have the best of motives at times, some seem to live just to help others, some have scrimped to set aside enough to have their Flex-6000 experience, some can afford to buy one of most every new radio that comes on the market at will, some have very modest stations, and some have monster stations, some... well it is just a big community with all the lumpy parts that come with side a wide ranging group.

Add the differences in native language (BTW I appreciate when someone posts their English Text and ALSO includes what they are trying to say in the native language right after it in the post - very helpful towards making themselves understood), differences in senses of humor & temperaments, well pretty soon it like a big old family reunion.

There are a couple things that would be helpful:

  • - do take a peek at the existing current threads.  There is simply no reason to have a half dozen threads asking what is the v2.x upgrade costs & policy.

  • - do put yourself in the other reader's shoes to help make sure your question is understandable and reduced in the emotive stuff that gets in the way of the answers you seek.

  • - don't forget you can ask FRS directly and even make suggestions to them directly.  That really should be more than just a few shared words at a show, as a follow up email is going to help them remember and understand shat you wanted to share.

  • - remember that others speaking (including me, as I am just another Flex-6000 user) is simply NOT the same as a position statement from FRS.

  • - respect the FRS need to be commercially viable and to run their own business as they chose to do so.  Talk to them about taking an equity stake if you think your contribution to their business is that important, but otherwise remember as a customer our stakeholder enfranchisement is pretty much limited to whether we spend money with FRS or we don't. 

  • - recognize that this community is something awesome that few manufacturers in any industry offer.  Treat it with respect.

  • - don't lose your situational awareness - if you post in the wee hours (based on Austin time) on a ham fest or holiday weekend you cannot expect FRS to reply before dawn!

  • - make your suggestions, critiques and criticisms persuasive rather than punitive.  It may sound a trite formula, but presenting the problem followed by observation followed by suggestion including benefit of adoption is powerful stuff.  The loss/delay in adopting good ideas by emotional and factually incomplete rants can be reduced by laying each logical observation & step out in order and phrasing the recommendation along the lines of If you tell the story well, logically and emotionally groomed to engage the reader to give your idea a decent fair consideration you will experience more of your suggestions being adopted.

  • - make sure what is humor is clearly humor, rather than snide.  It is really hard to do humor in a language you are not fluent in, and more obscure humor won't easily be understood as humor by a non-native reader.

I do have some suggestions for FRS:

  • The FAQs are awesome and perhaps could have been put out early in the show process to increase awareness of the facts and reduce FRS (and others) frustrations.

  • The FlexInsider was a wonderful way to share things FRS and could return as part of the FRS post-purchase support marketing as well as leadership in promoting new opportunities.  Perhaps an issue timed to go out at the gates open for Hamvention would have been useful? 

  • As the Get Satisfaction Community is difficult to search, and in keeping with both FRS ultra-low moderation policy & with SMartSDR advancing all the time, that perhaps a curated "Best Of Community" go-to resources could be developed? 


Steve K9ZW

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Dan -- KC4GO

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     Your first statement is "called don't confuse me with facts my mind is made up."  :) (making sure my humor is taken as humor) 
As a Gunny Sgt once told me " it's a good day when there's no blood on the ground and no one dies" (South East Asia 1967)
I don't care if my 6500 is only worth a $1.00 I'll still enjoy everyday I get to use it. 
Puts thing in perspective.