6600 Update

  • 2
  • Praise
  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
                                   

                                          FlexRadio Systems


 Dear Valued Customer,

Happy New Year!

Now that we have the holidays behind us we are glad to have our team back in full force.  As stated in my last communication on December 23rd, we have a significant number of new radios in field test so that we can identify any remaining software issues before general availability.  Since all radios run SmartSDR, we also have to make sure that we have sufficient test time on all earlier FLEX-6X00 Series radios.  Our test team gave us a lot of good feedback based on their operation over the holidays.  Let me assure you that there are no major issues - just a lot of little clean up things that need to get done before release.  

I have been operating the FLEX-6600M at home and find it a dream to use.  It was fun to make contact with several Flexers over the holidays on my new rig.  


Of course it is easy for me to say it is a dream to use so we thought we would provide you some feedback directly from some of those who are putting their new radio through the paces. From their experience we know you will agree that it was worth the wait.





" What can I say about my Flex-6600.  Let's see.  Seamless SO2R contesting in one radio.  Best in class receiver, clean transmit signals, everything you could want in a transceiver.  Coupled with the Power Genius amplifier and the effortless station integration enabled by the latest SSDR software, this radio fulfills the promise of the Flex Ecosystem.

          I installed my FLEX-6600 on a shelf below the operating desk as you can see in the image I enclosed.  It is quiet, unassuming - just sits there and works.  It has been an honor for me to be an Alpha tester and to work with the Flex Radio team to evolve the Flex-6x00 series radios.  They are a contester's and DXer's dream.  You will be happy when you get yours.


Bill Axelrod - K3WA "





" I had the pleasure of testing the Flex 6600-M/Power Genius XL amplifier at the highest competitive level during the ARRL RTTY roundup 2018.  It took me about 20 minutes to bring the entire SO2R setup, including the transceiver and lightweight amplifier into the N6RO superstation from my truck, plug it in to power and LAN and start my pre contest checks, it was literally plug and play.  In competition,  The FLEX-6600M and Power Genius XL combination handled the demanding load of full legal limit SO2R RTTY at top competitive duty cycles without a single hiccup for the entire contest!  The integration of Smart SDR 2.X/SmartSDR-M and Power Genius worked very well, allowing LAN based keying of the amp, and full band/mode control from the FLEX-6600M. Because of this LAN based control, and the Power Genius XL control/meter application, I was able to move the amp outside of the operating area, It can even be in a different room!

The easy setup and full integration  of the FLEX-6600M and Power Genius XL allowed me to keep my focus on operating SO2R, producing one of the highest world scores in my operating category.  The FLEX-6600M touch panel display and control interface worked great, and the display was sharp and easy to look at.   I had loads of fun competing with this setup.  Bottom line, 1 transceiver, 1 amplifier, operating full SO2R, transmitting on band A while listening on band B, and vice versa, even dualing cq's!  Congratulations to FlexRadio and 4O3A for advancing the art of SO2R RTTY contesting to a new level.  This setup blew me away with amazement.. not an easy thing to do!  This is game changing technology, and upon its release the flex contesting community is in for a treat.


Chris Tate
N6WM
Contester
VP/Contest Chairman, NCCC
Flex Radio Systems Community Contesting Champion "


" The 6600 is unreal...I put it through its paces in the RTTY RU this weekend. It passed with flying colors.
 
I really think there needs to be a separate contest category for Flex users. It is totally unfair to the other non-Flex participants. Spread the panadapter and click on a signal and 'BAM' , you are decoding. (pardon my enthusiasm!)  
 
73 Lou N2TU "

Thank you again for your continued support!



73,


Gerald
K5SDR
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Mike, W8BE

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Posted 8 months ago

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Jim K4JAF

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If the hardware and software has performed so well for the Field Testers in everyday and contest use, what is delaying shipment?  Seems strange to me..   
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KK9W - Steve

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So why the wait then for the latest software??
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James Whiteway

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That's good to know.
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James Whiteway

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My guess, the new radios have enough differences that they have to be certain the software and firmware installer knows which drivers/firmware belong to which version of the 6000 Series is being updated, to avoid an install that does not complete and renders the radio inoperable.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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What is primarily different is the hardware new abstraction layer.  And the SmartSDR client software has to have logic changes to match the new hardware differences, such as operating using 2 XVTR ports for the 6600 rather than 1 for the 6500 and 6700 as just one example.

As with the 6300, 6500 and 6700s and with the new 6400 and 6600s, we utilize a unified firmware model.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@K4JAF

These are "out of box experience" issues and not major operational issues.  We are very very close but I will not give a specific day until I know we have arrived.  The number of new software issues reported in field testing vs. completed issues are converging, which is very good news.

This was my statement in the Insider that answers your question.  
Let me assure you that there are no major issues - just a lot of little clean up things that need to get done before release.  
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K3SF

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the job aint done till the "paper" work is done....manual updates for example
Paul K3SF
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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They are working documents that are getting written and updated in parallel with the software testing.
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K3SF

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I agree with you Tim, a lot of little things that get done in parallel and big things too... takes a highly coordinated skilled team to make it all happen.
and this is what i think Flex is..."a highly coordinated skilled team"

after watching Alabama vs Georgia...
the OT game portion was worth the wait.

Just saying...
Role Tide...was worth the OT wait
Role Flex...will be worth the OT wait

;-)

Paul K3SF
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Mike, W8BE

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I agree it takes time to do it right.  So when the announcement in Dayton was made they only had 3 months to build, code, test, re code, and develop manuals if they wanted to meet a September ship date.   It seems to aggressive to me.   Also I suspect the PowerGenius plays a role in this as the code will no doubt support the amplifier.  I am sure the radio will be the cats meow but  maybe a more realistic time table is in order for the 6800.  
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spinnaker

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How much more time to "do it right?"
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Soon is the correct answer.  
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Bill Garfield W1BG

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With all due respect, would it be unreasonable to ask if you could better qualify "soon"?  In view of the several previous forward-looking but otherwise ambiguous announcements that have strung us along month after month, some of our patience is feeling a little strained, particularly among those of us for whom this will be our first Flex rig.  Frustration is now transcending patience. Surely by this time y'all must have something approximating a target date (i.e., some "goal") that you're shooting for.  i.e., are we talking another week? another couple weeks? Sometime in February?  Longer?  I'm 71, diabetic,with prostate cancer and a heart condition. Would it help if I said "please"? 
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Hi Bill,

First, thanks for your order.

I sincerely appreciate your frustration, which can’t be more than mine. I do have a high probability target date based on very good analytical data I recently have that shows it is very soon. Believe me I would love to tell everyone that date. However, if I told you and I now miss it by a even a day, I will be chastised again. Better at this point to surprise those who think it will be a long time from now.

Soon means first and goal with the first string players all in and ready to punch it across the goal. Think Alabama with the ball in OT last night trailing by 3 points.

Sincerely,
Gerald
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James Whiteway

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Bill, my guess above was tongue in cheek, not to be taken seriously. My.real prediction is in the next couple of weeks. Reading all the posts here from Gerald, leads me to that conclusion. Just some cleanup coding to be done. And we should see shipping start. I'm not far behind you age wise,
but, I think soon is not that far away.
James
WD5GWY
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James Whiteway

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Roll Tide Roll !!!
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Thanks for the update Gerald.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Whoo hoo! My very trusty 6500 has embarked on it's "Trade-Up" journey to Austin. The shack is quiet....for now!
 
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James Whiteway

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Mine left home months ago!
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Clay N9IO

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You were definitely smarter than me George, I jumped the gun 5 months ago.
Too darned quiet around here, bout to drive me nuts! ha!!!
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Mike, K7QDX

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I did three months ago... Thank goodness I have a nice boss (I think) who loaned me a FT1000MP (since he has a 6700) at least I'm on the air, but boy how I miss a flex radio. No way am I going back to a box radio. I hope the wait is worth it. I thought the 6300 was amazing...
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Chuck - KJ6HT

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Mine too George! FedEx says it arrives there tomorrow. My 6500 was a great radio and I miss it already but I am looking forward to the 6600 and the dual SCU's. I would rather Flex get it right rather than get it quick.
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Paul

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Thank's to FRS for the reviews. It sounds like the contesters & dx'ers in the customer base should be happy. However, I am neither. As such, I would have appreciated at least one quote to highlight what the new models offer we plain/old/multimode/rag-chewing operators.
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James Whiteway

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Well, it will make nice advertising copy. "Best in class receiver" doesn't tell you much. That operator may live on a mountain top with 300' towers with stacked mono-banders for each band, miles from any city filled with RFI. Point is, the update doesn't have any real meat in it. No details how well the radio did in the crowded conditions in the contest.
Did the new version of SSDR handle things better than the current version?
Lastly, no hint on when we might expect shipping to start. Not really complaining, but.I had hoped this."Update" would contain more details than advertisments for the new radios.
James
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Jim K4JAF

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 Very well said ... I too was hoping for some information on when I can expect my radio.  Flex says the 6600 will be worth the wait but will I have mine by Dayton?
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@James - If I give you a date and I miss by one minute there will be complaints.  If I don't give you a date there are complaints. Such is my life.   ;>)  

It is reasonable to assume that if serious contesters are using the new products in a heads down environment and loving it, we are very close.   You can also assume they will work well in the non stressed environment for non-contesters too.  We are working out "out of box experience" as well as issues we created on the earlier radios with the integration.  We are also working out integration with Power Genius XL that has to go in the same release.  All of those elements need to work together because it is a single release for all products.

@K4JAF - Yes.  Just checked your place in line.
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James Whiteway

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Gerald, I wasn't asking for an exact date. I fully understand you no longer do that. I wish there was a way when you say, for example, August/September shipping, as you did at Dayton, that, that would actually happen. Or, as it has become, early 2018. Then, if shipping were to occur sooner, everyone would be happier. Not to mention impressed, that you (FRS) exceeded expectations. I do, as others, look forward to getting my new radio.
James
WD5GWY
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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@James, Right now my claimed score is tied for first in the world in the single op unlimited class. I would say the transceiver performed phenomenally well in heavy close in band conditions. 
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FRED W9TB

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Me and others I know that have placed orders for the new rigs are just about at the end of our patience with FRS. What was going to be three months has been over seven months and still don't know how much longer it will be. The update did not help me feel any better.
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Marc Lalonde

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i agree 100% , that news letter is a no news  ,during that time i very close to complete integration to my station of the SunSDR radio . and now consider to keep it as main radio  , and now start to look for  MB1  , have possibility to run teamvierwer on the radio for remote operation ;-)  

so lot of loyal  flex user end up whit no radio and noting to do except look and try new radio ...  and some find some nice surprise 

for finish i run myself a design / assembly  house  if i see i not meet the deadline
i hire staff or bring outside resource , deadline date is a deadline  ,at the end is cost less that louse customer trust 

VE2PN Marc .
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KK9W - Steve

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Flex has NEVER kept a deadline
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Jim K4JAF

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AMEN
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@Fred - Shipments are close but I won't give you a day and hour.  I have no idea where you are in the backlog since I don't know who you are.  

@KK9W - The FLEX-6300 shipped in volume the week it was announced.  We had the opposite problem on the 6300 where we did not forecast enough production to meed demand because we did not take pre-orders.  At lease in this case we are ramping production to meet known demand. 

FYI, I never say "you never" to my wife and I have been very happily married for 43 years.

I don't see that you have a radio on order so sorry you won't get one any time soon. ;>) 

73, Gerald
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FRED W9TB

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My order # is 12364  2 June I ordered as soon as I watched the u tube video. I told my self I have to have one of those. Now U can find out who I am if you really wont to know. This is my first time ordering anything that is not on the market yet so I have learned a lesson. I have a 10 year old 5000A that I love

73, Freddie




 
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KC2QMA_John

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You know how FRS says that they won’t share time lines about software updates, Well... they sure had no problem telling everyone at Dayton that the new radios would be "Shipping" in the July to September time frame while asking people to fork over money to them based on a false promise. Even with part shortages they had to know there was no way the radio or PGXL would be ready shortly after Dayton.


They could have just said the new radios will be out early 2018, then they would not have created this situation with unhappy customers. But I have a feeling it had something to do with Icom’s new radios?

I know they do this to scare the competition but the new 64/6600 radios will be so much better than almost anything on the market when they come out, I just don't think FRS have anything to worry about.

I will say the way FRS operates their marketing and promo will make me and many other think twice the next time Flex wants deposits on any new products in the future.


That being said yes I am very frustrated but at this point I have waited this long I guess I can wait a little longer ;(.


Anyone remember this:

https://youtu.be/vGszEeqYhg8?t=5m41s


https://youtu.be/mqOMgHzgv7c?t=12m6s


https://youtu.be/HgeNTY2rIDE?t=2m43s

https://youtu.be/uDsC8P01qiY?t=7m23s

(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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Ouch!
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KC2QMA_John

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I hope after the release of the new FRS hardware products, Software development will be a priority going forward. We need to see the SmartSDR software development accelerated. As great as SSDR is it is severely lacking so many of the “software” features found with PowerSDR, HPSDR, WEBSDR, FDM-SW2, SDR-UNO even KE9S version of PSDR.


You know the big “S” in software development.

https://youtu.be/vGszEeqYhg8?t=7m33s
(Edited)
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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With all due respect, nobody forced anyone to put a down payment and pre-order. Who ever did was your own decision, it is 100% refundable but you will loose your spot. Complaining publicly in my opinion serves nobody and frankly is just plain silly. Complaining publicly isn't going to make FRS release any software or hardware any sooner than before it is ready for release. This happens every time there is a pending release, please, just take a deep breath and re-think before hitting that submit button. Again, just my opinion.
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@ Marc Lalonde

Irony of ironies, I looked and you are one of the first few in line when we go GA unless you really don't want the radio as you indicated.  Virtually everyone ahead of you in the backlog is a field tester who already has their radio.  In fact, your radio is already built, tested, and ready to ship when the software goes GA.  You have probably even seen a photo of it in one of our update letters.  ;>)  

Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?

Just a little humor goes a long way...

73,
Gerald
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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@Marc

Actually, I personally have responsibility for a couple of testing tasks in the critical path that I am delaying somewhat today in order to read and respond to these Community posts.  So yes, this thread has caused a delay in my part of the critical path today.  
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Jim K4JAF

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We have beat this subject to death by now, lets all move on, including myself.  Keep up the good work Gerald.  
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Marc Lalonde

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yup got long term loyal customer got a 6500 think it was serial #102 , whit all the signature on back , then got a 6700  and put pre-order on new model as soon  it was aviable , think i have also contribute to many 6300 sale here in Quebec to local budy

but > 60 day whit no radio and no firm date force me to lock for alternative solution ,and resume work on the PCIe DFC project....  

still for sure wait/what my 6600M  ,but better to tell  June 2018 delivery and ship faster ,that have multiple delay ,that situation  make user really frustrated ,or at least me ;-)
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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OK, Mark, June 2018 it is.  ;>)  

Thank you for being a long term loyal customer!

73, Gerald
K5SDR, QRT
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Mike, taking time to get it right is the reason the software comes out with little or no problems..it just works as intended, not that there is no room to improve things, there always are.
I looked back 4 years of posting today,,the same comments were made way back since the early releases of V.1  heck even back in the PSDR days, nothing changes...lol
(Edited)
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Clay N9IO

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Clay N9IO

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I like this guy, great problem solver.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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The Soup Nazi approach to problem solving? Maybe funny on a TV show.... not so much in real life.
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Clay N9IO

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Sorry Salvador but I disagree.
All of this complaining has gotten old yet again.
"No soup for you" is totally appropriate.
Hilarious actually.
Be happy it's not my call.
FRS puts up with far too much.
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Jim K4JAF

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Banning certain hams from purchasing your radio because of bad reviews and/or returning them during the 30 day trial period is not good publicity.  Ten Tec had this policy for a while before its demise into the shell of its former self.  I for one was sorry to lose another American company.  I can't imagine Flex adopting that kind of policy.They do produce the top amateur radio on the market, even if I complain about speed of manufacture.   
(Edited)
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Clay N9IO

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Jim,
"No soup for you" is tongue in cheek...
TenTec, really?
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Mike, W8BE

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My comments were not meant as a complaint.   I was giving advice.   What you are seeing is cause and effect.   If you give an aggressive time table and then fail to meet it for what ever reason all you do is set your  self up for  criticism.  My advise is to factor in delays, re work and anything else you  can think of then give a time table to cover those contingencies.  

This thread has been beat to death.   I vote to close it.  
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KC2QMA_John

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You only have to fool me once! I will never make the same mistake again. I traded my 6500 in June and made my deposit on a 6600M in May based in the FACT that FRS told me that the radio would be ready July/September.


I am very disappointed to say the least witch is not a good place for a customer to be when you asked for my money upfront and suggested that I trade in my radio for the best deal. If I had known that it was going to take almost over 8 months I would have waited like many others.


If FRS needed the deposits to get an idea of demand $50 would have done it. If you would have just told us that the new products will be available early 2018 you would have not created a situation where you have disappointed some of you customers.

I have some guesses to why maybe... Icom?


What I don't get is why there is a double standard for time lines, You wont tell anyone when software updates will be available but you had no problem taking peoples deposits for radios while telling everyone “July/August/September” and I am almost certain that FRS knew there was NO WAY in hell the radios would be ready by then.


Yes it’s ham radio is not the cure for cancer but man what a let down, And even at that SSDR has a long way to go to even come close to some of the features that already exists with PSDR and other SDR software.


We will just have to see what the pace of Software updates will be in 2018 and I bet that will determine how many people stick with the Flex in the future. Meanwhile the competition who has a LOT more money to throw at R&D might just pull ahead during this time, then you end up with great hardware and software that’s behind the curve.


If I did not think that the new radios are going to be the best thing out there I would have already got my money back and went in another direction.
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spinnaker

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Speculation: new Icom was on the horizon (currently on the market)...over-promise delivery date?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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But how would that delay the Flex radio?
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Jim K4JAF

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I think he is referring to the promised release, nothing Icom did delayed the new 6000 series.  (excluding parts purchases)
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Jim K4JAF

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I think we all have commented enough on update/production/etc
Close the thread and move on.  
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James Whiteway

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Yes, the horse is truely dead.
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Chuck - KJ6HT

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This has become ridiculous, if you do not want to wait any longer then request  the refund of your deposit and move on.
(Edited)
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Succinct!
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Gary L. Robinson

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Not that I want Flex to lose sales BUT each cancelled order raises me on the list :-)

Gary WB8ROL
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James Whiteway

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Ya ain't gonna be moving up on account'a me pardner!!! :-)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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The Icom 7610 Announcement influencing Flex Delivery is NONSENSE

The IC-7610 was Announced at the Tokyo Hamfest in AUGUST 2016 where they showed an allegedly working model... (It wasn't working but ran a screen saver) with promised delivery of FALL 2016.

Icom was almost 16 MONTHS LATE when they began deliveries to the USA  (they apparently had software issues) and it still has bugs being fixed today.

If you were going to use Icom as a yardstick, then Flex is exceeding expectations.

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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As I have stated previously there are no hardware/manufacturing issues on the new radio models. We are finishing up software issues reported by the field testers that need to be addressed before general availability.  We are down to a fairly small number of usability issues in the software integration but we will not ship until those are done. When those are completed to our satisfaction, we will open up the flood gates.  No amount of critique, constructive or otherwise, will speed that up.  

There is nothing more I can add of value to this thread that I have not already said so I will go back to work on my critical path test projects. 

FYI, today we found a new software performance enhancement in testing the new radios that will benefit all FLEX-6000s when the release comes out.

73,
Gerald
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Jim KJ7S

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Thanks for the encouragement as well as the commitment to a fine product. ohh, and thanks for not going completely out of your mind and going "postal", at least as far as the flex consumers and family are concerned hihi.  Best wishes to you and yours.  Jim  KJ7S
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mikeatthebeach .

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Jim-KB1ZNV

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I'm very happy to continue using my 7300 while I await the next generation SDR. I understand the frustration but I am excited by the next evolution of SDR By Flex.
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mike /k6mgk

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To all the negative type comments, rest assure FRS is doing an outstanding job there commitment to ensure that when the new radios are released the quality both with the software and hardware is well above what the other amateur manufactures release. There goals are high and I wouldn't expect anything less.

I like many have sold my radio back in may, but I have no problems in waiting for the release of the new radios.
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Reggie-k6xr

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I am using a F-1500 (borrowed) during the wait. Now I can't WAIT for the F-1600!.....

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