6600 Update

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  • Praise
  • Updated 2 years 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 2 years ago

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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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WW1SS - 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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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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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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mikeatthebeach .

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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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One final thought for the day. How many other radio manufactures take direct trade in of even radios that are no longer manufactured? Exactly zero. We don’t make a lot of money on the trades as they do in the used car business. It’s a service. No one forced anyone to trade in their radios and we offered higher trade values for earlier trades than we will now. Seems pretty fair to me.
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Clay N9IO

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The trade credit you gave me for my 6300 was very fair Gerald knowing what the refirb price was after you added ver 2.0 and devoted bench time. You barely made a dime. How cool IS that?
I know someone out there got a bargain on a REALLY great radio. Believe me when I say I had second thoughts about upgrading because that 6300 is a VERY fine radio.

That said I really hope you plan to come back to W9DXCC this year to follow up on your new products.

You folks doing a helluva job, keep up the good work!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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After a review of this post, I feel that all sides of the issue have been clearly expressed and Gerald has acknowledged the concerns and provided a thorough response to the various "when" questions.  Therefore I am inclined to close this post at this time.  Thanks to everyone who provided constructive feedback.  Now back to work getting the radios ready for shipment.  73

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