6600 vs 6500

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I am looking to buy a new Flex either the 6500 or 6600M. I recently bought a Maestro, for a good deal, in anticipation of buying the transceiver. I have been looking for a side by side comparison of the 2 radios so basically what is the difference between the radios other than the obvious front panel?
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Richard Pestinger

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Posted 10 months ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Here is the product comparison for all of the in-production radios
http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-6000-signature-series/flex-6000-comparison-table2/

Here is the product comparison for the 1st generation 6000s (6500)
http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-6000-signature-series/comparison-table/

In summary...
  • The FLEX-6600 has 2 SCUs (RF digitizers) which is the same as the FLEX-6700.  THis will allow for diversity reception.  The FLEX-6500 has only one.
  • The FLEX-6600 can interface to 2 transverters whereas the 6500 only one.
  • The Ham band preselectors are better (7th order) in the 6600 than the 6700 (3rd order)
  • The RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) is slightly better in the 6600 (above 110 dB) than the 6500.
  • The FLEX-6600 utilizes a modular design that reduces the cost of serviceability
  • The FLEX-6600M has knobs (since you have a Maestro, you may want to consider the FLEX-6600 instead)
  • You can zoom the panadapter to a finer resolution with the 6600 (you can see deeper into the noise floor)
For your situation, I'd opt for a FLEX-6600 (not the M) since you have a Maestro
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Manuel - W4SSB

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Can you please provide more details about this ? “You can zoom the panadapter to a finer resolution with the 6600 (you can see deeper into the noise floor)”
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The zoom levels control the amount of bandwidth (digitized RF) in each FFT bin.  How far you can zoom is controlled by the software and is dependent on the processing capacity of the FPGA, so it is model dependent. 

The smaller the FFT bin size, the less noise is in it compared to signal.  At a certain point, the noise level in the FFT bin is less than the actual noise floor, so you are effectively seeing signal below the noise floor.  The more you are zoomed in, the farther below the noise floor you can see.
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Manuel - W4SSB

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How does the 6600 compare to the 6700 relative to bin size?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Identical
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KF4HR

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I have a 6700 so I'm not an expert on the 6500, but from what I've seen so far:

6600M added features:

* no need to use a PC, although remote operation availability with a Mastero, PC, Laptop, etc
* 7th Order filtering on Contest Bands
* Two Transverter Ports 

I own a Maestro and while it's nice option for remote operation, when in the shack I much prefer operating my Flex with the large monitor and my PC.  If I owned a 6600M I'd probably just operatethe same way.  While my 8" Maestro screen is adequate for short periods (and two slices are the limit), larger screens are much more enjoyable to me.  And as far as I know, the M-series, like the 6xxx series and Maestro combo, only allow one display function at a time (examples: Maestro or PC, M screen or Maestro, etc), not both at the same time.

Best of luck with whatever option you go with.
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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I believe that with the 6600M you can use the front touch screen as well as a large screen connected to the radio through the HDMI connector at the same time.
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KF4HR

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That's interesting.  So all 4 slices can be seen on the 6600M's 8 inch screen?
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Michael Aust

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Only 2 slices on front display of Flex6600M available for right now,
maybe more later
73 Mike
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Not 4 at the same time.  Max display is 2 panadapters.
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KF4HR

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Ok Mike, thanks for the clarification.  I was trying to picture slices on an 8 inch screen.  So I assume the 6600M can view 4 slices on a PC screen, but only 2 of those 4 slices would be mirrored on the 6600M's display?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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So I assume the 6600M can view 4 slices on a PC screen, but only 2 of those 4 slices would be mirrored on the 6600M's display?

Yes, you can use all available panadapters when using the SmartSDR for Windows client with the M model FLEX-6000s.  However, only one client is able to run on the radio at one time, so when using SSDR-Win, the M model radios will show a static image and the controls will not be enabled.  This will change when the multi-client version of SmartSDR is released later in the SmartSDR v2 release series.