6600M and 6400M hardware issues

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  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
I have been reading the FRS community and have noticed that more problems are arising with the 6400m and 6600m with the hardware, we all realize that the software and firmware and correct the other issues, but I am concerned with hardware issues. I am planning on reordering the 6600M, but I would like to hear from others on this issue. Thank you
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mike /k6mgk

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Gary L. Robinson

Gary L. Robinson

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It's hard to say what percentage of those units are having hardware problems but most users that do NOT have any problems do not make any posts.  It often makes it seem worse that what is really is.  It would be nice to know what portion of all those units have had hardware problems, though.

---Gary WB8ROL 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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not so hard, Gerald figured it out.
Mark, I personally looked into the failures the weekend and calculated the total rate.  Failures on the 6600/6600M are in the low single digit percentage range relative to total shipments to date.  I just checked and almost all of them have been reported on the Community.  Still too high for me.  We have addressed all pattern failures in the factory as soon as they were identified.  We would love to get to zero failures but unfortunately that is for another life.  ;>)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi Mike K6MGK

Remember the FRS Community is "The Place" where folks report issues.

Gerald commented today in another thread that they have had a low single digest percentage of units that had issues, and that the were mostly reported here.  

Inverting that math, that means that high ninety-five plus percent are a-okay.  

I am sure FRS will continue it efforts to minimize the problems, especially as a couple reported in the FRS Community seemed to be transportation induced problems.

If you are first ordering an Flex-6600M now, it would seem reasonable that your radio's build series would be later and perhaps incorporate any small changes.


Photo of Varistor


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Conversely, you don’t see eHam reviews. Other hams are quite eager to share their experience with a new rig, but not so much with the new Flex radios. I’d love to read reviews from non-biased hams, but alas nobody is sharing their experience. This is just weird.
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Rich McCabe

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There are several of us that shared our experience. I personally have had two defective rigs out of the box. Rig 3 arrives tomorrow. All I can say is I am disappointed.

However, Flex support has been excellent at trying to resolve the issue and getting me replacements.

Even with my experience I am not concerned about them ironing this out in short order.

And as far as low single digit failures that could be 4 of 5 %. If so, that's high.
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Gary Johnson

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My problem with the touch screen is as far as I know a one off.  Rich's problem with the knobs was addressed and according to Steve at Flex a new test procedure is being run on all M units leaving Flex.  Steve explained to me what the problem was, but being a Microbiology major it was Greek to me.

The best thing is how fast Flex responds to make the problem go away.

Why post on Eham when you have Flex Community??
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Jim Runge

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I have a 6600M working as advertised. No problems and I assure you that I have been looking. I also have a 6500 and 6700 so I know how they should work. I can also tell you that the reeceiver in the 6600M is amazing.
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Rich McCabe

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Yea your screen deal was unique. My knob issue seems to be the most common but each of my radios has had two issues. First had and audio issue as well and radio two has knob issue and random front panel disconnects.

Radio 3 is missing front panel so I don't expect front panel issues. Lol.

My only concern is that I might miss the m version !!
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Wayne VK4ACN

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Jim. I have a 6500. Would the 6600 receiver be much different? Wayne
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Rich McCabe

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I think it is. The second scu is worth it alone. FDX, diversity receive and better preamp. Two thumbs up!
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Jim Runge

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Yep, noticeably better.
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Wayne VK4ACN

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Thanks for replies. Will see them at Dayton and make a decision to order. Thanks
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The lack of eHam reviews is not really a concern. Flex simply doesn't have the volume that the big three do. That doesn't mean it isn't a good radio, it just means that other brands are more popular and established. That said, flex is growing steadily and hopefully in the future they will join the ranks of the big 3 radio companies. 

I also think that Flex users prefer to vent their concerns here rather than on eHam. The big 3 don't really have user forums where they can get help so they rely on third parties like eHam. 
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K1UO - Larry

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 When Hams get hold of a superior product , with features and performance that give them a competitive edge, they do not want to let that be widely know by sharing their secret weapon on an eHam review :)
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Been using the 6400M for about a month now... No hardware problems at all thus far.  Few times the 6400M didnt connect with DAX and CAT on the computer but that is a software problem and it has only occured a couple of times and none in the last week or so.  I usually turn everything off each evening and have to shut down frequently for thunderstorms.  Very pleased here with the performance of the 6400 and I have owned them all through the years!
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Official Response
Mike, as I reported on another thread the total number of hardware issues are very small relative to the large number of shipments (think low single digit percentage).  We have shipped a very large number of radios in the last 6 weeks even though there are still many waiting.  Unfortunately, I know of exactly two people where Murphy's Law struck with more than one out of box failure.  Any time we have seen more than one failure of a specific type, we have taken immediate corrective action in the factory as soon as possible.  I am personally keeping a log of each problem so I can make sure we take care of everything in a timely manner.

I can assure you that 100% of the issues I am aware of have already been addressed in the factory and thus on current shipments.  Each were easily corrected through manufacturing process improvements.  My observation is also that almost 100% of the customers with problems chose to report them here on this Community because every one I have seen reported are on my tracking spreadsheet. 

One final assurance, if you have a problem we will fix it.  We design, manufacture, support and service all of our radio products in Austin, TX USA (also service in Germany).  We do our best to take good care of our customers.  We are not always perfect but we are always working to improve everything we do.  You can be confident in that.

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Robert Lonn

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Gearld, your statements are very customer focused, a good thing.. As a owner for a few years of a Yaesu FT-991, Motor Home Operation, complaints about the DNR function have been top issue for over 18-24 months, besides the Final PA failures...

When the radio was first released the DNR was perfect, with effective range at 5 on a scale of 1-10.. Then the second software revision had you now at the number 1 setting and it was as if the DNR was set to 8!! Hams were not happy so they  contacted dealers, contacted Yaesu USA support, put together a petition to Yaesu Japan, and ZERO CHANGE!! At my QTH, DNR or Mobile, not a big issue,, but these so called Big Three have advantages, RESALE VALUE, of a radio, but also have disadvantages as well, slow to make changes...

My interest in Flex started back in October when looking at the 6600M.. Now that they are shipping, for me it is weather I jump in and place my reservation, or wait till I get back from Vacation in a few months..  At age 70,, time is always a concern,, but still very active, working outdoors on Antennas,, and still fully employed,, but retirement is fast approaching.. After all who would not want to stay at home every day and play with a Flex 6600M!!!! :-)  ..

Photo of K3SF


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i do...and retired
have had the 6600M now for two weeks...
it has been on almost 24/7 for those two weeks

NO problems except operator error ;-)...

nice build and great radio...
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Alan W4FBI

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6400 here. Perfect since new. Not bragging - just a sampling of (what I think are many) that have no issues.
Photo of Jim-KB1ZNV


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FYI - No issues yet for my 6600M after almost two weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed.