6700 in the new world order

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I purchased my 6700 in February and would love to get some clarity as to the future of this radio given the release of the 6600(M). Currently, it feels as if the axe is going to drop on it much as with the 6300/6500, and that it is just a matter of time.

Clearly it is based on an older chassis that has been jettisoned. Perhaps there will be a 6800(M) offering the 8 slice capability of the 6700, or perhaps the 6700 doesn't have enough volume given its price point and the 6600(M) is going to be the new 'top of the line' radio. 

So come on flex, let us 6700 owners know where we stand!
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W9TVX

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Posted 2 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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Being a 6500 owner, I think the best thing that has come out of Flex is the IOS interface to the iPhone/iPad. For me, with having developed the skills of using VPN thanks to the help on this users group, I am contented regardless of what comes next. Perhaps the newer radios will become appealing but for the time being, I am quite happy.


Jim, K6QE

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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The 6700 is still a current model going forward. It is the only model to do 8 panadapters/8 slices and also 2 meters.

Flex has stated the 6300, 6500, and 6700 will continue to be supported and enjoy new features coming along in 2.x releases.

Dave wo2x
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Michael Aust

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I specifically purchased  the Flex6700 for the 8 Panadapters when searching for RFI 
Nothing else out there does 8 Panadapters, think the in-band filters for contesting would be as easy upgrade by FRS 
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Ross,

What has changed about your 6700 since you bought it in February?  Has it suddenly stopped working? Has it started to crash? Did it burst into flames?

Or is it the same great radio you bought 2 months ago regardless of the new models?
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W9TVX

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Actually, when it heard about the 6600(M) it jumped off my desk, and ran to the corner of the room screaming 'no! no! no! no! no!' Once I had calmed it down and asked it what exactly the matter was, it told me that it was concerned about its place in world. Was it still top dog in the shack? Would I be trading it in? 

I had to be honest with it, and told it 'if a model comes out with a built in panadapter and some knobs, you're a goner mate'. In hindsight not the best thing I could have said. Now it refuses to boot up until I promise I won't trade it away. 

On a more serious note: I love my 6700. great radio, love the 8 slice capability, but would love to know where it stands as it feels like its the stepchild given the new chassis etc. i.e. I would probably upgrade to a 6800M if one were to become available. I understand that Flex will not pre-announce as it will drive down the value of the 6700 stock. On the other hand if they don't intend to continue producing the 6700 down the road because the price point just doesn't drive enough volume, then that would be good to know as well. 

Reality, we will know when they decide to tell us, but no harm in asking :-)
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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I'm with you Ross.  It would be great to know what FRS plans to do with the 6700, but the odds of FRS telling us right now is probably zip.  It's safe to assume FRS probably has 6700's still in their inventory for sale, which obviously they want to sell, so odds of them announcing the 6700 model will be dropped at this point in time wouldn't be beneficial. 

On the plus side, I think we can logically surmise what's going to happen to the 6700:

* Receiver hardware improvements have been made to 6600 (Contest grade filtering, etc), so now the 6600 has a better receiver than the 6700
* Two SCU's are in the 6600 so it probably has the 6700's Receiver Diversity capability
* Due to its price, sales numbers on the 6700 was no doubt considerably less than the 6500 and 6300, hence the need to push some of the 6700 features down to 4-slice models
* The larger 6400/6600 case utilizes the fairly small Maestro sized monitor.  I question what 4 slices will look like on a screen this size, so it's a safe bet we won't be seeing 8 slices on this screen... so I seriously doubt we'll see a 6800M model
* The 6600 has an additional (2) Transverter port, while the 6700 only has one

Like you, I bought my 6700 specifically for its 8-slice capability (and VHF range).  Perhaps the hand-writing is on the wall 6700.  Hopefully FRS won't leave us 6700 owners hanging too long before giving us the scoop. 

The 6700 and Maestro was my first Flex experience.  Based on how FRS handles hardware improvement support for the 6700 will determine whether I stick with Flex or return to ICOM.

KF4HR   
(Edited)
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John - K3MA

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Here is summary of 6000 lineup showing the major differences that was shown during the Flex dinner last night.  I seem to remember someone asking the question if the better preselector filters could be retrofitted and the answer was NO.
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KF4HR

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I just reviewed a recent Dayton video of Gerald (K5SDR) speaking about enhancing the receiver performance of the 6700.  (https://youtu.be/UGNVjGKdvbM?t=8677  If I'm hearing this correctly evidently there will be receiver enhancements included in V2.0, and he also off-the-shelf filters will be able to be inserted in the 6700's in/out receive loop to bring it up to speed to the 6600 receiver.  This is great!  I'd be very interested in hearing more about this hardware filtering enhancement and its availability.  This would be a great topic for the Flex Insider.
(Edited)
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Steven G1XOW

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In/out loop preselectors are available now, and it works really well. You dont need a new radio just for this.

https://herostechnology.co.uk/pages/SCR_Preselector.html

 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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The Flex-6600M will show two slices on the touchscreen with all four slices available to other clients.

I forgot to ask if it would show different slices on a screen attached to th HDMI port.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Mike - WB8CXO

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That would be way cool!
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Mike - WB8CXO

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Flex will attract new customers to the new 6400M/6600M models because of the legacy form factor (knobs) and much better price points. The 6300/6500 no longer in production will still be supported by Flex with SmartSDR software updates and service. The 6700 is now a unique radio but few hams will be willing to pay for its capabilities and I predict it will go into limited production if not discontinuance. Any company that wants to stay in business has to improve its product line . Since technology moves so fast companies must create new products that will bring this technology to market. FlexRadio is using new technology and creating some of this technology itself and building new products. Would you rather FlexRadio look more like Kenwood? TS2000 a 17 year old radio and the TS990 more knobs than innovation? Kenwood only survives in Amateur Radio because it's subsidized by its consumer and LMR markets. Flex now needs to tighten up SmartSDR cause "It's all in the software"... (after ya buy a new radio)......
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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The Flex-6700 remains the "king" of the bunch. 

Of the differences between the Flex-6700 and the Flex-6600:


  • It is possible to emulate the 6600 filters with some modestly priced externals for the 6700.

  • You cannot add a second transverter port to 6700, so you need to use external switching if you want more than ONE transverter hooked to your 6700, or if you want more than TWO transverters hooked to your 6600.

  • You can choose to not use Slices E, F G & H on your 6700 reduce to only four slices like the 6600. <grin>

  • The will remain packaged in different form factors.

  • The 6700 isn't offered in an M model.

  • The 6600M is 3-4 months out, a 6600 a while longer out, but you can buy the "King" 6700 now (with or without a Maestro, though a new Maestro is out eight weeks or so).

I think that covers the main parts.

73

Steve K9ZW


(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Steve,

At the Flex dinner on Saturday night Steve mentioned that the 6600 receiver performance would be better than the 6700. I have several questions related to this. This performance difference is in addition to the bandpass filter enhancement in the 6600. 

1 -@Steve, can you describe / explain the details on the receiver improvement difference, I didn't see this performance difference mentioned in the spec sheets. Are there hardware differences responsible? 


This question and a few more related ones are in this post:

 https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/6600-vs-6700-receiver-performance-differences-flex-...

Hopefully the answers will clarify the differences.....

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Steve Hicks was clear that the design expectations and initial product impressions were supporting the contention that the 6600 may outperform the 6700's RX, but until lab testing is complete they would be publishing and promising the "same."

He said the improvements were allowed by improved hardware, as of course the software is the same for all versions.

I thought this made sense, as they are not claiming an advance until lab work verifies it.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Al / NN4ZZ

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Steve,
Thanks for the additional information.  

When I heard there was improved hardware I wondered if the 6600 had a different FPGA ( i.e. is this the improved hardware?).  But maybe there are some other changes.  And my assumption is that  a new FPGA would also have different software/firmware.  That combination would allow for improved processing.  So while the SSDR system is essentially the same there could still be differences like this firmware that are "under the hood."     The server side software can be different based on the radio capabilities ( number of SCUs, preamp capabilities, etc).  

Although the client side software looks basically the same for everyone even there it has to be flexible and know the capabilities of the radio it is connected to.

So a given release of code will work on all the radios and SSDR for the client will support them all.  But the actual code executing for your radio will depend on the server capabilities (number of slices, preamp capabilities, and other differences). 

If the FPGA and firmware is the same for the 6600 and 6700,  do you know what changes make up the improved hardware?

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.10.16
Win10


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W9TVX

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Great questions and really nail the spirit of my original post. At the end of the day the 6600 and the 6700 seem quite closely matched (setting aside the inputs etc). Is there a hardware limitation that prevents the 6600 from displaying 8 slices or could it (and will it support it) if so, then for me the 6600M is a very intriguing piece of kit that I would probably swap the 6700 for. If it will not be able to support 8 slices then it's not interesting to me.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There are other differences that make the FLEX-6700 the primer radio in the FLEX-6000 Signature Series family including 2m receive, dual gain RF preamps, and an OCXO in addition to the 8 panadapters and 8 slices.  The FLEX-6600s will only have 4 panadapter and 4 slice resources.
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W9TVX

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Thank you for your comment and clarification Tim. Completely agree that the 6700 has a number of substantial differences from the 6600. For me one the most important is the 8 slice feature. I do like the front panel of the 6600M. Now if Maestro had the same hi res display... :-)

And for the record I love my 6700. I traded into it from a K3S and a TS990 before that. The 6700 is by far the most forward leaning and enjoyable to use. If I were to change radios it would be into another Flex, and although the 6700 is already more radio than I'll ever need, I'm a bit of a gadget guy and love to have the latest whiz band piece of kit
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Michael Aust

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Question about 6600M hardware Narrow Band Filters, can someone describe the
switching matrix say for 4 pans/waterfalls say when the max 4 are displayed.
For Wideband, radio know to switch out Contest Filters on the Wide pans 
versus the narrow Pans 

Say if you had 4 Narrow Pans. different bands, does that man the radio has up to 
4 narrow Filters being used all at same time ( say 160meters, 80meters, 40meters, 20meters )

See FlexRadio has not discussed this very clearly. I can see in the Flex6700
8 individual contest filters would be a switching nightmare for design

So, what happen when I have 3 Narrow Band ( separate Bands) and say
one wide band pan on the Flex6600M, is there a switch matrix and multiple 
up to 4x filters in that box.

Is the 6600M limited to only have 2 Narrow Band Contest filters

To have 8 separate Hardware Narrow Band Contest Narrow
Band filters for an 8 slice Rx like on a 6700, might be an engineering
nightmare but normally an 8 slice system would not be a way to
configure filters for a contest mode. ( Just a crazy thought) 

Then what about 6600M, is it only 2x Hardware Filters in the 6600m 
which I think is the answer, but in SSDR mode 4pans, 4x the Contest Hardware Filters is not practical, say S04R.

Can easily see two separate preselector filters boards needed in a 2 Rx 
situation, what happens in a 4x situation, and if there was an 8x situation,
would it be unrealistic to ever be that way say for a 6700M or just a 
crazy way to be ever in that way to configure since u\in a Contest Mode
one would say 2x situation is the only way for Contest Filters and
the 6600M does not support 4x separate Filters, when using say SSDR
on a laptop or with the 6600M with no external computer.

i.e. S02R, SO4R, SO8R if you get my thought's

73 Mike
Happy Flex6700 owner but the 6600M excites my Engineering Mind here !
(Edited)
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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The filters would be by scu. There are two SCU's in the 6600 which allow you to have panadapters on two different antennas simultaneously.

Once you have more than one band using the same antenna (multiple panadapters open) (same SCU) then the filters need to be turned off and those panadapters will show WIDE.

If you have only a single panadapter using an SCU and the zoom is set so that you only see the ham band it will ise the 7th order filter for 10, 15,, 20, 40, 80.

If you only have a single panadapter using a SCU and again zoomed in the see just the ham band it will use the 3rd order filter for ham bands other than mentioned above.

If you zoom out to where the panadapter goes past the edge of the ham band it will tirn off the filter and it will show wide.

To recap, if a SCU has either multiple bands using it or if the single panadapter is displaying outside the ham bands the filters will be disabled.

Simce on the 6600 you can only have two antennas in ise at once you can't have it use multiple bandpass filters simultaneously. On a single SCU.

You can have 20 meters using ANT 1 and 40 meters using ANT 2 and both would be using 7th order filters as long as the panadapter zoom is only showing the ham bands.

Dave wo2x
(Edited)
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Steve Gw0gei

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Thanks for that info David
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Fabio Schettino

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Ho Dave

Looking at the FRS presentation I am involved into rebuild our contest Station and the 6600M seem a good shot for our Mx configuration. What I am evaluating is to have one 6600M radio with extra 2 client , even Maestro or SSDR, so I can configure a MM station with 3 ops , run/partner/inband on same band, hope opening 3 slice on same band with one SCU, or MS with 2 ops in one band , run/partner and a 3th one that look for mults in other band, i.e. withone SCU two slice on 80m , run / partner, on one TX antenna and may be different RX antenna, and multiplier on other band with one slice in the other SCU on 40m. Beside these seem to be option available with the 2.0 version are these scenarios doable ?

Thanks Fabio
I4UFH / D4C
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Flex has stated the 2.0 release will not support multi client at initial release. They did not give a target date for that availability or exactly how the multi clients would work.

Dave wo2x
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Fabio Schettino

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Hi Dave

Thank's for promptly answer, i will follow the events in the next months, in the mean time i will plan to reserve a 6600M, hope ready for incoming CQWW season.

Fabio I4UFH