Can I use the ATU from the 6300 in the 6400?

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I have a Flex 6300 with ATU. Does the new 6400 use the same ATU, or must I buy a new one?
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Doug Seyler

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Posted 3 years ago

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Rick WN2C

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I asked Matt that same question the other day. Unfortunately the answer was no.
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Doug Seyler

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That's incredibly short sighted. One would have hoped for an evolutionary design from the original Signature series. I bought this radio only 3 years ago when it was introduced at Dayton! Last one that they had at the show. This sets a new low for product obsolescence. I love my 6300 but am really pissed at Flex for the short product life.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Your FLEX-6300 is not obsolete.  You can run the same software as the new radios getting the exact same feature benefit.  SmartSDR is the radio, and the 6300 will run the current and new software. How is that obsolete?
(Edited)
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David Orman

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The 6300 isn't going to stop working, and FRS has indicated the software and updates will continue to work and apply to your model. I would not consider your 6300 obsolete by any means. A new model was released, no different than any other radio provider. It's good news that FRS is iterating more quickly rather than settling for what they have. As long as the software continues to support the earlier 6xxx radios and is updated, you're actually doing better than you would with a traditional radio. With those, you get what you initially bought and that's it. (Aside from companies like Elecraft) Obsolescence would indicate your radio no longer worked or no longer worked well enough to use, which I would suggest is very much not the case.

Regarding the ATU, I believe one of the changes mentioned was a redesign of layout and modularity to accommodate future changes in the new models. It would make sense this would change compatibility with older parts. I know it's no consolation, but it does make sense from an engineering standpoint.

If there's anything to be frustrated about it's the software missing functionality and bugs like the crashing situation, but that impacts all radios including the new ones.

If you like the new features or functionality, then you should trade up or sell and buy. I don't know any other vendor offering trade up programs for new radios, so that's pretty nifty. New products will hopefully continue to be released, I hope FRS keeps moving forward. I just hope they put some more focus on the software features such as significantly better noise mitigation to become competitive again with some of the other SDRs with community projects based on the older SmartSDR. The HW seems to be at a good place for the whole 6xxx series, the software just needs some more work. Hopefully that will happen now that the remote changes are in v2. Either way you end up going, keeping or trading up, you'll be able to benefit, and won't be stuck with an obsolete radio.
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Rick WN2C

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Doug, I take it that your radio transmits and receives. My Drake R4A and t4X still do their job too. The work just fine like my Kenwood 599D twins. They are not obsolete either. I can still make contacts with them. So why is your 6300 obsolete?
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Guess my 2014 Ford Edge is obsolete.
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Richard Hubbard

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I am currently in the market for a new radio. I have compared Apache Labs, Elecraft and Flex; I am erring towards Flex. However when comparing brands Elecraft is the only one which takes a modular upgrade path and somewhat avoids "obsolescence"through the modular build process.

 As we enter the SDR race, technology is going to change at a furious pace as competition increases amongst the manufactures, just as it has in other high tech industries such as IT. I am of the opinion that given the price of "rigs", the technology needs to be modular. Especially as the price of LDMOS chips are going to fall through the floor, with "white goods" manufactures using them in microwave ovens etc.

 Maybe obsolescence is the wrong word for this in the true sense, but I do not think the consumer is going to put-up with paying $4k for kit which has a technological longevity of 2 years or less.
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Paul Bradbeer

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Hi Richard.  I'd be careful about comparing Elecraft's model of an upgrade plan: the upgrades have pretty much been limited to synthesiser, RF amp and LNAs.  The overall architecture and technology stack of the K3 hasn't changed.  Whilst some aspects of the K3 are software defined, it is not a 'digitiser' type SDR like the Flex, Anan etc.  I had K3s for many years (the design is prob a decade old).  Nice enough radio, never really liked the ergonomics or cheap feeling VFO (felt washers to create drag...really?!), and in truth it is probably bordering on 'legacy'.  I've been using a 6500 here in the UK for just under 2 years, and it is capable of doing more, and doing it more easily than the K3.  I dare say the Elecraft fans would disagree, but if you're worried about obsolescence, I'd avoid buying a new K3.

If you're interested in a 6500 give me a shout: paulbradbeer@paulbradbeer.plus.com


Paul M0CVX

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Richard Hubbard

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Hi Paul,

thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. Whats your thoughts on the Anan 8000?

Best regards,

Richard.
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Paul Bradbeer

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Hi Richard.  Sorry but I have no experience of owning or using any of the Anan's.  At the time that I was looking (2 years ago) I was put off by the comments that likened the ownership experience as being 'like a science project'.  I notice on one of the other threads on this forum, a UK amateur (Peter Bentley G4BIM) has done a comparision...give him a shout..  Cheers  Paul
(Edited)
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Richard Hubbard

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Thanks, I have seen the science lab comments, a lot of money for a school project in my opinion, that would worry me.

Cheers.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Do some research on the Anan vs Flex. Pick the one that is right for your operating preference.

The Anan with the open source software gives you a LOT of parameters to tweak, if you like doing that. The radio requires the user to perform some calibration. For example the Anan uses one calibration point per band for RF out (usually at 100 watts). The problem is the power slider is not linear and varies band by band. A setting of 20 on the slider may be 22 watts on ine band but 45 watts on another (my 200D was even worse on 12 meters.)

The Flex comes calibrated from the factory. The only calibration you need to do is the reference oscillator which is accomplished by clicking a button in the radio setup. It will switch to WWV (or you can enter another frequency) and it will auto calibrate.

The other big thing for me is the Anan hardware is still "fat client" vs Flex "this client". This means the Anan will always need a PC on locally to run the radio. The Flex can be located remote and plugged into a network connection with Internet access. Mnay people here are using VPN solutions to access the radio remotely and with 2.0 software due out soon the meed for VPN is gone.

The Flex also supports different USB cables plugged directly into the radio to interface to various hardware such as amplifiers, auto tuners, antenna switches, etc. so if you are considering remote operation keep that in mind.

Obviously people here are biased towards Flex radios and most answers will skew you towards a Flex. I owned an Anan 200d and sold it. I currently own a 6500 which is at a remote location 1100feet above sea level and a 6700 at the home station.

Do your research and make an informed choice, but I would not go Elecraft if you want to be able to tap into the potential of true SDR radios.

Dave wo2x
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Richard Hubbard

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Thanks Dave, sold on Flex and the thin client.
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Jim Brinza

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Is the new atu improved?? Thanks Jim N9kud
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It is electrically and mechanically different than the 6300 ATU.  it has the same matching characteristics as the 6300 ATU.