I have just one issue, and maybe it is just me. The exterior case cooling fans. I fully understand that cooling is needed, but to me the noise is more than I wish to have on a constant basis. Unlike many I don’t really like headphones. The 6500 sits on a desk top about 3 feet away. Is it maybe just my fans, or are they all pretty noisy ?? Is there a replacement fan(s), that are better.
Just wondering are the new 6400 and 6600 a lot better in that regard ??
For now I have gone back to my Kenwood 590SG and an SDR play for a panadapter, and much less noise.
That is an excellent question. I, also, have a 6500 and find the fan noise unreasonable while sitting in front of it. Fortunately, I do most of my operating with my IOS device in another location. I have two 6500's and both of them have too much fan noise. I have even blown out the radios according to Tim's fine explanation, but the fan noise was unreasonable. I have 6600 on order and, hopefully, the fan noise will be less annoying. I have the 3000 and 5000 and they are about half or less loud than the 6500's.
Perhaps you have a noisy fan with bad bearings...
My 6700 is very quiet... sits underneath one of the monitors on my desk about 20" from my ears
I did put a $10 Laptop Cooler underneath the radio (powered from the Radio USB Port- yes I know Tim does not like that use of the radio as a power source) which definitely helps keep the fans from spinning up even under heavy loads.
Did some tests on FT8 with and without the laptop cooler... Without the cooler running SO2R, the 6700 fans will start to spin up after about 10 minutes.. With the cooler, they never spin up.
Even when they spin up the noise level is never as bad as some of my computers in the shack
PC cases with large slow running fans and a bit of soundproofing material do a pretty good job and are only marginally more expensive than the cheap noisy ones. It sounds like the 6600 has at least gone some way towards appeasing those of us who crave a quiet life.
73, John, G3WGV
No one has said anything about amplifiers which, in my experience drown out all the rest. My present amp is a Palstar LA-1K solid state rf sensing 1kw. It is the quietest Amp I have ever had blut still completely drowns out every thing else.
I think this is just as individual as your choice of radio or microphone. I use my Radiosport head set 90% of the time anyway. :)
First off, having had desktop computer since the 80's, and just about every rig and amp made, I'm a good judge of cooling system noise, as well and laboratory instrumentation. The current computer is a Apple Mac Mini, and there is no noise. My Macbook Pro and Samsung laptops are noise free. I had an actual Windows Desktop here a few weeks back and it had hardly any fan noise.
My Kenwood 590SG will only cycle the cooling fan on if it is pushed hard on digital modes, and its fan is about 1/3 of the 6500. I did have a icom 7300, and sold it because on transmit ( keying of any kind ), the fan ramped up to full take off and was awful. Some people have replaced the fan with a better unit with better bearings, and better shaped blades and a better frame.
But .... some people have hit upon something I have been thinking of, but haven't seen in the Flex manual. Is/does, the 6000 series of radios have temperature controlled case fans ?? This is not new and is actually common ?? What I maybe failed to mention, but I thought it was normal, is that right from the turn on ... the fan speed to me seems to high and loud. It does not change at all ( either up or down ), depending on work load. I have run 30 min or more of FT8 station after station, and been watching the temps, and the speed stays the same. The temps go up, but never to a level that is dangerous, and if there is a 30 second break the temps will come right back to basically base line.
From what I am reading others seem to have a change in fan speed vs load.
Yes I have done the case fan and CPU fans cleaning, as recommended by Flex. Thought I had a CPU fan problem, but Tim Emailed me the outline to check the RPM's and they were fine, and yes I can hear them, and know that they will have a sound of their own.
So my question now would be, are the case fans temp controlled. If they are, then than would be my answer.
Lastly, as some people have pointed out, noise is a matter of each persons perception, as well as how good their own hearing is. To me the 6500 I have is louder than 95 % + of all other rigs I have heard, for standby mode. I have no problem with rigs that ramp up the cooling fan/blowers speeds and the temps rise.
Could I build up a special enclosure to dampen the sound, sure. But why should that be needed.
What I am seeing is that other people also feel the same way, and others don't, as well as, some people are feeling that way about the new radios.
Does any one, or has anyone done a retrofit of the fans ?? I am sure they are not the best fans that can be had.
FYI: My hearing is tested on a regular basis ( abt every 2 years ), and I have a slight fall off in the midrange, but only very, very slight, so I am probably about like most people in my age group.