Checklist for those upgrading from a 6300 (or 6500?) to a 6400 or 6600

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I was able to get going with the simple "Quick Start" guide included with the 6400.  However, I ran into a few problems because I had an aging 6300 that I was upgrading.  That gave me a bit of history that turned out to matter a bit.  I don't know which of these are 6300 specific or which apply a 6500 upgrade as well.  I only have a 6300.

So, perhaps it would be helpful to collect a checklist of things that someone upgrading from the 6300 (6500?) needs to know so that it goes as smoothly as possible.

This is my list of things I wish I had known before the upgrade.

1.  Do not reuse the 6300 12v power cable.  If you do, there might be an excessive voltage drop.  Use the cable that comes with the rig.

2.  Order, ahead of time, the "dongle" that gets you the 8 pin "foster" connector (or whatever else you need) to enable you to connect your old microphone.  This cost me and at least one other poster a couple of days use while waiting for this thing to come in the mail on a reorder.

For instance:  http://cart.flexradio.com/8-Pin-foster-to-18in-35mm-TRS-and-RCA-for-FLEX-6400M-or-FLEX-6600M_p_1028....   . ..or maybe the XLR version if it is relevant to you.

3.  Make sure you know if you are using an "bias required" mike or not.  In other words, does it require a "bias voltage" to work.  If you use the old Heil or the FH-1 type, you do not.  The FH-2 and others, usually yes.  Check to see what you have and make sure the SmartSDR software is set correctly for your mike.

4.  If you have an existing USB cable arrangement between the Flex and (say) your amplifier, this should be plug-and-play.  But, check the settings in Smart SDR to make sure they are correct.

5.  When bringing up SmartCAT for the first time, it should be OK and even remember the VSP COMx settings you have (in my case, this was even true even though upgrading from SmartSDR v1 to v2).  But, because you have a different radio, there is a chance it does not connect.  If you get the message "Radio Not Connected" in Red Letters, there is hidden function.  That is not just status.  Left click on this and you should be offered an option to connect to the radio.  This will enable the Virtual Serial Ports (VSP) you have already defined to actually work with N1MM, WSJT-X, etc. as before.

Any other items others have found?
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Larry Loen WO7R

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Posted 1 month ago

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Make sure you upgrade WSJT-X as the radio ID is different for these models (h/t WO2X)

If going to a 6600 or 6700, you have two SCUs now. This seems to work fine with imported profiles from single SCU radios. .

Do not attempt to downgrade past the software that came with the radio. Some earlier versions won’t work and will error out anyway (won’t harm your radio).

6400 and 6600 have filters before the ADC. Acquaint yourself with wide mode in the user manual.
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Larry Loen WO7R

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Good stuff as always, Ria.

I did find I had to upgrade WSJT-X to the 1.9.0-rc2 to make it work (I thought that was just me, so I left it off the list).  1.9.0-rc2 is pretty stable and worth doing anyway.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Prior to that you needed a custom build that Dave made (no pun intended, lol). The changes were merged into Hamlib so with 1.9.0-rc releases it works now. 
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Larry Loen WO7R

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I also want to emphasize the "don't downlevel" comment Ria made.  In my case, I tried the code on the CD and got a scary little message that warned me that I was downleveling.  I heeded the warning, backed out, and downloaded instead the latest load.  Worked fine.