Dayton 2016

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  • Updated 3 years ago
I cannot believe we do not have a Dayton 2016 thread going! So here it is.
Post pictures, the lucky guys at Dayton please, for the many of us that cannot be there!

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve (N9SKM)

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Jd Dupuy

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Very professional display and look more than one spot for folks to sit down and turn knobs. Sure beats one radio and a crowd. First class as one would expect from the World's Leader in SDR!
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Lee, Elmer

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I would really like a pic of the operation of K9CT via Maestro at the ARRL booth or where ever it is
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Wim

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You can see the flex booth on the k5kub live video stream   http://w5kub.com/
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Ah, no wonder I haven't got my Maestro, it's in Dayton :)  seriously though I'm getting impatient waiting for RadioWorld (Canada) to get their order. I placed my order the same day Maestro appeared on flexradio.com
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Jeff, wd0exr

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w5kub live feed - watching activity at the Flex booth ...
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Winston VK7WH

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It pays to get there early before the crowds arrived. Gerald showed me the prototype linear. I went back a couple of hours later and you couldn't get near the Maestros. Steve is participating in an SRD forum in an hours time. A must forum for me. I hope it will be recorded. Winston

ps the toilets haven't blocked yet. Fingers crossed!

src="https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net...">
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Gerald messaged that the FRS booth is mobbed! 

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/4o3a-power-genius-info

Some other new items:


  • PalStar has a linear

  • Kenwood has a DStar ready HT (Maybe - "Kenwood Tentative" status now)

  • New FT-891 HF Rig

  • There at $28 dual band HTs!!

  • Several new, some SDR incorporating, radios from LNR, Expert Electronics (MB1), Elad, Woxun and more.

Jeff KE9V has posted photos and some details on a good number of these at: https://twitter.com/ke9v

73

Steve K9ZW







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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Any bets on Flex announcing anything new. I'm hoping for a qrp rig that will work with Maestro
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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In addition to production Maestros and the FRS/4o3a Amp?

Might be a lot to ask?

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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The 4o3a amp is gorgeous, but likely to be out of my budget range for the near term. Looking forward to hearing more about it at the dinner in an hour or so. I did come home with a new Begali key for the 6500.
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Please comment about the dinner for us poor souls that can't be there
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Varistor

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Flex is running a promotion that is targeting- surprise!- the Icom 7300 users:

1) Buy a Flex AND an Ic-7300
2) Within the first thirty days, decide which radio you want to keep
3) If you like the Icom, return the flex for a 100% refund
4) If you like the Flex, send the Icom to Flex for a 90% credit of your Icom invoice
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Steve (N9SKM)

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If this is true I hope people are honest with their choice. Of course to do this you will have to have the money to buy both which should weed out some that may try to take advantage.
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km9r.mike

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Seems to me to be a simple promotion for those @ dayton who can not decide between a new ic7300 or the superior flex 6300. I doubt icom is offering such a promotion.

 Flex already offers a 30 day try for free and this appears to be modified for the dayton market. Perhaps this will not disappear.
(Edited)
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Varistor

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Seems to me to be a half-baked promotion. If someone is planning to spend $1500 on a rig, how is losing $150 (10% of the purchase price) is going to compel them to spend twice as much?

Then there is the question of how many people would charge $4,000 on their credit card just to test two radios...not many.
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Walt - KZ1F

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It indicates something else though. In this political season one often hears the pundits admonishing, you should always attack up, never down.
(Edited)
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Varistor

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A deal should have a balanced value exchange to work. In this case the buyer pays $150 to buy a radio he could have bought anyway. On the flip side, Flex does not spend a penny to acquire the buyer- remember, they buy the 7300 at 90% which allows them to sell it with no or very little loss.

I also think that the buying decision has been made much earlier in the process. People know if they want a standalone knobbed radio or a mouse, computer, and a monitor.

Conversely, having the 7300 next to a Flex is likely to make potential Flex buyers reconsider their buying decision in favor of the 7300.
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Walt - KZ1F

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That's the danger of going toe to toe with the weaker opponent. I would have thought positioning the 1500 as direct competition to the 7300, that would be competing up.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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They had a 7300 vs 6300 side by side at theFkex Booth. No Contest 6300 blows away the 7300
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Burt Fisher

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How? There is a No Contest 6300? It filters out contests
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Yes. It's the off switch.
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SteveJ

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6300 blows away the 7300? Not a fair comparsion sine the 6300 with a Masetro has a much higher cost.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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It is pretty neat marketing to suggest buys also buy a competitive product which has a certain marketplace buzz going.

We know the 7300 is not actually exchangeable as a product with the 6000 series, no matter what the buzz says.

Some prospects will end up taking the challenge of buying and trying both. And conceivably some will keep both, some will return the Flex and some will trade in the 7300.

Return of the Flex is not different than the present 30 day offer, which itself makes a lot of sense with a product that some buyers will not "bond" with.

Trade is of a 30 day old 7300 isn't awful as a proposition having gained a Flex customer in the process and securing a decent trade in known to be popular.

The cost differential is a stretch both in radio dollars and in the dollars & effort to put the radios to use. The Flex is a bigger investment but the rewards as also not equally balanced. FRS challenge is all about their belief that a ham in the prefers performance to just having an inexpensive radio.

A win for FRS is so many ways.

And it is a win for Icom as it kind of "gives permission" to also have a 7300 and directs Flex comparisons towards a quality established competitor.

Right now a ham has a lot of very fine choices in HF rigs. Putting a FRS buzz and bold offer out is a great bit of marketing. That the ham, FRS and the contrasting competitor Icom all end up with a winning result is masterful.

Very cool!

73

Steve
K9ZW
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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We are talking Dayton and you (SteveJ) and N2WQ are constantly bringing up the Icom 7300. It is getting to obsession levels. At least SteveJ brings other things to the forum but ....N2WQ.... all your 31 posts so far.... IC-7300.... Dude!!

I think your points about the value proposition from Icom have been noted by all. I think you have been treated respectfully by the mods of this forum who have allowed you to speak your mind freely.

Respectfully, would you both be so kind as to give it a rest?
Let us all enjoy ham radio and let us enjoy our Flex radios.... Don't go away... just change the subject.

Please!!
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km9r.mike

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@n2wq. It is not Flex's problem that their competitors do not offer a 30 day free trial offer. In fact Flex is going out of their way to run a shadow 30 day 90% free offer for the competition. Seems to me Flex is taking all the risk. Of course at the end of the day, quality always beats quantity.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Tell me again who's obsessing over the 7300? For instance, when I was at EMC, large network based storage, we virtually never ever mentioned NetApp and their entry level storage solutions. We ceded the entry level storage market to them. That, btw, meant not constantly comparing their low end products to our high end products. Doing so only acknowledges they are strong competition for the same market segment. Too much hand wringing folks.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Different styles and different marketing techniques of course. Both approaches have validity, but ignoring the marketplace without strategically positioning against the competition is the only very high risk option. Even that approach has worked too.

In this instance hobby industry pundits braved to claim the 7300 was an equivalent choice at a much lower price point. Silly stance as a firm as wise as Icom would have priced higher if the product offered the same.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Walt - KZ1F

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Now, this is strictly intended as an academic conversation. Clearly Gerald has the right to do whatever he prefers san advice from the peanut gallery.My take is the best way to cement the 7300 as a worthy opponent is to indicate to prospects it IS a worthy opponent. This is why I made the suggestion to force the prospective customer base to view it as competition for the 1500, not 6000 series. Certainly there are those that worship at the alter of Sherwood and their purchasing decisions is driven by where a rcv ranks, independent of whether the human ear can discern that difference. I would suspect, what is the primary differentiator is knobs, dials and switches vs no knob dials and switches. This is why I suggested a kick butt 6000 or 7000 series would have the outside of a 990S (good sized, very readable) and the insides of a 6000 series, complete with the Linux SSDR, complete with the same API, be it tcp based or udp based and flexlib or their facsimiles, XPSLib, Dogpatch, Stu's. My skin in the game? I'd buy that. I wouldn't pay an extra $1200 for a knob however.  Why do I say this? It appears that a vast majority of existing 6000 series users ponied up the addition $1,000-$1200 to go to a traditional UI, knobs and dials and VFO-a, VFO-b. I'd suspect every company even thinking of entering the SDR market noticed that.

The second tier differentiator is price. And that is a completely different conversation.

If the 7300 wipes out the 6300 market, it wasn't a silly stance at all.
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Lee, Elmer

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The 7300 is what it is, a cheap entry level radio with pretty decent performance because it's a SDR, and SDR's want to perform.  Even my $50 softrock works well except for some overload.  The audio in the softrock is fabulous using Rocky software.  The 7300 is in competition against a far more deluxe entry level radio from Flex the 6300.  Scenario:

You bought a 7300 on a whim.  Heck it was only $1500 but that kind of socked it to the free cash for Dayon budget but you've been wanting to give this SDR thing a whirl for a l ong time.   No matter you have the room and tix so your going to Dayton anyway.  The 7300 works pretty well!  The audio is fabulous both RX and TX the selectivity is great even without $800 worth of roofing filters.  You like the display except it's kind of small but the menu system helps make up for that.  It kind of works like your old IC-735 but man it's SDR!  You are now a SDR convert.  You don't like the fact the power sometimes randomly cuts in half or the fact it won't tune anything greater than 3.0:1 and sometimes the RX overload light flashes on but man no roofing filters!  Your now a SDR convert and pretty hot for the whole SDR experience

You head out to Dayton with 30,000 of your closest friends and wander by the Flex booth.  You know Flex has been doing SDR for a long time.  They have their entry level 6300 set up next to a 7300.  WOW LOOK AT THAT DISPLAY!  The tuner works great!  Power out is rock solid!  The demo guy shows you how you can hook up JT65 in about 3 clicks, dang!  You've been wanting to try JT65 and it does RTTY and PSK and connects to DXLab and N1MM+ and Winkey almost automatically  CWSkimmer WOW  You've read on the DX forums about CW Skimmer and this thing uses it almost natively.  You thought maybe using a computer as a client would be an issue but it isn't hard to use at all.  Wait a minute there is a deal.  You can try a 6300 for 30 days and if you like it Flex will restore 90% of the Dayton budget you blew on the 7300....  

If you think the newly minted 7300 SDR convert is going to be conned into believing his radio is somehow like a 1500 think again.  If I were Flex I would bring a 7300/6300 demo to every hamfest and the 90% invoice deal.  And some training on the ease of setting up things like the digi modes etc.  

The real competition is between analogue $800 roofing filter radios that are noisy and sound like crap and SDR.  The 7300 is the destruction part of creative-destruction the 6300 is the creative part

73  W9OY
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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This.
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km9r.mike

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@w9oy....Lee what is the creative-destruction theory in general. I have not heard this idea before.
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Lee, Elmer

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Creative destruction in a sentence is out with the old in with the new.  It's an economic theory that describes a business cycle of innovation.  Consider the iPhone vs the flip phone that preceded it.  More formally from wiki :

According to Schumpeter, the "gale of creative destruction" describes the "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one"

73 
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I think that considering the Maestro only an addition of knobs and dials to the 6000 series is very narrow view.

There are several things that make the Maestro interesting (for me) including the dials... but mainly portability-remote operation.

The fact that I can operate from "anywhere" within the LAN, WAN with the use of VPN and WAN natively (in the near future) is a great deal.

Just to give you an example, in order to do that with the TS2000 that I have in Spain which I operate remotely from Barbados, I had to purchase a $500 remoterig kit and a $400 RC2000 front panel and several cables including Serial-to-USB cables at both ends. Roughly $1100. (No computers needed and no panadapter display). I can work digital mode if I add another $200 to $300 worth of equipment with a couple of signalinks.

If I want to use the 7300 remotely I have to purchase 2 computers (2 x $400 - trying to come up with a reasonable PC cost including mouse-keyboard and monitor, it could easily be more) plus the software ($100) plus the knob ($250) and then I lose the knobs and dials but I do get a panadapter display.. not sure how effective this setup would be for CW.

If I want to do the same thing with Elecraft you need a $700 front panel, $500 remote rig and $150 of cables and power supplies. For $1350 you can get a working solution to operate remotely with a front panel with knobs and dials. No panadapter.

All of these systems have me tether unless I add a $120 wifi adapter to the remoterig and a 12v battery. So add that to the RemoteRig solution.

I dig RemoteRig, it works very well, it is a very well design product and I use it daily. If they are in business and different radio companies are offering remoting solutions it is because there is a market for it.

If you look at it this way you realize that the maestro is a pretty interesting proposition and the price is reasonable. Thinking of the Maestro as adding knobs to please or attract "traditionalist" seems to me like the wrong understanding of the device. I get mine in a couple of days. :)

Please do not read my post as just a comparison between the different approaches.... I just wanted to point out that the maestro is not a glorified knob.... I think it is much more than that. 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Yet... There has GOT to be a large segment of the market that is "put off" by a rig with no knobs or switches. The question becomes: are they your target market? Do you cede the knobs and switches crew to the competition, and make the big display one of you key differentiating factors? At the cost of a flex plus a Maestro, I don't think you get much of that crowd except for the high-end folks. But maybe that's all you want.

Or do you follow-up the Maestro with an "all in one box" that leverages your existing investment in the 6000 series plus what you have in the Maestro?

And how much diversity can you realistically support in your product line?

Trying to figure that out is what would get ME up in the morning, if I was a senior manager at Flex. Really interesting business question.

Peter
K1PGV
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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The No Knobs and switches reminds me a bit of what happened in the cellphone business. Back in the mid 2000s I had a Blackberry which allowed me to read emails on the go... that was awesome. I could "work" from the golf course! LOL
In 2007 Apple launched the iPhone and I was hooked. It made a ton of sense, so I bought into it. But the transition was not painless. I lost days of battery life, copy/paste and I had to learn to type on a screen. Still today, almost 10 years later the battery life keeps being an issue unresolved by the major manufactures.

You can draw a lot of parallels and conclusions, but I think one is clear to all... buttons are gone. So typing took a bit to get used to.... for sure... but do you remember what you had to do in a blackberry with its tiny screen to see and zoom into a picture? It was horrible... and how natural it is to pinch to zoom now?

The old will not change... they will prefer to read the manual in paper instead of a tablet or turn a knob instead of moving a slider. The way forward in my opinion is, not to replace a physical button to zoom with a touch screen button, is to come up with the "pinch to zoom" gesture. I think Flex can be the company that does it for ham radio.  
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Lee, Elmer

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This is why the 7300 is the destructive part. Most of its controls are drop down menu screen presses on a cellphone screen. Flex's menu system isnt that different.

73 W9OY
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Varistor

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Peter,

It's pretty simple- you are in the business of making money and your #1 goal is profitability. Profitability comes with focus. You can either be 1) a very profitable #2 or 3 player (think Apple in the market for PCs) or 2) the lowest cost (cost, not selling price) player. Anything in between is a recipe for lousy margins and mediocre performance.

So Flex has to make up their mind- go upscale or chase market size. If I were that senior manager at Flex, I'd go after the upscale market and buyers itching for leading edge innovation, and will stop chasing Icom with silly promotions.

To take that step further, I'd aggressively pursue and nurture relationships with third party developers to build a thriving ecosystem. Using the Apple comparison, think the App Store. I don't know how good the Flex APIs, but I'd make sure it is rock solid, very well documented, and supported via dedicated staff that understand code development. Ditto for providing sample code, testing tools, development transceivers, etc.

To be clear, this stuff is not a rocket science and I am not taking credit for these recommendations. What I am describing is "standard" business strategies every MBA student learns in their first year.

Finally, buttons and knobs are NOT gone, it just depends on the use case. Think blind hams. Think contesters that DO NOT TOUCH a mouse during a contest (great ones only use the keyboard). Think mobile use.
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Ernest - W4EG

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N2WQ - Peter,
This is a fantastic approach. I hope someone is listening.
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Peter, precisely!
@Lee, that was pretty much my point. Doing a bake-off between the 6300 and 7300 is, in political terms arguing / competing down.
@Sal, RHR remotes Elecraft for free. Pans can be sent to a browser, just look at websdr. To my recollection, the html5 widget is called media. One makes a bytestream from the pixelated data and point the media control at it.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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First of all, thanks N2WQ for adding constructive comments to the conversation in the forum I appreciate it. 

I agree with you in the cater to the higher end - upscale market. And I also see in the API one of the gold mines of the Flex "ecosystem".

But I don't think any radio manufacture builds things with the blind in mind. It is at best, an afterthought for many, like adding Voice Readouts on some radios.

The Maestro is definitely a tool fit for a contester and your comment about the mouse reminds me of the hardcore UNIX guys that fly through text editing with VI. For the rest of us mere mortals... the mouse works nicely! :)
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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@Walt, with a computer, I can do that with Flex without the Maestro. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Rudy, correct, buttons and knobs are not gone. Think the bulk of the Flex user base ponying up $1100 +/- $100 to get them. Remoting was already solved across the Flex line. Now it could be FRS tapped into a distinct user base that will buy anything they choose to sell. Buttons and knobs are not a handicap, VPAT, it's ergonomics.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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@N2WQ

Sure. What you're describing is the difference between a highly differentiated price premium strategy and a commodity strategy. And you're right... the space in between was described by my entrepreneurship professor as "the valley of the shadow of death"... and, you're right again, I did learn that in some of my first classes in business school.

But the radio market is waaaay more complicated than you make it sound. Remember, there are a LOT of highly differentiated, price-premium, radios today with knobs and switches. These are the types of rigs an OM buys when he retires, saying to himself "I've always wanted one of these, and now that the kids have grown and I've got time to myself, I can finally treat myself." These folks are part of the knobs and switches crowd, and there are clearly enough of them to make building expensive radios worthwhile for multiple Japanese manufacturers.

Contesters and the like are already taken care of with Maestro. And there's no way... none... that Flex can chase market share.

@EA4GLI:

Exactly like you, I ditched my "I don't have to charge it for two weeks" (literally) Blackberry that I could type on blazingly fast for an iPhone. Because, you know, I can Google from my iPhone, and catch an Uber, and play 4096, and... well, you get the idea.

The only thing that I can differ with in your analysis is that the market segments (the users) for ham radio are FAR different to those for cell phones. Will the "average ham on HF" (whose age is ever increasing) be willing to adapt and join the "no knobs and switches revolution"? The older we get, the less adaptable we tend to be (in general).

Hmmmm... Thinking about OTHER people's business is always a LOT more fun than thinking about your OWN business. Because, you know... you get to stop thinking about it after about 30 minutes and you don't have to live with the consequences of your decisions :-)

Fun discussion...

VY 73 all,

Peter
K1PGV
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Sal, I didn't understand your last.
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Lee, Elmer

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N2WQ. What exactly do you understand Flex's business model to be? Seems to me your pretty misinformed
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Varistor

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I don't know what Flex's business model is for two reasons: 1) they have never really stated what they want to do and what they product roadmap looks like and 2) times have changed and the business model is in need of re-evaluation.

I believe I have stated it pretty clearly that I don't know the inner workings of Flex and my opinions are just that.

An unbiased observer can make reasonable assumptions about Flex based on what they do and don't do. Then you look at the competitors, the buyers, industry and demographics trends and before you know it you can predict the future with a reasonable degree of confidence.
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Rudy, yep, precisely.
I'd say, whether by design or accidently, Flex has captured a slice of the market that is very affluent and incredibly loyal. And that is really good but that market, likely, is not a growth one...in fact likely will shrink over time (age). There is a much larger segment left untouched. The 6600, I envision, would have no more physical controls on it than Maestro, perhaps far fewer and, perhaps, a 5x7 HD display, 2 slices with 6500 technical specs and be priced between the 6300 and 6500. The SSDR environment would remain. I predict that it would sell as fast as they were produced.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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@N2WQ, Please give me a few stock picks... I find predicting the future of the marketplace extremely difficult. :)

@K1PGV You are probably right about the "older" hams. I personally find doing things differently on the flex radios very compelling. Seeing how you can use and manipulate a TNF is one of the greatest things in PowerSDR and SmartSDR.... I can't see doing that better with knobs and no panadapter. 

@Walt, I was referring to the RHR that allows you to use the radio through a webpage... it is using a computer to operate the radio which is what you can do with SmartSDR now without the maestro. We try to cram so many conversation within one thread it is so difficult to follow at times. Give me a call one of these days and we can continue this verbally, I always have fun chatting with you. We can even do it on the Air, through ham radio! hi hi
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Sal, me too, I will. The 6600 I envision would show the panadapter and, should one want to put it on a 60" UHD, fire up ssdr for whatever and have at it.

Sal, the RHR model is precisely what I was referring to, Maestro doesnt enable remote, it enables knobs and dials and dropping ones vfo count to two does not appear to have been so much as a speed bump.
(Edited)
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Varistor

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I will go on a limb here and state an opinion that likely won't be very popular with the aforementioned loyal Flex base.

IMHO, while Flex was an innovative company and market disrupt or, they have stopped being innovative. The Maestro, while popular, is the same old same old.

When people talk about SDR, what is the first topic that comes to mind? The GUI- the panadapter, waterfall, etc. Yet this is the one area that has seen the least fundamental change, just minor refinements.

I am sure that if a company were to put their mind- and market research- behind it, they would come up with features that are relevant and in demand. For example, think about N1EU's long time effort to have spots added to the panadapter.

Going beyond the GUI but still on the topic of SmartSDR, think about the needs of the different market segments and ask yourself if you meet them.

For example, I have been in the shacks of quite a few ESSB hams, the ones that use OM4000 as a driver for their amps. What I not
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Varistor

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I will go on a limb here and state an opinion that likely won't be very popular with the aforementioned loyal Flex base.

IMHO, while Flex was an innovative company and market disrupt or, they have stopped being innovative. The Maestro, while popular, is the same old same old.

When people talk about SDR, what is the first topic that comes to mind? The GUI- the panadapter, waterfall, etc. Yet this is the one area that has seen the least fundamental change, just minor refinements.

I am sure that if a company were to put their mind- and market research- behind it, they would come up with features that are relevant and in demand. For example, think about N1EU's long time effort to have spots added to the panadapter.

Going beyond the GUI but still on the topic of SmartSDR, think about the needs of the different market segments and ask yourself if you meet them.

For example, I have been in the shacks of quite a few ESSB hams, the ones that use OM4000 as a driver for their amps. What I noticed is the stacks of pro audio equipment. So how about adding the capability to SmartSDR to work with the numerous audio plugins, commercial or open source, and replace the need of all that pro audio gear?

The ham population, along with the overall population in the US and Europe, rapidly ages. How is the software evolving to compensate for reduced vision, shaking hands, impaired hearing, etc.?

Hopefully you get the idea. I see opportunities for innovation, but they are not in the hardware. What happens when all rigs have -140 dBm noise floor and 140 db dynamic range?
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Walt - KZ1F

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That is when it becomes all about the price, except for those few where 'price is no object' or, perhaps more the case, "the more expensive the better". But I think that is an ever shrinking market segment.
The bulk of the ham radio market is not chasing bragging rights, IMHO.
(Edited)
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Varistor

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Salvador,

The average individual investor fails to return even 2%, compared to the roughly 11% return for the market. My stock advise to you is simple- stay out of it and let the pros do it for you.

Meanwhile you can play the raising dollar, which will continue doing so at least for the rest of the year. Oil will recover too as the oversupply is coming to an end.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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Flex has 2 fully functional API's, one for control and one for waveforms so the ability to integrate some form of pro tools is already built into the radio.  You will note there was an agreement inked for a new amp.  The radio already has pre-distortion hooks built in, and the new amp has the hooks that complete the feedback loop.  So tell me what other radio has the API's and pre-distortion built into its ecosystem?  That's what you do when all radios have -140 dBm noise floors and 140 db dynamic range.   

Something like spots on the panadapter IMHO has problems in implementation.  One of the reasons Flex went to a FPGA design was to get away from kludging things up with bright idea add-ons that destroy performance.  I don't want any of my FPGA's performance being siphoned off on eye candy.  You make an assumption that there is unlimited horsepower in the radio to do anything your little head can think up.  It's a bad assumption.  If you want spots then develop a overlay onto the panadapter and use your computer to process those spots onto the panadapter.  W2RF has been playing with this approach.  I repeat Flex has 2 fully functional API's, one for control and one for waveforms so the ability to integrate some bright idea is completely available.

73  W9OY
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Varistor

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The Anan has had pre-distortion built in for quite a while, both in software and hardware.

It's amusing how politicians and fanboys resort to name calling and shallow insults when running out of intelligent things to say.
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Lee, Elmer

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Actually its only been built in for about a year. Before that you had to do surgery to the radio. I sold my Anan 100D precisely for this reason. There are 3 versions of the 100D floating around with different boards in them. Very bad form imho you never know what you are buying

73
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Hey, I am better than average! I have the 2% beat! LOL
Oil and dollar. So how do you invest dollars into dollars....? I guess that is where the professionals come in....

Talking about professionals..... we have a few who decided to run a company (FRS) and they seem to be doing a good job so far, but you feel you are in the same professional level that you can "advise" them as to how to run their company.
I didn't know you were an expert in the subject.

So when we talk investment I should let the professionals decide what to do with my money.... but when we talk radio FRS should listen to anyone on a forum (like you or me) with no credentials....

Don't you think that is a double standard?

This is just in the spirit of pointing out the irony of your 2 statements Rudy. I am not criticizing as much as pointing out how you think there are professionals in the area of investment that I should listen to instead of making my own decision and how that changes completely when we talk radio gear.

Cluster Spots on the panadapter

I was very much pro this a few months back. I have had the opportunity to use it on PowerSDR and I am a bit on the fence now. While the tags are really cool for commercial radio stations, the integration of the cluster in my display is not as cool. I guess it has to do with the lack of control and the "garbage in garbage out" of the cluster network nowadays. 

And also, as I stated above, I do not think the Maestro is same old.... unless you think of it as just knobs. I think of it as a very elegant remote op solution. 
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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On screen spots. I suppose you could sniff every piece of data looking for something akin to a call sign, an anywhere in the world call sign, or you, and when I say you I mean SSDR for Windows, tag a dxcluster source and map those entries by band (panadapter) and age them just as it would age heard radios. In XPSSDR, in the waterfall and spectrum, there are layers that make up the displayed image. The actually recurring data is in a layer by itself so refreshes every 50ms only refreshes that layer, not the grids, not the informational messages (slice off screen). For each spot you have a call of the dx and a freq, The frequency resolves to an X coordinate on the screen, in the waterfall in the case of XPSSDR, Rotate the orientation of the call 90 degrees and offset it's center and write to the spot layer. Nothing happens in the radio as the radio does not do UI, the GUI does.

Rudy, the only downside I see to that is would it even rise to sufficient interest for someone to spend $200 on that feature, would someone pay extra for it?. But, as with all software once it is written for the first unit, it is free for all others so, per unit, it would be incredibly inexpensive to implement but where on the list of enhancements would that fall?

@Sal, prior to displaying it would be encumbant on the software to see if there is a signal on that frequency and if the call was even valid...user's qrz xml query.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Does anyone honestly feel confident they have a bead on someone else's credentials? For myself, I tend to research who someone is and get a gauge on their BS ranking. For Rudy, I'd listen to the guy. But, it is not up to me or you or Lee to decide whether he makes sense, it is up to the marketing department to create the interlocks between sales and dev and if the idea makes fiscal sense, it adds a point for one's relevance. That as opposed to hey, our chief cheerleader suggested this...let's do it and see if it bankrupts us.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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LOL BS Ranking, ha ha ha, I like that.... hopefully I haven't climbed much on that ladder.


I do hope Rudy doesn't take offense in my comment as it is great to have him providing somewhat constructive criticism.

I was trying to make the same point as you Walt.
Neither of us is in possession of all the correct answers and neither can we predict the future. Ultimately we are mainly "users" of these devices.

If someone feels they could do a better job... they should. I think we can point out our preferences and try to clue in FRS as to some of our desires... but it is ultimately up to them. They will be the recipients of the success and failures.
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Varistor

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It's more than just "users". It is a cliche, but a true one- the customer is always right, especially the paying customer.

As I was driving to Manhattan this morning- stuck in traffic with plenty of time to think- I was wondering if there have been any recent market studies for the ham market. The contesting community does various polls fairly frequently, but I don't recall anything on transceivers. Granted, it is not that trivial, but someone has to do it.
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Varistor

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Salvador,

You can short the Euro or buy long T-bonds. Broadly, you can short US based companies that make most of their profits from export which is likely to suffer from the rising dollar.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I actually did that a few months back. Bought a US Dollar SP500 index with Euros. We will see how it works out.
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Lee, Elmer

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Rudy

You say profitability is based on focus and different market segments need to be addressed.

Flex offers SDR's to 4 major segments of the ham radio community 

entry level qrp, 1500
entry level fully functional SDR, 6300
mid range contest grade, SDR 6500
high end SO2R grade SDR, 6700

They offer an integrated and common software package across the later 3 platforms.  The 3 platforms are not identical and require some specificity per radio but the "feel" across radios is identical.

The 6700 has been on top of Sherwood's list for almost 2 years so it clearly satisfies your high end requirement with the 6500 and the 6300 performing almost as well.

Flex developed the Maestro specifically to crack the big time DX/contest market.., which is decidedly high end. That platform is now being integrated into super stations, and Flex works with a team of contesters to better integrate the product into contest workflow and environment.  A single 6700 can do SO2R on its own so no need for a second rig or for the integrator like a MicroHam, markedly reducing the cost of SO2R.

Flex entered into a contract to sell a full duty cycle 1500W SO2R ready amp from 4O3A which is well into development.  The amp is completely integrated into the Flex ecosystem.  There are also the 4O3A switching systems and filters integrated into the Flex ecosystem.

Flex has 2 fully functional API's which allow third party integration into the ecosystem.  Every day I run 5 separate software packages which are fully integrated.  For those I merely indicate which radio on my network (I have 2) I wish to connect and the software does the rest.  I have another 5 or so which are specialty, programs like write log and N1MM+ and some digi stuff.  A month or so ago Iran was on 30M RTTY and I decided to see if I could work them.  I've only made 2 rtty contacts in my life years ago on my F5K.  In 5 minutes I had the system set up, memories entered and proceeded to make the contact with Iran and in one call I broke the pileup, my first DX rtty contact.  I was using WinWarbler in the DXLab Suite which is integrated.  I have FreeDV which is third party and completely integrates itself into the radio's client.  A button choice shows up in the mode menu and all the appropriate filter and signal path choices happen automatically using the waveforms API.  This means that a third party program can completely integrate itself into the radio, not just connect to it.  My station is completely automated as far as band change in my amp and antenna system.  I can make my antenna tuner automatically cycle, again integrating my hardware with the radio and I can make this happen from across the house from any computer with which I choose to connect.

Flex and Maestro were on-board for the recent K5P top 10 DXpedition which generated 75,325 QSO's.  2 6000's and 2 Maestros went and because of the sensitivity of the panadapter several stations on 160 and 80 are in the log that would otherwise not be there.  The ops were able to see stations emerge from the noise and tune them in before they became audible, so maximum time was available to complete the QSO.  All of this seems pretty high end to me.  As I was writing this I managed to work D4Z on 80 and 40, one click on SpotCollector put everything on 80 and one click on the 40M spot put everything on 40, 2 new band fills, in 2 calls on 80 and one call on 40.  On 40 I hit the spot immediately and answered his CQ before the pileup started.

Flex has another front they need to address and that is cracking the momentum of legacy radios in Ham radio.  This is another focus and is part of the trade up program.  The way SDR enters is through word of mouth and experience.  It enters by getting radios into the hands of users and empowering their excitement and brand loyalty.  Once one Flex is purchased, another is likely to follow and one to a buddy may soon follow also.  Once 2 guys in a ham club have Flex and once DXpeditions are running Flex and once big gun contesters are winning with Flex, that long term focus will pay off and the inroads into the ham radio community made.  The 6700 was introduced at Dayton in 2012.  It was created from a clean sheet.  I had an eyeball with Gerald and he told me about the genesis of the 6xxx series.  The 6300 was introduced at Dayton in 2014, a high performance every man's radio.  The Maestro as a concept was introduced at Dayton 2015 and brought to fruition before Dayton 2016, also created from a clean sheet.   An integrated Amp was introduced at Dayton 2016.  All of these platforms continue under active development.   I would say quite a bit of focused activity addressing multiple markets has occurred.

73  W9OY   

  
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Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZB

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Ok Dinner is over. What's up guys
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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Maybe they're digesting.  :-)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Burp. Going to bed now. Tomorrow comes early
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Lori and sharon prepared to sell radios Friday Morning



The Maestro Bar was busy, sometimes with folks packed 4-deep waiting for a seat



Chris, K6OZY, showing off Maestro running the K9CT superstation to both Craig, K9CT, and new FlexRadio owner HK1R, Jorge (see http://hk1rjumanji.dxarc.org)



More Maestro Bar



SDR Forum Friday afternoon with Scotty, WA2DFI, speaking (Jared, AF7SO and Steve, N5AC also talked).  In another 20 minutes there was even more folks lining the walls standing.



Friday night FlexRadio Banquet -- filled to the gills!  We had 200 people, our largest crowd to date.



Lots of folks were demoing their remote FlexRadios.  Chris would send CW from K9CT's station over remote from a Maestro to another station in Finland using the DL8MRE RadioApp, etc.  Fun had by all!
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thanks for the Pics!!!
One of these years I might make it to one of these events!!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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More DL8MRE communications
San Diego to Indiana viaDayton



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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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The large iPad was Howard's. The small one is mine! He was running Smartether.net for VPN. I was running the VPN driver on my ASUS router. Both worked really well....until my iPhone battery ran down and I lost my tethered connection to the Internet.
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Lee, Elmer

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I count like 10 Maestros at the Maestro bar.  What do you have all those Maestros plugged into?

73  W9OY
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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12 Maestro Stacked 6300 in a travel case.
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Philip KA4KOE

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Can't wait to get mine in June!
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Jon W1JDB

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So was the desert at the Banquet designed to not damage all of those tablets. laptops, iPads, etc.? Any metrics on spilled drinks and/or coffee? Can you indeed pour champagne on a Maestro like they do in the Samsung phone commercials?
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Lee, Elmer

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This is America you can do whatever you want
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Jon W1JDB

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Lee: What? You do know this was tongue and cheek right?
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Lee, Elmer

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Jon of course! So was my comment
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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The DL8MRE app looks like it's going to be great. Thanks for the demo, Howard!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Flex Radio portable Stack


Three 6300, one 6500 with power supply and net switch in one portable case driving a bunch of Maestros
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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So the functionality is there to use several Maestros with one 6500-6700?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Multi client is Planned. But not there yet for public consumption
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Al / NN4ZZ

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There were 3 cases with 4 radios each....so it was 1 to 1. Here is a pic of Tim setting it up on Thursday evening.

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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I would love to find out how they rack mounted the 6300's.  I would love to get a 4 or 6U GatorBox like that and mount my radio, antenna tuner and power supply.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Back in Atlanta so fixed the picture ( some reason when posting form my iPad on the drive back it wouldn't orient correctly).   Had to repost - couldn't edit the previous post. 

There was one cabinet with 4 radios at the end of each table end and one between the tables for a total of 12 radios.  

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
Win10

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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John - AF3K

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Thank you to the Flex team for a great experience at Dayton this year. Nice booth, informative banquet, the opportunity to talk directly to staff and other Flex users is much appreciated.

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