Did you See Peter Hart's RadCom Review of Flex-6700

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I usually enjoy Peter Hart's reviews in the RSBG magazine RadCom.

Have you see Peter Hart's review of the Flex-6700 in the October issue of RadCom?  If so, what do you think about it?

If you haven't seen it, you can download a copy (in PDF format) from my website.

I was surprised to find Mr. Hart's review... well, sort of dry.  Not negative in any way, and certainly very positive for sure.  But somehow I felt the review was lacking.

Sure, he says
The pandapter and waterfall displays are most impressive... excellent for monitoring weak beacons... and it is surprising what can be 'seen' even under fairly flat conditions.[R]eceivers sound very clean across the whole tuning range and filters, notches, and noise reduction are very effective.  The transmit audio quality was also reported as excellent and highly adjustable.
He concludes by saying the Flex-6700 is an
[E]xcellent fully-featured and high performing SDR tranceiver at the top end of a growing range of models.  [The] software is continuing to evolve adding more and more functions [to] bring a new dimension to operation on the amateur bands.
That is certainly great praise.  But somehow... I was expecting a more vibrant review.  I feel like something's missing.

Am I just being too sensitive in my reading?  What do you think about Mr. Hart's review?
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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  • confused

Posted 5 years ago

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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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That's high praise in England. When my mother loves something to the point of giddyness she will still refer to it as "Nice".
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Point taken, Mr. Clafton.  Thank you for that.

Still, I'm used to reading Mr. Hart's reviews and.. I don't know.  This one felt odd to me for some reason.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Like we used to say in sports... A win is a win is a win! Taken with the Sherwood report, I think the good folks at FRS can be justifiably proud. I've had my 6500 for over a year now (one of those lucky pre-order guys) and have been using it daily. The hardware has been bulletproof, and the software has matured nicely from the beta days. Best radio I've ever used.
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KM6CQ - Dan

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I read the article and thought it was appropriate. Two similar transceivers that take a different approach and arrive with similar results. I like that Flex will be able to monitise SSDR to enable them to improve it. I like the concept of opensource, but it can move slow. I say all this because the content is a little dry. But only because it is really not new to me (or any of us) any longer, as when I received my first SDR rig. I am now on my third. I see more enthusiasm in reviews for radios made in Aptos, Ca. but then, they are making products that are new to their user base. And the founders are active with their user base. One of them has made it clear by his actions, they make the products they themselves like to use. (we see this in a very successful company that has dropped the word computer from their name.) And he continually shares how he is using his products in his personal life. It comes across as passion not duty.  And for some of their products, new firmware is made available on a weekly basis, mostly from feedback by the user base. All this makes their user groups very active and excited.  The equipment reviewers read these boards and I think some of it catches with them. I think all of these things contribute to passionate equipment reviews. Something that was not seen in Peter's article. And I really think it was a good article. 

73,   Dan KM6CQ
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Lee, Elmer

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I think the problem is the nature of SDR is hard to wrap the mind around so you spend a lot of time inadequately describing things like FPGA.  What the hell is a FPGA?  I know what it is, but its not intuitive.  It is not a computer but something very different.  About the closest you can get is the FPGA is a big honkin supercharged programmable data engine.  But then Peter would never write that.  Only someone as irreverent as me would write that.  I have read many times how Flex moved the "computer" into the radio.  This totally misrepresents how the radio works.  It's like when the SDR-1000 was called a "sound card radio" as if that meant something and everybody would dutifully shake their heads up and down pretending to understand... "ahhhh sound card radio"..... ...."ahhhh FPGA"...  

Another:  SDR's using DDC respond to strong signals by improving their response right up till the last bit is breached then crash and burn... HUH?  We all know radios crunch in a graded fashion until we can't stand to listen to the distortion and we get so PO'd we rip the socket out of the wall and wander away cursing (Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom's) "crappy dynamic range".  (you pick your favorite radio to hate)  How do you curse a radio that never crunches?  I've tried everything I can think of to make my radio crunch and so far except for running a separate KW station to a vertical in the back yard while receiving on a vertical in the front yard I haven't been able to make it crunch.  Weird but wonderful behavior generally unknown to ham radio except for the few of us who own these rigs.  What the hell is a virtual CAT port??  We all know what it is of course but to the average guy who is trying to control his analogue radio with N1MM over a piece of wire the experience of a virtual port and its inherent power is completely lost.  

So I think that is what is missing.  Our SDR experience is incongruous.  In the old days if you drew Venn diagrams of experience for individual analogue radios the included points were largely the same.  In the day of the SDR maybe more than half of the included points are outside of the analogue diagram, maybe not even on the same plane.  Analogue radios are largely 1 dimensional.  SDR's are at least 3 maybe 4 in terms of information content.  Analogue radios allow you to hear a single freq and adjust either up or down in a linear non random fashion.  SDR's have that, plus video, plus random access, plus waterfall, plus history in the waterfall, plus the ability to decode signals into intelligence.  In the land of the blind the guy with one eye is king.  

73  W9OY           
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Steve W6SDM

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Peter, sometimes the XYL will come up behind me while I am taking a break from a pileup and ask, "Do you love me?".

I answer "Of course I do.  I love you."

Later, when I found her pouting, I ask her what's wrong.  She replies, "You didn't say you love me a lot.".

Anyway, a review from someone who doesn't actually own the radio is always pretty objective.  As you say, at least it was positive and factual.

Oh, and I love my Flex... a lot!

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His review sounded very much like it was done in the 3rd place, like he didn't take the opportunity to experience what the 6700 could do in the 1st place and write the review comparing his experiences....  too bad.....
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Sergey, R5AU

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For me not all messages clear and i would like to say statement is very conservative and without additional information as usual: S/N, SW ver etc

BTW F6700 in compare to Anan100d additionally has:
- Front end BPF`s 
- 2m and other bands
- ATU (BTW for me not so actual)
- Server base SW structure
with open API just started
- perfect Apps.(GUI) with further planned expansions

IMHO: i would like to say that Apache Labs just introduced the Dev to be compare with F6700 (may be) where at least more or less equal level of the CPU power exist - ANAN200