Flex 6000 Radios.

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
I was thinking of getting one of these  but after reading about all of the problems I think I will stick with my Flex 3000. I have never seen so many people have so many problems using a radio like this latest and greatest radio. Seems Flex should have waited and got rid of all the bugs first before making us their Beta testers and not getting paid for it in some way. Just my two cents. I'm keeping my 3000 instead.
Photo of Ricky


  • 32 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes

Posted 5 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 199 Reply Likes

People come here to report problems, so if you review this, all you will hear about is problems.  If everyone jumped in and said my  unit is working fine, the site would be overwhelmed.  

Even those that report problems will say they won't give it up at all.  

All software has bugs.  Even the one you wrote your message on.  You'll find there are very few (if any) show stoppers.

Mike va3mw
Photo of Lee - N5LN

Lee - N5LN

  • 22 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
It is yours for free.  After I order a Flex, what do I do with my VTVM & signal generator? 
Photo of John n0snx

John n0snx

  • 229 Posts
  • 54 Reply Likes
I have read all the comments on this topic and Like MOST of the replies I agree the 6000 series is the best radio on the market.

This forum was never designed to be a place to review their products, It was started as an avenue for each and every flex user to come and ask fellow users questions regarding "HOW TO" and report bugs users have come across while using the rig.

A lot of the issues that you see here  is in no way a reflection of the REAL radio... You have people complaining about this and that and the software lacks and so on...That's is a small group of users that are putting the radio thru extreme operating conditions that the normal user would never think about.

For any user this is a fantastic radio and with each software upgrade it like getting a new radio; For the average user it is AWESOME!!!! The receiver is the BEST I have ever owned and I have owned Hundreds of them....

I have been a Flex guy for a long time starting with the 3000(2 times), 5000(2 times) and the 6300(2 times) and Have just ordered a 6500... Flex has definitely got it going on with the 6000 series.  NOTHING on the market can compete with it.

Ricky with that being said.... Don't pass up the opportunity to own and use the Best there is....

Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1685 Posts
  • 266 Reply Likes
If your seeking something you may find it. Pleasure, Pain, Excitement, Joy, Positive, Negative, Good, or Bad. The important thing is knowing the difference, between what your looking at, and what your looking for. As with everything it is what it is, we create our own definitions. Beauty is there, It's up to you to see it when you look at it.
Photo of Barry N1EU

Barry N1EU

  • 495 Posts
  • 127 Reply Likes
Appreciate the big perspective!
Photo of Jay / NO5J

Jay / NO5J

  • 1685 Posts
  • 266 Reply Likes
If your after Big, go with reality. It's really big, Infinitely big. Wherever you look there it is. 
Photo of Stu Phillips - K6TU

Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

  • 642 Posts
  • 257 Reply Likes

I understand how you get to this conclusion from reading the Community.  Unfortunately folks are quicker to complain than praise and praise often goes unstated.  It's the nature of these online forums especially when the vocal minority use the forum as a soap box for their own complaints.

The end result blows things out of proportion.

I was a very happy Flex 5000 owner.  It was a great radio, helped me place well in a number of contests, was reliable and fun to operate.

I sold the 5000 in April last year - 5 months after FlexRadio came out with the first production release the SmartSDR software.  I have never regretted selling the 5000.  I am throughly delighted with my Flex 6700 and it beats any other radio hands down for my personal operating in DXing and Contesting.

As with PowerSDR, the software goes through an evolution process.  5 years ago, the FlexRadio email reflector looked a lot like this community today.  The vocal minority dominated the conversation with their complaints but overall, the software was very capable.  Of course, it got better... and better!

SmartSDR 1.3 has some short falls - but they are being taken care of.  SmartSDR 1.5 has the possibility of moving the goal posts a long way forward and I'm happy to wait for it.  In the meantime, the current software is robust and has helped me further improve my performance in contests.

I'm very happy.

I don't know where you are located - if you are in the SF Bay Area, let me know and I'd be delighted to host you to see the radio in operation.  No matter where you are, I'm sure you will find someone within reasonable distance who would do the same thing.

Try it!  You will be pleasantly surprised.

In the meantime, don't give in to the minority for they are just that - vocal as they may be, their views don't speak for everyone.

Stu K6TU
Photo of Peter K1PGV

Peter K1PGV, Elmer

  • 554 Posts
  • 327 Reply Likes

Ricky, I think you're misinterpreting a lot of the posts here.  There are very few actual bugs post here at I see.  Lot of suggestions, lots of questions, lots of folks working out how to use some very complex functionality to achieve both simple and complex goals.

But, one thing is indisputably true:  If you like your 3000, and you don't want the performance increase that the 6000-series will give you, you should keep your 3000.  Of course, that's true regardless of whatever anybody posts here: problems, suggestions, solutions, questions, or issues.

Peter K1PGV

Photo of George Molnar, KF2T

George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

  • 1699 Posts
  • 631 Reply Likes
Ricky, remember that most people will post when they have an issue. My 6500 has been running every day since I got it (was one of the lucky first round) without a problem. Sure, software can occasionally throw some curves, but none have been bad at all. Most of the "problems" have come directly from my ignorance or lack of attention.

The learning curve for the 6000-series is different than any other radio. Operators need to understand at least some networking, have appropriate hardware, and adjust their thinking to reflect the fact that the 6000's are "radio servers," not "just" radios. Reading the manual and comments on here helps immensely. Because the radio operates differently than one expects doesn't mean it's the radio's fault.

That said, your radio choice is completely up to you. Personally, I adore my 6500. It's the most capable radio I've had in 40 years of hamming. But, like with anything, one size does not fit all. 

Enjoy your 3000 - it is a fine radio. If it does what you want, there's no real reason to change.
Photo of David Decoons wo2x

David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

  • 1519 Posts
  • 338 Reply Likes

Having owned a 1500, 3000, and several 5000's and now the 6500 I can say I'd never go back to PowerSDR. Eliminating Firewire and simplifying the setup has made the new 6000 series radios quite easy for a lot of computer "novices" to use

While some people have problems, most are thoroughly enjoying the radio.

Flex has a money back guarantee if you do not like the radio. If you do get one you won't be sending it back though....

Dave, wo2x

Photo of Lee - N5LN

Lee - N5LN

  • 22 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes

I've been planning to get a 6300 in February.  I understand what Ricky is saying.  You don't hear many praises!  I've had some second thoughts, too.

However, as of this writing, I'm still planning to buy one in February.  I've saved my pennies and will as usual, pay cash. 

There is still a question about which:  the 6300 vs. the 6500.    

Photo of Corey/ KC0YNS

Corey/ KC0YNS

  • 106 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
Just like you I waited since last fall, Finally pulled the trigger and ordered the 6300 last week, It was delivered to my door in two days, Replaced one position on my desk that had a Yaesu FT1000MP with the Flex this past Friday....I'm having a great time...Lots of great support..

Just yesterday N5DOA Don works for Flex & he heard me talking on 80 meters yesterday evening about my new Flex and offered his help in getting my audio just right...He also offered to Email him anytime.

I'm really enjoying all the options this rig has to offer, Order it, You won't be sorry!!  Corey kc0yns    
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P

  • 4241 Posts
  • 1357 Reply Likes
I have a 1500 and a 6500.  I love them both, but hardly turn the 1500 on any more except to monitor my 6500 for testing because the receiver and GUI in the 6500 is so much better.  The CW QSK is smoother on the 6500 than the 3000 would be.  The TX is more effective on SSB due to the processing routine, and the list goes on and on....

The FEW frustrations and unfinished business that I have found on the 6500 are FAR overshadowed by the vastly superior performance in many, many other areas.  And they will be corrected in the upcoming software release or the next one.  This rig is still evolving, and will be for many years.  Major feature enhancement on the 3000/5000 is probably done, or will be very slow in coming.  

The 3000 is a very excellent rig, and one of the best bang-for-the-buck rigs in its price class before it was discontinued.  But the 6000 series is in another class above the 3000/5000 in almost all areas.  Unless you are OCD fixated upon a couple of particular issues, unwilling to wait for continuing improvements, have specific Noise Blanking issues that require performance that the 6000 is still lacking, or are unable to learn how to make a few required adjustments in filters, AGC-T, and EQ to maximize performance, the 6000 is a top level rig.

Ken - NM9P
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 625 Posts
  • 284 Reply Likes
My mother-in-law wouldn't fly because she kept seeing plane crashes on the news.  

I had a 3000 when there were the same type of discussions on the reflectors.   You know, I never had to send my Flex 3000 in for any type of upgrade or recall.  I did get a lot of new software along with new features for the radio.  If I got a bill for that, I must have misplaced it.   Ssshhh!  Don't tell Flex.
Photo of KM4CQG


  • 254 Posts
  • 43 Reply Likes

My take is the Flex 6000 series is fantastic it has eclipsed everything the competition has to offer.

While not for everyone meaning I don't get E mail crowd or my latest computer is 5 year's old.

I find it an incredible tool.

Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

  • 4357 Posts
  • 1043 Reply Likes
I am on my 3000 now and plan on moving to the 6500. I have not yet because I have a time line I'm working on. Retirement and stuff.
And I do understand what this forum is for. It is for discussion on our radios, to find and report problems in order to make it better. Have you noticed most everyone that post to report a problem are not saying they are disappointed and unhappy? They are reporting. that's all.
I remember years ago when PSDR started up most the features on my 3000 didn't work as PSDR was still improving, it took some time for it to get to where it is today,,SSDR is the same.
Photo of George O'Brien, AB4FH

George O'Brien, AB4FH

  • 50 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Hi Ricky,
I've been a ham since 1969 and have had a lot of rigs.  I upgraded in October of last year from a TenTec Orion II to the Flex 6700.  Being a CW fan, I wanted full QSK.  Having owned a Flex 1500, I knew that I liked seeing the signals across the band.  Owning a KX3 (#150) from the time it was introduced, I knew that the feature set of an SDR would get better and better over time.  Both Elecraft and Flex Radio Systems make excellent products that they stand behind.

I think you will be very happy with any of the 6000 series radios.
Photo of Larry da Ponte

Larry da Ponte

  • 159 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
For me, Flex radios (all models including the 6000 series) are far more interesting to use than non SDR amateur gear I've owned - even with the software bugs.  The 6000 series architecture is compelling and being a network apliance with an open API should make for an interesting future.  I opted for the 6500 over the 6300 so that I could see the entire HF spectrum while working a specific band plus the GPSDO capability and extra I/O on the back panel.
Photo of W5UN_Dave


  • 316 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes
if you pass on the 6700 (and can afford it) you are making a big mistake
Photo of Lee - N5LN

Lee - N5LN

  • 22 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes

Dave,  Thanks for your comment! 

While I can afford the 6700, (other than eight panadapters vs. 4 panadapters,) what advantages are there between the 6500 that makes it worth the extra $$$'s?  

I've been a ham since the early 70's and operated my beautiful "S-Line" until 2005.  While I won't miss all the knobs, I will miss dipping the plate current and peaking the grid!  Hi, Hi.  

Thanks Oscar, N5LN

Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P

  • 4241 Posts
  • 1356 Reply Likes
The 6700 has two SCU's, which allows you to listen to stations on two separate antennas, like 160 and 6 meters at the same time. Or... Listening to the same frequency on two antennas, opening the door to many interesting options for diversity reception, noise reduction and other things that the 6500 and 6300 cannot do.

The 6700 also has the fastest processor, which may allow some high processing option more than the others. Not to mention the 8 pan adapters and 8 slices instead of 4 on the 6500 or 2 on the 6300.

It also has capability for 2 meter receive and transmit, although it is at transverter levels. Many 6700 owners are using a high gain amp to good effect.

I wish I could have afforded the 6700 for these reasons. But I love my 6500!
Photo of Glen Collier

Glen Collier

  • 1 Post
  • 2 Reply Likes

I have had a LOT of HF radios since 1970, and the Flex 6700 is not even in the same league as most of the other HF systems in the market.  And use of the system is so intuitive it is as if the designers read my mind.  This is an engineering masterpiece and should be considered a work of art!

Photo of N4TTY


  • 48 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
I had a 3000 and constantly had issues! I now have a 6700 and never have problems other than anxiously awaiting the next release of software to see what's new this time.

I guess it's to each his own. Sorry you have been so misled!
Photo of Jon - KF2E

Jon - KF2E

  • 703 Posts
  • 234 Reply Likes
If you want opinions on a radio read reviews like Eham. If you want to see the issues people are having, read the forum. Forums are not generally a love fest of owners. It is a place to ask for help and to discuss your problems.

Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 629 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
I been an owner of Flex radios since the beginning and I loved them all.

I have owned all of the  Flex radios 1000,1500,3000 and two 5000.  Now I have a 6700.

Just like, N4TTY said, I am also sorry that you have been misled.  

I had a few bumps down the road. However, it was because I did not understand the instructions as simple as they are.

Plus, my limited knowledge of computers software and programming. I am an average self thought, and still learning user. 

When I have issues, I ask questions and 99.9% of the time it turns out to be; my misunderstanding of what Flex said to do.

I do not share the rest of your views.  

I bought my Flex-6700 the Monday after Dayton.  I had no idea what was in the box.  I was confident that Flex does what they promise.  

Flex told us that the software (SmartSDR) was being created.  This was major development: Since this was their product.  They made us aware and gave us the opportunity to wait until it was fully developed or we can choose to be part of the BETA testers.  

Guess what my friend. We chose to take the radio under those conditions.  So your "should have waited and got rid of all the bugs first before making us their Beta testers" is absurd and ignorant. 

Is your choice and money; next time consider who is feeding you negative advice before you castigate FlexRadio System.
Photo of lyndy brannen

lyndy brannen

  • 42 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Photo of Steve W6SDM

Steve W6SDM

  • 625 Posts
  • 284 Reply Likes
If he is a troll, he sure managed to solicit a lot of positive testimonials from happy Flex 6000 series owners.  :)
Photo of W5XZ - dan

W5XZ - dan

  • 571 Posts
  • 86 Reply Likes
Ricky, do you have power line noise?  If  you need a decent noise blanker, you should keep your F3k...the 6000 series ineffective NB is 'science project' status....and 'later' at that..

JM2C, 73, w5xz, dan
Photo of k3Tim


  • 963 Posts
  • 202 Reply Likes
Actually it worked well for me on the specific noise type.  There was a loarge portion of 40M band that had a weird 'click' about 4 times second.  With NB on, it disappeared w/o causing damage to the received signal.  Turned an unusable portion of the band into clear air.  It was pretty amazing.
Photo of k3Tim


  • 963 Posts
  • 202 Reply Likes
I concur with the group, in addition some of the problems listed are old (1 year) and fixed. 

I picked up my 6500 in late December and have a lot of time on it.  WIth the 1.38 sw I am a very happy camper.  It does a lot of things well.  The 1.4 should add to this list.  Suggest you check the fixes there were included in 1.38.  One can read the release notes from the main Flex site.  This trend of fixing bugs will continue.

Before ordering I was in the same mindset you are about all the 'problems'.  I realized most posts are about problems and a lot of 'em are PC related,  I was going to hold off till 1.4 came out but to what end.  The s/w will be included in very near future for current users.  Also the radio does pretty much everything I want (CW / RTTY some SSB)  whereas the 1.4 goodies{FM / thin-net client} are of no interest.  Any bug / enhancements will be welcome.  So I figured why what / for what?
Radio is very good.  Dabbled in the RTTY Round Up this weekend with no hick-ups from the Flex (PC did once on 15 meters due to RFI hitting it)  Some of the contestants were right on top of each other and the 6500 pulled the station of interest w/o problems.  One could run 3K filter width and have no problems even under these wall-to-wall conditions. 

I leave this puppy on 24hrs a day and the Flex has stayed up for days on end. 

Best Wishes.

Photo of Steve K9ZW

Steve K9ZW, Elmer

  • 1642 Posts
  • 800 Reply Likes
K3TIM's advice about computers is worth expanding on - you simply have to have the right machine to make the best of either the PowerSDR radios or the new SmartSDR radios.

And the same computer isn't necessarily the right one for both PowerSDR and SmartSDR - I found that out when the XP Box I used with my 5000 wasn't up to what was needed to effectively run multiple programs with PowerSDR and want't up to doing SmartSDR well.  

I hadn't budgeted for a new computer and tried to push it for a while, but my setup really didn't work very well until I got a good enough machine in.

So in short, check your intended computer against the SmartSDR minimums and recommendations if you are not planning to upgrade computers at the same time as radios.


Photo of Jerry - W2TXB

Jerry - W2TXB

  • 90 Posts
  • 17 Reply Likes
When those of us bought the Flex 6500 and 6700 series and ordered it in advance of its release, we knew we would be doing beta testing on the radio and software; that is a big part of what Flex users enjoy doing. Part of the fun is "beating the software to death" and reporting problems, issues, proposed changes, etc. back to Flex, whose staff are know to be among the best and most helpful in the business. 

Right from the box and with the earliest software, I could see this radio is a definite winner, and I am not even a big contester or avid DX'er. With the subsequent upgrades, it has become even better. As 1.4 and 1.5 are released, the radios will really shine.

I could have bought something from one of the "big three" and already have a small ICOM HF/VHF/UHF radio, but with the Flex 6700, I have a lot more flexibility and a receiver that does everything better than any radio I have ever owned... even better than the 5000A I sold prior to ordering the 6700.

While the 3000 and 5000 series are most worthy radios that will outperform pretty much anything else out there, the 6000 series kicks it up a (huge) notch. 
Photo of K2CM


  • 270 Posts
  • 18 Reply Likes
My Flex 3000 was a wonderful radio. I took it on a DXpedition to Bequia where I operated as J8K2CM. Loved the radio; but, sold it to get a 6700.

I am having no issues with the 6700 and find that the CW filters are better and that the receiver has extremely low internal noise. It is by far the best radio that I have ever owned!
Photo of Robert -- N5IKD

Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

  • 488 Posts
  • 152 Reply Likes
The 6000 is such a good radio that it exposes all of the problems in the rest of your station that you didn't know existed. If you don't want to expose problems of which you are not currently aware, then you should keep the radio that you have.
Photo of W8GAZ


  • 2 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
I got my 6300 at Dayton when it was first released.  It has been fantastic. I had a 5000 for 4 years before.  The 6300 has been perfect with zero problems. I run an 500 watt amp and use a loop for receive as well as my beam.  Maybe some people just don't have what it takes to be a ham. :)

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.