Flex 6300 vs......

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I just finished setting up and testing our club's new IC-7610. I did this at home because I needed extensive internat access in case of any issues. 

The background of all this is that there were two radios we were looking at. Either the Flex 6600M, or the 7610. Even though the 6600M doesn't actually need a computer connected to it, for contesting we would be connecting one, and Flex's Windows 10 woes are quite well known by now. So despite my objections, the majority went for the 7610. Enough of that.

After shaking the thing down, all I can say is that I am happy with my presumably bottom of the line 6300, both for use and performance wise. The 7610's menus are not intuitive, the touch screen isn't gorilla glass, but a fingerprint gathering old school plastic version best used with a stylus. The instructions are lacking a bit as well - thank goodness for Youtube videos - warning - the interface has changed recently, so many vids are out of date. Also a recent update killed the waterfalls in fldigi and N1MM. That's fixed now. After getting N1MM to run, I shut it down, packed it up, and thanked heaven I bought a Flex Radio. 

I rate the 7610 as Okay. Maybe a 5 out of 10.  6300 gets an 8+ for the radio.

side note: when I got to play with a Maestro a little bit at Hamcation, before they were released, I had most things figured out in  a few minutes with no manual.
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Michael Coslo

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  • Happy with my Flex.

Posted 1 month ago

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Michael Walker, Employee

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Hi Michael

Some of the gaps that I have noticed personally are:

  • Only 1 CAT port, so you are limited to only 1 app connected to the radio unless you wizard your way through a VSP (correct me if I am wrong).  Being not LAN based really limits that.
  • I don't think it can do SO2R out of the box including being to do OTRSP from N1MM for audio management
  • The display part is an issue and I think some people are already seeing burn in
  • Remote operation
  • Flex 6000 series radios are significantly easier to build a full function remote station with.  I get call every day from Hams who want to build a remote station for many reasons.  Even clubs are now doing it for their shut in members and all they need is an iPad or a Window computer to access.  BTW, not everyone had Win 10 issues, we just heard about all of them.  (Personally, with 5 computers that I run SmartSDR on, I had zero issues).  
But, it is what you make of it and how you use it.  The features and functions have different priority levels for everyone.   

Glad to hear you got to evaluate both units well.  Thanks for sharing your views.

Mike
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Pat Hamp

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I love mine, I parted with a FTDX-3000, a 1200 and now have a 6300 and a FT-991A for Sats, 2 and 70,  and back up. Dual monitors and a headset, only word to describe it is sweet!. The small screen displays can't compete with dual 24" monitors, a Flex control and mouse. These knob radios need HDMI outputs to even come close. And IPS capability. You made a good decision and will live well with it.

Pat
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Mark WS7M

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I looked pretty hard a while back at:

7610
Anan 8000

I then did something I tell people to do a lot when buying just about anything:   Get intimate with and understand your true needs, not wants.  Those are extra and nice but what is it you really need?

In my case, due to my life style and profession, if I am going to operate at all I need LAN remote and WAN remote adds more op ability.  Without these I would probably operate about 30% of what I do now.

I also wanted the ability to easily write software for the radio.  Considering that Flex offers the API this made their selection over the 7610 a piece of cake.   The Anan came in second here but since the radio uses a FAT client that made my Flex selection even easier.

I also hang out with a bunch of guys on 40, one is my town neighbor that hate flex radios and call them junk.  Well my town neighbor does.  But they all run Anan 8000 and talk about how good it is.  They are into clean signals and love the Pure Signal feature Anan has.   

They claim to know if you are on a flex are not just by the quality of the audio.  Well I've checked in with this group running an Icom 7610 out of HRO and they asked what was different about my audio.  I lied and said I was on the computer microphone to my flex.  The group went on oblivious to the icom.

Laster in the afternoon the same group was up on 20 and I met up with them on my flex and one of the asked why the audio was now sow much better.  I explained I'd been on an Icom earlier then on the flex now.  They all said, "Ya I knew it was a junk Icom!" (lier!)   And then a fairly new member of the group says, "Wait!?  You are running a flex?  Your audio sounds great, in fact better at times than your neighbor!"   Oh boy did that piss off my town neighbor LOL.

These guys and their Anans spend literally HOURS and HOURS tweaking buffer settings in hidden menus.   With flex it is point and click and go.

It is why I will use a flex on my SOTA, POTA outings and our next field day.
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Michael Coslo

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The interesting part about what you wrote is that while yes, there are some folks out there that hate Flex radios, when I just cruise around, I get people who find I have a Flex almost always ask for extensive audio analysis. They are excited to be talking to a FLex user. The irony of that is I'm half deaf. But I can adjust the Flex sound to be great for these ears, and give them a pretty accurate report. 

I kinda doubt those other guys who are "better" will take the time to help people. 
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Pat Hamp

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I have a great example I am also hard of hearing in one ear. Thus the EQ on the receive side allowed my trim my hearing so I caught a hard to get DX call one evening. basically it became my hearing aid.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Mark that is really funny. The Anan is a good radio. But the way some of these guys carry on about it is so funny.
It was not so long ago they were laughing at Flex for taking so long with getting a new release out and features.
But now Anan is missing features and waiting about a year now for an update they are looking for. hmmm
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Mark WS7M

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Well most of these Anan guys I hang out with don't bash flex.  Just a couple and they never give me a hard time about my audio.  I have found that for SSB doing all the audio setup outside the flex then going in XLR to be the best.  I have not had the same success with USB mics.

If FRS ever does Adaptive Pre-distortion then Anan will have nothing on flex.  I will say the pure signal stuff is pretty amazing.  When I watch my cross town anan neighbor with it off I can see the stuff on either side of his signal.  The moment he turns on Pure Signal that stuff just disappears completely.  Very obvious when close but honestly if you were 200+ miles away I am not sure you could see it.

I agree the Anan is a good radio.  200w, lots of features but the software being public domain is both good and bad and you have good releases and not so good releases.  For the most part Flex releases are pretty stable.  I've had my Anan friend have to go back a couple revs because of a problem.

One very funny thing is that I don't think twice about opening 2 or 3 even 4 pans on different bands and watch what is going on.  I mentioned one day while we were on 40 that "hey 20m is looking pretty good... you should check it out".   What ensued was a 10 minute back and forth trying to figure out how to open a second pan on the Anan PSDR and in the end they got something that was like a merged version of the two.  I had already opened my forth, scanned multiple bands while they were still poking at buttons.  

Honestly each radio has its strengths.  I think the Anan has some very good points.  So does flex.  I get great audio reports and I can run as wide or narrow as I desire with different profiles.

I blew them all away one hot saturday morning when I joined into the group using my laptop and a set of bose headphones and mic from my shaded under deck patio overlooking my backyard.  They could barely tell I was on a different mic and on my laptop operating WiFi from the back patio.  This is something none of my Anan friends can do.  They are locked into their shacks surrounded by massive racks of audio gear and amps.  I have all my stuff tucked in a utility room.  I op from anywhere in the house even outside.  I've installed a number of WiFi access points so the signal is good just about anywhere I desire to be.
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Mike - WB8CXO

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When I need to operate my 6600M with a PC I use Win7... no problems! I no longer belong to clubs, TOO MANY OPINIONS. Started as a member, left as President. BTDT
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Michael Coslo

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I just hope they are happy with the radio. If not, well it wasn't for my efforts to buy a Flex. In the meantime, I comfirmed that in matters of SDR radios, I made the right choice for myself