flex 6400 / 6600 boot up time

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One of the complaints I have seen from others is the lengthy time it takes for the 6300/6500/6700 to boot up.   Does the 6400/6600 use a SSD and how long does it take to boot up. 
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Mike, W8BE

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Posted 2 years ago

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Rory - N6OIL

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I leave mine on pretty much 24/7 so I can send my spots to PSK Reporter and HamSpots for JT65.
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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>"I don't understand why this seemingly straightforward question has polarised people."

I don't understand it either -- It's not as if a faster boot-time request impinges on the user experience of others, nor should it detract from FRS' ongoing coding resources.   

I have lost several DX contacts due to slow boot time and amplifier warm-up time when using some of my older vacuum tube amps. Thankfully, we no longer need to wait for filaments to come up to temperature on transceivers like we did when operating older Heath and Drake gear from decades ago. 

Moreover, some of us simply do not want to leave our 6K transceivers operating 24/7, especially if our operating time is erratic like mine - primarily due to work constraints.  That's becoming a foreign concept to the growing number of users who have time sit, play, and be unproductive all day.  Allow me to digress:  I don't mean to nitpick this but I find that as time goes on, a growing number of my radio friends and family automatically assume that if they are retired then I have their free time too.  If I choose to run an instant-on solid-state amp, then I would also like to operate a near "instant on" transceiver. 

There may be an option to satisfy both crowds: first, without an official response from FRS, we do not know if the ~ 1-minute boot time is absolutely compulsory or if some of that time can be pared back if we choose to bypass some diagnostics.  If that time is mandatory, so be it.  Then leave it as it is.  But, if it's not, perhaps FRS could offer a user boot option with a quick double-press of the power button within 1 second, enters a fast boot mode.  That would cause the most efficient boot at the expense of a more precise boot routine that runs diagnostics.  Under the fast boot option, make your DX contact, then conduct a full reboot after moving on.  Both crowds may then be satisfied.  

Paul, W9AC 
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Carl K5HK

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Simple solution just leave the xcvr on.
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Lee, Elmer

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The Flex radios all have remote ON/OFF.  You can build a simple ESP8266 wifi web server and turn on and off your rig from your phone while brushing your teeth or pulling into the garage.  Here is a 2 channel example so you can fire up both the radio and amp from your phone 



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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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There I was, content and happy with a 3 minute off-cold-to-on-air timeframe in my shack, usually waiting on the amp to finish its countdown and now the idea of "instant on" has shaken my day up completely!! <SMILE> 

Is the start-up routine where I start my Flex-6700 and Amp, then boot the station's computer and go onwards reconnecting the cables I physically disconnect when not in use that final hurdle I need to correct to get to the honor role? 

Actually I am okay with the way it is.  When I had a different transceiver as my main radio (a Hilberling PT-8000A) I was waiting on my amp & computer to boot, and for my completion of cable reconnection even then. 

I do often leave the station running (I left the Flex-6700 running from around Christmas until a week ago to see if how long it would stay up before needing a reboot.  A need to shut the power off for something the electrician was doing ended my endurance run).   When it is in the "Hot Start" mode I may have the amp in standby mode if I am around, or it might be cold if I am not planning to be on the air.

As for the critics, well guess what - they are right it takes a moment to power up an SDR station.  So what?  Now if that brief pause for them offsets all the benefits running an SDR or more specifically a Flex-6000 offers, then they should NOT have an SDR as their main radio. 

That decision matrix comes out the other way - that the vast features of an SDR and specifically a Flex-6000 outweigh the moment of wait, especially as my station has other items that cause wait or have to be done to rapidly get on the air, for ME. 

I'll not justify my decision to these "critics" nor do I expect they to need to convince me of how they see the trade-off.  I hear them, and respect their decision.  But for my station I see it correctly in my context as for my use the boot time is a non-issue. 

Having different opinions is A-Okay.  A good thing to have folk seeing things differently.  Sharing on-line opinions that differ is good too.  Of course you can have silly stuff online like the eHam "cultivated pet Anti-SDR/Anti-Flex troll pack" who as a matter of some sort of campaign believe their opinions MUST be everyone else's opinion too. 

Gee it took me just long enough to type this that my whole station is now booted (I hooked the cables up first).  Awesome!

Catch you on the bands, whether instant-on or once your are booted-up!


Steve K9ZW

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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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How do you know if you have missed a wanted DX station if your Flex hasn't completed its' boot up?

I suppose the answer must be, I heard on my other radio or, I saw it on the cluster.

Why not use the 'other' radio to make the call or change the sequence of turning things on? Turn the Flex on, start the computer, load SSDR and then go to your favourite cluster site.

By the time you have done that, the Flex will almost certainly have booted and be ready for use.

Oh, just a moment though, I am 70 years old and have cancer, maybe I'll die before everything is ready to use!

Seems to me that someone asked a perfectly reasonable question and has be rewarded  by some quite vitriolic comments.

Come on people get real, the Flex is quite a complicated beast, even a car takes time to start, reverse off the drive, set off and be doing 60mph.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
I am going to answer Mike's initial question then close this thread.

1.) No, the radio does not have an SSD, it uses a microSD card.  An SSD is not required and wouldn't make much difference as the time is not bound by the I/O speed of the data storage device.
2.) We do not have any timing data as the 6400/6600 radios are currently prototypes.

I want to add that the 6000s are multiprocessor embedded systems.  This is a complex piece of hardware and you can't really compare it to anything else because the architecture is not like any other radio on the market - it isn't just a radio, it is a radio server. 

We go to great lengths to ensure that the radio is fully operational and performing at maximum levels each time it is started.  Some processors have to boot before others.  And there are several internal calibrations and system checks that happen everytime it boots and this takes a little time to complete.  So the bottom line is the time it takes the radio to boot, is the time it takes the radio to boot (a variation of "it is what it is").

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