Flex 6600 or 6600M

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Flex 6600 or 6600M. Am almost new in the world of Flex. I doubt between a 6600 or a 6600M. I already own a maestro. I would have liked to know what the big differences are and whether the maestro needs to upgrade to have the same features as the M version. So please give some clarity in this new discovery. Everyone talks about the M version. Am I then wrong to take over a colleague's maestro to use it on the 6600 version? Thanks and best 73 '
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Kurt Onvijfdz

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Posted 2 years ago

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The main difference I see between the 6600M and a 6600 with a Maestro is the screen resolution (of their 8" displays).  1920x1200 for the 6600M vs 1280x800 on the Maestro display. 

Since the screen size is the same, perhaps we'll eventually see an updated version of the Maestro debut with the higher resolution display.
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Kurt Onvijfdz

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Thank you for your answer! Soft or hardware update for existing Maestro or new maestro? 73 '
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Brad A. Steffler

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I have grown so accustomed to using the screen and the mouse that I view using knobs as a return to the past and an undue complication to operation.  While using CW, even, I only make adjustments while in receive so that using a mouse does not interfere with my using a key. And I am VERY right-handed (because of a left arm nerve injury). Even thought I am 68 and almost 69, I still find use of the mouse to be more intuitive than knobs. Just to give perspective,I started out in ham radio with a Kenwood TS 520SE in 1980. It only took me about 30-45 minutes after I got my Flex 5000a to decide I liked using a mouse better than using knobs and deep menus with knobs.

Sooo  - the 6600 is much more appealing to me for the HF rig rather than the 6600M. I just replaced my 6500 with a 6700, I am so convinced that my comuter screen, for my old eyes, and my mouse are much more efficient. I may get a Maestro, but I really enjoy the seclusion, comfort, and privacy of my shack and my two large screens so much that I seriously doubt it. I do use a tablet, but I much prefer my desktop with 24 inch screens. I also have fat fingers and I find the small touch screen on my phone to be a hassle. I like the big screens.

Disclaimer: I am a former Fortran IV and C programmer and thus I am biased to my desktop and laptop computers and their point and click interface. I also am a diagnostic radiologist and I read CT, MRI, Ultrasound and conventional radiographic exams off a pair of high resolution screens for my income. So I am very comfortable with point and click.

Just another perspective.

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Kurt Onvijfdz

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thank you for your answer. Is indeed another vision about the use of the device.
73 '
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Martin Ewing AA6E

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I came up with Fortran IV also. That might make me partial to the punch card & line printer. But there was a long period of glass teletype work. Point and click came much later. I am halfway serious when I tell folks that Flex should support keyboard control more than they do. Different strokes, indeed!
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Gary L. Robinson

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I am in the same boat as Brad.  I don't need or want the knobs and dials.  I even bought one of the USB knobs from Flex a year or two ago and after a few weeks never used it again.  So I sold it.  For me it's just faster using a mouse and keyboard with a big screen.  I'll be 68 later this year and will never go back to an analog rig with teeny menus, and a pot full of knobs and switches - so it just depends on what works for you.
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Adde Tjernberg

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I'm going for the 6600... and a Behringer CMD Micro instead of the Maestro.
73 de Adde, SM0SHG
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Kurt Onvijfdz

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Is the suggested microphone not to be used on the maestro?
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Kurt Onvijfdz

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thank you for your answer. Is indeed another vision about the use of the device.
73 '
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Gary Johnson

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I opted for the 6600M simply because when I do radio, I like it to be radio, not computo-radio.  I detest windows 10 which is why I lean that way.  Additionally the 6600M is able to be used in the 6600 mode - i.e. with my computer if I so desire.  I spent half of the NAQP Contest working on a friends 6700.  Tuning via the mouse was efficient and pleasurable.   Best of all worlds would be the 6600M able to use a mouse in M mode.

Patiently waiting for my 6600M.  Can't get here soon enough.

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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My preference would be for a 6600. A separate maestro if I desire to operate one. In other words, about the same that I have today.

Why? I like the versatility of moving around and de-cluttering my desk. I am not hung up on "computo-radio" as someone else said. I am 100% fine with the concept of controlling a radio via a PC. And the Maestro separately provides a similar experience to a radio like the IC7000 with a separation kit, except that my cable is ethernet OR wifi. 

About the only thing I don't get is the HDMI port but if I want that I can attach a HDTV to my computer.
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Sergey Abrikosov

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Since 6600M getting 1920x1080 resolution, will Maestro get resolution upgrade from 1280 x 800 to the HD 1920x1080?  I am thinking to get 6600, but do not want to get original Maestro with lower resolution. 
Sergey, KN7K
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The display on the Maestro is better than most displays in ham radio. For instance, the Icom 7610 will have a display of 800x400.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Both old and new Maestros are exactly the same resolution. The only difference is the location of the power button.  For an 8" display it is very nice. 

The M series went to 1920 x 1080 since it can be extended to a large monitor via HDMI. Having the higher resolution on a large monitor... the M series will be noticeably better than the 7610 via DVI. The 7610 extended resolution is only 800 x 600 maximum.

Dave wo2x
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I love the 6500 and Maestro; however, the boot time is too long.  My IC-7300 takes 5 seconds to power up.  My 6500 and Maestro take about 60 seconds.  I know you can leave the 6500 on all the time since it is a server, but the fans are too loud.  It would be nice if Flex added a sleep mode to the 6600M so the rig wouldn’t have to perform a complete boot when turning on the rig. 

Since the 6600M adds the functionality of the 6600, I ordered the 6600M.  I plan to use the Maestro on my boat if it works with the 6600M.




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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Reggie, the fan noise on the new 6400 and 6600 series radios is MUCH lower. My 6600 is on the desk about 2 1/2 feet from my ear. 

Dave wo2x
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I currently have a deposit sitting on a 6600. As we near the release of these fine radios I am finding my self debating between the 6600 or 6600M.

It is my understanding that the 6600M will operate as a stand alone rig (thus no computer)? I have owned a 5000 for more than 6 years and absolutely prefer the operating style of the mouse and computer. However as my life is starting to near retirement and wanting to travel or the radio was needced for emergency communications... 

I am reaching out for confirmation that the M model is a standalone rig, but if I wanted to run it with my computer and have the same control as if it were a non M model that this is correct? If this is the case, and the money is not the issue I could have the 6600M connected to SmartSDR with my PC, but if I choose to take it to another QTH that already has an operating positio but did not want to use it with a computer it could operate as a stand alone radio? My other thoughts on this, is if there was every an emergency and wanted to run the rig by itself with a 12volt system it would be possible without the need of powering a PC and Monitor to run SmartSDR.

Is there anything else that will be lost between the 2 models? 

Your inputs are appreciated!


Jeff N
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Correct Jeff, the M series radios will run full standalone or be used with remote clients such as the Maestro, PC, or SmartSDR for IOS either on local network or remote via SmartLink and WAN connection.

The one feature you would have on M series vs non-M with a Maestro is the ability to have HDMI out to a larger monitor to mirror the front display @ 1920 x 1080 resolution. Note - that display (whether a TV or PC monitor) would be dedicated to mirroring the radio display and cannot be used with PC software at same time.

Dave wo2x
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James Whiteway

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You are correct. But, should you want a knobbed interface with the 6600, a Maestro will give you that. It can be connected directly to the radio via a network cable . A bit more to handle if portability is your goal.But, not too much. I opted for the 6600M because it frees up desk space and still gives options for other configurations should things change.

Tough choice. But, either way, it will be fun.