In the same way that I cannot understand why people of different religions persecute others who have different beliefs, I cannot understand why anyone would have 'hatred' of Flex radios.
Jealousy I can understand.
For me the answer to someone expressing hatred of my radio is simple - change frequency, end of story.
It is quite strange that Flex gets rid of the knobs, then has to reintroduce them (via Maestro) to improve the experience.
I still PMSL with all the comments about 'knobs'. It never gets old to somebody with a British sense of humour. I doubt my American cousins can see the funny side of the "Carry On" films at all.
The point of SDR, and the 6000 series in particular, is performance, flexibility, expandability, quality of receiver and transmitter, digital audio interface, etc.
It is what happens INSIDE the radio that matters oust, not how you control it OUTSIDE. One advantage to the flex, however, is that it is much easier to interface with the outside world for digital modes or external controllers, which makes it the best of both worlds. Or at least it has the potential to be, once people catch on to the reality that the computer is an integral part of the modern ham shack, and that running a variety of utilities is a valid way to ad value and control to our rigs.
But...the vitriol against other rigs, from both sides, is silly and needs to fade away. Each operator will choose whichever type of equipment they prefer. Who am I to call someone names or question their intelligence, their character, or their lineage, simply because they prefer a different brand or type of radio?
Ken - NM9P
San Juan Island, Wa.
- "looking for early check-ins to the early check-in edition of the early check-in net"
There is a age and education level in the Ham Community that don't understand or will never except that SDR radios any good. The main question I get when I answer a CQ wow you have a FLEX "how do you like it" is the question I get all the time. I answer the same way all the time , for 20 years owning a rice box radio with knobs. This radio is the best ever made as of right now. I contested with 3 level deep menus that has very wore me out and discourage me from trying to win. Another WOW moment and from many "DX Police" when I first got into contesting 11 years. +RX ,one click fixed my 3 menu deep if you listened to FT4JA first day on the air the DX Police was having a hay day on the menu issues and uneducated.
So if every contest savvy ham would educate the hams so the DX Police will not eat them alive on the air.
It kind of shut him up about the flex and he went away a little less full of himself. On his next call his signal was a little less wide.
San Juan Island, Wa.
As an Instructor, I use the 6500 as a teaching aide. Didn't even pull out the tube and dial radio. The students all love the new stuff we play are playing with today. However, I did tell them to start out with the older rigs first, because it makes scene ($$). It's all about educating the masses! My back-up radio is the 5000 and its back-up is the IC7000. All great toys in my box.
SDR gives the operator several advantages in contesting, DX, and digital mode operation. This also annoys some operators who see it as unfair.
The truth is, Flex/SDR can be pretty simple or as complex as you want to make it. The basic hookup isn't much more involved than hooking up an X-box. Nevertheless, hooking a radio up to a computer frightens some people.
In the future, all radios will be SDR to some degree. I don't believe the current climate bears as much hatred for Flex as it does for advancing technology.
I purchased a 7300 and found it to be a terrific radio, particularly given the price. I used it mobile, portable, and in the shack. I bought it just to try it and found it to be a much better radio than most of the knob radios I have used. We used a 7300 in one of the Field Day operating positions and experienced no issues with "front end overload" from the other nearby radios. It certainly isn't a Flex, but it is not a bad radio. The "out of the box" audio quality is very good, both on SSB and, surprisingly, AM. With used ones down around $800, it is hard to beat for the price.
I recently bought a used ANAN 100D just as an experiment. I'm an engineer and IT guy, so I didn't find the setup quirks particularly difficult. However, they would turn off many potential users. I did find that the ANAN recovered audio on either SSB or AM was superior to the recovered audio from my 6500. The noise reduction, particularly NR2, is superior to my Flex. There is no discernible noise in the recovered audio. In over the air "A-B" tests, I've been told that the ANAN transmit audio sounds "cleaner" and clearer, using the same headset for both radios and no external processing. I know that audio quality is highly subjective, but 100% of the people hearing both preferred the ANAN. Yes, I was very careful in setting up both audio chains.
During the recent ARRL SSB Sweepstakes event, I actually switched to the ANAN 100D because of the superior noise reduction functions available in OpenHPSDR. Improved ability to physically hear signals, regardless of receiver sensitivity numbers, SO2R capability, or better GUI..., is the most important feature for me in contest operating. In the particular conditions at my location, the ANAN's recovered audio for weak signals was better.
Anyone who reads the Flex community forum knows of the numerous comments posted over several years regarding the relatively poor performance of Flex noise reduction functions. Both the Flex version of PowerSDR and the OpenHPSDR version have superior noise reduction functions. This is simply a fact, acknowledged many times in this forum. I understand that all software development has priorities and I expect that improved NR in SSDR/Flex will rise to the top eventually.
In my own experience running a 135 person company designing and manufacturing complex, firmware driven products, objectively benchmarking our products against our competition was the key to improving our products. Spending time pointing out deficiencies in competitive products, while ignoring your own product deficiencies is not a great strategy.
Flex-radios are great, but they are not perfect. Competitive radios have some deficiencies in comparison, but they also out perform Flex-radios in some areas, such as noise reduction.
I have not personally heard any "Flex hatred" by other hams. I've heard people talk about preferring knobs, which is fine, and probably the reason Flex brought out the new models. Most of the AM operators I hear are using a Flex as a receiver, VFO, or driver. SDR's, whether they have knobs, thin clients, or thick clients, are mainstream. Anyone who "hates" another person based on the radio used is missing a few screws and is probably best ignored.
I hang out with a bunch of Anan users and they stare at one pan all morning and wonder when 20 is open. I watch it and tell them.
Anan is good radio. So is Flex and you should pick what suites your style. I personally use my radio remote a lot and there is NOTHING on the market that makes it so easy.