flex1500 software upgrade

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Does anyone at flex have an ideas as to when a new version of the powerSDR will be available ? I have no hope of upgrading to another model, so am stuck in the groove
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John

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Posted 4 years ago

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Bob K4RCG

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I'm in the same situation John. I bought the 1500 presuming Flex would continue to update PSDR. I'm fearing that us PSDR users are now considered second tier as Flex markets and develops the 6000 series.
(Edited)
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Burt Fisher

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Second tier? It's not that high.
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Ernest - W4EG

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Bob,

Semper Paratus

Flex will not let you or us down.  
They have kept their promised for the last 12 years since I own their gear.
Keep the faith.
   ex: USCG RM2-1965-69 
(Edited)
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John

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Hi, well perhaps they should consider releasing the software and make it open source so that we can add our own upgrades. Rumors abound that the 1500 will be dropped at some stage. I knew that they had to stop the 1500 development to work on the other models as they came out, but they should really give us a timeline or a straight forward no development.
I am not able to upgrade anyway, being a pensioner and would love to see the powersdr software improved to its full potential.
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James Kirk

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Must be nice to have a pension, I just have SS and could afford an upgrade if I so choose.
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John

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No pension here, I was in my prime and had just got back from a 2 week business trip to Tokyo when I caught chickenpox. Now living off the state.
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DrTeeth

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The software is already open source AIUI and the source code is available.

http://www.flexradio.com/amateur-products/flex-series/powersdr/
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Jon - KF2E

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Not exactly. Only the portions of the software that Flex GOT from the public domain are available. I don't believe the source code for their work is available.

Jon...kf2e
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DrTeeth

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On the page to which I linked it does say "source code available". I assume that it means all of it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I believe that only the Public source code is available not the propriety parts.of the code
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Jon - KF2E

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Guy,

If you read on the upgrades tab of the link you sent you will find this paragraph...

Being a “mixed source” application, you may obtain a copy of the open source portions of the PowerSDR source code by contacting FlexRadio Systems and requesting a specific version of PowerSDR.

Jon...kf2e
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DrTeeth

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Got it Jon, thanks. The only thing I know about programming is that I cannot do it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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John

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I used to be able to do it but that was many moons ago
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Mike - WB8CXO

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Well guys...  the HPSDR guys are modifying PSDR.  They put out new versions 2 maybe 3 times a year.  Its called PowerSDR OpenHPSDR mRX PS...  Now it doesn't do everything the latest version of PSDR does but it does have some nice features that would be great in the PSDR that runs Flex radios.  NO EXCUSES....
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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I'm a Flex 1500 only user as well (have been since 2010).  I was using my radio yesterday and I thought to myself that if this is the last software update I ever receive, I'll still be quite pleased with this radio.  I don't want to criticise anyone for wanting further improvement but, realistically, shouldn't we all expect this thing to be sunsetted any time now?  Flex has to keep grinding out newer, better products and, at some point, dropping support for yesterday's big thing.  
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John

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Of course its quite good with the latest version but Flex should really put this whole matter to rest by making a statement of their website as to what their plans are. My guess is that there must be a lot of 1500's still not sold and they dont want to rock the boat and slow the sales of this model. That being the case, its the least they can do for us users.
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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Arguing against more transparency is like arguing against mothers and apple pie, no one could be against these things.  Perhaps you are right about the business requirements related to surplus 1500s in stock, but how can we know such things?  I think that the Flex staff are receptive to concerns such as yours and we may see more detail regarding their plans.  I also feel that I can relate to your strict budget constraints, having a 9 year old son and wanting to retire myself one day, I tend to scrutinize my purchases much more closely now than I might have done in the past.
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John

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But lets not fool ourselves into complacency. Decisions can be made with the stroke of a pen or the bark of a command. I would like to see them come clean to prevent the rumors from growing. Re the timelines, it can be done and its always good PRO to have one. Well, I caught chickenpox from my son 10 years ago aged 45 and have not worked since and state handouts are now being squeezed by various governments in order to cut costs.
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Richard McClelland, AA5S

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Sorry to hear that, John.  That strikes very close to home as my county has been having an unusually high rate of flu related illness requiring hospitalizations.  I don't know of my wife could hold up if I couldn't work and had to stay home all day.  hi hi...
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Jon - KF2E

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I doubt there will be any more feature updates to PSDR. I'm sure if an issue pops up they will do what's needed to provide continuing support but I wouldn't look for new functionality. They probably should issue a state of PSDR message at some point.

Jon...kf2e
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John

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damn! there goes my finger in the pie :-)
I was hoping they would include some of my suggested improvements. Well, what can I say, except lets wait it out and hope they release the software as open source.. Bed time is calling this side. 73 to all
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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Would you consider paying for an update if it had sufficient features to justify $50 or $100?
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John

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I would, and probably many others out there would as well.
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John

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reminds me its similar to the YAESU FT897D as the lcd displays are not being made anymore and when the stocks run out, that will be that. No-one tells those who want to purchase a new one, that there are limited spares available.
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John

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Is there a list somewhere of user's suggestions to upgrade the software ?
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John

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I wonder how rusty my c++ is after many years of no use. Is "hello world" now perhaps "goodbye world". Still got my programming certificates somewhere. Back then there was no visual c. Infact, I may even have the code issued to us on floppy disk somewhere in the attic. Will it run on win7 64 bit ?
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Bill -VA3WTB

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This is something Flex should have done a long time ago, make upgrades to PSDR and charge for it. I'm sure many would buy it. And as we know many use PSDR on other radios as well. I think they would purchase as well.
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John

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well, if they handed over the software, there are capable people out there who could add features and even hardware mods for us at the bottom of the ladder.
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Leonard Jenkins KB8DOA

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All this talk has got me "bummed out" about my Flex-1500 purchase. Having owned (invested) the product for such a short period of time, to discover that development was abandoned - and focus turned to the 6000 series - is really disappointing. There should have been more "overlap" between the product lines. If FlexRadio would have produced a 6000 series model that was cost-comparable to the 1500, I would feel different and more positive about this situation. But instead - I will continue to be a humble "second tier" ham...
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Mike - WB8CXO

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Flex had to go the DDC route with a new radio to stay competitive.  The capabilities of the new radio also demanded a new client (SmartSDR) to run it...  It's called PROGRESS!  I too was bummed out when I learned the Flex had designed a new radio, I had just bought a 5000-v/u.  But when I saw the new radio and talked to the guys at the Flex booth Dayton 2012 I bought 6700.  Abandoning the FREE SOFTWARE concept was another good move.  Software engineers don't work for free...  Their work should not be free either.  The open source guys have been adapting PowerSDR for years.  I see further down the thread a post from Peter K1PGV that Flex is very responsive to source code requests.  Hopefully someone or a group of folks will somehow be motivated to enhance PowerSDR.  Besides does anyone have the FACTS as to what Flex is going to do?
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John

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The real problem is that with new hardware, all the software engineer(s) have to work on the new software and abandon the powerSDR. It could be cheaper for them to perhaps hire amateur software engineers to work on powersdr and submit their work to them for evaluation and inclusion. There must be a lot od retired folk out there would could get a small extra income. The idea of paying someone to do the patches might also be feasible 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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I can clarify a couple of points:
  1. The PowerSDR code *is* open source.  I found Flex very responsive to my request for the latest version.  The code looks to me like it's all there.  I built it and it builds and runs without any warnings or errors.  I'm not aware of anything missing.
  2. The code is written in C# .Net, using Visual Studio 2008.
  3. The code is surprisingly clean, given it's age.  Having said that, it also looks like code that's gone through a lot of editing and revision over the years.  It's not something I would personally be thrilled to maintain.
I was curious how they did a few things in PowerSDR that I miss in SmartSDR, like (for example) the tuning (you can mouse-over and use your mouse wheel on a given digit, or you can click to edit).  The code proved to be highly instructive.
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Leonard Jenkins KB8DOA

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Understood.
However, this is only exciting if one is a programmer AND a ham...
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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True dat.

But John (the OP) was whinging about "if they handed over the software" and I thought I'd help him by explaining the situation.

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John

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I did a c++ programming course many years ago and still have the software compiler etc, but its also available on the net. It would not take me too long to get up to speed hopefully.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I really like the mouse tuning of PowerSDR. Kind of miss that in SmartSDR.
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Tom Warren

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I also really miss that function and eagerly await it's return with v. 1.4
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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If you're talking about the ability to mouse over a single digit and tune via the scroll wheel... OR click the frequency and enter it... I *really* miss that too.

In fact, I miss it so much, I read the PSDR sources to see how they do it (surprisingly simple), and then created a WinForms user control that mimics the functionality.  I then wrote a WinForms program using my user control as an add-on to SSDR.  Now I have the best of both worlds.

Some day, maybe, I'll clean it up enough to release it to the public, if I can sort-out the IP issues.

If they're going to introduce this in V1.4 of SSDR (that's the first I've heard of it and), that would be WONDERFUL so I can stop writing code.

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Bill-W9OL

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What was that commercial???

"We will sell no wine...before it's time"

I'm just as anxious and eager for some new features.
(Edited)
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Andrew Russell

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I have a foot in both camps. My 1500 is an early one and should function for years to come.

PowerSDR is much more mature than SmartSDR, but features like the new speech processor would be great in PSDR. There are things in PSDR such as NB and NR and TNF and ANF that seem to work better than in SSDR. I still use PSDR and the 1500 for portable with a tablet PC, for digital modes and as an exciter for 475kHz and 137kHz,

There is a limit to how much time and money Flex can spend on a product I paid for long ago. On the other hand with legacy radios there is no promise of firmware upgrades, at least Kenwood does actually supply them.

Nix from Icom and Yaesu for me. I still have their nearly 20yo radios.

Andrew

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John

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I think we all are missing the real point. I think its to do with an unfinished product ie software.
Although its a working unit, I dont believe its completely finished to a standard as a non sdr radio would be. There are still things to be done to complete the software package and that will be that. The loose ends need to be tied up.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It makes no sense to upgrade or update PSDR. It has been completed. As we know PSDR is now used with most other radios to give them computer rig control and a panadaptor. And they reap the benefits from the work Flex put into it for there customers. Everyone would love the speech processor used in the SSDR, But I can't see Flex giving that away for free.

If they did update PSDR they should charge for it. That way all Flex users and everyone eles can buy it if they want it. But been as it is open source they likely can't charge for it.
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John

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well then they need to open their mouths and state their intentions. I dont doubt many would pay for extra features and upgrades. Its the not knowing that gets to people
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Bill -VA3WTB

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 Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

Official Response

Yes, we have recently ceased production on the FLEX-3000.  The FLEX-3000 has been an excellent radio since 2008 and this was a difficult decision for FlexRadio to make.  The simple answer to "why?" is that with the introduction of the FLEX-6000 Series and specifically the FLEX-6300, the sales on the FLEX-3000 have dropped off to where it's just not a financially viable product for FlexRadio any longer.  The new FLEX-6300 is in the same basic price category as the FLEX-3000 plus offers next generation DIRECT SAMPLING SDR technology, amazing dual slice (band or frequency) receiver performance, and simple Ethernet connectivity allowing for future remote radio operation from anywhere.  Additionally, our new SmartSDR software platform has features the FLEX-3000 won't ever be able to support.    The FLEX-3000 is still very much an active radio and we will be supporting the rig for many years to come.  
(Edited)
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Lawrence Orsmond

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Nonsense the flex 6300 is not in the same price bracket as the 3000. When i speculated the end of the 3000 over year ago flex remained oddly silent. It is about time Flex was open and honest about its intentions.
There are other markets besides the USA or does Flex not consider them as important.It is about time that Flex brought out a SCALED DOWN version of the 6300 in line with the 3000 price for emerging markets. The USA is not the only market out there. But do you care i guess not!
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Surely you jest with your allegations and then with your demands?

It is obvious you are mistaking yourself for FRS leadership and FRS as some sort of charity responsible to your whims?

Personally I think it is every right of any Business to tell a customer who publicly makes a claim like this to "go away."  I actually might word it stronger, but decorum and legacy of the "eternal internet" suggest a polite version is more appropriate.

The unfounded unsupportable demands are paramount to requesting a firm to commit economic suicide, have perfect clairvoyance, and bottomless resources with disregard to ROI (Return on Investment) all just to please a demanding internet poster.

Get over it - it just ain't going to happen.


  • I have found FRS honest.

  • I have found that when they cannot or they should not tell me things for their commercial reasons that they clam up, rather than providing a made up cover story.

  • I find it awesome that FRS is successfully exporting and doing it quite well.

  • And I understand that if FRS doesn't make money commercially selling me radio servers (ya, the black box dude) and Software that I am unlikely to realize more of the combined product's capabilities

.

It really is a bummer to have posters do out of line with their demands like this poster was. 

My 2-cents,

73

Steve

K9ZW

 

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Lawrence Orsmond

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Thanks for your reply.
We are all entitled to and opinions,fact remains there is now a gap with the 3000 gone which ever way you slice it! .It was just that an opinion  sorry if you took offense. In hindsight maybe  it i should have said what  what i meant which i now have stated.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You see your Flex 3000 or 5000 will be supported for many years to come. I don't think This  means software upgrades. Power SDR is completed and refined. The radio is as it is, and will continue to work as it is for many years.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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(Aside: Wow... tough crowd, here.  Good thing I'm not a moderator, because I would have closed this thread a while back.)

Exactly, Mr. Buchanan.

Let me first state that I have a 1500. I used it as my primary radio for a few years. It works well. I like it.

Because the radio works well, I don't have any expectations that Flex will introduce new features for this radio.  I mean... think about it: Why would they?  If I owned Flex (and I do own a small software company, so I think I understand such business processes)  I wouldn't distract my staff from completing the functionality promised for the new products, unless there was a serious bug in the older product that required attention.  (Hmmm... thinking about it... that's exactly what my own company is currently doing, in fact.)

In the field of amateur radio, this is not only fair, it should be expected.  Gentlemen, I ask you:  When's the last time you got an update for your TS-2000?  Eh?  It's still sold, it's still supported, it's still a pretty good radio (for US$1400).  But I don't expect Kenwood to update this radio with new firmware or features.  Oh, they did a few times in the years following its initial release... but NOW?  The radio works.  If something proves to be broken, I'm sure they'll fix it.  But new features, to a product that's working?  Why would they do that?

Peter
K1PGV