FlexRadio Systems Announces Upcoming Availability of SmartSDR v3.0

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I haven't been keeping up with the community like I should. I Just saw this on the Flex support site: https://www.flexradio.com/downloads/press-release-smartsdr-v3/

The date of the article is January 28, 2019. 

I see three new features announced:
1) Multiflex
2) new band settings menu/panel
3) TX/MIC Profile changes saved on the fly

There's more? $199.

I know; if it's not for me don't buy it. Or, to put a Harley twist on it, if you have to ask, you'll never understand. My feelings about v1, v2 and now maybe v3 are that v1 had tons of innovative stuff added from the early days up to the release of v2. V2 didn't seem to have much past its initial features. I pull some windows out of the main window sometimes. Now, to me, v3 doesn't really seem to add a whole lot of general stuff over v2 for a $199 price tag.

For those that know the rig well and may not be so into the remote features (doesn't work on AT&T 4G)... how might the features above be valuable? Is there anything there really exciting that would compel you to move from v1 or v2 to v3? If so, I'd like to hear about it.

For those of you still on v1, have you felt like you missed anything? People are still using v1, right?


73,
Kev K4VD
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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  • amused.

Posted 4 weeks ago

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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First .. V2 SmartLink definitely works well over AT&T 4G... I have used SmartLink over 3G and 4G with few issues from over 28 different countries and California (which thinks it is a country in itself)


Within the limits of my NDA.. Its really cool to be able to use my Maestro and my 6700 running SSDR on a PC at the same time..


Remember if you buy the V3 upgrade, the V2 upgrade is included for FREE.
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Mark - WS7M

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I will buy it just to support FRS!
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Confirmed, you can jump from v1 to v3 for a single $199 purchase.
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Joel Swapp KO6FL

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Will stop by with the loot when in Orlando next week.
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Maurice PC9T

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So i upgrade on 20-01-2019 from V1 to V2 for a amount off $ 240,00.

And if i want the new V3 it wil cost me $240,00 again?

So now i am really sad, that i didn't get a warning that there will be a new version comming soon.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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If you bought V2 after October 1, 2018, you will not have pay for V3.   
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Maurice PC9T

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That's better news, now iám happy again :-)
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Kevin, different strokes for different folks! If its not worth it for you, don't buy it and Flex gets good market feedback on what is important. However, sometimes you discover you really like something you really didn't think you wanted. The Maestro, for me, was like that. After 2 days, I knew I loved it. Actually, same with V2. I use my flex remotely but was happy with just teamview'ing into my shack computer. However, after playing around with V2, I never do that anymore and love Smartlink.

I  am an alpha user and bought v3, primarily to help Flex. But, multiflex is a really neat feature once you get to use it. But again, Flex gives you all the latitude to not buy it, skip this release and but v4 with no penalty or buy it and enjoy the ride!

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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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From "The Other Neal":

Multi-Flex alone is worth it to me.  And supporting Flex as a USA radio business so they can continue building great stuff that I can buy in the future is also worth it to me.

Having more than one Neal (with the same spelling) on these forums to confuse people....   Priceless.
(Edited)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Hey Howard... I'm VERY interested in hearing about your AT&T 4G experience. I had high hopes when v2 was released (it's loaded here). I tried for days to get it working across my hotspot and even went and bought a new hotspot just in case. The final conclusion - and I think Flex helped me come to it - was that AT&T and other wireless vendors proxied or added a second NAT between me and the world. This was not supported by Flex. Old posts, I'd have to look them back up.

AT&T says if I became a commercial customer then they could help me but I couldn't make that leap. 70 GB is already costing me way too much.

Can you or someone point me to a post that might help? I would love to get remote working.

Kev


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Bob - W7KWS -

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Kevin,
How wide is your river? Where I live in Washington State, Puget Sound is four miles across to the Seattle side. I am lucky to have Comcast here but five miles north of me a friend does not. But, he has a friend on the Seattle side who has Fios. John used a couple of high gain parabolic WiFi antennas and 600 millawatt WiFi access points, one on each side and imported Fios across the four miles of water. He says that it works very well. Can you do the same with Comcast?
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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It's a much narrower river here. I'd say less than 100 yards. Most of the homes on that side (and a lot on this side actually) are vacation homes. I'll probably never meet anyone from over there. But if I do... I'll be asking about a WAP. :)

I'm surprised nobody has come in here with that type of service yet. Even Comcast could probably make some money setting that up.

I keep hoping some option will show up. When I first moved here, 2012, CenturyLink offered 6 Mbps DSL. That lasted about a week before they had to drop it to 512K then 128K when I finally dropped it. I understand they still supply phone service but no data.

Kev

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Michael Coslo

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No Pizza delivery, Kev? Nooooooo!  8^)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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It's a hard life. Thank goodness for Newman's frozen uncured pepperoni.
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Kevin,

I've never tried the following exactly but it makes sense. Maybe others with better networking experience can comment.

Set up a free Softether VPN server (softether.org) at a friend's or relative's location that has a static IP address or a ddns such as noip.com. ThenTunnel in from your home PC and from Smart SDR remote. Both should draw a local IP address from the server. All three locations should end up in a common network. Connect your Flex radio directly to the PC using Windows Internet sharing so that it will hopefully draw one of the virtual network's IP addresses. If all goes well you should get access to the radio from the remote. I don't think you'll need SmartLink and it might just complicate things.

There will probably be pitfalls you'll have to solve but many of us use SoftEther to run our Flex's remotely without SmartLink, just not in exactly this configuration.
(Edited)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Thanks for the comments. I have to discount the comments about buying it just to support Flex. I'd love to see them be successful but not on donations.

Maestro and SSDR running at the same time? Actually I might buy a Maestro and V3  just for that. Definitely a consideration. I'm also considering a 6700 purchase this spring so maybe Flex will be willing to make me a good deal (you hearing this Matt?).

To me, $200 is a lot of money and while the v2 feature of remote operations was something very compelling for many, I didn't get the "GEE WHIZ" feeling from the v3 announcement. In fact, what I see is just the next minor release of v2.

Kev
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Kev

I bought it because I am an Alpha and they made us pay for it so we could test it...

(Sound like Tom Sawyer charging people for the privilege of painting his fence)


But heck I get the most fun out of life by trying new things all the time and especially by being the first one to try something well before everyone else.  -t's called "Early Adopter Syndrome"

Your thinking about a 6700 and Maestro but $200 is a lot of money????

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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Not only did I purchase V3, a year ago I bought a 6400 to supplement my 6500 just because, at the time, none of the Alpha team had ordered a 6400; everyone else had ordered 6600s.  I enjoy getting to play with, and try to break, the latest & greatest, and I've made a lot of friends on this very dedicated team, both users and Flex employees.  I consider it money well spent.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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;>)  Yes, Even this aging preacher can be frank and enthusiastic in his opinions!  ha!  

Serving on the Alpha Team has been one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable things I have done in the hobby.  And over the past 45 years, I have done a LOT!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ken, do you mean that picture of you is not current?
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Th picture is about 6 years old, I think.  From my church's Pictorial Directory in 2013.  I turn 60 this March and will be retiring at the end of this June.  I will work part time for at least a couple of years until SSI begins, then may continue beyond that if I am having fun!
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Th picture is about 6 years old, I think.  From my church's Pictorial Directory in 2013.  I turn 60 this March and will be retiring at the end of this June.  I will work part time for at least a couple of years until SSI begins, then may continue beyond that if I am having fun!
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mikeatthebeach .

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Will this V3 allow two different users
At different locations to access a remoted
Single Radio

Seems a lot of confusion here and how
Two different operators can use a Single
Rig without problems when transmitting

Any clarification what this might mean
For those trying to share their radio
With an offsite 2nd operator ?

Would one operate 160meters (Antenna 1 )
while the other user Could use 6meters(Antenna 2)
at the same time ????

73 Mike
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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NDA
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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What Howard said (NDA).

Details will be posted by Flex whenever the features of the next release are finalized.

Dave wo2x
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mikeatthebeach .

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Well

To make V3 usable for me

I hope two 2 different users (Different WAN IP’s )
User 1 can use Ant 1 - SCU1
User 2 can use Ant 2 - SCU2

Both independently

Like having Two separate remote radio’s in One Box
73 Mike
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Anyway

Not sure how it works If
Both operators want to Tx at same time ??

Use Same Band, one SSB the other CW in a Contest ??

Trouble??

73 Mike
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Each radio has a number of simultaneous antennas that the radio can support.  This is the number of SCUs in the radio.  It is one for FLEX-6300, FLEX-6400 and FLEX-6500 and two for FLEX-6600 and FLEX-6700.  If you have two operators on a single-SCU radio, they would each need to use the same antenna, but could use different bands (provided the antenna works on both bands).  For the dual-SCU radios, each operator can be on a different antenna -- or they could share antennas.  For example, on a FLEX-6600 or FLEX-6700, operator one could be listening on 20m (beam on ANT1) and transmitting on 40m (dipole), while operator two is doing the opposite (listening on 40m and transmitting on 20m, although since there is a single transmitter, operators must take turns transmitting).

If you have a single antenna that is wide-banded, for example a Tennadyne T10, and say a beverage, both operators could have the T10 as their transmit and receive antenna (single SCU) or one/both could transmit on the T10 and listen on the beverage.
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Larry - W8LLL

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I like this,

Customers that have purchased a FlexRadio FLEX-6000 series transceiver or a SmartSDR v2.x
license starting October 1, 2018 have already been pre-licensed for this SmartSDR v3.0 and can upgrade to v3.0
at no charge.
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Steven Linley

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Good to know
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I have found that one of the biggest limiting factors for SmartLink is the upload speed at the radio, not the download speed at the remote user site, up to a point... as well as the buffer bloat at the shack end router.
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Bob G W1GLV

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Ken, hav not experienced that in any way. As you know a lot of variables are working against you.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Correct.  I am limited because at present my shack upload speed is a dismal 756K.  Even then I am able to have acceptable remote as long as my 11 year-old son isn't playing online games on his xBox!  but I must dial down the display frames per second and tuen off waterfall.  Just a little more speed and I would be ok.  I may be raising the speed limit soon.  and when I retire & move in June it will be a requirement at the new house to have acceptable high speed internet.  (Still looking!)
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Andrew Thall

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I'm waiting to see what other improvements are included.  I would like to see a beacon feature added to cwx -- then I wouldn't have to use a 3rd party program for calling cq.  I would also like to see the side-band switch automatically (or be able to be programmed) when you operate cw below 10 MHz and when you operate above 10 MHz.  I'll never get a Maestro and I'm not interested in remote operation.  So, unless the other improvements are included, I'll stick to V2. 
Andy,k2oo

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Burt Fisher

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So we have to pay $200 to get the record feature fixed that worked in 2.39 but not 2.49?
In case you missed it K4VD said, "Now, to me, v3 doesn't really seem to add a whole lot of general stuff over v2 for a $199 price tag. In fact, what I see is just the next minor release of v2 The three items mentioned are kind of meh.."

For me 3.0 is almost worthless. I am feeling 7610 K3S. 
(Edited)
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Manuel - W4SSB

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They will issue a new version 2 with bug fixes at the same time or shortly after version 3.
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James Whiteway

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Based on what source at FRS? There are several things that need fixing or made to work as they should in v2.x. Some have even carried over fron v1.x. And still no fix.
James
WD5GWY
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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FYI, although not yet formally announced, we have a v2.5 in the works.  This release will be a collection of a number of fixes that we've added in v3.0, rolled back into the v2.x source base.  This is not a new thing -- we did this in v1.0 as well.  I don't have timing on this release yet or even a full list of defects that are fixed, but this is an approach we continue to follow.
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James Whiteway

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Thanks Steve. I appreciate your reply.
You told me at HAMCOM last year that the ANF would be fixed in v2.49. Apparently it didn't make it. I hope this update it does.
James
WD5GWY
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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I, for one, shall immediately upgrade from 2.4.9 to 3.0.  Since I have two FlexRadio 6000 transceivers, I have to upgrade twice! ;-(

Multiflex is the game changer for me!

What does 'upcoming availability' mean?  Does it mean we can purchase and download on 28th January (the date of the press release)?

David G4NRT/Z21NRT


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Johan / SE3X

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2'nd page in the Press Release, appr. middle of the page .. Quote " SmartSDR v3.0 is expected to be available for download in March 2019. " end quote.

Just my guess, but they will probably, for promotional reasons, like to show it at the Orlando show for the first time.
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Yes, we will be showing multiFLEX at HamCation.  We'll be showing it in both a "local" application where you have two operators connected to the same radio (like in a Multi/1 configuration or for a single op that wants to drive the radio with a Maestro while using SmartSDR to monitor other bands for openings as an example) and in a "remote" scenario where one or more operators are not physically located with the radio.
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WW1SS - Steve

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The press release said it would be available in March
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Multi-client is just that, more than one. We will find out how many can connect to one radio but I'm sure it would be more than two. Stated in release the operator will be able “partition” activities of each user. I have no advance knowledge of this release so everything I'm saying as always is my opinion, but they would not call it multi-client and release it if would only work on the local LAN.
"By using SmartLink remote, the operators do not need to be physically present with the radio"
So that means any clients anywhere in the world with a proper internet connection. I said proper because I have been unsuccessful getting SmartLink to work through my ISP that uses fixed wireless LTE with two NATs before my router.With a VPN yes, but not with SmartLink.

To address the question mikeatthebeach had:
Can two different IP’s (different locations) via WAN Access the one Radio?
Yes, but regarding transmitting on both SCU1 and SCU2 at the same time. I do believe there is one PA in the 6600, 6700. We can't do it now, software isn't going to change that but I think they will prioritize who has xmit authority and share it accordingly.


(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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SCU,s are receive units. There is only one transmitter. But it can switch bands and modes really fast. So you can’t transmit on two bands at the same time. But the concept of multi user is that you can take turns really quickly. Details on how this will work have not been released.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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multiFLEX will allow two operators to connect to the radio simultaneously.  The two operators will be able to split the resources available on the radio.  For a FLEX-6400, since there are two panadapters and two receivers available, each operator can have access to one panadapter and one receiver. 

On the FLEX-6700, for example, the operators will be able to split the eight receivers and panadapters between the two operators.  So if one operator wants to work DX on two bands, using two total panadapters and a receiver on the DX station on each band and a receiver in the pile-up, he would use two panadapters and four receivers.  This would leave up to six panadapters and four receivers for the second operator.  In a bulleted format:

Operator 1: 2 Panadapters, 4 receivers
Operator 2: 6 Panadapters, 4 receivers

These panadapters and receivers can be placed on the same or different antennas, depending on whether the radio has one or two SCUs.

As a reminder, by radio here are the resources available:
FLEX-6300, FLEX-6400: 2 panadapters, 2 receivers (one antenna at a time)
FLEX-6500: 4 panadapters, 4 receivers (one antenna at a time)
FLEX-6600: 4 panadapters, 4 receivers (two antennas at a time)
FLEX-6700: 8 panadapters, 8 receivers (two antennas at a time)

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Johan / SE3X

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I love my 6700 more than ever from today! Tnx for the info Steve, much appreciated. I forse an increase in demand for 6700 .. hi
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SteveM

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I foresee an increase in demand for receiver protection for some and trouble tickets for others.
(Edited)
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Craig Williams

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Since the radio is a Unix computer I would be interested about firmware improvements.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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That comment just made me curious.
 I am older than IC's.

From wikipedia:
Newly employed by Texas Instruments, Kilby recorded his initial ideas concerning the integrated circuit in July 1958, successfully demonstrating the first working integrated example on 12 September 1958.

I missed claiming that distinction by less than 3 years.

Kev
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I see, said the transistor.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I built my first computer before IC’s. April 1958.
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W7NGA

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My first computer ... analog baby!

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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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I haven't even thought about Edmund Scientific since I was a kid. Remember that telescope they had that fit in your lap?. They seem to have a history not too dissimilar to Heath.
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Gene Duprey

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Since I just bought my CPO 6500/maestro in December, I will have to wait to make this purchase, but do plan on updating when I can afford it.  It would be nice if they would give the major updates to recent purchasers, (Within 1 - 2 months) as a courtesy.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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This is from the Announcement PDF:
Customers that have purchased a FlexRadio FLEX-6000 series transceiver or a SmartSDR v2.x license starting October 1, 2018 have already been pre-licensed for this SmartSDR v3.0 and can upgrade to v3.0 at no charge. SmartSDR v3.0 is expected to be available for download in March 2019.

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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Gene, the "free upgrade for purchases after Oct 1" also applies to pre-loved radios.
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Gene Duprey

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for the info, makes me happy.  The many hours I spent on the phone with with you, making my purchase decision paid off in spades.  I am thoroughly enjoying my 6500/Maestro.
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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If we do not upgrade to v3 will we get bug fixes if we stay with 2.4.9?



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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO made it pretty clear in his statement above:
FYI, although not yet formally announced, we have a v2.5 in the works.  This release will be a collection of a number of fixes that we've added in v3.0, rolled back into the v2.x source base.  This is not a new thing -- we did this in v1.0 as well.  I don't have timing on this release yet or even a full list of defects that are fixed, but this is an approach we continue to follow.
If you stay with 2.49 no. If you download the free update soon to be released,  v2.5 and install it, he clearly states it will include a collection of bug fixes.
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Michael Coslo

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I'm hoping that version 3 can cook a nice Texas Brisket for me. I keep asking for this.... 8^)
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Is Flex (or maybe another attendee?) planning to make a video of the MultiFlex demo at Hamcation, or is Flex planning to post a video when is released in March?  Actually seeing it in action would be great!

Howard
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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We will be putting together videos in the coming weeks prior to launch. Good idea on a video at Hamcation!
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Bill Roberts

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When will the noise blanket be fixed?
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Tony Hateley

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Don’t hold your breath
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WW1SS - Steve

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V 55.5
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NM1W

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right after dax is fixed..
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Adde Tjernberg

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Is DAX broken? Works great for me!
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Really? You never have any distortion that requires rebooting and playing around? Kind of old news.
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Adde Tjernberg

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Once or twice perhaps. But I think that is the nature of software. Who can tell if it’s the actual DAX feature who causes this? Can be any of all other programs running.
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Sergey Abrikosov

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With that Multiclient feature, will I be able to use Maestro knobs on SSDR?
This is the only feature that I am interested.
I am guessing that it will work based on that statement : "For example, the operator might want to use a Maestro to operate DX with control knobs while using SmartSDR for Windows or iOS to watch many bands for openings, or utilize spots from a program to show needed countries, multipliers, etc. This feature provides the operator better control and operational awareness unlike ever before", but language here is not 100% confirm the full control from Maestro.
Thanks
Sergey, KN7K
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Asher - K0AU

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Missed this question, but I think I'm asking for the same thing as Sergey
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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It was complicated to create a reliable multi-client environment. Even my 6700 was bricked on V3.0.0 before they figured out what the fix was.  Alphas have seen much of the decision logic trees underlying the complexity involved in the various subsequent Alpha versions of V3.0,

Creating a Maestro/M/SSDR  Mirror Feature adds another level of logic complexity.  So it was decided to get the first part of V3 MultiFlex working reliably and released to the public before asking the programmers to add complexity.

I have no idea when or if a Mirror function will be released nor would I dare speculate.
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Andy - KU7T

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"Slice mirroring across clients"? 3rd party apps will take care of this easily I am sure. Its almost trivial to read and write things like frequency, power, filter settings, antenna selection etc...  Its probably not considered a core functionality. This is exactly where the API shines and what distinguishes Flex from the rest. 

73
Andy
KU7T
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Would love to see someone take a stab at that! :)
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Robbie - KI4TTZ

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I'm very interested to see the API changes.
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Sergey Abrikosov

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If Maestro cannot control SSDR, all this new release of Ver.3 is for a HAM’s with remote capabilities, but I think most of us do not have it.
KN7K
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Remote is not a requirement, although it does expand the number of applications. Locally, you can use a Maestro and a PC at the same time (or two Maestros etch). You can also run two instances of SmartSDR to two different radios on a single PC. 
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Starting a QSO or even just an evening at the radio at your desktop then deciding it would be nice to move to the recliner.

Another potential use case... same as FlexControl. There's nothing you can do with the FlexControl that you can't do with SSDR yet it lets you have the full feature of SSDR and have one hand on the mouse and another on the VFO (FlexControl).

Be able to control the radio from the Maestro while some other window is covering SSDR at the moment. 

One hand on the mouse, one hand on the knobs.

SSDR in the office up stairs. Maestro in the person-cave down stairs.

Because it's cool and there is more to ham radio than contesting.

Kev
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Rick - N4RZ

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Remote is not a requirement.  You could also have two local connections to the radio which might be handy for SO2R operation in contests.