Furture Upgrades?

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Hearing a few things about future upgrades. Am I correct that FRS will charge a fee to upgrade SSDR beginning with SSDR ver. 2.xxxxxx. Please let me know. If so my 6300 and Maestro will be for sell. I thought that was one of the selling points of the Flex radio was free future upgrades.
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Dennis Little

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Posted 2 years ago

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Flex iupgrades are free within a version

So all of V1. Are included. This has been for 3 years now

Version 2.0 including all upgrades with version 2 will cost $200 one time fee.
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Jim Gilliam

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I think it's important to understand that it takes time and concerted efforts and countless hours to develop software at this level. Those involved deserve to earn a living also. We have had free upgrades for a few years now and I think they more than deserve some remuneration for their efforts.


Jim, K6QE

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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Denny, only for "major" upgrades (as in between 1.0 and 2.0, etc.). The 1.x line has been running for several years now - no one has paid a dime in upgrade costs.  Plus, your rig will continue to work at whatever version you choose. No "need" to upgrade, if you're pleased with how it works.
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David Livingston

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Flex radio told me a year ago when I purchased my 6700  that when version 2.0 became available there would be an upgrade charge to that version. They  also indicated it would be about $200.00 and it included all update and fixes under V2.xxx... When  V3.00 was released there would be another fee to upgrade. I do not see how any owner of 6000 series radios could possible expect Flex to continue to pay employees to program new features at no forever. Once the sale of the radio has been made they have no addition income from the radio owner. Heck, most of the  other manufacture just make their radios obsolete and you have to buy a new model for a lot more the $200.00.. Fixes to an existing version are another story and Flex has continued supply fixes and features to the existing version at no charge. No other software provider including Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Sonicwall, Symantec and almost all others charge for  new versions of their software. Those like Malwarebytes, Cisco, Symantec and most  other require an annual fee to remain licensed and receive their updates.  Flex has had version 1.xxx out for years and never an annual fee for upgrades.

I have no issues with paying for this upgrade along with Flex support.

I am anxiously waiting for V2.xxx

Just my thoughts,

David S. Livingston

CEO

Simply Connected, Ltd

7499 Parklane Road, Suite 148

Columbia, SC 29223

http://www.simplyconnected.com

 

Microsoft Certified Partner

Intel Technology Provider Gold

Dell SonicWall Preferred Partner

Symantec Registered Partner and SMB Specialist

Xerox Silver Partner

Dental Digital Certified Integration Engineer

(Edited)
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John G3WGV

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This is a tough one. People have become accustomed to the curious notion that software is free when the reality is the exact opposite - writing good code requires considerable skill from expensive people who can go elsewhere if there's more money to be made. FlexRadio is a business that has to pay its staff and overheads and then try to make a profit.

Expecting free software upgrades for ever is simply not reasonable any more than expecting Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood/Elecraft to provide new hardware for free would be reasonable. With a SOFTWARE defined radio, the software is the product. I will gladly pay for it. If you are not willing to do so then you can stay on version 1.xxx

73, John, G3WGV
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David Livingston

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Well said..
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Brian Hemmis

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They would be foolish to do this considering the competition. Although I love my 6500 I am a long time Icom owner as well. The 7610 will be serious competition and I'm sure Flex is aware of it. This I'm guessing is why Flex is now offering to trade in, trade up etc. Yes there's the cost of software development but free updates becomes a selling point for your product. Even Apple, a premium priced product began giving away their OS a few years ago. A couple years ago Flex might have considered charging for OS updates today they would be shooting themselves in the foot.
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David Livingston

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How much is the new ICOM 7610 going to cost you???
(Edited)
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Michael Coslo

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Free updates a selling point? I was never told that. Good Gawd this is getting so old, people coming in and demanding free stuff forever. Just like every other manufacturer does, right?

When version 2.XX comes out, I'll happily pay the 200 dollars. If that 200 dollars is a bridge too far for some owners, they can spend many thousands more for a radio that won't be updated at all.  Makes perfect sense.
(Edited)
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Brian Hemmis

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David, IC-7610 is estimated to sell in the $ 3500 range. Guessing a release at Dayton. Icom typically drops price fairly quickly after initial release. The 7300 is a good example.

Michael, I'm pretty new to this group and was not aware this had been apparently repeatedly discussed before. Apology to you. Remind me to do a thorough search before I respond to a post in the future, Also sorry for mentioning there are other SDR radio brands.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Dennis Little - You do not need to upgrade to keep your radio and Maestro operational.  FRS has been very clear how their upgrades will eventually work, even offering us prepaid upgrades when we bought our radios.  Pretty clear (unless perhaps you bought yours used or from a 3rd party, which then means it wasn't FRS promising you endless free software.) Feel free to touch base if you really think your rig will be obsolete without paid-for updates. 

@Brian Hemmis - FRS only this week said their upgrade plan is rolling forward as charted.  If a 7610 is hot stuff for you over greatly enhancing your 6000 so be it, but I know I am looking at it as very inexpensive in the big scope of things.  As yes, you are guessing when you put forth your ideas why FRS does something forward.  BTW they've said that the programs have created upgrade paths that economically work for all parties that have lead to additional overall sales.  Basically filling the role of a dealer network since they sell direct in the USA. 

@All - I too would be happy with whatever funding mechanism FRS reasonably needs to keep rolling out more capabilities.  Funny how when our Barracuda's annual anti-malware license comes due it is no problem, or when our Sage Office needs its annual fee top up, or other software needs it fees paid for the year we find it, but some hams go cheapskate when some device they enjoy has an associated fee.   

73

Steve K9ZW

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Winston VK7WH

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I think $200 is a reasonable price to pay every few years for a major upgrade such as WAN, particularly when this investment in the radio willl also include the future incremental Ver 2.x releases, and as is purely optional.

Based on Flex support for Ver 1 over the two and a half years I have owned my 6700, and the fact that I will not need to buy a new radio for many years, I think the upgrade fee is a good investment.

73

Winston
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Jim Gilliam

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I wonder if the Icom 7610 will have an Ethernet interface? If it does, it might be a serious contender for those who are hardware oriented. However, once one becomes "hooked" on computer interfacing, hardware radios seem so passe. It is so much fun to carry my radio in my iPhone or iPad.


Jim, K6QE

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Jon - KF2E

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How many times do we have to beat this dead horse? Flex's policy on this has been set for years and it's not going to change because it get's rehashed here in the forum. 

Jon...kf2e
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Michael Coslo

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But we need free things!
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Jon: How many times do you think is acceptable? Dead horses are kicked all the time. Sometimes they come to life.

The cost of things is a concern for a lot of people and trying to finagle the best deal before paying the sticker price isn't a bad practice. Would you complain you're paying too little if FRS decided there's enough of these posts to re-evaluate the cost of upgrades?

Free is good also.

Kev
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Michael Coslo

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Do you work for free? I never did. I also want Flex to be in business when I buy whatever they come out with next, because I kinda doubt that their programmers work for free. 

As for the software world, when we hear "free" it usually means that instead of us paying for it, that someone is buying the data that we provide off of our computers, cell phones, etc.  Except for people doing work for the love of it, like W1HKJ and fldigi, I understand that I am either the user, or the product of data mining. No thanks. I'll happily pay the 200 dollars.

If you have to have free updates forever and never pay another cent, the Flex is probably not the radio for you. Its a whole different paradigm.  You can then buy a comparable product from another manufacturer, and never pay for an update again. 
(Edited)
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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Michael, I assume you're responding to my comment? I'm not asking for free. I'm not even arguing about the predicted cost. Not so much anyway. I see no reason not to try and get a discount if one can be made available. I mentioned before, I worked my deal during the initial sales and I'm happy with that all the way up to 3.0.

I'm not asking for free either. If I gave that impression it was an accident.

So, I'll happily pay 200 dollars. I'll be more happy to pay $150. Even happier at $100. Hey, ecstatic at $50...
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KF4HR

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Dennis - I never remember reading anything about free Flex software upgrades for life, but rather only within the software series (1.xxxx, 2.xxxx), just like products such as Ham Radio Deluxe.  So  yes, expect to pay $200 for the 2.xxx series software upgrade when it becomes available, although there's nothing saying you must upgrade.  Your 6300 will still work fine if you decide not to upgrade to v2.x, and continue on with your 1.x software. 

The ICOM 7610 looks like a nice radio but in 4 or 5 years what will it cost you to upgrade to their next model?  Consider how much it's going to cost ICOM IC-7600 owners to upgrade to the 7610.  Considerably more than $200.
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Kevin K4VD, Elroy

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What is a software upgrade capable of upgrading in the Signature Series? Can it actually improve hardware specs such as receiver or transmitter performance? Can it make the Flex run at 200 watts input? Or will software provide new tools and techniques for taking advantage of hardware that's basically frozen in place? I understand there's programmable components to the radio but how will those components be able to impact hardware performance specs of soldered-in components?

I'm not sure what the longevity of the 6x00 series is. Flex has been through a number of radio models so far. How does this compare with other manufacturers release of new radios? Will 3.0 come out for the 6x00 but require the 7x00 to achieve the full benefits?

It's all speculation. I'll pay the $200 just to see what the heck they're going to do with the front panel display and buttons. The anticipation is driving me mad! ;)

Kev
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I'll take a guess - the receiver performance is partially software dependent so they can improve on it. But there is not really much to improve on in the first place as it is very, very good and to be honest anything beyond like 80db narrow spaced dynamic range is more than enough for 99.999% of users. 

They can add networking features like WAN and other equipment control such as what they did with the USB ports. 

They *may* be able to add more slice receivers but I doubt that they will. Incidentally you can do that today if you wanted, with restrictions. 

I don't think they can add output power as that is baked in (transistors, output filters). Besides, the power genius XL is going to be marketed as the QRO solution and it is LDMOS requiring little drive. When the 15dB rule is gone it will need only about 5-10 watts for full output. 

They can add more convenience and usability features as well. 
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I don't see what the issue is. Your radio will continue working on version 1.x essentially forever. If you want 2.x you buy the upgrade license. It's like Microsoft Office. You can keep using the old version if it does what you want or pay for a new one if the new features appeal to you. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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This topic has become extremely BORING

On one side are cheap hams and financially challenged hams who want everything to be FREE FOREVER

On the other side there are realisist who understand that the SOFTWARE IS THE RADIO and it COSTS ALOT OF MONEY TO WRITE NEW SIFTWARE.

I can somewhat sympathize with financially challenged hams not being able to afford the $200 upgrade fee. But heck a few less cases of beer every couple of years and even financially challenged hams likely could afford it.

OTOH. no one says you need to upgrade. Your radio will always work. V2.0 is for remote operations. If your financially challenged you probably don't need to do remote anyways.

Finally Fles has published its upgrade policy for years now...No Excuse. It's on the web.
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SteveJ

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Typical Flex Boy comment.
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Brian Hemmis

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2 things that would be worth a charge to me would be the ability to use my 6500 with BOTH the Maestro AND a larger screen monitor. The second would be to just take the Maestro to another QTH and control my radio at home. I'm currently using a Kenwood TS-480S and RemoteRig boxes. Give these 2 things and I'll pull out the plastic with a big smile. These seem like reasonable requests-right ?
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The second one (WAN) is widely speculated as arriving with 2.0. You can actually do that today with a VPN if you really wanted to. I've set it up for a couple of people. K6OZY has videos but I have my own process.

I do agree in being able to use two at once. I would probably like to be able to have two clients running and maybe split out slices. It would help me use my 8 slices more often.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Actually, WAN networking is the primary function that will be the centerpiece of V.2.0.

I an confident that multiple, simultaneous clients will also find its way into V.2.x.x somewhere along the line.  Probably first with the ability to use Maestro as a second control surface while running SSDR for Windows... sort of like a glorified FlexControl Knob.  
I suspect we will see separate, independent multi-client arrive later, as I am sure it will be much more difficult.

Ken - NM9P
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Ken,
Is the "Maestro as a second control surface while running SSDR for Windows... sort of like a glorified FlexControl Knob" been mentioned by FRS as in V2?

I may have missed it.....

Thanks, Al / NN4ZZ
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I seem to remember it mentioned somewhere around this forum as being included in a long list of "wish-list" items for V.2....  or at least the ubiquitous "some time in the future."  Was it by FRS officially?  I don't remember.  As we all know, FRS never officially says anything is IN or OUT until it happens, or just before.  

But as we also know, "wish list" items, and statements like "we hope to be able to add this feature,"  "a lot of people really want this," and "We think this may be possible and desirable,"  are in no way a contractual agreement, or even a promise in any way beyond saying "we would like to be able to do this..."

It has previously been discussed RE: roadmaps, that while most interpret them as "forward looking statements" about the vision of the company, and a snapshot of current expectations....  there are others who looked at the visual and verbal "we hope to develop things along this timeline" and interpret it as a solid promise, or even legally binding contract.  Which is why we no longer have a timeline.  That is unfortunate, because I love to dream and get a picture of what MAY lie ahead, knowing that in any journey detours and changes in itinerary ALWAYS happen!  Others, apparently cannot deal with the uncertainty.

So...is it IN?  I don't know... They haven't told the Alpha Team anything about what is IN, other than WAN, which is the main point.  (And I couldn't discuss it if they DID...which they didn't...)  I suspect we may see it sometime in V.2.xxx  but How FAR in? ... Well.... we have had V.1.xxx for three and a half years, now.  And a LOT of things have found their way into V.1.xxx in three years.

Ken - NM9P
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Brian Hemmis

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Well let's just hope when v 2.0 comes out and if Flex does charge for it as stated it's better than sliced bread and we get what we are asking for and deem it a bargain. I don't worry about what is 4-5 years out for Flex, Icom or the others. By then we'll be looking at a 7000 series Flex running SDRSupreme and an Icom IC-7650. At my age I just take it a day at a time.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Let's all relax, folks.

This issues keeps being raised because new users are continually joining the group and haven't had the benefit of the past four years of discussion about these and other issues.  I think a little grace is required here.  (As a pastor, If I rolled my eyes and puked-forth every time someone new walked into the church and didn't understand everything we did, or had been misinformed by a friend down the street, I would quickly have a dead church and be out of a job.)

I think that sometimes we who are long-time members of the Community can forget how far we have progressed on the learning curve.  Some of the questions may be repetitive and even tedious, but only to those of us who have slogged through the long-term development of the "Flex-Ecosystem."  For new users, these are legitimate questions.  

What is required is a brief, courteous answer.  What is not needed is for the whole group to argue the issue all over again, or to denigrate a new user for asking the answer to a question that we watched evolve over the past three or four years.  Given a little grace, they will learn.  Given "un-grace" they will gravitate to another product....

Ken - NM9P
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Brian Hemmis

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THANK YOU, Ken ! Part of the fun of owning a particular brand and radio model is discussing it's (and the company's) pros & cons and second guessing what's next. Although I've been registered here a while I've only made a couple comments prior to today. Many of the snide and caustic replies would make a thinner skinned person reluctant to post again. I felt my comments were of a speculative and hopeful nature and not mean-spirited in the least. I might note there is a FaceBook Flex owners page where people seem to be helpful and friendly although when stumped often send a person here. Flex owners are a diverse group- We are not all super computer geeks or super rich elitists. What we have in common is we appreciate new and alternative technologies, high performance and American made products from a solid and responsive manufacturer. It's funny, I thought the Icom Yahoo was full of fanboys. Yes, the 7300 does power spike but they will jump on you if you suggest it, Then a half dozen hams privately email you saying they have the same experience but are afraid to say it on the reflector. Ask me how I know this !  I'd hate to see this group spoiled by a few cranks. We're all in this together kids. Your analogy to a new person in your church is a good one and I thank you for bring calm to the discussion and group.
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Steve W6SDM

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I, personally, have no problem with the upgrade fee.  I have several "box" radios from the big three and every one of them costs me money when I do anything, i.e., repair, upgrades, etc. 

Money going into the pot is what fuels new innovation.  Having been a Flex customer since the 3000 came along, I have seen a ton of innovation come out of Flex even before they started the current upgrade policy.

For anyone selling their Flex, be sure and tell the buyer about the version upgrade policy.  I am sure they will be glad to get a brand new radio now and then for free, and occasionally pay a small amount for a really comprehensive upgrade.

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