Going to buy a Flex 6500

  • 2
  • Praise
  • Updated 3 years ago
After test driving a friends Flex 6700 for the past month. I am going to buy a Flex 6500.  This has been a fantastic radio to play with and I want my own.

I do not want to go back to my Icom 756 when when friend comes back from vacation.  

The only thing that would help a new person getting evolved with the flex radio would be the correct configuration for some of the digital software out there.  I have managed to find the information by reading through many posting about software configuration and pulling the correct configuration information out.  This works but can be very and time consuming to find all of the correct information. 

Looking forward to having fun with the flex radio system

KD7IQL
Steve
Photo of Steve Cook

Steve Cook

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 2
Photo of WA2SQQ

WA2SQQ

  • 417 Posts
  • 87 Reply Likes
You wont regret it. Good luck.
Photo of Dave -- W7IWW

Dave -- W7IWW

  • 68 Posts
  • 14 Reply Likes
Best wishes.  Went from IC 756 Pro 2 > Flex 5000A > Flex 6700.  Just keeps getting better.
Photo of Jim Best

Jim Best

  • 46 Posts
  • 9 Reply Likes
Steve, what was the deciding factor to cause you to settle on the 6500?  I have been undecided between the  6500 and the 6700.  Presently I have a 5000A.
73 and Thanks
Jim WU7G
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 746 Posts
  • 151 Reply Likes
Deciding between the 6500 and the 6700 was really hard for me.  I eventually ended up getting the 6700 and really haven't looked back.  No buyers remorse here, although I'm sure if I would have gotten the 6500, I would have always wondered what the faster processors, 2 meter functionality and diversity would have been like and I'm sure I would have wished I would have sprung for the top of the line.   Its been more than a year since I bought my 6700 and I'm real happy with my decision.  I knew at the time that it was a really expensive rig, but once I bought it, I really never thought about it much after that.  Good luck in what ever you decide on.  Either way, you'll have a lot of fun - shoot, either rig is great!
Photo of Randy Hall

Randy Hall

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Steve, I have been running a 5000a for 3 years and plan to move up. Wonder if you would share your reasoning after using the 6700, why you are purchasing a $6500? If it is purely economics, I get it. But I am going thru a decision factor in my mind based on my use, where is the money best spent. Looking for others thoughts and what they have found.

Thanks,
Randy
N4FNB
Photo of Steve Cook

Steve Cook

  • 15 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I come down to the price point.  The 6500 fits with my budget.  This has been a tough decision but I think Smart SDR 1.4 pushed the point for me.

Steve
KD7IQL
Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P, Elmer

  • 3969 Posts
  • 1225 Reply Likes
Congratulations, and welcome to the Flex family"
You will love the new 6500. They are a wonderful rig, and continue to improve with greater flexibility.

For even more fun, be sure to check out the postings that several of us, thanks to William, have been using DJ MIDI controllers to interface via the API. Very slick, versatile, and flexible.

Ken-NM9P
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
Randy, if you'd like (of course once I hit submit you're vote won't count) I will recount why I bought the 6500 vs the 6700. I don't know what the price list is now but when I ordered the 6500, they were just taking orders then, I, too, 'agonized' over which. So, why I bought the 6500, it was WAY better than the TS-530SP it was replacing. Actually the Flex 1500 sort of replaced the 530 but 5 watts vs 100 wasn't really a replacement. The 6000 Series is made in the US, by American workers, we, as unquenchable consumers, import way too many things. I don't mind buying stuff, I'd just prefer my neighbors get some benefit from it (multiplier effect). Why I didn't buy the 6700. I still don't know what one would do with 8 receivers. I can understand 2, I can even understand 3, but even 4, not without software. Eight was, to me, a bridge too far. The 6700 was almost twice the price of the 6500. Diversity Reception. It's not really clear to me it buys anything beyond bragging rights, plus you need two active antennas. Some people will pay any price to get what they perceive to be the very best money can afford. I am not one of those. For all intents and purposes the 6500 is technically the same as the 6700 (minus 4 receivers) and about 1/2 the cost. Now, the AI contest program I spoke of earlier, yes, it could utilize 8 active receivers. But 1st in show is not a money award so being high scorer in single op is, to me, not worth the upgrade costs. But that's me, you're mileage may vary.  No question, it is a very good radio, one of the current market best. All things change. I doubt Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, and Elecraft are willing to cede the high ground so, yes, the race is on. I hope FRS does stay in the lead, or at least place (win, place, show). There is a reason my 530 is not in the top 5 on Sherwood's or ARRL's list. And despite the zealot-speak over the Flex, we actually want that race, it makes all the survivors better which means we, the consumers, are constantly presented with the best available choices. Once it was the 5000, now it's the 6000, maybe in 3 years it will be the 7000. When you think about it, we want that race. 
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 746 Posts
  • 151 Reply Likes
I am 61 years old and figured I worked hard all my life and I wanted to treat myself to the best.  I also realized that I have some money tucked away and if I kicked the bucket in a few years, I won't be taking any of it with me!  
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
I've gone for a 6500 .. middle ground ... preselectors for DX and contest work, GPSDO capable for hi stab for moonbounce and locking my Kuhne electronics TR series transverters to - one SCU is ok for me ... didn't need the 144 capability with the Kuhne (can't beat their performance) - so best of all worlds :) 73 Simon ZL4PLM
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
There have been a lot of people responding to your comment/question. I am not sure there was a question in there. But there is another side of the coin. I think we, as a group, would be remiss if nobody pointed this out.

There are many different motivating factors some in common, some not so much, that drove the decision of those on this board to buy a Flex 6000. One, oddly enough, is it isn't done cooking yet. In other words, all that the 6000 will be hasn't occurred yet. Will that be telepathic modulation? No.  The flex 6000, likely shared with the 5000, is it takes a lot of real estate on Windows. 1) You will require Microsoft Windows, this may or may not be an issue. 2) For best results you will require Microsoft WIndows with multiple monitors. For myself, I am a software developer, I've had multiple monitors at home and work for, at least, a decade. If you are crapped for desk room, that might be an issue. My primary system (2 monitors) is Linux so SmartSDR and HRD and CW Skimmer and SDR Bridge are relegated to a 15" laptop. This is a huge issue for me, lack of SmartSDR real estate. It is not a direct reflection on FRS at all. I think the question you have to really answer, after that initial blush of playing with one at a friend's house, is can you live without a front panel. I've heard from many that that singular issue is the deal breaker. If it really is a non issue for you than, absolutely, the 6000 series is an excellent choice. If you aren't sure about no front panel...seriously consider it before you drop a dime. If you only begrudgingly use a PC for logging and DXCluster, give this point serious thought. No one makes really excellent under $2000 radios any more.

Full disclosure: I am resolving the Windows-centric issue. I can not, however, resolve the no front panel. Spoiler alert, the non-windows version of the control surface I am writing will allow a receiver on each monitor. That is nothing that FRS can't do so maybe put it on the idea list or add your voice to that idea others have put on the idea list.

Walt Corey - kz1f (6500)
(Edited)
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 643 Reply Likes
Sorry Ken, gotta say this. I scanned to fast the first time:
"Though I do have sympathy and a little sadness for those who cannot make the change to the SDR style of operating, because I know the performance advantages they may be missing, I certainly wish them no ill will.  that would be just plain dumb -- why should anyone have animus towards someone else because of a matter of style or adaptation?  "

I need glasses, some times I have problems adjusting to a new prescription. But I need glasses. Some people have trouble 'adjusting' to Caviar, or headcheese, or calves tongue. They don't need (or want) fish eggs or brain. A completely illogical comparison. Technically, I encourage you to look at the Feb Sherwood rankings. Some people want the radio the center of the action, others want a surround sound 3-4 monitor multimedia experience as the center. Neither should illicit sympathy or sadness or animus.
(Edited)
Photo of Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis

  • 495 Posts
  • 117 Reply Likes
actually as a DX'r and contester I like the concept and panadapter but a small scale VFO knob and key functions at my my fingers is a must .. its not a thing about not managing SDR's or need a knobbed radio .. actually I have used 4 SDR's already .. a K3, KX3, TS590 and FDM-Duo. Having that VFO for finding weak signals is a must for me ... something more upmarket than the flex control, not as geeky as a the DJ controller, but not a full knobbed front panel .... there... clear as mud huh! :)
Photo of N3HQB

N3HQB

  • 10 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Try the Contour Shuttle Xpress...
Photo of Randy Hall

Randy Hall

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I agree with Simon as liking to use the knob for VFO tuning during contest so I use the Flex Knob. However I can set my mouse wheel and do the same.
Photo of Randy Hall

Randy Hall

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ken and Walt, the link on my webpage requires a log in to Dropbox. I am in San Antonio for a few days but will fix it when I get back . It is a very good explaination as to the importance of filtering and how the affect of applification at the different stages on the 1928 design radios such as the 756, or the 7600, or Other Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood rigs based on the engineering. If you Google KY6LA for a club presentation it might be found. It is well worth the time and effort.
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3541 Posts
  • 1396 Reply Likes
Here is the link to my SDR-101 Presentation  V1.0

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10740053/Modern%20Radio%20SDR-101%20V1.pdf

V2.0 will be published shortly (if I ever finish corrections and updates)