Have I been mugged

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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I bought my 6500 only 2 months ago I'm confused if I will have to pay for updates,I was told by my uk supplier that I would get updates for 1 year but reading posts it seems that flex has moved the goal posts and I will have to pay from now on can someone deny or confirm this,I'm not happy
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Tony Hateley

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Posted 5 years ago

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Michael - N5TGL

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Official Response
from the FlexRadio webpage on the 6xxx series:

SmartSDR Software Upgrades and Licensing
Key Points:
All FLEX-6000 Signature Series radios are shipped with the latest major version of SmartSDR software.
Each major version of SmartSDR comes with free updates and maintenance releases for the life of that major release.
After a new major version of SmartSDR is released, maintenance releases for earlier versions will be provided free of charge on an as needed basis.
The choice to upgrade to the next major version of SmartSDR is yours. Your radio will continue to operate on its current major version of software as long as you choose.
Each major release of SmartSDR (v1.0, v2.0, v3.0, etc.) will have an associated license fee (currently $199.00 USD plus applicable tax).
Description:
Your FLEX-6000 Signature Series SDR comes with a version of SmartSDR software that will operate your radio as long as you want.  Period.  We will continue to make improvements and fix instabilities (aka “software defects”) in that major version.  At some point in the future, we will release a new major version of software and offer it for sale.  It’s up to our product management and amazing engineering team to come up with exciting new features and capabilities to convince you its worth upgrading to a newer version.  In the meantime, we’ll work hard to make sure your existing software version remains stable and functional. (Note that anyone who purchased additional years of “Flex Advantage” when they purchased their FLEX-6000 Signature Series radio will be credited for that many major SmartSDR software version releases.)
The simple way to think of our SmartSDR software licensing policy is that it’s similar to the Microsoft® model – When you buy a complete PC you receive the current version of WindowsTM.  When Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows, you get to decide if you want to upgrade. In the meantime, bug fixes and maintenance releases will continue as needed for the existing versions.
We will support SmartSDR through all of our in-person, online, and distributor channels in the same way we do today with our other products without any restrictive time limits.
(Edited)
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Ernest - W4EG

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TH ... Michael reply is correct

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Tony Hateley

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So what your saying as long as the updates are 1.3 etc. but when you get to version 2 I have to pay even if that is before my 1 year is up
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Tony Hateley

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So they could jump straight to version 2 after version 1.4 although the radio still lacks some of the basics of a knob radio
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DrTeeth

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1)The information you got about the 1 year is wrong. Take it up with your retailer.
2) Have you seen how infrequent and insignificant the firmware updates are for radios with knobs?
3) Did you find out about the 'incomplete' features before you bought? If yes, who gave you a guarantee that they would be fixed before the erroneous year was up?
4) Believe me, you will come to see how lucky you are to have a Flex. I cannot speak highly enough of the hardware or the company. Try getting personal and personalised tech support from a Japanese or Chinese company.
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Jon W1JDB

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Tony, this is inconsistent with what I understand to be the plan by Flex. It may be the interpretation but no matter, rest assured, no mugging is underway.

Any and all updates for your Flex throughout the life of Version 1 of the software are covered. That means that the current version 1.3.8 will be updated to 1.4 and then continue on with updates in the 1.xx series until the roadmap that has been published and features promised are completed.

At some time in the future, Flex will announce the feature set and plan for Version 2 which will likely be a paid upgrade as it would include features that may or may not enhance the radio in areas that you would use and/or take advantage of. It will be your choice.

I'm sure other replies will follow but I thought I would send the good thoughts your way.

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DrTeeth

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Not at all. The above is true. I know I could be keel-hauled by my friends here, but with the hard work that FRS is putting into software development, it will be a pleasure to pay for v2 (don't tell the XYL).

It would be an act of commercial suicide if there was even a wiff of impropriety on FRS' behalf in manufacturing major version increases just to generate revenue. On their MO to date, there is more chance of my hair growing back (imagine Kojak).

Enjoy your radio, you have chosen well.
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Ken - NM9P

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When first released, the intended policy was for an annual software support subscription. But this policy was changed many months ago, many months before you took delivery of your rig. The current model promises ongoing support for the same magot version "family" no matter how long it lasts. Magor version upgrades, just like Windows and other software products, will be a paid upgrade. I actually prefer this, because I am not required to endlessly subscribe to a software service just to keep up with bug fixes, in the same way that I would hate to keep paying for annual update and support for my Windows Vista laptop. If I want to upgrade to Win8.1 I can do so at any time, for a cost....or not.
(Edited)
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Greg - K5GJ, Elmer

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Tony - 

I appreciate your concern regarding our SmartSDR update policy.  As many above has stated, our update policy is (now) based upon a major feature/version release and not on a fixed time.  I will take responsibility for this confusion since we were not definitive with our information release when we started shipping the FLEX-6000 Signature Series.  I wrote the text that Michael and others are quoting so I can attest to it being accurate.  The short version is this:  Your FLEX-6500 shipped with the current version of SmartSDR - At present this is SmartSDR v1.3.8.  We will continue to make iterative feature improvements and bug fixes to that major version and release these updates on a regular schedule.  Those updates are free for you to download upon release.

At some point in the future, our engineering team will produce a new major version of SmartSDR.  As our roadmap shows, the theme of SmartSDR v2.x will be "remote networking of your radio".  Of course there will be other great features to make your investment even better.  We hope that you will agree the features are a MUST HAVE! for your shack so you'll open your wallet and purchase SmartSDR v2.x.  The challenge is for us to create the right feature list for you and the option is yours to decide if those features are worth purchasing the upgrade at that time.  We hope so... but if not, your SmartSDR v1.x software will continue to provide you with a great amateur radio experience.

Tony, I hope you don't feel mugged.  That's not our intention.  I'm sorry you got the wrong message from the dealer and I've taken the action to make sure everyone in our sales and distribution team is properly educated.  In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have additional questions or concerns.  My email is greg@flexradio.com .  Thanks to everyone for pitching in to help clear this up.

73,
Greg - K5GJ
FlexRadio Sales 
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Tony Hateley

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My post was not intended as a knock at the flex team,it's a great radio and I don't regret buying it,I was just very confused with the what updates I would get in the next 12 months,please keep up the great work your team is doing and I will be telling everyone what a great product you have.regards tony
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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Other software I use like Microsoft Windows and Office have the same policy. If I don't need the new features then I don't have to upgrade or I can upgrade every other version.

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