How to modify your FlexRadio 6700 for a Boat Anchor

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I am thinking of adding a YouTube video with my FlexRadio 6700 connected to my laptop with SDR, CAT, and DAX images on the screen.  The images will show I need a license from Flex.  Then I will take a extra large sledge hammer or a 200 ton press and completely destroy the FlexRadio 6700.  Then I will shape the 6700 case so it will hold a section of chain.  The video will then cut to my duck boat dropping the 6700 in the water and me sitting back with a beer and talking on a hand held DMR radio. 

Backstory.  I bought my 6700 in the Spring of 2017.  In May 2019 I decided to upgrade from 2.4.9 to 3.2.27 although I can't imagine doing remote operating.  My radio is set up in my 38' Fleetwood motorhome and I do not have any hard-wired internet connection.  I have 4 hotspots in the coach and have had no problems with any of my other electronics or software.   Firstly I was told it was child's play to connect the new software, then I was stupid, that I could do it with a switch? then a mini wifi router, and finally internet sharing.  I did ask Flex to hold for a month or so because I was not available but the bottom line, eight weeks are on Flex. 

Do not contact me to purchase my Flex.  I do not sell my ham equipment, I either give it away or throw it away.

Does anyone think that I will get a response from someone that knows how to fix this?   I don't think so.
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N4VGE

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Your not interested in remote, what do you need the radio connected to the internet for?
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Ted VE3TRQ

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To license the radio for v3 ?:-)
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Because your other devices have internet as you said, does your computer for the Flex have internet? If so then downloading the V3 software should not be a problem.
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N4VGE

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Well, firstly I am guessing that upgrading is always good even if I am not interested in remote.  Secondly I have solid hi-speed internet to my laptops and tablets in my motorhome but my hotspots are not routers and have no Cat 5 cable connection (see Verizon Hotspots).  Lastly, Flex does have a travel router that should work.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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“I am guessing that upgrading is always good even if I am not interested in remote”

You should always review release notes and current users’ experience before updating. There certainly are things in v3 that you might like (or not!). I won’t try to list the pluses and minuses, but do look for v3-related comments and release notes before deciding to go that route.

Of course you can always go back - once the licensing and downloading is done using an Internet connection, going back and forth between versions is relatively trivial and does not require the Internet. Just remember that going back from v3 to v2 (or v2.5 to v2.4) requires a radio reset - apparently the internal database format is not backwards compatible, although it is forwards compatible.
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Pat N6PAT

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I would love a link to that video!
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I would too, that would be different. But I think giving the radio away to the less fortunate is best...lol
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Eric-KE0WMX

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I'll take it! I sure can't afford one right now!
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W2NER

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Me too!!  I want to see that!
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N4VGE

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I am going to try the travel router and if that doesn't work I think I will do the video with the hydraulic press while the radio is on and hope for some fireworks. 
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N9VC

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Go ahead
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Jerry - W2TXB

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Pics and video or it didn't happen. ;)

Back when I did the upgrade to v2, I attempted to do the download at home (RoadRunner connection to Internet); it crashed every time I tried, so I checked my connection speeds and they were (at best) dismal. So, while waiting at my wife's doc appointment, I used their wi-fi to my ThinkPad, and easily (and completely) did the download. On the way home, I stopped by the TimeWiener office and spoke with them; they handed me a new cable modem, which helped my speeds considerably. My next step was temporarily hard-wiring my "Flex" PC (a very fast home built unit with some serious horsepower) and the 6700 to my router across the hallway... used an ethernet switch and a long cable. That also worked perfectly, and I returned to using that PC via wi-fi, connected via ethernet cable to the Flex.

Can v3 be loaded to the PC and radio without a hard wired connection? If so, that is a major improvement. Then, can it be operated remotely without any hard wired connections? If so, that would be another huge improvement.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Jerry, as we know wifi is more flacky then a hard wired connection, that being said a Wifi connection most often works very well, if it's solid.

As long as your wifi is good you can download V3 when you purchase it, then simply install.
If your radio is connected to a good working wifi router then working remote can be very sucssesful.
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Ted VE3TRQ

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And when possible, use 5.4 GHz.
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James Charlton

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I don't understand what your exact technical problem is, but I'm guessing you can't get a good software download due to spotty Internet/wifi coverage inside your home.  If that's it, read on, otherwise stop now.

A couple of years ago a guy I knew had a similar problem.  He solved it by putting his Flex in his car running off the cigarette lighter and drove around hotels, restaurants etc until he found a solid wifi signal in the parking lots.  I believe he used a wifi finder app on his phone and settled on a hospital that did not require a password.  Anyway, using their wifi he downloaded the software and everything was fine.

It's something to think about.

Jim Charlton   AD0AB
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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Hello! I’m not sure, based on the posting if this an operational issue or that you are having issues with the upgrade process itself. If you could specify then I think I or some other smart people on here can help you. Each having its own specific path to the promise land.
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Andy

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I like!
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Ronald / W4RJF

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I thought I remembered something about this post...I believe this is his first post on this issue:

https://community.flexradio.com/flexradio/topics/upset-in-charleston-sc

Regards,
Ronald
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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It is pretty hard to figure out what your actual Flex-6700 problem is, but I think you've joined the wondrous rapture of blaming your network issues on somebody else.

Your in-RV setup really is a challenge for anything as intensive as a 6000 - and remember the only real difference between a WAN and a LAN in that in the LAN you own ALL the problems rather than share them with someone else.  

There have been lost of discussion and info on the FRS website on the pitfalls going wireless.  Yes some succeed - fewer succeed long term because something changes and of course some never make it work twice, some not even once...  

Whatever Internet-Connected-Radio and LAN-Connected-Shack-Radio you pick, it will not do you well if your internet and LAN are not robust.  

While you make think the ball is in FRS court, you are always responsible to provide enough connectivity to make a radio server work.  That responsibility doesn't change if the manufacturer is someone else either. 

Personally I have struggled with the connectivity issues with my Island QTH from day one.  Actually I prefer to bring gear (FRS or other gear) off the island to do updates.  My Island options suck and are never are stable enough to count upon. 

You know what you have to fix, whether if it is a one-off update or the general usability over in-RV wireless.  If your RV travels are taking you near me, I'd happily help you get your upgrade sorted.

GL & 73

Steve
K9ZW

Blog:  http://k9zw.wordpress.com  
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Huskerbobe

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I was in a similar situation, blaming FLEX.  After quite a bit of help from Dan Quigley, I upgraded my ISP and bought a new MESH router system, shielded LAN cables and metal case switches .  Since then all has worked PERFECT, absolutely NO problems.

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WA5YOM

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I know someone who can’t afford a radio....so if you want to give away...
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k0eoo

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Hello Van,

Sorry to hear your pain, the 6700 is a great radio that depends on a solid WAN connection, ONLY, for updates.  I would hope in your situation you could send your unit to Flex and they would straighten things out for you...

Regards, Dennis, k0eoo
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W2NER

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I could use it for a car ramp..  Get a Expert Electronics MB1 and you will be happy. 
(Edited)
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N4VGE

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I was in error.  I bought my 6700 in 2018 not 2017.  Has anyone seen or hear from Michael Walker the "Community Mayor of Flex Radio"? 
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AB4RW

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if you give it away, let me know! i would love to replace my 6400!
ill trade my 6400 and you can use it as a boat anchor!
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Can't tell if he's serious or a comical way of asking for help. If you skip the crushing step and go straight to using it as a boat anchor, I'll still take it, water logged or not.
I'd
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N4VGE

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I am serious, the crushing is more dramatic and the boat anchor shows that I am finished with Flex. 
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Michael Walker, Employee

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HiHave you received any of the emails that we have sent you in the last 7 days?Mike
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David Warnberg

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Please crush it and move on so we don’t have to see this any longer...
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Ted VE3TRQ

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So, if you are truly done with Flex, please leave the community also.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Not sure why you need four hotspots in a motor home. It sounds like your network is pretty unstable, Try using one hotspot with an ethernet cable into an inexpensive LAN SWITCH (not a router). Plug your Flex and PC into the switch, too. Turn on the switch, then hotspot, wait for it to get a signal, then the PC, the Flex. Should work. If not, check to make sure DHCP is enabled on the hotspot.

With gear connected to multiple hotspots, you are likely getting duplicate IP assignments. Not good. Further, if the rig and PC are on different hotspots, they are not on the same network. Not good, either.


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Ted VE3TRQ

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Not only all of that, but multiple WiFi networks will interfere with each other unless they are specifically designed to work together I.e a mesh.
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Michael Walker, Employee

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I wanted to reply on this since Van chose to post here.

We have been in constant communication with this customer in order to attempt to help him through his update. 

He also has the ability to run V2 of Smartsdr to roll back to with 1 or 2 mouse clicks until we get this resolved.  Even though the licensing is failing to finish, that does not take you off the air.

I also want to mention that we have overnighted him a WiFi module that to see if that will assist him help him out with the upgrade that will arrive tomorrow 100% at our cost.

We do appreciate that this has been a bit of an issue for him and we are working with him constantly to resolve his V3 upgrade.  

In order for the radio to finish its V3 licensing, it only requires a brief connection to the internet, and, what we would normally recommend it to briefly connect a LAN cable from the radio to the Router to verify the license.  Then, you can revert to the configuration that was previously in use.

73 all, Mike

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N4VGE

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WRONG WRONG WRONG on so many levels. Firstly I uninstalled v2 in preparation for the v3.  Another Flex "Official Rep" in essence called me stupid.  On one weekend I had two network engineers who speaks that language work for several hours to get connected,  Flex did send me a WiFi module but it didn't help. "100% at our cost" - what garbage - my time, network engineer's goodwill, and numerous things that I purchased to try to get it to work including a Wifi Module, switch, new cables, cable tester, etc. Then last weekend Dan Quigley worked with one of my friends who is a network engineer and after 3 hours they gave up and admitted that wifi connection would not work. 
Now since my router is about 150' from my coach I have learned how to put ends on Cat 6 cables (that was fun) and another 2 hours spend trying to find the instructions for upgrading. 
For the "Official Rep" to state "In order for the radio to finish its V3 licensing, it only requires a brief connection to the internet:
I recommend anyone interested in a 6700 to go out and buy five Icom 7300s.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I'm surprised all these smart engineers didn't suggest to setup a point to point from your wifi router to your coach. If you got internet in your house there is no reason why you can't have it 150' or 3 miles from your house. A simple P2P will do it, we do it all the time to get internet from houses to out buildings, garages etc. Far cheaper than putting cable in conduit and burying it.
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Van,

As an owner of a 6700 and having gone thru hell getting it repaired I can certainly sympathize with your frustration.

You pay top dollar for a high end rig and expect it to perform as advertised. In my case I had to send the radio in for frequency stability issues. During that time I had voice mails ignored, written requests for updates ignored, repeated promised completion times unfulfilled and numerous misdiagnosis of the problems. 

Flex then said I had a serious spur problem that I didn't even know existed and no one on the air commented or complained about.

The service people could not find the source of the spurs. It got so bad that the man who designed the rig, Gerald, could not even determine the source of the spur problem and ended up replacing the entire transceiver board as a last resort. 

Imagine, the people that designed and work on these radios all day could not find out what was wrong with it.

I've worked in systems design for over 35 years and if any of my workers wrote software that they could not debug I would have fired them on the spot.

Good luck with your rig.

Now cue the ever present Guardians Of The Royal Order Of Flex.
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Van, as owner of a 6700 I have not gone through any hell using my radio, or setting it up, upgrading software etc. it is what it is. Your problem is not the radio, your problem as you described it is getting internet to work in your coach so the radio can get a simple software update. Flexradios do not include wifi so it seems your problem is your own network not the radio and in your frustration you are taking it out on the radio, and as usual Pat jumps in with his 2 cents that adds nothing positive to help you but fuel the flames. How many more times are you going to attempt to blame Flexradio when you and everyone else knows the problem they found could and probably was operator fault. But if it makes you feel better I guess because you continue to do it again and again. Just don't be surprised to get a response from your negative propaganda.

Back to helping Van, I guess I should have asked you first Van, did anyone try to setup a Point to Point? This isn't rocket science and this would be the first step. Then once that is done, bypassing all your hotspots, connect to the Flexradio to get what you need done, then worry about interfacing to your hotspots.

https://www.amazon.ca/Ubiquiti-LocoM5-Complete-Pre-Configured-Nanostation/dp/B06XKPCGH8/ref=sr_1_3?c...

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Pat N6PAT

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" How many more times are you going to attempt to blame Flexradio when you and everyone else knows the problem they found could and probably was operator fault."

I think if you ask Gerald he will tell you that the frequency stability problem was caused by a failed XO and the spur problem was also hardware related.

Bottom line: You were not involved so you are talking about something you know nothing about.

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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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Bottom line Pat is in your numerous posts you have said many things, so my information is based on what information  you supplied. You involved the community with your continuous negative posts on the subject. You choose to go public and continue to try to sour Flexradio, you choose to do that.  I for one think Flexradio has treated you more than fairly, which I won't get into again. So again, don't be surprised to get a response.  
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Pat N6PAT

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Well, when my voice mails were ignored and written requests unanswered by FRS the most effective way to get action was to go public.  Worked like a charm.
(Edited)
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David Warnberg

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No it didn’t, your still complaining it’s not working right..
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David Warnberg

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I have a perfectly good working 6500 with V3 already loaded I'll trade you for...
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Michael Walker, Employee

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I am going to close this thread and if any one would like to discuss it further you can call myself at x222 or Dan at x225. If you can’t get us directly, please leave a message. We return all calls. Mike

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