The new version 3 multiFlex software is perfect for your described scenario. You effectively can have two operators at the same or separate locations operating the same radio (only one can transmit at a time but all the slices and antenna ports can be shared as desired.)
Normal FCC rules apply for this type operation.
Here is an example of contest rules (CQ Worldwide DX Contest)
C. Multi-Operator Categories (all-band operation only): Any number of operators is allowed. QSO finding assistance is allowed. Only one transmitted signal per band is permitted at any time.
1. Single Transmitter (MULTI-ONE): Only one transmitted signal on one band permitted during any 10-minute period (run station/signal). Exception: One — and only one — other transmitted signal (multiplier station/signal) may be used during any 10-minute period, if — and only if — it is on a different band from the run transmitter and the station worked is a new multiplier. The run and multiplier transmitters are governed by independent 10-minute rules. Ten-minute periods begin with the first QSO on a band. The log must indicate which station/signal (run or multiplier) made each QSO. The multiplier station/signal may not call CQ (solicit contacts). Please be sure to read the Multi-Single FAQ section at <cqww.com/rules_faq.htm>.
a. High Power: Total output power must not exceed 1500 watts on any band at any time.b. Low Power: Total output power must not exceed 100 watts on any band at any time.
I'll be pleased to answer other questions about station configuration and hardware once you have a rough idea of the desired station capabilities. BTW, the PowerGenius XL is a perfect companion for this scenario.
Use cases that I have personally used:
1. Multi-single contesting as I described in my post above. This is a very valid and widely used contest mode. If you're a contester you've worked many teams using this mode. It's about skill.
2. The ability to share a slice(s) with another user while on a nationwide net. I talk with friends from TX, MN, IL, MS, GA, and TN every morning. By sharing slices among us we can hear what the other station is hearing without having to use one of the WebSDR resources.
3. I can be operating casually on 40M and one or more of my friends (each singly at a time) can connect to my radio and use my antenna farm and PGXL amp. Often my QTH can hear things that their antennas can't. For example, right now I'm using my 6700 and working satellites. The 6600 is connected and sitting idle. One of my friends could log in and make a contact.
There are many other possibilities waiting to be discovered. This is groundbreaking technology and the visionary hams will find many new uses.
Yes, a version 2.5 is planned and will be lingering bug fixes. There will not charge for this version if you have already purchased version 2.
Keith - AC9S
1. Announced new functionality and potential for new uses of radio. There are big headline items (remote ops in V2, multiflex in v3) but along with those come changes that are probably needed to support them but also provide interesting opportunities. Until its in the field and you see how others are using it, you might no know yet whether this is appealing.
2. Continued bug fixes. Like it or not, the upcoming 2.5 will likely be the last release of v2. Software is made by humans, running on top of operating systems made by humans, on hardware (you guessed it!) so it will never be perfect. 2.5 will be guaranteed not to fix every outstanding bug/complaint/great idea. So, buying the next version keeps that maintenance activity alive for you.
3. Supporting a small company and allow it to keep very talented engineers working on new ideas. No, Flex is not a co-op, non-profit, etc. It is a commercial venture that serves its customers and provides a living to the Flex employees. The software upgrades provide a revenue stream that is critical for their operation. I can testify that Flex is a much smaller company than the 'footprint' it makes in the ham business. As a fixed-income old-retired dude, money doesn't flow out of the Campbell house like it did a few years ago, so $200 is more money that it used to be. But, this is a great company, I get a lot of return on this investment, above and beyond multiflex functionality.
As I say, each of these three things matters in different priority to each of us, but I wanted to outline this when you decide whether to upgrade or not.
To me, it is much preferable to invest incremental money to software periodically than replacing tranceiver itself every 5 year that costs much more and forces me to climb the learning curve from the start.
My 6500 is 62 months old (24/7 running) and it has been performing the best among machines I have/have had, Icom, Elecraft.
Thank you FlexRadio!
de JI1BNU, JA2IYJ
A. Across your customers, there will always be different priorities, needs, wants. You will
NEVER please everyone at one time.
B. A lot of companies spend some energy running "customer focus group" meetings so they
can better understand what the top three to five priorities are for their customers. Of course,
this costs a fair bit of money that smaller companies may not have. I do not know what
Flex chooses to do in this regard. I am aware that you never have 100% of your customers
using the forums. And of those that do, not 100% of them are aware of some potential
feature voting list. So if this is how feature priorities are set, the results can be very skewed.
For an attempt at accurate customer input for future feature directions, any company can
improve the accuracy of their data by reaching out via mail or email campaigns to all
registered customers on file, and/or continually broadcast the location (URL?) of a feature
voting page. Relying on forum thread feedback is poor, since it is uncolated, easy to miss,
not all customers do it, etc. I for example, read the forums here quite a bit and have not been
aware of a place to vote for features.
C. Any company will balance customer feedback data with their own internal product goals
and roadmaps. To that end, Flex can and will decide what list of potential features and
improvements to put on some survery, voting page, or customer focus group meetings.
Flex is a very small company compared to the Fortune 500 firm that I work at. That said,
they can still improve customer data collection and reduce their stress by venturing to
make feature priority requests more visible to their customers. As a new'ish owner (1 year),
I would be happy to vote, if asked, about feature improvements if I knew where to click.
I would also benefit from seeing what other peers were requesting.
In the end, after I vote or get asked for my customer opinion, to be fair, I also need to realize
that not everyone will vote the same way, and the company may regardless decide on some
other priorities. We have to accept that.
I see the exact same issues at Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu, Ford, GM, GE, Samsung, Nikon,
Sony, etc, etc.
RE: "I would be happy to vote, if asked, about feature improvements if I knew where to clic k.
I would also benefit from seeing what other peers were requesting."
Here are the steps to see the list of ideas sorted by popularity ( i.e. votes) . To add your vote just click on an idea, and if you like it click on "VOTE" in the upper right hand corner.
Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W V 2.4.9
I think most of us just puzzled about this version - I, for example, was hoping to get my Maestro knobs to be used on SSDR (as many others as far as I understand based on multiple posts). I would be 1st to happily pay $199 !
If ver3 designed for multiple users of the same radio, for example contest station, i hope Flex done their homework and know how many contest stations may use these capability and how many have Flex radios (or potentially may want Flex for that capability).
Of course, it can be used for noncontest stations, but again, i think number of friends with Flex and curiosity to use each other station is very very low.
As I said before, I live in a very small lot and I do not see someone ever TX on my station.
In my uneducated guess, this could be very low % of HAM's population who may be interested in that release, that's why so many feedbacks from the guys (including me) who do not have any immedate need for that version.
I am not critizing Flex, just have to sit and wait what next revisions brings to the table.