I have heard bit and pieces of V3

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I have heard that V3 will have remote operators to log on too my radio and operate it from a remote log on it. So i will to talk some of my friends that loves contesting but the money to build a good station. So now thinking of rules and regs I need to build for my contest station a little better.
Your thoughts

Jim
WU5E
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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Posted 4 months ago

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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Jim,

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.

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I bet they will jump all over this, this is the same as two radios.
This has been tested bye many of these contesters already....
(Edited)
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Chris DL5NAM

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How man you bet ? :-)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Not the same as two independent radio’s
Can not both transmit at the same time
(Edited)
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Multi-op contesting is one of the key use cases of multiFLEX. Prior to multiFLEX a typical multi-op contest station like K9CT would use two radios to accomplish a multi-1, 4 radios for a multi-2, or n*2 for a multi-multi. Since only one operator can be transmitting on a band at a time, a typical station requires complex cabling to coordinate the transmitter between two radios so that they are not TXing at the same time. Also you have to have complex antenna switching and bandpass filtering which is not necessary with a radio like the 6600. Finally, with two separate radios it means that one user is utilizing the "Good" antenna while the second is forced to settle for the "worse" antenna. 

- multiFLEX will cut the cost and complexity in half given that there is only one radio.
- With Power Genius XL they only need 1 amplifier.  
- SmartLink will allow the operators to be geographically separated. This is a BIG enabler, especially for more casual contesters, as it is often not practical to get together in the same location.

check out the multiFLEX page for some illustrations:
https://www.flexradio.com/multiFLEX
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Multi-op contesting is one of the key use cases of multiFLEX. Prior to multiFLEX a typical multi-op contest station like K9CT would use two radios to accomplish a multi-1, 4 radios for a multi-2, or n*2 for a multi-multi. Since only one operator can be transmitting on a band at a time, a typical station requires complex cabling to coordinate the transmitter between two radios so that they are not TXing at the same time. Also you have to have complex antenna switching and bandpass filtering which is not necessary with a radio like the 6600. Finally, with two separate radios it means that one user is utilizing the "Good" antenna while the second is forced to settle for the "worse" antenna. 

- multiFLEX will cut the cost and complexity in half given that there is only one radio.
- With Power Genius XL they only need 1 amplifier.  
- SmartLink will allow the operators to be geographically separated. This is a BIG enabler, especially for more casual contesters, as it is often not practical to get together in the same location.

check out the multiFLEX page for some illustrations:
https://www.flexradio.com/multiFLEX
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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Thanks Mack, I was thinking like this. I do 1st shift on the contest, my friend John does second shift from his home ( remote) and Tom does the over night shift from his home. One Radio , three operators! I run fans and keep every thing cool hi hi

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Chris DL5NAM

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James, that is since V2 possible if . SSDR V2 use Smartlink !
Every Ham friend, you have given your Smartlink Login, can connect your F6. You can share your station since V2 with every worldwide !
(Edited)
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Laurens PD9X

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It would be very nice if the fix the DAX problem, for using N1MM voice keying and SSB audio at the same time using remote...
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Steve

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It is nice to have a new release coming out...BUT it would be much better to have outstanding issues resolved before putting time and effort into a new release, come on Flex "get with the program".
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Gene - K3GC

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Concur - I have zero interest in contesting but i really would like to see outstanding bugs resolved.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Flex said that a v2.5 is coming to address outstanding issues. As well as the v3 release.
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Version 3 is far more than just contesting.

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. 

73,

Mack
W4AX
Alpha Team
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Pat N6PAT

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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.

What safeguards would you use to prevent another op that you allowed to use your station remotely from destroying your amp and/or radio thru some operator error ?

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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Additional applications include:

Elmering could be a significant use case for multiFLEX. This will allow you to have a young ham utilize your radio.

Also, we have seen many applications where operators are setting up remote stations to share. Also, where members of retirement communities or HOAs will share a radio with a friend who has some land for antennas. multiFLEX is perfect for these applications.
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Mack McCormick, Elmer

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Matt,

I routinely allow my station to be used by other friends and the middle school that my club sponsors. I have good antennas that others may not be allowed to have due to space or HOAs. Just this weekend I allowed a friend to use my station in the 160M CW contest. He worked 620 Q's and 51 countries. 

Because I'm using multiFlex I was able to use my rig on other bands at the same time for listening. I could transmit while he was taking a break.

My station is setup so that it is impossible to transmit RF into another radio, band filtering, and power limits on the input to the amps so that they can't be over driven. Yes, I know everyone may not be able to do this but part of my ham radio enjoyment is allowing others to use my station so they can experience new ham radio aspects on 160 M to 23 cm at legal limit on most bands.

Thanks for making multiFlex a possibility. There are many exciting possibilities to come using this breakthrough technology.

73,

Mack
W4AX
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Mack, I am talking this morning with a group I talk to every morning on 7.192. I am working on a guy to get V3 so I could log onto his 6600 and listen to those I can't hear today. Could you imagine that...amazing.
(Edited)
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mikeatthebeach .

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Imagine that !!!
CatSync Web SDR does not cost $200
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Michael Walker, Technologist

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The WebSDR's while handy, are not the same class of receivers.  I've listened to many WebSDR's and compared them to what I hear from my own station and there is a big difference.  For what ever reason, they so not have the same selectivity and seem to be more subject to front end overload.  

Now, if all those WebSDR's were Flex 6700R models on full sized antenna systems, that would be something.  Often, they are often compromised antennas.

I had an WebSDR running once on a HF6V multiband antenna on my remote station.  It worked, but was nowhere as good as my 6300 on an inverted V for 80m or on my 20M Steppir.   I've owned 3 different types of hardware and even built 2 Softrocks.  I consider those prototype devices when compared to the competition grade 6000 series radios.

As an example tonight, I was working a station in NY (I'm in Ontario) on  80M.  I wanted to see if a WebSDR near me could compare.  Sadly, it was not able to copy a 20db over S9 signal.  This seems to be the norm for most of  the WebSDR's I've tried out in the NE of the NA.

SDR just defines the technology  used to demodulate the signals.  However, not all SDR RF code is the same so you will see large differences in performance.

your mileage may vary
(Edited)
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Sergey Abrikosov

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To Bill - VA3WTB, 
"Yes, Flex has had remote as well, But not like this. Can you have two stations connect to your radio with SDR console? And transmit?"
Why would i need someone connecting to my radio and transmit? :)
I live on a small city lot and hiding my antennas between trees.
Not everyone is a big contest station.
Sergey, KN7K
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Jimmy Collis

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I agree when u have 5 to 7 thousand dollars just in a rig im surely not going to let other operators operate my station
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Johan / SE3X

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I will! I will choose them carefully for sure. Some of them already have their own Flexradios, but might be fun to work from different geographical places. It's not in any way a game changer for me, but might be fun to have. Time Will tell ..
(Edited)
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Steve

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Hopefully there will be a version to fix issues with V2, we shall see.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Steve, again,,Flex has announced a 2.5 update soon for this reason. They did the same when moving from v1 too v2.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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And the known bugs will be fixed! ANF, NB, WNB performance improved. Wow. Oh, when?
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Burt Fisher

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If one is not a contester and has no ham friends that would find multiflex useful than 3.0 is useless?
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Gene - K3GC

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Burt,
That is exactly the same conclusion I have reached.  99% of my activity  is  DX. It might be fun to play with for a while but with my operating style I will be hard pressed to see $200 value in V3.
(Edited)
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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Burt and Gene, while there are certainly a number of other applications for multiFLEX beyond contesting we recognize that it is not for everyone. We will continue to add functionality to v3 that expands beyond multiFLEX. For example we added a band new band settings menu to v3 where you can adjust your band settings on a single panel at a glance:


There will be many more features and improvements in v3 over time. We encourage users to only upgrade if they find the features of value. If the value isn't there until v3.1 or 3.2 or 4.0 then wait to purchase until then.

Our small but mighty team is going to keep working hard over here to improve these amazing radios. Stay tuned!

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N5LB - Lionel B

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Zero interest here in using a remote radio or having anyone remotely use mine. Besides with my wire antenna, who would anyway?
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AC9S

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I intend to use the Maestro as my primary control and PSDR as a second BIG window on other bands while I am DXing.  I can do this now with the Maestro, but frankly splitting the already small screen doesn't appeal to me and I find PSDR a little awkward with the mouse interface.  I am looking forward to V3 for my everyday activity.  I had hoped that the clients could be interleaved on a single slice, but the way V3 is announced will be a big improvement to me anyway.

Keith - AC9S
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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There are several criteria to  consider when deciding on whether to buy v3. Depending on your usage, interest and mind-set, the decision could be wildly different than mine:
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.

(Edited)
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WW1SS - Steve

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Hey Superman . . . How are you?

I would just like to see multiFLEX operate the same slice from either the Maestro or computer. I guess though that is not the way it will work. Sounds like they again are going for the next big bang for the contesters and not fixing NB or other issues. I wish they would get it together and get all these bugs fixed that we constantly complain about.

I have friends but they don't and won't operate my station remotely.
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Matt - KD5FGE, Employee

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We hear you Steve! Thanks so much for being such a faithful supporter of us.

We often get frustrated internally that we cant accomplish more! We just try to stay the course to the best of our ability. We really do take customer feedback seriously and are unfortunately forced to make hard decisions every day to choose between two imperfect answers.

Keep the feedback coming and our small but amazing team will keep working hard to advance these radios!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@BURT

Sorry to her you don’t have friends. Hi Hi.

I have lots of friends who like to use my contest grade (Big Antenna Big Amp) station
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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@Burt,

One use case that does not involve big contest situations, is the ability to be listen for a station, but needing to be away from the shack from time to time (cooking, watching the kids, running errands around the house, working on the car n the garage).  Before multi-flex you would need to disconnect from the rig, close SSDR, reopen on your Maestro or iPad in another room, tend to your task, return to the shack, disconnect from Maestro/iPad, restart SSDR, and return to your frequency.

Multi-flex would allow you to connect two devices at the same time, and leave them running on different, or even the same frequencies, and run back and forth between two parts of the house/property without missing that important schedule / net / rag chew / DX opening, etc.  

Is this a scenario for the truly addicted Amateur operator?  Sure, but it can be truly handy, especially in emergency situations....for example, in an EOC where multiple people may need access to the rig at the same time....

Indeed, this new set of features may not be useful for everyone, but I imagine it may become more useful than many folks think once it becomes mainstream and people begin to innovate and experiment with it.

On the other hand.... no one is required to upgrade if they don't want.  They can wait until V.4 or V.5 or V.6 ... whenever the feature set suits them and entices them to do so.

Just my 2 cents.

Ken - NM9P
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Burt Fisher

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Howard: I have few ham friends, one I did have wanted to borrow from me $3000 for what he said was ham equipment but luckily I knew his adult daughter who said he was going to not pay me back.
Ken: I found your 2 cents interesting. In fact almost everyone here is far more intelligent than I. The only people I deal with normally are 9 years old (although they love Morse Code).
(Edited)
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Takeshi Yamada

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Although I do not have immediate needs of multiFlex, I would move to V3 to support contenious software improvement efforts of FlexRadio. 
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
Ken Yamada

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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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After reading this thread, I wanted to offer a few observations since I also work at an electronics manufacturer;

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.

Cheers,

Neal
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I think that people might not recognize how much daily contact Flex has with its customer base. I know that Mike and Tim spend many hours a day on the phone with customers, as does Matt, Lori, etc. They attend many ham festivals each year as well as present the 'state of sdr' at many technical forums. Eric and his team work closely with customers on technical problems, trying to isolate issues and fix them. The Alpha team supplies honest feedback to engineering and marketing on the state of new releases as well as release plans. I have seen more than a couple releases delayed because the Alphas were not happy that a bug was not fixed before released. This customer contact is the heart of the '110% Flex fan' base that was written about earlier. I know, personally, Tim's devotion to his title of Customer Experience Manager, never seen a person more active in representing the customer inside an organization.

Always room for improvement and this community provides another facet of feedback,  an important one. These discussions have been very enlightening and helpful I am sure and I am also sure Flex appreciates the helpful suggestions and comments. 
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Chris DL5NAM

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Neal, your absolute right but nobody wrote any word against Tim and Mike.

This is not a personal discussion, nobody want blame FRS or any person. It's the politics of FRS how they handle wishes and feature requests of user.

As you can see: multiFLEX is not the burner and for most user the money worth.

The only way to communicate with FRS is here the community

73 Chris
(also a happy user of a F6 and next a 2. F6 will come)
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Hi Chris  
I surely didn't mean to make it a personal comment so apologies if I miswrote (not sure thats a real word). I think the community's purpose is both customer-to-customer as well as customer-to-Flex-to-customer so you are of course correct! I was just trying to  represent that customer feedback occurs in many ways and they spend a lot of time talking with customers. The community is a great resource however because it allows groups of customers to represent themselves as opposed to individual contacts.
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N5LB - Lionel B

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Right, it isn’t personal. No reason to be. It does seem FRS out of biz necessity will always leave some ops behind. Some ideas in list have been implemented though many more or under consideration. There is no FRS priority assigned as best I can tell. They have killed a few, that is some feedback to owners.

Remote operation in either direction is of no interest here. Seriously, I don’t care to be a ham radio internet on ramp/off ramp. I suspect many alpha testers have far bigger stations than some of us and hence drive the planning cycle for major versions.

Some of the V2 user carping is no doubt driven by a lack of info from FRS on what, when, how of fixes. It seems like V2 is at EOL, except bug fixes and if V3 has nothing, or at least very little, for the smaller stations then it may be long time before anything useful comes along .

I sure would like to hear what, if anything, there is to look forward to for those with less grand aspirations in using their equipment.

I’ll buy V3 just because I have OLSS and hope a few cents goes to some innovation somewhat less galactic than what seems to be the current offering. I don’t see V3 changing any of my operation or use of my 6400. Maybe there’s a pony in the box.

V3 type innovation will sell radios, that’s the long term key success factor.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Neal,
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
Win10











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Sergey Abrikosov

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interesting conversation.
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.
Sergey, KN7K
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N5LB - Lionel B

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I agree with Serget’s comments.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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So far as I have read, about 10 people have said that v3 does not interest them, including myself. But that is not many compared to the number of flex owners out there. It seems like a lot because that has dominated the discussion here, but I don't think it represents much of the actual number of Flexers.

Contesters are a very large group.

But I like the settings panel on the fly thing,,that is nice.
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Sergey Abrikosov

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“Contesters are a very large group.”
How big to compared to a not contesters?

I participate in big contests to sharpen my skills but have a very small station compared to a big guns. So, I am somewhat is contester and Dx-er in the same time, just having fun a hobby.
I am hoping for ver3.1-Maestro some time soon ;)
Sergey, KN7K
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Bernie W7DMC

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For my operating I can see me using the V3 multi user feature a lot. I can operate remotely in the house or on the deck using my laptop to run FT8 and my Maestro with spots to monitor the maritime mobile service net and watch for DX as an example.
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Chris DL5NAM

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open 2 slices (or more) was possible since V1 - OK only on 1 device
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Steve

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I believe what I am about to say is true, BUT  myself and a fellow ham are on my radio he is remote I am local.  We both want to participate in the same QSO.  Problem I believe is when he transmits  I cannot hear him and vice versa.  Is this correct??
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Michael Walker, Technologist

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Steve,

When 3.1 is released, you will be able to hear him transmit if you have MON turned on and hear what he is saying.  The other operator will have to do the same thing.

Mikek k
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Steve

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GREAT..thanks for the reply Mike