If you run the Flex 1500, 3000 or 5000 then take a serious look at what Darrin KE9NS has been doing. A few weeks ago I suggested a couple of changes that would improve serious DX chasing using PSDR...and here they are - suggestion to reality within a matter of 2-3 weeks....Darrin's SOFTWARE is DEFINING this RADIO !
"4/7/18 v188.8.131.52: New Quick "SPLT" button feature: Right click to automatically turns ON and toggles between a VFOB TX of +5khz or -5khz split from VFOA. AND: Setup->Display->Split TX Listen checkbox will automatically set the sub-receiver (MultiRX button) to the TX freq during the Split."
This feature adjunct with setting the VFO A/B audio balance/split allows you to listen to the DX in one ear, and the pileup TX-freq in the other! So, when you here the otherside of the QSO you know you are on the right QRG...time to call, and its also easy to track the next QSO/ split-movement etc.
This particular feature is a technique that some of us serious (aka obsessive) DX chasers use to catch a slippery DX fish where they are plagued with heavy pileups. When trying to use SmartSDR I had to set up macros in DDUTIIL and other workarounds. Now in PSDR its easy - one click is all it takes for me to be ready and on the DX.
I recently sold both my 2 x 6500 and reverted to using a trusty 3000 with PSDR - a decission that was to focus on what the radio actually does for me right here and now - to help catch DX.
73 de Steve G1XOW
I know how you feel Art, I have been thinking of selling my 6600M and either going with the Apache Labs ANAN-8000DLE or just going back to a Flex 5000A. Now I understand that all of these radio have strengths and weaknesses and that's up you the user to decide what works best for you.
I like the receive
performance of the 6000 series and the SmartLink remote is a
feel like at the pace FlexRadio is developing SmartSDR it will take
many years before it has the feature set that even
comes close to PowerSDR
at the pace Darrin KE9NS is going.
the ANAN has moved ahead vastly with OpenHPSDR and
the hardware is very impressive and
the “Open-Source aspects are very interesting
it’s beginning to look like FRS has way too much on their plate
with all the new hardware and commercial business to
develop SmartSDR in a timely fashion.
know there are people that are Very happy with their new radios and
that's great for them, BUT I have had a 6700 then 6500 and now 6600M
and the radio is still very buggy and has a clunky feel to me it just
seems like a rushed and unfinished product and don’t even get me
started on the Maestro that thing is just not ready for to be sold as
a finished product. Even
the rack kit I ordered with my radio had a machining error that
required me to file the holes slightly bigger so the screw hole would line up
with my hI end rack rails. BTW they never offered replacements to me, they just basically told me Sorry not our problem.
feel like I am a “Beta Tester” when I use the radio. In the few
weeks I have had the new 6600M I have had to HARD reset the radio 2
times, and find the radio does strange random things that require
restarting the radio or SmartSDR plus
there are so many defect with the user interface that have continued
from SSDR 1.X from years ago that still not have been addressed.
doesn’t make sense to me is that one
of the many
we were told we had to wait so long to get the new radios was because
the “Beta Testers” are working with the new radios to make sure
they are ready before they start shipping. Well that seems like just
another excuse to delay because for example the one most obvious
feature that most “M” model users would use is the external
monitor feature and once the radios were shipping users found that
they connect an external monitor to the radio
the graphics would rotate 90 degrees and get stuck that way until you
went though hoops to get it to sort of work. How
can ALL of the “Beta Testers” have missed this?
know this is my Opinion and you don't have to agree with me but I
know many people feel the same as I do and feel that as soon as
anyone says anything Negative about Flex the “Shills” come out of
the wood work and so are quick to defend Flex rather than trying to
understand the frustration that so many of us have had for years.
here is a picture of just one of the strange problems I have had that
Required a HARD Rest to the radio.
I like to call this "Somewhere Over The HF Rainbow"
For others, and they post here all the time winning number 1 in many contest using SSDR and all different type's of 3rd party software to give them an advantage.
Keep up the good work Steven, DX is waiting...
I understand completely how it all works. I my career I was heavily involved in Alpha/Beta testing of software from the customer prospective. Customers should expect to be kept abreast of what has priority and what does not . YES it is all a very complicated process it is still necessary to maintain a customer base and it is best done through open communication as much as practical with "fixes" taking priority over new content. Smartlink has current acknowledged problems that in many environments hinder its basic functionality. It has all been reported and has no published potential fix date. As a customer who paid for a working product (via version 2) it should be my right to know the intended fix date. If we the consumers allow the vendor to continue to not keep us uninformed we probably deserve what we get. Again, we deserve to get what we pay for, or in this case have already paid for. I am done whining now, have a nice day.
The hardware I feel is robust, but has more potential that is hindered by what is a rather underwhelming GUI - in terms of it's ergonomics. I use that term deliberately to differentiate from 'chrome', which is completely different.
I opened my first discussion (as a user) on the GUI noise blanker logic :
The reaction was predictably mixed but above all I got the distinct impression that the company line seems very much "it's a feature, not a bug". Sadly, I have seen others here whom have also mentioned having a similar impression. Perhaps these days, the customer is NOT "always right".
In conclusion, I am glad I bought this radio as opposed to a new 6600. I think it represents reasonable value for money at the price I paid. The shortcomings and reluctance to address issues in a timely fashion would have been significantly more irritating had I bought new. I sympathise with how those earlier in this thread and elsewhere must feel.
For a variety of reasons, not the least being "oh look something shiny", I sold the 5K and bought a 6300, then recently, for the same reasons, bought a 6400.
In my applications SSDR has been stable and meets the needs whether late V1 or current V2. The 6400 hardware and software is superior in my uses compared to the 5K - display, break in CW, quiet, for a few. Purely qualitative on my part.
With a few more sunspots, maybe a lot, I'd be happy as a hog in mud.
I do miss Darrin's rapid development cycle, always exciting, but understand limited resources for a small company with several high end products and software. But, I knew Flex was a small company and I knew their history and sort of expected their rate of development. So, I'm fine, with no SW bugs needing updates.
Still, something "shiny" is always nice.
Basically the dollar drives software development. If the hardware is not affected in a significant negative way by the current software version to reduce sales and create criticism then the main focus is hardware and getting it out the door to bring the dollars in to support the company.
There was still many issues to address with the 3000/5000 model software and much room for new features when it was abandoned and the rigs discontinued for newer models, but fortunately Darrin has come to the rescue! I still have a 3000 and his software is great and getting better all the time.
One of the "features" of an SDR is that you can continue to add features and perks through software, but only if you develop your own, since new features and perks are not often added by the SDR manufacturer because it impacts the bottom line, once an almost acceptable software version hits the general release. It took Icom 6 times with the 7610 to reach that level. Its there now but they lost a lot of sales before reaching that point so that's why now the price is dropping, also another reason is that the new flex models are out of the promise land and into the real market.
For better or worse I travel a lot. Yes it was me under the Chunnel working DX and from 28 countries so far. So easy with SmartLink and Flex. So hard with every other radio I have ever tried and I have tried virtually everything on the market.
All my remote contacts are DX from California no matter where I am in the world.