The reason I ask is this, the Maestro can only accommodate 2 waterfalls/slice receivers. And to be honest that is how I do a majority of my operating both day to day and contesting. Would there be a significant difference overall between the 6300 and Maestro versus the 6500 and Maestro?
I'm sure the question is but what about the SDR program. I probably read the community posts to much and I must admit I am apprehensive of connecting my PC to a Flexradio. If I am over emphasizing the issue, please try to put my mind at ease.
The reason I am writing this is because Bob, N4HY came to the Frankford Radio Club Meeting on Tuesday evening and gave a fantastic demonstration/presentation on SDR and the Flexradio.
I welcome all comments. Mark Griffin, KB3Z
I'm not the overall expert here but this is my opinion:
The 6300 provides great performance for the dollar. I used to have one and it works very well. I was talked into upgrading to a 6500 during FRS special and I love the rig but frankly I don't use it beyond what I used to use in a 6300.
That being said, if you are using one or two pans, one or two slices and you plan to use Maestro and you have no desire of diversity receive, more pans/slices then I see no reason that the 6300 would not be an almost ideal match.
Mark - WS7M
As for problems, I just have not had any that were not my own fault. The 6500 is connected through an ethernet cable to its own port on a mid-high I7 computer and it runs 24/7 with no hiccups. I have never 'lost' the radio, failed to connect or had all these weird comport problems that others see. I run digital programs a lot, don't do skimmers, and have the usual breed of logging programs - some using IP, and some using the com-ports. So maybe its the direct-connect IP that makes my life simple? I really don't know.
But whatever reason, my Flex has been dependable and works as programmed. Do I want a few new features, sure, who doesn't. In the meantime, the Flex window sits on the second monitor (along with some other high-brow SDR receivers) - has for over 2 years - and all is well. And I do not use up any extra desk space for a radio display, except the Flex knob that sits next to the paddles.
If it does go bad, I will have another pint . .
Cheers and good luck with your decision.
I have a 6300 and my needs are basic* (similar to yours). When I did compare the models, yes the 6500 has more features and would be nice to have, but the price difference between the 6300 vs the 6500 was too great to justify them. The 6300 definitely hits the SDR "sweet-spot".
* You would not believe what some of the people here can do with 8 slices and panadaptors!
This may be helpful, as FRS did a nice comparison page of the 6300/6500/6700:
Then it's not going to work! Maybe the demonstration you watched left out the most important part.
You should learn how to operate the Flex radio from the software as well as the Maestro whenever it "Finally" becomes available. You will need a PC to perform updates or else you will be left with no new features. A one purpose, dedicated PC is the way to go when running SDRs in my opinion.
Many good bits of advice here. I own a 6500 (2 1/2 years) and am very pleased with it. I find that the longer I have it, the more I appreciate the extra features and performance.
I would like to comment on your apprehension to connect it to your PC. Yes, you may be listening too much to the "problem" posts. This is, in part, a "help" forum and you will hear a much larger percentage of people with "frustrations" than are actually represented in the actual user base.
The vast majority of Flex users have no problems at all with the computer-radio interface, once they get past a little bit of a learning curve. And you will notice that those who do, the vast majority are able to quickly resolve their difficulties with the help of a cadre of "elmers" in the Comminity, or the excellent staff at FlexRadio. I would recommend to "jump right in" and have fun. If you have trouble, we will all help you get it going. (If you can learn any of several computerized logging or contesting programs, you can learn to run SSDR!)
But in any case. The 6000/Maestro combo will be a lot of fun. If you decide to get a 6300/6500 and DON'T get a Maestro, be sure to get a FlexControl Knob. ($99) You will be glad you did.
Have fun deciding.....
Ken - NM9P
If you wind up on the fence you should consider the factory refurb radios available directly from Flex. Maybe if you can get a 6500 at a discount it will help you pull the trigger. As good as Flex's support is, there is probably no difference between buying a new one.
I will be using my Maestro with a 6500. But, even with a 6300, it will be a nice combo.
Keep in mind future operating considerations, such as transverter operation. But it sounds like for your operating you would suffice with a 6300.
Another thing regarding the PC issue - You can always install SmartSDR on the PC for DAX and CAT availability if you want to run digital modes. That will allow you to still use the Maestro for normal operating but run the digital software on the PC too.